The Absolute Best Ways to Celebrate New Year's Eve in Houston

Toast to the end of 2020.

Ready to put on real clothes for the first time in 2020? Yeah, neither are we. But these New Year’s Eve celebrations may actually make you want to. You can say a big “peace out!” to 2020 by dressing up for a Black & White Ball, putting on your fancy pants for a nice steak dinner, partying with totally dressed to impress drag queens at an al fresco wine bar, and more. This year may have kinda sucked, but the New Year doesn’t have to.

MAD Houston food
Courtesy of MAD Houston

Experience sensory overload at MAD

River Oaks
The over-the-top Madrid-inspired hotspot is hosting early and late seatings for its fancy-pants NYE dinner, complete with a special chef's tasting menu, party favors, and a champagne toast. Your meal begins with a Mad75 liquid cocktail burst bite, then moves on to courses such as foie gras finished with raspberry port and edible gold leaf, crispy fideua and grilled lobster tail, Wagyu ribeye done in the style of fire & ice, and a special dessert to sweeten up the bitter year.
Cost: $125 for the early seating, $165 for the late

Dance past midnight at a rooftop bar

A 10,000 square foot venue, super cool retractable roof, and safety protocols from masks to temperature checks are all a part of the NYE celebration at the just-opened rooftop bar, RISE. The DJ music and bubbly-fueled party will go down from 7 pm - 2 am, with a disco ball countdown, midnight balloon drop, and complimentary toast.
Cost: $20 admission, with tables and bottle service available by reservation

Courtesy of Topgolf

Take your 2020 frustrations out on a golf ball

Interactive golf-bar TopGolf won’t be throwing its usual New Year’s fete, but it is opening its bays for reservation (in accordance with local and state guidelines, of course). Secure a bay to eat, drink, and smash the hell out of some golf balls as you kiss 2020 goodbye.
Cost: Starting at $47/hour after 5pm; bays are open to reserve 7 days in advance

Ring in the New Year with drag queens at an al fresco wine bar

There’s a high-energy Drag Show going down on the patio Boheme this New Year’s Eve, with dance music, a midnight toast, heated outdoor seating, and bottle service by reservation. 
Cost: Food and drink are a la carte, call 713-529-1000

Drink a Unicorn at El Big Bad

Don’t know what a Unicorn is? That’s because tequila-soaked El Big Bad dreamed up the concoction: a margarita with an upside down bottle of Korbel in it. Hit the gastrocantina’s Year of the Unicorn celebration to try the spectacular drink, and to experience a Unicorn pinata drop at midnight. The party runs from 8 pm - 2 am.
Cost: Tickets run from $25 to $150 (all inclusive)

Party in the Grinch's lair at Eight Row Flint

It’s pretty obvious that the Grinch stole 2020, so Eight Row Flint is turning its patio into Whoville, with the bar as Grinch’s lair, for one last hurrah this year. The DJ goes all night (6 pm - 2 am), and there’ll be a thank-goodness-this-year-is-finally-over champagne toast at midnight.
Cost: Food and drink are a la carte

Say Good Riddance to 2020 with a virtual dance party

Longtime Houston nightclub Numbers still has its doors closed, but that’s not going to stop ‘em from throwing an awesome NYE party. This time, you can tune in virtually to ring in 2021 with a sweet playlist of past and present tunes and videos on Twitch.
Cost: A requested (but not mandatory) $25 cover earns you the chance to win prizes and help out a local institution, party packs with favors are also available

Dress up for a NYE Black & White Ball

We’re guessing you’ve been living out the year in sweats, and while that’s awesome, it may actually feel good to get dressed up again. The Downtown JW Marriott is hosting a Black & White Electric Ball that encourages you to do so, with two DJs, plenty of space, four hours of complimentary food and drink, and party favors for the countdown to 2021. 
Cost: Tickets start at $150

B&B Butchers & Restaurant | Courtesy of Feliz Sanchez

Have some steak, then party on the rooftop at B&B

Rocking its regular menu of dry-aged beef, crab-stuffed lobster, and blue-cheese smothered carpetbaggers on-the-half-shell,  B&B Butchers & Steakhouse is open for dinner reservations starting at 5 pm, with live music from 7 - 10 pm downstairs, and the party continuing on the upstairs patio from 10 pm - 1 am (don’t worry, it’s heated).
Cost: Food and drink are la carte, with reservations required (call 713-862-1814 or snag ‘em on OpenTable)

Jam to Live country music or a dueling piano

Downtown (& Uptown)
Live country music bar and kitchen The Rustic is throwing limited occupancy parties at both its Downtown and Uptown locations, with Chris Boise playing the Polk Street venu and a live dueling piano performance over at Uptown Park. Both spots have tacos and aged tequilas, so there’s no poor choice, here.
Cost: Free with RSVP for Downtown and Uptown

Win a bottle of Dom Perignon at a makeshift casino

Holman Draft Hall’s NYE Casino Night will sport roulette, blackjack, craps, and all the booze. At the end of the night, the chip leader wins a bottle of Dom Perignon to pop open. The DJ will be spinning from 10 pm - 2 am.
Cost: No cover, but reservations are limited (email to book)

Cure your hangover with Mexican food at a New Year’s Day Brunch

Chef Hugo Ortega’s Mexican spots, Hugo’s, Caracol, and Xochi are all throwing New Year’s Day brunches that rock everything from roasted Gulf oysters and killer chilaquiles to live music and sangria to help you return to life. And over at OG Tex-Mex haunt The Original Ninfa’s (both locations), you can kick 2021 off with the ultimate hangover cure: a bowl of red chile pork posole.

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Brooke Viggiano is a Houston-based writer who is definitely going to party like it’s 1999 this NYE because seriously, how is it 2020 already?! Pop bottles with her on IG @brookiefafa or on Twitter @brookeviggiano.
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