Ring in 2017, family style

New Year’s Eve is better known for its drunkenness and decadence than for being especially family-friendly. But thanks to Chi-Town Rising’s Family Countdown Celebration, the littles can join in some big-time New Year’s merriment—without any of that stuff that makes you want to cover their eyes.

If you go

Family Countdown Celebration

3-6 p.m. Dec. 31


Wrigley Square at Millennium Park, Michigan Ave. and Randolph St., Chicago

The Family Countdown Celebration takes place in Wrigley Square at Millennium Park, right in the center of the bustling city. The theme, “Around the World for New Year’s Eve,” means that families can experience New Year’s customs from places like Thailand, Denmark, Egypt and Scotland and try their hand at special activities. Be sure to stop by The Monroe Building (104 S. Michigan Ave.) to pick up a passport that can be stamped at each location.

Throughout the afternoon, you can also sip complimentary hot chocolate and enjoy music from Bizar Entertainment DJ and a performance by WTTW’s Dr. Cool & Pride: The Big Show (ever heard of educational hip-hop?), all leading up to the Official Kids’ Countdown Spectacular, just six hours before the Chicago Star rises over the city.

In other words, you can get the kids home with the sitter and still have plenty of time for your own brand of more grown-up celebration.

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