New Year’s Eve events in Southern California

New Year’s Eve in Southern California has it all. Whether you want to ring in 2012 partying with 10,000 of your closest friends, sharing an intimate dinner with someone special, meditating for personal growth, or honking party horns with the kids, we have found an event for you:

Big parties

Together as One The gargantuan shindig moves from the L.A. Coliseum and takes on an all-star lineup of entertainment, including Diplo, Chromeo, Duck Sauce and more. The night culminates with a multimedia countdown and fireworks display. Oak Canyon Park, 5305 Santiago Canyon Road, Silverado. 5 p.m.-2 a.m. General admission, $70; VIP, $150.

White Wonderland New Year’s Eve Gala Giant’s “Big Time” event has merged with Insomniac to create a party so huge it had be extended into a two-day festivity. Live talent includes Paul Van Dyk, Kaskade, Dada Life and more. Anaheim Convention Center, 800 W. Kantella Ave., Anaheim. 6 p.m.-2 a.m. Saturday, 7 p.m.-2 a.m. Sunday. $100-$250.

Big Bang 2012 More than 5,000 revelers are expected to attend Hollywood’s most expansive New Year’s Eve celebration, which includes a slew of celebrity DJs, dancers and live performances from Cobra Starship and Lupe Fiasco. Hollywood & Highland entertainment complex, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. $75-$125. (323) 461-9800.


New Year’s Eve Celebration Party in style aboard the historic Queen Mary ocean liner, with seven onboard parties and styles of music, including jazz, ‘70s, ‘80s, even a dueling piano sing-along. Includes party favors, dancing and a midnight fireworks display. Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. $99. (818) 566-1111.

Cleopatra’s New Year’s Eve Ball Celebrate 2012 in style along the Walk of Fame in the beautiful Egyptian Theatre courtyard. Enjoy DJs spinning dance tunes, balloon drop, confetti blast, a giant LED light show and much more. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. 9 p.m.-3 a.m. $85.

Las Palmas Block Party One ticket allows revelers entry to the Hip Hop party at Las Palmas, the House Music scene at Premiere Supper Club and the rock stage at Angels and Kings. Each club will have a midnight countdown. Las Palmas, Premiere Supper Club, Angels & Kings 1716-1724 N. Las Palmas Blvd., Hollywood. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. General admission, $75 advance; VIP, $125.

New Year’s Eve Gala The South Bay’s largest New Year’s Eve party brings Vegas-style entertainment to the coast. DJs spin house, hip-hop, top 40 and electro, plus aerialists, dancers and performers, not to mention a high-tech midnight countdown show. Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. $45-$65. (323) 378-5207.

Black and White Masquerade Ball The evening’s festivities feature music by DJ Frankie, laser light show, complimentary hors d’oeuvres 9-10:30 p.m., and the mandatory midnight champagne toast. Masks and cocktail attire required. Wokcano, 1413 5th St., Santa Monica. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Advance tickets, $40; New Year’s Eve, $50. (310) 497-6324.

Vivid New Year’s Eve The official Vivid Entertainment New Year’s Eve party, with Mark Lewis, Armen, Anthony Shah, Angeline, Blackliquid and Gago spinning house and progressive, plus an outdoor tent of mash-ups and hip-hop by DJ Sklyler. Plus hundreds of porn stars. Ecco Ultra Lounge, 1640 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood. 9 p.m.-4 a.m. $40.

Downtown Long Beach New Year’s Eve The high-energy street party will encompass two square blocks and features live music by Wayward Sons and Love Fool, covering hits from the ‘70s, ‘80s and the ‘90s. At midnight, fireworks from the Queen Mary will light up the sky. Intersection of Pine Avenue and Broadway, Long Beach. 7 p.m.-2 a.m. Advance tickets, $10; New Year’s Eve, $15.

In the clubs

Bootie LA New Year’s Eve Mash up your New Year and party like it’s the end of the world. Bootie LA celebrates 2012 with a balloon drop, free champagne toast at midnight and free “Best of Bootie 2011" CDs. The Echoplex, 1154 Glendale Blvd., Echo Park. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Advance tickets, $20; at the door, $30. (213) 413-8200.

