What’s Going on this New Year’s Eve in Southern California

fireworks

There’s so much going on this year in Southern California to celebrate New Year’s Eve; from open bars to fireworks, here’s a list of the top events going down this December 31st:

Clubs and Bars

You’ll have your choice of parties if you’re looking to go to a club or bar in Southern California. Whether you’re on Hollywood Boulevard or downtown San Diego, most if not all venues will be selling tickets to their New Year’s Eve parties now, and it’s good to buy them early – ticket prices will go up the closer it gets to Saturday.

If you’d like some celebrity sightings this New Year’s, here are two events you should consider:

If you’re a Fear Factor fan (and was able to sit through all the scorpion-crunching in this season’s premiere episode), head over to the Improv in Hollywood for a night of comedy with Joe Rogan. Tickets start at $60.

Lupe Fiasco and Cobra Starship will be performing at the Hollywood & Highlands Complex in L.A. for their Big Bang NYE 2012 party. The event is also hosted by Mario Lopez, and tickets start at $75.

(For some celebrity sight-seeing before or after your New Year’s celebration, take the Movie Stars Home Tour or try out the Red Line Hollywood Behind-the-Scenes Tour.)

Fireworks

Fireworks over the Queen Mary

The Queen Mary on Long Beach is hosting 7 parties onboard that vary from dueling pianos to 70’s themed dance-offs. Perhaps the best part of the ship’s New Year’s Eve celebrations is its two fireworks shows, one at 9pm and another at midnight- both light up the waters of Lighthouse Park and give a fantastic view of the city. Tickets for the evening start at $99.

Universal City Walk is also hosting a free New Year’s Eve Countdown Bash with live music and performers, featuring two fireworks shows at midnight on either end of the street. After New Year’s Eve, you can take a tour of Universal Studios Hollywood with our Go Los Angeles Card.

One of the famous Rose Bowl Parade floats.

Family Friendly

For an alcohol-free event that’s family friendly, buy a button for First Night Monterey. This year’s theme is “A FantaSea”, which explores underwater life through 200 artists on different streets and at different venues in historic downtown Monterey. Activities start as early as 3:00pm, with the evening’s grand finale beginning at 11:15pm. Tickets are only $10-15, and kids under 5 get in free.

Parades

With the annual Rose Bowl in Pasadena comes the Rose Bowl Parade on January 2nd starting at 8am. This year’s theme is “Just Imagine…”, and the Parade’s Grand Marshal is the recent Dancing with the Star’s winner and retired soldier J.R. Martinez. Expect to see marching bands from across the country, elaborate floats, and more than 300 horses and riders. The parade is free to attend, but grab a good seat early.

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