Each holiday season has its schedule. We eat turkey and stuffing, then we decorate a tree and open presents to the tune of constant Christmas music. But those are just the opening acts. The main event is New Year's Eve, where you count down the seconds until a new year, make a champagne toast, and dance and laugh while reflecting on the past year's ups and unavoidable downs. As always, we've provided you with a list of the best events of Houston to ring in the new year. From masquerades to comedy shows, four-course meals to kids' parties, there's something for everyone.
1919 Wine and Mixology 2736 Virginia, 713-568-9197 www.1919wmb.com 1919, along with its sister venues at the same address — Corner Table and The Oak — are taking you back to the roaring '20s, so they're calling all flappers and bootleggers to dress accordingly. Individual tickets are $10, and the venue can accommodate parties if you call ahead. Also, all patrons who dine at Corner Table are automatically invited at no extra charge, so make your reservations today.
Advantage BMW 1305 Gray, 713-289-1200 www.bmwnye2015.eventbrite.com Enjoy a luxurious evening surrounded by luxury cars at the seventh annual Art of Celebration New Year's Eve Affair. From 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., guests will enjoy the DJ's music, as well as all sorts of performances: acrobats, jugglers and light shows galore. Tickets are $35 and up, and VIP packages are available and full of extra perks.
Children's Museum 1500 Binz, 713-522-1138 www.cmhouston.org Your kids will drag you to this one, but it will not disappoint. The pre-parade starts at 11:30 a.m., and then the kiddos will dance and jam until the ball drop at noon. But the party doesn't stop until 3 p.m. Normal admission applies, which is $9 per person.
CityCentre 800 Town and Country, 713-629-5200 www.citycentrehouston.com The entire shopping and dining hub will be flooded with New Year's Eve events and specials. Beginning at 7, the square will have a DJ spinning music. Hotel Sorella will also have its annual packages — starting at $369 — which include admittance into the Quiet the Night party at the Monnalisa. Entry to the party, which will have performances by the Cody Bryan Band and Roxy Roca, is $50 for non-hotel guests.
Dosey Doe — The Big Barn 25911 I-45 North, 281-367-3774 www.doseydoe.com The Level One Band, a Motown tribute band that started in Houston in 1998, is helping the Dosey Doe ring in the new year. Tickets start at $88 and include dinner and a champagne toast. The event runs from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Remember to grab your bell-bottoms and leather vests, since the night has a Motown or 1970s theme in honor of The Level One Band's performance.
Downtown Aquarium 410 Bagby, 713-223-3474 www.aquariumrestaurants.com The whole family will enjoy the annual Sharkey's New Year's Eve party and buffet. Admittance is $16.99 for kids and $26.99 for adults and includes the buffet, contests, photos with Skarkey and an all-day pass to the rest of the aquarium. The event takes place from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Nautilus Ballroom. Reservations are required.
FantaSea 8 Kemah Boardwalk, 281-969-4774 www.boardwalkfantasea.com After boarding at Kemah Boardwalk at 8 p.m., guests will cruise Clear Lake and Galveston Bay until 12:30 a.m. Tickets are $119.99 per person, with military and senior-citizen discounts at $107.99 and $114.99, respectively. The event includes a gourmet dinner, champagne toast with complimentary glass, festive party favors and a fireworks show. Drinks will also be available at two bars, but are not included.
Fitzgerald's 2706 White Oak, 713-862-3838 www.fitzlivemusic.com If you're all done rocking around the Christmas tree, try rocking in the new year with live music all night long at Fitzgerald's. The event is free for 21 and up and just $10 for everyone else. Join BLSHS at the NYE Masquerade Ball, with performances also by Teeel, New York City Queens, Children Of Pop and Yung Slutty.
Holiday Inn Houston 1112 Eldridge Parkway, 281-679-6900, ext. 163 www.ihg.com/holidayinn The Energy Corridor Houston Orchestra, or ECHO, will be serenading the crowd into 2015. Guests will have complimentary light bites, party favors and a champagne toast. A midnight breakfast will also be served for $18 a person. The doors open at 7:30 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $65 per person, or $110 a couple. For just $20.14, you can "take the elevator home" to stay in a room at the hotel.
House of Blues Houston 1204 Caroline, 888-402-5837 www.houseofblues.com/houston The House of Blues is offering you a New Year's Eve Bash like no other. Doors open at 10 p.m., and Thunderpants, a high-energy dance band, will take the stage at 10:30. General-admission tickets are $20 and guarantee that you will not leave without shaking it like it's 1999.
