5 Wild Ways to Ring In the New Year in Austin, Texas


New Year's Eve is that special time when we break all the resolutions we're about to resign to. It's a time for celebrating the past, before ceremoniously drinking it into a haze for the sake of renewal and rebirth. Technically, it's just another day, but it only comes once a year on the Gregorian Calendar. So here in Austin, Texas, we'll party like it's 2017.

Here are five celebrations to keep those resolutions on standby:

Party Like It's Retro 1999
Emo's has been throwing New Year's bashes since Zach Morris rocked his brick cell phone on Saved By The Bell. For those of us who lived through the 90s, as well as those who wish we had a time machine to check them out, the perennial rock favorite is throwing a 90s Prom Night bash. Slip on your mood ring, flip down your overalls (one strap or two), bleach your hair and get hammer-time while nodding along to catchy tunes from Ghostland Observatory (and telling everyone you liked them before they were popular).

Doors open at 8:30 and the time machine plus band runs $60.

Carnival in Austin
Sure, Fat Tuesday is still a few months away, and Austin is a little chillier than Rio. But what the hell, it's New Year's Eve! Slip into a slinky sequin dress or any flashy ensemble, strap on a Venetian mask, don as many feathers as you feel comfortable with and get down at The Blackfinn Ameripub (the FINN for short). Live DJs, a photo booth and face-painting make things feel a little like Brazil in North Austin, and the complimentary champagne at midnight doesn't hurt either.

Tickets run from $25 and up and include 2 free drinks and swag. Mini-Carnival kicks off at 9 pm.

Stay Gold Party Boys and Girls
Indecision is a rough thing, especially on a night of lowered inhibitions like NYE. Cool your schizophrenic party brain by shaking your *ahem* groove-thing at the W Hotel (also convenient for a drunk-driving free night). Neon Gold gives you two different ways to get down on 2016's final night. Choose Neon for amped-up dance music and bouncing bodies or Gold for swanky cocktails, shimmering people, and a live DJ. If you're really a high roller, you can up both rooms with an elite pass for a paltry four bills (tip: hotel guests get into Neon for free).

Neon starts raging at 11 p.m. with tickets starting at $50, while Gold swings into action at 10 p.m. and will set you back $150.

Hail the Goblin King New Year
Why should Jennifer Connelly and David Bowie (rest in peace) get to have all the fun? Dress up in your Goblin royal best or dress down like Hoggle; either way, just don't eat the poisoned peach and forget to bring your crystal ball and owl-transforming abilities. On New Year's Eve, Elysium unravels their Goblin King's Ball, which leaves the hook far behind featuring live DJs (spinning classic 80s, 90s and modern pop), live performers and a specialty drink menu.

Doors open at 9 pm and general admission is $10. VIP shows start at $25.

Split the Bill for NYE
The W Hotel isn't the only place to keep your holiday party-dualities in check. Pop the cork on your year-ender in the swanky Warehouse District with ATX NYE 2017. Two adjacent clubs host parties that are worlds apart: twerk in the New Year with live DJs spinning Hip Hop and R&B at The Madison, or break out the semi-formal threads and catch a DJ cutting classic wax and a live band at the Roosevelt Room.

Admission to either room is $20 (or $30 for both), and each venue opens up at 9 p.m.

Andy L. Kubai is a freelance writer and transplanted Austinite who's been exploring the internal and external wonders of his new home for the last 5 years. Find out more about Andy on his website.

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