Plan Your New Year’s Weekend: December 31, 2020 to January 3, 2021

A woman and child sit near a lake at Hermann Park
McGovern Lake | Photo courtesy of Hermann Park Conservancy

Updated on Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 11am

Find the perfect things to do in Houston through New Year’s Weekend with our Houston New Year’s Weekend Guide for New Year’s Eve, Thursday, December 31, 2020 through Sunday, January 3, 2021.

Send off 2020 while ushering in the New Year at one of many end-of-year events happening around Houston and online; start the New Year with a tasty hangover-cure brunch or an early morning meditation; shop from area Black-owned businesses during an evening market; see the Texans finish their NFL season at NRG Stadium and more.

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Things to Do All New Year’s Weekend

  • Sober Rides Home: Free $10 Lyft Credits on New Year’s Eve | Thursday & Friday | FREE – Safely navigate New Year’s Eve with a $10 credit on Lyft for Harris County residents who sign up or snap a photo of the QR code to receive a discount code the week of New Year’s Eve. Registration is required to get the $10 discount code, which will be sent by email on the week of New Year’s Eve. The offer is limited to the first 3,000 requests.
  • No DWI – Free Sober Rides on New Year’s Eve from 5pm to 10am | Thursday & Friday | FREE – Plan a safe New Year’s evening by making the right choice to take a taxi or ride-sharing service to get home if you’ve been drinking. Courtesy of Sutliff & Stout, if you pay for your safe travels up front, the law firm will reimburse you via PayPal. The offer is valid from 5pm on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2020, through 10am on New Year’s Day, January 1, 2021.
  • New Year’s Brunch Weekend at The Original Ninfa’s | Friday to Sunday – Cure your hangover while dining on delicious Mexican food at either the Navigation or Post Oak Ninfa’s location when they offer brunch all weekend long, with specials on Pomegranate rum spritz drinks, red chile pork posole and more. 10am to 2pm daily.
  • Holiday in the Gardens at Moody Gardens | Ends Saturday – Brighten up your holiday season in Galveston at Holiday in the Gardens, featuring Festival of Lights, a mile-long trail of more than one million lights and illuminated scenes with views of Galveston Bay. For 2020, visitors can also embark on the Arctic Slide, take a holiday train ride, catch a 4-D theater presentation of the classic Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer television special, enjoy robust holiday meals, and more. Tickets start at $14. 6pm to 10pm each day.
  • Space Age Christmas Trees: World’s Biggest Mega-Show at the 1940 Air Terminal Museum | Saturday & Sunday – The annual dazzling holiday display returns to the Museum, featuring more than 100 vintage aluminum Christmas trees, an interactive Mid-Century Modern Holiday Pad and more. $10; $4 for ages 3 to 12; free for ages 2 and under. Times vary.
  • Comic DeRay Davis at Houston Improv | Daily – Fall out of your chair laughing when comedian and Chicago son DeRay Davis, best known for his role in Empire, hits the Houston Improv for six socially distanced comedy shows. Shows include a special NYE Countdown Show on New Year’s Eve, Thursday, December 31, 2020 at 10:30pm. $120 for two people; $240 for four people; $360 for six people. Preferred tables range from $140 to $280, based on the number of people. Showtimes vary.
  • Seismique Interactive Art Museum | Daily – Wander into a tech-fueled, interactive, intergalactic-inspired art exhibition with 40 exhibits from national and local artists. Starts at $35; $28 for ages 12 and under. Times vary, closed Tuesdays.
  • Houston Ballet’s Nutcracker Sweets Virtual Film | Daily – The H-Town holiday tradition continues with a digital film celebrating all things Nutcracker, including an abridged version of Stanton Welch’s The Nutcracker from the ballet archives and fun new works set to popular Christmas carols. The program can be purchased and viewed anytime through Friday, January 8, 2021. $35.
  • Dinosaur Adventure Drive-Thru at Pasadena Convention Center & Fairgrounds | Daily – Roll through a prehistoric time warp for the last weekend in Pasadena while getting up close with 80 life-sized dinos from the comfort and safety of your own vehicle—including a 40-foot T-Rex, a 30-foot Brachiosaurus, a Triceratops and more. Tickets are $49 per vehicle for up to 8 people and must be purchased in advance. 9am to 8pm daily.
  • Zoo Lights at Houston Zoo | Daily – Stroll through the Houston Zoo with hot chocolate in hand while you admire glimmering displays of more than two million Christmas lights at this annual must-see attraction. $12.95 to $25.65; free for ages 1 and under. Tickets cannot be purchased in person and must be purchased online in advance. 5:30pm to 10:30pm daily; last entry 9:30pm.
  • Galaxy Lights at Space Center Houston | Daily– The most interactive and technologically advanced light display in Texas returns to the Space Center Houston campus with outdoor wonders, space-themed light installations, and a look at some real interstellar history that should captivate all ages. 6pm to 10pm.

