Los Angeles can feel quite overwhelming on New Year’s Eve. With the number of bars, clubs, and restaurants doing special celebrations for the night and fireworks going off in every direction, most people don’t know where to go and end up giving up and staying home.
However, several events in the city stand out and offer unique and cool ways to ring in the new year. So, check out our list of the best places to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles and greet 2023 in style.
Dance the Night Away at NYELA
You can’t go wrong with NYELA, possibly one of the most iconic New Year’s Eve celebrations in Los Angeles, which takes place downtown in Grand Park. The countdown to 2023 will once again be an in-person event after a two-year hiatus during the pandemic.
This completely free celebration is a massive music and dance party with some of the best DJs and musicians from radio and the local club scene making an appearance. However, this isn’t a wild no-kids-allowed party. In fact, the celebration is alcohol-free and family-friendly.
The countdown to 2023 will be a 3-D video projected onto City Hall and accompanied by a fantastic light show. Swing by Grand Park and ring in the new year by dancing the night away with thousands of Angelenos.
Enjoy a Carefree Dance Party at Dance Yourself Clean
A lot of Angelenos love dancing but hate the pretentious environment of a lot of clubs in the city. For those who want a night of carefree fun and dancing, Dance Yourself Clean at Teragram Ballroom, next to downtown LA, is the perfect event at which to ring in the new year.
On Dec. 31, the doors at Teragram open at 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, while the show, featuring a fun, energizing indie pop mix, starts around 10 p.m. Tickets cost $30-40 depending on how early you buy them. Some people opt for the VIP tickets, which cost $100 but guarantee skip-the-line privilege, a coat check, and mezzanine access if the venue’s capacity permits it.
Go to Night Dive at the Aquarium of the Pacific
Visiting an aquarium might not be your first thought when discussing New Year’s Eve plans, but Aquarium of the Pacific is here to change your mind. Night Dive is a special event where the aquarium stays open after hours, up until 1 a.m., and invites guests to celebrate New Year’s Eve in a cool, classy environment.
No matter what music you like, between the DJs in the galleries and the live band in the Great Hall, you’ll find the music you love to dance to all night. Cafe Scuba offers snacks and food throughout the night, while cash bars are open and serving drinks. After you grab some nourishment, head over to gaze at the brilliant tropical fish and majestic marine mammals swimming through the aquarium’s huge exhibits.
The dress code varies widely. You can wear anything from sweatpants to cocktail attire and come as you like.
See the Fireworks at Marina Del Rey
Head to Burton Chace Park to see one of the most impressive and long-running New Year’s Eve fireworks displays In all of Los Angeles at Marina del Rey. The park hosts a family-friendly gathering starting at 7 p.m., then puts on two fireworks displays throughout the night, one at 9 p.m. and one at midnight, to ring in the new year.
The earlier fireworks show lines up with the year changing on the East Coast. In fact, the party in the park also has a live screening of the famous Times Square Ball Drop so that guests can celebrate twice, once with friends and relatives on the East Coast and once more when 2023 comes to Los Angeles.
Check Out the Los Angeles Zoo Lights
Experience the Los Angeles Zoo like you never have before, with thousands of lights shining all around the area, lending the zoo a magical glow. Families love to spend New Year’s Eve here, admiring the incredible lantern sculptures of the many animals you can find, dining at the delicious buffet, and dancing until the final countdown to 2023.
Best of all, your kids’ favorite animals will be hanging around near the Los Angeles Zoo Lights. Discover the various species the zoo houses at your leisure, then make sure to get back to the party in time for midnight.
Live It Up at Gatsby’s Penthouse Los Angeles New Year’s Eve Party 2023
If you’re looking for a more glamorous, less kid-oriented party this New Year’s Eve, check out Gatsby’s Penthouse Party at the top of the U.S. Bank Tower in downtown Los Angeles. Buy tickets in advance to enjoy tunes by the top DJs in town, a four-hour open bar, and an incredibly luxurious retro setting.
Show up in your favorite suit or dress, though 1920s flapper attire is encouraged, and mingle with guests from around the city. Count down to 2023 while enjoying one of the best views of the downtown Los Angeles skyline.
The event starts at 9 p.m. and continues until 1 a.m. at Capture Studios Penthouse on the 59th floor.
Take the Family to Universal Studios Hollywood
You can never go wrong with a day (or night) spent at Universal Studios Hollywood. Not only is Los Angeles’s favorite theme park open on New Year’s Eve, but it hosts a massively popular celebration to celebrate the beginning of the new year.
Visit the park to enjoy music and dancing all night long after a day full of your favorite rides. Adults over 21 can purchase alcohol at the park’s party as well. You’ll find plenty of photo ops and set-ups throughout the park, and once the countdown ends and 2023 begins, Universal Studios Hollywood lights up with a spectacular fireworks display.
We here at Teak Master love to ring in the new year right, so we hope you enjoyed this varied list of ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve 2023. If you know of a great New Year’s event or activity in Los Angeles that we missed, please contact us at Teak Master to let us know, as we would love to include it in next year’s list.