It’s not too late to make plans for New Year’s Eve. We have selected some fun events, sifting through the douche-y bottle service parties and inflated dinner prices to bring you only the coolest events. (Written with Monique LeBleu)
Grand Park and the Music Center will celebrate their seventh annual New Year’s Eve on Tuesday, December 31, 2019, from 8:00 p.m. (gates open)–1:00 a.m. on January 1, 2020. This year’s theme is “Who is L.A. 2020? Reflecting the intersection of sounds, ideas, and Community.”
More than 50,000 people will attend the West Coast’s version of Times Square’s bash, which will now span seven city blocks from L.A.’s iconic City Hall through the newly renovated Music Center Plaza. The alcohol-free, family-friendly event will feature more than 40 food trucks, two stages of continuous free Music and a One-of-Kind 3-D Video Projection Countdown to Midnight. Leimert Park’s Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra to Headline the “Countdown Stage” as Cherry Poppin and Gasolina DJs Spin Tunes from the “Get Down Stage” for an All-Night Dance Party
Alcohol is banned, but there are plenty of bars and restaurants within the perimeter of the event. Our recommendation is to make a reservation at Abernehy’s in the Music Center while you still can. LA Beat favorite, Chef Jason Fullilove, will be taking over the kitchen through March with his modern soul food. His five-course prix fixe menu for NYE includes selections like Shrimp Bisque, Parsnip Soup, Crab Toast, Grilled Little Gem Salad, Curry Fried Cauliflower, Roast Free-Range Chicken, BBQ Bone-in Short Rib, Shrimp ‘n Grits, and Squash Agnolotti for $79. You can also order from the a la carte menu. We recommend the Curry Fried Chicken Sandwich. Abernethy’s also offers a beautiful view of the NYE event’s 3-D video projection and light show on the west side of City Hall. Reservations taken from 5:00 p.m. until 10:30 p.m.
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 ship’s many decks and ballrooms will offer live music, strolling entertainment, and immersive entertainment, with a nod to Art Deco and the over-the-top Roaring Twenties.
Start out the night at the “White Canary” at the stylish Queen’s Salon with an eight-piece band combining jazz, funk, and pop, and DJ Professor Watson spinning classic vintage vinyl and electro swing, while flapper girls, stilt walkers, and confetti champagne girls delight. Dance to Colombian musical group La Sonora Dinamita and DJ Hife’s mix of salsa, bachata, merengue, and reggaetón to the Grand Salon, which will also host a Samba showgirls dance show. Groove to an EDM DJ set by Young Bombs on the stern of the ship.
Check out the “Cat’s Meow’ in the pitch-black neon-lit Royal Salon where you can dance to electronic music with DJ Marc Lawrence. You’ll be mesmerized by the dancing cryo bots, LED hula hoopers and drummers, a neon face painter, and a neon balloon drop at midnight. There is also a hidden speakeasy. At midnight, the ship will put on its legendary fireworks show off the bow. You can grab a quick snack at the bar, Chelsea Chowder House or Promenade Café. Or go all out with a reservations-required feast at Sir Winston’s.
The General Admission ticket of $120 includes admission, fireworks viewing, and access to the main music stages and five parties. VIP guests get access to special salons like the ship’s famed boiler room with a DJ and steampunk mixologists, and a show from renowned burlesque performers Ruby Champagne and Kitten de Ville at the Brittania & Deck Salon. 21 and over.
This free event features Manuela the Band and a 9 p.m. kid’s countdown, as well as two of the best fireworks shows in Southern California—one at 9 p.m. and another at Midnight. You can probably also see the Queen Mary Fireworks. Shoreline Village parking always sells out, so public transportation or a ride-sharing service is recommended.
“Night Dive” is a regular cocktail mixer at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. They will be celebrating New Year’s Eve from 8:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m. with live bands playing in the Great Hall and DJs spinning in the galleries. This 18 and over event will include dancing, a cash bar, small-bite appetizers for sale throughout the Aquarium, and a midnight countdown. You can see all of the city’s fireworks from this location. $34.95 per person.
