Give 2023 a proper send-off

Stay close to home to wind down the year and get excited for a new one

Spots in Hinsdale and nearby towns are offering a variety of ways to ring in the new year for all ages.

• Seats are still available for the New Year's Eve performances of "Cinderella" at Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace. All ages are sure to enjoy the classic Rodgers + Hammerstein adaptation of the beloved fairytale, featuring the songs "In My Own Little Corner," "Impossible/It's Possible" and "Ten Minutes Ago." New Year's Eve and multi-course dinner also are offered (see below).

Shows are at 5:30 and 8 p.m. Tickets are $111.25.

Visit or call (630) 530-8300.

• New Philharmonic will perform three concerts to close out 2023 at the College of DuPage's McAninch Arts Center, 421 Fawell Blvd. in Glen Ellyn. The program will feature guest bass-baritone Richard Ollarsaba and a highly entertaining selection of waltzes, marches, polkas and light classical music, plus a champagne toast, party favors and more.

Concert times are 1:30, 5 and 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $70-$80. Visit or call (630) 942-4000.

• Make New Year's Eve bright with more than 2 million twinkling LED lights at the final day of the 42nd annual Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo, 3400 31st St. A 41-foot tall tree choreographed to seasonal tunes, photo opportunities in the ever-popular 20-foot-tall orb and 3D 16-foot-tall gingerbread house, a 600-foot-long "Tunnel of Lights" and more will welcome visitors. Many of the animal buildings will be open along with restaurants and gift shops.

The event runs from 3 to 9 p.m., and advance reservations are required. Admission for nonmembers is $29.95, $20.95 for ages 3-11 and $24.95 for seniors 65 and older, plus $15 parking. Visit or call (630) 688-8400

• Learn how families celebrated the end of the year in the 19th century at Winter Holidays in the 1890s at Kline Creek Farm, 1N600 County Farm Road, West Chicago. Enjoy a guided tour of the 1890s farmhouse focusing on winter holiday traditions and see how farm families decorated the tree, exchanged gifts and prepared food for the holidays.

The house is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free, with a suggested donation of $5 per person ages 3 and up. Visit for more information.

• Check out Sparkle Light Festival through New Year's Eve on Impact Field, Balmoral Avenue and Pearl Street, in Rosemont.

Stroll through five illuminated villages, ice skate with friends, enjoy free train rides on the Holly Trolly train and go tubing down the Alpine Slide. Festive food and beverage options will also be available.

The festival is open from 5 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $24, $18 for kids ages 2-12, with premium tickets and add-on experiences available, plus $5 parking. Visit for a full schedule.

• Don't miss the chance to experience the dazzling effect of a stunning light show against a wooded winter landscape at the 11th annual Illumination at Morton Arboretum, 4100 Route 53, Lisle. See the show along a 1-mile paved walking path with festive music, and enjoy s'mores or stop in one of the concession tents for a snack and beverage.

Tickets are $16-$41.75, with member discounts. Visit for tickets and time availability.

Eats on the Eve

• Il Poggiolo, 8 E. First St. in Hinsdale, will open at 5 p.m. for a New Year's Eve party for children, with party favors and a countdown at 7 p.m. A special children's menu will be offered for $25, along with chef's specials and regular menu items throughout the evening.

For reservations, visit or call (630) 734-9400.

• Bid adieu to 2023 and welcome 2024 in style with New Year's Eve dinner at Lucille at Drury Lane, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace.

The multi-course dinner including wine paired to complement each course. Raise a glasses to the incoming year with champagne and savor the night with live music and bar until 1 a.m.

Seatings are at 6 p.m. (suggested for "Cinderella" 8 p.m. attendees) and 9 p.m. The cost is $120 per guest.

Visit or call (630) 530-8300 for reservations.

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean