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What's Going on this New Year's Eve in Southern California?

Who needs the bitter cold of Times Square? Pamper yourself and your loved ones by spending the New Year in warm and sunny San Diego. Locals love to celebrate NYE with a bang, so we've put together a list of all the best events - from open bars to fireworks and everything in between, here's what's happening in Southern California this New Year.

Save on Attraction Admission for the Holidays

Regular admission to a number of these attractions is available on Go San Diego Card. Choose as you go from dozens of top attractions and save up to 55% on combined admission vs. paying at the gate. See all available San Diego passes, attractions & prices. Please note, some of these special holiday events may be separately ticketed and not included with Go San Diego Card.

Kid's New Year's Eve at LEGOLAND® California Resort

December 31st, 2018

Image of Urban, City, Accessories, Sunglasses, Lighting, Photography, Glasses, Metropolis, Bracelet, Boy, Male, Person, Teen, Face, Head, Portrait, Adult, Female, Woman, Baby, Necklace, Photo by LEGOLAND® California Resort
Midnight will come early for you and the family at LEGOLAND® California Resort's annual New Year's Eve celebration. This is the perfect kid-friendly activity! There will be a LEGO® replica of the famous Times Square ball drop, a fireworks show, and plenty of chances to meet all your favorite LEGO® characters. The Brick Drop® takes place at 6PM, followed by the gorgeous lights display. You won't want to miss this. Getting in: LEGOLAND® California Resort tickets are included with Go San Diego Card. Holiday events may be separately ticketed.

Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo

December 14th, 2018 – January 6th, 2019

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If you needed another reason to visit San Diego Zoo, the #1 Zoo in the World, look no further: Jungle Bells returns! Jungle Bells last through the New Year, so if you're looking to celebrate 2019 with some of the cutest critters, this is the event for you. Enjoy gorgeous holiday decorations, beautiful light shows, and an array of carolers and performers throughout the park. Getting in: San Diego Zoo tickets are included with the Go San Diego Card.

Three Kings Celebration at SeaWorld San Diego

January 1st - 6th, 2019

Image of Adult, Female, Person, Woman, Male, Man, Hat, Photo by SeaWorld San Diego
In honor of the traditional Latin celebration Dias de los Reyes, SeaWorld San Diego hosts an all-week party to honor the Three Kings. See performances of O Wondorous Night extended through the New Year, partake in a delicious meal of authentic Latin food, and see the Journey of the Three Kings show live. Getting in: SeaWorld San Diego tickets are included as a premium attraction the 3, 5, and 7-Day Go San Diego Cards. Holiday events may be separately ticketed.

Pier Pressure Yacht Party

Image of Vehicle, Yacht, City, Boat, Ferry, Water, Waterfront, Person, Urban, Why not enjoy the holiday from the sea? Hop aboard a Hornblower Cruise ship and sail around San Diego Bay. Explore three levels, an outdoor deck, and two different dance floors playing the year's best hits. The best part? It's 1920's themed, so you get to dress in as much glitter and gold as you'd like. If you don't feel like yachting for New Year's Eve, but still want to experience a ride around the bay, try a San Diego Harbor Cruise. This one-hour cruise covers 13 different Southern California landmarks and provides views of Harbor Island, the Maritime Museum, and plenty more. Getting in: Hornblower's Pier Pressure Yacht Party is a separately ticketed event. One Hour San Diego Harbor Cruise tickets are included with Go San Diego Card.

Beach Party at Catamaran Resort

December 31st, 2018

Image of Lighting, Outdoors, Shelter, Hotel, Resort, Altar, Church, Prayer, House, Housing, Villa, Photo by Vavi Events
For adults looking to enjoy an elegant night out for New Year's Eve, try Beach Party, an annual San Diego tradition. Hosted by Vavi Events at the Catamaran Resort, this NYE party has it all - four rooms of entertainment, hors d'oeuvres, drinks, and themed photo booths. It's a classic holiday party that you won't want to miss. Getting in: Beach Party at Catamaran Resort is a separately ticketed event.

Picture Perfect NYE at the Hard Rock Hotel

Image of Urban, City, Lighting, Metropolis, Concert, Crowd, Person, High Rise, People, Photo by Hard Rock Hotel San Diego
Once again the Hard Rock Hotel will be decked out for New Year's Eve, complete with 15 different DJs. Have your pick from three different floors and eight different themed rooms. Dance your heart out on the dance floor, order craft cocktails from the bar, and snap photos dressed to the nines in the Queens Chambers or Winter Wonderland. Getting in: Picture Perfect NYE at the Hard Rock Hotel is a separately ticketed event.

Big Night San Diego

December 31st, 2018

Image of Adult, Male, Man, Person, Club, Urban, Photo courtesy of Hilton Bayfront
Another San Diego NYE tradition is the Big Night San Diego extravaganza at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel. Returning for its 15th year, a ticket to Big Night San Diego includes everything - all-inclusive drink specials, a buffet, and ten different party zones dubbed 'Countdown City'. Travel between each one before the ball drops and the clock strikes midnight. Getting in: Big Night San Diego is a separately ticketed event.

Remember to Save on Attraction Admission

So there’s our brief list of the top things to do in San Diego during the New Year. Remember, many of these options are included on the Go San Diego® Card, which can save you up to 55% on combined admission vs. paying at the gate. Please note, the holiday events taking place at some of these attractions may be separately ticketed and not included with the Go San Diego Card. We hope you’ll consider adding an idea or two from this list to your holiday itinerary!

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