While typically considered a holiday largely for adults, ringing in the new year isn't solely for the 18-and-up age group. In fact, Houston has quite a few festivities lined up for kids and the whole family on New Year's Eve. Whether it's making a special trip down to Kemah Boardwalk to watch fireworks over the water, or heading to the ever-popular Children's Museum of Houston to enjoy a more traditional balloon drop and "Noon" Year's countdown, there's something for everyone on this list of family-friendly New Year's Eve activities.
This post is being updated for 2017.
High Noon Countdown Squared - The Woodlands
The Woodlands Children's Museum
4775 W Panther Creek Drive
There are two opportunities to ring in the New Year in north Houston this year at the annual High Noon Countdown Squared hosted by The Woodlands Children's Museum. There is a balloon and confetti drop at noon, and if a later start date works better for your family, the fun starts all over again after the first party concludes and continues until the second drop at 3 p.m. Live music, arts and crafts, bubble wrap dancing, noisemakers, and more make this a New Year's bash for the books. High Noon Countdown Squared is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can reserve which time slot you want to attend by purchasing tickets online or calling the Museum in advance.
Rockin' New Year's Noon Bash - Downtown
Children's Museum of Houston
1500 Binz, Houston
The kids don't have to stay up until midnight to partake in the New Year's Eve countdown when you head to the Children's Museum of Houston. Instead, count down to 12 p.m. at the Rockin' New Year's Noon Bash. This party is one the kids don't want to miss. The museum promises an array of festive crafts, a dance party, live music, an outdoor ball drop in the courtyard and an indoor ball drop in the auditorium at noon, and a dance party afterward to ensure an afternoon of New Year's Eve fun. The Rockin' New Year's Noon Bash is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is included with the purchase of general admission tickets.
Photo courtesy of Children's Museum of Houston
Sharkey's New Year's Eve Party - Downtown
410 Bagby St.
Spend New Year's Eve celebrating with Sharkey at the Downtown Aquarium where there are all sorts of festive fun for the kids to enjoy, such as a balloon drop, bird show, and photos with Sharkey and Nero. All-day adventure passes are included with buffet purchase. Pricing for Sharkey's New Year's Eve buffet is $28.99 for adults and $20.99 for children ages 3-10. Reservations are required. Guests can choose from two separate times for the buffet and party: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. or 3: 30-6:30 p.m.
Photo courtesy of Downtown Aquarium
Conroe's Incredible Pizza NYE Party - Conroe
Incredible Pizza Company
230 S. Loop 336 W.
Unlimited fun at Incredible Pizza is just $25 for its New Year's Eve Party. Party-goers can take advantage of an all-you-can-eat buffet, New Year's countdown at 8 p.m., and a sparkling cider toast. Various attractions, and most video games, tickets and prizes are included in the $25 fee. The New Year's Eve Party begins at 4 p.m. Select games cost extra.
New Year's Eve at The Museum of Fine Arts - Downtown
The Museum of Fine Arts
There is no shortage of things to do on New Year's Eve at The Museum of Fine Arts. Family activities include viewings of "Kid Flix Mix 1" and "Kid Flix Mix 2," which are both part of a free short-film series for children called "Family Flicks;" creating masterpieces at Winter Break at the Museum, which is a part of the Degas: A New Vision exhibit, and kids can feel their way through Discovery Carts, where visitors can touch and feel different materials that are used to create works of art.
Photo courtesy of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
New Year's Eve Historical Bash - Richmond
George Ranch Historical Park
10215 FM 762, Richmond
Step back in time at George Ranch Historical Park by attending the park's New Year's Eve Historical Bash. Historical mask-making, assembling noise-makers, learning the dos and don't's of "first footing," and a noon countdown at the 1830s Jones Stock Farm Site are some of the notable New Year's attractions. New Year's Eve is also the last day of "Christmas in the Park," so families have one final opportunity to learn about holiday traditions from the 1830s through the 1930s. The park is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. A special New Year's Eve historical lunch will be served for an additional fee. Reservations for the meal are required.
Photo courtesy of George Ranch Historical Park
TopGolf New Year's Eve Celebration
Various locations around Houston. Find one closest to you here.
If you're looking for something different to do this New Year's Eve, gather up a crew of family and friends and reserve a bay at TopGolf. This is no ordinary round of golf on a regular day, and on New Year's Eve TopGolf is pulling out all the stops with live entertainment, a chef-inspired menu, and lots of music and dancing. General bay reservations are $225 for six guests. VIP reservations are $450 per bay for six guests and include access to a special buffet and a complimentary bottle of house champagne.
New Year's Eve Family Celebration - Kemah
215 Kipp Ave., Kemah
Ring in the New Year boardwalk-style by heading down to Kemah for myriad festivities and fun. In addition to Kemah's regular attractions, families can also enjoy live music in the plaza throughout the evening as well as an impressive fireworks display at 10 p.m. This is a New Year's celebration fit for the family.
Photo courtesy of Landry's, Inc.
New Year's Eve on the Square - Sugar Land
Sugar Land Town Square
Hwy 6 & U.S. 59 Frontage Road, Sugar Land
The annual New Year's Eve on the Square in Sugar Land is back and promises a night full of fun for the family. The party is broken up into two different segments: the Children's Celebration and the Adult Celebration. The Children's Celebration comes first and takes place from 7-9 p.m. with the adult celebration from 10 p.m.-1 a.m. Both feature live entertainment throughout the square, street performers, DJs, and a fireworks show. This is a FREE event that is open to the public.
Photo courtesy of City of Sugar Land.
Sinatra on the Square - West Houston
The Square at Memorial City
303 Memorial City Way
Book a reservation for dinner at your favorite Memorial City Mall restaurant, then walk over to The Square at Memorial City after your meal for a New Year's Eve celebration that's jam-packed with fun. Live music, a special screening of the New York ball drop on The Square's big screen at midnight, and Sinatra-themed interactive stations such as a Come Fly With Me: Bungee Ride and The Way You Look Tonight: Photo Booth are a sampling of the special attractions guests can partake in on New Year's Eve.
Top photo courtesy of Landry's, Inc.