By Jenn Haight
From a relaxing family-friendly evening to a raucous costume party, every type of New Year's celebration is available in Houston. Live out your spy fantasy, rock out, or watch the sky explode in fireworks - just be sure to plan ahead as most ticketed events will sell out.
• Pride Houston hosts Lumiere Nouveau, a New Year's Eve Masquerade at The Ensemble Theatre in Midtown. The party kicks off at 8 pm and features an open bar with top shelf liquor and hors d'oeuvres. It promises to be an evening to remember with a midnight balloon drop, champagne toast and prize give-a-ways to future Pride events.
• CityCentre has a DJ in the plaza beginning at 7 p.m., and its numerous restaurants, retailers, and lounges are hosting site-specific events. When the clock strikes 12, there will be a fireworks show in the Plaza. Hotel Sorella in CityCentre will have live bands and luxury hotel packages for the night or the weekend.
• Tease up your beehive and throw on your post-punk thrift store duds to ring in 2016 with the B52's, as Houston First Presents New Year's Eve. The "world's greatest party band" will bring their timeless hits and infectious party music to the city's fun-filled, free and family-friendly night of celebration throughout Houston's Theater District.
• Hughes Hangar, voted Houston's Best New Year's Eve spot, will be no exception while ringing in 2016. The theme is James Bond and Old Hollywood. Enter the club on a red carpet and party in one of the three 007 rooms. The main room, dubbed "The Goldfinger Room," will be completely decked out in gold. The patio, with private cabanas and an elevated dance floor, will feature a balloon drop.
• The Suffers are an up-and-coming Houston band with a soulful rock sound. They will be playing an all-ages show at The House of Blues. A special add-on package is available which allows guests to hang out with the band, witness the sound check and go home with a band poster.
• If you prefer your celebrations to have a sprinkle of mystery, perhaps the Masquerade Ball at the Last Concert Café is right for you. Anything goes at this event, and there will be a costume contest with prizes.
• Howl at the Moon offers several New Year's Eve packages to suit most budgets. Packages range from the Just Dance package, which includes half-price drinks early in the night, to the Champagne Supernova, which guarantees seating and includes a gourmet buffet and party favors.
• A racier party will be the CasaBlanca New Year's Eve Celebration at the Ritz Ultra Lounge. The party is dubbed as "a glamorous and sexy formal & lingerie event." There will be a gourmet dinner, a midnight breakfast bar, party favors and a Champagne toast.
• The H-Town Countdown is an annual event held at the Silver Street Warehouse. Multiple DJs and fully stocked bars are included, as well as a breakfast buffet, flying aerialists and a confetti and balloon drop. A VIP lounge has been added for people preferring a more intimate evening.
• MKT BAR is hosting a New Year's Eve Soul Celebration. They'll host local funk, soul and Motown bands and DJs. Their exquisite menu of light bites and surprises will be included. VIP packages are available, and reservations are suggested.
• The Continental Club is where you want to be if you don't want to pay to get in but you want to twist and shout. The club will be featuring the Allen Oldies Band and with no packages or ticket sales, it will be first come, first served.
• For an elegant evening, perhaps Fire and Ice at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts is the event for you. The event begins with dinner and cocktails in the Sarofim Hall Grand Lobby. Performances of Vivaldi's Winter and Handel's Apollo e Dafne will follow in Zilkha Hall. The event concludes with Champagne and dessert at the Founder's Club.
• Let Go 2015 is a New Year's Eve Masquerade party at Walter's Downtown. This all-ages event includes performances by Dad's Records, Black Lodge, Pitter Patter, Devil Killing Moth and Space Villains, as well as comedy by Micro Satan.
This is just a sampling of the myriad events occurring in Houston on New Year's Eve. Many hotels are offering special packages, and most museums have events during the day for people who prefer to celebrate early.