Where the Cool Kids will be on New Years Eve 2018

Queen Mary Fireworks. Courtesy of The Queen Mary.

New Year’s Eve is one of the biggest nights for partying all around the world. It’s also not a bad night to curl up in your jammies with popcorn and watch the ball drop. If you aew looking for a place to party, either with the family or with a bunch of drunk strangers, here are some of the best parties happening around LA.



Grand Park and the Music Center will celebrate their sixth annual New Year’s Eve focusing on the future of LA with LA Dreams, inspired by the imaginations of our children. From December 31, 2018, at 8:00 p.m. until January 1, 2019, at 1:00 a.m., more than 50,000 people are expected to attend the alcohol-free, family-friendly event, which covers 90 acres, from Grand Avenue to City Hall (Spring Street) and from Temple Street to 2nd Street.

Attendees will enjoy the work of Los Angeles County 5th & 6th graders, whose dreams inspired the signature event, and 3-D animated countdown to midnight filled with colorful artwork and inspirational language on the west-facing side of Los Angeles’ City Hall,  a pyrotechnics show, dancing, and over 60 food trucks. Entertainment includes a wide variety of musical performances on two stages including Aloe Blacc, Maya Jupiter and an all-female lineup of DJs featuring Spiñorita, Ericalandia and Kronika. Refer to their website for info on entrances, public parking, bike valet and banned items. – Elise Thompson


Every year the Queen Mary goes all out for New Year’s Eve with elaborate theme parties. This year from 8 PM until 1 AM the Queen Mary will take you on one-of-a-kind voyage through history. Entertainment including live bands like  La Sonora Dinamita and percussionist DJ Ravidrums, as well as DJs, strolling performers, burlesque shows, a champagne tower centerpiece, flapper girls, and dueling pianos will help you party through the ages. At midnight, the ship will put on its legendary fireworks show off the bow. 21 and over.

General admission ticket price is $115. VIP guests get access to special salons and a premium fireworks viewing area (although, the Queen Mary isn’t the kind of place to need even more salons) VIP Ticket Price: $215. And if you really want to go all out, get a room in one of the beautiful art deco rooms for a package price of $799. (Including two VIP tickets). But beware, many of the rooms are haunted, especially B340.

Dining options range from a quick snack in the bar to a reservations-required gustatory feast at Sir Winston’s, to a midnight buffet at the Promenade Café. The Queen Mary is also known for its sumptuous brunch buffet which you can partake in the majestic Grand Salon on New Year’s Day from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. for $42.00. More info and tickets available on their website.   – Elise Thompson


Marina del Rey’s free New Year’s Eve party will feature Fireworks and a Glow Party at Burton Chace Park, right on the water. The fun starts at 7 p.m. with activities for the whole family! Glow party can mean anything from cool outdoor glowing art displays to lots and lots of dayglo necklaces. We aren’t sure about this one yet. Entertainment will feature DJs, Dance Music, Dancers, Circuit Breaker Robot, Face Painting, Bubbles, Photo Booth, Free Giveaways, Food Trucks and More! No smoking or alcoholic beverages. At 8:59 p.m. there will be a 30-second viewing of the countdown and Times Square ball drop followed by an amazing 10-minute fireworks display will get the little ones into bed at a decent hour. For those who can go the distance, there will be an 11:59 p.m. 30-second countdown to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Marina del Rey followed by another amazing ten-minute fireworks display. You can also watch the fireworks from Fisherman’s Village, or the many waterfront restaurants in Marina del Rey. Parking is available for $8 in County lots #77 and #4, MORE INFO. – Elise Thompson



The continued thriving success of Redd Kross in the 2018s, roughly forty years after they formed in the McDonald brothers’ pre-teen bedroom, is reason for survivors of the era to cheer. Garage bands are supposed to play at parties, meaning whatever action is going on while they are in the room is going to have the vibe of a New Year’s Eve party among a few hundred of your closest friends rather than any old rock gig. Another regular from those olden days of yore, Don Bolles, ex of the Germs and Celebrity Skin, will be spinning records as well as singing alongside headliner Ariel Pink. The Standard, Hollywood, 8:00 PM. Ariel Pink (Solo), Redd Kross, The Flytraps, plus Velvet Tinmine DJs, Don Bolles, Noah Wallace, and more! 21+. Tickets, $35, at Nightout. – Bob Lee


A gig by Ozomatli is already one of the best fiestas you can have in LA, a block-party that brings together hip-hop, cumbia, funk and soul into an irresistible, high-energy show.  The opportunity to see them in the close confines of Mary’s on Newport will surely make for a memorable night out. Marty’s On Newport, Tustin, CA, 8:00 PM. Ozomatli, with La Chamba. Tickets, $40, on Ticketweb – Bob Lee


Out of the ashes of The Cathay de Grand, Rajis, and Mr. T’s Bowl, crawled the survivors of the LA punk, rockabilly and metal scenes to rage once again at Café NELA. Inspired new bands also make an appearance, keeping it from becoming the Old Punker’s Club. NELA features a warm, cozy interior and a nice patio for you smokers. Beer and Wine only. There is a liquor store next door that sells elote, and a great taco truck a block away. Come spend an intimate NYE with some great bands. There will be a Useless Dance Contest and also a Head Cutting Contest. We don’t know what that means either, but there has to be some magic and mystery during the holidays. Bring your axe and plug in for a solo on the last song. Privileged Perverts 9:30-10:00 p.m. Baron Bandini 10:15-10:45 p.m. Non-Blips 11:00-11:30 p.m. and Useless 11:50 p.m. – the cows come home. – Elise Thompson


