Wildest New Year's Celebrations in Los Angeles

Do we agree that 2016 has been a heck of a year? Since 2017 just has to be better, let's plan ahead to receive it with wide open arms. Below are five excellent alternatives to receive the New Year in Los Angeles and to let go of 2016 with a flourish.

New Year's Eve aboard The Queen Mary
Queen MaryRick Rose / Alamy

For the 21 and over only, this party at the Queen Mary sounds like a dreamy way to welcome 2017. Your ticket will allow you to roam the ship's ballrooms and decks and step in and out of parties inspired by famous Hollywood movies like The Godfather, Mambo Kings, Avatar, and Urban Cowboy. One of LA's best Salsa bands – Chino Espinoza y los Duenos del Son – will play in one of the salons, while Stephen Wesley will be serving up lots of Country. Click here for ticket information.

Masquerade NYE Ball in Beverly Hills
If a big party at a plush hotel in a fancy part of town sounds like a good way to receive the year, this is the event for you. The Masquerade at the Sofitel Beverly Hills promises hip-hop, house, 80s and 90s music by two DJs in two different rooms, plus the best countdown to midnight Los Angeles will see. Find details and ticket information on this page.

La Sonora Dinamita at the Conga Room
If you agree that a little Latin makes everything a lot better, then consider the New Year's party at the Conga Room, at LA Live, with La Sonora Dinamita. The band is a Colombian cumbia group, with songs that are internationally recognized like "A Mover La Colita" and "Cucu." The Conga Room is a gorgeous club with multiple bars, bottle service, and a smoking patio. It is a perfect place for your fancy New Year's outfit. Tickets are available on this page.

Grand Park in DTLA
Several blocks around Grand Park, in downtown LA, will be closed to traffic so that thousands of Angelenos can welcome the New Year. There will be live music (by the likes of Jungle Fire and Afrodyete) and multiple DJs that will play their selections on various stages. You can bring along food, non-alcoholic drinks, and blankets, or you can purchase the offerings of multiple vendors and food trucks. There will be light projections against City Hall all night long, but especially during the countdown to the New Year. No alcohol is sold or allowed into the area, which makes for a festive environment that entire families can enjoy. There are detailed instructions about the event on this page, and you can reach Grand Park either by car or train, with the latter making up for half the fun.

New Year's Eve at the L.A. Zoo Lights
We promised you wild parties, and this one is as wild as it gets – as far as real animals go. Since even the wildest of human "party animals" end up having babies, we are listing this event, which we believe could bring Angeleno parents the best of both worlds. Picture it this way: The L.A. Zoo Lights will celebrate the coming of 2017 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The special party will feature the popular light show, a dinner buffet, soft drinks, an East-Coast midnight toast with a glass of champagne for adults and sparkling cider for kids, a ride on the Zoo's carousel, a DJ dance party, cash bar, and the live broadcast of New York's Times Square ball drop at 9 p.m. While the big animals at the Zoo will be asleep, the human "party animals" and their offspring can view the amphibians and reptiles, a real reindeer family, and tour selected areas of the park. Once the event is over at 10 p.m., we dare to bet that your kids will fall asleep on the way home, leaving you with one more chance to welcome 2017, this time on West Coast schedule. Sounds like a plan? See information and tickets here.

So many options and only one New Year's Eve... Pick wisely, welcome the year with enthusiasm, and may your 2017 be fantastic.

Author's Bio: Dena Burroughs has lived in Los Angeles for almost 30 years. She loves music, Shakespeare, and dancing Salsa. She is the owner, writer, and janitor at TheFumeofSighs.com and VidaSalsera.com.