Thanksgiving and Christmas may be behind us, but that doesn’t mean we have finished partying just yet. This weekend marks the culmination of everything 2016 offered us, and what better way to mark its exit and the entrance of 2017 than with celebration like no other. In Texas, the ways to mark the New Year are plentiful, but it can be challenging to find gratis options across the Lone Star State. So Brilliant scoured about to find some noteworthy get-togethers—a mix of family-friendly and adults-only events—anyone can enjoy without blowing their budgets
Here are 5 free New Year’ Eve celebrations in Texas.
In downtown Dallas stop at AT&T Performing Arts Center for Reliant Lights Your Holidays. This family-friendly event features a fireworks show, a performance by the cast of The Book of Mormon, and community performances from South Grand Prairie High School Ballet Folklorico, Tap Dazzlers, and Studio One Dance Center’s Elite Competition Team. The evening also features a holiday concert by late singer Selena Quintanilla’s brother, A.B. Quintanilla y Elektro Kumbia at 6:30 p.m. The best part? Doors open at 5:30 p.m. so your entire family can experience NYE together. (The festival closes at 8:30 p.m.) And if you choose, that leaves you plenty of time to tuck them into bed before heading out for an adult evening closer to midnight.
Corpus Christi, Texas
Head to Fajitaville Grille for the Party to the New Year celebration. The fun starts at 7:00 p.m., but minors aren’t allowed past 10:00 p.m. You’ll enjoy the evening with DJs Chris and Erik, and can even take pictures with the Sparkling City Mermaids. Then at midnight you’ll enjoy a champagne toast. We anticipate this one to be a big event as it’s the only NYE’s event listed on the Corpus Christi Convention & Visitors Bureau’s website. So get there early so your kids can get a picture with a real mermaid!
Head to the capitol for Austin’s New Year 2017, which is another family-friendly NYE spot. At Vic Mathias Shores there will be four stages and 22 bands performing throughout the night, from 3:00-10:00 p.m. Music performances include a country-soul band, swamp funk band, folk-rock singers, blues performers, and more. There will also be food trucks, activity booths, and art installations to explore throughout the evening. Then the fireworks finale begins at 10:00 p.m.
If you’re looking for something different to do then Midnight GOLD Masquerade may be for you. It’s an adult-only party where you’re required to dress to impress. The NYE party is hosted by local nightclub Aura Dynamic Nightlife. You’ll ring in the New Year with DJ Taylor Tran & Icon Bandit, and then experience a balloon drop with gold confetti blowout. Advanced tickets are encouraged as only RSVPs before 11:00 p.m. are free.
San Antonio, Texas
If you don’t mind the crowds, check out Celebrate San Antonio for a huge NYE celebration in the center of downtown. And it’s no wonder why the crowds are so large: event organizers say a Travel & Leisure poll ranks the city as the 7th best city to spend NYE. There’s live music on three stages, carnival games, rides, and a food festival. The fun starts at 6:00 p.m. and finishes with the midnight Fireworks Extravaganza. Oh, and if you really wanted to you can enter an auction to detonate the fireworks yourself. All auction proceeds benefit the San Antonio Parks Foundation.
Happy New Year from all of us at Brilliant Energy!