Mother Neff State Park
Mother Neff State Park leads the state in attracting walkers for the First Day Hike. More than 100 hikers walk a trail at the park Jan. 1, 2013.

The last weekend of 2018 is here, and there are plenty of parties, family-friendly events, and more to say, “goodbye,” to 2018 and, “hello,” to 2019. Use this listing of events to find the perfect way to celebrate.

Best Bet

Mother Neff State Park, 1680 Highway 236 in Moody, is hosting its First Day Hikes at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Jan. 1. These guided hikes through the park are free, but entrance fees of $2 per person 13 years and older still apply.

New Year’s Eve

Joker’s Icehouse Bar and Grill, 7900 S. Clear Creek Road in Killeen, is hosting its New Year’s Eve Party and costume contest from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Dec. 31. Those wishing to participate in the costume contestshould wear a Marvel character costume as tribute to creator, Stan Lee, for a chance to win $50.

Chief’s Sports Grill, 806 Atlas Ave. in Killeen, is hosting its New Year’s Eve party from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Dec. 31 with live music by Distinguished Soundz. Tickets for general admission are $15 per person, $20 for VIP reserved seating, and includes light appetizers and a champagne toast.

Unwind, 175 W. Business Highway 190 in Copperas Cove, is hosting its New Year’s Eve Party from 7 p.m. to midnight Dec. 31. Tickets are $35 per person and include an appetizer, main course, dessert, and champagne alongside live entertainment at 8:30 p.m. Reservations must be made in advance by calling 254-238-7183 or by

Spare Time Texas, 5434 205 Loop in Temple, is hosting its New Year’s Eve Countdown Celebration from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Dec. 31. Tickets are $37 per guest, $32 for kids 12 and under, and include bowling, shoes, laser tag, unlimited video games and soft drinks, an appetizer buffet, and a champagne toast at midnight for adults 21 and up.

Obok Restaurant and Club is hosting a Pre New Year’s Eve party from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Dec. 30, 2815 S. Fort Hood St. in Killeen. Live music starts at 11 p.m.

Festivals, Events

Many of the shops of downtown Salado will be open late during Salado’s Fourth Fridays Sip N’ Shop from 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 28 along Main Street.

Cindy’s 2019 Grand Ball, for mothers and daughters, will be from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Jan 6 at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center, 3601 S. WS Young Drive. This event will feature Disney princesses for guests to meet and greet, as well as a dance party and refreshments. Daughters are asked to wear their Sunday best or their favorite princess outfit, mothers are asked to wear formal or semi-formal attire. Tickets are $35 per person and can be purchased online at

Family Fun

The Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area annual Trail of Lights is open nightly from 5:30 to 11 p.m. until Jan. 6. The trail, which is at N. Nolan Road and Cottage Road in Belton, features miles of outdoor light displays and an opportunity to visit Santa’s Village for shopping and pictures with Santa. Cars, mini-vans, and pick-up trucks are $15 per carload.

Every Sunday morning, a free group run is held at various locations. This week, runners of all ages and paces will meet from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the Dana Peak Park trailhead in Harker Heights. Water and coffee will be provided. There will also be an additional 10K trail run this week at 7:30 a.m. Dec. 31 to close out the year at Dana Peak Park.

Bronco Youth Center, 6602 Tank Destroyer Blvd., Fort Hood, offers a free Explore Learning and Playgroup from 9:30 to 11 a.m. every Wednesday, but will not be in session Jan. 2 for the holiday. Each session is geared toward children younger than 36 months old, but is open to all age groups. The class is hosted by ACS/FAP New Parent Support Program, a group of nurses and social workers that provide parenting education and support to families with children 3 years old and younger. Participants must have a valid military ID. For more information, call 254-287-2286.


The Mayborn Science Theater at Central Texas College features a variety of laser shows, movies, and other events based on astronomy. For show descriptions, a full schedule, and ticket prices go to or call 254-526-1800.

Clubs, Meetings

Songsmith Salado chapter meets from 7 to 9 p.m. the second Monday of every month at the Salado Public Library, 1151 N. Main St. Membership is free and meetings consist of a discussion about the craft and business of music, friendly feedback on original songs, as well as guest speakers. Songsmith is a Texas-based nonprofit with the mission to discover, encourage and connect songwriters and musicians in Texas, especially in the Central Texas area. Su Heflin is the meeting coordinator for the Salado chapter. For more information, email or call 254-947-3427.

Copperas Cove Bass Club meetings are at 7 p.m. the first and third Tuesday of each month at the Lil Tex Restaurant, 502 S. Main St., Copperas Cove. Call 254-661-9274.

The Bell County Writers Guild meets from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. the first Monday of each month at the Lena Armstrong Public Library, 301 E. First St., Belton. Call 254-231-1843.

The Mystery Book Club meets at 1:30 p.m. the first Tuesday of every month at Barnes & Noble Bookstore, 201 E. Central Texas Expressway, Harker Heights. All mystery book lovers are welcome. For information, contact Marcene Saunders-Martinez at 830-357-8314.

