Looking for something a little more interesting than a house party or your neighborhood bar this New Year’s Eve? Here are some of Houston’s most interesting events, ranging from free municipal celebrations and black-tie events to some more-unusual venues.
7 p.m. to 12:15 a.m.
Houston’s mayor is partnering with various local groups to bring together this massive event featuring multiple stages with musical and theatrical performances and a midnight fireworks finale. Entertainment includes the B-52s, local indie rock band The Tontons, and a performance of the adult-audiences-only Santaland Diaries. And best of all, it’s all free.
7 p.m. to 12 :30 a.m.
Rather than one single event, many of the restaurants, retailers, and lounges at CityCentre will be providing entertainment, food and drink specials, and other events throughout the area. In the main plaza, a DJ will provide entertainment throughout the evening, ending with a spectacular fireworks show at the stroke of midnight. Stroll around between venues and make your own night.
9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
For a less traditional way to ring in the New Year’s, get your tickets to Bowlmor’s Ball-Drop Package. Bowlmor is an upscale establishment that offers bowling with a nightclub vibe, as well as billiards and a lounge. Their adults-only party will include unlimited bowling, a gourmet buffet, and a champagne toast at midnight. Get your tickets online ahead of time.
10 p.m. to 1 a.m.
This year, the City of Sugar Land has divided their annual party into two separate events, a children’s celebration early in the evening and an adults-only party that begins at 10 p.m., allowing for a more grown-up atmosphere later in the night. The adult party will feature a variety of entertainment, outdoor booths selling alcoholic beverages, and their famous 3D show with fireworks at midnight. The city will have a tent set up where partiers can book taxi rides for the night. Or, bring a designated driver, and they’ll will receive free soft drinks throughout the evening. Entry to the event is free.
10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Last year, one of the hottest parties in town was Hotel Zaza’s seventh annual New Year’s Eve party, with some of Houston’s most recognizable socialites among the guests. This year, expect the same—beautiful people dressed to the nines. The night will include a live DJ, cocktails, and gourmet hors d’oeuvres. Consider staying off the roads with one of their overnight packages. Tickets required.
9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
This chic Midtown European wine bar and café is housed in a 1920s era Mediterranean-style building, so their glamorously themed “13|31 New Year’s Eve: 1920s Midnight in Paris Celebration” seems fitting. Think Hemingway, the Fitzgeralds, Picasso, Gertrude Stein. Don your fringed dress or fedora and head to 13 celsius for a night of champagne drink specials and a bubbly toast at midnight. Reservations encouraged as space is limited.
9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
If you’re not familiar with TopGolf, the venue offers golf-based games where players score points by hitting microchipped golf balls into various targets. It’s a lot of fun for golf fans and first-timers alike. On New Year’s Eve, TopGolf will be hosting a party with gaming, a live DJ, and specialty cocktails. If the traditional dancing scene isn’t for you, this may be a great option. Reserve your bay ahead of time to ensure you can play.
8 p.m. to 3 a.m.
The Midtown Block Party bills itself the biggest NYE event in Houston, and they’re probably right. The party sprawls across three indoor venues, a tented pavilion, and four themed outdoor party areas. This year’s theme is “All That Glitters.” Entertainment will include a celebrity DJ, live music, jugglers and stilt walkers, and much more. Food trucks and hookah will be available. At midnight, enjoy a balloon drop and complimentary champagne toast. Tickets available online.
8 p.m. to 1 a.m.
The theatre folks at Mildred’s Umbrella Theatre Company will be using their talents to turn the theatre into a Prohibition-era speakeasy for the night. Guests are encouraged to come in vintage or faux-vintage dress, although formal attire is also fine. Ticket prices include food and an open bar, plus entertainment and dancing. Proceeds help underwrite the theatre’s programming.
8 p.m. to 2 a.m.
This year, the new JW Marriott is starting its own Houston tradition with the first annual “Art of Eve” affair, promising “glamorous fashion, tempting libations, magnificent décor, and exhilarating people.” The event will include three party rooms with DJs, a casino area, and a VIP suite with live music. The organizers request “paparazzi perfect dress attire.” Hotel room packages are available. Buy your tickets online.