Kenosha Calendar: Happy New Year!

Undecided on how to spend New Year's Eve? Kenosha.com has you covered
Laura Marran

By Laura MarranKENOSHA.COM

After two decades in journalism, Marran earned her Master’s degree in Exceptional Education from UW-Milwaukee and has served as a special education teacher with Kenosha Unified School District since 2006. A Marquette University School of Journalism alum, Marran has lived in Kenosha since 1987.

Fancy and festive, quiet and contemplative, or anywhere in between, the choices for celebrating New Year’s Eve in Kenosha offer a variety ways to send off 2021 and welcome 2022 with open and hopeful arms. 

This week’s Best Bet is a roundup of New Year’s Eve celebrations and observances throughout the city. More holiday happenings and regularly-scheduled events are also on this weekend’s calendar. 

Best Bets – New Year’s Eve 

The Apis

The Apis, 614 56th St., offers an all-inclusive extravaganza with unlimited food and beverages at stations throughout the luxuriously remodeled building. The rooftop is scheduled to be open, and a live DJ will be featured on the mezzanine level providing music to the space all night. A New Year’s toast will be offered with bubbles on every floor. The $100 ticket includes all of the above, with an invitation to “come dressed to impress and let’s bring in the New Year in style!” 

The Stella Hotel & Ballroom

Downtown plays hosts to another elegant NYE bash in The Stella Ballroom, 5706 8th Ave. The $99 ticket includes a three-course dinner, drinks and music by Silver Spoon Entertainment and a champagne toast at midnight. The Stella is also offering a special room rate to party-goers. 

Public Craft Brewing

Public Craft Brewing, 628 58th St., brings a stellar musical lineup to its [email protected] stage on NYE with doors opening at 7 p.m. Toke Magic gets things started with an 8 p.m. set, followed by Spirit Shakers at 9:30 p.m. and Lunar Lizard at 11 p.m. Tickets are $20. 

Charles “The Delta Blues Hogg” Hayes at Union Park Tavern

Union Park Tavern gets the celebration started early Friday, opening at 11 a.m. with New Year’s Eve ball drops at both 6 p.m. and midnight. Their traditional fish fry and surf & turf will be served from 3-9 p.m. and are available by calling 262-652-6454 or messaging Union Park Tavern via Facebook Messenger. Of course, live music is part of the party, with Charles “The Delta Blues Hogg” Hayes taking the stage at 9 p.m. 

Sazzy B

Sazzy B, 5623 6th Ave., has both an intimate private dinner and a late night blues show planned for this special NYE occasion. The beverage team has an assortment of pairings no matter what your preference. Dinner is a ticketed event with two seatings (5 and 8 p.m.), a 5-course meal, and optional beverage pairing. Patrons at the 8 p.m. dinner will have priority seating when the venue opens back up to the public for live music to follow. Dinner tickets are $90 for 5 p.m. seating and $110 for 8 p.m. seating, plus add-ons.

At 10:30 p.m. Marie Marten and The Messarounds will take the room into the new year with live jazz, blues and rock. 

58 Below

58 Below, 504 58th St., will celebrate New Year’s Eve with three popular local bands and a champagne toast – all with no cover. Would You Kindly? with special guests The EcoLimes, and Daniel and His 3 A.M. Saints will be featured with music starting at 9 p.m. 

Kenosha Comedy Club

Kenosha Comedy Club, at the Wyndham Garden Kenosha Harborside, 5125 6th Ave., will host a New Year’s Eve show featuring comedy and live music. Headliners are Chris Barnes and Nathan “Tricky” Allen, with music by the Windy City Rev Ups and Simply Yacht Rock. Two shows are scheduled as well as dinner and VIP options. For tickets and more information see the event website

Looking for family fun? The Kenosha Public Library’s Storywalk in Uptown, the Pringle Nature Center’s Gnome Hunt, and the Racine Zoo’s Wonderland of Lights are all great ways to wrap up 2021! 

Holiday Gnome Hunt

The last day of the year is also the final chance to go on a Gnome Hunt at Pringle Nature Center at Bristol Woods Park, 9800 160th Ave. Those who find all the gnomes hiding on the trails by the end of the month will have a chance to win a free 2022 Pringle Nature Center family membership. To enter, post gnome hunt photos on Instagram or Facebook and tag Pringle, or email photos to the listed email address by Friday (Dec.  31). The Gnome Hunt is free and no registration is required. For more information see the Pringle Nature Center website

While the Kenosha Public Library branches are closed Friday and Saturday (Dec. 31-Jan. 1), the KPL team has provided Uptown StoryWalk, a fun family activity that can be enjoyed any time including on the official holidays. The Storywalk features outdoor stations where the public can read “Augustus and His Smile” by Catherine Raynor in the windows of participating businesses. Route maps are available at any library branch or online. This opportunity to explore Kenosha and enjoy a great story will be available from now until February. 

Racine Zoo’s Wonderland of Lights

Racine Zoo’s Wonderland of Lights is open 6-9 p.m. through Sunday (Jan. 2). The drive-through experience, which is open daily including New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day,  includes holiday themes and characters as well as a 96 ft. tunnel with a light show.

