It’s time to make your family-friendly New Year’s Eve plans

| December 19, 2015 | Comments (0)
TheNutcracker2015_001_TheHouseTheatreofChicago_photoMichaelBrosilowAcross the Chicagoland area there are family-friendly events to help your family mark the end of 2015 and celebrate the beginning of 2016. Here are some to consider when planning your family’s celebration.
Brookfield Zoo ends its annual Holiday Magic event with a Zoo Year’s celebration. As if more than 1 million LED twinkling lights, an interactive light display timed to music, pixel-mapped LED Christmas trees and caroling to the animals wasn’t enough fun, there are special NYE events. A D.J. will have music, games and prizes at the Holly Jolly Theater and the Hamill Family Play Zoo will host a party for younger children. Both parties will count down the end of 2015 at 8:00 p.m. For more information visit
The House Theater’s non-ballet version of The Nutcracker ends 2015 with a performance at 7:00 p.m. and ends at 1:00 a.m. after the NYE countdown. This is a fun event for families with older kids who want something really fun to start 2016. The show is a variation on the story you know so well. In this version, “the holiday classic centers on you Clara’s journey to celebrate Christmas in the face of grief after the death of her brother.” On the surface this doesn’t sound uplifting, but it’s the House Theater so you need to bring your sense of adventure with you. The Nutcracker adds original songs and puppetry to the story of magic and hope. After the show, the party features a dance floor, table-top and party game room, photo booth and munchy treats with beverages. For more information, visit
Area children’s museums all seem to have events going if the press releases coming across email are correct. Here are some to check out: Bronzeville Children’s Museum in Chicago, Chicago Children’s Museum at Navy Pier, Children’s Museum of Oak LawnDuPage Children’s Museum in Naperville, KidsWork Children’s Museum in Frankfort, Kohl Children’s Museum in Glenview, and WonderWorks in Oak Park.
In Downers Grove, the Tivoli Bowl starts its New Year’s Eve party at 11:00 a.m. Admission includes two hours of bowling, shoe rental, party lights, pizza, soft drinks and music. The bowling alley is in downtown Downers Grove, so once you are done with the party, you can wander the shops and soak up the festive atmosphere. For more information, visit
The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum has a New Year’s at Noon party on the calendar. This family-friendly celebration includes eco-friendly party favors, a dance party, games and an apple juice toast. You’ll even get lunch at this Noon event. Prices are very reasonable, with non-member adults at $20 and children’s tickets at $10. For more information, visit
Whatever you do to ring in the New Year, the Chicago Moms wish you a happy and healthy 2016! Thank you for being part of our community.
Shari writes about life with twins at Two Times the Fun. Image courtesy of The House Theater. Right:  Jaclyn Hennell as Clara. Photo by Michael Brosilow.


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About Shari: Shari is a mom, wife, marketing communications professional, gardener, Chicago Blackhawks fan, college sports fan, traveler, quilter, community volunteer, sister, daughter, aunt, friend, Siberian Husky owner, Girl Scout troop leader and book lover. You can find Shari blogging about life with twins at Two Times the Fun and tweeting @slcs48n1. View author profile.

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