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Where to spend New Year's Eve 2011

December 16, 2011|By Jason Gelt, Special to the Los Angeles Times
  • New Year's Eve dance party Together as One at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.
New Year's Eve dance party Together as One at the Los Angeles Sports… (Caesar Sebastian )

Hot Dance Music! Champagne! Porn stars! Oceanliners! New Year's Eve is the best night of the year in L.A., and whether you're looking to party with tens of thousands of your closest friends, laugh with your kids, or meditate to candlelight through year's close, we've got your night sorted. Angelenos are a particularly party-hearty lot, and we've combed through a night teeming with chances to wear your party gown, don a stupid hat, pop champagne, dance yourself silly and wipe the slate clean with either a bang or a whimper. Nah, skip the whimper. Grab hold of one of these events and live up to your resolutions right now.

Big bashes

The big news this year is that the annual Together as One dance party is now, uh, not together, but is rather two parties like it once was. The show goes on, but Together as One will not be at the L.A. Coliseum this year. Instead it will bring Diplo, Chromeo, Duck Sauce and other hot dance acts to a kind of wilderness retreat at Oak Canyon Park.

The lineup to beat seems to be Insomniac and Giant's new combo-load, White Wonderland New Year's Eve Gala, with a DJ quiver so big it had be extended into a two-day festival at the Anaheim Convention Center. Live talent includes Paul Van Dyk, Kaskade, Dada Life and more.

If you want Hollywood on a platter, one ticket to the Las Palmas Block Party allows entry to the hip-hop party at Las Palmas, the house music scene at Premiere Supperclub, and the rock stage at Angels and Kings. Each club will have a midnight countdown.

It just wouldn't be New Year's without the party on the Queen Mary, where spiffy dancers choose from seven different onboard parties, each with its own style of music, including jazz, '70s, '80s, even a dueling piano sing-along. Includes party favors and a midnight fireworks display.

Other recommended parties include Big Bang 2012, unleashing the sounds of Cobra Starship, Lupe Fiasco and a raft of DJs, dance shows, aerialists and other stuff that screams "New Year!" at the Hollywood & Highland megaplex,; Cleopatra's Ball in the stylish courtyard at the Egyptian Theater,; the official Vivid Entertainment party, featuring "hundreds" of porn starlets, at Ecco Ultra Lounge,; Downtown Long Beach's street party,; a South Bay Gala that brings dance music, dancers, aerialists and your future to Redondo Beach,; and the Maxim Black & White New Year's Eve Affair at the Chinese Mann's Theater,

Let someone else drive

Don't drink and drive. Instead, get the Hollywood VIP Pass and get a ride to between five and eight happening club parties, depending on the ticket purchased. Clubs include Geisha House, Red Room, Egyptian Theatre Courtyard, ecco, Playhouse After Hours and the Las Palmas Block Party.

Alternatively, let Hornblower Cruises steam you around Newport or Marina del Rey while enjoying dinner, dancing and drinks and watch all the onshore madness from a safe distance.


L.A. is blessed with just too many hot venues to mention, but nightlife giant SBE offers 20 New Year's Eve parties at its venues XIV, Colony, Bazaar, SLS Beverly Hills, and more via its website, Other standouts include Bootie L.A. New Year's Eve, where Echoplex regulars will be partying with a certain apocalyptic glee and proving once again that the inebriated love mash-ups, balloon drops and dirty dancing.

Also sure to sparkle is the rooftop party at the Standard Downtown, where Xo Chic and Droog will be fueling the action and someone will end up in the pool, clothed or not. Free with rsvp to

Avalon is going to burn with one of the best shows of the night, featuring an extended set by DJ legend John Digweed,; and the stalwarts at KCRW are unleashing DJs Garth Trinidad, Aaron Byrd and Valida at the Viceroy with an open bar, tacos, and…wait, you need more than that?

Playhouse is adding a touch of naughty class to the night with its Carnevale di Venezia, a masquerade ball inspired by the fancy masked shindigs thrown by Italian royalty of yore — except with thumping house music, aerialists and you, Glow Lounge in Marina del Rey is hosting a New York City-themed party complete with street food carts, for those who can't scratch that itch,; and the beautiful Park Plaza is the site for LACMA's Golden Stag party, where fellas and flappers can get their 1920s on,

Fine dining

Recommendations from Times Restaurant Critic S. Irene Virbila

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