New York's famous Times Square countdown may be the country's most famous New Year's Eve tradition, but the West Coast knows how to celebrate, too. Especially in Southern California, which offers everything from family-friendly amusement park fireworks to Hollywood parties.
Queen Mary New Year's Eve 2017
Spending New Year's Eve aboard the historic Queen Mary has become a popular Long Beach tradition. To ring in 2017, three and a half acres of the ship's deck will be transformed into an international celebration, with highlights including the Royal Casino, French Cabaret, Spanish Flamenco Lounge and more. And of course, the waterfront fireworks views are tremendous. This event is a sell-out smash every year, so get your tickets soon by going to http://www.queenmary.com/events/new-years-eve/.
The Queen Mary New Year's Eve celebration is only open to those 21 years of age or older, so those looking for a more family-friendly option in Long Beach should consider the free party at Rainbow Harbor featuring fireworks, food and fun.
First Night Fullerton
First Night art festivals began in New England 30 years ago, but have since swept the nation, proving to be a popular way for families to celebrate New Year's Eve in a fun, alcohol-free environment. This year, the city of Fullerton will host its 25th annual First Night Fullerton event downtown from 7 p.m. to midnight. The free event will include live music from a variety of bands, roaming entertainment, rides, games, food vendors and a live fireworks show at midnight. To learn more about this beloved Fullerton tradition, go to https://www.cityoffullerton.com/residents/community_events/first_night_in_fullerton.asp.
Kids' New Year's Eve at LEGOLAND California
In order to accommodate the early bedtime most children have, "midnight" comes early at the Kids' New Year's Eve at LEGOLAND California Resort in San Diego-six hours early, to be exact. At 6 p.m. on December 31st, LEGOLAND California recreates the Times Square ball drop with a giant LEGO brick that falls 22 feet. There will also be party hats and special glasses for viewing the 6 o'clock fireworks display on hand as families get a head start on celebrating the start of 2017. More information is available at https://www.legoland.com/california/legoland-california/entertainment/events/kids-new-years-eve/.
And LEGOLAND is not the only amusement park in SoCal celebrating New Year's Eve, as Disneyland in Anaheim and Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park also have fireworks and special celebrations.
Hollywood NYE Block Party
For a truly hip Hollywood experience, look no further than the Hollywood NYE Block Party, Los Angeles' biggest New Year's Eve event. The party spans five L.A. nightlife hotspots, each of which includes a five hour open bar, free party favors and complimentary appetizers. There will also be a complimentary champagne toast when the clock strikes midnight, while the city's hottest DJs will be on hand to keep the party going into the wee small hours of 2017. Find the full event description at http://newyears.com/losangeles/parties_nye-hollywood-block-party_1643-cosmo-st-los-angeles-ca.
From charming First Night festivals to bumping Hollywood block parties, there is no shortage of fun New Year's Eve events in Southern California, whether you are looking family-friendly fun or an all-night bash.
This article is presented by New Century BMW in Alhambra, California.