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Things To Do

44 Totally Fun Things To Do This New Year’s Week in L.A.

December 30, 2019 by We Like L.A. Staff
Image via Grand Park

Every week in Los Angeles there are tons of great things to do (even before the weekend gets started) that we think you ought to have on your radar. With that in mind, we put together a list every Monday through Friday morning to keep you in the know about what’s happening in the city you love (or maybe just like).

This week, from Monday, December 30 to Friday, January 3, tons of NYE events in L.A., the Oshogatsu Family-Festival in Little Tokyo, Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade, free admission at Norton Simon Museum, and MUCH more.

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Remember you can always go to our L.A. events calendar page to get an updated rundown of what’s happening around the city.

Hope you find the rundown useful and, as always, enjoy your week!


Keep in mind that while we retain complete editorial control of our content, for some of the ticketing options provided we utilize affiliate links and receive a commission if you purchase through our links.

Monday December 30th, 2019

1. Pasadena Architectural Legacy Tours will focus on Bungalow Heaven and the Hillcrest Neighborhood. Guests will learn about the architectural history of a location and explore various architectural styles.

2. Discover the best in foreign-language cinema during the Golden Globe Nominees Series, a week of special screenings from Dec. 29 to Jan. 4 at the Egyptian and Aero Theatres.

3. Kidspace Children’s Museum in Pasadena hosts Snow Days from Dec. 26-30. The event features real snow, live entertainment, interactive story time, cookie decorating, crafts and a dance party.

4. Here and Now transforms it’s space into a holiday bar called Blitzen’s from December 3-31. Get transported to the the North Pole and enjoy 15 festival cocktails, a seasonal food menu with offerings like Christmas poutine, themed entertainment and more.

5. The Pasadena Tournament of Roses presents SIP & SAVOR a special food festival highlighting Southern California eateries and culinary brands. There will be live entertainment and up-close viewings of Rose Parade float decorating (extra fee). The event takes place December 28-30.

6. Descanso Gardens’ Enchanted Forest of Light returns for another installment with a host of interactive displays and nighttime activities from November 17 through January 5, 2020.

Tuesday December 31st, 2019

PUBLIC TRANSIT REMINDER:  To help you celebrate the holidays safely, all Metro bus and rail lines will provide free service on New Year’s Eve. The free rides start at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019 and go until 2 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020. All Metro Rail Line Stations with faregates will be unlatched and fareboxes and validators will not deduct fare. More info here.

7. Alcove & Big Bar have a unique annual tradition for NYE, their team of expert mixologists will offer a new “timezone cocktail” every hour staring at 3 p.m. and until the clock strikes midnight here in L.A. They’ll also be changing the music every single hour. In all, that’s ten time zones, ten cocktails, and ten playlists. Things kick off in Paris! No cover charge.

8. Grand Park New Years Eve Celebration is our city’s flagship NYE event with music across two stages, food trucks, photo booths, a light installation and more. FREE

9. Dance the night away at Skyspace’s New Year’s Eve Party. Enjoy two floors of entertainment, three DJs, two open-air terraces, a four-hour open bar, appetizers and unlimited Skyslide rides. The cherry on top is that you get to ring in 2020 with unbelievable panoramic views of DTLA with a champagne toast.

10. If VR and gaming are more your speed, check out Two Bit Circus’ during NYE. For $99, guests can get unlimited games in the venue’s midway and arcade areas, tickets to a show, two drink tickets, a champagne toast at midnight, and late-night food. Limited VIP reservations are also available, with guarantee seating, a private bar, and/or bottle service. You’ll have to call ahead to snag VIP.

11. Hip hop super star Megan Thee Stallion will bring some special surprise guests to Downtown’s The Belasco to ring in the New Year in style. Experience two levels of entertainment and an open premium bar all night for VIP ticket holders. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)

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12. On New Year’s Eve, Universal Studios Hollywood will extend park hours until 2 a.m. to ring in 2020. Festivities include DJs, live music, and a fireworks show, which guests can experience by simply purchasing a standard park ticket. Upgraded VIP tickets are available and include private lounges and bars, a buffet dinner, a champagne toast at midnight, and express access to rides and attractions.

13. The Downtown Long Beach Alliance will once again host their annual New Year’s Eve celebration at the Waterfront at Pine Ave Pier. It’s free to the public and features live performances, kids activities and a fireworks show.

14. Celebrate the New Year by boarding The Queen Mary and enjoying DJ sets, multiple themed experiences, a fireworks show and more.

15. Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth, sends 2019 out with a bang at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, with two performances full of memorable songs throughout her career – including music from her new album, For the Girls. Arrive early and visit the festive NYE lounge for champagne and specialty cocktails to toast the New Year. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)

16. Ring in the New Year at Prohibition. The event, now in its eighth year, will see L.A.’s Union Station transformed into a large celebration with a plethora of entertainment, including burlesque shows, a live jazz ensemble, DJs, and headliner RAC.

