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Free Things to Do in Texas This Weekend: Dec. 29-Jan. 1

Written by , published December 28, 2017


It doesn't cost much to enjoy a weekend in Texas. If you're on the hunt for free fun, head to these festive New Year's Eve and New Year's Day events across the state. 

More Events

Find more exciting things to do using the Texas Highways Events Calendar database.

Austin's New Year

Austin: Dec. 31

Head down to Auditorium Shores starting at 3 p.m. for a heck of a party hosted by the Austin Convention Center. A few of the more than a dozen bands performing include Magna Carda, Brownout, and Tomar and the FCs. Other activities and sights include a kid’s magic forest, an art stage, a light show at the Stevie Ray Vaughan statue, and a whole litany of food trucks, of course. The event is alcohol-free to ensure everyone gets home safe.

Tricentennial Kickoff and New Year's Eve Celebration

San Antonio: Dec. 31

The city of San Antonio kicks off its yearlong 300th anniversary celebration with a New Year's Eve party and free outdoor concert in the heart of downtown. Roaming performers, interactive art installations, projections on buildings, and festive decorations will occupy 8 acres of festival grounds and spill into the streets. Delectable international fare will be offered in food courts and Yanaguana Garden will be fully activated with games and pop-up performances. The event will be punctuated by a firework show choreographed to music.

Clayton’s Annual Polar Bear Plunge

South Padre Island: Jan. 1

Popular beachside bar Clayton’s hosts its annual polar bear plunge where brave souls jump into the frigid water to welcome the new year. Wear your bikini and beanie for the group dip at noon and stick around for live music and a costume contest.

Day 1 Dallas

Dallas: Jan. 1

Kick off 2018 with the whole family at this festive event at Fair Park. The kids will enjoy activities created just for them, adults will dig the live music, and everyone will love the spectacular fireworks show once the sun goes down.

Hair of the Dog Day

Gruene: Jan. 1

Keep your New Year’s party going with a full day of free live music at the historic Gruene Hall. Guy Forsyth Band, Walt Wilkins & The Mystiqueros, and Zach Walther Band provide the entertainment while you drink, dance, and mull over your New Year’s resolutions.

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