By Shanee Edwards
Peace out, 2014!
While this year ended with a few surprises, it can only mean 2015 is going to be full of exciting changes. And that’s cause to celebrate.
Whether you’re party-hopping via Uber or kickin’ it old-school with friends, there are plenty of fun fetes to help you count down to 2015.
Gatsby NYE Countdown: Whiskey Red’s goes decadent with a roaring 20s-style bash with DJs, a contest for best Gatsby costume and a glass of bubbly at midnight. Their Grand Buffet offers prime rib, sushi, crab legs, a chocolate fountain and more. Buffet and party admission is $75 plus tax and gratuity. Just the party without dinner is a $20 cover charge. Whiskey Red’s, 13813 Fiji Way, Marina del Rey. (310) 823-4522; whiskeyreds.com
New Year’s Eve Dinner Cruise: Join Hornblower Cruises for a 3 ½-hour New Year’s Eve yacht cruise, complete with a glass of champagne at boarding and midnight, a four-course dinner, dancing and party favors inside a festively decorated vessel. $175. Departs at 9 p.m. from Fisherman’s Village, 13755 Fiji Way, Marina del Rey. (310) 301-9900; hornblower.com
KCRW Black and Gold Ball: Style it up in black-and-gold cocktail attire at the KCRW-sponsored ball, featuring a hosted bar and decadent hors d’oeuvres from Cast’s executive chef Tony DiSalvo. Starting at 9 p.m., KCRW Deejays Jason Bentley, Valida and Brazilia offer a distinctive set of international grooves and timeless favorites that celebrate our diverse Westside culture the way it was meant to be — $180. 21+. Viceroy Santa Monica, 1819 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica. (310) 260-7500; viceroyhotels-andresorts.com
Masquerade with an Ocean View: Hotel Shangri-La’s rooftop Suite 700 hosts a New Year’s Eve Masquerade party with mask competition and tunes, courtesy of DJ Paper. You’ll also enjoy a tray-passed menu, three drink tickets and champagne at midnight. $150. Hotel Shangri-La, 1301 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica. (310) 394-2791; shangrila-hotel.com
Party like it’s 1994: The Townhouse and Del Monte Speakeasy turn back the clock 20 years for a 90s-themed dance party. Bring your 90s attire and dance moves. You can ‘get jiggy with it’ starting at 8 p.m. $20 includes champagne toast. Townhouse and Del Monte Speakeasy, 52 Windward Ave., Venice. (310) 392-4040; townhousevenice.com
Celebrate Italian-style: Cantalini’s Salerno Beach Restaurant is hosting a romantic New Year’s dinner party with live music from 7 to midnight and beat-the-crowds specials from 4 to 6 p.m., with champagne, party favors and other specials. Salerno Beach, 193 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey. (310) 821-0018; salernobeach.com
Cocktails and Confetti NYE Ball: Wokcano serves up complimentary hors d’oeuvres that include an oyster bar, glazed walnut shrimp and yakitori chicken meatballs. DJ, photo booth and champagne salut will be supplied. Cocktail attire required. $40 in advance, $50 same-day.
Wockano, 1413 5th St., Santa Monica. (310) 458-3080; wokcanorestaurant.com
Beach Party, Venice-Style: Danny’s Venice hosts a beach-themed NYE party, complete with beach ball drop, DJ and complimentary champagne toast, starting at 9 p.m. No cover. Danny’s Venice, 23 Windward Ave., Venice. (310) 566-5610; dannysvenice.com
‘Escape Reality’ Magical New Year’s Eve: Fun for the entire family, this party at Magicopolis features a magic show, magic class, popcorn, pizza, midnight champagne or sparkling cider toast, and a souvenir bag of tricks. The magic begins at 9 p.m. $60 per person. All ages. Magicopolis, 1418 4th St., Santa Monica. (310) 451-2241; Magicopolis.com
Party like a local: Playa del Rey residents who’d rather stumble home than hire a car head to Mo’s Place on New Year’s Eve for free party favors, a free champagne toast at midnight and dinner and drink specials. Best part of all: no cover. Mo’s Place, 203 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey. (310) 822-6422; mosplacepdr.com
Wild in Westchester: Tompkins Square Bar and Grill co-owner Billy Tompkins serves up more than craft beer when he deejays a New Year’s Eve set, starting at 9 p.m. Tompkins Square, 522 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester. $10 advance; $20 at the door. (310) 670-1212; t2barandgrill.com
Santa Monica Playhouse Musical Revue: Kid-friendly shows at 6 and 9:30 p.m. feature everything from 1940s jazz to Jewish patter songs to romantic ballads. All tickets include buffet supper, champagne, sparkling cider, tiaras and noisemakers. The 9:30 show features a meet-and-greet with the cast. $49.50 to $59.50, special prices for kids under 12. Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 4th St., Santa Monica. (310) 394-9779; santamonicaplayhouse.com
Three Tiers of Music: The Victorian and its Basement Tavern ring in the New Year on all three floors with a psychic, photo booth, DJs and live music. Party starts at 8 p.m., $45. The Victorian, 2640 Main St., Santa Monica; (310) 392-4956; basementtavern.com
Welcome 2015 by the Harbor: Enjoy live music from R&B band Lovin’ Life at The Warehouse, a nautical fixture in the marina since 1969. $20. The Warehouse, 4499 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey. (310) 823-5451; mdrwarehouse.com
British Invasion: Celebrate the British New Year at 4 p.m. then stick around to toast the California New Year at 12 midnight at Ye Olde King’s Head. The entertainment includes bagpipers and a DJ. No cover. Ye Olde King’s Head, 116 Santa Monica Blvd.,
Santa Monica. (310) 451-1402; yeoldekingshead.com
‘Fly’ party near LAX: DJ Fly spins the bangers from 4 to 7 p.m., then the Melody’s house turntablist, DJ Creepy, gets crackin’ at 9 p.m.
