New year’s eve 2020

Table of Contents

Money Crashers

Picture a great New Year’s Eve party at your home with all your friends: Sparkling decorations and candles all about. Your guests take hilarious photos, dance with loud, crazy noisemakers, and enjoy a selection of appetizers. When the clock strikes 12, you toast with champagne and feast on a midnight supper.

This scenario has to cost a fortune, right? Well, not necessarily. With a few money-saving tricks up your sleeve, you can host a great New Year’s party on a budget that people will be talking about for a long time to come. From food, to refreshments, to games, you can cut costs everywhere without sacrificing any of the fun! And if your New Year’s resolution is to save money, this is a great place to start.

Host this years New Years Eve party without worrying about cooking. Order food from your favorite restaurant through DoorDash and you’ll receive $0 deliver fee on your first order.

Party Food Ideas

1. Make It a BYOA Affair – Bring Your Own Appetizer

Phone your invitees and inform them that it’s a BYOA event. There are a number of cheap and easy appetizers that your guests can bring, but if someone doesn’t know how to cook or what to bring, suggest raw veggies and hummus, a fruit and nut platter, or a cheese and crackers plate. If someone claims that even those are too difficult, ask them to bring a container or two of mixed nuts – you can provide the bowl!

2. Serve Champagne Sangria for Midnight Toasting

This is an easy and delicious way to cut down on champagne costs that will be appreciated by all! To make champagne sangria, simply use these ingredients and follow the instructions below:

Ingredients:

  • One 32-ounce bottle of apple juice
  • One 12-ounce can of frozen cranberry juice concentrate
  • One cup of orange juice
  • One-and-a-half liters of champagne (or ginger ale for a non-alcoholic version)

Directions:

  1. Keep items chilled (or frozen) until use.
  2. Combine the apple juice, cranberry juice concentrate, and orange juice in a large bowl. Stir well.
  3. Add sliced oranges, kiwi slices, and any other fruit you like.
  4. Slowly add the champagne or ginger ale at the last minute to keep it bubbly.

This recipe serves 12, but you might want to double up for thirsty guests!

3. Have a Midnight Supper

After the midnight toast, close the bar and invite everyone to take part in a midnight supper. A baked potato bar is easy, fun, and inexpensive. Bake the biggest potatoes you can find, and follow with dessert!

  • Put potatoes in the oven at 400 degrees at about 10:30pm. They should be done in about an hour.
  • Set out as many toppings as you like: sour cream, bacon bits, chopped scallions, salsa, shredded cheese, jalapenos, chives, steamed broccoli, butter, mushrooms, chili, and anything else you’d like. Let everyone fix their own potato, as loaded as they want.
  • For dessert, serve chocolate cake from a mix with white icing and colored sprinkles. Serve with ice cream and a little hot fudge sauce.
  • Be sure to provide coffee with dessert for the drive home.

This menu will cost about $2 per person, which is very reasonable for a hearty supper. If you want to spend more, make a cheesecake instead for a rich finish to your meal.

4. Remember That Timing Is Everything

Since you want to keep the party hopping until (and perhaps well past) the midnight hour, consider starting around 10pm. But if you prefer to start much earlier, have the potato bar ready at around 10pm so guests don’t go hungry.

If your group wants to spend five to six hours together, plan on having a full-scale potluck early in the evening. You can skip the appetizers in this case, but still prepare your midnight supper.

Fun & Games

5. Ask Guests to Bring an Unusual Noisemaker

Have a “craziest noisemaker” contest and be sure to shoot video! Replay each person with their noisemaker for the crowd and vote on who wins. Provide a prize to the winner, such as earmuffs. Then, get everyone together for the big midnight countdown and create your own symphony of racket, clatter, and boom.

6. “Hire” a Photographer

Ask one guest to serve as the “official” photographer to take before and after photos, or do it yourself. As guests arrive, invite them to pose with one person seated and the other standing next to a chair (like an old-time photo – no smiling allowed). You could provide old-fashioned hats, and maybe a shawl or scarf for props.

Later, take “after midnight” photos of your guests in their holiday party outfits showing off their noisemakers. Post all the photos online to share.

7. Ask Guests to Write Predictions for the New Year

Have your guests sign their predictions and place them into a bowl or a box. Then, during supper, take turns reading the predictions while everyone guesses who wrote them. It can be surprising how difficult it is to guess your friends’ predictions – and it’s a great way to wrap up the night!

Decorations & Atmosphere

8. Hang Handmade Paper Snowflakes From the Ceiling

White printer paper snowflakes in varying sizes, plain or accented with silver or clear glitter, can be hung from different lengths of thread or ribbon for a festive effect. You can even scatter some over a table for easy decor. If you glitter them, remember that less is more.

9. Hang Lengths of Curled Ribbon for an Iconic New Year’s Eve

Curling ribbon is very easy, but it looks great everywhere. Try to find the wider variety, about a half-inch thick. You can hang it from light fixtures, doorways, lamps, mantels, even on the bathroom mirror. Scatter a few curls between dishes on your midnight buffet as well.

10. Use Metallic and Glittered Christmas Ornaments

Glittery Christmas ornaments look wonderful in a bowl as a centerpiece. You can also hang plain ornament balls from a light fixture over a table using varying lengths of ribbon in your theme colors. They also look nice hung in front of a mirror.

11. Set Out All the Candles You Own

Set out every candle you can find in your house, and consider buying a cheap bag of votives, which can be put into glasses, canning jars, or even apples.

You can also find inexpensive votive holders at the dollar store. You can frost them by simply using glue and epsom salts. Mix regular white school glue with water (three parts glue mixed with one part water) and paint the mixture onto the sides of the votive holder. Then, roll it in a plate full of epsom salts from the grocery store. Once it dries, you’ll have a sparkling frosted votive holder! Place these wherever you want to add a little glamor; they look especially nice place atop a mirror or in front of one.

Final Word

Have a blast at your New Year’s party, but remember, no matter what, never allow anyone to drive home impaired! Not only do you want to keep your friends safe, but as a host, you could be legally liable for their drunk driving. These are known as “social host” laws, and many states have them.

To protect everyone, have a sober person drive intoxicated friends home, call a cab, or take their keys and let them sleep at your place. A simple bacon, eggs, and coffee breakfast will be fine for these overnight guests.

What are your plans for New Year’s Eve? Do you have any tips to have a great party on a budget?

New Year’s Eve: celebrate in Chicago

From masquerade balls at swanky hotels to live DJs at underground clubs to multi-course meals at award-winning restaurants — there are tons of memorable ways to ring in the New Year in Chicago. Here are a few favorites for NYE 2020.

  • New Year’s Eve at Navy Pier
  • New Year’s fireworks on the river
  • Top hotel NYE parties
  • Special events and unique venues
  • Bars & lounges
  • Concerts & music venues
  • NYE dinner at Chicago restaurants
  • Kid-friendly celebrations for all ages

New Year’s Eve at Navy Pier

Fireworks at Navy Pier

Annual Resolution Gala
The annual Chicago Resolution Gala is the “it” New Year’s Eve event at Navy Pier. With more than 30 bars offering unlimited drinks, tasty buffet stations and access to the Grand Ballroom and the Lakeview Terrace, there are plenty of places to mingle and dance the night away—and to take in unrivaled views of the midnight fireworks. Tickets start at $109.

Crystal Gardens New Years Eve
To see and be seen in a stunning space, hit up Crystal Gardens New Years Eve, where you’ll find special guest DJs and more than 20 premium liquor bars. Nosh on hors-d’oeuvres and signature dishes at various food stations, and step out on the private terrace to watch those fabulous fireworks. Tickets start at $99.

Offshore New Year’s Eve
Offshore, the city’s largest year-round rooftop, is ringing in 2020 with an extravagant New Year’s Eve bash. The black-tie event will feature a premium open bar, a live band, DJ performance, chef stations, a live on-air countdown with ABC 7 Chicago, and a spectacular view of the Navy Pier fireworks. Tickets start at $125.

Fireworks
No New Year’s celebration in Chicago would be complete without a trip to Navy Pier. Enjoy all the entertainment, rides and attractions at this family-friendly destination, and at midnight, watch a kaleidoscope of fireworks perfectly synchronized to inspiring music over Lake Michigan. Free.

Lakefront dinner cruises
The best view of the fireworks display over Lake Michigan is from the water. Book one of Chicago’s many dinner cruise options that depart from Navy Pier, which includes dining, music, a champagne toast, and unbeatable views of the lit-up skyline and midnight fireworks show. Prices vary.

