And just like that, 2017 is about to wrap so let’s celebrate the last weekend of the year LA style. From only-in-LA activities like Grinchmas and sand sledding to previewing the Rose Bowl floats before they make their debut in the eponymous parade, no one can ever claim 2017 wasn’t one for the memory books. And lest we forget, New Year’s Eve takes on a whole new meaning when there are kids involved. Thankfully there are loads of options for the kids to partake in the fun (and still get to bed on time). Have fun celebrating everyone! We can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store!

photo: via Kidspace



Go Behind the Scenes of the Rose Parade
Take tots to get an up close and personal look at the floats which will be featured in the Rose Parade, as they get their finishing touches and decorations in their final stages of preparation. Watch in wonder and awe as flowers, fruit, seeds, bark and grasses are expertly applied to the floats.

Kids 5 and under are free. Advance purchases only for December 31st viewing. Check the website for parking information and hours for each day. Fri. – Sun. Event details.

Noon Years Eve Balloon Drop
Midnight is way past bed time, so celebrate the new year a bit early with Kidspace. Experience the ginormous balloon drop at noon, sip and toast cups of sparkling cider, and create your own noisemakers to ring in 2018. Dance to live music and boogie the noon away!

Please note that Kidspace will be closing at 3 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. Also, get there early. Like really early. There’s TONS of traffic in preparation for the Rose Bowl and Parade, so you want to make sure you’re here by 11 a.m. at the latest or you will miss the balloon drop! Sun. Event details.

Los Angeles

Bah, Merry Grinchmas, Ho Ho Ho
Grinchmas is here ’til the end of the year! Anyone with a case of the bah-humbugs (or the bored vacation bugs) should hop over to Grinchmas at Universal Studios features photo ops with Grinch and his dog Max, story time with Cindy Lou-Who, cookie and ornament decorating at Universal Plaza, and the chance to stand beneath the 60-foot Grinchmas tree. Then join the Whos as they sing and dance through Who-ville during the Studio Tour Backlot Grinchmas Who-bilation. You can also catch some holiday spirit when you swing through Harry Potter’s world for some  hot Butterbeer, and find some holiday Minion mayhem happening in their super silly world. Fri-Sun. Event details.

Rocking Noon Year’s Eve Party With the Beatbuds
Journey to The Play Destination for our first annual Rocking Noon Year’s Eve Party featuring The BeatBuds. Come and celebrate the new year early as we countdown to noon! Rock out to some music, enjoy the balloon drop and celebrate with a juice box “toast”! There’ll be popcorn, food trucks, arts and crafts—family fun entertainment for all! Must RSVP (call or visit to reserve your spot as this is a special event and space is limited). Sun. Event details.

Celebrate in the Center of the City
Dance your heart out and into 2018 with best friends, sweeties, friendly neighbors, and those cousins from out-of-town at the West Coast’s flagship New Year’s Eve celebration. Grand Park and The Music Center’s N.Y.E.L.A. is the place to dream together and welcome new beginnings with a countdown on City Hall, live music, food, and photo booths in one big, beautiful, colorful Angeleno experience to remember! Sun. Event details.

Object Pop Up Shop
In conjunction with the Handmade LA marketplace and current exhibition The U.S.-Mexico Border: Place, Imagination, and Possibility, the CAFAM Shop is hosting a pop-up by OBJECT, a Tijuana-based shop focused on Mexican contemporary design using natural and high-quality materials. Featured artist: Lagos del Mundo, Caralarga (Caralarga_mx), Pol&Pol, and VARON. Sat.-Sun. Event details.

Afternoon Football Game
Who’s ready for some football? Catch a mid-day game when the San Francisco 49ers play against the Los Angeles Rams at The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Sun. Event details.


New Year’s Eve Glow Party & Fireworks
Kick off the New Year (early!) at Glow Party in Marina del Rey. There’ll be face painting, a DJ spinning tunes, dancing, and food trucks along with live broadcasts of the east and west coast countdowns to the New Year. Catch the fireworks at 8:59 p.m. for the early birds and then again at 11:59 p.m. for those party animals who can stay up that late. Sun. Event details.

Celebrate On the Pier
There’s plenty of fun to be had at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier with rides and games, ocean breezes and sunshine.  Weather permitting, the park is open on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve and New Years Day, so when they’re complaining that all the gifts are open and there’s nothing to do – prove ’em wrong with a surprise trip to fun. Sun. Event details. 

sand sledding
Your kids might be surprised to find a new sled waiting for them Christmas morning, but it’s a perfectly apt gift when you take them to spend the afternoon at the beach sand sledding. Ah, only in LA! Fri.-Sun. Event details.


How are you kicking off 2018 in LA? Let us know in the comments!

—Andie Huber