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The longest year of our lives is nearly at an end. Parties are out, clubs are out, and kissing anyone outside of your household at midnight is definitely out. But, pandemic aside, there are a few ways you can still ring in what will hopefully be a better year. Here are our suggestions.
Santa Monica Pier’s Pacific Park will host a New Year’s Eve livestream starting at 11:30 p.m. The Pacific Wheel’s 174,000 LED lights will be aglow with colorful designs, including an animated 60-second countdown and banners that say “Happy New Year” in 16 languages. Watch it for free here. Also, if you happen to pass by the pier on the days leading up to New Year’s Eve, keep an eye out for the Ferris wheel’s holiday-themed light show featuring animated snow, wreaths and reindeer.
For obvious reasons, Grand Park will not be throwing its annual NYE bash. However, Grand Park is hosting “NYELA” — a free online event featuring appearances from Steve Aoki, Bia, Andrekza and 2Deep with hosts DJ Eddie One and Jessica Flores. You can watch on Fuse, YouTube or The Music Center Offstage from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.
New Year’s Steve
Cameron Esposito’s “New Year’s Steve” is a virtual party that includes comedy sets, special guests and an earlier ball drop for those who like to go to bed before midnight. Also, Esposito appears to be playing an ascot-wearing mustachioed host named Steve for this event. The show is free with RSVP, though donations will benefit Dynasty Typewriter and the performers. Festivities kick off at 6 p.m.
Snoop Dog’s Virtual New Year’s Eve Special
The benefit of a virtual New Year’s is that you finally get an invite to Snoop Dog’s party. Starting at 8 p.m., Snoop Dog will ride out the end of 2020 with music, stunts and special guests. Expect tunes from DJ Cassidy and DJ Battlecat, a sword swallowing performance from Andrew Stanton and appearances from guests including Bert Kreischer, Rosario Dawson, Jennifer Nettles and Cody Rhodes. The event is free with RSVP.
Alamo Drafthouse and Legion M are throwing a New Year’s party in a virtual theater on the video-calling platform Gather. You’ll attend as an 8-bit avatar and roam the space to find DJs, magicians, poets, comedy from insult comic Cheddar Goblin (this makes sense if you’ve seen “Mandy”), private and public karaoke rooms, tarot readings, video installations, interactive quests with prizes, photo booths, poker and board game rooms, celebrity ball drops and more. The event runs from 6 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Tickets start at $25.
The Lost New Year
“The Lost New Year” is a showcase of musical performances running from 2:30 a.m. on Dec. 31 until 3:30 a.m. on Jan. 1. As you enjoy the show, you can hang out with others in the chat. Each time zone will get its own countdown and celebration beginning at 11:30 p.m. Tickets are free with registration.
Perhaps you just want to eat and drink this abysmal year away? That’s cool because Eataly L.A. is offering a New Year’s Eve meal kit and a brunch kit for the morning after. The Festa di Mezzanotte features a meat and cheese board, a shrimp cocktail, cotechino con lenticchie (a pork sausage and lentil dish traditionally served for NYE), panettone cake, sparkling wine, kits to make Aperol spritzes and more. Each $300 package serves two to four people. TheFesta di Capodanno kit includes an Italian-style brunch of strata with eggs and prosciutto, a yogurt parfait with fresh fruit and Bearclaw Kitchen granola, a box of housemade pasticcini (Italian mini pastries), bellinis and more. The $135 package serves two to three people. Order by Dec. 27 for pickup on Dec. 31 by emailing [email protected]
Rossoblu’s New Year’s Eve dinner for two ($198) includes antipasti (Dungeness crab salad, burrata, salsa rosa, Persian cucumbers; 24-month prosciutto di Parma, fruit; stuffed baby butternut squash, pomegranate, pine nuts, bread crumbs, pecorino), tagliolini with sweet shrimp, maltagliati with turkey neck ragu, braised veal cheek and dessert with an option to add on sparkling wine and Prosecco. Guests may also join an optional happy hour over Zooom from 6-7 p.m. that includes cocktail demos, a wine talk and giveaways. Order on Tock.
Dark Corners: Hotel NYE
A Curated Situation presents Dark Corners: Hotel NYE, a virtual party where interconnected Zoom rooms offer plenty of opportunities to explore from the comfort — and safety — of your home. Starting at 8 p.m., there will be DJs, live performances and a countdown to 2021. Dressing up is encouraged. Tickets are free, though a suggested donation of $10 is recommended.
KatNip Productions’ “Whiskey Business” is a whiskey tasting wrapped in an Old West drama. The virtual event takes you to Bandera, Texas as newcomer Cletus is about to get into a dustup with Snake Eye, the tiny town’s local bully. The online production is an interactive show where your choices determine how things end up in Bandera — plus there’s whiskey. It’s worth noting that KatNip’s Halloween event, “The Sleepover,” was one of the best Zoom shows I’ve seen since, you know, all this. “Whiskey Business” starts at 7 p.m. It’s $50 with whiskey, $58 for whiskey and a bubbly NYE toast and $30 for just the show. Your flight will arrive via contact-free delivery (L.A. only).
Light at the End
Dragon Theatre’s Light at the End NYE Party takes place at a virtual theater that you’ll navigate with an avatar to discover a host of performances and art. Some things you might find: a cocktail class, circus acrobatics, poetry readings, an open mic featuring rants about 2020, live music, a virtual art gallery (that you can also shop), a scavenger hunt, fortune tellers, juggling and more. Tickets start at $25.
Eschaton is a virtual nightclub based in New York where guests are free to wander its many breakout rooms in search of new interactive performances, mysteries and puzzles. On New Year’s Eve, the club will host “The Dissolution Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the End.” It runs from 8-10 p.m. if you’re in L.A., so it’s great for those who turn in early. Tickets start at $25.