New Year’s fireworks on the river

Chicago’s New Year’s Eve Blast will light up the Chicago River with a free fireworks display on Dec. 31. As the clock strikes midnight, a mile-long fireworks show will launch from bridges and barges down the Chicago River to welcome in the new year. Grab a spot on the Chicago Riverwalk, at set viewing locations, or at nearby partner events and watch the show.

Chicago river fireworks cruise
Celebrate the New Year with a fireworks cruise on the Chicago River. Sip champagne and enjoy an up-close view of the stunning river fireworks and surrounding skyline. All tickets aboard the Odyssey Chicago River include a plated multi-course dinner, platinum open bar, a midnight champagne toast, DJ entertainment, and a night of dancing. Tickets start at $280; Odyssey Chicago, 455 Cityfront Plaza Drive

Top hotel NYE parties

Hilton Chicago

NYE Soiree at JW Marriott
This NYE Soiree rings in the New Year in the luxury hotel designed by legendary Chicago architect Daniel Burnham. The four-hour all-inclusive package includes multiple rooms of entertainment, featuring live music from the city’s hottest DJs and cover bands. Plus, party-goers get discounted room rates. Tickets start at $119; JW Marriott, 151 W. Adams St.

Blu Year’s Eve at Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel
The Radisson Blu will ring in 2020 with a New Year’s bash in their Atlantic Ballroom, featuring stunning views of downtown Chicago. The evening will include a balloon drop, hors d’oeuvres, a live DJ, party favors, and a champagne toast at the stroke of midnight. Tickets start at $110, Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, 221 N. Columbus Drive

New Year’s Eve Party at Drake Hotel
One of the biggest New Year’s Eve parties in town, The Drake’s famed NYE blowout is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Guests can enjoy five ballrooms of entertainment, premium top-shelf liquor at more than 40 fully staffed bars, a breathtaking balloon drop, and a champagne toast at midnight inside a historic Chicago hotel. Tickets start at $139; Drake Hotel, 140 E. Walton Place

Casino Royale at Virgin Hotels
Mingle with over card games, roulette tables, craps tables, and slot machines at this casino-themed bash. Enjoy a four-hour premium open bar and top off the evening with a balloon drop and complimentary champagne toast at midnight. Tickets start at $70; Virgin Hotels Chicago: 203 N. Wabash Ave.

Chicago New Year’s Ball at Congress Plaza Hotel
At this New Year’s Eve Ball, you’ll dance the night away with more than 3,000 fellow revelers under the musical stewardship of celebrity a DJs playing throughout multiple ballrooms at the Congress Plaza Hotel. And with tons of bars and buffets, you’ll spend less time waiting in line and more time on the dance floor. Tickets start at $89; Congress Plaza Hotel: 520 S. Michigan Ave.

New Year’s Eve Party 2020 at Hilton Chicago
The massive New Year’s Eve bash at Hilton Chicago is spread out across several massive ballrooms. Wander through the festivities to discover different party areas with hors d’oeuvres and buffets, live DJs from Kiss FM, multiple areas with live entertainment, casino gambling, unlimited cocktails and champagne, and a confetti storm at midnight. Tickets start at $119; Hilton Chicago: 720 S. Michigan Ave.

Ballroom Blitz New Year’s Party at Swissotel Chicago
Ring in 2020 at this riverfront hotspot. The evening will feature multiple ballrooms of entertainment, top-shelf cocktails, a variety of hors d’oeuvres, pasta bar, custom martinis, premium champagne, top DJs and live cover band, midnight confetti storm, and so much more. And to top it off they are including a complimentary pre-party and post party in the ticket price. Tickets start at $119; Swissotel Chicago, 323 E Upper Wacker Drive

NYE 2020 at LondonHouse
LondonHouse will be hosting two luxe parties this New Year’s Eve. In the grand ballroom, you’ll find live music, a four-hour open bar, a photo booth, midnight buffet, and more. Or head to the rooftop lounge for two live DJ acts, a dance floor, confetti cannons, a champagne toast at midnight, and unbeatable views of the river fireworks show. Tickets start at $100; LondonHouse Chicago, 85 E. Wacker

Monte Carlo Party at ROOF on theWit
ROOF’s annual black tie affair is back and better than ever. This 27-story rooftop bar atop theWIT hotel in the Loop will feature gaming tables, decadent food, a platinum open bar, live entertainment, and lots of champagne. Tickets start at $185; ROOF on theWIT, 201 N. State St.

New Year’s Eve Gala at W Chicago
Celebrate New Year’s Eve in style at the ultra-trendy W Chicago – City Center. This event will have you hopping from room to room with multiple party areas. Enjoy the all-inclusive package featuring top-shelf drinks, buffets, champagne, party favors, midnight celebrations, and more. Tickets start at $125; W Chicago – City Center, 172 W. Adams St.

Special events and unique venues

Photo by Stephanie Bassos

Zoo Year’s Eve at Lincoln Park Zoo
Need a break from the typical bars? Grab your crew and head to the zoo. Spend an after-hours evening at Zoo Year’s Eve, when one of the oldest zoos in the country will be decked out in millions of glittering lights. Plus, enjoy ice carving, cash bars serving beer, wine and champagne, a live DJ, giveaways, games, free carousel rides, and more. Tickets start at $10; Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark St.

NYE CHI 2020 at Lyric Opera of Chicago
Ring in 2020 with a roaring ’20s themed evening in the stunning Lyric Opera building. Enjoy unlimited cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a champagne toast, live DJs and dancers, a VIP balcony viewing area, and more. Tickets start at $60; Lyric Opera of Chicago, 20 N. Upper Wacker Drive

New Year’s Eve in the Sky at 360 CHICAGO
Celebrate the start of a new year from the 94th floor of one of Chicago’s most iconic buildings. The annual soirée includes unlimited rides on the sky-high TILT thrill ride, a live DJ, party favors, two glasses of sparkling wine, and an unmatched view of the New Year’s Eve fireworks display. Tickets start at $65; 360 CHICAGO, 875 N. Michigan Ave.

Italian Riviera NYE at Starbucks Reserve Roastery
Head to the Arriviamo Bar inside the world’s largest Starbucks for a Italian-style New Year’s Eve celebration. Enjoy their signature espresso martini, lights bites from Princi Bakery, cocktails from their spritz bar, music from DJ Tommasso Confortiand, more. Tickets start at $175, Starbucks Reserve Roastery, 646 N. Michigan Ave.

Brew Year’s Eve at Architectural Artifacts
Ditch the champagne and celebrate the new year with some local brews. This event features 10 Chicago breweries and 25 different craft beers, butler-passed hors d’oeuvres, and a selection of craft cocktails and wine, and live music. Plus, the venue is one-of-a-kind — the upscale architectural salvage emporium Architectural Artifacts. This artsy Ravenswood space offers plenty of unique photo opps, with your beer in hand, of course. Tickets start at $149; Architectural Artifacts, 4325 N. Ravenswood Ave.

Eataly
Indulge in all things Italian at NYE at Eataly: Mezzanotte. The all-inclusive bash will feature unlimited food and drinks, including bites from all of Eataly’s second floor restaurants. Sample authentic favorites like never-ending fresh pasta & risotto, pizza napoletana, arancini, mozzarella, and focaccia. Italian wine, cocktails and house made beer will be flowing (plus a prosecco toast at midnight). Tickets start at $150; Eataly, 43 E. Ohio St.

Chicago Magic Lounge
The Chicago Magic Lounge presents a special New Year’s Eve Show to ring in 2020. The evening starts with close-up magic performed right at your cabaret table, followed by an hour of mind-blowing stage magic. All tickets include a complimentary champagne toast, souvenir champagne flute, and commemorative photograph. Tickets start at $70; Chicago Magic Lounge, 5050 N. Clark St.

NYE on the Lake
End the decade at an over-the-top New Year’s spectacle in a stunning lakefront venue. Head to NYE on the Lake to see aerialist bartenders pouring champagne, a special performance from Chicago’s own DJ Flipside, a massive balloon drop at midnight, and stunning views of the Navy Pier fireworks. Tickets start at $110, Theater on the Lake, 2401 N. Lake Shore Drive

Music Box Drink-a-Long
Love drinking games? You’ll love this New Year’s drink-a-long screening at the Music Box Theatre. Welcome the 2020s watching the 1920s-based Chicago musical, while sipping along to the rules in a gorgeous, historic theatre. Tickets $11, Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave.

