Photo courtesy of AustinTexasGov on Flickr.
New Year's Eve is a special time of year, and there's no better place to celebrate than the Austin area. Finding celebrations that are family-friendly can be a challenge, so we've put together this list of fun events that all ages can enjoy. Start the celebration off early for the youngest in the family at "Noon Years Eve" parties at the Thinkery and Pinballz Arcade. Countdown to midnight with bowling and golfing fun at Mel's Lone Star Lanes and Top Golf. Rewind with the greatest hits of the year at the Alamo Drafthouse New Year's Dance Party. For midnight fireworks, head out to Auditorium Shores for Austin's New Year or check out the Lost Pines Resort celebration in Bastrop.
Ring in the New Year at one of these fun and family-friendly events in the Austin area:
- Austin’s New Year 2016- The City of Austin's New Year celebration is back this year with three stages of live music performed by local artists, food trucks, and fun activities. Join hundreds of your fellow Austinites at Auditorium Shores at 3 pm for this FREE event. The night wraps up with a fantastic fireworks display at 10 pm.
- Alamo Drafthouse Rockin’ New Year’s Eve Music Video Dance Party- Dance the night away to the greatest hits of 2016 at the Alamo Drafthouse. This party is 18 and up, but children over age 6 will be admitted with a parent or guardian. The event kicks off at 9:45 pm, with a final countdown to the New Year at midnight! The party continues with even more dance hits to celebrate the first moments of 2017. This event is only held at the Ritz and South Lamar locations, so be sure to purchase tickets early.
- Barton Creek Resort New Year's Magical Eve- Celebrate the New Year with a special buffet dinner at the Barton Creek Resort. The whole family is invited to enjoy dinner, family-themed activities, and a midnight toast. The event is open to all ages. Dinner will be served from 6 - 9 pm with activities continuing until midnight. Reservations are required.
- Barton Creek Resort New Year’s Eve- In addition to the family-themed party, the Barton Creek Resorts offers an adults-only celebration. Enjoy a prix fixe menu, casino games, and dancing throughout the night. Ring in the New Year with a sparkling toast at midnight. Reservations are required.
- Broken Spoke New Year’s Eve- This New Year’s Eve event at the Broken Spoke is a night of dancing to live music at Austin’s oldest dancehall. Come out early and dine at the restaurant before taking a whirl on the dance floor to Alvin Crow. The dancing starts at 9:15 pm and continues into 2017. This event fills up fast, so purchase your tickets early!
- Hyatt Lost Pines Resort New Year’s Eve Celebration- This family-friendly event in Bastrop has it all! Start the night off with a Texas-sized barbecue feast before checking out the carnival, complete with exciting games, ice skating, wagon rides, and many more activities. Celebrate the New Year with a fireworks display and toast at midnight.
- Mel’s Lone Star Lanes New Year’s Eve- Mel's Lone Star Lanes offers two celebrations on New Year's Eve. Mel’s 9th Annual Family Celebration kicks off from 5:30 pm - 8 pm with unlimited bowling and arcade games, as well as a full dinner buffet and champagne toast. Then, at 9 pm the party continues with more bowling, arcade games, a champagne toast, and a countdown to 2017. Reservations fill up fast, so be sure to book online.
- Noon Year's Eve Balloon Drop- The little ones in the family will love this special celebration at the Thinkery. Activities include winter-themed crafts, "snowball" fights, and a bubble wrap stomp. Celebrate the New Year with balloon drops at 12 pm and 2 pm. A general admission ticket is required and admittance is on a first-come, first-served basis, so be sure to arrive early.
- Pinballz Arcade Noon Year's Eve- The "Noon Year's Eve" party at Pinballz is a special event just for kids 10 and under. The party kicks off at 10:30 am with crafts, games, snacks, and a countdown to the prize-filled balloon drop at noon.
- Top Golf New Year's Eve- Tee off at Top Golf this New Year's Eve for a unique celebration. Open from 9 pm - 2 am, reserve a bay for up to six people and receive unlimited play and New Year's Eve party favors. Upgrade to their all-inclusive package for a buffet dinner and dessert, drinks, and complimentary champagne.
- Willie Nelson & Family New Year- Country music legend Willie Nelson is back in Austin to ring in the New Year for not one, but three nights! Willie is taking over Austin City Limits Live downtown on December 29th, 30th, and 31st, and sharing the stage with Ryan Bingham, and Lukas Nelson and The Promise of the Real. Doors open at 6:30 pm, with the show starting at 8 pm.