Local Music

Barrow Brewing Company, 108 Royal St. in Salado, will host live music by X-Factory from 7 to 9 p.m. Dec. 28. Bottlecap Mountain will also perform from 7 to 9 p.m. Dec. 29, and Shelley King will play from 3 to 5 p.m. Dec. 30. The taproom will be open from 5 p.m. to midnight on Dec. 31 to celebrate New Year’s Eve with live music by Martian Folk starting at 9 p.m.

Blends Wine Bar is hosting live music by Horace Willis from 8 to 11 p.m. Dec. 28. $5 cover, 21 and up only. The Anti New Year’s Eve Party will be from 7 p.m. to midnight Dec. 31 and will be a laidback event with no cover charge. Blends also serves brunch from noon to 2 p.m. every first and third Sunday of each month complete with a trivia competition. Brunch is $20, mimosas are $2 each, and drink specials run all day. For more information, call 254-613-4739. Blends Wine Bar is at 208 N. Penelope St., Belton.

Dirty Harry’s presents live music at 9 p.m. every Wednesday. No cover for ages 21 and older. Dirty Harry’s is at 206 W. Veterans Memorial Blvd., Harker Heights (next to King Pin Tattoos). For more information, call 254-680-6557.

Bo’s Barn Dance Hall and Club will host live music by Kenny Ortis and the No Chance Band from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Dec. 28. Cover: $10. The band, 35 South, will perform from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Dec. 29. Cover: $10. The New Year’s Eve Dance will be from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Dec. 31 featuring music by Branded Heart. Tickets are $25 and include cover charge, party favors, champagne, and breakfast. The dance hall is at 4984 W. Farm-to-Market 93, Temple. Catch karaoke from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. every Thursday, with a DJ until 1:30 a.m. Happy Hour is from 5 to 10 p.m. every Thursday, and 5 to 8 p.m. every Friday and Saturday. For more information, go to, or call 254-939-7131.

Chupacabra Craft Beer and Salado Lonestar Winery hosts free live music every Friday from 7 to 11 p.m. Chupacabra is at 401 S. Main St., Suite #105, Salado.

Farmers Markets

All-Year Pioneer Farmers Market will be open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in front of Tractor Supply Company at 2002 E. Central Texas Expressway in Killeen, weather permitting. Go to or call Heike at 254-458-8223 for more information.

Florence Market Days runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. the first Saturday of every month at Florence City Hall, 106 S. Patterson Ave. Farm vendors, artisans, retail sales, cottage and food vendors and nonprofit organizations will be present.

Arts & Theater

The Lampasas County Museum, 303 S. Western Ave., is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Friday and Saturday.

The Mayborn Museum Complex, 1300 S. University Parks Drive, Waco, will present a premier exhibition, “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition,” until Jan. 6. The exhibit features more than 150 artifacts recovered from the ocean floor along with room re-creations and personal stories. The exhibit is a chronological journey through the ship’s construction, to life on board, to the ill-fated sinking and amazing artifact rescue efforts. Tickets for the exhibit are on sale at Patrons of the Waco/McLennan County and Hewitt Public Libraries system can also borrow a museum membership at no cost at any time. For more information, call 254-710-1104.

The Bell County Museum, 201 N. Main St., Belton, is open to the public from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Call 254-933-5243 or go to for more information.

The Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum, 315 W. Ave. B, Temple, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and hosts a themed family day on the first Saturday of the month. Go to or call 254-298-5172 for more information.


The Lions Club Park Senior Center hosts a dance for seniors 55 and older from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. every first, second, and third Tuesday of the month at the Killen Community Center, 2201 E. Veterans Memorial Highway. Admission is free and attendees are asked to bring a food dish to share.

In the Mood Ballroom is hosting a New Year’s Eve Variety Dance from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Dec. 31 for $25 per person. Party favors, light appetizers, a champagne toast, and balloon drop will be included. In the Mood also hosts dance lessons of various styles throughout the week and is located at 13 and 15 S. Main St., Temple. For more information on future events or classes, call 254-773-7088, email, or go to

Bars, Clubs

Club Fuego, 704 Edwards Drive in Harker Heights, features Latin music and dancing every Thursday through Sunday from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. Ladies are free before 11 p.m. Call 857-294-5604 for more information.

Main Street Tejano Club, 201 S. Main St., Temple, has a DJ/live music from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. every Friday and Saturday. Call 254-541-8329 or go to

Pan American Club, 575 Pan American Drive, Harker Heights, features Tejano, Norteño and Cumbia music. Call 254-690-2882 for more information.

Longhorn Saloon, 2503 S. General Bruce Drive, Temple, hosts music every Saturday and Sunday. Waco’s DJ Loco will perform from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Dec. 28. No cover.Los A-T Boyz will perform 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Dec. 29. $10 cover. The New Year’s Eve Bash, hosted by DJ Ponyboy, will be from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Dec. 31. No cover.Call 254-771-1364 for more information.

Have upcoming events to include? Email Items run as space is available.


Larry Mitchell, Texas Realtor

Broker Associate, ABR, CRS, GRI, VLB

254 681 5115 Cell