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Best Of LA - Week Of December 28

(Credit: Courtesy of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses® )

It's time to trade Santa hats for party hats and cocoa for champagne as the new year approaches this week. Start it out by trying the valley's newest intimate dining experience, decorating a Rose Parade float, and seeing the incomparable Idina Menzel in a contemporary new musical. Then, a whole slew of events will take place New Year's Eve. From a huge party downtown, to a yacht ride in the Marina, there are a ton of events to consider. Start 2016 bright and early at the 127th Rose Parade, or recover from the night before by celebrating National Bloody Mary Day. A night out in nature is on deck for the weekend, followed by a fantastical performance from Cirque du Soleil.

Monday, December 28
(Credit: Bradley Tuck )

Try A New Restaurant: Scratch|Bar & Kitchen
16101 Ventura Blvd
Encino, CA 91436
(818) 646-6085

Top Chef contestant Phillip Frankland Lee has teamed up with Margarita Lee to bring Scratch|Bar & Kitchen to Encino. Located in an intimate 1000-square foot space, the much-anticipated restaurant seats 16 diners around the Chef's counter and 14 diners at high tables, all centered around a large wood-burning oven. Unique to the restaurant, the chefs interact directly with patrons to create custom dishes to their taste, replacing a traditional wait service. The menu includes ingredients that are locally sourced and made from scratch, including house-cured charcuterie, several aged cheeses, and hand-pressed olive oil. The restaurant is currently open Tuesday - Sunday from 5pm - 10pm (until 11pm on Friday and Saturday).

Tuesday, December 29
(Credit: Courtesy of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses® )

Help Decorate a Rose Parade Float
Various Locations
(626) 449-4100

Every year the Rose Parade entertains thousands with amazing, logic-defying floats. Why not be a part of the behind-the-scenes magic? Join other community members and visitors as an individual, or put together a group and head down to decorate one of the 2016 Rose Parade floats. During these final stages, help is needed to add seeds, bark, fruits and vegetables, grass, and of course flowers to finish the floats before they make their way down Colorado Blvd. on New Years Day. All volunteer decorating opportunities are organized by float builders directly, so be sure to contact the organizations on the site directly for more information. Also be sure to dress for mess, as you'll be working with glue, greenery, and possibly some dirt.

Wednesday, December 30
If/ThenRichard Rodgers Theatre
(Credit: Joan Marcus)

Hollywood Pantages Theatre
6233 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 468-1770

The story of the ultimate fork in the road, "IF/THEN" is the tale of two very different paths taken by the same woman. Joined by Broadway costars James Snyder, Anthony Rapp, and La Chanze, Tony Award winner Idina Menzel plays Elizabeth, a woman rebuilding her life in New York City. When two friends suggest two different pathways for the newly divorced Elizabeth, we see both stories unfold, and what could become of her life. Menzel plays out the parallel lives of "Liz" and "Beth" in this unforgettable contemporary new musical. The National Tour of IF/THEN moves on January 4, so see it before it leaves town.

Thursday, December 31
NYE grand park new year's eveLA
(Credit: Courtesy Grand Park )

Celebrate New Year's Eve!
Grand Park + The Music Center's N.Y.E. L.A.
Grand Park and The Music Center
200 N Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Join 50,000 of your closest friends at Grand Park and The Music Center for the third annual N.Y.E. L.A. celebration. The free event has been called the west coast's flagship New Year's Eve celebration, covering over 90 acres downtown. Three different stages manned by some of LA's top DJs and bands offer guests the chance to get down to a wide range of musical genres, while huge light projections on three buildings and large-scale visual arts installations made especially for the occasion create the perfect party atmosphere. The alcohol-free, family-friendly event will include 30 different food vendors and free photo booths for capturing all the fun. A spectacular 3D projection countdown to midnight on two sides of LA's iconic City Hall will help Angelenos ring in the new year.

(Credit: FIG & OLIVE )

White & Gold Party
FIG & OLIVE Melrose Place
8490 Melrose Place
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 360-9100

FIG & OLIVE will be offering not one, but two options for ringing in the new year. An elegant White & Gold Prix Fixe Dinner will feature a four-course prix fixe feast starting at 8:30pm, and lasting until closing. Offered in the Olive Room and White Atrium, guests can partake in wintertime flavors like foie gras with fig chutney, filet mignon, seared sea scallops served with truffle dressing, and more. A lighter White & Gold Cocktail Reception will also be offered in the lounge area from 9pm to closing, with a menu of small bites like lobster samosas, zucchini carpaccio, and butternut squash and chestnut soup shooters. Along with the circulated hors d'oeuvres, cocktails will be poured through 1am - 2am.

