19 places to celebrate New Year’s Eve 2018 in Central Texas


Central Austin

Toast the new year—12 hours early

The Austin Tour Co. hosts a daytime “Happy Noon Year” party, featuring a boat cruise across Lady Bird Lake, a champagne toast, a holiday buffet provided by Via 313 and retro music. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. $55. 208 Barton Springs Road, Austin. https://austintourcompany.rezdy.com

Austin children’s museum Thinkery hosts a daytime New Year’s Eve event for families. (via Courtesy Thinkery)

Watch the ball(oons) drop

Children’s museum Thinkery hosts its third annual New Year’s Eve balloon drop and bubble wrap stomp. Guests will enjoy music, winter crafts and kid-mosas. 9 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. $18 (members), $20 (non-members). Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave., Austin. 512-469-6200. https://thinkeryaustin.org 

Celebrate 2019 with your neighbors

The city hosts a family-friendly alcohol-free New Year’s Eve bash with music, art, food trucks and fireworks. The headliner is Austin-based Columbian funk band Superfónicos. 3-10 p.m. Free. Auditorium Shores, 900 W. Riverside Drive, Austin. www.austinsnewyear.com

Attend a rooftop soiree

Cookbook, the new cafe at the Austin Central Library, hosts “A Very Austin New Year’s Eve.” The rooftop event will include late-night snacks from Cookbook, Irene’s, 24 Diner and Italic. Local artist Walker Lukens will perform at 10 p.m., prior to the Auditorium Shores’ fireworks show across the river. 9 p.m.-1 a.m. $150 (general admission), $400 (VIP for two). Austin Central Library, 710 W. Cesar Chavez St., Austin. www.facebook.com/events/2450162328547351

Willie Nelson & Family New Year returns this year for three shows at Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater. (via Courtesy James Minchin)

End 2018 with Willie Nelson 

A hometown hero hosts his annual year-end event—Willie Nelson & Family New Year—at The Moody Theater, featuring special guest Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real. There are three chances to see the show: Dec. 29, Dec. 30 and Dec. 31. 6:30 p.m. (doors), 8 p.m. (show). $99-$157. Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater, 310 Willie Nelson Blvd., Austin. 512-225-7999. www.acl-live.com

Irene’s in downtown Austin is hosting a New Year’s Day hangover brunch. (via Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)

Try the hair-of-the-dog cure

Irene’s hosts a New Year’s Day hangover brunch, featuring its biscuit-forward brunch menu and bloody mary specials. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Irene’s, 506 West Ave., Austin. 512-298-0853. www.irenesaustin.com

North Austin

Dance into the new year at Rock Rose

The Dogwood at Domain Northside’s entertainment hub Rock Rose offers a New Year’s Eve party with a live DJ and complimentary champagne toast. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. $30. 11420 Rock Rose Ave., Ste. 130, Austin. 512-330-4554. www.dogwooddomain.com

Party on multiple levels

The Rose Room and 77 Degrees at Domain Northside celebrate New Year’s Eve with live DJs, bottle service specials and reserved seating options. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. $30-$100. The Rose Room and 77 Degrees Rooftop Patio Bar, 11500 Rock Rose, Austin. 512-743-1400. www.eventbrite.com/e/new-years-eve-at-rose-room-77-degrees-ticket

Be an old sport for a night

St. Genevieve hosts a throwback evening of opulence and revelry. Gatsby-theme attire is encouraged, and prohibition cocktails will be on the menu. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. $20. St. Genevieve, 11500 Rock Rose Ave., Austin. 512-659-5537. www.facebook.com/events/538579199923458

Rally for New Year’s Day brunch

The Park hosts a special brunch buffet, featuring biscuits and gravy, migas, pancakes, $2 mimosas in an array of flavors, and a build-your-own bloody mary bar. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. The Park, 11601 Domain Drive, Ste. 200, Austin. 512-277-3004. www.thepark.us

