Happy New Year's! Saunter by any tavern or ballroom on Dec. 31 and you're apt to find some manner of festivity. But where to locate bigger to-dos, splashier soirees, and all the confetti-laden frippery? Gaze upon Grand Park, and N.Y.E.L.A., which boasts those gargantuan City Hall projections, while the Queen Mary offers tunes, eats, and those famous over-water fireworks. Clifton's is hosting a vintage luau downtown, and, not too far north, Union Station is the scene of the fancy-dressy Prohibition NYE. And families'll make midday merriment at Kidspace's Noon Year's Eve bash (note the sun's-high time) and later merriment (though not too late) at LA Zoo.
The 128th Rose Parade, and the 103rd Rose Bowl, are not happening on Sunday, Jan. 1, but rather on Monday, Jan. 2 (so set your clocks, wind the watches, mark the calendars, and so forth). The lead-up decorating events and Bandfest are as big as a flowery float, and the Post-Parade: A Showcase of Floats Presented by Miracle-Gro, immediately after the parade, is a must-do look-closer happening. You don't need to be on the curb of Colorado Boulevard to see the splashy show, in short; you can find your float fun before and after, too.
Lula Washington Dance Theatre's Kwanzaa! 2016: If you're seeking out joy and energy and tradition and history and connection in the days ahead of the new year, find your way to this lauded troupe's yearly holiday performance. It all happens at the company's Crenshaw Boulevard space, a place that's filled with vibrant drums and meaningful movement throughout the presentation's much-anticipated run. See the show daily through Saturday, Dec. 31.
Surf City Splash: Polar Bear Plunges and other cold-water dunks are a pretty big deal when the first day of a new year arrives, and that big-deal-ness definitely goes for Huntington Beach, too. That's where several swimsuit-wearing adventurers show each Jan. 1 to dash (briefly) into the Pacific Ocean, all to raise funds for the Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum. Need eats beforehand? There's a pancake breakfast, too.
First Day Hikes: Perhaps you're hoping to launch 2017 in a peaceful, quiet-wonderful, nature-gorgeous way and you'd like to call upon a favorite California State Park. There's a way to do so, for free, by signing up for one of a guided walk on Sunday, Jan. 1. Best check and see if your park is hosting a hike, and the meet-up point, and all the details, and then get out out and get moving, all while you contemplate resolutions, goals, and the beauty of the world around you.