Roll out the red carpet for 2023

Mark the new year's holiday through one of many local activities on tap

Ready or not, 2023 is knocking on the door, about to relegate those 2022 calendars to the recycling bin.

If you haven't yet made plans to celebrate, here are to some ways to make the changeover memorable without venturing too far away.

Light it up!

• Brookfield Zoo's Holiday Magic lights festival runs through Saturday, Dec. 31. Between 3 and 9 p.m. enjoy more than 2 million twinkling LED lights, a 41-foot tall tree choreographed to seasonal tunes, photo opportunities in the 20-foot-tall orb and the life-size gingerbread house and a 600-foot-long "Tunnel of Lights." Admission to the zoo, 3400 31st St., is $24.95 for adults, $17.95 for ages 3-11, and $19.95 for seniors 65 and older, plus $15 parking. Get tickets at

• Illumination: Tree Lights, Morton Arboretum's 10th annual spectacle of color, light and sound, runs through Saturday, Jan. 7. The adults-only Electric Illumination, featuring a curated mix of trance and progressive house music synchronized to the light displays, is from 9:30 to 11 p.m. Dec. 30. Along the way enjoy s'mores or stop in one of the concession tents for a snack and beverage. Timed-entry tickets, priced at $16 to $27, are available from 4:30 to 8 p.m. The arboretum is at 4100 Route 53 in. Lisle. Get tickets at

• Oak Brook Park District is holding its Winter Lights display through Sunday, Jan. 8, at Central Park, 1510 Forest Gate Road. Enjoy a half mile walk and discover dancing trees, inspirational signs, colorful rainbow arches, cascading snowflakes and musical hearts - with plenty of photo opportunities throughout. The free display, open daily from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m., is inclusive and accessible along paved pathways. Dogs are allowed on a leash. Visit for more details.

Musical flourishes

• Finish out 2022 with the New Philharmonic Saturday, Dec. 31, at the College of DuPage's McAninch Arts Center, 421 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. The orchestra will perform concerts at 1:30, 5 and 8:30 p.m. featuring a mix of pop, waltzes, arias and light classical favorites, enhanced by the rich bass-baritone voice of Mischa Bouvier and members of the high-energy electric violin troupe CoverGirls. Tickets are $67 to $77. Visit or call (630) 942-4000.

• Sinfonietta bel Canto invites people to ring in 2023 at its Family New Year's Day Celebration Fundraiser at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 1, at St. Paul's UCC, 5739 Dunham Road in Downers Grove. This benefit concert will include Strauss waltzes, light classics and more. Light refreshments will be served after the concert. Tickets are $40, $30 for seniors and $5 for children 12 and younger. Visit

Dining delights

Hinsdale's Il Poggiolo, 8 E. First St., offers a tasty conclusion to the year with both its regular menu and chef's specials starting at 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31. That's also when the children's party begins, with party favors and a countdown at 7 p.m .; a special kids menu is $25. Make a reservation at or (630) 734-9000.

Family festivities

• Take part in the Noon Year's Eve Party from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 31, at the Hinsdale Public Library, 20 E. Maple St., complete with crafts, games and snacks - and, of course, a noon countdown! Register at or call (630) 986-1976

• ''Elf the Musical" is on stage through Sunday, Jan. 8, at Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace. Follow Buddy who, after discovering he is really a human raised as an elf, journeys from the North Pole to New York City to find his birth father. Shows are at 1:30 p.m. Wednesdays, 1:30 and 8 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, and 2 and 6 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $78 to $89, with a $5 senior discount for Wednesday and Thursday matinées. Enjoy lunch or dinner before or after the show at Lucille Restaurant. Visit or call (630) 530-0111.

Party 'til the new year

Party like the Rat Pack on New Year's Eve with the "Timeless" show at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, at Oak Brook Hills Resort, 3500 Midwest Road. Enjoy Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin tribute performers, backed by a 15-piece big band, while sipping classic era cocktails from the open bar and enjoying delicious food and a chocolate fountain. The party culminates with a midnight balloon drop and Champagne toast. Hotel stay packages are available. Tickets start at $125. Visit