Chicago New Year's Eve 2011 on the Cheap: Five Happening Spots that Won't Blow Your Budget.

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What are you doing New Year's Eve?  If you were thinking of staying in because it is just too expensive, you may want to reconsider.  Show Me Chicago has found five hot spots in happening areas of the city where you can get by on between $15 and $40 per person and ring in the new year in style.  Looking to spend a little more, check out Show Me Chicago tomorrow for Five Budget Busters.

1. Wicker Park, Small Bar, Small Prices.     

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DJ Pickel spinning some magic.

 
There's no reservations at Small Bar--also
no cover and no package.  What do you get?  You get entertainment with Dj Intel and
Dj Pickel.   If you can limit your drinks to what you can afford, you'll get way more than you pay for.   By the way, it's DJ Pickel's
birthday, and he and his good buddy Intel will be celebrating by
spinning hip-hop, funk, soul and '80s all night. 2049 W. Division, 773 772
2727.  Return on NYD for the cure with brunch, bloody's and more starting at noon.

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2.  Timothy O'Toole's in Streeterville.

Keep it cheap at this Streeterville favorite,
where $15 gets you either a 24-ounce Miller High Life or a champagne
split, plus an appetizer buffet at midnight, pool tables, Karaoke and
party favors. 622 N. Fairbanks Court, 312 642 0700.  9p.m. to 3a.m.

3. IO Theater in the heart of Wrigleyville.
 
Celebrate New's Eve for $25 per person at the IO.
IO is offering two special shows for New Year's Eve, "The Deltones' Improvised Musical New Year's Special" at 10:30p.m. in the Cabaret Theater and "The Cupid Players New Year's Eve"
at 10:30p.m. in the Del Close Theater.  The $25 admission fee includes a
champagne toast and party favors.  After the show, guest are invited to
enjoy dancing and bar specials.  Tickets 773 880-0199.  3541 N. Clark St. 773 880 0199. 10p.m.

4. The Neo-Futurarium in Edgewater. 

Who cares if you've already seen this Chicago favorite "Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind".  It always a little different each time and always a lot of fun.  If you've never seen the show--shame on you--but NYE is your perfect opportunity.  Doors open at 9:30
p.m. for non-alcoholic refreshments and hors d'oeuvres. After the show, there'll be a toast and pizza. 5153 N. Ashland
773 275 5255.  Show at 11 p.m.; Tickets are $40 for the evening.

5.  Excalibur in River North.                       

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You have to be a little careful here.  $40 per person will get you in the door to party in the 60,000, three-floor space.  There's dancing, pool tables, video games, a cash bar, an oxygen bar and more--but all food and drinks are above and beyond the $40 cover.

Additional packages include:  "Gold" ($59, open bar
from 7-11 p.m., buffet from 7-9:30 p.m.) to premium ($99, premium open
bar from 8 p.m.-midnight and access to private party rooms) to super
premium ($125, just like premium except you get access to the VIP
Penthouse).  632 N. Dearborn St. 312 266 1944.  $40 to $125.

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    Carole Kuhrt Brewer

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