And if you like your NYE celebrations a little more alcoholy, you'll probably enjoy the New Year's Eve Celebrations for Adults list.
For $25 (per person) you can usher in 2012 with the fine folks at Incredible Pizza. There'll be a "special balloon drop, door prizes, trivia contests, and a non-alcoholic midnight toast, in addition to its unlimited buffet, go-karts, bumper cars, mini-golf, and bowling." Essentially, what they're saying is "You give us $25 and we'll keep your kids busy for a few hours," which really sounds worth it to me. Starts at 8 p.m., ends at 1 a.m. Tickets must be purchased by Dec. 30th.
There are two locations for this event:
5950 Fairmont Parkway
Pasadena, TX 77505
3412 State Highway 6 South
Sugar Land, TX 77478
New Year's Balloon Drop for Kids at the Downtown Aquarium
From 2 p.m. thru 5 p.m., you and yours can head out to the Downtown Aquarium for food (buffet), pictures with Sharkey, a bird show(?), and balloon drop. I've been to DA a few times with my wife and twin boys, and they really get a kick out of it. (The boys, not the wife, although she doesn't hate it or anything.) Call ahead for reservations and try to score the discounted all-day adventure passes are available for $8. Otherwise, you're looking at $16 for adults and $10 for twelve and unders.
410 Bagby Street
Houston, TX 77002
Aimed at the coveted infant to 6-year-old New Year's Eve celebrators, Monkey'N Around offers their NYE countdown at noon (which is a brilliant idea, really). $6 per kiddo gets you access from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in addition to noise makers, cookies, and sparkling cider.
17304 Highway 3
Webster, TX 77598
The Children's Museum is another place that's offering their countdown at noon, in addition to an indoor parade led by the High Steppers, a New Orleans style brass band. Be sure to stick around for an after-party with DJ Zin.
1500 Binz Street
Houston, TX 77004
If you wanna kick it with Santa while listening to live music and getting a little bit of shopping done, head on out to Moody Gardens. This event is actually going on up until New Year's Eve, so feel free to head out there beforehand. Tickets are a wonderfully priced $3.95 per.
One Hope Boulevard
Galveston, TX 77554
Open from noon to 1 a.m., this could be a filler activity between other daily traditions. And with tickets being either $9.50 for anyone over five, or $5 for anyone under, it's light on the pocketbook as well.
Lake Robbins Drive and Six Pines Avenue
Spring, TX 77380
If you're looking for ice skating a little closer to downtown, this is the place to go. In the Battle of the Ice Skating Rinks, they lose points for only being open until 8 p.m. on New Year's Eve, but they gain points for having a toddler-specific rink and being about an hour closer to my house. Objectivity, schmobjectivity. $10 gets you in (includes skate rental).
1500 McKinney Street
Houston, TX 77010
If you're looking to recreate that Christmas Story type feeling, you'll probably enjoy yourself at the 13th annual Festival of Lights in Dickinson. Naturally, the event is free, and the first 100 people to sign up receive a free Red Rider BB Gun*.
*Not at all true
1000 A FM 517
Paul Hopkins Park