New Years Eve on the Rooftop Enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the glittering lights of downtown L.A. at this highflying dance party. Xo Chic and Droog will be fueling the action with DJ sets. Complimentary champagne toast at midnight. The Standard, downtown L.A., 550 South Flower at 6th Street. 9 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Free with rsvp to (213) 892-8080.

Hollywood VIP Pass Maximize your New Year’s Eve choices — and avoid the interminable entry lines — with this VIP pub crawl, which allows revelers entry to between five and eight happening club parties, depending on the ticket purchased. Clubs include Geisha House, Red Room, Egyptian Theatre courtyard, ecco, Playhouse After Hours and the Las Palmas Block Party. Hollywood Area. 7:30 p.m.-2 a.m. $125-$150.

New Year’s Eve Twenty Twelve KCRW DJs Garth Trinidad, Aaron Byrd and Valida provide the dance inspiration on the poolside patio beside two covered pools-turned-dance-floors. Includes premium open bar and Latin-influenced appetizers and “street” tacos prepared by executive chef Tony DiSalvo. Viceroy Santa Monica, 1819 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica. 9 p.m.-1:30 a.m. $175. (310) 260-7500.

NYE at Elevate Lounge DJ Eddie Boy, the recent winner of KISS-FM’s best local DJ competition, provides the thumping beats that fuel the action on this 21st-floor dance party. Special live performance by D-Rock Drums, complimentary champagne toast at midnight and plenty of free party favors. Elevate Lounge, 811 Wilshire Blvd., downtown L.A.. Pre-sale tickets, 9 p.m. $40. (213) 623-7100.

Carnevale di Venezia: The Playhouse Masquerade Masks are encouraged at this masquerade inspired by the shindigs thrown by Italian royalty of yore. Thumping house music from DJ duo Manufactured Superstars, aerialists and free-flowing champagne conspire to make it modern. Playhouse Nightclub, 6506 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. 10 p.m.-4 a.m. $125.

Times Square New Year’s Eve Pretend you’re in the Big Apple for one night only, with New York City food carts and an all-star cast of DJs provide big beats to heat up the dance floor. Not to mention a ball drop at the stroke of midnight. Glow Lounge, 4100 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. $30. (310) 448-4815.

The Golden Stag New Year’s Eve Party Fellas and flappers enjoy a retro-style club featuring a live big band, dance ensembles, showgirls and, of course, a midnight champagne toast. Park Plaza, 607 South Park View St., downtown. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. $50-$150. (323) 857-6010.

New Year’s Eve at the Mixing Room The festivities will feature a live DJ, Tequila Avión specialty cocktails, festive hats and streamers and a champagne toast at midnight. Additional highlights include a photo booth to memorialize the last moments of 2011. JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live, 900 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown. 8:30 p.m.-12:30 p.m. $50. (213) 765-8600.

Maxim Magazine’s Black and White New Year’s Eve Affair Maxim takes over the Chinese Theater and Grauman’s Ballroom for its formal New Year’s ball. Elegant cocktail attire is mandatory in the black and white theme. DJs play house and mashup, black and white movies run all night and of bottle service is available. 21 and over. Chinese 6 Theaters, 6801 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. $125-$225.

Let someone else drive

New Year’s Eve Dinner Train Ring in the new year with a journey on a vintage passenger train that includes an elegant dinner, Hollywood impersonators, dancing and a midnight champagne toast. Fillmore & Western Railway Co., 364 Main St., Fillmore. 8 p.m. $110. (805) 524-2546.

New Year’s Eve Cruise Ring in the New Year aboard a cruise ship with a four-course holiday dinner, dancing, DJs and champagne. Hornblower Cruises, 2431 W. Coast Highway, Newport Beach. 8:30 p.m.-1 a.m. $140. (888) 467-6256.


New Year’s Eve with Pink Martini Back by popular demand, Portland’s retro lounge lizards return with their unforgettable fusion of Brazilian samba, ‘30s Cuban dance and Parisian cafe to ring in the New Year. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111. S. Grand Ave., downtown. 7 and 10:30 p.m. $78-$209.

Jenny & Johnny and Cults 89.9 KCRW helps ease audiences into the new year with a double bill of indie rock, featuring Jenny & Johnny’s fast, ultra-melodic pop and New York City’s joyous pop duo Cults. Standard Hotel West Hollywood, 8300 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. 8 p.m. $75-$125. (323) 822-3111.

