The 7: Things to do in Long Beach on New Year’s Eve including… stuff to do on New Year’s Eve!

How you celebrate New Year’s Eve says a lot about you. What exactly does it say about you? We have no idea, we’ve never met you.

But we will tell you about all kinds of things you can do: fireworks and live music and drinking ceremonies and canned music and drinking with not a lot of ceremony. Some of it’s free, some of it’s definitely not free and some of it is cash only.

Have fun and let us know how it went; we’d love to get to know you better.


Fireworks at last year’s New Years Eve celebration at The Waterfront. Photo by Bill Alkofer, Contributing Photographer

Because most of you will be heading into downtown for New Year’s Eve, here’s what you can expect from this year’s roaring ’20s themed celebration at The Waterfront.

The Downtown Long Beach Alliance has pooled live entertainment from local band Phygg, DJ Joey C and Two Towns Entertainment with cirque performers, face painting and other kids crafts to enjoy. Food, beer and wine from Q Smokehouse and Gladstone’s Long Beach will be served all night with special happy hour pricing from 5 p.m to 6 p.m.

What’s great about spending NYE at the Waterfront is that all the local, neighboring businesses that participate in the festivities. Mosey down Rainbow Harbor and into Shoreline Village, you’ll find more restaurants to dine and even more live music from DJ Delvek and Manuel the Band. And, no matter where your vantage point is on Rainbow Harbor, you’ll have prime viewing of the fireworks displays. The first, following an East Coast countdown, will start at 9 p.m. followed by a fireworks spectacle again at midnight.

Keep in mind, parking is going to be a nightmare. We suggest taking rideshare or utilizing public transport, which will be offering free citywide transport from 5 p.m. until 2:35 a.m. (Cheantay Jensen)


Harbor Breeze Cruise ship out on a whale watch in Long Beach Friday, May 03, 2019. Photo by Thomas R Cordova.

Harbor Breeze Cruise ship out on a whale watch in Long Beach Friday, May 03, 2019. Photo by Thomas R Cordova.

For a special viewing of the NYE fireworks, Harbor Breeze Cruises is hosting a $30 narrated tour of Rainbow Harbor. Onboard, you’ll see the lit-up harbor, learn some fun history and catch a unique view of the harbor’s fireworks show that will cap off by about 9:30 p.m. Perfect for all those looking to head into the new year not feeling sleep deprived.

Giving us a moment’s pause: Who doesn’t love a good fireworks display?

New Year’s Eve at the Waterfront starts at 5 p.m. with their live entertainment capping off at 10 p.m. Shoreline Village will carry the mantle of celebrations until 12:30 a.m. The event is family-friendly and free! Rainbow Harbor is located at 450 E. Shoreline Dr. 

New Year’s Eve Family Fireworks Cruise starts at 7:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. The cruise embarks from Dock #2 at 100 Aquarium Way. Tickets are $30, but children under 3 may board for free. To purchase your tickets, click here


Explosive fireworks display fills the sky around Big Ben on New Year’s Eve. File photo

There are certain phrases we use in American culture to make what is socially unacceptable, acceptable, like “It’s five o’clock somewhere,” the best hall pass for drinking before noon, or “It’s 2020 somewhere,” for everyone who prefers to be in bed by 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. Enter the good people at the Billie Jean King Main Library who have chosen to ring in 2020 not with Long Beach, but with London—we’re assuming for the kids and anyone who would much rather enjoy a casual board game over a loud party of inebriated millennials shouting about spending less time on Instagram—and we think it sounds like good, mild fun. Drop in for crafts and board games between noon and 3:30 p.m., then stay for the New Year’s Eve dance party and a “Jolly Old England” count down until 4:30 p.m. (Asia Morris)

Another great thing: Less than a mile away is another establishment ringing in the New Year early. Go to the Elinor, where a live screening of the Times Square Ball Drop will set off a complementary champagne toast at… 9 p.m. to celebrate 2020 alongside those on the East Coast.

Giving us a moment’s pause: We can’t think of a better place to throw a bangin’ New Year’s Eve dance party than a library.

London New Year’s Eve takes place from 12 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the main library; 200 W. Broadway. For parking info, click here. Doors open at the Elinor, 250 N. Tribune Ct., at 4 p.m., the party ends at 11:30 p.m.


Courtesy Facebook/Padre.

Padre and its smokier cousin upstairs, Mezcalero, are ringing in 2020 with an enticing deal. You can either go to the party for free, where DJ La Flaca Lee, Swim Skool’s DJ Eusubio Akasa and DJ Luis Correa will be spinning, or you can purchase an early-bird ticket for $89.50 for an all-you-can-eat-tacos-and-drinks pass. It’s essentially two parties in one, whether you buy a ticket ahead of time or not. We’re thinking, maybe plan ahead on this one and try not to regret spending more than $89.50 on drinks, and well, the tacos you’re likely to devour drunkenly afterward. (AM)

Another great thing:

Courtesy Facebook/Portuguese Bend Distillng.