Teatro ZinZanni
This critically-acclaimed show combines the best of cirque, cabaret, spectacle, live music, comedy, and fine dining. In addition to a four-course dinner theatre experience, the New Year’s Eve performance will host a vibrant pre- and post-show celebration for audience members with dancing and a complimentary sparkling wine toast at midnight. Tickets start at $239, Teatro ZinZanni, 32 W. Randolph

Bars & lounges

New Years Eve at Three Dots and a Dash
Warm up with the tropical vibes and tiki drinks at Three Dots and a Dash’s luau bash. Opt for a GA ticket, which includes entrance and five cocktails, or splurge for a table. The evening will feature the bar’s signature tiki cocktails and a live DJ set. Three Dots and a Dash, 435 N. Clark St.

Black Tie Bash at The Violet Hour
This legendary cocktail bar will be hosting their annual Black Tie Bash, with guaranteed seating, unlimited cocktails, live jazz and dancing, a cocktail demonstration, and a Champagne toast at midnight. There will also be a pre-party with champagne slushies. The Violet Hour, 1520 No. Damen Ave.

Tableside Champagne Service at Punch House
Punch House, located in the basement of historic Thalia Hall, will be serving their decadent tableside champagne punch service. Reserve a spot now for their large-format punch bowls that serve up to seven. Punch House, 1227 W. 18th St.

NYE at The Underground
Enjoy an elevated nightclub experience at one of the hottest nightclubs in Chicago — The Underground in River North. Ring in the new year by dancing into 2020 with a star DJ lineup and join in on a champagne toast at midnight. The Underground: 56 W. Illinois

NYE 2020 Havana at Barcocina
Get a taste of Cuba at Barcocina’s New Year’s Eve bash. The hip spot has a spectacular party in the works, featuring a five-hour top shelf open bar and live music from one of Chicago’s top DJs all night long. Barcocina, 2901 N Sheffield Ave.

New Year’s Eve 2020 at SPIN
Grab your friend and get ready to play at this underground ping pong lounge. Enjoy free ping pong all night long, plus appetizer stations, an open bar, aerial performances, a balloon drop, and more. SPIN, 344 N. State St.

NYE Gala at SX Sky Bar
Start the new year at one of the city’s newest rooftop bars. The 2020 gala at SX Sky Bar includes a premium open bar, balloon drop, midnight toast, and a partial view of the fireworks display over Lake Michigan. SX Sky Bar, 808 S. Michigan Ave.

New Year’s Eve at Barrio
The popular River North spot will be hosting an upscale bash to ring in 2020. A general admission ticket gets you a passed food menu, premium drink package, champagne toast, a dessert hour and more. Or upgrade to a table for a luxury experience. Barrio, 65 W. Kinzie St.

Bootlegger’s Ball at Untitled Supper Club
This New Year’s Eve extravaganza will feature over 40 of Chicago’s finest burlesque, aerial, and contortion performers, live music and DJs spinning all night long, plus specialty cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, dessert, and late-night snacks. Untitled Supper Club, 111 W. Kinzie St.

NYE 2020 at Bordel
Ring in the new year at Chicago’s sexiest speakeasy. Bordel is hosting a decadent evening with authentic Spanish food, an open bar, DJ entertainment and of course a midnight countdown and toast. Bordel, 1721 W. Division St.

Fire & Ice at Z Bar
The rooftop cocktail lounge, recently named one of the world’s best hotel bars by Forbes, will be hosting a Fire and Ice themed soiree to ring in the new year. A ticket includes passed hors d’oeuvres, live entertainment, and a champagne toast at midnight. Z Bar: 108 E. Superior St.

NYE at VU Rooftop
Head to VU Rooftop bar for their New Year’s Eve celebration, featuring city view from 22 stories up, a premium bar, chef’s hors d’ oeuvres, and live music and DJs throughout the night. Plus, reserve your own VIP heated igloos for a one-of-a-kind NYE experience. VU Rooftop, 133 E. Cermak Rd.

Bond Ball at Safehouse
Dress to impress at this spy-themed bash. SafeHouse Chicago will be awarding cash prizes for the best dressed individuals and couples. You’ll also find a DJ and dance floor, drink specials, and magicians performing slight of hand magic. SafeHouse, 60 E. Ontario St.

New Year’s Eve at Recess
Start your decade off right with one of the best deals in the West Loop. Enjoy live entertainment, open bar, and passed appetizers at one of the neighborhood’s newest bars starting at just $35. Recess, 838 W. Kinzie

Hard Rock Cafe
Rock out at the Hard Rock Cafe this New Year’s Eve. The bi-level space will be hosting an over-the-top bash, with an open bar, appetizer and dessert buffets, top DJs, and a champagne toast and massive ball drop at midnight. Hard Rock Cafe: 63 W. Ontario St.

The Bassment
Ring in the New Year at this swanky speakeasy-style lounge, hidden below Hampton Social. Sip on specialty cocktails while listening to live music from Frankie Parker and the Gentleman. Get your tickets now for just $10. The Bassment, 353 W. Hubbard St.

Concerts & music venues

Mt. Joy at Metro
This folk-rock trio has played at some of the country’s top music festivals and opened for the likes of The Shins, The Head & The Heart, and The Lone Bellow. They’ll ring in 2020 with an intimate New Year’s show at a classic Wrigleyville venue. Metro, 3730 N. Clark St.

Candy Pop at Subterranean
Dance the night away at a favorite local venue in Wicker Park. Candi Pop will be headlining an NYE bubble gum pop dance party with music by the Spice Girls, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, and more. Subterranean, 2011 W. North Ave.

Battle of the Saxes at Green Mill
This historic jazz venue will be hosting their annual Battle of the Saxes on New Year’s Eve. Hear acclaimed jazz musicians duke it out until midnight, then enjoy a free champagne toast and stick around for the late-night jam session until 4 a.m. Green Mill Cocktail Lounge, 4802 N. Broadway Ave.

Avery Sunshine at City Winery
The singer-songwriter Avery Sunshine will be playing two New Year’s Eve shows at City Winery in the West Loop. The first begins at 7:30 p.m. and the second at 11 p.m. City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph

A Zombie Nightmare at Aragon Ballroom
Get a little spooky on New Year’s Eve with NGHTMRE & Zomboy at the Aragon Ballroom. The 18+ show will also feature special guests WHIPPED CREAM and WAVEDASH. Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom, 1106 W. Lawrence

SLEEP at Thalia Hall
This is your last chance to experience this doom metal trio — they’ll be going on an indefinite hiatus at the end of the year. Get your tickets now for an unforgettable New Year’s Show. Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport

Vance Kelly & The Back Street Blues Band at Kingston Mines
Celebrate the new year at one of Chicago’s most legendary blues venues. Kingston Mines will be featuring two blues bands on two stages, for non-stop music way past midnight. Kingston Mines, 2548 N. Halsted

Motion City Soundtrack at House of Blues
In their first live show since 2019, Motion City Soundtrack is kicking off their reunion tour in Chicago for New Year’s Eve. Catch their infectious rock sound at this 21+ show. House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn St.

NYE dinner at Chicago restaurants

Le Colonial
This French-Vietnamese favorite will offer their classic menu items as well as several specialties for New Year’s Eve. The $85 per person menu includes an amuse-bouche, appetizer, entrée, festive dessert selection, and coffee or tea. Le Colonial, 57 E. Oak St.

The Loyalist
The Loyalist will offer a special pre-fixe menu for the evening, including a choice of prime rib, entree, delicious sides, and a bubbles toast for $75 per person. Optional adds-ons include punch bowls, Champagne, caviar and fruits de mer. An abbreviated a la carte menu will be available, including their beloved burger. The Loyalist, 177 N. Ada St.

Girl & the Goat
Enjoy an intimate New Year’s Eve dinner in Girl & the Goat’s wine cellar, with a menu curated by chef Stephanie Izard. The meal, dubbed “bubbles from around the world”, features a 10-course tasting menu paired with sparkling wines from across the globe. Girl & The Goat, 809 W. Randolph St

Margeaux Brasserie
Come ring in the New Year at this elegant French spot in the Waldorf Astoria. They’ll be serving a five course prix fixe menu with two options per course for $120 per person, with an optional sommelier-guided wine pairing. Margeaux Brasserie, 11 E. Walton

Temporis
This Michelin-starred spot will be serving a ten course tasting menu, featuring caviar, oysters, and champagne. The menu will be $175, with three different optional wine pairings at $115, $165, or $295 and a non-alcoholic pairing for $65. Temporis, 933 N. Ashland Ave.

Dusek’s Board & Beer
A chic gastropub tucked inside Thalia Hall, Dusek’s will be offering a special prix fixe menu to ring in 2020. The five courses include lacquered duck breast, dry aged ribeye, and gnocchi with an optional truffle supplement. Dusek’s, 1227 W. 18th St.

