The Best Things To Do On New Year's Eve In LA No Matter Who You Are
Congratulations, you survived 2018! There's a whole other year to come, but let's not think about that right now -- it's time to celebrate.
We combed through all of the epic events happening around town to find the best one to attend for you, friend. Find the description of who you are below, and gaze upon your options.
IF YOU NEED A DRINK
When: 9 p.m.-2 a.m.
Where: Union Station
Class up your night with a Prohibition-themed party with the old-school charm of Union Station. You can enjoy the roaring twenties-themed event in Union Station's Ticket Concourse. They'll have theatrical burlesque, a live jazz ensemble, a DJ and an open bar. They even have their own midnight ball-drop celebration, if you're feeling like you need some Times Square-style in your life.
IF YOU NEED A LOT OF DRINKS
Hollywood New Year's Eve PubCrawl 2019
When: 6 p.m.-2 a.m.
Where: Starting at Cabo Cantina
This pub crawl offers discounted drinks all night long at a variety of venues along Hollywood's Walk of Fame. So find a designated driver or use a rideshare and go see what Hollywood bars have to offer this New Year's Eve. When you register, you'll be given a map with the locations of all the bars participating, the times they're participating, and you can go off on your boozy treasure hunt.
FOR PARTIERS OF A CERTAIN AGE
Best NYE Party for 40+ in LA
When: 7:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.
Where: Sportsmen's Lodge
Leave the kids behind, both literal and metaphorical, at this special party for those 40 and up. The party includes a three-course gourmet dinner, along with two live bands playing oldies (yes, that's still a thing), rock, disco, salsa, ballroom and contemporary music throughout the night.
FOR FAMILIES (OR ANYONE LOOKING FOR ALL-AGES EVENTS)
Grand Park + The Music Center's N.Y.E.L.A. from Grand Park on Vimeo.
Grand Park NYELA
When: 8 p.m.-1 a.m.
Where: Grand Park + The Music Center
Head down to DTLA's Grand Park for the signature event, including fireworks lighting up the skies behind City Hall to the delight of tens of thousands of attendees. The live entertainment is headlined by R&B singer Aloe Blacc. City Hall comes to life with futuristic 3D projections on its sides. The event also features DJs, food trucks and even photo booths -- but the park and the lively atmosphere make for their own natural photo booth.
Marina del Rey New Year's Eve Fireworks & Glow Party
When: 7 p.m.-midnight
Where: Burton Chace Park in Marina del Rey
Marina del Rey competes with DTLA when it comes to free fireworks shows. They start the festivities at 7 p.m. with a Glow Party, featuring family-friendly events from DJs and dance music to face painting, bubbles, and a photo booth. They'll also have food trucks on hand for all your midnight snacks. They do both West Coast and East Coast New Year's countdowns, with 10-minute fireworks shows celebrating each. You can see the fireworks from the park, Fisherman's Village or local waterfront restaurants.
L.A. Zoo Lights 2018/19: Family New Year's Eve
When: Starting at 6 p.m.
Where: The L.A. Zoo
Price: $69 for adults, $45 for children
You can check out the L.A. Zoo Lights event that runs all season long at this special event, including a chance to see the nocturnal animals out and about. You get express entry to see the lights, while also enjoying a dinner buffet with soft drinks and dessert. Adults also get complimentary champagne, while kids get some sparkling apple cider. A carousel ride is included. They'll also have games, a DJ dance party and a live broadcast of the ball dropping in Times Square.
FOR FAMILIES WITH YOUNGER KIDS
Kidspace Noon Year's Eve
When: 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Where: Kidspace Children's Museum
Stay up with kids until midnight?! Are you kidding? If your kids aren't yet ready to brave the evening hours, you can check out Kidspace's event, featuring a countdown to 12 noon. Let your kids dance out all their energy with two live DJs, party hats, noisemakers and more. Make sure you get there early. They don't guarantee that you'll make it in for the countdown if you don't arrive by 11 a.m.
FOR THEME-PARK LOVERS
EVE at Universal Studios Hollywood
When: 9 p.m.-2 a.m.
Where: Universal Studios Hollywood
Price: $119 (Universal Studios admission), or free to watch from CityWalk
Run around Universal Studios all day, then enjoy an evening of special attractions. There are three live dance areas, with Latin, electronic and pop/rock/hip-hop themes. You can ride the rides until 1 a.m., and you get three synchronized fireworks shows at midnight that are viewable throughout the park. Or go stake out a spot in CityWalk to enjoy the fireworks for free, or the price of grabbing a bite to eat there.
Disneyland New Year's Eve "Fantasy In The Sky" Fireworks Spectacular
When: 9 p.m. & midnight
Price: $135 (Disneyland Resort admission), or free to see the fireworks outside the park
Disneyland has two New Year's countdowns planned: one timed with the East Coast's New Year, and one for our own. Or stick around for both chances to welcome 2019 at the Happiest Place on Earth. Their regular holiday fireworks show is "Believe... In Holiday Magic," but for the new year, they bring back "Fantasy in the Sky" with updated Disney music along with modern-day pyrotechnics. The park also includes guest DJs and musical performers for the event.
Two Bit Circus' New Year's Eve Celebration
When: 8 p.m.-1 a.m.
Where: Two Bit Circus
This "micro-amusement park" delivers virtual reality, escape rooms, and more, and they're inviting you to a special New Year's edition of their venue. For your ticket price, you get unlimited play of their midway and arcade games, two tickets to the VR or story rooms, and two drink tickets. They're doing a midnight champagne toast, along with late night food starting at 10 p.m.
FOR THOSE WHO DON'T GET SEASICK
New Year's Eve: Past & Present on the Queen Mary
When: 8 p.m.-1 a.m.
Where: The Queen Mary
All aboard -- you'll get to take a nostalgic trip, with the decks themed to different eras. They've got live music, from cumbia to swing, as well as DJs. You'll be able to watch dancers, or some classic dueling pianos. They bring their own fireworks show to make sure you know it's midnight. The performers include Cirque Berzerk, who offer a modern artistic touch on the classic circus act.
FOR MUSICAL-THEATER LOVERS
The Annual One-Time-Only New Year's Eve Musical Revue
When: 6 p.m. & 9:30 p.m.
Where: Santa Monica Playhouse
Price: $49.50 for the 6 p.m. show, $69.50 for the late show; cheaper tickets available for kids 12 & under
Ready to kick back and see some razzle-dazzle? You can head down to the Santa Monica Playhouse for their musical revue, featuring highlights from throughout the Playhouse's decades-long history. It also includes a buffet supper, champagne/non-alcoholic cider, prizes, sing-a-long songs, and the opportunity to dance.
FOR HEAVY METAL LOVERS
When: 2:30 p.m.-midnight
Where: The Forum
Maybe you want to go hard this New Year with a pantheon of heavy rock gods, from the iconic Ozzy Osbourne to Marilyn Manson and Rod Zombie. While the festival's been around for a long time, they can still bring something new -- Ice-T's Body Count is making an Ozzfest debut. While it's at the Forum, this show includes an outdoor stage -- and even some holiday twists. Ozzy himself will be on stage to count down to the new year.
However you're celebrating your L.A. New Year, have fun, drive safe (or take a rideshare), and remember that there are 364 other nights in the year to have fun with smaller crowds and for less money.
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