Survived. Christmas. (So much wrapping. So many toys.) Made it through the carols and the candy canes and the carrots for the reindeer. 2014 is nearly wrapped and in the can, but for one more hurdle. And, oh, it's a doozy: New Year's 2015, only the biggest night of the year. At least it used to be when you were young and carefree. Now that your world is run by younger and way more carefree creatures, it's a big afternoon filled with balloon drops and cider toasts. And a night filled with cuddles on the couch, popping homemade crackers and watching the NYC ball drop at a bedtime-friendly hour. But it's still pretty awesome.
Then we’re done with the holidaying, just time to chillax and enjoy some down time as we regroup and reflect on the new year. Well, there’s New Year’s Day, which technically means we start the year with a holiday first thing. But after that, January is notoriously slow, so don’t be expecting jam-packed events calendars or big fancy holidays. Well, except Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, there’s that, but then, no holidays whatsoever, except Lunar New Year.
Sigh. Grab your party hats and keep reading for some of our most celebrational picks for the coming year...
WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 31: NEW YEAR’S EVE
Rose Parade Float Decorating - Pasadena
Kids can watch the magic happen as the finishing touches are applied to the Rose Parade Floats. On this final day before the Parade, viewing is available only at the Rose Palace.
Noon Year's Eve at the Discovery Cube OC - Santa Ana
Discovery Science Center celebrates the noon year with balloon drops at noon and 2pm, green screen photos, and sound-effects creating on a Foley stage. (Also Tuesday)
Noon Year's Eve at the Discovery Cube LA - Sylmar
At Discovery Cube LA, festivities include an Alka-Seltzer rocket, tambourine crafting, and learning about time zones.
Annual New Year's NOON Party - La Habra
The Children's Museum at La Habra’s kid-centric New Year’s celebration culminates in a noon balloon drop.
New Year's Eve Kick-Off for Kids - Mid-Wilshire
The Zimmer celebrates 2015 with balloon drops on the quarter hour.
New Year’s Eve Party - Irvine
The confetti countdown to noon at Pretend City includes a rockin’ dance party.
Noon Years Eve Balloon Drop - Pasadena
The New Year's celebration at Kidspace is operating on a kid’s timeclock, with a balloon drop and sparkling cider toast at noon sharp. Come early to hear Clint Perry and the Boohoo Crew.
Family-Friendly Free Waterfront Celebration - Long Beach
Long Beach offers a family-friendly New Year's celebration at the Downtown waterfront amphitheater, with magicians, face painters, balloon artists, and free trackless train rides. Fireworks begin at 9:00pm.
Annual All-New One-Time-Only New Year's Eve Revue - Santa Monica
The Santa Monica Playhouse offers two show times of its all-new evening of audience-favorite songs, dances, and comedy. The 6:00pm show gives kids the full New Year's experience while getting them home for bedtime.
New Year's Eve on Ice -Woodland Hills
The seasonal rink is open from 11am until 12:30am to celebrate the New Year. The evening New Year's Eve party includes a count down to the ball drop.
Skating Plus New Year's Eve Party - Ventura
Kids can roller skate to an early new year with a balloon drop at 3pm.
Kid's New Years Eve - Carlsbad
What kid could say no to New Year's at Legoland? Kids’ favorites perform throughout the day, then the LEGO brick drops at 6:00pm. Fireworks follow.
Knott’s New Year’s Eve Celebration - Buena Park
Knott's Berry Farm stays open until 1am on New Year’s Eve, with festivities that include fireworks and live performances.
New Year's Eve at Disneyland - Anaheim
What better place to ring in the new year than the Happiest Place on Earth?
Queen Mary New Year's Eve Fireworks - Long Beach
If you can see the Queen Mary at midnight, you get to see the second set of fireworks Long Beach sets off to ring in the New Year.
New Year's Eve LA - Downtown
Grand Park’s free New Year’s celebration includes performances, art installations, and large-scale photographic projections, as well as photo booths, face painting, and food trucks. An early countdown is timed to New York’s ball drop.