Head to Burton Chace Park for a Glow Party, from 7 p.m. – midnight, with face painting, DJs, dancing, a “circuit breaker robot” bubbles, giveaways, and food trucks. We aren’t sure how far they take the “Glow Party.” It could mean anything from cool outdoor glowing art displays to lots and lots of dayglo necklaces. Celebrate both the East Coast and West Coast new year with live broadcasts of the east and west coast countdowns to the New Year, with fireworks at 8:59 p.m. and again at 11:59 p.m. Admission is free, and food is available for purchase. You can also watch the fireworks from Fisherman’s Village, or the many waterfront restaurants in Marina del Rey. Parking in county lots is $8.
Marina Del Rey’s Café del Rey is offering a $119 per person dinner starting at 5:30 PM. with selections like Diver Scallop Crudo, Grilled Westholme Australian Wagyu Ribeye, Cedar Smoked Halibut Filet, and Champagne Crème Caramel. There is also a kids’ menu for those 12 and under. Cafe del Rey will also offer two champagne toasts for both the East and West coasts, alongside live music from DJ MAX from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Call the restaurant now at 310.823.6395 for reservations and watch the fireworks in comfort.
If you are looking for something relatively mellow, the Pacific Wheel Ferris wheel at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier will be lit up with 174,000 LED lights to provide a 60-second countdown, a “Happy New Year!” horizontal crawl, an oversized “2020,” and display “Happy New Year” in more than 12 languages following the countdown including Spanish, Korean, Farsi, German, French, and Japanese. There won’t be any special festivities sponsored by the pier, but you can pack a picnic and relax on the beach or eat at one of the pier’s restaurants and check out the ferris wheel and fireworks from other local events.
Starting at 2:00 PM on Tuesday, January 31, 2019, Orange County’s Event Center will host a New Year’s Eve party at its huge winter wonderland, which features an outdoor ice-skating rink trail, ice tubing, fresh snow blown in daily, entertainment and seasonal food and drinks. You can dance to live bands at Hussong’s Cantina, or check out the tribute bands at the Hangar Stage. Starting at 6 pm, you can party at the “Winterfest after Dark.”
Winter Fest OC will drop the Orange Ball, light up the sky with fireworks, and there will be a not-to-miss 1,000 balloon drop at midnight. For families with kids, a special countdown, drop of the inaugural Orange Ball, 1,000 balloon drop, cover band and fireworks will also be celebrated at 6pm. There is no additional fee for the New Years Eve Celebration, it is included in your December 31 admission ticket or season pass.
The holiday lights of Newport Harbor has taken place for nearly 100 years, where property owners cover just about every inch of boats, waterfront estates, docks and beyond with sparkling lights. The boat parade has passed, but you can still walk along the harbor, view through from a local restaurant or take 75-minute cruise. Harbor cruises depart at 5:30 PM, 7 PM, and 8:30 PM. There are no official activities for New Year’s Eve, but with an atmosphere this festive, it must be fun!
CONCERTS AND PERFORMANCES
The Queen of Burlesque, Dita Von Teese, will be celebrating New Years Eve at her annual gala show at the historic Orpheum Theater in Downtown LA, probably in a gigantic champagne glass. She will perform three full-length revues, Burlesque: Strip, Strip, Hooray!, The Art of the Teese and Dita Von Teese and the Copper Coupe. Dress to impress in glamourous vintage style. 18 and over. Tickets are currently ranging between $149.00 and $265.00
Cretin Hop and Green Slime will be throwing a New Year’s bash at the Zebulon in Frogtown with hard rockers The Cavemen from New Zealand and The Premonitions as well as DJs Roger Mars, Rick Barzell, and Pete Slovenly. Doors at 8 PM. Tickets are $13 today (Monday) and $18 tomorrow (Tuesday). The Zebulon also has a great restaurant. “Bub’s Bread” is awesome.
Broadway and TV star Kristin Chenoweth will send “2019 out with a bang” with two performances of material drawn from throughout her career – music from her new album, “For the Girls,” as well as show tunes, gospel, country, and pop. You can probably expect songs from her starring roles in Wicked and Legally Blonde. The Tony® and Emmy® Award-winning star will perform twice on New Year’s Eve, at 7 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Chenowith will be joined by special guests Cheyenne Jackson and Shoshana Bean. Tickets are $68 – $202. Arrive early to visit the festive NYE lounge in BP Hall, which opens at 6 PM. This will also put you front and center for Grand Park’s huge New year’s Eve event.