17. Yamashiro’s New Year’s Eve party will feature a five hour open bar and a live DJ spinning Top 40, Hip-Hop, House, and more hits, plus a live countdown to midnight complete with complimentary champagne and party favors.

18. Head to the L.A. Zoo for a family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration. Guests will have a chance to enjoy the L.A. Zoo Lights, dine on a dinner buffet, take a carousel ride, dance to DJ-spun tunes and watch a live broadcast of the Times Square ball drop. There will also be complimentary champagne and sparkling apple cider for toasting. 

19. The Wolves New Year’s Eve party will include light bites and an appetizer buffet, a champagne toast, drink specials and giveaways all night long. Altos tequila will sponsor the night as well.

20. OTOTO, Echo Park’s sake bar is having a no cover party with a DJ, complimentary sake toast and celebratory kagami-biraki at midnight, where a sake barrel is broken open as part of a traditional Japanese ceremony.

21. Kidspace Noon Year’s Eve is an early celebration for the little ones. Ring in the “noon year” with a party featuring live DJs, party hats, dancing and more as you countdown at the strike of noon.

22. Echo Park mezcaleria, Bar Caló will be open for New Year’s Eve with no cover and a DJ tunes all night. There is a shareable food menu featuring goodies like a nacho platter, a taco platter, chips with assorted dips and more. Their full drink menu will be available and guests will have a choice of a complimentary champagne or mezcal to toast at midnight.

23. Minimal Effort returns for another NYE night of techno and house music, this time featuring Sirus Hood, Ross From Friends, Sharam, Doc Martin, techno Lee K, and option4, along with B2B sets from Lubelski and RYBO, Detlef and Latmun, and Bart Skils and his special guest Layton Giordani spread across four stages.

24. Head to the Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills this NYE to the Riviera 31 Bar & Lounge for a live DJ, a five hour premium open bar and a complimentary champagne toast. There are VIP packages that includes bottle service and reserved seating as well.

25. Castaway’s Hollywood & Vine will host a NYE party with a ticketed event that includes a premium open bar, tray passed hors d’oeuvres, chef action stations, live entertainment and a midnight toast in the Starlight Ballroom.

Wednesday January 1st, 2020

26. The annual Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade has been a beloved tradition since 1890. On new years day the parade will cover a five-and-a-half-mile route with ticketed and free viewing spots.

27. Oshogatsu Family-Festival in Little Tokyo takes over downtowns Weller Court Shopping Center and Japanese Village Plaza with live entertainment, traditional food vendors, mochi making, music and more. FREE

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28. Petty Cash Taqueria & Bar’s annual New Year’s Day Bartender’s Brunch keeps the party going with drink specials from guest bartenders, DJ playing music all day, and a complimentary champagne toast every hour on the hour.

29. The El Capitan Theatre is the prime spot to see Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker, audiences will be treated to exclusive experiences that include the Evolution of the Stormtrooper™ costume exhibit plus costumes from the new movie. Before each movie, ticketed guests can also snap a photo with First Order Stormtrooper™ at a meet-and-greet and enjoy an all-new laser and light show. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar) Open on Christmas too!

30. The LA Phil presents A Viennese New Year with Zubin Mehta at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

31. It’s the final day of Queen Mary Christmas. The special event will see Christmas spirit lining the famous Long Beach vessel and activities include a 26 feet tall Christmas tree, variety of holiday activities, an outdoor skating rink, live entertainment and much more.

Thursday January 2nd, 2020

32. Every first and third Thursday of the month Brennan’s in Marina Del Rey hosts their famous turtle races. Since 1974, this tradition brings these little speedsters out of their sanctuary (located in the bar) for an exciting game that support charities. Race starts at 9 p.m.

33. The Bai Holiday Ice Rink returns to Pershing Square from Nov. 14, 2019 to Jan. 2, 2020 featuring a 7200 square foot outdoor ice-skating experience. A wide variety of events will take place throughout the duration of the rink. Open on Christmas too!

34. The Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanic Garden presents Moonlight Forest, where crafted lanterns line the garden grounds, some depicting animals, shimmering exotic flowers, and figures from Chinese legends. Happening Wednesdays through Sunday from November 9 through January 12, 2020. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)

35. The Paley Center for Media celebrates the holidays with family-friendly experience PaleyLand. Guests can enjoy daily screenings of classic holiday TV programs, a Candy Cane Forest , arts and crafts, dreidel games, and free hot cocoa. No reservations are required. Open Wednesdays through Sundays till January 5, 2020. FREE

36. Corey Helford Gallery’s sixth annual Art Collector Starter Kit group show highlights affordable 12” x 12” works from 100 top New Contemporary artists, giving new art collectors and enthusiasts a chance to buy an original piece from artists. The show will be on view through January 18, 2020. 

