New Year's Eve in Houston: Music, Dancing, and Fireworks

fireworks for a national holiday in Houston

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If you're heading to Texas for the winter holidays and want to ring in the new year at a festive event, the city of Houston offers plenty of exciting options on New Year's Eve.

Whether you prefer partying all night or you're traveling with children and want to celebrate early, events in the Houston metroplex cater to every crowd and interest. From hotel parties to wine tastings, family-friendly celebrations to adults-only dance parties, you'll find something for everyone on the last night of the year.

Many New Year's events for 2020–2021 have been scaled back or canceled. Be sure to confirm the most up-to-date details with the event organizers, including new guidelines or rules.

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New Year's Eve at CityCentre

Located on the southeastern corner of the intersection of Interstate 10 and Beltway 8 in Houston's Memorial City neighborhood, CityCentre is a retail, dining, and entertainment development that offers events year-round. 

For December 31, 2020, guests can arrive at 9:30 p.m. for the official countdown celebration, New Year's Eve at CityCentre, which features live music in the plaza by The Mockingbirds, a pop and R&B hits local band. The entire performance will also be streamed live to enjoy from home. The typical fireworks show which rings in the New Year at midnight is canceled for the 2020–2021 holiday.

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Fireworks Dinner Cruise on Clear Lake and Galveston Bay

About 30 miles southeast of Houston, the small Gulf coastal town of Kemah is home to a luxurious private yacht company called the Boardwalk Fantasea. On New Year's Eve, you can depart from the Kemah Boardwalk and set sail across Galveston Bay and Clear Lake. Even though the New Year's Eve cruise is running on December 31, 2020, the Kemah Boardwalk fireworks show—which can usually be seen from the cruise—is canceled for 2020.

Each ticket for the New Year's Eve Fireworks Dinner Cruise affords each guest a gourmet meal, appetizers, and plenty of music and dancing as well as tiaras, champagne toasts, and other party favors. Boarding takes place from 8–9 p.m., and the cruise goes until 12:30 a.m. According to their website, Boardwalk Fantasea cruises are "not 100% wheelchair accessible" but they do have a ramp and state they will do their best to accommodate everyone. If you or someone in your party uses a wheelchair, scooter, or other mobility aid you can contact the cruise line at 281-538-9600 for more details on accommodations prior to booking. Discounts are available for children, members of the military, and any adults age 55 and older. 

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New Year's Eve at the Hotel ZaZa

With two locations in Houston, the Hotel ZaZa has become known in the city as one of the best local chains for luxury accommodations. On New Year's Eve, you can celebrate at Hotel ZaZa in one of two ways for 2020. If you want to attend the prix fixe dinner, you can enjoy a special dinner for two with live music and a champagne toast at midnight.

For an evening that's even more intimate, book the Toast for Two deal which includes a credit to order room service in addition to a chilled bottle of sparkling wine, all brought directly to you.

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Intimate New Year's Eve at the Houstonian

If you'd rather avoid the crowds altogether and spend the final moments of the year with your significant other, The Houstonian Hotel—located on 18 acres of woodland near Houston's Memorial Park and across Highway 610 from the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center—is offering a special New Year's Eve package for couples.

The Intimate New Year's Eve special includes accommodations for the night of December 31 and a luxury yet low-key dinner for two with a glass of champagne for each person. The usual midnight celebration and toast isn't happening for New Year's Eve 2020, but you'll be given all of the party materials necessary to ring in the New Year from your room.

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Gatsby's House New Year's Eve at the Omni Houston Hotel

The Gatsby's House New Year's Eve event is canceled for December 31, 2020.

One of the biggest parties of the season will take place at the Omni Houston Hotel for New Year's Eve. Presented by Houston Nightlife, "Gatsby's House" is the theme for the annual New Year's Eve Celebration at the Omni Hotel.

On December 31, from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., guests of Gatsby's House can enjoy five hours of prepaid bar service, four areas for mingling on two floors of fun, music by three of Texas' top DJs, and a countdown like no other.

In accordance with the Great Gatsby theme, the event will also feature a casino night speakeasy featuring tons of prizes to win, and guests are encouraged to dress up in the best attire they can find from the 1920s (semi-formal or cocktail attire required).

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Family Celebration at Kemah Boardwalk

New Year's Eve at the Kemah Boardwalk is canceled in 2020.

If a fancy cruise isn't your style, you can also enjoy a family-friendly festival at the Kemah Boardwalk, which ends with a firework show at 10 p.m. New Year's Eve at Kemah Boardwalk features music, dancing, children's activities and games, and carnival-style food for purchase. Admission to the New Year's Eve festival is included with the price of admission to the park.