New Year’s Eve celebrations don’t have to just be about cocktails and kisses — celebrate the changing of the calendar with your family at a variety of events that are open to kids. Ring in 2018 with the whole family at one of these family-friendly New Year’s Eve parties!
The City of Austin has temporarily banned public gatherings. Please stay home. The Free Fun in Austin calendar is only for live digital events at this time.
This comprehensive list brought to you by the Office of Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Austin, wishing you a very happy holiday season. Learn more about their schools and community work – visit www.csdatx.org.
Free Events in Austin
Noon Year’s Eve Party
December 31 | at 11 a.m. | Lake Travis Community Library, 1938 Lohmans Crossing, Austin
Can’t stay awake for the midnight hour? Then celebrate the new year at noon! Make party hats and noise makers starting at 11 a.m. Children’s musician Joe McDermott will perform at 11:30 a.m. Snack on goodies and toast to the 12 o’ clock hour! Happy Noon Year! FREE!
Noon Year’s Eve Storytime
December 31 | from 11 a.m. | Westbank Library, 1309 Westbank Dr, Austin
There will be music, dancing, bubbles, and lots of fun–everything you need to lead in the New Year right with one of your favorite musicians. They’ll even do a countdown to 12 (noon)!
Austin’s New Year 2017
December 31 | at 3 p.m. | Vic Mathias Shores, 900 W Riverside Dr, Austin
Bring in the New Year with a FREE, fun, and family-friendly celebration. Austin’s New Year will transform Vic Mathias Shores into an alcohol-free wonderland of music, art, special performances and of course, Austin’s legendary food favorites. Austin’s New Year line-up includes Brownout, Ian Moore Band, Tomar and The FCs,
Magna Carda, and more. Capping off the festive evening, the traditional fireworks finale will start at 10 p.m.
Events With Paid Admission
Noon Year’s Eve at Pinballz (RSVP)
December 31 from 10:30 a.m. – noon | Pinballz, three locations
New Year’s Eve… for kiddos! Parent and kids 10 and under, join the Noon Year’s Eve event complete with a make-and-take crafting experience, snacks, $5 in tokens, and a 12 p.m. prize-filled balloon drop! $10 entry per child in advance ($15 day of). 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Sign up at this link today. Limited space available.
New Year’s Eve Family Barrel Bash
December 31 | at noon and 3 p.m. | Barrel O’ Fun, 1911 Aldrich St., Suite 120, Austin
Ring in 2018 Barrel O’ Fun style! Join the fun with an afternoon of karaoke, dancing, crafting, and general merry-making as we celebrate New Year’s Eve. This event is family-friendly and appropriate for all ages. Your ticket includes a party hat, noise maker and an apple juice for the group toast. They’ll start the festivities at noon and party till 3 p.m. with an (early) New Year’s Eve apple juice toast at 2:30 p.m. The event does require a ticket, but you may come and go as you’d like. Tickets can be purchased here.
Thinkery’s Noon Year’s Eve Balloon Drop & Bubble Wrap Stomp
December 31 | at noon and 2 p.m. | Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave, Austin
On New Year’s Eve, head to Thinkery for the family-friendly Noon Year’s Eve Balloon Drop & Bubble Wrap Stomp! Ring in 2018 a wee bit early with winter crafts, “snowball” fights, special performances and TWO separate balloon drops (12 p.m. and 2 p.m.). Why wait until midnight? The countdown to noon is on! General Admission tickets are required to experience the Noon Year’s Eve Balloon Drop & Bubble Wrap Stomp. Space is limited, and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Latex balloons will be used in both balloon drops. Reserve your December 31 General Admission tickets today!
Family New Years Eve Celebration at Mel’s (Georgetown)
December 31 | from 5:30 to 8 p.m. | Mel’s Lonestar Lanes, 1010 N Austin Ave, Georgetown
Includes private lane for bowling, shoe rentals, fountain drinks, dinner buffet & champagne toast. Make reservations here. Cost: $125 per lane (valid for up to 6 bowlers per lane).
Austin Saengerrunde NYE Gala
December 31 | at 8 p.m. | Saengerrunde Hall, 1607 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin
Austin Saengerrunde’s most distinguished holiday event, full of wholesome entertainment, live music, and dancing. Put on your dancing shoes, Czech Melody Masters will play an array of music that will fill the air with music that will make you waltz into 2017. Ticket includes: bier, wine, champagne toast, and German breakfast at Midnight. Feel free to bring your own snacks! Parking available in government lots. Tickets available here. Cost: $20; kids 12 and under are FREE.