Wanda Jackson and Best Coast Two vastly different generations of female rock ‘n’ rollers help ring in 2012 at this special New Year’s Eve concert. Onetime Elvis girlfriend and reigning female rockabilly queen Jackson recently made a comeback — courtesy of collaborator Jack White. Local faves Best Coast, fronted by Bethany Consentino, is known for its catchy lo-fi indie pop. Club Nokia, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown L.A.. 9 p.m. $28.50-$45. (213) 765-7000.

New Year’s Eve with the Orphics Frontman-accordionist Matt Roth’s enchanting blend of Middle Eastern music and rock ‘n’ roll will help create a mellow vibe during the last hours of 2011. Whisky A Go Go, 8901 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. 8-11 p.m. $11.11. (310) 652-4202.


Noon Year’s Eve Balloon Drop An annual tradition, Kidspace’s Noon Year’s Eve counts down at the kid-friendly time of noon rather than midnight. Live music precedes the countdown. Kidspace Museum, 480 N. Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena. 11:30 a.m. $10. (626) 449-9144.

The Not Inappropriate Show A special sketch comedy show presented by Bob and Naomi Odenkirk geared especially for young audiences. Kids age 8 and older. Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, 5919 Franklin Ave., Hollywood. 4 p.m. $12. (323) 908-8702.

Magicopolis New Year’s Eve Bash Witness the prestidigitation theater’s long-running magic show, “Escape Reality,” along with pizza, a souvenir bag of tricks and a midnight champagne — or sparkling cider — toast. Magicopolis, 1418 Fourth St., Santa Monica. 9 p.m. $60. (310) 451-2241.

Family New Year’s Eve Celebration No champagne will be available, but this family friendly shindig will feature plenty of live music, food, dance and homespun fun. Sand Canyon and Marine Way, Irvine. 5:30-9:30 p.m. Admission free; parking, $10. (866) 829-3829.

New Year’s Eve Countdown Bash Open to the public, this massive block party on the car-free streets of Universal City features all manner of family entertainment, including live music, DJs and fireworks. Universal City Walk, 1000 Universal Studios Blvd., Universal City. 9 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Admission free, parking before 6 p.m. $15, after 6 p.m. $40.

The Best is Yet to Come: New Year’s Eve 2011 Welcome the new year with song, dance and comedy as the Harry Selvin Orchestra teams up with Cabrillo Music Theatre for a special evening starring Jo Anne Worley. The Broadway Variety Show features music from the Great American Songbook, dance performances and irreverent comedy. Fred Kavli Theatre, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. 7-9:30 p.m. $22-$64. (800) 745-3000.

New Year’s Eve Fireworks Ring in the new year with a fireworks display after a 30-second countdown from 11:59 p.m. Burton Chace Park, 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey. 11:59 p.m. Free. (310) 305-9545.


Recommendations from S. Irene Virbila, Times restaurant critic

New Year’s Eve at the Tasting Kitchen Globe-trotters and armchair travelers can get a New Year’s Eve fix at the Tasting Kitchen in Venice, where chef Casey Lane and company will be cooking up a lusty five-course dinner with French, Italian, Moroccan and Spanish dishes. You get a choice of three menus — “4 All,” “Pescetarian” or “Verdure” (greens). The Abbot Kinney restaurant is casual and fun (plenty loud too), and the food is always spot-on delicious. The Tasting Kitchen, 1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice. 6 p.m. to close. $90. Wine pairings are available for an additional $45 per person. (310) 392-6644.

New Year’s Dinner at Rivera Chef-owner John Sedlar’s New Year’s Eve menu promises something very different as he combines French and Latin influences in a five- and seven-course extravaganza. Think scallops with maize concentration, French ballotine of chicken napped with a chestnut molé or bûche de Noël made with passionfruit sponge cake and coconut “snow.” Of course, festive cocktails and champagne will be served. Early seating (five courses), $100; late seating (seven courses), $125. Rivera, 1050 S. Flower St., #102, L.A., (213) 749-1460,

Harry’s Bar at Lucques New Year’s Eve Lucques in WeHo will be channeling the Hemingway hangout Harry’s Bar in Venice. The five-course prix fixe menu starts with the Venetian antipasti called cichetti and moves on to warm scallop and squid salad with chanterelles, lobster americaine, and rack of lamb with radicchio risotto followed by Harry’s Bar’s famous torta di zabaglione. Harry’s Bar at Lucques, 8474 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood. 5:30-6:30 p.m. first seating, $110; 8:30-9:30 p.m. second seating, $150, includes favors and midnight toast. (323) 655-6277.

