Figuring out what to do for New Year's Eve in Los Angeles can be a challenge—should it be a black-tie affair? A laid-back shindig? A dance-til-morning marathon with music to match? To help suss out where you want to be when the ball drops, we've put together a list of the city's best events—from lavish and pricey to casual and, yes, free. Here, the best New Year's Eve parties in L.A.
RECOMMENDED: Our guide to New Year's Eve in Los Angeles
The best New Year's Eve parties in L.A.
If steep VIP fees or formal galas make you want to stay home, then Bootie is your best bet. This party doesn’t charge a giant cover or encourage dressing to the nines for the night. Instead, it embraces the true spirit of NYE (it’s messy!) by welcoming an unpretentious crowd to let their hair down, dance their faces off and playfully twerk and sing to mash-ups galore. And to further inspire reluctant travelers to get off the couch and into its playful world, Bootie L.A. will gift its famous mash-up mixtape to the first 300 people who get the party started.
Grand Park promises to be one of the most family-friendly—and affordable—NYE destinations in the city for the third year in a row. Flanked by the Music Center and City Hall, every inch of this three-block greenspace will be covered in culture, including City Hall, which will be used as a 22-story canvas for projections of photo-booth pics taken onsite, 3-D projections and a countdown. Crowds will rock steady to a soundtrack of DJ-driven tunes and live bands, and count down with a new, interactive countdown featuring 3-D digital video mapping on two sides of City Hall.
Travel back to the 1920s for this massive Prohibition era-themed NYE party, set in Downtown's 1930s art deco marvel, Union Station. The Main Concourse serves as the decadent celebration's backdrop, featuring live DJ sets and jazz (this year, Chicago's Autograf will headline, along with saxophonist, Justin Ward and DJ Cherry Beach), burlesque dancers, custom cocktails and champagne. The fabulously dressed 21+ crowd sets the scene—Roaring Twenties attire is encouraged (think: flapper dresses, feathered headbands, tuxedos, top hats and spats); formal attire is required. Stick around for the NYE countdown and dropping of a 60-foot custom ball! See our photos from Prohibition New Year's Eve 2015.
Lights & Music presents this turn-of-the-millennium-themed dance party extravaganza—spend your New Year's Eve moving to your bubblegum pop favorites like the Spice Girls, *NSYNC, Madonna and Britney Spears, to name a few. Arrive before 10pm and you'll be let in for free—if you come later, it's $10 at the door. No matter when you arrive, expect plenty of glitter, lollipops, rainbows, unicorns and girl power.
You can hit up the W’s Rooftop any day of the year, but with its 360-degree Downtown skyline-meets-Hollywood-Hills view, this trusted destination still serves as a stellar locale for NYE. Inside, the night is made special not by LED walls or caged dancers, but by DJ talent that knows how to capture the energy of a party and elevate care-free rug cutters to the next level of joy. Listen for feel-good house and deep-beat sets. Or, steal away for a pensive, one-on-one moment with nature or a makeout sesh in a cabana alongside the wetdeck—this is New Year's in L.A., after all.
Touted as Hollywood's biggest and most popular New Year's Eve party, this Cleopatra-themed fete is set fittingly and charmingly at the classic Egyptian Theatre. Dress like an Egyptian (if you so choose), then dance and mingle in the theater's heated courtyard amid a hieroglyphics light show, go-go dancers, DJs, a premium open bar and giant LED countdown. Tickets are known to sell out, so plan ahead now.
Ring in 2017 aboard the Queen Mary. The 21-and-over party has something for everyone on New Year's Eve—whether you want a more mellow evening with food, drink and live musical performances (think: dueling pianos, '80s tribute bands, jazz and more) or to dance the night away in a club-like atmosphere—they've got you covered. When the clock strikes midnight, share a New Year's kiss under a dazzling fireworks display over the Pacific Ocean—cheesy, we know, but still romantic.
Greet the new year with a warm "aloha" as Clifton's transforms its multi-level bar and cafeteria into a proper New Year's Eve luau. The evening commences with a traditional feast followed by Polynesian performances by Coco Tiki on multiple floors as well as Phat Cat Swinger live in the Brookdale Ballroom. Most tickets include admission and a bottle of champagne, though you'll have to upgrade to partake in the feast and gain access to the Pacific Seas tiki bar.
Looking for more to do on New Year's Eve?
Need help figuring out what to do for New Year's? Whether you're flying solo, hanging with friends or have the little ones in tow, we've got plenty of great things to do for New Year's Eve and day, from a midday kids' celebration and ice skating to costume parties and off-color comedy shows. Here, our list of the best New Year's Eve events in Los Angeles.