New Year’s Eve, Thursday, December 31, 2020

  • Live & Virtual New Year’s Eve 2020 EventsAre you ready to put 2020 behind you? Ring in 2021 at one of the many New Year’s Eve in-person and online events happening around Houston on New Year’s Eve 2020. Times and prices vary.
  • Kids Countdown to 2021: New Year’s Eve at The Woodlands Resort Say farewell to 2020 without missing bedtime when The Woodlands Resort hosts a family New Year’s Eve countdown included with an overnight stay, featuring a full day of crafts, karaoke, games, a heated Forest Oasis waterpark, a sparkling cider toast and a massive beach ball drop from the waterslide tower at 5:30pm. Events are free for all hotel guests and not open to the public. 10am to 6pm.
  • ECHOrchestra presents ECHOrchestra’s Rockin’ NYE Virtual Concert – Join ECHOrchestra for their Rockin’ NYE concert, a performance that includes music from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, viewable from the comfort of your own home. A link will be sent through their mailing list on New Year’s Eve, Thursday, December 31 on ECHOrchestra’s website. Released after 10:30am and available all day.
  • New Year’s Eve at The Annie Café & Bar – Make your way to The Annie Café & Bar on Post Oak Boulevard for an evening of delicious food, specialty cocktails, 2021 swag, and live music by Flashdrive, a string quartet accompanied by a DJ. Reservations are required. 11am to midnight.
  • New Year’s Eve at B.B. Lemon – The Washington Ave cocktail bar and eatery hosts an all-day, laid back New Year’s Eve with a choice of lunch or dinner service, party favors, and cocktails. Reservations are recommended. 11am to midnight.
  • New Year’s Eve Daytime Skate Party at The Official Dairy Ashford Roller Rink – Roll on through to 2021 when The Official Dairy Ashford Roller Rink hosts a family-friendly New Year’s Eve Skate Party that includes pizza, beverages, and party favors. $18 per person; includes skate rental, 2 slices of pizza, and a 16oz drink. 1pm to 6pm.
  • New Year’s Eve: Sparkle, Shine & Dine at The Woodlands Resort Wave farewell to 2020 while enjoying an evening of live music, a four-course meal, a bottle of sparkling wine, countdown confetti pops, and late 1pm check-out on New Year’s Day, when The Woodlands Resort presents a NYE package for two included with overnight stay. $239. 3pm to 2am.
  • New Year’s Eve at Artisans Restaurant – The Midtown French restaurant, Artisans, hosts a New Year’s Eve event featuring dinner, live music by Tianna Hall & The Houston Jazz Band, and a champagne toast. $120 per person. 5pm to 10pm.
  • New Year’s Eve at B&B Butchers & Restaurant – Head to B&B Butcher’s & Restaurant on Washington Ave for a festive New Year’s evening of food, drinks, and 2021 swag. Menu prices vary per item. Reservations are required. 5pm.
  • To New Beginnings 2021 New Year’s at Chapman & Kirby – Toast to 2021 at Chapman & Kirby’s New Year’s Eve event with dinner, a live DJ, complimentary champagne, and a balloon drop at midnight. Dinner reservations are recommended. 5pm. 
  • New Year’s Eve at Xochi – The Downtown restaurant serving up dishes from Oaxaca, Mexico, Xochi offers a 4-course prix fixe menu for Vispera de Año Nuevo (New Year’s Eve) along with live music, a full bar, and patio seating. $79 per person plus beverage, tax, and gratuity. Reservations highly recommended. Limited seating. 5pm.
  • New Year’s Eve at Rainbow Lodge – Dig into a 3-course dinner for New Year’s Eve at Rainbow Lodge, Houston’s original lodge restaurant featuring seafood and wild game in a historic 114-year-old log cabin. Menu items include fried Texas quail bites, smoked duck gumbo, duck leg confit, grilled lamb ribeye, and more. $79 per person plus beverages, tax & gratuity. Reservations are recommended. 5pm to 10pm.
