35 Awesome Things to do This New Year’s Weekend in L.A. [12-31-16 to 1-3-16]

Los Angeles provides no limit of things to do (especially on New Year’s!), some awesome and some not so awesome. Since time is precious in this fast paced city, we decided to curate a list of things to do in Los Angeles every week end that’ll help you decide how you want to spend your limited supply of attention (not to mention dollars!).

This New Year’s Eve weekend includes tons of midnight celebrations all over Los Angeles, plus a packed list of events to start 2016 including the Rose Parade, New Year’s brunches, a comedy open house, free classes at The Getty, a Yoga Expo and more.


So grab some friends or go at it alone, but most importantly have fun and enjoy yourself!

[RELATED: The Best Way to Find Discount Events in Los Angeles]

Getty Center View
View of L.A. from the Getty Center. Credit: Justin Vidamo via flickr

[REMINDER: In some cases We Like L.A. does receive revenue when visitors click on ticket links and make purchases, however we maintain complete editorial control over the events we suggest. Basically, it only makes it on to the website if we think it is cool!]

Thursday December 31st, 2015

Instead of rehashing everything we’ve covered in detail this week in this post, we’d invite our readers to read our big rundown of 31 (and then some) awesome things to do for New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles. You should be able to find something in there to help you ring in the new year.

Friday January 1st, 2016

1. Rose Parade 

Start the year by coming up roses at the 127th Annual Rose Parade, taking place over a five and half mile stretch of Colorado Blvd. in Old Town Pasadena on New Year’s Day.

2. The Polar Bear Plunge

Greet New Year’s Day by bravely taking a plunge into “icy waters” for the annual Polar Bear Plunge. The water should be around 60 degrees, not exactly arctic but still cold for LA standards! The event will take place at Hansen Dam Aquatic Center.

3. First Fridays at Venice Beach

On the first Friday of the month head down to Abbott Kinney Blvd. in Venice Beach for tons of food trucks, open galleries and late-night shop hours. Get more information via the official event blog.

4. Esotouric Bus Adventures

Esotouric tours take guests into L.A. neighborhoods where crime, mystery and the unexplainable have taken place. Take a ride with expert guides as they reveal original research and startling observations during this themed tour. There are even special snack stops like donuts in the parking lot of Charles Bukowski’s favorite liquor store or Raymond Chandler-inspired gelato at Scoops in East Hollywood. Simply pick your adventure on their website and set off on a journey of the unknown.

5. Recovery Brunch Buffet At Artisan House

Looking for a New Year’s Day recovery brunch? Artisan House is settign up their popular buffet this Friday featuring their usual spread of breakfast favorites as well as additional specials that are sure to cure all hangover stages, like tater tot nachos and mini Kobe burgers. The comprehensive buffet is $24.99 per person with bottomless mimosas available for an extra $10.

6. The Bellwether New Year’s Day Brunch

Keep the party going and kick off the New Year with a new brunch debut at The Bellwether! Nosh on Chef Ted Hopson’s globally-inspired comfort foods like Dutch Babies and Eggs in Purgatory, and wash your hangover woes away with house-infused signature cocktails courtesy of Beverage Director Ann-Marie Verdi. To celebrate its debut, Ted and Ann-Marie are offering cocktail specials with $8 Bloody Marys and $5 Mimosas!

7. Riot House Recovery Brunch

This New Year’s Day, Riot House Restaurant at Andaz West Hollywood brings some much-needed recovery with a bottomless brunch beginning at 6:30am. Indulge in fresh eggs, farmer’s market whole fruit, fluffy Belgian waffles, pastries with house-made marmalade, and coffee, and toast to the New Year with Bottomless Mimosas ($15). Stumble in early off the Sunset Strip or drop in ready to refuel anytime before 1:00pm.

8. Special Brunch At Gracias Madre

West Hollywood hot spot Gracias Madre is extending their popular weekend brunch to Friday January 1st to satisfy all your hair of the dog needs. Guests can enjoy a new year’s day special of Fluffernutter French Toast or opt for their usual off the full brunch menu. If you made a health resolution maybe grab a Madre Green Smoothie, if you didn’t… order a Mexican mimosa, michelada or a classic Purista Gracias Madre and kick off the New Year in a boozy state.

9. New Brunch Menu At Herringbone Santa Monica

Ring in 2016 in style at Chef Brian Malarkey’s new Westside hotspot Herringbone. The new brunch menu steals inspiration from the local markets and laid back vibe of the SoCal beach scene, with featured selections that range from farmer’s market scrambled eggs to Malarkey’s signature lobster roll. Those in need of an extra dose of recovery will also be able to enjoy cocktails like the Peter Rabbit Mimosa with bruised basil lemonade, as well as bottomless mimosas.

