We are not big New Year’s Eve folks at our house. A festive December 31st for us usually involves a kid-centric activity during the day/early evening, then DVDs, pizza, wine, and bed, usually before midnight. Pretty weak party sauce, right? But this year, I’m determined to get us out of the house to ring in the new year, both with and without kids. While there are literally hundreds of events from which to choose to wile away the waning hours of 2013, I’ve narrowed down my top picks for my fantasy night out.
- Arro, the new casual French bistro on West Sixth, hosts two NYE dinner options: a 3-course fixe price tasting menu from 5-8pm ($45 per person with wine and champagne additions available), and a 5-course tasting menu with seatings from 9-10pm ($85 per person, includes a champagne toast at midnight).
- Foreign & Domestic offers an “old meets new” NYE dinner, with seatings at 7pm and 9:30pm. $100 per person gets you six courses with wine pairings.
- “Dress to the nines” for Hopfields’ annual dinner-and-drinks bash. $95 gets you three courses including dessert, four drinks of your choice, and a midnight toast. Come for after-dinner drinks, where 50 bucks will get you the four drinks and the midnight toast.
- Or, if you want to stay home and have a NYE open house for your friends, pop for a prepared cheese-and-charcuterie platter from Antonelli’s and take it easy. Dressing to the nines is optional.
- The Breeders Last Splash New Year’s Eve party, with openers Imperial Teen at the Mohawk
- Bob Schneider’s New Year’s Eve party at the Paramount
- Willie Nelson and friends at ACL Live
- Taylor Kitsch (Riggins from Friday Night Lights) hosts New Year’s Eve Rocks Rainey Street at Lustre Pearl. This is the second annual fundraiser for Kitsch’s cause celebre, the African Children’s Choir. $180 gets you regular admission, midnight tacos, and a champagne toast. VIP tickets, the perks for which include a private performance by Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty along with unlimited access to those midnight tacos, are $250.
General party times
- Casino Night at The Goodnight. $100 per person gets you unlimited bowling, $5,000 in chips for casino games, passed appetizers, a champagne toast at midnight, and one entry into a raffle to win a trip to Las Vegas.
- Pinballz New Year’s Eve Ball will appeal to adult lovers of arcade games from their youth (and from today). No cover, plus snacks and a free beer/champagne toast.
- Relive junior high at the Totally Awesome ’80s New Year’s Bash at the Austin Roller Rink. A single sawbuck will get you unlimited skating to ’80s dance music and a champagne toast at midnight. Dress up in your Eightiest duds and enter the costume contest, or just hope for the best in the $500 balloon drop.
- Russian House of Austin offers a Russian New Year’s celebration featuring Father Frost and the Snow Maiden. Dancing, a fix price menu, and a champagne toast at midnight, with breakfast at 6am.
- Pinballz Noon Year’s Eve is a great way to include your kids in New Year’s Eve activities. The $7/child fee includes $5 in tokens, free crafts, snacks, and a balloon drop at noon.
- Austin’s New Year celebrates local art, music, film, and food down on Auditorium Shores.
Need some babysitting? Spilled Milk Social Club is offering a slumber party for kids ages 5-12 at their new headquarters. From 6pm-9am, directors Ali and Stella will ply your kids with dinner, snacks, and breakfast, as well as games, movies, and dancing. $100/child. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.