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

Please don't take this the wrong way, 2016, but we're not that sorry to see you go. Sure, we had some good times, some amazing times really, but you also took a lot out of us. (A little like parenting...) We hit some milestones but faced some painful losses. 2016, it's time to move on. Whoa, lookie there: it's 2017!

Try to see it this way: we turn our back on you to look forward, with hope, with optimism, with determination. To find our common ground, to work together, to parent kindly and creatively, with empathy and with joy. This weekend gives us plenty of opportunities, with so many different approaches we can take towards time with our kids, so many ways to open their eyes to the wonders great and small. We can usher in 2017 from a child's perspective (and on a child's timeclock); we can bring them with us as we party like it's 1999 2017. We can share the celebrations of many cultures, whether they be our own or not. 2017, we are ready to take you on, and we are determined to make you our greatest year yet.

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


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

Rose Parade Float Decorating - Pasadena
The actual Rose Parade is not on New Year's Day this year (because Sunday), but kids can watch the magic happen as the finishing touches are applied to Rose Parade Floats this weekend.

Disney on Ice Worlds of Enchantment - Long Beach
The Disney Ice spectacular welcomes 2017 at the Long Beach Arena.

Kiddee Matinees - Hollywood
“You guys give up, or are you thirsty for more?”  Macauley Culkin takes on the bad guys in Home Alone.

Bob Baker’s Nutcracker - Downtown
Still feeling Nutcracker-y?  The Bob Baker Marionette Theater continues with its seasonal favorite.

Rogue One: Star Wars Story - Hollywood
Raise a toast to the rebellion and the spirit of the late, great General Organa at this epic adventure set long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away (but with new characters).

See Rose Parade floats up close this weekend, before seeing them from far away on Monday (photo credit: Prayitno via flickr)

SATURDAY DECEMBER 31 -  NEW YEAR’S EVE (& Last Night of Hanukkah)

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.

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 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.

Noon O'clock Countdown - Eagle Rock
Eagle Rock's Green Bean hosts a free Countdown to the New Year at noon.  

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.

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 6:00pm. Fireworks follow.

Hanukkah Menorah Lighting at Sundown - Santa Monica
Sundown marks the last night of Hanukkah.

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.

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 9:00pm.

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 2017 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!


American Girl "Girl of the Year 2017" Debut - Fairfax
Who will she be? The American Girl “Girl of the Year” for 2017 makes her debut at this free in-store event.

Marx Brothers Double Bill - Santa Monica         
Start the New Year with a Groucho, Chico, Harpo double feature at the Aero Theatre. Also, the theater offers a free screening of The Little Mermaid, for those who reserve tickets in advance.
Venice Penguin Swim Club Annual Swim Venice
Whether you’re 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.

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 2017 off to a good start, with free admission during regular museum hours. 
Oshogatsu (New Year's) in Little Tokyo 2017 - 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 2017 and wish you much joy and endless fun in the months ahead. Happy New Year, everyone!