Between conspiracy theories about the Mayan calendar and political promises of apocalypse if the other side wins, it's about time we had a reason to celebrate the future, even if only for a night. So, this New Year's Eve, take the time to swing by your favorite bar, club or restaurant and drink in some positivity for a change. And champagne. Don't forget the champagne.
Hilton Westchase, 9999 Westheimer, 281-799-1922
Celebrate New Year's Eve in style with a gourmet buffet and an open bar from 8 to 10 p.m., as well as entertainment by a live salsa band and DJ from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. $125.
800 Sorella Court, 713-827-3545
Bistro Alex will be offering a special four-course menu with seatings at 6 and 9 p.m. Prices are $79 and $99 respectively.
BlackFinn American Grille
1910 Bagby, 713-651-9550
BlackFinn celebrates Lucky Number '13, as they call it, with live entertainment and an upscale dinner ($100) and VIP passes ($250 and up). A $15 general admission pass allows guests to enjoy music, the casino, party favors and a midnight champagne toast. The doors open at 8 p.m.
Chancellors Family Center
6535 Dumfries, 713-364-3648
This year, head over to Chancellors for a massive countdown party featuring DJ Chilly Will, complimentary champagne, a VIP room and special guest Jordan Babineaux. The event is being hosted by former Pittsburgh Steeler Corl Bucknor and runs from 8 p.m. till at 2 a.m. Entry is $40 for general admission and $100 for VIP admission.
800 Town and Country Blvd., 713-629-5200
Starting at 7 p.m., a DJ will provide live entertainment. In addition to visiting one of the many restaurants in the area, CityCentre invites guests to stay overnight at Hotel Sorella as part of a package deal with the Monnalisa Bar that starts at $299 and includes a balloon drop, a glass of champagne and live entertainment by the Norma Zenteno Band, as well as a night's stay in the hotel. Other restaurants and establishments in the area will be offering specials as well, and the evening at the Centre will finish off with a fireworks display at midnight.
909 Texas, 713-224-5299
The Crystal Ballroom at the Rice Hotel holds the Crystal Ballroom New Year's Eve Party from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. The event is all-inclusive and features a DJ in the Empire Room, live music by Overdrive in the ballroom proper and a breakfast buffet (courtesy of Sambuca Restaurant) at 1 a.m. Tickets are $115 and can be purchased online.
DoubleTree Hotel Houston Downtown
400 Dallas, 888-876-5834
The DoubleTree will be hosting the 22nd installment of Keith and Margo's Murder Mystery Midnight Madness, which includes an hors d'oeuvres reception, gourmet dinner, single drink ticket, champagne toast at midnight and cash bar. For entertainment, there'll be actors pretending to be suspects and a comedic homicide detective to help catch the culprit, as well as a live DJ, dancing, prizes and party favors. The event begins at 8:30 p.m. and ends at 1 a.m. The price is $139 per person with gratuities included, although couples may choose to book a guest room complete with breakfast for an additional $169.
410 Bagby, 713-223-3474
Bring the kids in on the fun with Sharkey's New Year's Eve Bash. Watch the balloon drop and help usher in 2013 with Sharkey and his friends in the Nautilus Ballroom with your choice of party from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. or 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Guests of all ages will delight in tasty New Year's treats from the buffet, prizes and a bird show. Photos with Sharkey and Nero are also available. Reservations are required. The buffet is $14.99 for kids and $22.99 for adults, with all-day adventure passes included in the event costs.
8 Kemah Boardwalk, 281-969-4774
Take a cruise in Galveston for a front-row-seat view of a fireworks display on the water. The event will include fine dining with a dual-entrée meal and a cash bar, dancing, live entertainment and a midnight champagne toast. The fun starts at 9 p.m. and ends at 12:30 a.m. Admission is $99, $94 for seniors and military personnel.
2706 White Oak, 713-862-3838
Celebrate New Year's Eve with Free Press Houston's For-Eve-r Cataclysm and Houston musicians such as Robert Ellis; Buxton; B L A C K I E; B.E. Godfrey; Infinite Apaches; Deep Cuts; Bombón DJs; Alex, Bobby and Pancho; and Nick Greer and the G's. Fitz will be giving away free passes to Free Press Summer Fest 2013 and other Fitz shows as well as a wide variety of T-shirts. All ages are welcome; entry is free for everybody 21 and older before 10 p.m. and $5 after. Entry is $10 for everyone else. Doors open at 8 p.m.
Hotel ICON/Line and Lariat
220 Main, 832-667-4470
Hotel ICON is offering two package options on New Year's Eve. Guests can enjoy a western-themed dinner courtesy of Line and Lariat, the hotel's on-site restaurant. The dinner will include a DJ, dancing, a champagne toast and a midnight buffet. The cost is $200 per person, which includes tax and gratuities. To take the night a bit further, move up to the Landmark package, which includes admission for two to the dinner and party as well as an overnight stay, brunch and a late checkout. This package is an all-inclusive $600.
