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Monday, March 4, 2024

Suggestions for folks who wonder what to do on New Year’s Eve


Above / Be glad for plaid and whimsy while planning to kick off the New Year in Naperville. Celebrate safely and look toward comforts, joys and challenges that aim to unite our community throughout 2023. Cheers!

Now… what are your plans for New Year’s Eve? 

Wrap up 2022 with a tour of Raintree Drive just off River Road where holiday music and dancing angels are among the glistening stars of the street. Thanks to the warmer weather, some residents already have begun taking down holiday displays before it gets way below freezing again. Here’s hoping you had time to enjoy the bright lights displays before now.

Here are a few of PN’s picks among many choices in our city’s grand illumination of activities, by day and by night on Sat., Dec. 31, 2022.

Whether New Year’s Eve begins in the morning with enthusiastic children at the DuPage Children’s Museum or starts with an early evening drive around town to see the bright holiday lights, revelers can link up with options to fit any pocketbook or whet any appetite.

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Find this light display across the street from the musical angels along Raintree Drive.

Discover options that include a night on the town or simply munching on snacks in front of a good movie on TV.

Consider movies that have been reviewed throughout 2022 by Tarek Fayoumi, featured monthly in print and online here for Positively Naperville. Fayoumi’s passion as a film critic has been an enlightening addition to this publication via “Movies with Tarek.”

Or choose classics such as “An Affair to Remember,” “Radio Days,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” “South Pacific,” “Waiting to Exhale,” “When Harry Met Sally,” and/or “While You Were Sleeping” before switching the channel to watch the ball drop in Times Square a few seconds before midnight.

Spread the kindness and respect!

If going out, be sure to make reservations to avoid disappointment.  And remember to tip servers (who share tips with bussers and food runners), bartenders and valets – 20 percent is customary. Appreciate that other individuals are working so you can have a good time.

One more thing… Whenever booking advance reservations at more than one venue (restaurants, theaters, bowling alleys, etc.), kindly cancel the ones you decide not to use in plenty of time for someone else to benefit.

Safety patrols now in progress thru Jan. 2, 2023 / Plan ahead

Celebrate safely with family, friends & neighbors

Celebrate Safely! Area and state police departments will be adding extra patrols this weekend, New Year’s Eve and through January 2, 2023. Don’t forget to plan ahead for all your transportation needs whenever you celebrate. Remember, taxis and limos will be at a premium on New Year’s Eve.

Whatever you decide, enjoy the last day of the year with a vow to try to enjoy a safe, healthful, respectful, productive and prosperous 2023.

Happy New Year’s Eve from 8AM to Midnight!


According to the Weather Channel, in Naperville the weather will feature “cloudy skies early, followed by partial clearing. High 43F. Winds light and variable.”

Dress accordingly! Stroll the Naperville Riverwalk on New Year’s Eve and every day! Visit neighborhood parks, too. Enjoy the benefits of brisk walks or discovery of the amazing structure of bare trees in the great outdoors.

You never know when you might catch Riverwalk regulars reading PN! And though the last few years of uncertainties have changed early morning routines, we have fond memories and are forever mindful to sing, “Should auld acquaintance be forgot… And never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot…And the days of auld lang syne? (PN File Photo 2019)

Park at the Main Street Parking Lot along Jackson Avenue for an early morning Riverwalk stroll. Then follow the winding brick path along the DuPage River as it meanders through Sindt Woods all the way to the Jefferson Avenue Bridge and back again. 

And smile, smile, smile. Keep in mind that 17 to 26 muscles are required for every smile! The smile is considered across cultures as a universal sign of friendliness. Exercise with smiles as you greet passersby while strolling all along the winding brick path and local sidewalks. What’s more, add some belly laughs to those smiles with the knowledge that you’re using more muscles at one time than during any other activity. 

From the Farmers Plaza overlooking the quarry at Eagle Street, the Riverwalk leads to Rotary Hill where kids sled after it snows. The brick path winds around the park toward Moser Tower with the 72-bell carillon. For 2022, the bells again will be quiet while the tower is undergoing final stages of rehabilitation.

Snow is predicted for winter 2023! Then Sled Hill will be busy.