Spiaggia
Don’t miss Spiaggia’s special truffle risotto, a long-standing annual tradition that’s only served on New Year’s Eve. The dish is made from deeply flavored rice that has been infused with truffles throughout the year. Enjoy it as part of an eight or ten course tasting menu with optional wine pairings. Spiaggia, 980 N. Michigan Ave.

RPM On The Water
Celebrate the New Year alongside celeb couple Giuliana and Bill Rancic. This black-tie-optional party features luxe passed appetizers and interactive food stations, a premium bar package, a live DJ, midnight toast, and much more. Splurge on VIP access for breathtaking views of the riverfront fireworks display from a private terrace. RPM On The Water, 317 N. Clark St.

Check out our full guide to New Year’s Eve dinner in Chicago.

Kid-friendly celebrations for all ages

Chicago Children’s Museum Noon New Eve
Located at Navy Pier (which is a bonus, since its full of activities for kids), the Chicago Children’s Museum hosts an annual Noon Year’s Eve, with festivities beginning at 11:00 a.m. This event features fun activities such as personalized crown making and noise-making, not to mention confetti and a special countdown. Chicago Children’s Museum: Navy Pier, 700 E. Grand Ave.

Zoo Year’s Eve
Want to escape the crowds? Then head to New Year at Brookfield Zoo‘s family-friendly celebration, featuring a live DJ in the Holly Jolly Theater. There are fun games, party favors, prizes and an early countdown at 8 p.m. Brookfield Zoo: 8400 W. 31st St.

New Year’s Eve Family Cruise
Celebrate the start of a new year on an all-ages afternoon cruise aboard the Anita Dee Yacht. Take in stunning views of the skyline while enjoying a live DJ and a full bar with cocktails for you and mocktails for the kids. DuSable Harbor: 200 N. Breakwater Access

Blue Man Group Family New Year’s Eve
Ring in the new year with Chicago’s one-of-a-kind Blue Man Group. The afternoon show will include pre-show festivities, like face painting and party favors for the kids, and a special post-show “midnight” countdown. Briar Street Theatre, 3133 N. Halsted.

Happy New Year, New Year’s, or New Years? How to Wish Someone Well in 2020

The last thing you want to worry about when ringing in the new year is where to put the apostrophe. Get the nitty-gritty on New Year, New Year’s, and New Years so you can make a toast at midnight and get your punctuation right while you’re at it.

When is it “New Year’s”?

Use the apostrophe-S in “New Year’s” when you’re talking about December 31 or January 1 resolutions you’re making, or other things that “belong” to the New Year.

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Let’s get grammatical. Apostrophes are the way the English language shows possession or that something belongs to another thing. Here are the three most common uses of New Year:

  • New Year’s Eve: the eve of the New Year
  • New Year’s Day: the first day of the New Year
  • New Year’s resolution: something you say you’re going to do for the New Year

In all three cases, there’s a relationship of belonging between the New Year and the noun: the eve, the day, and the resolution are all specifically related to the New Year (it’s not just any resolution), so “New Year’s” becomes the modifier for each noun.

Examples:

  • “I like going to big parties on New Year’s.” (This implies “New Year’s Eve,” so “New Year’s” is possessive as a shortcut for referring to December 31.)
  • “I like staying at home and watching movies on New Year’s Day.” (“New Year’s” usually means “New Year’s Eve,” and people usually specify “New Year’s Day” when they’re talking about January 1.)
  • “Let’s have New Year’s brunch.” (The brunch is in honor of New Year’s Day.)
  • “My New Year’s resolution is to remember where the apostrophe goes in New Year’s.” (The resolution belongs to the New Year. And now you can do it too!)

Also, note that “New Year’s” is capitalized because it’s referring to a holiday or a specific event.

When is it “New Year”?

Here’s what to say at midnight (and for the first couple weeks of January): Happy New Year!

You also say “New Year” with no possessive apostrophe-S when you’re talking about the year as a whole. “New Year’s” refers to one night, one day, and one resolution (or a lot of resolutions—we don’t judge). But “new year” usually comes up when people are talking generally about the year, often before it’s begun or when it’s still early in the year.

Examples:

  • “December is really hectic, so let’s get lunch in the new year.”
  • “Now that it’s the new year, I have so much more time.”
  • “Happy New Year!”

You capitalize “New Year” when you’re talking about the holiday or the big day, but not when you’re referring to the new year as a timeframe.

When is it “New Years”?

New Year’s is the end of one year and the beginning of another year. There are two years involved—the old one and the new one—but only one of them is new.

That means you’ll never have the occasion to say “Happy New Years.” “Years” is plural, and in this galaxy at least, only one year happens at a time.

What if you’re talking about new years in the plural? Here’s one example:

  • “New years always give opportunities for reflecting, celebrating, and resolving to do things differently in the future.”

In this case, the subject is multiple new years, or every single year, at least when it starts. This sentence could also be rephrased to focus on the New Year’s holiday: “New Year’s always gives opportunities for reflecting, celebrating, and resolving to do things differently in the future.”

Note that this version puts the focus on the event of December 31-January 1, instead of every new year. This emphasis is more common. When people talk about a celebration over multiple years, a tradition every December 31, or a generalization about the new year, the term of choice is generally “New Year’s.” This is because in most cases, “New Year’s” is a shortcut for “New Year’s Eve,” and the name of the holiday functions as an adjective.

Examples:

  • “Every New Year’s I go to a party and we listen to ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ at midnight.”
  • “All New Year’s parties in bars are overpriced.”

Now you’re all set to celebrate New Year’s, start your new year off strong, and resolve to use apostrophes right in all future new years. Oh, and by the way—happy New Year!

Rejoice, for we are approaching a joyous and special time: New Year’s Eve, the day that offers you the very best chance of passing out drunkenly and freezing to death in a snowdrift.

The best holiday is Christmas, or the appropriate cultural equivalent. It has fun traditions. It has lots of candy. And you get presents. Christmas is perhaps the only holiday that lives up to the weeks-long anticipatory buildup forced upon us by capitalism. Situated, as it is, at the end of the year, Christmas is a convenient time for us to reflect on what we have done in the past year, and contemplate what we wish to do next. Sitting cozily by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate and a pile of gifts, we absorb good cheer, making it more likely that we will decide to be nice to people in the year to come. I understand that some of you hate your families and therefore despise Christmas – but that’s a personal problem. You can’t blame Santa for that. If you were seeking to design the perfect holiday from scratch, Christmas checks all the boxes.

Then, mere days later, as we’re still basking in the warm afterglow of generosity and peace, New Year’s Eve bursts in like a party guest who arrives after everyone else has left and demands that you turn up the music again. Also, they are throwing up on your floor. After the incredible buildup, release and cool-down of holiday spirit that begins after Thanksgiving and proceeds unabated until the end of the year, the last thing that any of us need is another damn holiday – much less a loud, intoxicated holiday interrupted often by screaming. We have one good holiday in December. That’s plenty. When it comes to holidays – and to proclamations like “I’m taking 20 shots for 2020, wooooo” – more is not always better.

I live in New York City. It’s a lovely town, as long as you take care to avoid a few things: tourists, Times Square and large public gatherings, which are inevitably too crowded to be anything other than miserable. New Year’s Eve manages to combine these three terrors into a single event, and to throw in Kathy Griffin, mounted police and a million drunken people with nowhere to pee for good measure. You almost have to respect this abominable cocktail of doom, in the same way you might respect a jar full of every kind of poison on Earth. From a distance. It is not the sort of thing that you would invite people to.

There is nothing wrong with marking the passage of a year with a quiet ceremony. Go out in the woods and say magic words as the clock strikes midnight, or stay in and whisper your new year’s resolution to your dog. Fine. Yet from coast to coast, the options offered to the public on the last day of the year are mostly bars, clubs and restaurants where prices have tripled. (The tripling of prices in turns triples the determination of patrons to act like monsters, in order to get their money’s worth.)

Alternately, you can go to sleep early, insisting unconvincingly that you are not clinically depressed; you can go to a friend’s party, which everyone will leave at 12:01 in order to go to another, more debauched party; or, if you are a parent, you can stay home arguing with your kids about bedtime until midnight, when they will throw a temper tantrum upon finding out that they do not get presents. This particular holiday has the uncanny ability to make everyone, everywhere, of every age, more of an asshole. And we love it!

Mostly, New Year’s Eve is about getting wasted. Because I do not drink, I find this a boring pretext for a national holiday. Some might say, “Of course you don’t like New Year’s Eve; don’t turn your personal wretchedness into a pathetic pretense of principle, in an attempt to try to bring the rest of the world down to your level of misery.” Let’s not get sidetracked by these arguments. The point is: I’ll be celebrating at home, alone, with a nice glass of seltzer. You’re welcome to stop by. Or not. Go out and have your fun. See if I care.

