Celebrate 2018’s arrival at these New Year's Day events in L.A.

Kick off 2018 with these New Year's Day events, from a recovery party to one of the oldest parades around
Rose Parade 2015.
Photograph: Michael Juliano Rose Parade 2015.

Some of us will spend the morning after New Year’s Eve nursing a hangover or hiding underneath the covers. But for those looking to seize on the promise of another year, there are a handful of New Year’s Day events to get a jumpstart on 2018. From a recover party in Hollywood to a century-old Pasadena tradition, these are the best New Year’s Day events.

New Year’s Day events in L.A.

Rose Parade 2015
Photograph: Michael Juliano
Things to do

Rose Parade

The first Rose Parade in 1890 was staged to show off California’s sun-kissed climate. The tradition is still going strong, complete with elaborate floral floats, musical performances and marching troupes (not to mention the crowning of the fresh-faced Rose Queen and her court), but the celebration now draws more than a million spectators who line the streets of Pasadena.

Things to do, Walks and tours

Tournament of Roses Parade: Post-Parade Float Showcase

No need to camp out in the cold to see the 129th annual Rose Parade firsthand this New Year’s Day. Instead, watch the L.A. tradition from home and mosey on over to Sierra Madre Boulevard and Washington Street in Pasadena to view the floats post-parade. Once the crowds have died down, view the floats close up. The stunning float showcase is a unique opportunity to see the intricate floral handiwork in person, from just a few feet away.

Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square
Photograph: Courtesy Pershing Square Holiday Ice Skating Rink
Things to do, Ice skating

Polar Bear Skate at the Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square

icon-location-pin Pershing Square Park, Downtown Financial District

Gliding around an ice rink in your bathing suit and a pair of shades—only in Southern California, right? For New Year’s Day, the Downtown rink is hosting its twist on a polar bear plunge with a beach-themed bash. Just try not to fall, lest you want to feel an icy burn on your exposed bottom.

Music, Dance and electronic

Minimal Effort: Recovery Party

icon-location-pin The Belasco Theater, Downtown

A couple times a year, Minimal Effort brings together some of the top talent in the underground house and techno scenes. They throw a helluva party that requires, well, minimal effort on your part to have a good time. Following its massive New Year’s Eve party, the quarterly concert series throws a high-octane recovery party at Station1640 the following night; it's free to attend if you bought a pre-sale ticket for the night before.

Hansen Dam Polar Plunge
Photograph: Courtesy Council District 7
Things to do, Quirky events

Polar Bear Plunge

Swimmers across the city will take to the not-so-icy waters for the annual Polar Bear Plunge. Water and air temperatures on New Year's Day typically hover around 60 degrees, which is Arctic enough if you ask us. Spectate or dive in during meet-ups at Cabrillo Beach, Hansen Dam, Venice Beach and Huntington Beach, among others.

Still need plans for New Year’s Eve?

Prohibition NYE at Union Station
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

New Year’s Eve parties in Los Angeles

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.