Hyatt Regency Houston 1200 Louisiana, 713-654-1234 www.houstonregency.hyatt.com For a romantic hotel retreat, couples can stay in the heart of downtown for just $299 a couple and up. A $579 package includes a dinner at the Spindletop, and for non-hotel guests, tickets are $99 per person. All packages and tickets include four beverage tickets per person, access to the party with a DJ and live bands from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m., a balloon cascade at midnight, and festive party favors.
Improv Houston 7620 Katy Freeway, Suite 455, 713-333-8800 houston.comedyreservations.com This Houston venue is pulling out all the stops for New Year's Eve. At both 7 and 10 p.m., Ralphie May is taking the stage. The Last Comic Standing alumnus and Comedy Central specialist will make you shoot your complimentary champagne out of your nose, should you choose to attend. General-admission tickets are $45, and VIP tickets, which include dinner, are $100.
Joke Joint Comedy ?Showcase 11460 Fuqua, #300, 281-481-1188 www.jokejointcomedyshowcase.com For an extra-funny New Year's Eve, the Joke Joint is presenting two stand-up comedy shows by Michael Palascak, one at 8 p.m. and the other at 10:30 p.m. Palascak, who won HBO's Lucky 21 stand-up contest, will help make sure your final hours of 2014 are hysterical. Tickets are $20 presale, and because it's a special event, no discount or complimentary tickets will be accepted.
Lucky's Pub and Warehouse Live 801 St. Emanuel, 713-522-2010 www.sportsmonkey.com These EaDo venues, along with SportsMonkey, The Rod Ryan Show and The Buzz, are teaming up for a huge party all night long. The theme is "B.L.T.," but no, there won't be free sandwiches. Instead, B.L.T. stands for "Black Tie, Lingerie and Toga" — so come dressed accordingly. There will be DJs, live music and a midnight toast. The event is from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., and tickets are $75 per person, with deals for groups and table reservations.
Majorca 207 Gray, 832-582-7176 www.majorcabistroandtapas.com Eat your way to the new year at Majorca's gourmet buffet from 7 to 10 p.m. for just $39.95 per person. The cost includes the buffet, party favors, music from a DJ and champagne — all to the backdrop of Houston's beautiful downtown skyline.
Meridian Banquet Center and Catering 5200 Bissonnet, 713-516-2050 Feel absolutely royal at this "Once Upon a Time" ball organized by Ella Promotions from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. General admission is $80 at the door, but VIP tickets are $150 and up for extra perks, though everyone will dine and dance the year away. There will be an open bar, and formal wear or royal costumes are required.
MKT Bar at Phoenicia Specialty Foods 1001 Austin, 832-360-2222 www.mktbar.com Tickets are just $40 — and even cheaper if you buy presale — for the black and white New Year's Eve Soul Celebration. Enjoy hors d'oeuvres and music from The Journey Agents from 9 p.m. to midnight and DJ Tempty from midnight until 2 a.m. Plus, at midnight, enjoy a champagne toast and chicken and waffles to ring in the new year. The party is 18 and up and VIP tables are available.
McGonigel's Mucky Duck 2425 Norfolk, 713-528-5999 www.mcgonigels.com Enjoy music, food and fun at one of Houston's great concert venues. Honky-tonk songsmith Mike Stinson will take the stage after a four-course meal and party favors. Doors open at 7 p.m., and tickets are $95 presale and $100 at the door.
Omni Houston Galleria Hotel 4 Riverway, 713-871-8181 www.omnihotels.com Beginning at 9 p.m., the Omni's Black Swan bar will be doing NYE up right with a night of decadent food, party favors, a photo booth, two drink tickets, and a champagne toast and balloon drop at midnight. Plus, watch the New York City ball drop on the live feed, or enjoy the magician who'll be working the crowd. All this for just $70 a person, which does not include a room at the hotel — but you are entered to win one.
Pete's Dueling Piano Bar 1201 Fannin, Suite 310, 713-337-7383 www.petesduelingpianobar.com End 2014 on a high note at Pete's at GreenStreet downtown. Tickets are $20 per person, $45 to reserve a stool and $300 for a table. Admission includes hors d'oeuvres, party favors and a night full of singing. Doors open at 8 p.m. Reservations are recommended.