Cuban-born Grammy-winning jazz trumpeter, pianist and composer Arturo Sandoval will lead his L.A. All Stars in two New Year’s Eve performances at the Catalina Bar & Grill in Hollywood. Tue., 8:30 and 11 p.m. $100, $125; food and drink minimums apply.
A “Foolish” tradition where several plays are created in just 24 hours. The 20th New Year’s Eve edition of “FAST & LOOSE,” hosted by Julia Griswold and Heather Schmidt, is presented by Sacred Fools at the Broadwater for New Year’s Eve. Six short plays and two songs are created overnight and presented for your delight at 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve on The Broadwater Main Stage, followed by a party to see in the New Year at The Broadwater Plunge. Tickets are $15 and there are member discounts. More info here.
One of the biggest bands to come out of East L.A., Grammy-winning chart-toppers Los Lobos will be playing at The Canyon, in Montclair at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, December 31, 2019. After more than 30 years together, the eclectic band was recently nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. New Blues Revolution and Blue Hwy will be opening. The dinner/stage show venue will celebrate with a champagne toast at midnight. Doors 6pm. Music 7pm. Show 9:00pm. Tickets are between $48 and $108. If you purchase a ticket at a table you are required to purchase dinner. You must arrive by 7pm. Two Drink Minimum for everyone. 18 and over unless accompanied by an adult.
The divey but beloved Redwood Bar on 2nd in DTLA will be the site of a New Year’s Eve Bash from promoters In Fuzz we Trust. Headliners will be the Tearaways featuring Clem Burke of Blondie. Also on the bill are Electric Children, Mean Heat, and Speed of Light. This gig will also put you in the sweet spot for Grand Park’s insane NYE extravaganza. The Redwood also serves food. We like the Fish & Chips. $10. 21 and over.
So, big news! Taix is Open! According to Yelper Chris W., he “asked the host about the redevelopment, he told [Chris] that the current location will stay as-is for the next 1-1.5 years, after which they’ll knock down the old building.” On NYE, Andrew Martin and Spaceland will be present an all-star band in the Champagne Room. I’m going to assume this is not the kind of “champagne room” you may be familiar with. Members of Kate Bush-esque Moon Honey, Lauren Ruth Ward, Draemings, Jeffertitti, Palaye Royale, Blame Candy and more than six other bands will be playing “your favorite rock and roll heartbreakers.” DJ’s Arianne Dominique and Christopher Vick will be spinning and there is a free champagne toast at midnight. General admission is $43 with a $12.01 ticket surcharge. If you would like to have dinner, there are still reservations available for two until 9:45. Tuesday’s special is oven braised oxtail. Tue, Dec 31, 2019, 9:00 p.m.
PARTIES AND BASHES
Glamorous Union Station Downtown will be the backdrop for KCRW’s 8th annual Roaring‘20s-style party with performances by Tony Gadachy, MDA DJ’s, the jazz ensemble from Lyndsay and the All-Nighters, burlesque performances from Concrete Entertainment, a 60-foot ball drop and midnight DJ set from Grammy Award Winner RAC. The open bar will be serving champagne and specialty cocktails all night. 1920s-themed formal wear is heavily encouraged. Videos from last year show a packed house of attractive 20 and 30-somethings. The party starts at 9 p.m. General admission is $175 with a $20.36 surcharge.
Ring in the New Year at The Ace Hotel downtown with dinner, dancing, and champagne! A special holiday menu will be served on the stage at The Theatre at Ace Hotel. A $200 ticket includes a three-course meal with wine pairing, which will be served family-style on long tables. Dinner seating is at 8 p.m.
Your ticket also includes an exciting dance party starting at 9:30 p.m. There will be special DJ sets from Project Pablo, Ash Lauryn, Cooper Saver and Jen Ferrer on deck spinning disco, house, funk, soul, and boogie. If you would like to attend the dance party only, with a cash bar and no dinner, tickets are $35 in advance, and $50 at the door. A ticket for a VIP open bar plus the dance party (no dinner) is $200. 21 and over.
For the biggest party night of the year, Blue Mondays and Bar Sinister are partnering up to offer three rooms of dance music, plus endless retro video arcade games. In the Eighties Room, Bractune spins a retro 80s mix of First Wave, New Wave, Dark Wave, and Post Punk. On the Patio, Bruce Perdew creates a dance mix with a combination of 70’s, Indie, EDM, Electro, Old School Hip Hop, Emo, and more. In The Lounge, Bar Sinister takes over the Bar Side with DJ JPEG spinning Goth, Industrial, Synthpop, Post-Punk, and Dark Indie.