Tomorrow morning, I will wake up refreshed. And while you are passed out with a hangover, I will steal the money from your pockets. Happy new year. I hope this teaches you a valuable lesson.

  • Hamilton Nolan is a writer based in New York City

The New Year’s Eve Haters Guide to Actually Enjoying New Year’s Eve

There’s this Fuse interview from 2011 where Lady Gaga talks about how busy she was when she recorded her first album. A fan later edited the clip to make her day-to-day schedule sound even more demanding. “No sleep, bus, ‘nother club, ‘nother club,” she says. “Next place, no sleep,” and so on in a loop.

That’s how I used to feel about New Year’s Eve. Somewhere in my twenties, I completely lost control of the holiday without even realizing it. What was once a fun night of going out and getting fucked up with my friends had slowly morphed into a 12-hour marathon of thing after thing after thing after thing until I was finally too exhausted to cram anything else in. What’s worse, I always expected… something out of the night. What that something was, I couldn’t say. The wildest night of my life? A cathartic release after a year’s worth of bullshit? Some hot guy swooping to whisper “We are going to make out” just before the stroke of midnight? Whatever it was, I was setting myself up for disappointment, year after year. So, after one too many joyless blurs, I decided that the holiday just wasn’t for me, that New Year’s would never, as the Kondo-hive would say, spark joy.

My anti-New Year’s sentiment wasn’t exactly unique. In fact, hating New Year’s Eve might be even more common than liking it. But after speaking to some reformed New Year’s haters, I’ve learned that it is, in fact, possible to turn all that around.

It starts with being honest with yourself and lowering your New Year’s expectations enough to ensure that the night will meet them. Are you going to pregame with your other single friends and go to a club so you’re drunk with strangers the moment the ball drops? Then don’t expect to have the best night ever. That’s not the best night ever, and you know it. It’s fine, at best! Be realistic, and who knows—you might even have fun despite yourself. It’s tempting to try to make the night mean something more than it is, but you absolutely don’t have to do that to yourself.

Another way to preempt any sudden-onset FOMO is to take charge of the evening, top shortage be damned. Do your finest Virgo cosplay, and plan the night yourself, making sure it’s full of things to do that you and your friends will like. Even if the details aren’t all that spectacular (pregame, cab to club, be at club…), taking a proactive role in organizing what your crew does on New Year’s Eve can help you feel more invested in the night ahead. It’s like the first time you tried baking: anyone could’ve made that box mix pan of brownies, but who cares? These are your brownies, and you made them yourself.

Perhaps your beef with New Year’s Eve has less to do with setting yourself up for disappointment than it does with all the objectively annoying mini-hurdles you have to clear throughout the night: the long lines, the cold weather, the lack of cabs, the exorbitant surge-pricing from apps like Lyft and Uber. All of this sucks and there’s no real way around every inconvenience, but if you have a little money to throw at the problem, well, it might be worth it. Long lines? Buy VIP tickets ahead of time! Too many strangers bumping into you? Make a reservation for a big table at a fancy restaurant for you and all your friends! Crowded subways? Take cabs! Exorbitant surge-pricing from yon apps? Just build that into your budget for the evening! It can be annoying to spend a ton of money on an activity that’s not even that fun or important to you, but it can be helpful to remember that the extra money isn’t for, say, actually good drinks or a great club… it’s for peace of mind now, and comfort the night of. Again, this won’t always be an option, but if you can swing it, it’s something to keep in mind.

You could also try observing New Year’s Eve on a completely different day—a solid fix for the New Year’s Eve hater who hates the crowds more than anything. That’s what Emily Van Der Werff did. Van Der Werff, a critic-at-large for Vox who lives in Los Angeles, told me that the only good New Year’s Eve party she’s ever gone to was held a day early.

“My friend wanted to reserve a big room in his favorite bar , but it was, of course, all booked on December 31,” Van Der Werff explained. “So he decided we could celebrate just as easily on December 30. The bar was still crowded, but mostly with those of us who were there for my friend’s party… I’m not sure I’ve enjoyed a New Year’s Eve where I actually made it to midnight more than I did at Jared Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve.”

By celebrating New Year’s Eve on a different day, Van Der Werff and her friends traded one kind of ritual for another—one of their own making. This was a common suggestion among the reformed New Year’s Eve haters I spoke with. Because having a fun, FOMO-free New Year’s Eve you actually enjoy is less about going “out” and more about doing something—and that can be anything, really, as long as it’s intentional. Oliver Levy, a barista who lives in Chicago, said that he and his girlfriend started a New Year’s Eve tradition of marathoning all four Twilight Saga films while drinking a bottle of champagne each. Jaime Lutz, a comedian from New York City, told me that she and her fiancé buy a bunch frozen dim sum, prepare it, and try to eat it all while watching old movies. New Year’s hater Lauren Rachal said she always volunteers to work the night of the holiday. “Boom!” she said. “Automatic plans! Sorry, y’all, booked and blessed!” And Jenna Wortham, a staff writer at The New York Times Magazine who also lives in New York, said that they like to observe by inviting friends over, burning things, and eating psychedelics.

“It’s about being surrounded by the bounty of my own self and life and celebrating that,” Wortham added. “Not some replica of an idea that I saw on TV once.”

These ideas might sound appealing, but you also shouldn’t simply copy them for yourself and expect to have a good time. That’s how we got ourselves into this mess: by forcing another person’s idea of a good New Year’s Eve on ourselves instead of being honest about what we really wanted out of the night. It might be annoying, but you’ve got to figure this out for yourself.

As for me, I did finally manage to have a good time on New Year’s Eve. Last year, I left the joyless blurs behind in favor of a stop at a friend’s place where we (don’t laugh!!) set intentions for the coming year, followed by a chill semi-party at my boyfriend’s apartment. It might not have been as exciting as the “‘nother club, ‘nother club, no sleep” lifestyle of years past, but at least I had a good time.

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Even though every day of our lives is a new beginning…

We mark the start of a new year as an opportunity to start fresh and set new goals.

As this year wraps up, this is the time that people begin reflecting on the year that passed, reviewing their mistakes and experiences, and thinking about how they can learn and evolve from everything that happened over the last 12 months. It also brings us hope and fills us with renewed motivation for an exciting year to come.

Now, to help make next year your best year yet, in today’s blog post I’d like to share with you 10 of my top quotes to kick off a fresh New Year… Enjoy 🙂

1. “No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again.”

~ Buddha

2. “Today forget your past, forgive yourself and begin again.”

~ Unknown

3. “The secret to living the life of your dreams is to start living the life of your dreams today; in every way you can possible can.”

~ Mike Dooley

4. “Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”

~ Carl Bard

5. “Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.”

~ Brad Paisley

6. “Twenty years from now you’ll be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”

~ Mark Twain

7. “Write in your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

8. “The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”

~ Edith Lovejoy

9. “You are never too old to set a goal or to dream a new dream.”

~ C.S. Lewis

10. “Make New Year’s goals. Dig within, and discover what you would like to have happen in your life this year. This helps you do your part. It is an affirmation that you’re interested in fully living life in the year to come.”

~ Melody Beattie

Starting your year inspired and headed in the right direction feels great, so on that note, I have a very valuable gift for you that will help you knock out all your goals this year: 3 free pre-made Mind Movies.

Mind Movies is a visualization tool so effective, that by watching one for just 3 minutes a day, you’ll be reprogramming your subconscious mind to release your mental obstacles and achieve your goals faster.

You’ll get instant access to three Mind Movies on:

1. Overcoming Procrastination: Look forward to the most productive days of your life!

2. Increased Motivation: This powerful Mind Movie helps you get your spark back and live every day with joy, passion and excitement.

3. Long Lasting Energy: If you want to instantly transform your body into a stamina and vitality machine, then this Mind Movie was made for you!

Get them here for free!

And if you have any other quotes that can help our community get inspired and motivated to start a fresh new year, please share them in the comment box below 🙂

9 Ways to Kick Off the New Year With a Bang

December 27, 2016 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

It’s always kind of a letdown when the holidays end. The decorations come down, the parties and the gift giving come to an end, and there’s no more fruitcake. Okay, maybe you’re glad there’s no more fruitcake, but other than that, it’s time to cheer up.

The New Year offers a bright, shiny opportunity to clear the slate, make a fresh start and set new goals. Here are nine ways to kick off the New Year with a bang.

1. Take a break.

After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, allow yourself a break in the action. Break from the norm and take a couple of days off to take a day trip, catch up on your sleep, or go to lunch with a friend. A new landscape will help you de-stress and open your eyes to new possibilities. This is also a good time to write thank-you notes to all those who gave you gifts during the holidays.