What a difference a year makes! Time will tell if snow falls and collects enough for sledding in 2023. Be sure to read Sled Hill Rules. Be safe on sled hills and ice skating rinks in local parks. (PN Photo 2021)


Find the DuPage Children’s Museum at 301 N. Washington Street! (DCM Photo)

Update for 2022 / SOLD OUT! / Museum closed for special party

The DuPage Children’s Museum hosts its 20th annual Fun Family NYE with confetti, bubbles or quiet time!
Saturday, December 31, 2022 | 9AM– Noon

Fun Family NYE is an important fundraiser for the Museum. It is the place for families to ring in the New Year. This annual year-end celebration, now in its 20th year, has become a holiday tradition for families to celebrate together at DuPage Children’s Museum. Join families and friends for the countdown and come discover plenty of choices and lots that’s new. Website indicates this event is sold out. Plan ahead for Dec. 31, 2023.  Note! DuPage Children’s Museum is open 9AM to 5PM on New Year’s Day, Jan. 1, 2023.

Noon – NYE

Be ready to strike!

Celebrate at Bowlero with a strike or two or three! | Noon – 1AM

Space is limited and lanes are filling up fast! Book your holiday party now at bowlero.com/nye. Find Bowlero Naperville, a local destination for world-class bowling, laser tag, arcade games, billiards and more, including a sports bar. Grab a lane, set a high score in the arcade, …at 1515 Aurora Ave. Give them a call for reservation availability at (630) 355-7622.

All Afternoon until 6PM in downtown Naperville

New Year’s Eve Bargain Hunt, Shop & Dine with DNA Gift Cards

And whenever you’re headed downtown, take your handy Downtown Naperville Gift Cards, too.

Use your DNA Gift Card any time at any downtown location.

Discover delicious tastes at the Allegory, a restaurant right next to Dean’s Fine Clothing, a longstanding shopping destination for men and women in downtown Naperville. Located along Main Street, Dean’s celebrated its first 63 years in 2022 and Allegory wrapped up its fourth year. (PN File Photo)

Celebrate New Year’s Eve Day in downtown Naperville. Enjoy the final day of 2022 shopping, dining and celebrating downtown with many happy returns all along Main Street, Jefferson Avenue, Washington Street, Jackson Avenue and Van Buren Avenue.

Discover all that’s new including shops around the corner from the Main Street Bridge located along Water Street.

Click here for some of the highlights, including:

  • Great end-of-year shopping specials with bargains galore
  • NYE parties along Water Street and Washington Street
  • Celebrate memories. Ring your own bell. Remember good times from 11:30PM to Midnight during the New Year’s Eve countdown at the base of the Carillon at Rotary Hill along the Riverwalk. Not for 2022 / Here’s hoping the longtime tradition will return in 2023.

3PM and so on

Live music begins at 3PM with Countdown at 6PM

Quigley’s Irish Pub, 43 E. Jefferson Avenue.

Celebrate New Year’s Eve Dublin time at Quigley’s, 3-8PM! Families and friends are invited for the annual New Year’s Eve Celebration and Countdown Dublin Time at 6PM at Quigley’s Irish Pub at 43 E. Jefferson St. in downtown Naperville. This family-friendly tradition at Naperville’s authentic Irish pub is filled with good cheer, delicious food, live music by Cirrus Falcon (3-7PM) and satisfaction for folks who enjoy celebrating without staying up until midnight CST to welcome in the New Year. Note also that the pub will close at 8PM on New Year’s Eve. It’s best to come early if you plan to find a table as this event with live music attracts groups of revelers of all ages. And remember West Suburban Irish Quiz Night begins another trivia contest throughout Quigley’s beginning at 7PM the first Tuesday in January. One more thing…Quigley’s Irish Pub will be closed on New Year’s Day.

Some times on Open Table already are reserved at Meson Sabika

Meson Sabika, 1025 Aurora Avenue

Celebrate New Year’s Eve at the Mansion! Join Meson Sabika on New Year’s Eve for a 4-course dinner. Includes an Array of Cold and Hot Tapas, an Entrée of Short Ribs and Lobster, and Desserts. $95 per person plus tax and gratuity. Vegetarian menu $39 per person and Children’s menu available upon request. Advance orders recommended for pick up. We respectfully ask for 72 hours notice for all cancelations. No Shows will be charged $25 per person. Limited seating times still available for New Year’s Eve. To make reservations call (630) 983-3000 x 2 or visit www.mesonsabika.com.