Houston Press New Year's Eve Bash
House of Blues, 1204 Caroline
Think no one party is enough to ring in the new year? The Houston Press has got you covered. Our New Year's Eve Bash at the House of Blues is actually several parties under one roof. Enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet in the Foundation Room starting at 6 p.m. The women from the Ruby Revue Burlesque Show strut their stuff in the Peacock Room at 9:30 p.m. Reckless Kelly and opening artist Whiskey Myers take over things in the main room at 9:30 p.m. And Thunderpants turns the clock back with a Totally 80s show on the Crossroads Stage at 10 p.m. $20 to $75.
Hyatt Regency Houston
1200 Louisiana, 713-654-1234
For the 35th year in a row, Houston's longest-running New Year's Eve party continues with entertainment from two live bands and a DJ, party favors and a drop of 50,000 balloons. Roger Creager, The Fab 5 and DJ 33-1/3 provide the music. Guests can enjoy the party for the general admission price of $89, which includes four drink tickets and full access to live entertainment. For those who want to make the night last a little longer, there's a special package for couples that also includes an overnight stay at the hotel for the cost of $299, or for the added fun of dinner for two at the Spindletop restaurant, $569. Those who'd rather not go the package route can always head over to the Regency Buffet for $60 per person. The event starts at 7 p.m. and ends at 1 a.m.
J. BLACK'S Feel Good Kitchen and Lounge
110 South Heights Blvd., 713-862-7818
J. BLACK'S will be having a New Year's Eve Countdown with a buffet and champagne toast. Prices are $40 for an individual ticket, $500 for a reserved table for four and $600 for a reserved table for six. The event begins at 7 p.m.
215 Kipp Ave., 281-334-9880
Kemah will have ride discounts, live music with Velvet Punch in the Plaza and a fireworks display from the Bay. Free.
Kingston's Rum Bar
11342 Beechnut, 281-495-0088
Head over to Kingston's for its Second Annual New Year's Eve Caribbean Rum Festival featuring DJ Renaki, guest DJ VYBZ, DJ Trouble and others. The festival starts at 10 p.m. No cover is required until 2013. Guests must RSVP for bottle service.
Kitchen Incubator LLC
Take part in a Craft Beer New Year at this League of Extraordinary Gentlemen-themed party. The fun begins with a beer-pairing dinner true to the steampunk theme at 7:30 p.m., with guests enjoying a Victorian banquet and great beers. At 10 p.m., the doors open to partygoers for beer tastings and craft hors d'oeuvres complete with a champagne yeast midnight toast. There will also be a hot-air balloon launch. Entry is $20 for the party alone and $75 for the dinner. This event is a costume party, so guests are encouraged to get creative.
Kung Fu Saloon
5317 Washington, 713-864-0642
Head over to the Kung Fu Saloon for its New Year's Eve Masquerade party from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. The all-inclusive celebration features cabaret performances by Mandy Lauderdale, masquerade masks and party favors.
801 Saint Emanuel, 713-522-2010
Celebrate New Year's Eve with Sports Monkey's ninth annual BLT (Black Tie, Lingerie, Toga) New Year's Eve Party at Lucky's Pub, with an inclusive bar from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., live music from Adrenaline and Alter Ego, multiple DJs including Kungfu Pimp, a midnight toast, party favors and the presence of Rockstar Photographer Tre'. 21 and up; tickets are $79. Packages for discounted hotel rooms or tables are also available.
MKT Bar at Phoenicia Specialty Foods
1001 Austin, 832-360-2222
Join the folks at MKT Bar for their Black & White Ball. Starting at 9 p.m. and ending at 2 a.m., this party includes music with DJ Melodic. Entrance is $25; tickets can be purchased in advance online.
Seven Hope Blvd., Galveston Island, 888-388-8484
From 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., dance into the new year at Moody Gardens' Midnight in the Gardens New Year's Eve Gala — A Fabulous Affair. The New Year's Eve party will feature nonstop entertainment by the premier party band Commercial Art in a lavish ballroom setting. Party guests will also enjoy an open bar, food stations courtesy of Executive Chef Urs Schmid, deluxe party favors, a champagne toast and a balloon drop at midnight. Event tickets are $425 per couple or $225 per single. Hotel packages are also available.
New Year's Eve Live
Discovery Green and George R. Brown Convention Center
New Year's Eve Live is back for the countdown to 2013. The party features live music from KC and the Sunshine Band, an art car parade and a fireworks display. It also includes a disco-themed dance area for children and a DJ battle between DJ Gonz and Elroy Boogie from the Kracker Nuttz and DJ Deuce. The free event runs from 7 p.m. to 12:15 a.m. in and around Discovery Green and George R. Brown Convention Center and is open to all ages. For the celebrations, there will be a champagne garden for of-age guests called the Bubble Garden. The St. Joseph Medical Center's Ice at Discovery Green is open for skaters; entertainment on the ice includes performances by Olympic skaters and other special guests. Concessions promise to be numerous and diverse.
