More bash, less cash
Party like it's 1929 at these 20 fetes for $25 or less.
And now for something completely different
4740 N Western Ave (773-561-9181). 9pm, $4.99.
Chicago-based punk–polka band the Polkaholics host their third annual Inexpensive New Year’s Eve Party in the massive ballroom at this Lincoln Square German cultural center. Just $4.99 gets you a ticket for the Epiphone electric guitar raffle, noisemakers and a balloon drop at midnight. And that one cent short of a fiver? Save it for the El ride home.
Irish American Heritage Center
4626 N Knox Ave (773-282-7035). 7pm, $25.
Through the 10th century, the Irish celebrated New Year’s Eve on Halloween, but partygoers at the center’s Fifth Province Pub will be raring to go on Dec. 31. Joe McShane and Joe Cullen will perform traditional Irish music while guests enjoy free corned-beef sandwiches and Champagne at midnight.
Lincoln Square Lanes
4874 N Lincoln Ave (773-561-8191). 9pm; $20, $25 door.
Revelers will be rocking the Champagne of Beers during the midnight toast at the Lincoln Lodge’s annual Chuckle Bowl Spectacular, hosted at Lincoln Square Lanes. This year, in addition to open bowling and free pizza, you can watch the live game show Don’t Spit the Water, in which a few audience members try to resist spewing mouthfuls of H2O as local comics act a fool.
Music Box Theatre
3733 N Southport Ave (773-871-6604). 11pm; $20, $25 door.
The passengers in the New Year’s Eve disaster flick The Poseidon Adventure get a whole lotta salt water; you get free Champagne. The sinking-boat flick will be timed so the audience toasts midnight at the same time as their doomed on-screen counterparts.