In Fuzz We Trust’s Eddie Lopez presents a night of his local favorites to ring it in righteously along with his own combo, the Electric Children at the Redwood Bar, Downtown LA at 9:00 p.m. Rounding out the bill are Frankie and the Studs, Well Hung Heart, Flames of Durga, & Electric Children. Bonus … you are on the edge of the big Grand Park extravaganza, so you can watch the light show and fireworks while sipping a cold one. Tickets, $10, at Eventbrite. – Bob Lee



Cheers! Echo Park gastropub Mohawk Bend, renowned for its array of 72 beers and tasty vegan dishes, is offering something all-too-rare on New Year’s Eve: a $49 open bar package! This end-of-year option at the Eastside alehouse features three solid hours of unlimited selections of craft beer, wine and well spirits from 9 pm to midnight (provided you purchase in advance via Eventbrite). Celebrants can also enjoy a photo booth, a live DJ set from DJ HENRYTHA17TH, and a midnight champagne toast. Celebrating continues until one. With or without the bar package, there is no cover charge. TICKETS – Karin E. Baker


Pour Vous is pulling out all the stops for a New Year’s Eve celebration that promises to be as glamorous as the cocktail lounge itself. Party like it’s 1933 (the year Prohibition was repealed) during “Midnight in Paris.” This sultry evening will feature an absinthe bar and a creperie, along with burlesque, aerial performances, a balloon drop, a champagne toast at midnight and more. Vintage-inspired attire – think Classic Hollywood, Gatsby era, “Mad Men,” or ‘20s, ‘30s or ‘40s – is requested when this Melrose Avenue stalwart’s ushers in 2019. TICKETS – Karin E. Baker


Celebrate New Year’s Eve while taking in gorgeous views of the Hollywood Hills at E.P. & L.P.’s Rooftop Masquerade. Your $100 ticket includes an open bar and passed appetizers from 8 to 10 pm, along with tunes from DJ Aaron Colbert and a midnight champagne toast. Or head downstairs to E.P. Asian Eating House for an exclusive six-course meal from Aussie-Fijian Exec Chef Louis Tikaram. The $125 meal will include Australian Spanner Crab Curry Bun with Caviar and Hot Radish Cream; Raw Hiramasa Kingfish, with serrano chili, cucumber and red onion; Dry Aged Rib-Eye with shimeji and king trumpet mushrooms, hot dashi and truffle. TICKETS – Karin E. Baker


Looking for a high-end NYE experience? Enjoy a truly luxurious evening with a decadent meal at Wolfgang Puck at the historic Hotel Bel Air. This elegant hideaway’s special NYE five-course meal will include a Kaluga Caviar amuse bouche, bigeye tuna carpaccio, hand-cut Italian chestnut tortelloni, oven-roasted Maine black bass, Snake River Farms beef Chateaubriand and dessert for $295. For more information, visit the site. – Karin E. Baker


The Tuck Room Tavern will ring in the New Year with a 5-course tasting menu and optional wine pairings. Menu items include Roasted Beet and Burrata, Seared Scallops, Foie Gras Torchon and Butter Poached Lobster Tail. There is also a vegetarian dinner available with Tempura Wild Mushrooms and Black Truffle Risotto. Dinner starts at 5 p.m., followed by a Cocktail Party including live music starts at 9 p.m. Reservations required. $95. More info here.- Elise Thompson.


Ever since it first opened in 1962, The Castaway in Burbank has boasted had a beautiful patio with an unparalleled view of the valley. Unfortunately, the kitchen has seen chefs, even on par with Jason Fullilove, come and go, with unpredictable menus to match. However, over the last year, Castaway has gotten a $10 million overhaul. According to Eater LA, the property has announced a top-to-bottom redesign, with a dry-aging room, a chef’s table, and a wraparound bar. The new chef, Perry Pollaci, is a Michael Mina disciple.

You can ring in the New Year while checking out the stunning new renovations. Celebrate to the sounds of a jazz quartet, either in the warm dining room or overlooking the city, with a five-course menu that includes a bottle of Veuve Clicquot starting at $105 pp. You can choose from a “Land” menu with Black Truffle Risotto, Australian Wagyu New York Steak, and Black Truffle Pecorino en Croûte or a “Sea” menu featuring Petrossian Siberian Caviar, Hawaiian Yellowfin Tuna, and Ora King Salmon Wellington.

Or, join Castaway for the ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ NYE Party in the gorgeous ballrooms with a Premium Hosted Bar, Tray-passed Hors D’oeuvres, Food Stations, Live Entertainment and Dancing for $125 pp. For more info and to RSVP check out the website.– Elise Thompson

Elise Thompson

About Elise Thompson

Born and raised in the great city of Los Angeles, this food, culture and music-loving punk rock angeleno wants to turn you on to all that is funky, delicious and weird in the city. While Elise holds down the fort, her adventurous alter ego Kiki Maraschino is known to roam the country in search of catfish.
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