(Credit: David Zaitz Photography)

Hornblower Nautical New Year
Fisherman's Village
13755 Fiji Way
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292

Celebrate New Year's Eve in style aboard a Hornblower yacht. A Nautical New Year's Eve Dessert Cocktail Cruise will include a freshly prepared spread of gourmet desserts and entertainment. Dance the night away with the DJ or sit back and enjoy the sights of Marina del Rey from the outdoor deck. Holiday decorations, party favors, and a boarding glass of champagne will also add to the festive evening. Or, if you're feeling in the mood to go all out, join the Nautical Gala New Year's Eve Dinner Cruise, which is a 3 ½ hour cruise around the harbor that includes all the above, as well as free flowing champagne, premium beer, wine, and cocktails, and a four course seated dinner.

There's never a shortage of fun events in Los Angeles, and New Year's Eve is no exception. For a complete guide to the best New Year's Eve parties around the city, check out our Best 2016 New Years Eve Parties in Los Angeles.

Friday, January 1
(Credit: Courtesy of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses® )

2016 Rose Parade
Starts at Orange Grove Blvd. & Green St.
Pasadena, CA 91105

Start your day (and your year!) with one of SoCal's most beloved traditions: the 127th Rose Parade. This year's theme of "Find Your Adventure" promises to showcase some of the most vibrant and creative floats you can image, and will help shine a light on the centennial celebration of our nation's national parks. Award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns will Grand Marshal the two-hour parade of magnificent floral floats, some of the best marching bands from around the country, and high-stepping equestrians. The parade route begins at the corner of Green St. and Orange Grove Blvd. in Pasadena, travels north, and primarily takes place traveling east on Colorado Blvd. After the parade, the floats will be on display along Sierra Madre and Washington Blvds. until January 3, and Tournament volunteers will be on hand to talk about the design and workmanship that has gone into each piece.

(Credit: The Lobster )

Celebrate National Bloody Mary Day
Various Locations

On the heels of the craziest party night of the year, National Bloody Mary Day might as well be national hangover cure day. This hair of the dog drink is the perfect way to start your new year, and start your morning or afternoon, depending on what time you drag yourself out of bed. Go the more traditional route with The Lobster's classic Bloody Mary, or for a more unique take on the beverage, try The Church Key's Canned Bloody Mary: a house-canned cocktail with a choice of vodka or tequila, and a selection of pickled veggies served on a cart. For the more adventurous Bloody Mary connoisseur, Jimmy's Famous American Tavern offers the Meal Mary, adorned with bacon, blue cheese olive, chilled shrimp, pepperoni, jack cheese, pepperoncini, and a jalapeno bedeviled egg.

Related: Best Places For New Year's Day Brunch In Los Angeles

Saturday, January 2
(Credit: L.A. Mountains )

Cheers to the New Year Campfire
Vista Hermosa National Park
100 N. Toluca St.
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Be one with nature this Saturday and say "cheers to the new year" around a cozy campfire as the sun sets over the city. Sing songs, roast a hot dog or marshmallows, and enjoy a great nature program provided by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority. The bilingual program is 1.5 hours long, and welcomes all ages. Parking is free and the group will meet at the Grotto Amphitheater at 4:30pm. The event is part of the Welcoming Winter series, and will also take place at Marsh Park along the LA River.

Sunday, January 3
Cirque du Soleil's KURIOS - Cabinet of Curiosities
(Credit: © Martin Girard )

Cirque du Soleil's KURIOS - Cabinet of Curiosities
Dodger Stadium
1000 Elysian Park Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

What if by engaging our imagination and opening our minds we could unlock the door to a world of wonders? That's the question asked in Cirque du Soleil's latest show "KURIOS - Cabinet of Curiosities." In this 35th production from the company, a Seeker discovers a hidden world in his larger-than-life curio cabinet. A crazy collection of otherworldly characters enters his world and turns it upside down, igniting his imagination. In true Cirque du Soleil fashion, this show is as visually stunning as it is entertaining. The show includes 46 artists from 15 different countries, and is a family friendly event.

Article by Kellie Fell.
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