South Austin

Toast with the whole family

Celebrate the new year at a family-friendly event designed for young children and their parents. Enjoy a countdown at noon, sparkling juice and champagne for adults. Noon-2 p.m. Free. The Hive Austin, 10415 Old Manchaca Road, Austin. 512-366-8120. www.hiveaustin.com

James White, owner of the legendary Broken Spoke, is the great-grandson of James Andrew Patton, one of the first residents of Oak Hill in Southwest Austin. (via Olivia Lueckemeyer/Community Impact Newspaper)

Two-step into 2019

Country music fiddle player Alvin Crow headlines the New Year’s Eve show at the iconic Broken Spoke. 9 p.m. $20. Broken Spoke, 3201 S. Lamar Blvd., Austin. 512-442-6189. www.brokenspokeaustintx.net

Go to a roadhouse formal

Super Creeps will perform a two-hour set followed by Shewolf. Enjoy a photo booth and free champagne toast at midnight. Event is for age 21 and up. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Free. Indian Roller, 10006 Manchaca Road, Austin. 512-761-3757. http://www.indianrolleraustin.com

Lake Travis-Westlake

Go retro

Austin favorite Dysfunkshun Junkshun will jam out with its blend of R&B, Top 40, ’70s funk, Motown and more. No reservation required for general dining. 7 p.m.-1 a.m. $160 plus tax, includes alcohol; there is a suggested 20-percent gratuity. The Oasis on Lake Travis, 6550 Comanche Trail, Austin. 512-266-2442.

New Braunfels

Revive dinner theater 

Dinner theater Syler Spoon celebrates its first anniversary this New Year’s Eve with a by-reservation-only dinner party. On-site child care will be provided. 5 p.m.-midnight. $75 (per diner), $25 (optional wine pairing). Syler Spoon Dinner Theater, 6700 I-35, New Braunfels. 830-627-7226. www.sylerspoon.com

Get out on the town

Downtown Social and Pour Haus host New Year’s Eve performances by Soul Sessions and Natalie Rose. Tickets include entrance to both venues as well as a champagne toast. 7 p.m.-12:30 a.m. $30. Downtown Social, 386 W. San Antonio St., New Braunfels. 830-214-6650. www.downtownsocialnb.com

Gruene Hall is hosting alt-country band American Aquarium on New Year’s Eve. (via Joe Warner/Community Impact Newspaper)

Head to Gruene Hall

American Aquarium, an alt-country band, plays the New Year’s Eve show at iconic Texas venue Gruene Hall. Tickets include free tamales and popcorn, and champagne splits are available for purchase. Because of a local law prohibiting alcohol consumption past midnight, the new year will be celebrated at 11 p.m. 7 p.m. (doors). $45. Gruene Hall, 1281 Gruene Road, New Braunfels. 830-606-1281. wwww.gruenehall.com

Watch an opera

The Texas Hill Country Opera Orchestra and Chorus hosts a masquerade ball with cocktails, dinner, one act of a Johann Strauss II operetta and dancing. 7 p.m. $85. New Braunfels Texas Civic Center, 375 S. Castell Ave., New Braunfels. www.texashillcountryopera.com

San Antonio

Experience Texas’ largest free New Year’s Eve celebration

The downtown fiesta will feature live music on three stages, carnival games and rides, festival food and a fireworks extravaganza. 6 p.m. Free. Hemisfair Park, 434 S. Alamo St., San Antonio. www.sanantonio300.org/event/celebrate-san-antonio

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  1. Oskar Blues Brewery in NW Austin is hosting a free and early NYE bash with live music from two bands. Noon -6pm, free parking, cold fresh beer and food truck, dog friendly deck and lawn.

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Emma Freer
Emma Freer began covering Central Austin for Community Impact Newspaper in 2017. Her beat includes the Travis County Commissioners Court and local business news. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School in 2017.
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