You even get Party Favors, Noise Makers, a Champagne Toast, and a huge Balloon Drop at midnight. Doors open at 9:30 p.m. Admission is $20 for the first 100 people, and $25 for the rest.
The entire Dynasty Typewriter theatre opens up for a multi-room immersive party and entertainment experience with a full wine, beer, and liquor bar. The party will feature a Glamorous Photo Wall, Close-Up Magic Shows, and a variety room with shows every 30 minutes, plus a Magical Pizza Party. DJs will be spinning in the lobby and the theater will be filled with curated sounds.
There will also be games of “Dyngo” for Prizes, a New Year’s Pact, a Toast and Seance at The Stroke of 12, and After Midnight Competitive Karaoke, and, the website says, “…the possibility for an improvised Conga Line.”
Doors 8:45 p.m., 21 and over. General Admission Tickets are $60, Four Pal Pack at $200 ($50 a person), and a VIP experience for $75 which includes the 7 p.m. New Year’s Tonight Show with Todd Glass and Friends, special party favors, free popcorn all night, and guaranteed seating to a close-up comedy/variety/magic show.
In case you haven’t gotten Christmas out of your system, Santa Baby is LA’s most festive Christmas pop-up bar experience, filled with music and exciting New Year’s festivities. The Christmas lodge theme will make you feel cozy and warm as specialty cocktails “will have you feeling like the Christmas tree isn’t the only thing getting lit this year!,” You can also enjoy “Reinbeers” and a selection of IPA’s. Tickets to the Santa Baby LA New Year’s Eve shindig are $20 and include a complimentary glass of champagne at the door. Table reservations are also available on request.
The Happy 2020 New Year’s Eve Russian Party at the Olympic Collection Banquet Hall will feature a unique line-up of performances, music, food, and unlimited cocktails. Performances by singer and host, Yan, Russian rapper, Dangel, and international line up of music–Italian, Jewish, Ukranian, and Russian– are they scheduled entertainment, along with a disco with a DJ spinning 80’s, 90’s, and contemporary pop.
Dinner includes a Zakuski (an appetizer platter of assorted cheeses, crepes and red salmon caviar, salads, assorted cold cuts, sliced beef tongue, and marinated vegetables). Entrée selections include crab cakes with remoulade sauce, an assortment of kebabs, roasted potatoes, white saffron rice, and grilled vegetables. There is a dessert buffet and sorbet station with a personal chef scooping out tropical sorbets “to order” in martini glasses, plus cakes, a variety of European miniature pastries and tarts, and a variety of fresh fruits. Libations include wine and top shelf spirits, plus special glasses of champagne at midnight.
The ticket price of $225 includes photos on the red carpet, reserved table seating for the gourmet dinner in the banquet hall, an open bar all night, and live entertainment, including a DJ. Dress To Impress! Doors open at 9:00 p.m. For reservations and more information call (310) 968-4809.
The New Years’ Eve Rockin’ Luau Party at the Golden Sails Hotel in Long Beach at the PCH Club features rockabilly music all night long from featuring Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys, The Hula Girls, Robby Ravenwood, and Master of Ceremonies Jason Lee and Jason Lee & the R.I.P. Tides, plus a champagne toast at midnight.
Tickets are $89, and include music, dancing, a champagne toast at midnight, and party favors. There is an optional Hawaiian Luau Buffet and tropical drinks for an additional price. Use code words “Rockin’ Luau Party” if you are also making reservations to stay at the hotel. Doors will open at 7:30 pm and the show will commence at 8 p.m. The dress code calls for your best Hawaiian and tiki-themed attire, or you can always go formal for a touch of glam. Call (562) 594-0210 to make reservations and get more information.
Tamba Presents a New Year’s Eve 2020 Bollywood Party at Tamba30 Banquet Hall in Anaheim. The event includes an open bar, DJ Krish, DJ Nirav and Dhol, party favors, a kids corner, dinner, and a Midnight Champagne toast. The venue features an outdoor waterfall, private patio, and live entertainment.