Walk around the blocks of downtown Naperville to find your favorite eateries, including what’s reopened and what’s new for NYE…

Catch 35
Catch 35, Washington at Van Buren (PN File Photo)

Catch 35 Naperville, located in the heart of downtown, welcomes you to enjoy good taste in seafood and premium steaks on New Year’s Eve. Ring in 2023 at Catch 35 with surf & turf specials and mouthwatering shellfish platters. Catch 35’s regular menu also will be available. Check limited reservations available at (630) 717-3500. Catch 35 Naperville is located at 35 S. Washington St., just steps from the Van Buren Parking Deck. For more info about fine dining every day at Catch 35, visit www.catch35.com.

After renovations, Front Street Cantina has a new look outside and inside, and is ready to serve its menu of delicious Mexican food again. (PN File Photo)

Front Street Cantina, located at 15 W. Jefferson Avenue, has reopened with a new look! Among our favorite downtown choices for years, let us commend their new menu, including shank steak and delicious salads!

SixtyFour – A Reserve Room, 123 Water Street, invites guests to make reservations this New Year’s Eve for a tasting extravaganza! To reserve your seats, email info@sixtyfourwinebar.com.

***Click here to link to Downtown Naperville dining, coffee shops and treats!

Venture to CityGate Centre for NYE by day or evening

Che Figata at Hotel Arista, 2139 CityGate Lane located next to Hotel Arista in CityGate Centre, will help revelers ring in 2022. For reservations, call (630) 579-3210.

CityGate Grille, located in the Calamos Investments Building at I-88 and Rt. 59 at Ferry Road, invites you to kick back and enjoy an evening of friends, fun and live music. For reservations, call (630) 718-1010 or visit www.citygategrille.com.

Tap & Pub presents a neighborhood-friendly atmosphere with 16-foot HD golf simulators, house-made, casual dining with tastes of Sonoran-style Mexican flavors – with vegetarian & vegan options – and a champion selection of beer, wine and tasty cocktails creations. Swing into the New Year until 9PM daily! For other info, visit www.tapinpub.com.

Top Golf bays will be open NYE / Not a ticketed event

Top Golf, 3211 Odyssey Court (near CityGate Centre), will host a golden night of fun. Reserve an all-inclusive bay package for your group that includes party favors and unlimited Topgolf from 9PM to close on New Year’s Eve. Phone: (630) 596-1000 or visit topgolf.com/us/naperville/promo/new-years-eve/

Dine Naperville N.E.W.S.!

For more variety throughout the community from I-88 to 111th at Route 59 and many destinations in between, check out Dine Naperville where you’ll find the city’s long list of more than 260 eateries.

Consider a NYE Getaway at one of Naperville 16 hotels

Ring in the New Year during an overnight “staycation” at one of Naperville’s 16 hotels. Naperville boasts a wide array of over-night accommodations including luxurious full-service, comfortable select-service, roomy suites, extended- stay facilities as well as a cozy historic bed and breakfast. 

Find swimming pools at Chicago Marriott, Courtyard, Embassy Suites, Fairfield Inn East, Fairfield Inn West and Hampton Inn.

Hotel Arista is just steps from Top Golf and fine restaurants in CityGate Centre.

Hotel Indigo, located along the Riverwalk in downtown Naperville, is a short jaunt from many picturesque activities in the heart of the City.

For a list of all hotels to check availability for Dec. 31, 2022, click www.visitnaperville.com.

Some things to do stand the test of time…

NYE take-out to party at home!

Casey’s Foods is located in Naperville Plaza, Washington at Gartner. Thanks for all the pocket change and dollar bills tossed in the red kettles for the Salvation Army!

Catering, too! If New Year’s Eve is a time to stay at home with family and friends, relaxing with jigsaw puzzles and board games to the whimsy and revelry on television as the ball drops in New York’s Times Square, remember that most restaurants offer take-out.

And for all your party-at-home supplies, find festive noisemakers, hats and other New Year’s Eve novelties at Oswald’s Pharmacy, right around the bend from Casey’s.

Enjoying New Year’s Eve in the comfort of your home can be a time to create a fun and games night. Play cards. Order a pizza to be delivered. Pop popcorn. Work jigsaw puzzles. Watch movies. Sort old photos. Create scrapbooks. Count your blessings.

Some folks have suggested taking down the Christmas tree and connecting every ornament with a fond memory.

With little desire to stay up late, another reader said she always organizes her closet and chest of drawers on New Year’s Eve with the aim to celebrate with a toast upon completion at 10PM and bedtime soon after.

