Nothing says New Year’s Eve quite like a traditional countdown and fireworks display — and this year, Angelenos have six options to ring in the new year with a bang, literally.
From Marina del Rey to Studio City — and from family-friendly events to booze-fueled dance parties — these Los Angeles fireworks celebrations ensure you’ll start the year off right, no matter what 2019 has in store.
Marina del Rey
Bring the whole family along to this annual New Year’s Eve celebration at a waterfront public park in Marina del Rey. For little ones who might not make it to midnight, this event offers two 30-second countdowns and 10-minute fireworks displays — one at 9pm and another at midnight. The rest of the night, attendees can enjoy food trucks, live music, face painting, and other activities designed for both little ones and adults.
Pro tip: Not celebrating with kids? Those looking for a New Year’s Eve celebration skewed toward the 21+ crowd may choose to watch the fireworks from Marina del Rey’s Fisherman’s Village or from any of the restaurants located along the waterfront.
There’s no better way to guarantee a good year ahead than to ring in the new year at the happiest place on Earth. Each year, the Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks pull out all of the stops for all-ages celebrations complete with dance parties, holiday parades, and party favors. In Disneyland, the main event is a 16-minute fireworks show; in Disney California Adventure, the new year makes its entrance alongside a special countdown edition of the World of Color fountain. Of course, the best (and easiest) way to spend New Year’s Eve at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure is to stay overnight at one of the resort hotels or local partners.
Pro tip: Disneyland on a holiday means one thing: lines, and lots of them. In addition to booking a hotel overnight, you can make the experience easier on yourself by arriving early — the parks often close due to hitting capacity, and the earlier you arrive, the more likely it is that you’ll get to actually check out some of the rides before the fireworks show. Attendees can also try to sneak in some entertainment after the countdown — Disneyland is open until 2am, and Disney California Adventure closes at 1am.
Spend the day exploring Universal Studios’ rides, shows, and attractions, and spend the night partying your way into the new year at the theme park’s annual EVE event. Held for the first time in 2017, the event offers extended park hours and multiple themed party areas; EVE culminates with a traditional countdown and three synchronized fireworks displays in different areas.
Pro tip: Though EVE is designed for attendees of all ages, guests aged 21 and over will be able to purchase alcohol on-site.
Wishing you were in Times Square, ringing in the new year from a blockbuster countdown event? The annual N.Y.E.L.A. event from Grand Park and The Music Center brings the same sense of excitement — and community — to this DTLA public park and cultural center for a night of live music, food trucks, and interactive activities. Best of all, the New Year’s Eve event is family-friendly — heads up, there’s no alcohol served or permitted — and completely free to attend. At midnight, the crowd turns to City Hall for the official countdown and fireworks show.
Pro tip: Attendees are welcome to bring in their own food. We suggest stocking up on snacks because once you get a good spot in the crowd, you won’t want to elbow your way out.
The Santa Monica Pier offers not one but two opportunities to ring in the new year with a fireworks show. The annual celebration includes an outdoor screening of the Times Square ball drop as well as fireworks shows at both 9pm and midnight. The main event can be viewed from the ground or from the iconic Ferris wheel or roller coaster; in honor of the holiday, Pacific Park stays open until 12:30am.
Pro tip: The fireworks shows can also be viewed from Santa Monica Beach and from scenic restaurants along Ocean Avenue.
Few venues in Southern California do fireworks better — or more consistently — than The Queen Mary, and New Year’s Eve is no exception. The 21+ onboard celebration features a range of entertainment, including cover bands, dancing, and dueling pianos, and a fireworks show over the water at midnight.
Pro tip: Book a room at The Queen Mary and save yourself the hassle of rideshares and cabs on New Year’s Eve. Stumble back to your room in the wee hours of the new year, and wake up knowing you you made at least one good decision the night before.