2. Create a vision board.

Use this quiet time to reflect on the year past and plan for the new one to come. Pick one or two big things you’d like to accomplish and create a vision board. Bestselling author Jack Canfield believes a vision board serves as a tangible representation of where you are going. In other words, it represents your dreams, goals and your ideal life. Set your goals for each month, quarter and the year, and lay out weekly and monthly action steps that will help you reach them.

Related: The Vision Board Is Your Internal GPS System to Realizing Your Dreams

3. Tidy up.

Clear out and spruce up your working space. The new year is also a good time to purchase new office furniture or accessories. Pack away last year’s files and make space for new ones. Clean out your email inbox and electronic files. Organize end-of-year records. Dust, vacuum and decorate in order to get those productive juices flowing.

4. Restock.

Like the start of a new school year, you need new supplies to help you do your best work. Take an inventory of all items you need to do business, and purchase or replace items you have run out of or need to order. This can include a new monitor, computer, printer, or even small items such as business cards, stationery, order forms, catalogs, note pads, pencils, pens and paper clips.

5. Get moving.

Perhaps you overindulged during the holidays. Just about everyone does. Get back in a healthy routing by eating well and exercising regularly. Set specific times during the week to take walks or go to an exercise class. Make an appointment with yourself and put it in your calendar. Use your exercise time to calm the mind, listen to music, TED talks or podcasts, or socialize with new friends.

Related: 7 Reasons the CEO Should Get Outside to Exercise

6. Get organized.

To boost productivity and reduce stress, determine which tasks and duties are priority and which are not. Learn to delegate the less important tasks to others so you can concentrate on running the business. Hire talent or outsource work to freelancers. You can find the help you need by using sources such as Upwork or Fiverr.

7. Get out from behind your computer.

Technology is a great way to network and hold virtual meetings, but try scheduling face-to-face meetings with clients and colleagues whenever possible. Relationships blossom and more deals are likely to happen if you can meet someone in person.

8. Commit to a work-life balance.

Don’t let work control your life. This year, set a work-life plan that will enable you to nurture relationships and interests outside of work as well as take care of business. A mastermind group or an accountability partner will help you stick to these resolutions.

Related: In Defense of Work-Life Balance

9. Set a theme

Instead of making a New Year’s resolution, come up with a theme instead. The theme should be a word that resonates with you and embodies something that has been missing from your daily life. Write this word down and keep it on your desk and look at it every day. Here are some examples: mindfulness, flexibility, simplify and adventure.

The New Year offers an opportunity to reboot, reorganize, start over, and do the things you’ve been putting off way too long. Be patient with yourself. You have all year to accomplish your new goals. And don’t forget to reward yourself whenever you make strides in a positive direction.

(iStock)

Lose weight. Quit social media. Cut out alcohol completely. Blah blah blah snoozefest. These are all good goals, don’t get me wrong. But we set the same New Year’s resolutions every single year and then… never really stick to them. So, for 2020, why not shake things up a bit and try creating resolutions of a different variety?

55 New Year’s Resolutions to Try for 2020

1. Focus on a Passion, Not the Way You Look

Influencer Mik Zazon, who’s on a mission to “normalize normal bodies,” tells Parade, “… I want to inform readers that resolutions are in fact NOT an invitation to start a diet or a workout plan but a beautiful reminder that a new year can bring new life to our passions.”

Still want to find a better you, physically, in 2020? In that case…

2. Work out to feel good, not be thinner.

Instead of obsessing over the scale, obsess over how amazing you feel since you started being more active. Numbers don’t mean much.

Related: See You Later, 2019! Ring in 2020 with 100 of the Best New Year’s Quotes

3. Stop gossiping.

Don’t be that person. Spread positivity.

4. Give one compliment a day.

You never know—it just might make that person feel a whole lot better.

5. Go a whole day without checking your email.

Nobody’s going to die. It can wait until tomorrow.

6. Do Random Acts of Kindness

Norbert, the famous therapy dog, reminds us that anyone can be kind, and it costs you nothing.

“I may be only 3 pounds, but it’s not the size of the dog, it’s the size of the heart that counts. Through social media, I love to bring joy into people’s lives by making them smile with my photos and videos … I think acts of kindness and generosity make the world a better place. We call my community of nearly two million followers worldwide the ‘Norberthood.’ We encourage caring and compassion and believe it is better to be thoughtful and kind than to bully. Let’s spread smiles together! As I say, you don’t have to be big to make a BIG difference in the world.”

View this post on Instagram

omigosh

A post shared by NORBERT (@norbertthedog) on Dec 13, 2019 at 9:48am PST

7. Read a book a month.

Haven’t you heard? Reading is good for your brain, it can reduce stress, and it can improve your memory and concentration.

8. Go someplace you’ve never been.

Step outside of your comfort zone and do something daring. It’s good for the soul and forces you to learn new things.

Related: 10 Most Popular New Year’s Resolutions (With Apps to Help Achieve Them)

9. Clear out the clutter.

Clutter is literally bad for your health. Research says it stresses you out. Make 2020 the year of organization and cleanliness.

10. Turn off your phone one night a week.

You’re sleeping anyway. You don’t need it!

11. Reduce your waste.

Some research says that the average American produces over 2,000 pounds of trash every year. Gross. Reduce your waste by ditching paper towels in favor of rags you cut up from old towels and clothes. Another easy switch is reusable grocery bags. It makes a difference!

12. Volunteer.

Not only is volunteering good for your own mental and physical health, but you’re doing something kind and selfless for others.

13. Travel on a small budget.

“Traveling on a budget is all about flexibility and being willing to sacrifice a bit of comfort and luxury in favor of seeing the world and the life-changing experiences that travel comes with,” says Eli Solidum, The Partying Traveler. “A lot of people have the idea that travel needs to be luxurious and holidays need to be expensive for them to be fun. My experience over the last three years of budget backpacking says otherwise.”

Related: 10 Ways Millennials Can Travel for Cheap—Hint: You Should Never Book Flights Too Early

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back in the mountains and back in my element (psa: make sure your shoes are tied before climbing up sketchy rocks w sheer drops) : @melvintracam

A post shared by Eli SolidumBolivia (@thepartyingtraveler) on Sep 2, 2019 at 10:44am PDT

14. Write down one thing you’re grateful for every night.

End the night with gratitude and you’ll feel better when you lay your head down on your pillow.

15. Drink more water.

You’ve probably heard that your body needs it. 75 percent of us are chronically dehydrated. Drink up!

16. Take some of your paychecks and put it in savings or investment.

Even just a small percentage can really add up down the line. Plan for the future and don’t be silly with your money.

17. Stop multi-tasking.

Multi-tasking can lead to memory problems, it reduces our brains’ grey matter, it hurts productivity and efficiency, and it can even increase stress, anxiety, and depression. Focus on one thing at a time.

18. Talk to yourself with kindness.

We aim to be nice to others but then criticize ourselves relentlessly. Stop! Think nicer things about yourself.

19. Walk to a coworker’s office instead of emailing them.

We sit entirely too much, and the Mayo Clinic says sitting can be as deadly as smoking and obesity. Not good.

20. Don’t buy things you don’t need.

Bad habit. We love to spend money even if it’s for no good reason. Don’t need it? Don’t buy it.

Related: We See You, 2020! Here’s How to Achieve Your Goals for Real This Year (SRSLY)

21. Keep a journal.

The University of Rochester Medical Center says that journaling can help battle anxiety, stress, and depression. Even if you write only a few sentences, you can reap the benefits.

22. Clean out your car.

It’s so easy for it to become trashed, especially if you drive a lot. Spot clean as you go so that your ride is always looking sharp.

23. Put your bills on autopay.

If this won’t put you under any financial stress, do it! It’s one less thing you have to think about and you’ll never pay late fees again. Win-win.

24. Take the stairs.

It’s good for your caboose.

25. Go to the dentist when you’re supposed to.

Your oral health can actually have an impact on things that are happening in other parts of your body, like your heart and lungs.

26. Be kind on social media.

“I think everyone who uses social media should strive to empathize more with strangers and respond to others on the internet with kindness,” says Julia, also known as itsblitzzz. “Don’t let hate or bullying be motivation for interacting on social platforms.”

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HI DETROIT I HOPE YOU LIKE TURTLENECKS CUZ I BROUGHT SOME FOR YOU

A post shared by Julia (@itsblitzzz) on Oct 27, 2019 at 2:05pm PDT

27. Let go of grudges.

Wouldn’t it be nice to start 2020 with a clean slate? Leave hate behind. Anger is so 2019.

