With Christmas last weekend, community events were pretty non-existent (so we skipped the weekly post), but this weekend’s New Year’s celebrations bring lots of reasons to go out and about.
First, LACMA has extended its hours from now through Sunday, January 8. They’ll be open every day (including Wednesday, when they’re usually closed) from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Great time to visit – and bring your out-of-town visitors – if you haven’t been in a while.
Of course, Saturday is also New Year’s Eve, and there are lots of terrific celebrations to join, including several early-in-the-day options for kids. First, the Zimmer Children’s Museum, 6505 Wilshire Blvd., will conduct “ball(oon)” drops at 11:17 a.m., 12:17 p.m., 1:17 p.m., 2:17 p.m. and 3:17 p.m. on Saturday, along with opportunities for kids to create sparkly noisemakers and party accessories to use in the celebration. RSVPs are encouraged, but not required…and word is the later drops will be less crowded than the earlier ones.
At 2 p.m., you can catch a special screening of the holiday favorite “Home Alone,” at the New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd. The iconic 1990 film features Macaulay Culkin as an 8-year-old accidentally left to fend for himself (and defend his home against two bumbling burglars) over the Christmas holidays.
Over at the John C. Fremont Library, 6121 Melrose Ave., at 3 p.m., there will also be a family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration, with stories, snacks, crafts, and an early New Year’s countdown and toast with non-alcoholic sparkling cider.
For dinner, you could try the new Commerson restaurant, 788 S. La Brea, which has received some good publicity in the LA Weekly and EaterLA recently. The restaurant posted on its Facebook page that, unlike many restaurants featuring special events and pricing on New Year’s Eve, it will offer its regular menu, with no cover charge or special reservation requirements, from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. For those who do stay late, though, there will be hats, horns, champagne and a countdown to ring in the new year.
If you are looking for a big, sparkly, and undoubtedly crowded New Year celebration, there are three not too far from us that will probably achieve maximum festivity.
The biggest – as in up to 50,000 attendees – will probably be the annual N.Y.E.L.A. celebration, at downtown’s Grand Park and the Music Center. There will be three stages with live music, DJs and dancing, large scale inflatable art, food vendors, photo booths, 3D digital video mapping on City Hall, and an integrated light show to count down to the new year. The event is free and family friendly. Hours are 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.
For an adults-only New Year’s celebration with vintage style, try the Prohibition NYE at historic Union Station. This 1920s extravaganza re-creates “the excitement and glamour of the Roaring Twenties” in the station’s majestic ticket concourse, including theatrical burlesque, live jazz ensembles, nationally touring DJs, and a premium open bar featuring champagne and specialty cocktails. There will also be a 60-foot midnight ball drop. The event starts at 9 pm.; tickets are $165.
And finally, for some grand Hollywood style, you could try the 8th annual Cleopatra’s New Year’s Eve Ball at the Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd. The event will feature two DJs, Top 40/ Hip-Hop/House music, a spectacular LED wall, light show with heiroglyphic animation, and premium open bar. Guests are encouraged, of course, to wear Egyptian costumes. Tickets start at $125, and the organizers warn that it will probably sell out.
On Sunday, as is probably appropriate for those who need some time to recover from the night before, there aren’t too many big events scheduled. Even the venerable Rose Parade, which has an official “never on Sunday” rule, has been moved to Monday this year.
But if you do want to get some fresh air on Sunday, try the annual Polar Bear Skate at the Pershing Square ice rink, which gives a unique twist to an old Canadian tradition, the Polar Bear Plunge. Instead of jumping into cold water, however, the SoCal version allows you to “ring in the New Year on the ice while donning your blades, shades and best beach attire.” Participants will skate to the beat of DJ HowLy, and $1000 in cash prizes will be awarded to costumes for best theme, originality and overall appearance. (Spectators will pick the winners.) The event starts at 2:30 p.m; general admission is $9, with skate rentals at $4.
Happy New Year!