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Venues around Houston are serving up big bashes to celebrate 2013. Each year it is all about topping last year’s event. Whether your preference is a family friendly celebration, a gala to talk about for the rest of the year, an upscale R&B jam session, or dueling piano bars and flowing drinks – Houston has you covered. Start planning and confirm your plans early, some events will sell out quickly. Here are the top New Year’s Eve parties in Houston to help you ring in 2013.
5 Minutes to Midnight NYE 2013
JW Marriott Galleria

5150 Westheimer Road
Houston, Texas 77056
(713) 961-1500

Price: $40 general admission/$125 VIP admission
Hours: Dec. 31 – 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Touted as Houston’s hottest New Year’s Eve bash, the upscale JW Marriott Galleria hosts this annual event. Your general admission fee allows entry to this grand bash with event host 97.9 The Boxx resident DJ Mad Hatta from the popular morning show bearing his name, cash bars and an all-night party in four ballrooms with R&B and hip-hop music. DJs include Rob G and B Love. The VIP Lounge offers complimentary drinks and hors d’oevres, live entertainment, DJ B Love and a private dance floor. Just show up dressed to impress, grab your party favors, and enjoy the midnight Champagne toast.

New Year’s Eve Live Houston’s Official New Year’s Eve Event
George R. Brown Convention Center

1001 Avenida De Las Americas, EHA-C
Houston, TX 77010
(713) 853-8000

Price: free
Hours: Dec. 31 – 7 p.m. to 12:15 a.m.

Houston’s official New Year’s Eve celebration is a party for the entire family with live entertainment, a fireworks display and an art car parade. Last year’s 3-D light show was an amazing sight, and promises to be just as good this year. The event going on inside is in addition to the parade down Avenida de las Americas. As the new year rolls in, the sky will explode with the lights of fireworks, a celebration Houstonian’s may view from far and wide.

5th Annual New Year’s Eve Ball
Stereo Live Houston

6400 Richmond Ave.
Houston, TX 77057
(832) 251-9600

Price: $50
Hours: Dec. 31 – 8 p.m.

This New Year’s Eve bash offers three separate areas of music and dancing in the 30,000-square-foot venue. Drinks are served up at the seven bars. When the clock strikes midnight, the confetti will fall and the Champagne will flow. Stereo Live is one of Houston’s hottest concert venues, and when it comes to holiday parties, it brings the same creativity and technology in the planning.

Howl at the Moon Houston New Year’s Eve
612 Hadley St.
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 658-9700

Price: $35 general admission/$65 to $100 reserve table seating packages
Hours: Dec. 31 – 9 p.m.

The dueling pianos are the spotlight of this rocking venue. The crowd sends up requests and Howl obliges, aiming to please everyone each night. For New Year’s Eve, it is all up to you whether to enjoy the standing-room-only night of dancing or select a seating package with table service. The dance floor is huge and surrounded by a full-service bar manned by delightful bar staff. The waitstaff gets into the party throughout the night offering extra entertainment as well.

Midnight in the Gardens New Year’s Eve Gala
Moody Gardens Hotel and Convention Center

One Hope Blvd.
Galveston, TX 77554
(800) 582-4673

Price: $225 per single/$495 per couple
Hours: Dec. 31 – 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Sophistication is on the menu at this upscale soiree. Ball gowns and tuxedos are necessary to fit in with the decor. The convention center ballroom will be draped in luxurious fabrics and tables will be topped with the finest china and crystal. Commercial Art will provide live entertainment with the sounds of classic soul and rock. Enjoy an open bar, balloon drop and Champagne toast to top the evening off.

Nicole Sonnier is a freelance writer living in Houston and covers Nightlife & Music. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.