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New Year's Eve In Chicago: A MapQuest Guide

On New Year's Eve in Chicago, locals and visitors revel in the possibilities of the months to come. From ball drops to fireworks to First Night activities, every locale rings in the new year a little differently. As part of NewYearsQuest -- a MapQuest guide to the best New Year's Eve sights and sounds in the U.S. and in major cities around the world -- here are three recommended events for New Year's Eve 2011 in Chicago.

Chicago New Year's Eve Events Map

Navy Pier’s New Year’s Eve Family Bash

For parents who don't want to keep the kids up until the wee hours, the Navy Pier hosts a free family event from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The event features a concert with family-friendly music and a hip-hop dance show in Festival Hall. The early fireworks display begins at 8:15 p.m. on Dock Street. With the purchase of a $15 wristband, kids can access the other attractions on the pier, including an ice-skating rink, indoor Ferris wheel and the Glacier Run simulated snowmobile ride.

Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago, IL 60611

ComedySportz New Year's Eve Show And After Party

The festive spirit of New Year's Eve promises to inspire the ComedySportz Theatre's competitive improv teams to take the laughs to a whole new level of wackiness. The audience actively participates in the show and decides what kinds of games the actors will play. The night's winners are determined by the level of gut-busting laughter they can create. No two shows are alike, and the players are often as surprised as the audience when the show takes a left turn into bizarro-land. Audience members get to mingle with the performers at the after-party. The show begins at 10 p.m. and admission is $26.50.

The ComedySportz Theatre, 929 W. Belmont, Chicago, IL 60657

Spirit Of Chicago's New Year's Eve Fireworks Dinner Cruise

Cruisers will enjoy a fantastic view of the Chicago skyline, as well as the best possible vantage point for watching fireworks over Lake Michigan, on The Spirit of Chicago. The ship boasts three climate-controlled decks, floor-to-ceiling windows and a passenger capacity of 600. Packages start at $159 and include a gourmet three-course meal, an open bar and a midnight champagne toast. The $199 platinum package guarantees dinner seating at a window table. A professional disc jockey keeps the dance floor hopping all night. The cruise departs at 9:30 p.m. from the Navy Pier.

Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago, IL 60611

New Year's Eve In Chicago: Video

Navy Pier’s New Year’s Eve Family Bash features fireworks and other festive attractions.

Did we miss a Chicago New Year's Eve event? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

Related MapQuest New Year's Articles

Check out our coverage of New Year's events around the world, including Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana!

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by Ken Jennings
Our resident expert -- and renowned Jeopardy! champ -- scours the planet to find some of its oddest New Year's traditions.

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