240 Westheimer, 713-360-6313
L'Olivier Restaurant and Bar, named the Best French Restaurant in the 2012 Houston Press Best of awards, will have three seatings on New Year's Eve, including a three-course meal for $45 at 5 p.m. and a five-course meal for $95 at both 7 and 9:30 p.m.
The Omni Hotel
4 Riverway, 713-871-8181
Celebrate New Year's Eve at the Omni Hotel's Black Swan club with hors d'oeuvres, party favors, a midnight champagne toast, a balloon drop, a live feed of New York's ball drop, a photo booth and a roaming magician. Tickets also include complimentary valet parking and two drink tickets. The event begins at 8 p.m. and ends at 2 a.m. The cost of entry is $60 per person or $100 per couple. Extend the fun and opt for the New Year's Eve package with deluxe overnight accommodations, breakfast buffet, late checkout and more. Package pricing starts at $229.
Pete's Dueling Piano Bar
1201 Fannin, Suite 310, 713-337-7383
The celebration begins at 8 p.m. this New Year's Eve, when four skilled piano players will be ringing in the new year at a party complete with party favors, hors d'oeuvres, singing and a bottle of champagne for those who make table reservations. Reserved seating available for $275 per table of four, $40 per barstool and general admission starting at $20 per person.
Philippe Restaurant + Lounge
1800 Post Oak Boulevard, 713-439-1000
Celebrate New Year's Eve with a special four-course, $135 prix fixe menu that includes black truffles, or enjoy the items à la carte. The menu includes foie gras, Chilean turbot and cowboy steak, as well as wine and dessert. Then head downstairs to Phil's Wine Lounge where you can enjoy a complimentary champagne toast and balloon drop at midnight. The party, complete with DJ, runs from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
3908 Westheimer, 713-621-5800
799 Town and Country Boulevard, 713-331-2792
At both RA locations, you can ring in the New Year with a live DJ and themed food specials such as Firework Shrimp, Stroke of Midnight Maki and Edamame Eve Dip, or such appropriately named drinks as the Midnight Kiss and Ball Droppin' Bombers. The party starts at 7 p.m. and ends at closing time.
Red Oak Ballroom
800 West Sam Houston Parkway, 832-512-6515
The Red Oak Ballroom will be holding the second annual Rock the Clock New Year's Eve celebration, which will feature performances by DJ Mr. Rogers, Go DJ, DJ Alo and MC Kane. General admission, $40, includes a light show with confetti and complimentary party favors, a fireworks show at midnight and a photo booth with which to capture memories. The VIP ticket, $100, will have the additional features of ten drink tickets, access to the VIP lounge, gambling, complimentary hors d'oeuvres and a midnight champagne toast. The event begins at 8 p.m. and ends at 2 a.m.
10520 Gulf Fwy., 713-944-6445
Desirous Party will be taking over the Ritz's Club Red Door for its New Year's Eve Masquerade F.L.F. Ball, what organizers are calling a formal, lingerie and fetish affair. The party features DJ Omaar and D.J.M.E., a gourmet prime rib and seafood buffet, living art dessert bar, midnight champagne toast, five discounted bars, midnight breakfast buffet, balloon drop, memorial photos and party favors. $130 per couple.
Royal Sonesta Hotel Houston
2222 West Loop South, 713-627-7600
Royal Sonesta Hotel Houston will be offering three New Year's Eve packages to help ring in the New Year with comfort and style. The first is Midnight Mischief. Room rates start at $149 and include a bottle of champagne delivered to your room as well as a complimentary shuttle service. Royal Rendezvous prices start at $299 and include the above as well as a four-course dinner for two at the hotel's restaurant. The third package is A Taste of the New Year. For $75 per person, you get the four-course prix fixe menu at the hotel's restaurant.
909 Texas, 713-224-5299
Sambuca will be hosting its own New Year's Eve party, complete with a four-course meal featuring entrées such as a red snapper étouffée, stuffed chicken, miso seabass, a filet and a smoked pork chop, as well as live musical entertainment by Big Daddy. There are two seating times, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Tickets, which can be purchased online, are $39 to $49 for the first seating and $75 to $100 for the second. The later seating will include a balloon drop and champagne toast; the cheaper option at both times excludes band viewing.
