Ah, December. The time of year you ask others, “What do you want to do for New Year’s?” instead of saying, “I’m doing this for New Year’s”.
No one seems to be enthusiastic the planning aspect until after Thanksgiving, and then it seems too late. It is one of life’s biggest paradoxes.
Good thing for you I’m your Doug Flutie, ready to make sure your Hail Mary for last minute plans gets caught with seconds in the end zone.
With that in mind, here’s some great ideas to spend your New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles.
New Year’s Eve is supposed to be special, so why not pamper yourself? The Fairmont Miramar is one of our best hotels and offers the finest views of the coast. Even better, they have a package which does all the planning for you! It includes accommodations, dinner and breakfast for two at their restaurant FIG, valet parking and two tickets to their festive NYE party for $899. And those fabulous robes! You can also spend New Year’s Day at their fabulous pool, because you know it never rains when there’s a Rose Parade.
Tony’s Darts Away
Does New Year’s have to be an excuse to drink beer? No, but when Tony’s Darts Away comes calling, you take notice. Already known for having one of the best beer lists in the valley, they’ll be ringing in the New Year with UNLIMITED pours of California’s finest brews, all you can eat pub food and a raffle from Tony’s private reserves. Tickets are $75, so grab them quickly. And pace yourself please.
Who wouldn’t like to celebrate New Year’s Gatsby style? Prohibition NYE is hosting their celebration in 1920’s fashion at one of LA’s most elegant(and transit oriented) landmarks, Union Station. Accompanying the mood will be live jazz music, oyster trays, hand rolled cigars and dance music led by DJ duo POSSO. Don’t read too much into the event’s title, an open bar will provide custom cocktails and flowing champagne. Pre-sale tickets are gone, so hurry up and grab the few remaining or you’ll be commemorating the Great Depression instead.
If you’re pot committed to living in Los Angeles, then camping out for the Rose Parade is something you’ll do once in your lifetime. Unlike the Twilight movie premieres, there are rules for staying overnight. You can start occupying the sidewalks starting at noon of New Year’s Eve, and then at 11pm you can move into the street up to the blue “honor” line starting at 11pm. Bring celebratory accoutrements, blankets and whatever else you can grab from REI and expect a party atmosphere. If you’re planning on sleep, then make sure you have time after the parade to catch up.
The Sh*t Show
Sometimes, you just want to get up and go for New Year’s without checking your bank account. Promising a fun and young environment, the Sh*t Show presented by Bootie LA will do just that. Joining as part of Downtown’s revival, the Regent Theater reopened this November by famed Echo owner Mitchell Frank and promises the same quality you’d get from his other venue on Sunset. DJ Lobsterdust will be flying in from New York providing the beats and the first 500 will get their mashup mixtape to take home. Some early bird tickets for $20 are available now before they go up to $40.
Living in the South Bay has its privileges, but not easy access to the rest of the city. That doesn’t mean you’re screwed for New Year’s. Hermosa Beach is always a hotbed of activity, so you can’t go wrong(unless you show up too late). Saint Rocke is hosting a party that matches the pace of the area. The Expendables will be playing a few sets along with Dub Architect that’ll make you feel irie. Tickets go from $45 to $64.99.
New Year’s Eve Yacht Party
I’m on a boat! That’s all you have to say to get my attention. Now I have yours. We all dream of owning a luxury yacht, but really, where do you start looking? Instead, try the New Year’s Eve Yacht Party from Majestic Yacht launching out of San Pedro. An open bar, dancing, three decks and fresh air is enough to make this an experience. The ship launches promptly at 9:30, so make sure you’re going with a group that likes to be timely.
Building a tradition, downtown’s featured park will ring in the new year in what promises to be bigger, stronger, and faster than last year’s inaugural event. This edition will double in size allowing 50,000 party goers to dance the night away open to the public for free. Some of KCRW’s finest will be spinning on various stages and City Hall will be the backdrop for a 3-D digital mapping presentation on two sides! The event is family oriented, so no alcohol is permitted. If you want to be an early adopter of what will become an LA institution, head down to Grand Park.
Downtown Long Beach
If you in Long Beach or down in the South Bay, there’s tons going on in downtown Long Beach to ring in the new year. A family friendly series of events will take place at the Waterfront Amphitheater at Rainbow Harbor, with free music from 5pm-10pm, children’s face painting, and a 9pm fireworks show that will celebrate the east coast countdown. Then over near Pine and Broadway they’ll have a paid event (cost: $25) that will take party goers on through midnight with musical performances headlined by Fitz and the Tantrums.
You can’t think about New Year’s without bringing West Hollywood into the conversation. If you’ve already enjoyed Halloween out on Santa Monica, then this will seem like a natural progression. Last year’s #BOOM event was at capacity, so this year they’ll be expanding out further into West Hollywood Park. The celebration is open to 18+ and is drug and alcohol free. Will there be dancing? That’s the very definition of the word DUH!.RSVP to this FREE event, because even reservations might not get you in if you come late.
Would You Like to Play a Game?
This may seem like the most nerdy idea, but you’ll be the envy at the water cooler when you go back to work. The One Up has already gripped Ventura Blvd. with a combination of creative pub fare and craft beer along with video games. Free video games that is. Pac Man. Galaga. Donkey Kong. Over 200 choices! Holy Jolt Cola! There’s no cover charge, but tables are available for reservation.
This probably won’t be your primary plans, but please supplement wherever you travel with using Metro. Driving drunk is a no-no and putting other people’s lives in danger should never be on the table. Metro is offering free rides on all buses and trains from 9pm to 2am and all rail lines, including the Orange bus, will run all night. Besides, why not join the celebratory atmosphere with other smart minded people?
Have any special plans for New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles you’d like to share? Let us know what you’re doing in the comments below!
Also, if you’re looking for a bunch of ideas and resources for how to spend your New Year’s Eve, check out this megathread on the Los Angeles subreddit. Tons of useful info here!