We can’t promise you the kiddos will make it ’til midnight (at least not on LA time), but we can guarantee plenty of festive fun for the whole family. From “Noon Year’s Eve” at Kidspace to a dance party at the LA Zoo, read on for 13 awesome ways to ring in 2020 in Los Angeles!

Grand Park & The Music Center's N.Y.E.L.A.

NYC has their ball drop, but LA is hot on their heels with a New Year’s Eve celebration to rival the Big Apple. Join thousands of Angelenos as they celebrate at Grand Park’s eighth annual New Year’s Eve Los Angeles event. Highlights include a city-wide dance party, two stages of entertainment, food trucks, art installations, photo booths and a spectacular 3D countdown that uses video mapping technology projected onto City Hall. The coolest part? It’s all free!

Tip: Take public transportation as parking will be scarce.
When: Dec. 31, 8 p.m. - 1:00 a.m.
Cost: Free

Grand Park
200 N Grand Ave.
Los Angeles
Online: grandparkla.org

LA Zoo Lights Family New Year’s Eve

See the zoo like you’ve never seen it before: at night and totally lit up. Tour the zoo after hours and see what your favorite animals are up to. Then hit up a dinner buffet featuring family favorites. Included in the celebration are carousel rides, games, a DJ dance party, and a live broadcast of the Times Square ball drop. Top the night off with a champagne (adults) or sparkling apple cider (kids) toast. Cash bar will also be available.

When: Dec. 31; 6 - 10 p.m.
Cost: $74 for adults and $49 for children (2-12)

LA Zoo
5333 Zoo Dr.
Los Angeles
Online: lazoo.org

El Capitan Theatre – Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Catch a showing of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker at the iconic El Capitan Theatre where the visit is just as exciting as the movie. The first showing of the day starts at 9:30 a.m. and the last is at 11:30 p.m. so you can appease both night owls and early birds. As the thrilling conclusion to the seminal Skywalker saga, this film destined to be a classic so bring on the popcorn. Come early for the laser and light show before each screening and stay afterward to see costumes from the movie and enjoy photo ops with First Order Stormtroopers.

When: Dec. 31; 9:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m.; 4:30 p.m.; 8:00 p.m., 11:30 p.m.
Cost: $13 & up

El Capitan Theatre
6838 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood
Online: elcapitantheatre.com

ICE at Santa Monica

No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. That’s an 8,000 square foot ice ring smack dab in the middle of the Third Street Promenade. Bundle up and take the kids for a skate on the ice. And if you don’t know how to skate, no worries! You can join a skating lesson or hire a private tutor for an extra cost of course. Hungry? There are dozens of options for picky eaters in the food court.

When: Dec. 31, 2 - 10 p.m.
Cost: $15 and includes skate rental and all-day admission

ICE at Santa Monica
1324 5th St.
Santa Monica
Online: downtownsm.com/ice-at-santa-monica

Santa Monica Playhouse NYE Show


The 48th Annual All-New One-Time-Only New Year’s Eve Revue is a treat for the entire brood! The internationally acclaimed Actors’ Repertory Theatre  puts on a family-friendly musical revue with prizes, sing-a-longs, dancing, and comedy. The evening ticket also includes a complimentary buffet, party hats, tiaras, noisemakers, streamers and surprises. The 6 p.m. show is ideal for little ones who like to party down and still get to bed at a reasonable hour. The 9 p.m. show features a meet ‘n’ greet with the cast. Advanced reservations are required and can be made online.

When: Dec. 31, 6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Cost: The 6 p.m. show is $49.50 for adults and $29.50 for kids 12 and under. The 9:30 p.m. show is $69.50 for adults and $39.50 for kids 12 and under.

Santa Monica Playhouse
1211 4th St.
Santa Monica
Online: santamonicaplayhouse.com

Rose Parade Decorating Places

Take your tots to get an up close and personal look at the mind-blowing floats that will be featured in the parade in the morning as they get their finishing touches. Watch in wonder and awe as flowers, fruit, seeds, bark, and grasses are expertly applied to the floats. Advance tickets are required through Sharpe Seating Company

When: Dec. 31; 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Cost: $15, kids under five are free

Rose Parade Decorating Places
Rosemont Pavillion
700 Seco St.
Pasadena
Online: tournamentofroses.com

Kidspace Noon Year’s Eve

For kiddos who still enjoy an afternoon nap (and who can blame them), ring in the ‘Noon’ year at Kidspace with live DJ’s, party hats, noisemakers, confetti and more. This annual tradition features a dance party countdown to high noon, but be sure to get there early to avoid the Rose Parade traffic. Participants arriving after 11 a.m. are not guaranteed participation in the countdown.

When: Dec. 31; 9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Cost: This special event is free with price of regular admission that runs $14 per person.

Kidspace Children’s Museum
480 North Arroyo Blvd.
Pasadena
Online: kidspacemuseum.org

Universal Studios Hollywood EVE

Spend the day enjoying the rides and attractions at Universal Studios Hollywood then spend the night partying down from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m. at Universal’s “Eve” event which includes multiple celebration areas that will featuring dancing, music and a midnight countdown with fireworks.

When: Dec. 31, EVE celebration is 9 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Cost: $129 general admission, “Eve” event is included with admission.

Universal Studios Hollywood
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City
Online: universalstudioshollywood.com

And Five Ideas That Are Totally Worth The Drive For NYE:

LEGOLAND Brick Drop
Midnight arrives early in Carlsbad as Legoland recreates the famous Times Square ball drop with a Kids’ New Year’s Eve LEGO drop! At 6 p.m., a gigantic Lego brick plunges 22 feet, culminating in a crowd-pleasing pyrotechnics display that the whole family can watch while wearing party hats, special fireworks glasses and listening to music from kids’ bands. Event details.

New Year's Eve at Disneyland
With the park decorated to the nines for the holiday season, there’s no more magical place to celebrate New Year’s Eve than Disneyland. Mickey and his pals will ring in the new year with an extra special fireworks spectacular at 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. All of the restaurants inside the park will also feature special events and NYE menus for the occasion so be sure to do some research and book a reservation ahead of time. Event details. 

Knott's Berry Farm NYE
Knott’s Berry Farm has something for the entire family this New Year’s Eve with Snoopy and the Peanuts gang, festive dance music, DJ’s, bands, a family- friendly comedian, party hats, noisemakers, yumtastic food and special extended hours. After you spend the day the exploring the park and riding Knott’s rides, be sure to stay for the Midnight Fireworks Spectacular to usher in 2020 with a bang. Event details.

Pretend City Noon-Year’s Confetti Countdown
With sparkling streamers, noisemakers and festive party hats, Pretend City Children’s Museum will host its Annual Noon-Year’s Confetti Countdown that even the littlest revelers adore (and you’ll love that they can still sleep through the night). The event celebrates the new year across four different time zones throughout the day with midnight in Bangladesh, Dubai, Athens and London. Event details.

Medevil Times New Year's Eve
Party like it’s 1099! Celebrate time moving forward by going back, way back. Enjoy and even filled with an exciting two-hour tournament, four-course feast (that you can eat with your fingers), admission to the Museum of Torture, a midnight countdown with Knights of the Realm, a champagne toast (and booze-free bevs for the littles), party favors, a DJ and dancing. Valid for the 9:45 p.m. show only. Event details.

– Jennifer O’Brien

featured photo: istock