  • New Year’s Eve at Backstreet Cafe – The River Oaks mainstay offers a four-course menu featuring menu options like butternut squash risotto, lobster chowder, cast-iron ribeye, and more for New Year’s Eve. There will also be a complimentary sparkling cocktail toast at midnight and live music by Bob Chadwick. $79 per person plus beverages, tax, and gratuity. Reservations highly recommended. Limited seating. 5:30pm.
  • New Year’s Eve at Caracol – Have a New Year’s Eve 4-course dinner including options like fire-roasted Gulf shrimp, braised beef short rib, fire-roasted lobster, cream cheese flan, and more at Caracol. There will also be a complimentary sparkling toast at midnight and live music by Ikaru. $85 per person plus beverage, tax, and gratuity. Reservations highly recommended. Limited seating. 5:30pm.
  • NYE Under The Stars at Weights and Measures – The Midtown bakery and eatery offers a New Years’ Eve al fresco dinner along with a few tables in the dining room. There will be a 4-course menu with a “Bye Bye 2020” cocktail and a midnight countdown with sparkling toast for all. $75 per person. 6pm.
  • Candlelight Open Air Concert: Holiday Special Featuring Tchaikovsky & Winter Classics at Hughes Manor Take in a classical concert during an outdoor candlelit (electric for safety) concert on Washington Avenue when the Listeso String Quartet performs classic Christmas carols as well as works by Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky, Strauss and more. $49 per person at tables for two or four. 6pm and 9pm.
  • New Year’s Eve 3-Course Cider Dinner at City Orchard – Choose from steak or lamb chops, expertly paired with cider when City Orchard hosts a 3-course New Year’s Eve dinner. Menu items prices vary. 6pm.
  • New Year’s Eve: A Black Tie Affair at Turner’s – Ring in the new year in true New York City style with a live pianist, singer, and saxophonist while enjoying a dinner menu and New Year’s Eve-inspired specials at Turner’s. There will also be a champagne toast at midnight and a gold balloon drop. Black tie attire encouraged. Reservations are required. There will be a $50 entertainment charge per seat during the 6pm seating and a $125 entertainment fee per seat for the 9:15pm seating.
  • Houston Rockets vs. Sacramento Kings at Toyota Center Wind down 2020 in the heart of Downtown when the Rockets play their first home game of the season on New Year’s Eve against the Sacramento Kings. $25 to over $300, but you may find better or cheaper seats on the TicketNetwork marketplace. 6pm to 8:30pm.
  • Whobilation Celebration How the Grinch Stole 2020 at Eight Row Flint | No Cover – The patio at Eight Row Flint transforms into Whoville with the bar serving as “the Grinch’s lair” for a Dr. Seuss-themed New Year’s Eve celebration along with a DJ and champagne toast to send 2020 into the past. 6pm.
  • New Year’s Eve Dinner at Tony’s – Ring in 2021 with a multi-course New Year’s Eve dinner menu at Tony’s Italian Restaurant near Greenway Plaza along with live music, wine, and a countdown to the new year. The early seating is $95 and does not include live music. The second seating is $195 and will go into the new year and include live music. There will be 2 seatings from 6pm to 8:45pm and 9:45pm until midnight.
  • British New Year’s Eve and Karaoke at Richmond Arms | No Cover – Located in the Galleria area, the English pub known as Richmond Arms hosts a British New Year’s Eve where you’ll ring in the New Year at 6pm with complimentary champagne and then follow it with some karaoke at 8pm. Party favors will be provided. 6pm.