28. Stay in touch with the people who matter.

Even a quick call, text, or email can make a world of difference.

29. Try a totally new restaurant.

Go on. Be adventurous. Get that strange sushi roll or try the Indian restaurant that just opened up down the street.

30. Join a club or Meetup.

Make new friends. See new people. Do new stuff. Let yourself blossom in 2020.

31. Travel somewhere without posting about it on social media.

“No status updates, no photos… just go on vacation and not tell anyone,” says travel writer Reannon Muth. “That might seem silly but in a world where ‘it didn’t happen unless you post it about it on Instagram,’ it can be a challenge to resist the temptation to post that sunset beach photo or poolside cocktail selfie.”

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A cup of coffee, a good book and a warm ocean breeze = my version of heaven. #norwegianencore #cruiselife #travel #adventure

A post shared by Reannon Muth (@reannonm) on Nov 22, 2019 at 5:44am PST

32. Bring a plant into your home.

They might help reduce your stress and improve your productivity.

33. Sanitize your personal belongings.

Cell phones might be the dirtiest things we touch all day, with 25,127 bacteria per square inch. Nasty.

34. Start one new hobby.

Bonus points if it’s something you feel like you’re not good at.

35. Buy less plastic.

It’s polluting our oceans, destroying the earth, and hurting animals. Be more aware of what you’re buying.

36. Send handwritten letters.

Nobody does this anymore, and it’s such a thoughtful, genuine gesture. Make somebody’s day!

Related: Get Organized in the New Year with These 50+ Best Planners for 2020

37. Donate clothes you never wear.

We tend to hang onto stuff “just in case.” If you haven’t worn it in a year, give someone else the chance to.

38. Pay off your credit card every month.

And if something is so expensive, you think that you won’t be able to? Don’t buy it.

39. Avoid people who complain a lot.

It doesn’t matter how positive a person you are. Negativity spreads, and it will impact you. And on a similar note…

40. Remove negativity or anything that makes you feel lousy.

Even things like super sad movies or news sources that just upset you.

41. Travel somewhere with no map.

“I’d also recommend going on a road trip without using Apple or Google maps. No GPS. Just start driving and see where it takes you,” says Muth. “You’ll never know what sort of fun and exciting adventure you’ll end up on as a result.”

View this post on Instagram

La La Land. ✌️#cityofangels #weekendadventure

A post shared by Reannon Muth (@reannonm) on Apr 7, 2019 at 3:15pm PDT

42. Wear sunscreen.

The sun can do damage even when you’re driving in the car. Make SPF your new best friend.

43. Cook more.

It’s therapeutic, and you’ll probably end up with something pretty darn delicious.

44. Get a Real Haircut

Some of us are so attached to our hair — literally and figuratively. Chop off a few inches. You might feel like a new person.

45. Do Something That Scares You

Whether it’s skydiving or even just singing karaoke at a crowded bar, in 2020, practice a little bravery.

46. Make Your Bed Every Morning

Making your bed helps you accomplish something first thing in the morning and thus starts your day with success.

47. Stay on Top of Your Inbox

Is the number of unread messages creeping up on you? Stay on top of it and aim to clear your inbox out throughout the week.

Related: Motivational and Inspirational Quotes

48. Try Guided Meditation

Meditation offers a whole host of science-based benefits, including reduced stress and anxiety and improved memory and attention span. Try an app like Headspace.

49. Stretch It Out

We spend so much time sitting and staring at our phones, all hunched over. Loosen up those tight muscles with even just five minutes of stretching each day.

50. Craft Something Yourself

Even if you’re not the most artsy, DIY-type of person, the satisfaction you get from making something with your own hands is undeniable. It can be as small as a candle or as big as a coffee table.

51. Go to Bed Happy Each Night

“Never go to bed angry.” It’s a cliche, but it’s true. Aim to start and end each day with happiness and gratitude.

52. Spot Clean as You Go

Overwhelmed by a filthy house you have to clean from top to bottom each weekend? Simple solution: Clean as you go. Wash dirty dishes after each meal and wipe down toilets and countertops throughout the week. Easy peasy.

53. Pay it Forward

Did someone do something nice for you recently? 2020 is a great time to do something nice for another. Maybe you’ll pay for someone’s coffee in the Starbucks drive-thru or buy a meal for a homeless person. Receive good things, and spread them, too.

54. Talk Less, Listen More

Good things happen and you learn and notice so much when you spend more time listening.

55. Whatever Your Goals Are, Write Them Down

People who write down their goals are 42 percent more likely to achieve them. Whatever you want in 2020, commit it to paper.

Learn more about how to change your mindset to achieve even your biggest goals.

Photo: Getty Images

God, New Year’s Eve is stressful, isn’t it? You spend most of December worrying about if you’ll have cool plans or not, and either you do that for so long you fail to come up with anything, or you do get the invite of your dreams, and it inevitably fails to live up to your fantasy. If you’ve found yourself in similar situations, or you’re just looking for something slightly unexpected to do, here are some ideas for things to do on New Year’s Eve. Pick one and stop worrying now.

1. Party

Well, this is the obvious choice, and probably the most popular one. You could throw a party of your own, or go drink in a bar, and count down to midnight with everyone there. You could also go to Times Square, but the weather is often miserable, and there are no public toilets, so I can’t say I understand you if this appeals. I find it difficult to really “let loose” on New Year’s Eve, because there are so many expectations — nobody is going to rush toward me seconds before midnight while slow-motion glitter falls, so what’s the point? — but perhaps you are more carefree, and better at socializing, in which case this is a great night to do it.

2. Set up your own personal yoga studio.

An at-home yoga session is a wonderful activity for any evening, and a particularly nice one for the evening right before a new year begins. Light some candles, put on some nice music, dim the lights, and have a luxurious stretch.

3. Send an unprompted compliment.

This one comes courtesy of our colleague Edith Zimmerman, who has great things to say about sending compliments as an easy and reliable mood-booster. Maybe wanting to feel better yourself isn’t the purest motivation for saying something kind to someone else, but also, what does the intent matter if the result is so positive? Use the end-of-year energy to think of something nice you’ve long thought (but never said) about someone you care about, and tell them. It will make their night.

4. Cook something elaborate.

If you’re staying in for New Year’s, but still want something different to do, it’s a great time to attempt that semi-complicated recipe you bookmarked months ago but never found an occasion for. One co-worker recommended lobsters, but personally, I’d go for a very fancy, layered cake. Another good option is bread, which is easier to make for yourself than you might think.

5. Throw away/burn something important.

Okay, obviously keep fire safety front of mind at all times, but if there’s anything you’ve been hanging onto for too long (I’m thinking mostly ex mementos here: pictures, notes, ratty T-shirts, etc.), New Year’s Eve is a symbolically ideal time to get rid of it. That could mean burning it (probably only if it’s paper, and small!!) but could also just mean taking it out to the dumpster at the stroke of midnight, and saying a little spell or something. I think that might feel very nice.

6. Go for a midnight run (or walk).

I’m not saying I would ever do this, but if you enjoy running — and the runner’s high — heading out for a jog or walk near midnight on New Year’s Eve (if you are able to do so safely!) is a great way to absorb some of the night’s festive atmosphere without having to actually get involved. You might see some fireworks, and some drunken revelers, and even if you’re not partying yourself, it’s nice to see other people having their own fun while you have yours. It would also be a good excuse to buy yourself some new sneakers for the new year.

7. Teach your dog a new trick.

Teaching your dog a new trick is fun and rewarding, and if you do it before midnight it will give you an additional thing to say you accomplished in the previous year. “Meditated almost every day, ate 100 oysters, taught my dog a trick … “

8. Clean your apartment.

“Clean my apartment?? On the No. 1 party night of the year?!” you’re thinking, upset. Well. If you want to party that was option No. 1 on this list. And anyway, cleaning your apartment is not boring if you think of it as a symbolic … Getting rid of your old mess, entering into a new year fresh and open and alive! Plus, your apartment will be clean when you wake up in the morning, and won’t that be nice? And fun?

9. Set up a breakfast stew.

Why not spend the night putting together a delicious breakfast stew for the morning? Start your new year off right with the labor of yesterday. If you don’t like breakfast stew (which does not need to be explicitly breakfast-themed; it can be any stew you eat in the morning, please open your mind), how about you make some homemade cinnamon rolls and leave them to rise in the fridge overnight? Oh, yes, now we’re talking.

