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 31 to Friday, January 4, features New Year’s Eve parties all over L.A., the Rose Parade, a Fun Box Pop-Up Museum, First Fridays, and MUCH more.
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 31st, 2018
1. Alcove & Big Bar have a unique annual tradition for NYE, their team of expert mixologists will offer a new “timezone cocktail” every hour 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 at 3 p.m. in Paris. No cover charge.
2. Grand Park New Years Eve Celebration is our city’s flagship NYE celebration with music across two stages, food trucks, photo booths, a light installation and more. FREE
3. Dance the night away at Skyspace’s 1st New Year’s Eve Party where DJs Dre Sinatra and GRLSKOUT will be spinning the hottest hip-hop and house music all night long. Your ticket includes access to the entire attraction, open bar all night, tray-passed hors-d’oeuvres, Skyslide rides and a champagne toast.
4. Kidspace Noon Year’s Eve is an early celebration for the little ones. Ring in the “noon year” with a balloon drop, live DJs, party hats, and noisemakers. Dancing is encouraged for the countdown at the strike of noon.
5. 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, a kids’ zone and a ten-minute fireworks show.
6. Ring in the New Year at 2018’s Prohibition. The event, now in its seventh 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 headliners Classixx.
7. Part Time Punks annual New Year’s Eve Party will have DJ Jose Maldonado spinning indie 80s, 90s, Britpop, post-punk, new wave, dark wave at The Moroccan Lounge. Artists you can expect to hear include NIN, Pulp, The Smiths, Nirvana, Radiohead, The Cure, New Order, and more, so get your black eyeliner ready.
8. Celebrate the New Year by boarding The Queen Mary and enjoying DJ sets, multiple themed parties throughout the boat’s ballrooms, a fireworks show and more.
9. There’a a NYE dance party with LCD Soundsystem vs. Daft Punk. DJ JoelAtTheDisco will spin the two bands music along with Chromeo, Justice, Ladytron, Crystal Castles, Peaches, Cut Copy, and more. Tickets include party favors and a champagne toast at midnight.
10. Ring in the final hours of 2018 at Mr. C in Beverly Hills. Their annual fête includes a four course prix- fixe dinner and a live DJ and dancing in the lounge from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. with a complimentary Veuve Clicquot Champagne toast at midnight.
11. Ring in the new year at Marina Del Rey’s Burton Chace Park with a free glow in the dark party featuring face painting, DJs, and fireworks show at midnight. FREE
12. Yamashiro’s New Year’s Eve party will feature a 5-hour premium open bar and a live DJ spinning Top 40, Hip-Hop, House, and mash-up hits, plus a live countdown to midnight complete with complimentary champagne and party favors.
13. Looking for a family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration? The L.A. Zoo is hosting a fun holiday event for friends, families and kids.
14. Not into top 40? Riot! at the Disco is a night of emo and pop-punk. Expect lots of Jimmy Eat World, All Time Low, AFI, Taking Back Sunday, Coheed and Cambria and, as the name might imply, Panic! at the Disco to be played.
Looking for more New Year’s Even celebrations? Check out our massive list of 40 Things to Do on NYE in Los Angeles.
Tuesday January 1st, 2019
15. 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.
16. Oshogatsu Family-Festival in Little Tokyo takes over three different locations with live entertainment, traditional food vendors, mochi making, music and more. FREE
17. Fun Box Pop Up Museum is an immersive celebration of toys happening January 1 through 6. This interactive museum is open to all ages and offers 24 large-scale installations and exhibits designed by engineers and artists. Check for discounted tickets while supplies last via Goldstar. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)
18. It’s Dollar Beers & Sodas Day over at Santa Anita Park on New Years Day. If that’s not enough, $2 hot dogs will also be available.
19. Hangout at the Aquarium of the Pacific at night and see sharks, jellyfish and more in a different light. Happening all week. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)
20. Get fully immersed in the holiday spirit during Winter Fest happening at the OC Fairgrounds from December 20, 2018 through January 6, 2019. A festival of lights, outdoor ice skating, ice tubing, snowfall, a candy wonderland and Santa Claus are just a few of the magical things happening. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)
21. One of L.A.’s most magical holiday traditions, L.A. Zoo Lights returns November 16, 2018 through January 6, 2019 with thousands upon thousands of LED lights illuminating the zoo. This seasonal event runs daily. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)
22. There’s a Gilmore Girls experience coming to Warner Brothers Studios. From December 22 through January 6 fans can dine at Lorelai’s and then walk through sets like Lorelai and Rory’s home, the gazebo and town square all from the show.
