What are you doing New Year’s Eve (and before)? A close-to-home guide to events

You can spend New Year’s Eve at the L.A. Zoo Lights celebration, which includes carousel rides, a dinner and a dance party.
(Jamie Pham/GLAZA)

Spend the last weekend of 2018 watching marching bands, musicians and lots of New Year’s Eve fireworks.


The 23 marching bands that will play in the 2019 Rose Parade hail from Georgia to Japan. To see them perform the field shows that got them recognized, head to Bandfest, a two-day showcase at Jackie Robinson Stadium at Pasadena City College.

When: 1:30 p.m. Dec. 29, 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Dec. 30

Cost, info: $15. Family friendly. No dogs. (877) 793-9911,



If midnight is way past bedtime, take the kids to Noon Year’s Eve at Kidspace Children’s Museum, where you’ll ring in the new year with DJs, noisemakers and a balloon drop as the clock strikes noon. Admission includes the celebration and all open museum exhibits, such as Physics Forest and Storyteller Studio.

When: 9:30 a.m. Dec. 31

Cost, info: $14. Family friendly. No dogs. (626) 449-9144,

Long Beach

New Year’s Eve at the Waterfront in downtown Long Beach boasts barbecue, beer and wine and a kids’ zone with face painting, crafts and games. Performers include local bands, an aerial silks group and a 9 p.m. fireworks show set to the East Coast countdown.

When: 5 p.m. Dec. 31

Cost, info: Free. Family friendly. Dogs OK. (562) 436-4259,

Los Angeles

Spend a glamorous evening at the L.A. Zoo Lights New Year’s Eve celebration, which includes dinner, carousel rides, a dance party and a cider or sparkling wine toast during a broadcast of the New York’s Times Square ball drop, as well as express entry to Zoo Lights. You can also buy general tickets to Zoo Lights all weekend to stroll through illuminated animal-themed displays, a disco ball forest, a twinkling tunnel and more.

When: 6 p.m. Dec 31

Cost, info: $11.95 to $70. Family friendly. No dogs. (323) 644-4200,

Los Angeles

Countless Angelenos collaborate to put on Grand Park and the Music Center’s N.Y.E. L.A., one of the largest free New Year’s Eve celebrations in the county. The event’s signature 3-D digital countdown, projected on City Hall, is inspired by L.A. County fifth-graders who submitted essays, poems and other works about their dreams for Los Angeles. Musicians of many genres, an all-female DJ lineup, food trucks and fireworks will also entertain. Organizers expect more than 50,000.

When: 8 p.m. Dec. 31

Cost, info: Free. Family friendly. Dogs not recommended. (213) 972-8080,

Los Angeles

Slide into 2019 at OUE Skyspace’s first New Year’s Eve party, where, yes, its all-glass slide, 1,000 feet above downtown L.A., is open for unlimited rides. The party promises multilevel dance floors, DJs, appetizers and an open bar. The 360-degree viewing space is a pretty sweet spot to watch citywide fireworks shows too.

When: 9 p.m. Dec. 31

Cost, info: $150. Ages 21 and older only. No dogs. (213) 894-9000,