Family New Year’s Eve Party @ High 5 (Lakeway)
December 31 | at 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. | High 5, 1502 Ranch Road 620 South, Lakeway
Each family admission ticket includes: Family lane reservation (for up to 6 people), 90 minutes of bowling, shoe rental, 20 pt Player Cards, large hand-tossed one-topping pizza, pitcher of soda, “Countdown to 2018” champagne and cider toast, celebration blowers and hats, and the famous “Kiwi” face painting and balloon art. Seatings at 5 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. Ticket packages from $79 – $89. More info here.
More New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day Events
Black Eyed Pea Run
December 31 | from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. | Rogue Running, 410 Pressler St, Austin
Rogue Running is celebrating Day 1 of 2018 in the best way they know how – with a run, great people and plenty of post-run festivities! The Black Eyed Pea Run is an Austin tradition, and as always, it is FREE and open to everyone. They will have 3, 5, 7, and 10-mile route options to choose from, each with a map and water stops provided along the way. When you finish, grab a dish of black eyed peas and a mimosa, then stick around awhile. This is a great chance to hang and connect with much of Austin running community! All run distances will kick off at 8:30 am. Please RSVP here (choose “Going” rather than “Interested”) so that they can ensure enough refreshments for all!
Mozart’s Annual Light Show
Through January 2 | Mozart’s Coffee Roasters, 3825 Lake Austin Blvd., Austin
Starting at 6 p.m. each evening, and replaying at the top of every hour until closing, enjoy dazzling lights set to music! The lights show will happen every night. Don’t miss out on all the FREE holiday fun!
Zilker Holiday Tree
Through December 31 | from 6 p.m. to midnight | Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Rd, Austin
Take a spin under the tree and buy some treats from one of the onsite vendors. Tree on display nightly. Cost: FREE!
Barton Springs Polar Bear Splash
January 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. | Barton Springs Pool, Zilker Park, Austin
Save Our Springs (SOS) Alliance hosts this annual event at Barton Springs Pool. Commemorative shirts, coffee, and donuts all on a first come basis. Everyone is welcome to come, jump, and go throughout the day. Don’t forget your warm clothes for when you get out. FREE!
Pfreeze Pflop (Pflugerville)
January 1 | at 10 a.m. | Scott Mentzer Pool, 901 Old Austin Hutto Rd, Pflugerville
Are you brave enough to slide into the pfrigid water at Scott Mentzer Pool to kick off your new year? The event lasts until the last brave soul goes down the slide! No, the pool isn’t heated. Pfirst 50 people will receive a pFREE t-shirt. Plus, admission is pFREE with donation of a canned food item given to benefit local pfood banks.
Polar Bear Splash (Kyle)
January 1 at 1 p.m. | Kyle Pool, Gregg-Clarke Park, 1100 W Center St, Kyle
Take part in the Kyle tradition and make a splash at the Kyle Pool. FREE!
Holiday Break at Dart’em Up
December 31 and January 1 | 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. | Dart’em Up, 13776 US-183 #104, Austin
Hey Nerf Nation, prepare for a holiday full of specials! Don’t forget to RSVP. On New Year’s Eve, it’s $10 per hour/up to Level 2 + hourly giveaways. On New Year’s Day, dress up in your PJ’s and play for $5 per hour! If not, then it’s just $7 per hour.
New Year’s Parents’ Night Out!
December 31 – January 1 | 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. | Little Texas Rose Daycare, 803 Sussex Dr., Austin
Reserve your kiddos (ages 1-7 years) a safe and fun place to stay for the night while you go out. For the older kiddos, they will enjoy a live magic show, followed by live music as they wind down the night with snacks (provided organic juice packs, organic pouched apple sauce, crackers and mozzarella cheese for those old enough – though you’re encouraged to bring them their favorite). This is followed by story time as they cuddle in their beds with their favorites blanket or stuffed animal. Three adults will remain on site until everyone is asleep. Two adults will remain awake through the night to ensure everyone’s comfort (especially for the little ones). Limited space available, first come – first serve. $60 deposit to hold your spot, 3 hour minimum, $20/hr.
Featured photo via Austin’s Park ‘N Pizza.