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Fireworks explode along the Navy Pier moments after midnight as Chicago celebrates New Year, Sunday Jan. 1, 2023.

Fireworks explode along the Navy Pier moments after midnight as Chicago celebrates New Year, Sunday Jan. 1, 2023.

Victor Hilitski

New Year’s Eve: 10 great ways for Chicagoans to close out 2023

It’s time to bid adieu to 2023 — but not before one more great night (or day) out.

From family-friendly matinees to movie brunches and a whole host of live music to revel in as the clock strikes midnight, we count down 10 promising events on New Year’s Eve in and around Chicago.

Beyond the Veil: A Funerary Masquerade

Rest in peace, 2023. The final services for this year will be held at the stunning and historic Church of the Epiphany (now the Epiphany Center for the Arts) in an event that will put the fun in funeral. Come dressed in your best black attire for the gothic/darkwave showdown as four stages play host to such electro clashers as Drab Majesty, Light Asylum and Patriarchy for an all-night dance party. Epiphany Arts Center, 201 S. Ashland Ave. Starts at 6 p.m. $65+.

Straight Jokes! No Chaser

Get one last laugh in for 2023 with a night of LOL-worthy stand-up headlined by two of the Original Kings of Comedy: Cedric the Entertainer and D.L. Hughley. Additional funny men include Don DC Curry, Earthquake, Englewood native Damon Williams and more to be revealed. United Center, 1901 W. Madison St. 8 p.m. $59+

‘Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas’

For a family-friendly treat, head to the Studebaker Theater, where the magical world of Jim Henson comes to life in this adaptation of his beloved TV special. It centers around Ma and Emmet Otter, who try to figure out a way to win a Christmas talent contest after the family has fallen on hard times. The production comes to a close with a New Year’s Eve matinee. Studebaker Theater, 410 S. Michigan Ave. 3 p.m. $35+.

Kit Kat’s ‘Broadway in Chicago’ Revue

The Great White Way gets the Kit Kat Lounge treatment as divas Kinley Preston and Faleasha Savage perform from the songbooks of popular musicals including “Chicago,” “The Lion King” and “Wicked” while dressed in inspired costumes. Bottomless drinks and dinner packages are available for purchase, and guests will have the chance to win tickets to Broadway in Chicago shows in 2024. Kit Kat Lounge, 3700 N. Halsted St. Shows at 8, 9 and 11 p.m. $89+.

The Lemonheads

Evan Dando and crew headline a three-night stand at SPACE culminating on New Year’s Eve. The previous two nights offer full album performances of “It’s a Shame About Ray” and “Come On Feel the Lemonheads” (which celebrated 30 years in 2023), so you can likely expect a mixed bag of the two records for the final show. SPACE, 1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston. 9 p.m. $65.

Lindsey Stirling

The multi-hyphenate crossover talent who combines electric violin with impeccable dance routines is a joy to see any time of the year, but especially around the holidays. Her latest, the Snow Waltz Tour, has become its own kind of modern pop “Nutcracker” experience as she explores layered instrumental takes on holiday classics and originals set to intense choreography. Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Dr. 8:30 p.m. $49+.

Alamo’s Movie Brunch

Here’s a new way to enjoy New Year’s Eve brunch. Chicago’s latest boutique movie theater, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, is hosting two food-filled screenings early on in the day, including a showing of the new flick “Ferrari” at 11:10 a.m. and the new rendition of “The Color Purple” at 11:20 a.m., both accompanied by a hearty menu to choose from that you can enjoy right from the comfort of your reclining seat. Alamo Drafthouse Chicago, 3519 N. Clark. $11.99.

Y2K at Recess

If you’re feeling nostalgic for the good times of yesteryear, River North’s Recess is hosting a total throwback in the style of MTV’s “Total Request Live.” Full of music, DJs and video programming, the themed night will transport you back to the era of Britney and Justin, before it got weird. Tickets include a premium open bar as well as bites and passed appetizers. Recess, 838 W. Kinzie. Starts at 8 p.m. $50. Make reservations at

Boots ‘N Beats

NashVegas is calling, but you don’t have to leave Chicago to get the full feel. Head to Joe’s on Weed St. for a hybrid night of country and dance music featuring MC4D, whose crossover appeal has been heard in remixes of everyone from Morgan Wallen to Zach Bryan. Tickets include access to a premium open bar and all-you-can-eat buffet. Joe’s on Weed St., 940 W. Weed St. 9 p.m. $40+.

Nora En Pure

Part meditation, part groove-worthy house music, the South African/Swiss DJ and producer leads a transcendental journey into the new year. Fresh off her stage takeover at Electric Zoo festival, Nora En Pure is having a banner year and will be celebrating right along with the crowd with her sunny, upbeat take on dance beats. Aragon Ballroom, 1106 W. Lawrence Ave. 9 p.m. $63.75.

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