Friday January 3rd, 2020

37. Never been to LACMA? First-time Fridays is a new monthly event for new visitors to the museum. Simply let the ticket office know you’re a newbie and you’ll receive a free poster, discounts and a welcome gift. Plus, if you have a valid L.A. County residents you can get free admission after 3 p.m.

38. Gay Asstrology, an LGBTQIA+ Dance Party happening on the first Friday of every month invites queer energy, community, and a love of astrology to The Satellite in Silver Lake. It’s Capricorn season so everyone with that sign gets free admission to the party.

39. The Smell turns 22 this year and they’re throwing a party this Friday to celebrate being an all-ages, alcohol and drug-free, punk rock/noise/experimental venue in Downtown Los Angeles. Performers for the night include Together Pangea, Bob Baker Marionettes, Whaja Dew and more.

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40. It’s First Fridays at The Village in Redondo Beach. Merchants and art galleries will stay open till 8 p.m. and live music will be next to the Aloha Bungalow.

41. Get into the winter spirit when ICE at Santa Monica returns with a 8,000 square foot ice skating rink. Running November 1, 2019 through January 20, 2020.

42. Check out the Norton Simon Museum’s collection of art and a fantastic outdoor garden for free on the first Friday of every month (after 5 p.m.) FREE

43. Head down to Scum and Villainy Cantina in Hollywood for Cosmic Karaoke night. There is no cover for this event.

44. The annual LA Kings Holiday Ice happening at L.A. LIVE’s Microsoft Square is a daily outdoors holiday skating rink. Open November 30, 2019 through January 12, 2020.

Food Pick for the Week

This week’s pick by Christina Champlin, Co-Founder of We Like L.A.

Looking for something delicious on the final evening of the year? Check out the below list of special menus and themed dinners that will take you into 2020 in style. All listed below will stay open past midnight. Cheers to that!

  • Modern Japanese restaurant INKO NITO welcomes DJ P-Trix and DJ Cheps to their NYE bash featuring a photo booth, a private cocktail bar on the patio and an omakase menu. Dinner is available between 5-10 p.m. for $85 per guest, the four-course meal includes a welcome cocktail courtesy of Seedlip and Lofi aperitifs, Soto sake with a sashimi pairing, robatayaki-grilled entrees, dessert and a complimentary glass of bubbles at midnight. The a la carte menu option is also available for folks without a NYE omakase reservation. –> More information
  • The Mullin Wine Bar smacked dab in the middle of the Grand Park + The Music Center’s New Years Eve celebration will offer prime viewing spots to ring in 2020. The bar will host a “Cocktails and Countdown” for party-goers where they’ll get a garden table and enjoy light bites with wine or champagne while having a clear view of the NYE event in DTLA and to the light show on the west side of City Hall. Cost for the experience is $150 for two guests and includes a cheese board with dried fruit, chocolate covered strawberries and wine or champagne. For the $300 package you can get seats up to four guests, cheese board with dried fruit, chocolate covered strawberries and wine or champagne. Reservations are limited and should be made asap. –> More information
  • Abernethy’s also in the middle of the Grand Park + The Music Center’s New Years Eve celebration invites Angelenos to ring in 2020 with a meal prepared by Chef Jason Fullilove. The five-course modern soul food menu includes shrimp bisque, crab toast, roast free-range chicken, bbq bone-in short rib, shrimp ‘n grits, squash agnolotti and more to choose from. –> More information
  • Lunetta in Santa Monica is throwing a yacht themed party this New Year’s Eve. Guests can enjoy a menu of coastal classics like shrimp cocktail, lobster bisque, 55-day aged rib chop and Maine lobster. A selection of caviar paired with champagne and some decadent desserts will also be available. Tiki cocktails will be offered all night long and a dance party will last till 1 a.m. DJ Kelly Cole will be playing the classics from the ’70s and ’80s and yacht rock classic party music. The countdown to midnight will include a champagne toast and balloon drop. Reservations are recommended and people are free stop in for just the party as well for $25 a person. –> More information
  • Via Alloro in Beverly Hills will host a New Year’s Eve party with the full Sicilian menu available. Guests can dine on pasta such as the Spaghetti Con Aragosta E Frutti Di Mare; seafood dishes like a Branzino Al Cartoccio or a succulent Costoletta Di Vitella Parmigiana, a 16 ounce breaded bone-in veal chop topped with tomato sauce and melted Mozzarella. Handcrafted cocktails will be served all night as well including wine from Via Alloro’s award winning wine list. There will be party favors, live entertainment and plenty of dancing featuring the Randy & Monte Bald & Beautiful playing from 6:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. A DJ will accompany the band for the countdown at midnight. –> More information

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