Wednesday January 2nd, 2019
23. Ya Filthy Animals is a pop-up bar inspired by holiday movies including Bad Santa, A Christmas Story, and, of course, Home Alone. Expect themed drinks, photo booths, movie-themed installations, an outdoor ice rink, falling “snow,” a Christmas tree farm, food trucks and a fire pit. Open now till January 6, 2019 on Wednesdays through Sundays. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)
24. The folks behind the Museum of Failure presents The Disgusting Food Museum (Dec. 9, 2018 through Feb. 17, 2019.) Some of the ‘delicacies’ include maggot infested cheese, bull testicles, and sheep eyeballs. If you’re brave enough, visitors will also get to smell and taste some of the creations at the end of the exhibit over at a tasting bar. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)
25. Every first and third Wednesday of the month, BEAR CITY brings free comedy and free pizza to Que Sera in Long Beach. FREE
26 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. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)
27. It’s Trivia Night at Grand Central Market starting at 8 p.m over on the Broadway side of the market.
28. 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 6, 2019. FREE
29. Get into the winter spirit when ICE at Santa Monica returns with a 8,000 square foot ice skating rink. Running November 3, 2018 through January 21, 2019.
Thursday January 3rd, 2019
30. Chinatown After Dark going down at Far East Plaza happens every first Thursday of the month and is a testing ground for chefs in our city as well as a place to enjoy local music.
31. 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.
32. There’s a free mindful awareness meditation going on at the Hammer. Participants are welcome to stay for the entire 30-minute session or leave when they choose. FREE
33. What could be more magical than Christmas in Hogsmeade? Guests to Universal Studios Hollywood will experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in full “winter” splendor, complete with nightly snowfall and a spectacular light show projected against Hogwarts Castle. Note this is the last week for this annual experience. Wizarding World will magically turn back to normal after January 6, 2019.
34. The annual LA Kings Holiday Ice happening at L.A. LIVE’s Microsoft Square is a daily outdoors holiday skating rink. Open November 10, 2018 through January 6, 2019.
35. Party With is Los Angeles’ new Instagram-ready experience located at Westfield Santa Anita Mall. Folks can expect 15 premium photogenic installations like an infinity rainbow and a room filled with sparkling disco balls. Party With runs through January 27 and is open Thursdays through Sundays. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)
36. Free admission at: Japanese American National Museum (from 5 to 8 p.m.), MOCA Grand & MOCA Geffen (from 5 to 8 p.m.), Skirball Cultural Center (noon to 5 p.m.) and Long Beach Museum of Art (3 to 8 p.m.) FREE
Friday January 4th, 2019
37. The Griffith Observatory hosts a monthly forum where some of the most amazing phenomena in the known universe are explained and discussed. It’s called All Space Considered and it takes place on the first Friday of every month. FREE
38. Art Share will launch a new monthly series inviting guests to discover an eclectic mix of music, poetry, video, performance art, and projection art.
39. 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. Stop by after 3 pm with a L.A. County residents ID and get free admission.
40. Celebrate the holiday season during a Queen Mary Christmas (daily Nov. 23 – Jan. 6) The special occasion will see Christmas spirit lining the famous Long Beach vessel including an 80-foot Christmas tree, a variety of holiday activities, an outdoor staking rink, musical performances, a 4D showing of The Polar Express, and dinner shows on select dates. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)
41. It’s First Fridays at The Village in Redondo Beach. Merchants and art galleries will stay open till 8 p.m. and a live performance by Mr. Loop next to the Aloha Bungalow.
42. The Rink in Downtown Burbank returns for another year of outdoor ice skating for a good cause. Open now through January 6, 2019 the skate rink is just steps away from a plethora of shops and restaurants.
43. Since its the first Friday of the month check out all the cool events happening around town including block parties and art walks for First Fridays.
Drink Pick for the Week
This week’s pick by Christina Champlin, Co-Founder of We Like L.A.
If you end overdoing it with the alcohol on New Year’s Eve, give yourself a little break from hard liquor and opt for a mocktail or a N/A beverage to start the year. Here are a few spots to sip and recharge for the first week of 2019:
- Chulita in Venice Beach offers non-alcoholic botanical spirit Seedlip Grove in a variety of their mocktails including a margarita option.
- Prank Bar in DTLA uses terpenes in their mocktails, which are oils derived from plants including cannabis, lemon, and lavender. Health benefit claims range from anti-inflammatory to anti-anxiety. The bar also serves housemade kombuchas.
- Baltaire in Brentwood is offering several refreshing mocktails including a cranberry spritzer, blackberry lemonade and an orange cucumber mint drink.
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