10 Fun Things to Do on New Year’s Eve in California

From rollercoaster rides to champagne toasts to firework cruises, California will bring you some of the best NYE celebrations in the country. No matter how you prefer to celebrate or who you want to celebrate with, there’s an option in California for you. From Hollywood to Santa Barbara, here are the best NYE events in the state. 

EVE at Universal Studios, Hollywood, CA

A party, as only Hollywood could pull off! Dance the night away at three live entertainment areas—Latin favorites, electronic dance music and pop/rock/hip hop keep everyone moving. The countdown celebration culminates in three synchronized fireworks displays viewable from all points in the park. You’ll find an assortment of specialty desserts, beer, wine and champagne (all for purchase) at the various party areas. Complimentary midnight champagne for all!

First Night Fullerton, Fullerton, CA

This year’s celebration is the City’s 27th annual event. It’s a family-oriented, alcohol free evening full of festivities in Downtown Fullerton. Live music, roaming entertainment, games, food vendors, train rides, zip lining and kid’s activities are all part of this great time. As the year comes to a close, an incredible firework display lights up the night sky. Free to the public.

New Year’s Eve Grape Drop, Temecula, CA

Only in wine country can you countdown to the new year watching a giant bunch of grapes, instead of an apple, drop. Plus, participants can ring in the new year twice—once on East Coast time and again at midnight on the West Coast. Live music, food vendors and kid’s activities make this family-friendly event a night of good cheer.

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Who Year New Year's Party at the Sacramento Children’s Museum, Rancho Cordova, CA

The Sacramento Children’s Museum hosts their third annual New Year’s Eve party. Don’t forget to bring your kid’s jammies because the festivities, which begin at 9 p.m., don’t end until 12:15 the next morning. There will be dancing, noise maker-making, bubble stomps, light refreshments and playtime throughout the Museum until the countdown to midnight and the evening ends. Imaginative and creative play helps kids usher in the new year.

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New Year’s Eve Fireworks Cruise, San Francisco, CA

The night sky over San Francisco Bay comes alive with a waterfront pyrotechnic show of strobes and stars and snowballs, plus a sparkling array of color. Hundreds of thousands of people watch from shore. Get offshore and see the show from the decks of a boat, far from the madding crowd. A hosted bar, photo booth, live DJ, party favors and a dessert bar are all part of the activities. You’ll see the City by the Bay from a unique perspective. For ages 21 and over.

Happy New Year, Charlie Brown, Santa Rosa, CA

Experience the joy of all of the Peanuts gang at this daytime event for kids at the Charles Schulz Museum. No one will be saying “good grief” after a day of hands-on crafts, a balloon drop, and a root beer toast, twice during the day. Charlie Brown may be a lovable loser of a character, but spend a day here and you’ll discover the magic that Charles Schulz created with all of his cartoon characters.

New Years Eve Bash at the Civic Center Auditorium, Hanford, CA

Local radio stations, KFUN FM 92.5 and KKDJ FM 99.7, host an evening of rock ’n roll at the Hanford Civic Auditorium. Doors open at 6pm and the music doesn’t stop until the ball drops! Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers, a ZZ Top tribute band, is the headliner for the night’s entertainment. A full no host bar and dinner available, too. VIP ticket holders receive a free glass of Champagne. 

Kids’ New Year’s Eve at LEGOLAND, Carlsbad, CA

Spend the day at one of the largest interactive hands-on theme parks in the country, perfect for children of all ages. Midnight festivities come early at this event so the kids don’t miss their bedtime. The all-day festivities include rides and attractions, plus party hats and special glasses for watching the fireworks. Live music all day keeps everyone entertained. As the countdown to the 6pm conclusion begins, you get to cheer as the LEGO brick falls 22 feet in the air, symbolizing the Times Square ball drop in a LEGO-themed Times Square scene!

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Dancing in the Street: The Music of Motown and More, Santa Barbara, CA

What’s going on at the Granada Theatre this New Year’s Eve? An homage to Motown that features Broadway stars performing all the greatest hits. It’ll have you Dancing in the Street, or at least in the aisles of the theatre. Presented by the Santa Barbara Symphony with guest Pops Conductor, Bob Bernhardt, this celebratory program showcases all of the popular favorites into an audience-wide sing-along.

Escape Reality at Magicopolis, Santa Monica, CA

Magic is in the air as one year ends and another begins. Enjoy the exciting celebration at the “longest running, most critically acclaimed magic show EVER”. It’s an inventive mix of sleight-of-hand and optical illusions including acts of levitation, mind-reading, disappearances and a Houdini inspired escape. The evening includes snacks, a souvenir bag of tricks, hats, noisemakers, a magic class, sparkling cider and a glass of champagne for a midnight toast.

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