Consider Can-do Spirit! Create a commemorative brick message for Riverwalk Jaycees Plaza… Looking toward the future, perhaps take time to gather ’round and create a message for a commemorative brick ($500) that will mark a spot in the Jaycee Park along the Riverwalk near Water Street. Dedicated in spring 2019, the park is located just west of the Moser Covered Bridge at Webster Street.

One of the enhancement gifts of the Riverwalk Foundation was a new flag pole at the southern entrance to the Moser Covered Bridge at Webster Street near Jaycees Park. (PN File Photo)

OR create a commemorative brick message for the plaza around Exchange Club Memories Fountain in Fredenhagen Park or the Riverwalk from the Washington Street Bridge to the Hillside Road Bridge…

Since 1997, the commemorative brick/stone program has been to benefit the Naperville Riverwalk Foundation. The program continues to offer the opportunity to purchase a variety of legacy gifts to honor a family or friends, remember a loved one or recognize a milestone.

Commemorative bricks ordered now will be placed in the spring of 2023. Funds raised benefit the 25-year commitment of the Riverwalk Foundation to promote, educate and enhance while serving as a conduit for financial gifts.

Cheers to community spirit that began when Captain Joe Naper and his family arrived along the banks of the DuPage River in 1831!

11:15PM – NYE

Update for 2022 / Kindly disregard All Events with Carillon Bells at Moser Tower. Stay tuned for NYE 2023.

Oh! The memories of ringing in the New Year at Moser Tower along the Naperville Riverwalk. The iconic landmark with its 72-bell carillon was built in 1999 to commemorate the third millennium and 21st century. At 160 feet tall, the structure that houses the carillon currently is undergoing some rehabilitation that prevents its bells from ringing. Since the carillon will be quiet on New Year’s Eve, why not go outside with a bell at midnight and ring it for a minute. Remember, “Every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings.” 

Midnight NYE

At midnight, more than 100 million Americans are expected to have their eyes on the iconic ball drop in Times Square via screens on televisions, computers and other electronic devices. Worldwide, guestimates report that 1 billion individuals will watch the popular tourist attraction that welcomes approximately 1 million visitors to Times Square in New York City.

Happy New Year’s Day, Jan. 1, 2023!

Do you know couples that became engaged at Christmas or New Year’s?

Wedding Showcase is planned for Jan. 21, 2023 / For details, click here.

Naper Settlement will host its annual Wedding Showcase from 10AM to 4PM on Sat., Jan. 21, where many wedding planners, consultants, venues and special services will be on display for brides and grooms as well as their parents to begin planning. Check out  many local vendors that offer spaces for weddings, receptions, rehearsal dinners and bridal showers. Admission to the Wedding Showcase is free of charge.

2023 Restaurant Week / January 20 – February 5

Naperville 2023 Restaurant Week is slated for Jan. 20 through Feb. 5, 2023.

For more events and entertainment, some free of charge,  check out the last day of the year on the December Events Calendar.

After NYE, plan to celebrate Naperville community spirit throughout 2023 

Celebrate the end of the year with the whole family, then make plans to begin the New Year with great shopping and dining and entertainment throughout 2023. Whether resident or visitor, plan to check this website regularly to keep track of special events and many ways to participate in Naperville where there are more than 260 restaurants to please every appetite, spread all over town.

The city’s central business district is just steps from the Riverwalk, Naper Settlement, DuPage Children’s Museum as well as entertainment venues and art galleries at North Central College. Think dinner and the show!

Thanks for reading.

Thanks, too, for shopping, dining and entertaining locally whenever possible. Your independent business community appreciates your support and a thriving local economy benefits all local residents, likely your family, friends and neighbors.

For a listing of more than 260 local eateries, sure to whet any appetite, visit www.dinenaperville.com. Local matters.

Find ‘What We Need’ during treks along the Riverwalk…

No matter what the season, enjoy the Naperville Riverwalk any day of the year. (PN File Photo)


And it’s A-OK to curl up with a good book on New Year’s Eve. Many folks tell us they hit the hay way before midnight with a positive attitude that “tomorrow is another day.”

Then there are 364 more days to experience before the next New Year’s Eve. Make every day count. Happy New Year!

Celebrate safely! Happy 2023!

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PN Editor
PN Editor
An editor is someone who prepares content for publishing. It entered English, the American Language, via French. Its modern sense for newspapers has been around since about 1800.


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