10. Eat, Drink & Tour At Golden Road Brewing

Diners looking to continue the celebration on New Year’s Day can head to The Pub at Golden Road Brewing for brunch, lunch, or dinner. Early birds can enjoy selections like the breakfast burrito, bread pudding french toast, or croissant breakfast sandwiches, all washed down with mimosas available especially for the occasion. Those who can’t get out of bed until later in the day can enjoy signature pub grub like fried roman artichokes, rosemary roasted turkey melt, and the spinach and quinoa salad – complemented by a signature brew of course. Every Friday – Sunday they also offer free brewery tour at 1:30pm, 2:30pm, and 4:00pm. Just be sure to wear closed toed shoes or you can’t joint the tour.

11. Bottomless Micheladas & A Nuevo Rancho Brunch At Sausal

El Segundo’s new dining gem – which features Nuevo Rancho cuisine conceptualized by Chef Anne Conness – will feature $16 bottomless micheladas for those looking to continue the party…or recover from last night’s festivities. Diners in need of more serious satiation can enjoy popular Sausal items such as the beef barbacoa hash with poached eggs, roasted poblano chili omelet, or huevos rancheros.

12. Sangers & Joe Rose Parade Brunch

Heading to the 127th Annual Rose Parade? Swing by Sangers & Joe just one block away from the parade and grab a hot Australian-themed java brewed by Lamill Coffee & Tea or sit down and savor a little brunch from guest Chef and Owner of the The Rooster Breakfast Truck Rouha Sadighi. Start off 2016 with a healthy dish of faro, roasted Brussels sprouts, asparagus and spinach topped with poached eggs or indulge in the Bodega vs Farm sandwich with beer battered crispy chicken, hot sauce, over medium eggs on a Portuguese roll with Cabbage slaw. Add some booze with $5.00 Mimosa or Carafe of Mimosa for $12.00.

13. New Year’s Day Dinner At Magnolia House

After spending the day smelling the roses at Pasadena’s 127th Annual Rose Parade, head to Magnolia House for a scrumptious New Year’s Day dinner. Order up a flavorful artisan cheese and charcuterie board or a succulent prime skirt steak drizzled with chimichurri. Since fragrant flowers are the theme of the sunny Pasadena New Year’s Day, Bar Manager Brian Klemm will be pouring the Marigolds At Magnolia a cocktail crafted with vodka, lemon, marigold flowers, honey and rose water.

14. Eat Healthy On New Years Day At Café Gratitude

Overdo it on cookies and eggnog this holiday season? Diners looking to start 2016 on the right note can swing by Café Gratitude for breakfast, lunch or dinner on New Year’s Day. Early risers can start with buckwheat-flax pancakes, a breakfast burrito, or a breakfast taco place; while those rolling in later in the day can enjoy a wholesome meal featuring Chef Dreux Ellis’ new seasonal items like the autumn grain salad or seasonal Gratitude blue-plate special. Additionally those interested in jump starting the year with a cleanse in January will receive 50% off 1,3 and 5 days juice or meal cleanses.

Saturday January 2nd, 2016

15. Take an Insider’s Tour Through East Hollywood’s Ethnic Neighborhoods

Thai Town, Little Armenia and Korea Town are filled with great food, shops and culture. For those interested in getting to know these neighborhoods this tour is the perfect introduction. Tour includes food, transportation and more. Get more information and discount tickets via Goldstar.

16. Doug Loves Movies At NerdMelt

Comedian Doug Benson stops by NerdMelt to hosts his popular film podcast live. Doug will bring with him some special guests that include comedians, actors, writers and directors to hash it out on films both old and new, while Doug reads from the Leonard Maltin movie guide.

17. Post Rose Parade Float Showcase

Decided to stay in and watch the Tournament of Roses from the comfort of your own home on New Years day? We don’t blame you. Now you can stop by the Post-Parade Float Showcase where you’ll be able to view the floats and their floral handiwork close up without maddening crowds. The showcase will take place between Sierra Madre Boulevard and Washington Street in Pasadena. Tickets are $10 for adults and free for children 5 and under.

18. Improv Comedy for Kids by Teens 

Like improv? We bet your kids might like it too! Now in it’s 11th award winning year Comedy for Kids, by Teens stars LA Connection class members. These teens have been trained to entertain kids with games and sketches aimed for youngsters but that doesn’t mean you wont be laughing as well! Get more information and discount tickets via Goldstar.

19. Getty Holiday Lights 

Every Saturday during Holiday Lights at the Getty you can catch a sunset at magic hour, take a stroll through the Central Garden of twinkling tress and stay warm with some complimentary mulled cider.

