What are You Doing to Celebrate the New Year Around Chicago?

December 29, 2011

Can you believe it’s almost 2012?

Saturday, December 31 is New Year’s Eve. Are you one of those that likes to go out on the town, dressed to the nines and ready for a great time, or are you someone who thinks the date is over-rated and would rather sit at home and be low-key?

I’ve experienced different years of each, some disappointing but most fantastic. This year, I’ll be sitting in my Chicago real estate with some really good friends.

If you are one who’s going out, please be safe. Do not drink and drive. If you need a ride home, there are some options for you.

*CTA Penny Rides: The Chicago Transit Authority is offering its annual Penny Ride program, in which you can ride on any CTA bus and train for one penny from 10 p.m. Dec. 31 through 4 a.m. Jan. 1. Do not use your CTA facecard or you’ll be charged the full fare.

*Miller Lite Free Rides: Available between 7 p.m. and 2 a.m. on New Year’s Eve, there will be two private shuttle buses that run a loop through Chicago neighborhoods. Get a route and schedule by calling 800-FREE-RIDES.

*Free Rides Home: The Michael P. Gordon Memorial Foundation is co-sponsoring this event, which begins at 11 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and runs through 4 a.m. New Year’s Day for residents of Mokena, New Lenox, Orland Park, Palos Heights and Tinley Park. Pick-up and drop-off locations must be in one of those towns. Call 1-800-752-5400 for a free ride home.

Here are some other events going on around the Chicago area this weekend. Hope you have a fantastic one and an even better 2012.

*Meditation for World Peace: The Theosophical Society in America is hosting this annual event in which participants all over the world concentrate together to generate energy for peace. One here will take place from 6 to 7 a.m. on Saturday, December 31 at the society, 1926 N. Main St., Wheaton. Admission is free but feel free to bring a donation of money, canned or paper product, which will be donated to the Humanitarian Service Project for people in need.

*New Year’s Kids Party: Give your kids a New Year’s Day celebration while you shop for home items at IKEA, 750 E. Boughton Rd., Bolingbrook from noon to 1 p.m. on Sunday, January 1, 2012. The party will include games, crafts and fun, surrounded by everything home.

*Chicago’s New Year’s Day 5K Run & Walk: Start off the new year in a healthy way with this 27th annual event that starts at the south end of Lincoln Park and then moves north along the lakefront. There is a $30 fee to enter; a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Lake View Citizen’s Council, a non-profit neighborhood organization. There will also be a post-even party with winner trophies, raffle prizes and a complimentary drink.

*Polar Bear Plunge: Start the new year off in a crazy way at 10 a.m. at Waukegan Beach, 201 Sea Horse Drive in Waukegan, where participants and Lake County residents will plunge into freezing Lake Michigan. Proceeds from go to the Special Recreation Services of Northern Lake County, which benefits individuals with disabilities. For more information, call 847-360-4700.

How about you? What do you plan to do to ring in 2012?

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