Just a hop and a skip closer to the heart of Downtown Long Beach is Portuguese Bend’s End of the Decade celebration, complete with a balloon drop, a live DJ playing hip hop, funk and soul hits, all followed by the quintessential champagne toast at midnight. And if you’re really feeling fancy, you can tack on a three-course meal to your ticket which includes some of the distillery’s most popular dishes, including their seafood risotto.

Giving us a moment’s pause: Please for the love of all things living, do not drink and drive. 

Padre and Mezcalero NYE starts at 9 p.m. and runs through 2 a.m. at 525 E. Broadway. For tickets, click here

Portuguese Bend’s End of the Decade celebration is $30 general admission (10 p.m. to 2 a.m.). Add dinner to the docket (6 p.m. to 10 p.m.) and it’s $75; 300 The Promenade North. Reservations are required. For tickets and more info, click here.


Photo courtesy Cacao Ceremony.

Brought to you by the same people who host Yoga on the Bluff, Yogalution Movement invites you into their studio on Broadway for an evening of meditation and intention setting to send you into 2020 feeling calm, relaxed and hopeful.

They’ll initiate the evening with a cacao drinking ceremony, a centuries-old religious practice originating from Mayan and Aztec cultures that’s used today as a natural remedy said to enhance emotional healing and self-realization. After the bitter, jittery drink is consumed you’ll journal all your goals and intentions you’d like to achieve for the new year. Guided meditations and a therapeutic sound bath will culminate the two-and-a-half hour experience.  (CJ)

Another great thing: Escaping all the raucous New Year’s Eve commotion in downtown for a quiet, peaceful evening spent, for the most part, lying down.

Giving us a moment’s pause: We all write down our new year’s resolutions, and we all know how long those tend to last. How many of us actually try to envision them?

New Years Eve Cacao Ceremony and Sound Bath with Yogalution runs from 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. at 3141 E. Broadway. Tickets to the event are $45 and you can purchase yours, here.


DJ Dennis Owens spins vinyl at his home. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

DJ Dennis Owens of the monthly funk and soul jam night, Good Foot, is setting off the new year at 4th Street Vine doing what he does best: spinning tunes that make you feel good. Why not start off the new year by putting your best foot forward in rhythmic fashion?

Other reasons to love 4th Street Vine for New Year’s? Aside from there being no cover to get into the intimate space, they’ve got craft beer and wine at prices that won’t make you wince at your next billing statement. (CJ)

Another great thing: At midnight, there will be a champagne toast.

Giving us a moment’s pause: If you decide to buy a bottle of bubbly with the intent of showering your friends, steer clear of the DJ booth.

New Years Eve at 4th Street Vine starts at 5 p.m. and runs until 1 a.m. at 2142 E. 4th St.


Photo by Thomas R Cordova

So the Queen Mary is a little all over the place. Its New Year’s Eve event will not only look forward to 2020, but will flashback in design and tone to specific pasts: Art Deco and the Roaring 20s, because, you know, 2020.

You’ll be able to hang in a speakeasy, dance to Colombian musical group La Sonora Dinamita as well as DJs Young Bombs on the stern of the ship.

The party gets started at 8 p.m. and peaks at midnight with a  big fireworks display over the ship.

Another great thing: Aquarium of the Pacific’s fourth annual New Year’s Eve Night Dive will feature bands playing in the Great Hall and DJs spinning in the galleries. There will be a “silent disco”—you groove with headphones—in the Pacific Visions Art Gallery and what New Year’s Eve would be complete without a viewing of “Friends” in the Ocean Theater; this is that one where the Friends do New Years stuff. Wait, what?

The Queen Mary is located at 1126 Queens Hwy. Admission is $120; $220 for VIP admission. For more information or tickets, click here.

Aquarium of the Pacific is located at 100 Aquarium Way. Admission is $34.95. For more information or tickets, click here.


Image courtesy Que Sera/Facebook.

While everywhere and everybody seems to be going with the roaring 20s theme this new year, Que Sera is hosting, for its fifth straight year, a “totally” 80s themed night. DJs Andy Smith, Ralphie Nigma and MC Dave Bats, from the popular, but since resigned death-rock/goth night Release the Bats, will be spinning all the New Wave, Alternative, Ska and Punk tunes that just sound better when you’re outfitted in leg warmers and giant shoulder pads.

Another great thing: There will be, of course, a countdown leading to a midnight toast crescendo where you can clink glasses of whatever your choosing from the venue’s fully stocked bar.

Giving us a moment’s pause: Cash is totally king at Que Sera, so bring cash, because that’s all they’ll accept.

Totally 80’s New Year’s Eve at Que Sera (1923 E. 7th St.) starts at 9 p.m. and runs until 2 a.m. There is a $5 cover which they will collect at the door.

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