It’s the most wonderful time of the year. 2021 is coming to a close and the new year is right around the corner. Events haven’t returned in full swing just yet, but that doesn’t mean you have to forgo holiday celebrations altogether.  Discover Temple has put together a list of things you can do both from the comfort of your home and in the city with friends and family. This year let’s celebrate the possibilities of the new year in good health.

Dress Up and Capture the Moment

Who says you need an extravagant event to get dressed up and have a ball? Grab your best dress and sparkly heels for a night at home counting down to the new year and the illustrious Times Square Ball Drop. This idea brings about the perfect excuse to buy a new outfit. Head to one of our local boutiques in the downtown district or throughout the city for some gorgeous ensembles. There’s something about getting dressed up that makes even the most mundane night at home feel like a grandiose experience.

In case you missed the opportunity to throw a Roaring Twenties party in honor of the 2020s, you can throw a Gatsby-themed soiree for an artsy, classic take on New Year’s celebrations.  Invite friends and family to take part in your virtual countdown or event and have all participants wear their best event attire. Snap a few photos and celebrate with your favorites in the comfort of your home.

Cheers to the New Year!

We all know the tradition of toasting glasses on New Year’s Eve. If you decide to celebrate with friends virtually this year, toasting glasses might be a little tricky, but you can still open a bottle of the finest sparkling cider or champagne and have a toast at home.  Pour your own drink and cheers to the camera as you get ready for the countdown to 2022.  Getting together with friends or family for an in-person event?  Have everyone bring their favorite sparkling cider flavor and take turns making their own toast to the new year.

Virtually Celebrate with New York City

It’s no secret that one of the most extravagant and widely known New Year’s Eve celebrations is the Ball Drop at Times Square. The first ever ball drop took place in 1907. Can you believe it’s been over a hundred years since then? Every year the celebration is filled with festivities, new music by featured artists, and traditions.

This year you can tune in on your local channels or access the virtual live streaming of the event through Times Square’s website.  With music, sights, and a stunning ball drop, this event will be a splendid celebration worth watching. Watch the ball drop here.

[Photo curtesy of The Beltonian Theater]

See a Movie with the Family

A common New Year’s tradition for families is to head to the nearest theater and see a movie.  With several great options available for new releases, there’s bound to be a movie that the whole family will love. The Beltonian Theater and Grand Avenue Theater in Belton have a variety of movies on the big screens.  For a more historic movie-going experience head to the Beltonian Theater in downtown Belton.

Looking for a local theater with a great concession stand and plenty of buttered popcorn?  Cinemark Temple and XD in Temple has you covered. With snack specials and lots of butter, the food and movie combination will leave you satisfied with the celebrations.

Guys Dining at Bird Creek

Dining for the New Year

Cook a meal featuring traditional food staples like black-eyed peas, pork, or cabbage.  If you don’t feel like cooking, check out social media and websites to see what restaurants will be open and ready to serve.

Events in Bell County

It’s always nice to have the opportunity to celebrate in person after not being able to the year before.  O’Brien’s Irish Pub in downtown Temple will be hosting a New Year’s Eve celebration featuring the Jason Custer Band.  Get ready to sing-along to great tunes and kick off the New Year how the locals do. Corky's Wine Bar will also be celebrating the New Year with a party.  Tickets to Corky's New Year's celebration are $35 and include a midnight champagne toast, party favors, a souvenir glass, breakfast food after the ball drops, and live music.  Attire for the event is semi-formal.

Seaton Star Hall will be hosting a New Year's Eve Dance featuring the Billy Holt Band. The event takes place from 8 pm to 12:30 am. The kitchen and bar open at 6 pm. The event costs $15 per person or $25 per couple and children 12 and under get in for free. Cornbread and black-eyed peas will be served at midnight. Bo’s Barn Dancehall is also hosting a New Year’s Eve Party.  With live music from Craig Howell and Somewhere In Texas, this local event is sure to be a hit. The event costs $25 per person. This price includes the entrance fee for the event, party favors, champagne, breakfast, and black-eyed peas.  Check out the Facebook event for more information.

The Dead Fish Grill in Belton will feature live music from Hadden Sayers beginning at 9:00 pm. Enjoy a delicious meal and listen to a live band to kick off the New Year.

Toast to the new year with Barrow Brewing Co. Barrow Brewing Co. will be open from 12 pm to 9 pm on December 31st.  Live music will begin at 6:30 pm featuring music from Amanda Brown. Kick off the new year right with good music, great beer, and excellent company. The Barton House in Salado will also be hosting an event on the 31st starting at 9:00 pm.  Members can come to the event for free, non-member will need to pay an admission fee of $25. Celebrate the new year with a custom party, music, and drinks!

Tips to Enjoy the Holiday Season

Grab a bottle of sparkling cider for a non-alcoholic beverage if you’re looking for a family-friendly holiday drink rather than champagne.  Plan to leave early if you will be celebrating at local events.  New Year’s is a time of celebration and every local event is sure to get a lot of interest and traffic. Arrive early to make sure you’ve got a great seat inside and an excellent parking spot.

Remember, fireworks are not allowed within city limits. Take your local veterans, first responders and firefighters, and neighborhood pets into consideration.  The loud noises caused by these explosive objects can cause anxiety for those around you.  Celebrate safely and thoughtfully.

May the new year bring you lots of travel and experiences, accomplishments, and an abundance of happiness. Let’s raise our glasses to the endless possibilities that are awaiting us in the new year. Cheers to you, 2022!