Move over, procrastination

The early bird's guide to New Year's Eve in Houston

The early bird's guide to New Year's Eve in Houston

Fact No. 1: It's Dec. 10. Fact No. 2: In 22 days, it will no longer be 2010.

That's right. In less time than it takes to form a habit, you will bid farewell to this year.

We can smell the sudden desperation on you. You're afraid that you'll be ringing in the new year with studio-bound Dick Clark and largely unexciting Ryan Seacrest yet again (although the addition of Willow Smith to the lineup makes it a whole lot more appealing — we'll give you that).

We would never let you suffer such a dismal fate. Consider us your knight in sparkling champagne, because we're going to turn your dull New Year's Eve into a blast of sparkling glitter.

Gloworama — Times Square who? With explosions in the sky and activities to illuminate the stars in your eyes from 7 p.m. until midnight, Houston's very own big city countdown celebration promises to be the end-all, be-all for ringing in a new year. And the best part? It's free!

A.D. Players Dinner & Show Package — Not everyone wants to chill outdoors amidst a throng of 500,000 of their closest friends, though. You say you want to ring in the new year amidst fellow theater lovers with a discerning palate? A.D. Players has a 6 p.m. dinner at Ouisie's Table, followed by a cluster of one-acts in A Christmas Unwrapped for you to sit back and enjoy, one nibble or giggle at a time.

Hotel Granduca's Ristorante Cavour — Perhaps you'd rather eat your way out of 2010 and into 2011. With a five-course meal of delicious Italian opulence at the darling Hotel Granduca's Ristorante Cavour from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. and $125 per person, you might have to wear the stretchy sequined pants if you don't want to burst before midnight. At any rate, it would behoove you to call the restaurant for a reservation.

Ars Lyrica's Musical Resolutions — CultureMap contributor Nancy Wozny says you can avoid getting "blasted drunk or dressed to the hilt for some over-priced party" this New Year's Eve. How?

By pretending you're refined and ringing in the new year with Ars Lyrica (and Bach, Telemann, and Handel) and its Musical Resolutions. Perhaps the verdict's out on nailing you down as "refined," but if you don't tell anyone, neither will we.

Free Press Houston's New Year's Eve Cataclysm at Fitzgerald's — You're under control all year long, shackled by the rules and regulations of corporate America. You'll be damned if you maintain any semblance of sophistication on the biggest party day of the year. Fitzgerald's doesn't want you to behave, either. Rock out to a fun, free party, chock full of the most rambunctious local bands, because, well, you deserve it.

Hotel Icon's Backstage Pass  — Who wants to deal with the fuss of planning and coordinating? Plonk down $465 at Hotel Icon, and your party agenda is set into 2011. The hotel's package includes guest room accommodations, complimentary valet, a four-course dinner, deejayed dancing, and of course, a champagne toast.

Not hungover enough on New Year's Day? Extend the party one more night for only $99. Hotel Icon's feeding the party animal in you through the weekend.

Buffalo Bayou New Year's Eve Cruise — If your idea of ringing in the new year includes doing something, well, new, you're in luck. The Buffalo Bayou Partnership wants to take you out on its new pontoon boat, the Spirit of the Bayou, and show you a new way of looking at our beloved city. With light bites and some festive bubbly to top off your two-hour boat tour, the $50 price tag makes this one a drop in the bucket.

Lake Livingston State Park New Year's Eve Campout — At what kind of party can you imbibe as much as your liver desires, and sleep exactly where you pass out? Why, camping, of course!

Luckily, the Bayou City Outdoors Club is hosting its third annual Dec. 31 campout for those of you that want a low-maintenance, civilization-free holiday. But hurry, or you may not be one of the lucky 24 that spends the eve under the stars.

Mercer's Masquerade Ball — For the (very large) part of you that wishes it was Halloween all year round, plush Upper Kirby club Mercer is hosting its second annual costume party to suit your fancy. For a mere $20, you can be someone totally new and enjoy a complimentary champagne toast with entirely new friends when 2011 rolls in. And who doesn't like reinvention?

Hudson Lounge — If masks aren't your thing but themed getups are, take a sharp look at the Miami Chic shindig at Hudson Lounge. Yes, there's a free champagne toast, free food, and confetti cannon chaos on tap. But the posh den will also be live streaming Gloworama, for those of you with hopes of duplicating yourselves so you can attend all the celebratory festivities in town. At a snazzy $100 per person, you really can't beat this twofer.

CityCentre New Year's Eve Celebration — We know you've been meaning to get out to CityCentre. We also know you've used every excuse in the book to stay within the cozy confines of the 610. This New Year's Eve, venture out of your inner loop comfort zone with CityCentre's New Year's Eve Celebration.

Start with a lighting and music show in the plaza led by DJ Kevin Friddell at 8:30 p.m., leading up to a fireworks spectacular at midnight and then maybe graduate to Hotel Sorella's special package deals — and look forward to more than that single midnight kiss.

It's a braver, bolder you in 2011. We can't wait for the memoir.

News_Glowarama_2010_Art Cars
Glowarama at George R. Brown Convention Center promises to be an event that'll put Times Square's celebration to shame. Photo by Bruce Bennett
News_Buffalo_Bayou_Lighting
You've never seen the city quite like you can see it from the Buffalo Bayou. So take a little pontoon boat ride this New Year's Eve and see it for yourself. Photo by Jim Olive/Greater Houston and Visitors Bureau
News_New Year's Eve_fireworks_CityCentre
Are fireworks your thing? Head to CityCentre on the last day of 2010.
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