San Luis Resort
5222 Seawall Blvd., Galveston, 800-445-0090
An evening at the San Luis Resort includes a four-course dinner with wine service, access to a premium bar, live music by the Billie Ledbetter Orchestra, party hats and favors, a champagne toast and a balloon drop. It begins at 8 p.m. in the grand ballroom. The event itself is $190 per person, but packages including resort stays (priced at $599 and $499 per couple) are also available. Another San Luis option is the Steakhouse, which will also feature a four-course dinner, party favors and a midnight champagne toast with the added benefit of a piano performance by Angelo Tolentino. Reservations are available from 6 to 11 p.m.
Sparrow Bar + Cookshop
3701 Travis, 713-524-6922
Monica Pope will be serving up a delicious New Year's Eve with a $65 four-course dinner plus a $35 wine-pairing option. There'll also be complimentary treats such as a starter of champagne and savory macaroons.
10505 Cash Rd., 281-208-6900
Head to the Stafford Centre for the Rockin' New Year's Eve Bash with a performance by The Doppelganger Band. Guests can dance, enjoy the live musical entertainment, and help themselves to the party favors and midnight champagne toast. The price is $65 for early-bird ticket buyers and $85 for regular admission. Dinner, which is included in the ticket price, is a four-course meal with dishes such as caviar and prime rib served from 7 to 9 p.m. The revelry continues until 1 a.m.
909 Texas, 713-229-8888
The State Bar is holding its first Annual New Year's Eve Bash from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. with an open bar before midnight. The price is $100 per person and $250 per table, including a bottle of Grey Goose. Party favors and a midnight champagne toast are provided. Tickets can be purchased at the bar.
6400 Richmond, 832-251-9600
NightCulture.com and Disco Donnie Presents will be having their 5th Annual New Year's Eve Ball at Stereo Live. It features Aly & Fila, rising stars from Egypt, as well as DJ Shogun. There'll also be a countdown complete with confetti drops throughout the night and a champagne toast at midnight, as well as seven full-service bars. Doors open at 9 p.m. and close at 3 a.m. Customers 18 years and older are welcome. Regular tickets are $15, and VIP tickets are $30. Party booth packages and other specials are available.
Sugar Land Town Square
15958 City Walk, 281-275-2885
There will be a free New Year's Eve party in Sugar Land Town Square, broken up for everyone's convenience into a children's celebration from 7 to 9 p.m. and an adult celebration from 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. There'll be live musical entertainment as well as the same mesmerizing light show that thrilled the crowd last New Year's Eve.
8944 Clarkcrest, 713-661-9505
Theatre Southwest stages Neil Simon's The Last of the Red Hot Lovers for its New Year's Eve Gala play this year. The celebration includes a full buffet as well as hats and noisemakers. Prices are $55 per person or $105 per couple. Reservations are needed. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.
1111 S. Shepherd, 713-522-7654
Tila's Motown New Year's Eve has returned with a live band playing Motown music to accompany its three-course dinner and champagne toast, which will be served from 5 p.m. to midnight. The price is $65 per person (plus tax and gratuity). Choose from beef tenderloin medallions, grilled shrimp enchiladas, grilled marinated salmon and more. Tila's will also be open on New Year's Day.
3755 Richmond, 713-622-6778
Tony's will be having its usual New Year's Eve celebration with two separate seatings. The second seating features a performance by Julie Johnson, a dance floor, a midnight toast and a special serving of black-eyed peas for luck. The first seating is from 6:30 to 9 p.m. and costs $95 per person. The second seating begins at 9:30 p.m. and is $150 per person.
2815 S. Shepherd, 713-527-9090
Triniti Restaurant's celebration will feature a five-course dinner menu at 6 p.m. for $65, as well as an eight-course dinner menu, with midnight champagne toast, beginning at 9 p.m. for $95. Guests can also enjoy Reverse Happy Hour from 11 p.m. to close.
Westin Galleria Hotel
5060 W. Alabama, 713-256-3166
The Westin Galleria Hotel will be hosting the Supreme Ball for New Year's Eve. This party, the largest in Houston, will feature performances by aerial acrobats, samba dancers, salsa dancers, belly dancers and snake charmers as well as complimentary party favors, a midnight champagne toast and, of course, a live DJ. A live feed to New York City's Times Square countdown will be shown on a big-screen display. Guests are expected to wear semiformal or formal attire and must be 21 and older. General admission is $50 and there are several VIP packages available ranging from $100 to $750.
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Zilkha Hall (Hobby Center)
800 Bagby, 713-622-7443
This New Year's has been dubbed "Viennese" by the performers at Ars Lyrica, who plan to celebrate with operatic renditions of Mozart and Gluck (as well as many others) in a nod to famous Viennese composers. This event features Lauren Snouffer and countertenor John Holiday in a duet. The concert starts at 9 p.m., followed by a New Year's Eve Gala and silent auction. Ticket prices ranges from $35 to $45, although presentation of a student ID will reduce the price to $22 across the board.