Cost is $5 per person, free for 2 years and younger (Cash or credit card accepted at the gate only).  The Racine Zoo is located at 2131 N. Main St. Enter at the southernmost gate at the corner of Michigan Blvd. and Goold St.

Top Picks 

This year’s New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim is set for 11 a.m. on Saturday (Jan. 1) at Simmons Island Beach House, 5001 Simmons Island Rd. 

New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim

Organizers have high hopes after the event had to be cancelled three times in the past 4 years due to COVID last year and dangerously cold temperatures in previous years. This year’s forecast is trending in a positive direction so far. 

Swimmers should be at the beach side of the Simmons Island beach house by 11 a.m. which is the time set for the plunge, organizer Brian Vaccaro said. 

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The First Day Hike at Bong Recreation Area, 26313 Burlington Rd., Kansasville is set for 1-3 p.m. Saturday (Jan. 1). Meet the Bong Naturalist Association at the Visitor Center. The hike will cross over 142 to Rhode’s Road to touch the fence on NN and make a New Year’s Wish, then hike back. For more information visit the DNR event page

Day Tripper 

In SE Wisconsin, the Harlem Globetrotters are as much a part of New Year’s Eve tradition as countdowns, noisemakers and party hats. 

The winningest team of all time will bring their Spread Game Tour to more than 200 cities beginning this week, with a special date at Fiserv Forum, 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Friday (Dec. 31).

The Harlem Globetrotters

From the event’s website: “Part streetball from the players who defined it, part interactive family entertainment, the new tour will show off the best of the Globetrotters in a dazzling exhibition of talent and game. The Spread Game Tour introduces new premium fan experiences with unprecedented access and interaction, including celebrity court passes, meet and greets with players, and the #SQUADZONE, where fans have the opportunity to feel like part of the show.”

The Harlem Globetrotters organization has been committed to spreading joy through their artful athleticism and hoops skills and serving as goodwill ambassadors for more than 95 years. Tickets start at $23 and are available through Ticketmaster.

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Story Time in the Galleries: This event may originate in Milwaukee, but families  can take this Day Trip in jammies. The Story Time virtual event brings the Milwaukee Art Museum into homes for no cost. Each session begins with a look at a Museum piece, and end with a related activity. Story Time in the Galleries is the first Saturday of the month at 10:30 a.m. including New Year’s Day. The link to the event, along with previous Story Time events can be found here

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Lunar Lizard

The Lineup 

FRIDAY (Dec. 31) 

Music 

Toke Magic 8 p.m., Spirit Shakers 9:30 p.m. and Lunar Lizard 11 p.m. Public Craft Brewing, 628 58th St. Tickets $20. 

Marie Marten and The Messarounds,  10:30 p.m., Sazzy B, 5623 6th Ave. 

Would You Kindly? with special guests The EcoLimes, and Daniel and His 3 A.M. Saints, 9 p.m., 58 Below, 504 58th St. 

Potpourri 

Moose Lodge Members Party, 8 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Music by the Chevelles begins at 8:30 p.m.  $25 tickets include a buffet dinner starting at 7 p.m.. $10 tickets include entry to party at 9 p.m. (For members and their qualified guests). 

Family 

Uptown StoryWalk featuring “Augustus and His Smile” by Catherine Raynor in the windows of participating businesses. Route maps are available at any library branch or online. Free. 

Gnome Hunt at Pringle Nature Center at Bristol Woods Park, 9800 160th Ave. Free. 

Racine Zoo’s Wonderland of Lights  6-9 p.m., 2131 N. Main St., Racine. $5 per person, free for ages 2 and younger. 

SATURDAY (Jan. 1) 

Music

Rhythm de Vie (Gypsy Jazz) 8-11 p.m., Union Park Tavern, 4520 8th Ave. 

Potpourri 

Polar Plunge, 11 a.m., Simmons Island Beach House. 

Family 

Uptown StoryWalk featuring “Augustus and His Smile” by Catherine Raynor in the windows of participating businesses. Route maps are available at any library branch or online. 

Racine Zoo’s Wonderland of Lights  6-9 p.m., 2131 N. Main St., Racine. $5 per person, free for ages 2 and younger. 

SUNDAY (Jan. 2) 

Music 

Open Mic with Daniel Thompson and His 3 AM Saints, 4-8 p.m., Fusion, 5104 7th Ave. 

Cy’s Piano Jams, 4 p.m., Union Park Tavern, 4520 8th Ave. 

Art 

Annual Winter Juried Exhibition, 1-4 p.m. Anderson Arts Center, 6603 3rd Ave, through Jan. 9, 2022. Admission is free, donations appreciated.

Potpourri 

Historic Durkee Mansion featuring “Starry Woodland Nights” holiday decor, 1:30-4:30 p.m. at Kemper Center, 6501 3rd Ave. 

Family 

Uptown StoryWalk featuring “Augustus and His Smile” by Catherine Raynor in the windows of participating businesses. Route maps are available at any library branch or online. 

Racine Zoo’s Wonderland of Lights  6-9 p.m., 2131 N. Main St., Racine. $5 per person, free for ages 2 and younger.

To submit an event for Kenosha.com’s Calendar, please email [email protected] and be sure to include contact information. 

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