Tickets are $99 for adults, $60 for “teens” 13 – 20, and $40 for children 6 – 12. The event is from 8 p.m. – onwards. Dress Code is NYE festive and dress to impress!
Ring in 2020 at Culina at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills with champagne and a memorable multi-course dinner. Pre-gala seating until 7:30 PM will feature a four-course menu for $95 a person, after which the Gala seating will feature a five-course menu and entry to the New Year’s Eve festivities taking place in Windows Lounge for $150 a person.
Windows Lounge festivities include live entertainment by Bellosound from 8:00 pm to 2:00 am, party favors and a midnight champagne toast. The Windows Lounge party ticket for non-Culina Restaurant guests is $65. View the full Culina menus here and more New Year’s Eve details here.
Tavern in Brentwood celebrates the New Year with a glamorous retro Roaring Twenties party. The five-course dinner from James Beard Award-Winning Chef Suzanne Goin is a throwback, with 1920s menu items like Crab and Shrimp Louie, Hand-Cut Noodles “Lobster Thermidor,” and Slow-Roasted Beef Tenderloin “Stroganoff.” For dessert, enjoy Pastry Chef Shannon Swindle’s Baked Alaska with Eggnog Ice Cream and Stout Gingerbread. Wine pairings selected by Caroline Styne are available for a $50 supplemental charge.
Rosé and Champagne will be flowing at a cash bar all night long, plus specialty mixed New Year’s Eve cocktails created by Head Barman Christiaan Röllich, including the signature Kingbird Eggnog. Pricing for the first seating is $95 per guest; and $125 per guest for the late seating, which includes a midnight toast and party favors. Pricing excludes beverage, tax and gratuity. DJ Williams will be spinning from 7:00 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
No reservations. No cover. No nonsense. New Year’s Eve at barcito in DTLA will feature their traditional menu, craft cocktails, and live music. The menu features bar snacks like Brazilian Chicken Wings, a Jamon and Burrata Plate, and a variety of classic Empanadas. Enjoy them with house signature cocktails, including the Pisco Boulevard, the Flower Street, or their spin on a classic, the “Old Fatshioned” made with Fat-washed bourbon, cinnamon, and cynar. A special Latin guitar and vocal duo will play from 9:30 pm to 12:30 am, and there will be party favors and a photo booth. Food and drinks available for purchase at regular menu prices.
New Years at Mi Piace, Italian-style. Begin with and Oyster & Seafood Platter featuring Malpeque P.E.I mussels, Kusshi B.C. oysters, Alaskan King crab leg, half Maine Lobster, and jumbo shrimp or the Roasted Bone Marrow, served with toasted ciabatta. For entrees, try Executive Chef Gil Saulnier’s Prime Delmonico New York bone-in 18 oz. steak, Chilean Sea Bass served with creamy Reggiano risotto or the Tagliatelle con Gamberi, made of spinach tagliatelle pasta with grilled prawns and jumbo shrimp. For dessert, enjoy the Crème Brûlée Cheesecake, and don’t forget their signature handcrafted cocktails.
The Mi Piace Lounge will ring in the New Year with dancing and live music from The Trendsetters, and DJ sets from Mi Piace’s House DJs. Party Favors and a complimentary Champagne toast at midnight are included.
The Raymond 1886 in Pasadena will ring in 2020 with their dinner menu until 10:00 p.m., plus specialty cocktails, wine, and beer in the bar until 2:00 a.m. Options include Kusshi oysters, 1/2 dozen or a Hamachi Crudo for starters. For your entrée, choose between dishes like the Lamb Shank, the 20 oz. char-gilled Bone-In Ribeye, Wild Boar Bolognese with Rigatoni. Dinner includes a champagne toast at midnight with party favors and live DJ music. Dinner prices vary.
Ring in 2020 at Chez Jay in Santa Monica. Chez Jay’s New Year’s Eve Three-Course Prix-Fixe Dinner includes a glass of wine or Champagne, entrée options including Chez Jay’s Traditional Steamed Two-Pound Main Lobster, Grilled Australian Rack of Lamb, Oven Roasted Angus Prime Rib, or the 10 oz Filet Mignon. Desserts are either Chez Jay’s Homemade Cheesecake, Chocolate Chip Cake, or English-Style Sticky Toffee Pudding. The $95 dinner includes a Midnight Balloon Drop that will contain special balloons filled with complimentary gifts!