Kid-Friendly New Year's Eve Activities in Houston

Houston Zoo Lights
Houston Zoo

Looking for a few ideas for New Year's Eve that focus less on champagne toasting and late night gallivanting and more on apple cider and pizza buffets? Well, Houston and its surrounding areas are packed with options to celebrate New Year's Eve with the entire family.

Here are some best kid-friendly activities in the Houston area for families to ring in the new year—and still be home and in bed by midnight.

Sharkey’s New Year’s Eve Party

In the afternoon on December 31, you and your family can head out to the Downtown Aquarium for a buffet, pictures with the official mascot Sharkey, a bird show, contests, giveaways and — of course — a balloon drop. Reservations are required, so be sure to call ahead. In addition to the special event, the kids will love the Aquarium's 500,000-gallon tank that hosts over 300 species of aquatic life from sharks to redfish.

410 Bagby Street, Houston, Texas 77002

The Children's Museum

The Children's Museum kicks off the start of the new year with Rockin' New Year's Noon, complete with a ball drop. Along with plenty of kid-focused activities from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., don't miss the indoor parade at 11:30 a.m., led by the High Steppers, a New Orleans-style brass band, as well as the DJ after party in the afternoon.

1500 Binz Street, Houston, TX 77004

Moody Gardens

If you wanna rock out while listening to live music and shopping, head on out to Moody Gardens.

Aside from the interactive games and food, there will be a blocked off VIP area to watch the fireworks show before the ball drops at 9 p.m.

One Hope Boulevard, Galveston, Texas 77554

The Museum of Fine Arts Houston

A family could easily spend a whole day exploring the many activities and events inside the Museum of Fine Arts Houston.

On New Year's Eve, families can create their own masterpieces, watch family-friendly videos and listen to talks given by the museum's docents. Most of the galleries are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with activities scheduled throughout the day.

1001 Bissonnet, Houston, Texas 77005

Houston Zoo Lights

If your crew didn't get a chance to go to Houston Zoo Lights earlier in the holiday season (or even if you did), it's a great way to get everyone up and outside. At 6 p.m., the park converts to a sparkling winter wonderland with thousands of holiday lights decorating nearly every inch of the park and LED versions of the Zoo animals. There won't be any ball drop or big brass bands, but it's a great way to spend the evening with the family.

6200 Hermann Park Drive, Houston, Texas 77030

Dave and Busters

Be the cool dad or mom and take the kids to this indoor arcade to celebrate New Year's Eve. This location inside the Baybrook Mall is throwing a bash from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. with unlimited video game play. Admission also includes all-you-can-drink soda, burgers, a churro party station and a $25.00 power card for bonus games per guest.

704 Baybrook Mall Drive, Friendswood, TX 77546