According to a recent survey, North Texas is among the worst places to celebrate New Year's Eve. But when have locals ever let a label get in the way of a good time? In the absence of Big D NYE, there are fewer free options to ring the in the New Year, though still plenty of places to celebrate.
Put on your best your sequins and suits; here are the can't-miss parties to help you usher in 2017.
P.S. Public transportation is free Dec. 31 beginning at 6 p.m. More deets.
AT&T Streaming Lights at Reunion Tower
Reunion Tower will illuminate the night sky in the final moments of 2016 with a fireworks show featuring more than 4,000 pyrotechnics. While organizers are not encouraging people camp out in Reunion Park, they are partnering with several local venues for watch parties.
View the spectacle from the Old Red Museum in downtown, which is hosting New Year's Eve 2017 Champagne Life: Royalty at the Castle. The event includes dinner, with the option of table service, and dancing to the tune of Inspiration Band and celebrity DJs. ($45-$10,000; buy tickets)
Take in the fireworks from 33 floors in the air at the New Year No Rules party at the W Hotel. Expect to dance the night away with DJ Lucius on the decks. Tickets include a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. (Sold out.)
UPDATE: Tickets for New Year No Rules are sold out, according to the hotel. The only way you can now get in is if you purchase a room package.
We highly recommend posting up on a patio for the fireworks. Happiest Hour near American Airlines Center has a rooftop patio with 360-degree views of downtown Dallas. On New Year's Eve, there will be a $20-$25 cover. (Sold out.)
The NYLO Dallas Soda Bar in the South Side district has one of the best skyline views in the city. On Dec. 31, it's hosting the Black and White Ball and offering hotel room specials to those who attend. Tickets cost $50 for individuals and $75 per couple, and can be purchased by calling the hotel at 214-421-1080. (Sold out.)
Also in the South Side district, Vetted Well at the Alamo Drafthouse has ample patio space to view the spectacle. Its New Year Celebration, which costs $50, includes live music, free appetizers, casino games and a photo booth. (Sold out.)
Reliant Lights Your Holidays
If you -- or your kids -- don't want to wait until midnight for fireworks, head to the AT&T Performing Arts Center in downtown Dallas for Reliant Lights Your Holidays. The event, which has been rescheduled for New Year's Eve after a cancellation at the beginning of December, features live performances by Selena's brother A.B. Quintanilla and his latest project Elektro Kumbia, the cast of The Book of Mormon and several local dance troupes, including the Tap Dazzlers. Outdoor festivities conclude with a fireworks show at 7:20 p.m. The best part? It's free to attend.
Dec. 31 at Elaine D. and Charles A. Sammons Park, 2403 Flora St., Dallas. Free.
Lights All Night
Dance the year away at this Dallas original. Lights All Night festival began in 2010 as a one-night party and has since grown into a nationally renown event that attracts about 40,000 people annually. The two nights of electronic music showcase some of the biggest names in the biz, including this year's headliners Zedd, Deadmau5, A-Trak and Above and Beyond. Expect a sensory feast of lasers, light shows, confetti cannons and costumes.
Dec. 30-31 at Dallas Market Hall, 2100 Stemmons Freeway, Dallas. $125.71-$304.11. Buy tickets.
Beats and Bubbly
Get gussied up and explore the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in downtown Dallas without having to share any of the exhibits with kids. Beats and Bubbly is a riff on the museum's ever-popular Social Science series, which focuses on adult learning and entertainment. That means there will be a DJ spinning tunes and bars serving beer, wine and spirits on every floor. The onsite cafe will also be open and food will be available for purchase. This party is black tie and only for adults ages 21 and up.
UPDATE: Beats and Bubbly is only accepting people on a wait-list now.
Dec. 31 from 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, 2201 N. Field St., Dallas. $50. Buy tickets.
Dallas NYE Ball
Who cares if Dallas isn't the best place to celebrate New Year's Eve when you can practically visit two places lauded as awesome without the crazy crowds. The 7th Annual Dallas NYE Ball transforms two floors of the Crowne Plaza Hotel into a Las Vegas club (downstairs) and New York's Times Square (upstairs). In addition to live music, there will also be a beer pong tournament with cash prizes for the winner. The event also offers dinner to VIP ticket holders for an extra fee.
