New Year's Eve Weekend: Best Things To Do with LA Kids this Weekend

Fireworks, Family Festivals, Rose Parade, and other New Years Eve Activities

Get yer 2017 fun before it’s gone! Get yer Nutcracker and yer Panto and yer holiday trains, yer adventures in the snow and in the culinary sciences. Get ready to ring in the New Year with some distinctly kidfriendly and totally SoCal soirees

I have it on good authority that 2018 is going to be awesome. (Because, seriously, how could life with kids in LA be anything but?)  We have a lot to look forward to, starting with our own Rose Parade and continuing with an out of this world Girl of the Yearthe year of the Dog, and maybe a visit to a galaxy far, far away for those of us who haven't made it there yet. So take the plunge and dive in for what is bound to be our best year yet.

Grab your party hats and keep reading for some of our most forward looking picks for the coming year...


Lend a hand decorating a float for the Rose Parade. Photo courtesy of Tournament of Roses​

Rose Parade Float Decorating - Pasadena
Watch the magic happen as the finishing touches are applied to Rose Parade Floats this weekend.

Live on Green - Pasadena
Families can enjoy a free three-day festival leading up to the Rose Parade and Bowl Game.

Disney on Ice: Follow Your Heart - Long Beach
The Disney Ice spectacular welcomes 2018 with all the feels (and the squeals) at the Long Beach Arena.

Kiddee Matinees - Hollywood
She's practically perfect in every way. The New Beverly closes out 2017 with matinee screenings of Mary Poppins.
Annual All-New One-Time-Only New Year's Eve Revue Santa Monica
The Santa Monica Playhouse  expands its annual New Year revue to two nights. 

The Nutcracker - Redondo Beach
Los Angeles Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker takes place in 1912 Los Angeles.

Aladdin and His Winter Wish - Laguna Beach
What more could you wish for? The Lythgoe Family panto continues through this weekend at the Laguna Playhouse.

The Last Jedi - Hollywood
Prepare for the year ahead with a new adventure from long, long ago.


SoCal polar bears take to the waves. Photo by

Snow Days at Kidspace - Pasadena
Kidspace offers all the wintry fun without subzero temps. Snowballs, snow angels, snowmen...'sno fun like Snow Days at Kidspace!

Float Decorating, Burbank Rose Parade Float - Pasadena
Through Saturday, you can be part of the magic by helping to decorate Burbank’s float for the Rose Parade.

Bandfest - Pasadena
The bands selected to perform in the Rose Parade perform their field shows at Pasadena City College.

Kwanzaa Heritage Festival, Block Parade, & Candle Lighting Ceremony - Leimert Park
The annual festival includes a parade, a candle lighting ceremony, drum circle, and plenty of music and dancing.

Kwanzaa! - Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw
Lula Washington Dance Theatre's 2017 Kwanzaa Festival is a cultural holiday celebration mixing high velocity dancing and drumming, from African Dance to classical ballet.

Festival of Kwanzaa - Irvine
Saturday's storytime at Pretend City shares what Kwanzaa is all about. 

Polar Bear Swim - Santa Monica
Annenberg Community Beach House hosts Santa Monica's first ever polar bear swim! (Warm up afterwards at the Beach House's heated pool.)

Watson Adventures’ Wizard School Scavenger Hunt - West LA
Close out the year with a Potter inspired sleuthing mission through the Getty Center.

CHILL - Long Beach
There's still time for some chilling adventure at the Queen Mary.

Lawrence of Arabia (PG) - Hollywood
Talk about epic: the Egyptian screens David Lean's cinematic masterpiece.


Party like it's Noon Year's Eve! Photo courtesy of Pretend City Children's Museum

Noon Years Eve Balloon Drop - Pasadena
The New Year's celebration at Kidspace is operating on a kid’s time clock, with a balloon drop and sparkling cider toast at noon sharp.

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, too.

New Year's Eve Kick-Off for Kids - Mid-Wilshire
Balloons drop at 1:18pm, 2:18pm, and 3:18pm at the Zimmer.

New Year’s Eve Party - Irvine
It’s always midnight somewhere, and Pretend City has the confetti countdowns to prove it.

LA Zoo Lights: Family New Year's Eve - Griffith Park
The LA Zoo offers a perfect family friendly New Year’s festivity, with an all-ages party set amid the zoo’s holiday light installations.

Family-Friendly Free Waterfront Celebration Long Beach
Long Beach offers a family-friendly New Year's celebration at the Downtown waterfront amphitheater, with free face painters and trackless train rides. Fireworks begin at 9pm.

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 that Long Beach sets off to ring in the New Year.

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.
Skating Plus New Year's Eve Party Ventura
Kids can roller skate to an early new year with a balloon drop at 3pm. Teens get their own party later on.

Kid's New Years Eve Carlsbad
What kid could say no to New Year's at Legoland? Kid favorites including Lucky Diaz and The Family Jam Band and Twinkle Time performing throughout the day, then the LEGO brick drops at 6pm. Fireworks follow.

Kwanzaa! Mid City
The Lula Washington Dance Theatre presents an exuberant celebration of Kwanzaa.

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 and food trucks.

New Year's Eve Celebration - Marina del Rey
MDR shoots off fireworks at 9pm and midnight.

New Year's Eve Celebration at Old Town Music Hall - El Segundo
Old Town Music Hall rings in 2018 with music, performances, classic shorts, and a surprise feature film.

New Year's Eve at Disneyland - Anaheim
What better place to ring in the new year than the Happiest Place on Earth?

And if you're looking for more New Year's Eve ideas, we've got at least a dozen more!


Try pounding mochi at Oshogatsu in Little Tokyo. Photo courtesy of Nikkan San

2018 Rose Parade - Pasadena
New York may have Thanksgiving, but Pasadena owns New Year's Day. Stake out your spot to watch this floral spectacular, or view the floats later in the Post Parade: A Showcase of Floats.
American Girl "Girl of the Year 2018" Debut - Fairfax
The American Girl “Girl of the Year” for 2018 makes her debut at this free in-store event. (Rumor has it she's out of this world!)

Marx Brothers Double Bill - Santa Monica         
Start the New Year with a Groucho, Chico, Harpo double feature at the Aero Theatre. 

Polar Bear Skate: The LA Edition - Downtown
Some polar bears dive into winter waters; others skate in beachwear.

Free Day at The Autry - Griffith Park
The Autry gets 2018 off to a good start, with free admission during regular museum hours. (Be sure to check out the ultra-kid-friendly exhibit Play before its January 7 closing.)

Oshogatsu (New Year's) in Little Tokyo 2018 - Little Tokyo
Little Tokyo rings in the new year Japanese style.

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 2018 and wish you much joy and endless fun in the months ahead. Happy New Year, everyone!

Top photo photo by Prayitno/CC BY 2.0