Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Blog

Southern California New Year Activities

southern california new year activities

It’s hard to believe 2024 is just around the corner. What better way to ring in the New Year than with these incredible New Year’s Eve activities around Southern California? From ballrooms and glow parties to botanical gardens, this list has everything you need to welcome 2024 in style.

Marina Del Ray’s New Year’s Eve Fireworks & Glow Party

If you’re looking for a New Year’s Eve celebration for the whole family, Marina Del Ray’s New Year’s Eve Fireworks & Glow Party is where it’s at. This event has everything you’d want from a celebration, including face painting, DJs, live entertainment, a photo booth, food trucks, and more. Celebrate both the East Coast and West Coast NYE countdowns with a spectacular 10-minute fireworks display to ring in the new year. As a bonus, admission to this spectacular event is free, meaning you can enjoy the fireworks without spending a cent. What could be better than that? 

Gloria Molina Grand Park’s NYELA Countdown to 2024

Gloria Molina Grand Park’s NYELA Countdown to 2024 is the must-see free NYE event on the West Coast. Not only does this even boast an impressive 30 food trucks, but it also features live entertainment. There’s a “get down stage” and a “countdown stage” to celebrate your way to 2024. On top of this, the park features art installations as part of the celebration and plenty of kid-friendly activities, making this a great event for the whole family. If you want to visit this event, watch the weather. While the celebration happens rain or shine, you don’t want to be caught without the right preparations. And remember, umbrellas are prohibited in the park, so bring your raincoats!

Prohibition NYE

If you want a more adult-centric NYE celebration in Southern California, check out Prohibition NYE. If the charm of a speakeasy meshed with the party sensibilities of the 21st century, you’d have Prohibition NYE. Live DJs, incredible drinks, and fantastic performances make this the must-visit event of the season. Obviously, with the alcohol flowing like it’s the end of Prohibition, this event is 21+ and meant for adults only. However, if you want to celebrate the New Year with plenty of drinks, burlesque shows, and live music, not to mention a 60-foot ball drop, you need to head to Prohibition NYE. 

EVE at Universal Studios Hollywood

What better way to kick off the new year than visiting Universal Studios in Hollywood? You can spend your day riding various attractions throughout the park, then switch to party mode as the sun sets. With live music, entertainment, and food and drink available for purchase, Universal Studios turns into the hottest NYE party of the year. The park stays open until 2 AM, allowing you to dance your way into 2024 at one of the most packed parties of the season. To learn more about this event, check out their website for details and admission. As a bonus, if you have a Platinum Pass to the park, admission to EVE is included in your pass. 

Enchanted Forest of Light

If you’re looking for a more contemplative, reserved New Year’s Eve celebration, Enchanted Forest of Light is a must-visit destination. This botanical garden event transforms with thousands of light displays, turning the gardens into an enchanted forest perfect for exploration. This event is fun for the whole family. Travel through stained glass-like displays, a lit-up ancient forest, and more as you weave through Descanso Gardens. The light show goes on rain or shine, and tickets are time-gated, so pay attention to your time slot and get ready to be blown away by the artistic displays and gorgeous light shows. 

Minimal Effort NYE

Don’t let the name of this event throw you off; we assure you this live performance event is far from minimal effort. Minimal Effort NYE features a mosh pit, live music, DJs, and an atmosphere closer to a dance club than your standard live show. If you want to bring in the New Year with a bang, Minimal Effort NYE is a great way to crank up the music and party. Keep in mind that this event is definitely adult-oriented, so if you’re looking for a family-focused NYE event, we suggest checking out some of the other entries on this list. However, if you truly know how to party, get your tickets for this event ASAP, as they sure will sell out fast. 

Astra Lumina

Astra Lumina is the light show event of the year, located at South Coast Botanic Gardens. The theme of this light show is what if the stars could reach down to us, and walking through the botanic garden aglow with lights, you feel this concept in your soul. Visitors walk through a trail that takes them on a journey to the stars, leaving them with the feeling of touching something cosmic. If you’re looking to embrace the new year with a touch of wonder and one of the coolest experiences on the West Coast, Astra Lumina is a must-visit event for you and your family. Be sure to pick up tickets early, as this experience sells quickly. 


If you’re looking for more fun events for the coming year, check out our tours. At Best Coast Tours, we offer countless fun tours for you and the whole family, from exploring the California coastline touring the heart of LA. To learn more about our tours or book a private tour of your own, check out our tours tab above.