Things To Do

Things To Do For New Year’s Eve Weekend in L.A. [12-29-2023 to 12-31-2023]

December 28, 2023 by Brian Champlin and Christina Champlin
NYELA at Gloria Molina Grand Park

This is it. Our last weekend guide of 2023. Let’s make it one for the books.

As we close out the year that was, the list of New Year’s Eve events around Los Angeles includes fireworks in Marina del Rey, a massive block party at Grand Park, Tomorrow! at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater, Soul Grain at Common Space, No Cover NYE at Angel City Brewery, Night Dive at the Aquarium of the Pacific, and much more.


Make Metro Part of Your Weekend

As part of their New Year’s Eve service, Metro will be offering free rides from 9 p.m. on Sunday, December 31, through 2 a.m. on Monday, January 1 (on all services). Plus, Metro running trains all night long on New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day. Nice!

Now as far as where to go… we’ve created a quick round-up of free New Year’s Eve to-dos that are also Metro accessible.

More Things To Do This Weekend

M = Less than .5 miles from an L.A. Metro Station, FA = Free Admission, TP = Top Pick

Drunk Theatre: NYE Edition -> This Friday night staple at Santa Monica Playhouse winds down 2023 with a special NYE edition of their show, centered around the usual hilarious premise: A comedian downs five quick shots of whiskey and then sees if he/she/they can make through an improvised set with five sober counterparts. Tickets are $20. Show starts at 9 p.m. More info here.

Lights on DisplayFA > One of the most elaborate home lighting displays of the holiday season is back in Sherman Oaks. Resident Mike Ziemkowski has a brand new edition of Lights on Display for 2023, but per usual you’ll find an elaborate mix of computer controlled lighting, DMX controlled intelligent light, and a bevy of animatronic characters synched to a pre-programmed playlist of holiday tunes. The experience is free to check out, and will run Wednesday to Sunday (weather permitting) through New Year’s Day. More info here.

Astra Lumina: An Enchanted Night Walk Amongst The Stars – > The South Coast Botanic Garden morphs into a multi-sensory celestial pathway where guests will walk amongst the stars thanks to brilliant lights, cosmic visions, and astral song. The seasonal attraction runs on select evenings through Februrary 11, including this Thursday to Sunday. Adult tickets start at $35 and there’s an additional fee for parking. More info here

Miracle, a Christmas Themed Pop Up Bar -> Can’t let go of Christmas just yet? Gather some like-minded friends and head to Miracle, a Christmas-themed pop-up bar located inside Neighbors at Runway in Playa Vista. Guests can indulge in seasonal craft cocktails within a festive setting that embraces maximalist aesthetics. Reservations for Miracle are open, and the pop-up will run daily through the first week of January 2024.

Lightscape at The L.A. Arboretum -> The L.A. Arboretum lights up the holiday season with a one-mile trail of installations and twinkling displays, taking place at the garden after-hours on select dates. This week they are Tuesday through Sunday. Lightscape runs through January 2, 2024. GA adult tickets range $29-$35, depending on the date selected for purchase. Get more info here.

Beer Yoga at Trademark Brewing -> Start your Saturday morning with an 11 a.m. yoga session at Long Beach’s Trademark Brewing led by a certified instructor, followed by a recovery beer. $15 to attend, with one beer included. Bring your own mat. More info here.

Kwanzaa CelebrationM FA > Ovation Hollywood hosts a Kwanzaa Celebration this Saturday featuring a performance from the Ujima dance & drum troupe, free cookies, crafting, and more. Runs 1 to 4 p.m. More info here.

New Years Eve Fireworks & GLOW Party at Marina del ReyFA > Celebrate the New Year this Sunday with fireworks in Marina del Rey. Enjoy a ten-minute fireworks show, at 8:59 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. The shows will be shot from the Marina’s south jetty and can be viewed from virtually anywhere in Marina del Rey. The free family-friendly Glow Party takes place at Burton Chace Park, 7 p.m. to midnight. More info here.

Night Dive New Year’s EveM > The Aquarium of the Pacific rings in the New Year with a special edition of their adults-only, Night Dive program. The evening includes live music from Loud as Funk, DJ-spun tunes in the galleries, a silent disco, and karaoke, plus a confetti countdown at midnight. Tickets run $94.95 person. More info here.

New Year’s Eve at Dynasty Typewriter M > Close out 2023 with a night of stand-up at Dynasty Typewriter, paired with a live band and complimentary champagne toast. The welcome-to-2024 lineup includes Ify Nwadiwe, Luke Mones Genies, Megan Gailey, Max & Nicky Weinbach, Aparna Nancherla, Kimberly Clark, Lizzy Cooperman, and Andrew Michaan. Tickets are $40 if you buy in advance. Doors open at 8 p.m., and the show beings at 9 p.m. More info here.