Melody Bar & Grill, 9132 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester. No cover. (310) 670-1994; barmelodylax.com
Moonlight Masquerade: Chinois on Main rings in the New Year with a deejay, dance floor under an ethereal night-sky scene and surprise live performances. Chinois offers two seatings: 6:30 to 9 p.m. is a six-course meal for $100; 9:30 p.m. to midnight is a seven-course meal for $195. Chinois on Main, 2709 Main St., Santa Monica. (310) 392-9025; wolfgangpuck.com
Mescal Toast: Forget the champagne — TacoTeca invites you to toast with a shot of mescal when the clock strikes midnight. For $100, you’ll enjoy a Oaxacan-inspired, three-course meal with two paired cocktails, while a DJ spins you into 2015. TacoTeca, 2460 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica. (310) 828-2115; tacoteca.com
Las Vegas New Year’s Eve: Areal restaurant hosts a Las Vegas-style, prix fixe dinner and party. After the first seating from 5 to 7 p.m., a second seating from 8 to 9:30 p.m. features a photo booth, party favors and a champagne toast at midnight. $55 for first seating, $95 for second. Areal, 2820 Main St., Santa Monica. (310) 392-1661; arealrestaurant.com
Breezy, Baja-Style Bungalow NYE: This black-tie affair mixes sophistication with California lounge at The Bungalow. Dancing starts at 9 p.m. The music, along with hors d’oeuvres and a hosted premium bar go from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. $150. The Bungalow, 101 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica. (310) 899-8530; thebungalowsm.com
Prix fixe at Café del Rey: Enjoy fine dining by the harbor with a three-course, $85 prix fixe meal featuring choices that include lobster, prime New York steak, rack of lamb and three sophisticated desserts. Café del Rey, 4451 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey. (310) 823-6395;
Times Square Countdown: The Upper West will be showing the New York Times Square New Year’s countdown on a 12-foot projector screen. Two dinner seatings are available, the first from 5 to 7 p.m. with the regular menu; the second is from 8 to 10 p.m. with a four-course, prix-fixe meal for $80. A DJ starts spinning at 11 p.m. 3321 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. (310) 586-1111; theupperwest.com
Cheers to New Years from Joe: Celebrate the arrival of 2015 with a four course farmer’s market-inspired dinner from 5 p.m. to midnight at Joe’s Restaurant. $85 per person; premium wine or cocktail pairing, $35. 1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice. (310) 399-5811; joesrestaurant.com
Naam-athon All Night Yoga: Clear your body and soul of all of 2014’s hassles with Naam Yoga’s seven-hour marathon of yoga and meditation. The event runs from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Naam Yoga LA, 1231 4th St., Santa Monica. (310) 751-7550; naamyoga.com
French-Vietnamese-Inspired New Year: Le Cellier welcomes 2015 with a lychee-infused champagne cocktail, followed by a delicious four-course dinner that includes your choice of five-spiced BBQ duck, grilled medallion of beef filet or poached salmon. Dessert is a warm chocolate ganache with wild berries. $75.
417 Washington Blvd., Marina del Rey. (424) 228-5491; le-cellier-winebar.com
New Year on the Pier: Jack & the B-Fish rock it funky-style from 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Rusty’s Surf Ranch, 256 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica. Tickets are $10 if purchased online before 4 p.m. New Year’s Eve, $20 after or at the door. Party includes hats, noisemakers and champagne toast. 310-393-7437. rustyssurfranch.com
Reel in the Years: Join Steely Dan tribute band Steely Jam for a New Year’s countdown with sets starting at 9:30 and 11 p.m., Expect to hear “Reelin’ in the Years” near midnight. Typhoon, 3221 Donald Douglas Loop South, Santa Monica. $30 cover. (310) 390-6565; typhoon.biz
And on Jan. 1, 2015 …
Plunge with the Polar Bears: The San Gabriel Valley Polar Bears invite other brave mammals to join them for a New Year’s Day swim in the waters off Venice Beach. Meet at 10:30 a.m. at the far corner of the Washington Avenue parking lot for a pre-swim coffee. The event is free but takes in donations for cancer treatment at City of Hope. facebook.com/sgvpolarbears
A Prince Among Penguins: As is tradition, the Venice Penguin Swim Club returns to the end of Windward Avenue to greet the New Year with a cold ocean dip. The first man and woman to complete a 500-yard swim around a buoy and back will be crowned the penguin prince and princess. Southern California Aquatics Club can help you tune up for the race with a free Swim 101 workout.
Sign up starts at 11 a.m. on the beach; swim begins at noon. Snacks and hot drinks are provided courtesy of the Sidewalk Café. Free. swim.net/scaq.cfm.
2015 Pajama Brunch: The 6th annual New Year’s Day Pajama Brunch at M Street Kitchen invites you to stay in your footed-pjs while you brunch and you’ll be gifted with a certificate equal to the price of your meal (minus tax and gratuity) to use on your next visit. M Street Kitchen, 2000 Main St., Santa Monica. RSVP recommended. (310) 396-9145; mstreetkitchen.com