  • Rise NYE 2021: A New Year is on the Rise at Rise Rooftop – Rise Rooftop bar in Midtown hosts its NYE event complete with a live DJ, a disco ball countdown, and a balloon drop with complimentary champagne at midnight. General admission is $20. 7pm.
  • NYE 2021 at Bovine & Barley – Say goodbye to 2020 with a NYE celebration featuring a live set by DJ Danknee, a champagne toast, and more at Bovine & Barley. Packages and table reservations are available for purchase. 7pm.
  • New Year’s Eve Party at Neon Boots Dancehall & Saloon – Join the LGBTQ-friendly country and Western bar, Neon Boots Dancehall & Saloon, for a New Year’s Eve Party with a champagne toast, party favors, a balloon money drop, and a complimentary buffet breakfast. Tickets start at $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Table reservations are available starting at $150 for a table of 4. 7pm.
  • New Year’s Eve at El Big Bad – Located in Downtown, tequila bar El Big Bad hosts its annual New Year’s Eve Unicorn event with its signature unicorn cocktail, a unicorn piñata ball drop, live music, a costume contest, and more. This event is 21 and up. Tickets range from $25 to $150. 7pm.
  • Toast to 2021 New Year’s Celebration at Grooves of Houston Toast to 2021 in style when Grooves of Houston hosts a New Year’s Celebration featuring an exclusive four-course dinner, live music, VIP casino lounge, midnight Champagne toast, midnight buffet, and more. General admission starts at $20 and does not include dinner; dinners start at $65 per person; $130 for a table for two. Dinner will be served from 8pm to 10pm. 7pm.
  • Numbers Nightclub presents Virtual NYE on Twitch | Virtual – Celebrate the new year when the popular Montrose venue, Numbers Nightclub, hosts a virtual celebration with music by DJ Wes Wallace, prizes, and even a balloon drop. This event will be held online via Twitch. $25 suggested donation or you can choose from NYE packages ranging from $40 to $250. 7pm to 2am.
  • A Winter Affair: A NYE Experience at Winter Wonderland in Midtown Ring in 2021 and ring out the holiday season at 2020’s pop-up, Instagrammable holiday walk-through experience and partially outdoor bar in Midtown. Tickets start at $50. 7:30pm to 2am.
  • Hasta la Vista 2020 with The Level One Band in Concert at Main Street Crossing – Catch a live set from The Level One Band, delivering Motown hits from The Four Tops, The Temptations, Aretha Franklin, and more at Main Street Crossing in Tomball. Tickets start at $70 for a table for two. 8pm to 9pm.
  • New Year’s Eve: d Cowin in Concert at The Rustic Post Oak | FREE with RSVP – Ring in 2021 with The Rustic on New Year’s Eve with a dueling piano performance by Sean Cowin and special guests. 8pm.
  • New Year’s Eve with The Dirty Reckless in Concert at Scout Bar – Spend New Year’s Eve rocking out to the high energy party band, The Dirty Reckless at Scout Bar. Rozy opens the show. Tickets are $10 in advance and $50 for a reserved table. 8pm.
  • New Year’s Eve Drag Show at Bar Boheme – Toast 2020 goodbye with a non-stop, high-energy Drag Show at the LGBTQ-friendly Bar Boheme in Montrose. This show will be held outdoors with heaters. You must reserve a table for this event. 8pm.
  • NYE 2021 at Pour Behavior – Wave goodbye to 2020 with a live DJ playing dance hits, a huge balloon drop, a video wall countdown, and complimentary champagne and light bites at Pour Behavior in Midtown. Cover charge at the door. 8pm.
