"There's nothing to do in this town" is something never, ever bemoaned by a SoCaler come New Year's Eve (or, frankly, any other night of the year). Hundreds of restaurants and clubs are hosting the countdown/fancy cuisine/bubbly pour thing, and several of our larger destinations are doing it up.
(Doing it up=greeting 2015 in ridiculous, awesome, funny hat-wearing style, natch.)
If 2015 sounds like a bigger year to you, what with that impressive 5 on the end, and staying on the couch DVRing New Year's Eve away won't do, cast aside those pajamas, don something go-out-y, and make for...
Grand Park: There are a few things to know about this outside, downtown biggun' of a bash -- it's free, City Hall gets covered in 3D light projections, there are three live music stages, and there's a whole #LAStory Instagram thing going down, making it way local. Okay, that was four things, but, if we were to be honest, "free" always gets a free pass. This was way super-attended last year, so go Metro and/or arrive early. (Yes, we're using "way" a lot, but only in cheeky homage to the party's excellent 1980s-style logo.) Time: 7 p.m to midnight and beyond.
What to do, where to go and what to see
Union Station: It's a very Prohibition NYE, meaning you'll see plenty of flappered out partiers gussying up in their "Great Gatsby" best. The music? Well, it won't be a vintage string trio: DJs'll be in the house, or, rather, the historic Fred Harvey room, getting the flappers a-dancin'. Rounding out the night are passed oysters, burlesque performers, and a very stylish, au courant vibe. Not a bad vibe to try on when heading into the fresh territory of a fresh year.
Universal CityWalk: The fireworks and concerts are stowed for this go-around, but the King-Kong-iest of local landmarks is saluting its cinematic past. Five classic Universal films will screen, including "Back to the Future," "Dracula," "Frankenstein," "E.T.: The Extraterrestrial," and "Jurassic Park," with all films letting out well ahead of midnight (and in time for a ticketed DJ-led dance party on the theatres's mezzanine level). The vintage scary flicks are a double-feature, yep. But how to choose? And will you wear your at-home NYE comfies? Decisions etc.
Queen Mary: Fireworks over the water is the sparkly hallmark of this on-the-ocean-liner soiree, which includes themed bars, dueling pianos, cabaret, belly dancing, and a "trip" to seven countries around the world, including Spain, France, and Greece. The boat is a-rockin' -- well, in theory and spirit, anyway -- all Dec. 31 long, and the theme? It's Auld Lang Shine, a nod to the landmark's Scottish roots. (It's a 21+ plus to-do.)
Snow Summit Torchlight Parade: It's a one-of-a-kind sight only seen on one night a year (well, sometimes Christmas Eve, too, at certain resorts). Skiers'll schuss down the mountain holding fiery light, making a snakey, celebratory line of light. If you're up Big Bear way, be at the resort early in the evening on Wednesday, Dec. 31. Do we even need to tell you to bundle up, during this chilly New Year's Eve week? Okay: bundle up, and enjoy a very nature-nice NYE.