Rainbow Lodge 2011 Ella Boulevard, 713-861-8666 www.rainbow-lodge.com Reservations are strongly suggested if you're planning on dining at this Heights hot spot. The set menu, four-course meal is $79 a person and seating is from 5 to 10 p.m.
Red Oak Ballroom 800 West Sam Houston Parkway, 832-512-6515 eventbrite.com Tickets start at $35 for the fourth annual Rock the Clock New Year's Eve event at the Red Oak Ballroom in City Centre. The pricier passes include a four-course dinner and access to live music, but everyone will be dancing the night away from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Sambuca Restaurant 909 Texas, 713-224-5299 www.sambucarestaurant.com Choose from three times — 6, 7 or 9:30 p.m. — to dine on a four-course dinner at Sambuca's NYE Dance Party. Ken Mondshine and the Brotherhood perform all night. Tickets start at $45.
San Luis Resort 5222 Seawall Boulevard, Galveston, 800-445-0090 www.sanluisresort.com Welcome the new year from the coast at San Luis Resort's annual celebration. This year's theme is "An Evening in Old Havana," and the Havana night starts at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $199 per person or $599 per couple, which includes a room in the hotel. Both packages include a four-course meal, party favors, a champagne toast and a balloon drop, as well as a performance by the Billie Ledbetter Orchestra.
Stafford Centre 10505 Cash Road, 281-208-6900 www.staffordcentre.com Enjoy a buffet and a night of dancing at the Stafford Centre's Rockin' New Year's Eve Bash. Tickets are $55 a person presale and include two drink tickets, a champagne toast and party favors. The doors open at 7 p.m., and fair warning: The bars are cash?only.
Stereo Live 6400 Richmond, 832-251-9600 www.77002.com The doors open at 9 p.m. for Stereo Live's seventh annual event. DJ Dyro — one of the hottest EDM DJs on the scene this year — will be featured. Tickets start at $20 — but hurry, because the price is only going up.
Sugar Land Town Square 15958 City Walk, 281-275-2885 www.sugarlandtownsquare.com Town Square will be aglow with New Year's Eve light shows, fireworks and a 3D Midnight Show. The free event is divided up by audience: The children's events are from 7 to 9 p.m. and the adults take over the square until 1 a.m. There will be alcohol for sale from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Sylvan Beach Pavilion 1 Sylvan Beach Drive, La Porte, 832?643?4422 www.sylvanbeachpavilion.com If you're feeling Ritzy this New Year's Eve, Sylvan Beach Pavilion is "Putting on the Ritz" with a gala. The $125-per-couple tickets include a champagne toast, party favors and dancing all night from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. A cash bar will be available.
Theatre Southwest 8944 Clarkcrest, 713-661-9505 www.theatresouthwest.org Theatre Southwest is back with its annual comedy play and New Year's Eve Gala this year. The show, preceded by light bites at 7:30, is Boeing Boeing, a farce that will lift your spirits for the buffet dinner and party favors after the show. Guests will enjoy dancing, door prizes and more into the new year. Tickets are $55 per person and pre-paying and reservations are required.
The Music Box Theater 2623 Colquitt, 713-522-7722 www.themusicboxtheater.com Join The Music Box Theater for a special one-night-only show, "2014 — The Year in Review," a performance highlighting the theater's best moments of the year. Your $75 ticket includes a catered dinner, a champagne toast, and dancing to G Sharp and MBT Three. The show starts at 7 p.m. and the dancing follows.
Winter Street Studios 2101 Winter, 713-862-0082 www.facebook.com/winterstreetstudios Don a mask for this event hosted by Pride Houston at Winter Street Studios. "Lumiere Nouveau: A New Year's Masquerade" is $75 per person if you pre-order and $100 at the door and includes light bites and an open bar. Dress "fancy, chic and fabulous" for this event, which is from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Proceeds will benefit Bering Omega Community Services. Don't forget your mask.
Zilkha Hall (Hobby Center) 800 Bagby, 713-622-7443 www.arslyricahouston.org Take a step back in time at Ars Lyrica for an evening filled with Spanish and Latin American Baroque classics. Packages start at $37 and you can choose to go to the concert only or add in the Spanish buffet dinner and/or the dessert and champagne gala. The dinner begins at 8 p.m., the concert at 9 p.m. and the gala at 10:30 p.m.