New Year at WP24 Restaurant and Lounge If you want to spend the night in a glamorous venue looking out over the city, Wolfgang Puck’s WP24 might be the place. Chef de cuisine Sara Johannes at WP24 is preparing a lavish six-course menu of signature dishes and Chinese specialties for the occasion. The theme? “Several Tastes of Good Fortune,” which means king crab hot and sour soup, exquisite miniature dim sum, “angry lobster” fired with Szechuan chiles, and not only Peking duck, but also a duo of Kobe beef. WP24 Restaurant and Lounge, 900 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown. 6 or 9:30 p.m. $250. (213) 743-8824.

Other dining events

New Year’s Eve at Fraiche Dig in to a five-course meal at the cozy Culver City restaurant. Delectable options include chestnut soup, black truffle risotto, Chilean turbot and short rib ravioli. Fraiche, 9411 Culver Blvd., Culver City. Beginning at 6 p.m. $55. (310) 839-6800.

Eat Like a Man New Year’s Eve Esquire Magazine’s chef of the year John Sedlar invites gourmands to enjoy a New Year’s Eve dinner free of prix fixe pressures. Choose from the a la carte Winter menu, which includes such delicacies as tortillas florales, papas salsa verde and ensalada quemada, which can be paired with two tequila and spirits flights. Playa, 7360 Beverly Blvd., Park La Brea. 6-11 p.m. Menu items, $7-$29. Luxury tequila flight, $100; Mezcal flight, $25. (323) 933-5300.

Get into the spirit

New Year’s Eve Celebration: Age of Aquarius with Gurmukh, Tej, Harijiwan and Gurshabd A celebration of yoga, music, dance and enhanced meditation. Golden Bridge Yoga, 1357 N. Highland Ave. 9 p.m.-midnight. $65-$84. (323) 936-4172.

Silence and Celebration: A New Year’s Eve Retreat A workshop with meditation sessions, discussion and a community dinner. Shambhala Meditation Center of Los Angeles, 963 Colorado Blvd. 4 p.m-midnight. $15. (323) 255-5472.

New Year’s Eve Meditation An introduction to Buddhism with Fusatsu (atonement ceremony) and Zazen (meditation). Hazy Moon Zen Center/Koun-Ji Temple, 1651 S. Gramercy Place. 9:30 p.m.-midnight. Call or email to RSVP. $15 donation. (323) 735-7564.

Intention Setting Ceremony Recommit to spiritual practice with the three Buddhist refuges and the five Buddhist precepts. Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society, 4300 Melrose Ave., L.A. 10 p.m.-midnight. Also, 1001a Colorado Ave., Santa Monica. 7-9 p.m. $20. (323) 665-4300.


Count Down Comedy Bash Ring in 2012 with a night of laughs, including party favors, Laugh Factory gift certificate and a champagne toast. Laugh Factory, 8001 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. 10:30 p.m. $40. (323) 656-1336.

Flappy New Year! Comedy duo Devin and Joel, freshly returned from a USO stint in Italy and Afghanistan, help ring in 2012 with some hearty yuks. Champagne toast at the end of each show. Flappers Comedy Club, 102 E. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank. 7:30, 9:30 p.m. and midnight. $15. (818) 845-9721.

Jay & Silent Bob’s New Year’s Eve Poker Classic Play real cards with Jay and Silent Bob in this comedic elimination tournament. Top 10 winners take home prize packages. Jon Lovitz Comedy Club, 1000 Universal Studios Blvd #222. 6-9 p.m. $50. (818) 824-6545.

All Star New Year’s Eve Show The veteran all-stars of L.A. Connection perform an improvised short-form show inspired by TV’s “Whose Line Is It Anyway?,” based on suggestions from the audience. LA Connection Comedy Theatre, 13442 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. 8 and 10 p.m. $25-$35. (818) 784-1868.