No matter how you choose to spend your New Year’s Eve this year, there’s a family-friendly event somewhere in Austin just for you. From virtual parties to noon-time balloon drops, this incredibly family-friendly list of 13 New Year’s Eve to-dos in and around Austin will have you shutting the proverbial door on 2020 with a great big Texas smile.
Note: Be sure to check with the venue first for the specific safety measures and mask requirements.
New Year’s Eve virtual events
If your family prefers to stay in on New Year’s Eve, these virtual events will help keep you entertained while celebrating the start of 2021:
New Year’s Eve magic show
The Lake Travis Community Library is hosting an online magic show with Magician John O’Bryant starting on Dec. 31 at 11 a.m. The virtual show will celebrate the new year with magic, storytelling, audience participation, giveaways and a lot more. To register for this free show, check here.
“Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!”
No matter where you are, your family can celebrate the new year with the Charles M. Schulz Museum. The annual New Year’s Eve festivities will be a virtual Noon Year’s Eve celebration with Peanuts-themed crafts, special appearances by Snoopy and Woodstock plus a countdown to the up-down balloon drop at noon. The online event starts on Dec. 31 from 1 p.m. (Austin time) until 2 p.m. Be sure to register by Dec. 30.
New Year’s Eve Austin music
If you’ve been missing the musical sounds from the best city in the world, then tune in to the City of Austin’s annual virtual New Year’s Eve celebration and watch the star-studded event from home. The pre-recorded lineup includes Shakey Graves, Parker McCollum, Gina Chavez and more. The performances were recorded at iconic Austin favorites, including The Saxon Pub, The Continental Club, Cheer Up Charlies, Antone’s NightClub and Mohawk.
New Year’s Eve live events
Here are some of the family-friendly New Year’s Eve events you can attend while also maintaining a safe social distance:
New Year’s Eve movie and fireworks
“Say Goodbye To 2020” with movies and fireworks at Doc’s Drive In Theatre in Buda, Texas. Starting at 6 p.m. on Dec. 31, bring the kids to Doc’s for “Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse” and “Sing” followed by a fireworks show. And for those who prefer a night out sans kids, starting at 9:20 p.m., catch “Boogie Nights” and “The Great Gatsby” at 9:30 p.m. followed by another fireworks show. For tickets to either event, check here.
New Year’s Eve bowling
Ring in the new year with High 5’s “NYE Family Party Countdown.” Starting at 4 p.m. on Dec. 31 and continuing every two hours until 10 p.m., families can bowl together, eat pizza together and celebrate 2021 together. Silly Sparkles, the famous face painter and balloon artist will be available at the Lakeway location. Get tickets for the Anderson Lane location or the High 5 in Lakeway and celebrate a brand new year together.
New Year’s Eve 1985
If you’re ready to say goodbye to 2020 then check out the Georgetown Palace Theatre and get ready to go back to 1985. The “New Year’s Eve: Back to the Future Movie Marathon” kicks off at 5 p.m. with the showing of the first “Back to the Future” movie, followed by “Back to the Future: Part 2” at 7:30 p.m. and wrapping up with “Back to the Future: Part 3” at 10 p.m. Movie watchers will have a 30-minute break in between shows filled with awesome ‘80s music and “Back to the Future” trivia.
The price of admission is paying what you can to help support the Georgetown Palace Theatre, but you have to reserve your seat in advance. Wear your best Marty McFly and Doc attire or your favorite ‘80s leg warmers to win prizes. Check here for more info.
New Year’s Eve ‘Winter Wanderland’
The iconic Austin Motel is hosting its first Winter Wanderland. The event started on Dec. 3 and it ends on Jan. 3, 2021. On New Year’s Eve, you can check out the festive courtyard starting at 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. The event is free but reservations and masks are required.
New Year’s Eve Walkway of Lights
Spend your New Year’s Eve in Marble Falls exploring the Walkway of Lights along Lake Marble Falls as well as the Winter Ice Skating Rink at Lakeside Park. The ice rink is open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and costs $10 for tickets purchased in advance and $12 if purchased at the event. The Walkway of Lights is open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and is free.
Noon Year’s Eve live events
These kid-friendly events get started at noon and end before the sun goes down for the last time in 2020:
Noon Year’s Eve jumping
Jump into the new year at the Altitude Trampoline Park in Round Rock. The family-friendly event is on Dec. 31 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a balloon drop at noon. The event includes a kid-friendly toast, a live DJ and games. Passes are $15 per person.
Noon Year’s Eve roller skating
Why not roller skate your way into 2021 at Playland Skate Center? The “New Year’s Eve Balloon Drop” kicks off on Dec. 31 at 12 p.m. and lasts until 6 p.m. with the official balloon drop happening at 4 p.m. Skating lasts until 6 p.m. It’s $9.50 (plus tax) per person. To find out more, check here.
Noon Year’s Eve aquatic party
The Austin Aquarium is hosting a kid-friendly way to ring in the new year — for FREE. Families can celebrate 2021 with a balloon drop at noon on Dec. 31. It’s free for all visitors who have purchased admission tickets. For more info, check here.
Noon Year’s Eve kid dropoff camp
My Gym Children’s Fitness Center is hosting a Noon Year’s Eve Camp for kids ages 2- to 9-years old. The camp gets started at 9 a.m. and lasts until 1 p.m. Kids will play games, enjoy adventures and make a cookie decorating project. At noon, they’ll have a bubble and balloon celebration to ring in the new year. It’s $10 for My Gym members and $12 for nonmembers.
Noon Year’s Eve backyard
From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., kids and families can usher in 2021 in the open backyard at The Hive. Activities include crafts, snacks and kid-friendly sparkling juice and an adult-friendly sparkling champagne toast at noon. Tickets are $10 per family (two adults and two kids max) and include two glasses of champagne and two glasses of sparkling juice. Check here for more info.