When children want something, they typically want it “now!” This impatience can come in handy on New Year’s Eve, when Southern California hosts several early celebrations just for kids.
Children most impatient to celebrate the new year should visit Zimmer Children’s Museum (6505 Wilshire Blvd., #100, L.A.; www.zimmermuseum.org) Dec. 30 for a New Year’s Eve Eve Party that will last from 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Revelers can make their own party accessories and noisemakers, and the museum will have balloon drops at 11:17 a.m. and 12:17, 1:17, 2:17 and 3:17 p.m. Admission is $7.50 for ages 1 and older, and the Zimmer tends to be less crowded later in the afternoon.
Noon Year’s Eve will be celebrated at Kidspace Children’s Museum (480 N. Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena; www.kidspacemuseum.org) from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 31. Children can spend the morning making party favors and hats. Then, at noon, the big balloon drop goes down and everyone can toast 2017 with a cup of sparkling cider and some merry dancing. Admission is $13 for ages 1 and older.
The Children’s Museum at La Habra (301 S. Euclid St., La Habra; www. lhcm.org) will host a New Year’s Noon Party from 10 a.m.-noon, Dec. 31. The celebration includes face painting, dancing and hat making, and culminates with a countdown to 2017 at noon. Admission is $8 ages 2 and older and those planning on attending should RSVP at 562-383-4236.
If you’d like to take the day off and do one last 2016 road-trip, head down to Legoland (One Legoland Dr., Carlsbad; www.legoland.com) for its Kids’ New Year’s Eve Celebration from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Dec. 31. The party will feature live music and entertainers, but the big event, at 6 p.m., involves a huge Lego brick making a 22-foot drop to signal the New Year, followed by a dynamic fireworks display. Admission is $95 adults, $89 children.
The Santa Monica Playhouse (1211 4th St., Santa Monica; www.santamonicaplayhouse.com) presents its annual New Year’s Eve Musical Revue at 6 p.m. Dec. 31. This event, recommended for ages 6 and older, offers a family-friendly evening out for an admission price of $49.50 adults, $29.50 ages 12 and younger. Parents and kids can dine on a buffet supper and enjoy a light-hearted musical revue. Then hats, tiaras and other accessories will be handed out so everyone can raise a glass of sparkling apple juice to toast 2017.
There also are a couple of options if your child is a real night owl. The L.A. Zoo (5333 Zoo Dr., L.A., www.lazoolights.org) will offer a special “VIP Experience” from 6-10 p.m. New Year’s Eve for $69 adults, $45 children. Families will get “skip-the-line” express entrance privileges for L.A. Zoo Lights and a dinner buffet with champagne for the adults and sparking apple cider for the youngsters. Guests also can ride the zoo’s carousel, boogie at a DJ dance party and watch a live broadcast of the New York Times Square ball drop at 9 p.m. Because of limited space, reservations are highly recommended.
The Music Center and Grand Park (200 N. Grand Ave., L.A.; www.grandparkla.org) will team up again for N.Y.E.L.A. from 8 p.m. Dec. 31-1 a.m. Jan. 1. Music, dancing, food and large-scale art installations are part of this free community party. The main attraction, however, is the unique countdown involving an integrated light show with spectacular 3-D digital mapping projected on the side of City Hall.