Welcome 2018 at the LA Zoo's Family New Year's Eve

The welcoming of 2018 happens at 9 o'clock, not midnight.

What to Know

  • Sunday, Dec. 31
  • 6 to 10 p.m.
  • $69 adults, $45 kids

Many an ode, a toast, and a wish is expressed on the final day of the year.

We want our words to be wonderful, we hope our speeches raise the room, and we seek to create a hope-filled window, by what we say, the kind of window through which the next year may be seen.

If you're not a night owl, and you have tots, and you like these traditions but you like them more when they happen earlier in the evening, and not when you're yawning, or asleep, and off your celebratory game, take heart: There are places around Southern California that honor the 9 o'clock New Year's celebration for families who want the fun but an earlier night.

The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is one such spot, and it just so happens that its annual Family New Year's Eve party happens during the run of LA Zoo Lights, an incandescent experience that adds more sparkle to an evening that everyone hopes has a surfeit of sparkle, both from the bulbs and the general emotion.

It's all bubbling, like sparkling cider, from 6 to 10 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 31, and a ticket for an adult is $69 while a kid ticket is $45. 

You might be looking at the "10 p.m." part and assuming that's when the countdown and cheering will happen, but the big moment is actually at 9 p.m., timed to the ball drop in New York City.

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That's nice, as it gives everyone another hour beyond the welcoming of the new year to stroll and see all of that animal-themed, LED-tastic shimmer.

And speaking of the aforementioned sparkling cider... That's what available for the kids to sip, while adults over 21 may enjoy a glass of bubbly at 9 o'clock.

Do note that the furry, roaring, eucalyptus-gnawing, slithering, squawking residents of the zoo will be fully asnooze, for the most part, during the revelries.

Perhaps the critters want to be well-rested when 2018 arrives or perhaps that's what they do each night, turn in when nightfalls, as animals have done for eons. (It's B.)

Don't let the new year draw too close before you decide on this one; it does fill up, as families want to be a part of the traditional celebrations, someplace amazing, at an earlier hour, with lights and cider and auspicious thoughts about the days ahead.

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