As of this article’s publishing, you have just shy of 24 hours left in the year 2012, so if you don’t have New Year’s Eve plans, time is a-tickin’. What’s a So Cal resident to do?
You could hop in the car and head to Las Vegas… and after the miserable drive through the High Desert on the 15 North, you too could pay exorbitant room fees, wine and dine at unnecessarily high-priced restaurants and bars, then stand in line for hours waiting to get into pretentious nightclubs with outrageous cover charges for a few minutes of dancing and a small champagne flute. Way to kick off 2013!
Or you could stay at home and have a few friends over for drinks… then try to figure out who’s the most sober around 11:45pm to go for the refill run, thereby missing the NYC ball drop on Ryan Seacrest’s head.
And what do you do with the kids?
Well, once again, the So Cal Adventure Parks have your entertainment plans set up for you, and while many parks have New Year’s Eve festivities, two in particular have the NYE thing down pat – one that has great options for families with kids, and one with great options for kids over 21,
If you’re looking for New Year’s Eve plans, but have a brood of young’uns to watch out for, load them in the car and head to Orange County – but not to Anaheim. Of course Disneyland has some fun New Year’s Eve plans laid out for their all-nighters, but divert your car to Buena Park, because from experience I tell you Knott’s Berry Farm knows how to do December 31.
Knott’s New Year’s Eve Celebration includes something for all members of the family, including extended hours at Camp Snoopy where the main beagle, his owner Charlie Brown, and the entire Peanuts gang gather together to help bring in 2013 with “Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!” at the Camp Snoopy theatre. There will be special performances of Snoopy on Ice as well, and magician Dana Daniels will bring his family-friendly act to the park, featuring comedy, improvisation, and fascinating magic for all ages to enjoy.
The older kids can enjoy two featured dance floors throughout the night. Don’t worry if you have two left feet – you can learn salsa steps in Fiesta Plaza or line dancing in the Wilderness Dance Hall. There’s more music where that came from, as Calico Square hosts Clueless Remix featuring DJ Resso to groove the rest of 2012 off to history.
And for the much olde – well, the more advanced children, Knott’s Berry Farm will host Kenny Metcalf and his ’70s tribute show, “Elton John – The Early Years.” Metcalf will take you back to the times of the Troubadour Club with early hits from Sir Elton such as “Crocodile Rock,” “Benny & the Jets,” and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” among others. Rides will run all night long, and when we welcome 2013 in, the skies above Knott’s Berry Farm will explode in a blaze of color synced in to the Midnight Mayhem show in Calico Square.
For those looking for a more adult experience, Universal Studios Hollywood’s neighboring retail district, CityWalk, hosts several options for kids who are silly and adults who want to get silly. CityWalk’s version of a block party, the parking and entrance fee may seem a bit on the steep side, but remember that the $55 you pay to park ($65 for valet) covers admission for everyone in the car, as the normally-open-to-the-public area will be shut down for the nighttime festivities, which includes DJs, VJs, Jamar Rogers & Diego Val (from seasons 2 and 3 of NBC’s The Voice), a family fun zone, and four fireworks viewing locations, accompanied by more entertainment than you can shake a plastic New Year’s top hat at.
For a little extra dough, partiers can hit one of CityWalk’s numerous Countdown Party Venues, including the Hard Rock Cafe, Jillian’s Hi-Life Lanes, Howl at the Moon, and Infusion Lounge, whose party will be hosted by MikiWAR and J. Cruz from L.A. hip-hop station Power 106.
Knott’s Berry Farm’s New Year’s Eve Celebration is included with the price of park admission, and park hours have been extended to 1:00 am. Knott’s Hotel, adjacent to the park, is also offering one-night packages which include room, tickets to the park, and entry into the hotel’s breakfast buffet, starting at $199 plus hotel tax. You can book this package online at www.knottshotel.com or by calling (866) 752-2444.
CityWalk’s New Year’s Eve party cannot be booked in advance; it must be paid at the point of entry. $55 per self-parked car, $65 for valet. Those taking shuttles or being dropped off will be charged $15 per person in lieu of the parking fee. Entertainment venues start at varying times, and Countdown Party Venues vary in start times and applicable cover fees; it is highly recommended that you log on to http://www.citywalkhollywood.com/nye_schedule.html for a list before heading to CityWalk. For both Knott’s Berry Farm and CityWalk, entertainment is subject to change.