  • Online New Year’s Show with Comedian Chinedu – Say goodbye to 2020 from the comfort and safety of your own home and have a laugh with an online stand-up set by local comedian Chinedu. This event will be held online and you will receive a link to the show 30 minutes before the show starts. Tickets are $10; $20 for VIP. 8pm to 10pm.
  • NYE 2021 Party at The Pub Galleria | No Cover – Make your way over to The Pub Galleria for a New Year’s Eve celebration with music by DJ Rob and party favors. 8pm. 
  • The Standard Black Professional NYE Celebration at Amahle Bar & Lounge Say hello to 2021 with an evening of entertainment including a casino lounge, photo booth, heated patio and some of Houston’s hottest DJs when Amahle Bar & Restaurant in Downtown rings in 2021. Attire is semi-formal to formal. Limited general admission is $20; with VIP packages available. 8pm to 1:55am.
  • NYE 2021: Black & White Electric Ball at JW Marriott Houston Downtown – Ring in 2021 in Downtown with multiple bars, party favors, three rooms to mingle in, and a set by DJ Jeremy Nite and Tony Styles playing Top 40, hip-hop, and dance hits. Formal trendy attire is required. Black and white attire and masquerade masks are encouraged. Tickets start at $89. Hotel room packages are available starting at $541.50. 9pm. 
  • NYE 3-Course Chef Dinner & Elvis Variety Show at Sambuca Houston – Enjoy a 3-course dinner, a live Elvis variety show, and a midnight champagne toast at Sambuca Houston in Downtown. Reservations are very limited due to capacity restrictions. Menu prices vary. 9pm. 
  • Discover The New Year at The Grove – Party it up at The Grove at Discovery Green at a New Year’s Eve celebration featuring multiple all-inclusive bars throughout the property, passed hors d’oeuvres and premium food stations, as well as DJs, live music, party favors, and more. 9pm. 
  • Masquerade NYE: Salsa Bachata Party at Ivy Bar & Bistro – Welcome 2021 at a Masquerade-themed party with the Latin Dance Factory on the rooftop of Ivy Bar & Bistro alongside food, drinks, salsa dancing lessons, a live DJ, and a champagne toast. Limited tickets range from $24 to $29. 9:30pm. 
  • New Year’s Eve at CityCentre | FREE – Celebrate the New Year with live music in the plaza and a countdown to midnight at CityCentre. The entire concert will also be viewable live on CityCentre’s Instagram page. Free. Parking will be $10 in all garages beginning at 6pm. 9:30pm. 
  • Black Tie Ball NYE at Clé Houston – Head to the upscale dance club in Midtown for the Black Tie Ball featuring live music by DJ Little Martin and a complimentary champagne toast. Tickets are $25. 10pm. 
  • New Year’s Date Night at Painting with a Twist – Express yourself with your partner as you each paint two canvases to make one painting for New Year’s Eve. Tickets range from $35 to $45 per person. 10pm to midnight. 
  • The 8th Wonder Follies presents A Night of Boozy Burlesque: NYE Celebration at 8th Wonder Brewery – Happening on the 8th Wonder Distillery Stage and featuring classic acts from Houston’s best burlesque artists, The 8th Wonder Follies presents a thrilling evening of intimate performances and rowdy fun. Tickets are $80 per person and includes light bites and a champagne toast. 10:30pm.

New Year’s Day, Friday, January 1, 2021

Things to Do on Saturday, January 2 and Sunday, January 3, 2021.

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Cody Swann is a writer and musician born and raised in Houston. When he isn't recording or touring the country with his band, Wild Moccasins, he can be found covering live music and arts events for 365 Things to Do in Houston.