20. Escape Reality At Magicopolis

Husband-and-wife duo Steve Spill and Bozena Wrobel perform a vaudeville-style magic show that’s fun for the whole family. Expect optical illusions, levitation, mind reading, disappearances and a nail-biting Houdini-type escape called the Table of Terror! Get more information and discount tickets via Goldstar. 

21. The Rink In Downtown Burbank


Downtown Burbank’s most festive holiday tradition returns for outdoor ice skating and festive events. The Rink in Downtown Burbank will run from December 10, 2015 through January 3, 2016.

Sunday January 3rd, 2016

22. The Farriers Package at Santa Anita

Why not spend a day at the races with a package that includes admission to the races, box seating and a racing program, along with a pint of local craft beer from the Farriers bar. Get more info and discounted tickets via Goldstar.

23. Second City Comedy Open House

Second City Hollywood is hosting its first OPEN HOUSE of the year with FREE workshops and shows on Sunday, January 3. No experience is necessary to attend most classes and shows are open to all (family-friendly shows are held before 6:00pm). This is the first of Second City’s two open houses per year (with the second open house on August 27th).Open House activities will include: improv and writing classes for all ages, as well as adult shows.

24. Oshogatsu Family Festival

Ring in the Year of the Monkey with free crafts, performances and cultural activities during The Japanese American National Museum’s annual Oshogatsu Family Festival. Taking place this Sunday, from 11:00am – 5:00pm. Get hypnotized with demonstrations of the ancient art of candy sculpting, go on a scavenger hunt, jump away in a Curious George-themed bounce house and watch something called a mochitsuki aka rice pounding.

25. FREE Drawing Classes At The Getty Center & Getty Villa 

Drawing from the Masters at The Getty Center is offered on the first and third Sundays of every month and provides participants general sketching guidance via a rotating list of guests artists. Topics for the instructional sessions range from establishing proportion to drawing portraits to perfecting composition. All experience levels welcome, but folks are encouraged to bring their own sketchpads. The class usually takes around two hours, and you can sign up about one hour beforehand at the information desk.

26. The Great Rock and Roll Flea Market

This Sunday the RnR Flea will take over The Regent Theater in DTLA with an impressive selection of vintage collectors, antiquities dealers, vintage clothing, jewelry makers, music memorabilia, vinyl, local food vendors, food trucks, craftsmen and used musical instruments dealers. There’s a $2 cover and it’s happening from 11:00am – 5:00pm.

27. Yoga Expo 

Want to learn more about Yoga? Probably no place better than the Yoga Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center, an all-day event featuring local and national instructors showcasing their unique styles of mind & body practice.

28. New Year’s Race Los Angeles

Run through DTLA and into Dodger Stadium with 5,000 other runners during New Year’s Race Los Angeles. Finishers will earn medals and runners are welcome to celebrate at the after-party with free beer from Angel City Brewery for finishers 21+, a DJ, photobooth, food vendors and more. Get information on entry fees and routes on their official page.

29. Free Capoeira Performance At Union Station

Downtown’s historic Union Station will usher in the New Year on Sunday with an exhilarating and interactive Capoeira Exchange as part of Metro Art Presents. Masters of the rhythmic Afro-Brazilian art form will offer guests an extraordinary opportunity to learn Capoeira with free lessons on the station’s South Patio followed by a festive procession through the iconic Grand Waiting Room and a breathtaking roda (performance). Check out their official events page for additional information.

30. The Amazing Los Angeles Race II

This hybrid scavenger hunt / sightseeing tour is a brilliant way to spend your Sunday afternoon getting to know the city of angels. Starting at the Dave & Busters in Hollywood, participants form teams of two to eight people and make their way to different L.A. sites trying to solve puzzles and unlock the clues that will lead them to the next location. At the finish line you can enjoy drinks and snacks, and hang out with your fellow competitors. For more information and discount tickets to enter the race, check out Goldstar.


31. Run + Yoga + Beer

Every Sunday Angel City Brewery invites wellness beer enthusiast to a quick 2-mile run around downtown, then a Vinyasa flow class and after, a beer. $10 starts at 9:30am.

32. Holiday Ice Rink In Pershing Square

From November 12 – January 18 Angelenos can skate in the heart of DTLA at Pershing Square. Each skate-session costs $9, and it’s $4 for skate rental.

33. Star Wars: The Force Awakens At El Capitan

Hollywood’s legendary El Capitan Theatre presents a special engagement of Lucasfilm “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” December 18, 2015 through February 7, 2016. Before the movie, El Capitan guests will be treated to an all-new Laser Lightsaber Curtain Show and can explore El Capitan’s exclusive display of costumes and props from the movie.

34. Pay What You Can Day At Craft And Folk Art Museum

Every Sunday it’s pay what you can day at the Craft and Folk Art Museum.

35. Free Day At Museum of Latin American Art

The Museum of Latin American Art has free admission every Sunday!

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