10. Get dressed up and stay home.

Oh my gosh, isn’t it so nice to just look fancy for the one other person in the world you really like, without ever having to talk to or even see anyone else? It’s so romantic. Even if the other person is a dog or cat or rabbit. Why not get dressed up, “fix your hair up pretty,” as Bruce Springsteen would say, and stay home with your similarly styled beloved or friend. And since you’re avoiding crowds, why not try out some new makeup and hair ideas?

11. Have sex.

I don’t need to convince you!

12. Make your partner or a friend tell you 12 things they learned about you that year.

This one is fun because it’s at once a sweet game and a mean prank. Of course the other person will play along, because they love you, but oh my God, 12 things? “One for every month of the year!” you’ll say. “I mean … I get it,” they’ll say, “it’s just a lot of things.” And they’re right, it is. (You can prepare your own list in advance.)

13. Go to bed when you’re tired.

There are plenty of parties I’ve regretted going to, but never once have I regretted going to bed when I get tired, whether that is 8:45 or 11:15 or 12:04. Ultimately, New Year’s Eve is a night like any other. There will be many other occasions to celebrate that feel more personal to you. There is (I would argue) no better feeling than giving your body what it really wants, and sometimes that is sleep.

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, is China’s most important festival and holiday time. Chinese New Year 2020 falls on Saturday, January 25, 2020, beginning a year of the Rat. In 2021, Chinese New Year will fall on Friday, February 12.

When Is Chinese New Year?

  • 2020: January 25th
  • 2021: February 12th
  • 2022: February 1st

Chinese New Year 2020 falls on Saturday, January 25, 2020. Chinese New Year has no fixed date in the Gregorian calendar, but it’s always in the period January 21 to February 20. In recent decades, it has been the second day of a 7-day public holiday in Mainland China.

See Chinese New Year calendar in 2020.

Solar Date (2020) Lunar Date Title
January 17th December 23rd Little Year
January 24th December 30th Chinese New Year’s Eve
January 25th January 1st Spring Festival
February 8th January 15th Lantern Festival

See more on Chinese New Year calendar.

Why Is It Called the Spring Festival?

Though being in winter for most of China, the Chinese New Year is popularly known as the Spring Festival in China.

Because it starts from the Beginning of Spring and marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring.

The Spring Festival marks a new year on the lunar calendar and represents the desire for a new life.

Chinese New Year 2020 (a Year of the Rat)

2020 a Rat year; 2021 an Ox year

Each Chinese year has an animal sign according to the Chinese zodiac. Chinese people traditionally believe that years begin and end at Chinese New Year, rather than January 1. January 25th 2020 will start a year of the Rat.

Find out your Chinese New Year horoscope from our Chinese Zodiac pages.

Chinese New Year Celebrations — the 4 Main Things

Red decorations, red wrapped gifts, and red clothes are everywhere at Chinese New Year.

The main Chinese New Year activities include 1) putting up decorations, 2) eating reunion dinner with family on New Year’s Eve, 3) firecrackers and fireworks, and 4) giving red envelopes and other gifts. These four things are introduced below.

Public celebrations: In many Chinese cities, from New Year’s Day, traditional performances can be seen: dragon dances, lion dances, and imperial performances like an emperor’s wedding.

A great variety of traditional Chinese products are on offer, and rarely seen Chinese snacks. City parks and temple fairs are the places to go for this.

1

Chinese New Year Decorations — Lucky Red Items

Red couplets are put up for Chinese New Year.

Every street, building, and house where Spring Festival is celebrated is decorated with red. Red is the main color for the festival, as red is believed to be an auspicious color.

Red Chinese lanterns hang in streets; red couplets are pasted on doors; banks and official buildings are decorated with red New Year pictures depicting images of prosperity.

Most public decoration is done a month before, but home decoration is traditionally done on Chinese New Year’s Eve.

As 2020 will be a year of the Rat, decorations related to rats will be commonly seen. Look out for red rat dolls for children and New Year paintings with rats on. See more on Chinese New Year Decorations.

2

Chinese New Year’s Eve — Family Time

New Year dinners have many meaningful dishes.

Chinese New Year is a time for families to be together. Wherever they are, people are expected to be home to celebrate the festival with their families.

The New Year’s Eve dinner is called ‘reunion dinner’, and is believed to be the most important meal of the year.

Like people waiting in New York Time Square to see the ball dropping, Chinese people have the custom of staying up late on Chinese New Year’s Eve to welcome the new year’s arrival.

After reunion dinner, families normally sit together to watch the Spring Festival Gala, one of the most watched TV shows in China. At the same time, most people send WeChat red envelopes or short messages to acquaintances by phone.

3

Firecrackers and Fireworks at Chinese New Year

It has long been a Chinese tradition to set off firecrackers from the first minute of their new year. Fireworks have increasingly been added to the cacophony.

From public displays in major cities to millions of private celebrations in China’s rural areas, setting off firecrackers and fireworks is an indispensable festivity.

Billions of fireworks go up in China at 12am Chinese New Year, the most anywhere at any time of year.

See more on Why Chinese New Year Must Have Firecrackers. 4

Chinese New Year Gifts and Red Envelopes

Giving Chinese New Year red envelopes is customary in China

Like at Christmas in other countries, people exchange gifts during the Spring Festival. In rural areas and for older people the New Year gift giving tradition is still strong, but increasingly younger people prefer just to receive red envelopes (by hand or electronically).

The most common New Year gifts are red envelopes. Red envelopes have money in, and are believed to bring good luck because they are red.

They are given to children and retirees. Customarily only employers give red envelopes to working adults. See more on red envelopes.

Practical Guide: How to Celebrate the Chinese New Year

Businesses and public institutions in China take a 7-day Chinese New Year holiday, but those who need to (like us) will have some staff on duty.

However, most large malls, tourist attractions, public transport, hotels, and restaurants will open as usual, or even stay open longer! Also see when transport will be overloaded and when local customs are due to happen.

For a more detailed preview of the coming festivities see Chinese New Year Preparations and Celebrations (2020).

Chinese New Year Superstitions — Things You Must/Mustn’t Do

Lucky red, round Chinese New Year lanterns with lucky Chinese characters on very popular.

In China people are becoming less superstitious, but Chinese people traditionally believe that the year’s start affects the whole year, so the Chinese Spring Festival is a season of superstitions.

It’s believed that what something looks like (color, shape), and what its name sounds like, gives it auspicious or ill-fated properties.

The Luckiest Things to Do at Chinese New Year

  1. Giving money/gifts in lucky numbers and lucky red packaging with lucky greetings.
  2. Eating lucky food like fish on New Year’s Eve, especially carp or catfish with some left over for New Year’s Day.
  3. Lighting lots of red firecrackers and fireworks to scare away evil and bring good luck.

See more on 10 Disappearing Chinese New Year Traditions

The Unluckiest Things to Do at Chinese New Year

  1. Having an accident, especially if it means hospital visits, crying, and breakages: all bad omens.
  2. Giving gifts with unlucky meanings, colors, words, or numbers, or even saying something inauspicious.
  3. Sweeping up on New Year’s Day: don’t “sweep all your luck away”.

See more on Chinese New Year Taboos.

Chinese New Year Foods — Most Have Lucky Meanings

Fish is a must for the Chinese New Year reunion dinner.

Food for the New Year emphasizes lucky symbolic meanings such as fish, which sounds like the Chinese word for ‘surplus’. These foods are eaten during the 16-day festive season, an particularly for the New Year’s Eve family reunion dinner.

Chinese New Year Greetings

One of the most famous traditional greetings for Chinese New Year is the Cantonese kung hei fat choi, literally ‘greetings, become rich’. In Mandarin that’s gongxi facai /gong-sshee faa-tseye/.

新年好 xīn nián hǎo 过年好 guò nián hǎo 新年快乐 xīn nián kuài lè See also How to Say Happy New Year in Chinese.

Chinese New Year’s History

Preparing a WeChat red envelope

The festival has a history of over 3,000 years. Celebrations on lunar New Year’s Day can be dated back to the ancient worship of heaven and earth.

Over the centuries new traditions were added and celebrations became more entertainment-orientated. Read more on Chinese New Year History.

In 1967 food was rationed, and there was no money! Greetings were full of Communist fervor. Now people eat out for Chinese New Year, send e-money, and greet with instant messages on WeChat (the most popular app in China). Read more on Chinese New Year Over 5 Decades — Ration Coupons to App Money.

Chinese New Year Travel — Top Tips from Our Experts

At Chinese New Year, you can see many things in China that you wouldn’t normally, like lion dances.

The festive period is one of the best times of the year to interact with Chinese people, and experience the local culture. However, it is also the busiest time of the year on China’s transportation network. So, you might want to avoid the transport stress or seek out China’s New Year culture, or both…