THURSDAY JANUARY 1: NEW YEAR’S DAY
2015 Rose Parade - Pasadena
All eyes are on Pasadena for the annual Tournament of Roses Parade. This year's theme is "Inspiring Stories." (Bundle up, it’s going to be chilly!) After the Parade, the floats remain on view through Saturday.
Marx Brothers Double Bill - Santa Monica
Start the New Year with a Groucho, Chico, Harpo double feature at the Aero Theatre.
Bunny Museum Holiday Hours - Pasadena
The Bunny Museum greets the New Year with no-appointment-necessary open hours from 2 to 6pm.
American Girl "Girl of the Year 2015" Debut - Fairfax
Who will she be? The American Girl “Girl of the Year” for 2015 makes her debut at this free in-store event. Word is she likes Paris… and pastries! (through Saturday).
Venice Penguin Swim Club Annual Swim - Venice
crazy brave enough to dive into the icy waters or just want to watch others who are, all are welcome to Venice Beach Penguin Club’s annual swim Venice Beach.
Bob Baker’s Nutcracker - Downtown
Still feeling Nutcracker-y? The Bob Baker Marionette Theater continues with its seasonal favorite.
Let's Make a Comet - Griffith Park
Last chance to catch this fun demonstration program at the Griffith Observatory. Watch how a comet can be made using common household ingredients, and learn about water’s role in life on Earth.
Into the Woods (PG) at El Capitan - Hollywood
Is this the right movie for your kids this weekend? Check out our parent review for some insight.
Disney on Ice: Let's Celebrate! - Long Beach
Mickey and his friends bring their party on ice to the Long Beach Arena, the last of the show’s area engagements.
Sleeping Beauty and her Winter Knight - Pasadena
Last chance to see this lively panto at the Pasadena Playhouse. C’mon, you know you want to see Xena channeling Malificent!
Holiday Treats from the Paley Center Archive - Beverly Hills
Last weekend to catch these blast-from-the-past holidays treats at the Paley Center – including rare clips from holiday specials (The Annie Christmas Show, with the 1977 cast of the Broadway musical!) and Scrooge vs. Scrooge in the Christmas Carol Mash-up!
SATURDAY JANUARY 3
Home Depot Kids Workshops - Multiple Locations
Yikes! It’s cold outside! You’re going to need that mini sled your kid is building at this month’s Home Depot workshop.
Saturday Morning Stories and More - West LA
Ronna Dragon brings her songs and instruments for a happy, play-filled interactive musical experience at Children's Book World.
Creation Station Winter Wonderland - Long Beach
January’s free drop-in craft program is themed Winter Wonderland and includes take-home crafts and activities that feature snowmen, snowflakes, and sparkly candles.
Free Crafts for Kids - Multiple Locations
New year, new crafts at Lakeshore Learning! This week, prepare for the chill with a beary warm earmuff craft.
SUNDAY JANUARY 4
Oshogatsu Family Festival- Downtown
A petting zoo, candy-sheep making demonstrations, and sheep-centric craft projects highlight the Japanese American National Museum's annual celebration of the start of the New Year.
Free Day at the Bowers - Santa Ana
The Bowers Museum celebrates Kwanzaa with African and African American art, spoken word, music, and dance.
Andell Family Sundays - Art of the Samurai - Mid-Wilshire
LACMA’s family program for January explores the world of the Samurai.
Free Day at the La Habra Children's Museum - La Habra
The Children's Museum at La Habra celebrates the Lunar New Year. Kids can make painted Chinese lanterns and enjoy performances of traditional music.
A Faery Hunt - Crestwood Hills Park – Brentwood
What better way to start the new year than with a hunt for faeries?
Zimmer Sunday Family Programs - Mid-Wilshire
Zimmer Children's Museum celebrates the upcoming National Bean Day with all sorts of bean-tastic activities.
As always, there are many more activities listed on our daily events calendar. Whatever you choose to do this holiday week, we hope you have a truly auspicious start to 2015 and wish you much joy and endless fun in the months ahead. Happy New Year, everyone!