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Best Ways To Spend New Year's Day In Chicago

Your plans for New Year's Eve may have included plenty of late-night revelry, but what will you do on New Year's Day? Although many museums and restaurants in the Chicago area have shorter hours, or are even closed in honor of the holiday, you can still find plenty of fun things to do on Jan. 1. Round up your friends and take a look at what's on the calendar in the Chicago area for New Year's Day.

31st Annual New Year's Day 5K Run & Walk
Stockton and LaSalle Drives
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 584-6674

Will 2016 be the year you run in a 5K or two? If so, then start the new year in a big way when you bundle up and run or walk in the 31st annual New Year's Day 5K Run & Walk. The event, which will take participants right near Chicago's skyline and lakefront, has options for a fun run, walk and a chip-timed run. You won't need to get out of bed too early for this run, either, as registration starts at 9:30 a.m. and the event kicks off at 11 a.m. After the run and walk, stick around for the post-race party.

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Paths And Trails At The Chicago Park District
(312) 742-7529

Let's be honest: A 5K isn't exactly everyone's cup of tea. If you'd like to start your New Year's resolution to incorporate more exercise into your schedule, then consider lacing up your running shoes, wearing your warmest workout gear and hitting the paths and trails in the Chicago Park District. There's the renowned Lakefront Trail, where walkers and runners can take in the scenery along Lake Michigan. Other options include the paths and trails at Humboldt Park, Warren Park and Garfield Park, as well as the park district's latest path, The 606.

cafe ba ba reeba
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Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba!
2024 N. Halsted St.
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 935-5000

After a long night out on the town, you need to sink your teeth into some tasty dishes on New Year's Day. That's where Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba! comes in. Located in Chicago's trendy Lincoln Park neighborhood, the restaurant has quite a few options for a hearty meal, including French toast, waffles, eggs benedict, breakfast paella and plenty of sides. Make a Bloody Mary just the way you like it with the restaurant's Bloody Mary bar. If your plans include sleeping in on New Year's Day, then take a look at the cafe's lunch and dinner menus. Got kids? A children's menu is also available.

Related: Best Places For Bird Watching Near Chicago

Lincoln Park Zoo
2001 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 742-2000

While you could spend New Year's Day lounging around the house in your pajamas, what's the fun in that? Instead, bundle up and visit the animals at Lincoln Park Zoo. Open 365 days a year, the zoo has lions, tigers and bears, as well as snakes, lizards, birds, monkeys and so much more. Go for a walk on the wild side by visiting the Regenstein Birds of Prey Exhibit, get a closer look at the seals, or learn about farm animals with Farm-in-the-Zoo. A full list of exhibits is available on Lincoln Park Zoo's website.

'Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience – A Parody By Dan And Jeff'
Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place
175 E. Chestnut St.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 977-1700

Calling all muggles, witches and wizards: A parody of the beloved Harry Potter series is in town. "Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience — A Parody by Dan and Jeff" is a 70-minute recap of all seven books in the smash hit series. The family-friendly play will be staged at Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, right in the heart of Chicago and the perfect location to grab a bite to eat before or after the performance. "Potted Potter" has a show on the schedule for New Year's Day and runs through Jan. 3; it is advised that you purchase tickets in advance.

Related: Best Places To See Stand-Up Comedy In Chicago

Megan Horst-Hatch is a runner, reader, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in "-er." She is also the president of Megan Writes, LLC. Her work can be found at
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