Dec. 31 from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1015 Elm St., Dallas. $35-$450. Buy tickets.
Marvelous Nerd Year's Eve
Why celebrate the holiday for just one night? The Marvelous Nerd Year's Eve brings four days of geeky fun to the Sheraton Dallas Hotel alongside an all-star cast of celebrities, including comic book legend Stan Lee. In addition to the convention during the day, this weekend-long party hosts a variety of nightly events, such as karaoke with a live band on Dec. 29 and a birthday roast of Stan Lee on Dec. 30. (Many events require an additional ticket.) Save some energy for New Year's Eve, though, when several live bands will bring patrons dancing into 2017.
Dec. 29-Jan. 1 at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, 400 N. Olive St., Dallas. $12.20-$336.00. Buy tickets.
Brew Year's Eve
Raise a pint to the New Year at the local Noble Rey Brewing Co. in Dallas. The brewery opens its doors for Brew Year's Eve, a night of live music from local bands Rise and Shine, Vodeo, and Matt Tedder, plus bottomless beers and bites. In addition to house suds, Noble Rey will be serving beers from its neighbors Community Beer Co., Texas Ale Project, Peticolas Brewing Co. and Bishop Cider Co. The brewery is unique among the Dallas scene because it offers vintage arcade games and video games for patrons to play for free. When's the last time you played Street Fighter in heels?
UPDATE: This event is sold out.
Dec. 31 from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Noble Rey Brewing Co., 2636 Farrington St., Dallas. $80.12. Buy tickets.
Party Like It's 1986 at Free Play
Speaking of video games, Richardson's uber popular Free Play Arcade welcomes kids at heart to unleash their inner gamer at this New Year's Eve celebration. Forget black tie -- come dressed in your best '80s getup and partake in a themed photo booth and 999 red balloon drop at midnight. Party Like It's 1986 tickets include access to the arcade's 60-plus games and a free champagne toast at midnight, and other food and beverages will be available for purchase. This event is 21-and-up only.
UPDATE: This event is sold out.
Dec. 31 from 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. at Free Play Arcade, 1730 E. Belt Line Rd., Richardson. $16.24. Buy tickets.
Backdoor Comedy New Year's Eve Bash
If comedy is more your thing, prepare to laugh all the way to 2017 at Backdoor Comedy's New Year' celebration with Dallas-bred comedian Paul Varghese. The show features Varghese, who's been on Last Comic Standing and Comedy Central, "and friends" in two performances at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. The latter includes a midnight champagne toast followed by dancing.
Dec. 31 at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. at Backdoor Comedy, 8250 N. Central Expressway, Dallas. $29-$49. Buy tickets by calling the box office at 214-328-4444.
F$@k You 2016 New Year's Eve Bash
Can we all agree 2016 was the worst? Time to say goodbye and share your grievances with other haters at the Grapevine Bar in Dallas. This 20-year spot is known for its strong drinks, including the frozen Everclear-peach Bellini, citrus and pomegranate Pom Pom, and tequila and Tang Tangarita. Cover that night will be $1.
Dec. 31 from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Grapevine Bar, 3902 Maple Ave., Dallas. $1. Advance tickets unavailable.
Pete's Dueling Piano Bar
Nearly every trip to Pete's Piano Bar is one for the books, and New Year's Eve will be no different. Sing along to your favorite pop and classic rock tunes as performed by the resident players and expect plenty of surprises -- and potentially embarrassing moments -- too. Reserved seating requires at least four people per table, though general admission is also available. Tickets include bites, party favors and a bottle of champagne.
Dallas Stars vs. Florida Panthers
The Stars' New Year's Eve hockey game is a local tradition, and this year the team takes on the Florida Panthers at American Airlines Center. The game is likely to be over by midnight, just in time to pop into one of the bars walking distance from Victory Park and count down to 2017.
Dec. 31 at 7 p.m. at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., Dallas. $37-$778. Buy tickets.