New Year's Eve: Fireworks and parties at 6 California ski resorts

Daily Deal and Travel Blogger

If snow tops your New Year's Eve wish list, head out to one of California's ski resorts. There's no guarantee it'll be snowing Tuesday at Bear Mountain, the Lake Tahoe resorts or Mammoth Mountain, but there should be enough white stuff on the ground to make for a cool welcome to 2014.

Snow Summit/Bear Mountain in Big Bear Lake: The Torchlight Parade ignites a man-made mountain glow as a few hundred resort workers carry torch lights while skiing and snowboarding down the slopes. This arresting sight starts at 7 p.m. and can be seen from the ski resorts or places in town too. Those 21 and older who want to play and party can ski or board by day ($75 for a lift ticket) and then dance to DJ Desi's live music show at Snow Summit's Bullwheel Bar from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. ($25 cover charge). Bear Mountain hosts a party too at the Scene Bar with live music by Club George ($25 cover charge).

Info: Bear Mountain/Snow Summit, (909) 866-5841

Heavenly in South Lake Tahoe: In Heavenly Village, it's all about fire and ice — and it's free. The Fire Groove dancers get the party started by performing with spinning rings of flames. The celebration continues with an outdoor concert by Wes Quave Live and an ice sculpting performance by Fear No Ice, whose members create ice-sculpting beauty with buzz saws. All this is a run-up to the Gondola Ball Drop, a Times Square-like moment at 9 p.m., and then fireworks.

Info: Heavenly, (800) 432-8365

SnowGlobe Music Festival Lake Tahoe in South Lake Tahoe: Electronic music meets a rapper king as Tiesto, Kaskae and Australian band Cut Copy share the stage with Snoop Dogg (actually his Snoop Lion alter ego) at the three-day winter music fest that starts Sunday. Big-air skiing and snowboarding demonstrations takes place between stages at the event at Lake Tahoe Community College. Some passes and tickets are sold out, but single-day VIP tickets are still available for 4 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Tuesday night at $145 per person.

Info: SnowGlobe Music Festival

Kirkwood Mountain Resort in Kirkwood: Hop on a snowcat at 6 or 6:30 p.m. and ride it to the top of the mountain to watch the fireworks below. Guests are dropped off and celebrate with Champagne, hot chocolate and chocolate-covered strawberries. Tickets cost $85 for adults, $60 for children.

Info: Kirkwood Mountain Resort, (209) 258-7293

Mammoth Mountain at Mammoth Lakes: Free family fun time in the Village at Mammoth starts at 3:30 p.m. with a DJ, a juggler and a magician, a free concert by Bump City and then fireworks at 9 p.m. There are lots of dinner options too, such as a gourmet meal at 9,600 feet that involves a snowcat ride to Parallax restaurant ($89 for adults, $49 for children 12 and younger) or the NYE White-Out Party at Canyon Lodge ($75 per person through Monday, $100 at the door).

Info: Mammoth Mountain, (800) 626-6684

Squaw Valley near Lake Tahoe: The resort will celebrate its first Torchlight Parade at 6:30 p.m. followed by a fireworks show at 7 p.m. The 21-and-older crowd can party from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. with live music at the Plaza Bar in Olympic House ($10 cover charge). And for those craving a healthy start, New Year's Day Yoga runs from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday ($25 per person; register by calling [530] 584-6140). Info: Squaw Valley, (800) 403-0206
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