If you haven’t committed to New Year’s Eve plans yet, or if you’re teetering between staying in and going out, then this list might help you make a decision. Many of these options are free or close-to-free, making party-hopping a viable option if you find it hard to settle at one event. Austin nightlife is always lively. But with the increased excitement of New Year’s, it can be tempting to sample more than one scene.
The way we choose to celebrate landmark moments is highly personal. Some like to dance; some like to sit and listen to music; some like heaps of food and drink; some would rather be outdoors; and some have tiny tots to look after. And if you fall into more than one category, then you can pick and choose as you please!
Music and Dance
1/ Costume Party at Austin Roller Rink
New Year’s Eve at Austin Roller Rink will be an amped up version of adult skate night. Like adult night, there will be a DJ to provide the tunes and the party will be BYOB.
Costumes are highly encouraged, and the rink will provide a free tequila shot at midnight with a balloon drop. 21 and up only.
Location: 11600 Manchaca Road #101
Time: 10 p.m.
Price: $12 early bird, $20 at the door
➡️ Keep reading: Austin Roller Rink Provides Rock and Rolling Good Time for All Ages
2/ Masquerade Party at Indian Roller
Indian Roller, located in way south Austin with a spacious outdoor area, gives you a chance to go as your alter ego this New Year’s Eve. The bar is hosting a masquerade party, complete with a DJ, photo booth, and free champagne toast at midnight.
The theme of the party is “Labyrinth,” the ’80s movie featuring David Bowie. You can participate by dressing up as one of the film characters, but costumes with varied inspirations are also encouraged. 21 and older.
Location: 10006 Manchaca Road
Time: 9 p.m. to 1:55 a.m.
Price: No cover
3/ Late Bluegrass Show at Radio Coffee & Beer
If you’re familiar with the south Austin staple Radio, then you may know of its long-standing Monday night tradition of live bluegrass. Luckily, New Year’s Eve falls on a Monday this year, and the typical bluegrass night is set to have a longer show. Outdoor spaces will be heated; you can get warm and cozy around the fire pits; and the Veracruz All Natural food truck will be serving up delicious tacos.
Location: 4204 Manchaca Road
Time: 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Price: No cover
4/ New Year’s Eve Pre-party at Fresa’s
Chicken dinner buffet, complete with queso, is $10 at Fresa’s on New Year’s Eve! Get your fill of fresh Mexican food and happy hour drinks before you make your way to the next party. A complimentary cocktail is included with the price of the buffet, as well as plenty of NYE swag for you to keep.
Location: 1703 S. 1st St.
Time: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Price: $10 per person
5/ Four-course Dinner at Launderette
Launderette is a renowned American restaurant with a global influence. There are two enticing New Year’s Eve options this year. The first option is a four-course dinner consisting of delicacies from both land and sea. Choices for the prix fixe dinner include grilled oysters, lobster roll, Waygu beef, and cod, topped off with a luscious dessert. Reservations are required for this dinner.
For the second option, there is no cover and reservations are not required. Guests can drop by the Bellini Lounge anytime between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m., and guests can enjoy a fire pit, DJ, and fortune teller.
Location: 2115 Holly St.
Time: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Price: $85 per person for dinner/no cover for Bellini Lounge
6/ Last Day Hike at Pedernales Falls State Park
There are plenty of natural areas in and around Austin where you can celebrate the last day of the year, and you certainly don’t need a guide to enjoy your time outdoors. But if you do fancy a guided hike with other outdoor enthusiasts, check out Pedernales Falls State Park on New Year’s Eve.
Water, closed toed shoes, clothes for cold weather, and headlamps/flashlights are required. The hike is two and a half miles and is not recommended for young children. Since it ends early enough in the evening, you may find yourself at another party on this list for the countdown to midnight, if you so choose.
Location: 2585 Park Road 6026, Johnson City, TX
Time: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Price: Normal park entrance fee of $6, no additional fee for the hike
7/ Fireworks, Music, And More!: Austin’s New Year at Auditorium Shores
This family-friendly festival will have something for everyone: three stages of live music, art installations, activities for the kids, plenty of food options, and a fireworks show to top it all off!
Location: 900 W. Riverside Dr.
Time: 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Price: No cover
8/ Noon Year’s Eve at The Hive
The Hive is a coffee shop and coworking space that also provides childcare. This New Year’s Eve, kids and families can gather there to enjoy snacks, games, and live music by Staci Gray. There will also be a countdown to noon for kids who have a bedtime well before midnight!
Location: 10415 Old Manchaca Road
Time: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Price: $10 child’s ticket (adults free)
9/ Musical Countdown to Noon at Lake Travis Community Library
This special event at the library is hosted by Songs For Seeds, a group that offers music lessons for children. The concert will be interactive, so both young ones and their adults can enjoy singing, and dancing, along with the tunes. At noon there will be a countdown–and afterwards, peruse the library’s selection of material. Arguably the best way to kick off any new year is with a good pile of books!
Location: 1938 Lohmans Crossing Road
Time: 11:15 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Price: No cover
@theAustinot wants to know:
How will you be celebrating New Year’s Eve 2018 in Austin?
We always have unique content on the Austinot, and we love to give things away. You know, like CDs, event tickets and other cool stuff. We only send out our Best of the Austinot newsletter two times/month. It’s where we give you a recap of our best articles and give stuff away. Interested? Subscribe to Best of the Austinot here!