Grand Park New Years Eve Celebration M FA TP > Gloria Molina Grand Park hosts the west coast’s largest free New Year’s Eve event this Sunday, capped by a 3D countdown art show projected onto L.A. City Hall. The evening features immersive art installations, 30+ food trucks on hand with bites for sale, two stages of music, and an all-female DJ lineup. Runs 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., and it’s free to attend. More info here.

Ron Lynch’s Tomorrow! NYE PartyTP > Comedian Ron Lynch brings Tomorrow! to the Bob Baker Marionette Theater for a 2023 send-off/variety show featuring music, dance, comedy, and (of course) plenty of puppets from the Bob Baker Marionettes. Runs 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tickets are $20. More info here.

Intergalactic New Year’s at Big BarFA TP > Los Feliz’s Big Bar is hosting an all-day, space-themed New Year’s celebration on Sunday, marking the turn to 2024 with an hourly countdown, 10 intergalactic cocktails, and complimentary champagne toasts. The party starts at 3 p.m., and will continue on through midnight. Admission is free.


New Years Eve Gold Rush at Everson Royce Bar -> The Downtown Arts District bar is throwing a “Gold Everything” NYE party with special gold cocktails, tasty food promos, a DJ, raffle and free bubbly at midnight. Walk-ins are welcomed, reservations are encouraged. More info here.

New Years Eve at SchmittysFA > On the most popular night of the year Schmitty’s in West Hollywood will have no cover, and complimentary bubbly to toast at midnight with party favors. DJ Josh Peace will be spinning tunes all night long. More info here.

Soul Grain NYE PartyFA > Common Space Brewery slides into the new year with an evening of soulful vibes, danceable tunes, tacos, micheladas, and of course tons of beers on tap. The fun goes from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m., and there is no cover to attend.

New Year’s Eve at Stache -> The queer-owned restaurant, bar, and nightclub in West Hollywood partners with Eden Entertainment for a ‘Queer Womxn & Friends’ New Year’s Eve extravaganza. Kicking off at 9 p.m. and going till 2 a.m. guests will dance to pulsating beats from live DJ’s and performances, and ring in 2024 with special midnight surprise. Tickets cost $25. More info here.  

Angel City Brewery No Cover New Year’sFA > Angel City Brewery is hosting an all-day, 80’s themed, NYE Party featuring live band karaoke, DJ-spun tunes, bites for purchase, and plenty of beers on offer. Era-appropriate attire is heartily encouraged. Free to attend, but 21+ only.

Homebound Brew Haus NYEM FA TP > The Union Station-based, Dodgers-loving bar is closing at the end of 2023, but they’re sending things off in style with a NYE bash featuring DJ sets, giveaways, karaoke, a photo booth, and more. Runs 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Free entry (first-come, first-served), but space is limited. You can RSVP here.

Long Beach New Year’s FireworksFA > The City of Long Beach rings in 2024 with a pair of fireworks shows, one at 9 p.m. for the east coast / earlier revelers, then again at midnight to mark the new year on the west coast.

Santa’s Secret NYE Gala -> Voss Events Santa’s Secret hosts a NYE gala with Aubrey O’Day of Danity Kane and DJ Lady Bunny. Ring in the New Year inside the adults-only holiday experience at the Beverly Center that takes visitors through a journey of immersive and sassy holiday installations. The experience ends inside a vintage speakeasy featuring a live band, dinner, dancing and cocktails. Tickets start at $125. More info here.


Dining & Drinking

(picks by Christina Champlin)
Beef Tartare at Joseon. Photo courtesy of Joseon.

Joseon -> On New Year’s Eve, immerse yourself in the flavors of Chef Debbie Lee’s Korean heritage at her Silver Lake pop-up, Joseon. With meticulous artistry, Chef Lee curates a celebratory menu that unveils the vibrant tapestry of her roots. Choose your path to indulgence with a five-course ($99 per person) or a seven-course ($149 per person) prix fixe menu. Highlights include Wagyu Beef Ribeye Tartare featuring Asian pear and perilla, Spanish Grilled Octopus served Ssam style, and a comforting Celebratory Rice Cake Soup in Halmuni Bone Broth. Elevate your celebration further by pairing the meal with Korean-inspired cocktails, crafted by the talented mixologist Cari Hah. A bar bites menu will also be available for those who wish to enjoy a lighter evening. As the clock approaches midnight, a complimentary glass of bubbly will be served for a New Year’s countdown. Reservations can be made through Resy.

Coucou -> Ring in the New Year at Venice’s Parisian restaurant Coucou with \three unique experiences to choose from: An a la carte Aperitif Hour, a ticketed First Seating dinner ($85) and Coucou “After Dark” ($95) which includes dinner, Champagne toast and ball drop at midnight. Tickets and reservations can be made through Resy.

Connie & Ted’s -> Celebrate the arrival of the New Year at Connie & Ted’s in West Hollywood. Indulge in the restaurant’s signature Lobster Pot Pie, a dish that only appears during the holidays. Other NYE dine in specialties include Oysters with Caviar Supplement, Big Eye Tuna Tartare, and Nancy’s Scallops.

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