Orange County Weekend Events Roundup Dec. 29-Jan. 1

Find the best things to do for the weekend of Dec. 29-Jan. 1

Edited by Laura Okey

Dec. 31. Party like a celebrity at Mesa this New Year’s Eve as the paparazzi photographs your red carpet entry. Enjoy an exclusive menu of appetizers and small plates, musical entertainment from WEARETREO and Toro Bros. and a live participant-based fashion show. The hosted portion of the evening includes bites like Angus croustades (sliced rare Angus steak atop toasted baguette with horseradish whip and micro Dijon), mini white cheddar and truffle grilled cheese sandwiches and more. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Hosted cocktails and appetizers from 9-10:30 p.m. Presale $75, at the door $150. Mesa, 725 Baker St., Costa Mesa, 714.557.6700.


time-nightclubTime Nightclub
Dec. 31. Celebrate the occasion at all new Time Nightclub at Triangle Square. Ring in the new year with a multitude of lighting displays and art pieces and a state-of-the-art Funktion One sound system. Dance the night (and the year away under the football stadium-size LED screen making up the DJ wall and the dance floor’s programmable chandelier with over 5,000 programmable orbs. Opt for the VIP upgrade which includes two hours of a premium open bar (8-10 p.m.). Tickets start at $59; VIP $79. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. 1875 Newport Blvd., Costa Mesa, 949.722.7103.



The BungalowThe Bungalow
Dec. 31. Hit Huntington Beach’s hottest nightlife destination for a black tie event. Dance all night long while enjoying ocean views and a premium hosted bar. 8 p.m. $140. 21058 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach, 310.374.3099.





nye-monarchMonarch Beach Resort
Dec. 31. Ring in 2017 at Monarch Beach Resort at their glamorous Toast on the Coast soirée. Indulge on ever-flowing Moet & Chandon and gourmet canapés, while you dance the night away to live music and DJ tunes on the enormous dance floor. Enhance the experience with a VIP cabana, complete with dedicated bottle service and reserved seating. Special overnight room packages are available and start at $999 inclusive of tickets for two. Tickets include event access, complimentary champagne all night and appetizer stations. 10:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. $225/pp. One Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, 855.368.2940.



HornblowerHornblower New Year’s Eve Dining Cruises
Dec. 31-Jan. 1. Enjoy New Year’s Eve dinner and gala, a New Year’s Eve Cocktail Cruise or New Year’s Day brunch aboard Hornblower Cruises. Take in the beautiful views and enjoy live entertainment while ringing in the new year. Brunch cruise 11:30 a.m., $67.95; Gala and dinner cruise 8:30 p.m., $205; Dessert and cocktail cruise 9:30 p.m., $120; New Year’s Day brunch cruise 11:30 a.m., $67.95. 2431 W. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, 310.301.9900.



Dec. 31. Join AnQi for an extraordinary New Year’s Eve. Begin with a five-course prix-fixe dinner featuring courses like caviar, foie gras and prime beef with a Perrier Jouet Champagne toast. Afterwards, the restaurant will transform into a swanky party with a DJ, aerialists, dancers and figure skaters. Drinks will be flowing with an open premium bar and hosted Perrier Jouet Champagne bar, as well as passed appetizers and a caviar station. Bottle service available after 10 p.m. Reservations required. Dinner 7-9 p.m. Party 10 p.m. Dinner $153; late night cocktail reception $100; dinner and cocktail reception $215. 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, 714.557.5679.


Check out more Orange County New Year’s Eve events >>>

Surf City Splash

Jan. 1. Celebrate the new year with a dip into the chilly Pacific Ocean. Enjoy a pancake breakfast, an art fair and a costume contest next to Zack’s Pier Plaza. Prize categories for the costume contest include funniest, best celebrity, most sparkly, best animal-themed and group costume. Bring your bathing suits—wetsuits are cheating—for a dip into the ocean at noon. 8 a.m. Breakfast served until 11 a.m. Vendors open until 4 p.m. $20 upon registration, includes breakfast. Downtown Huntington Beach, Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach.


life-time-athletic-laguna-niguel_exterior_pressLife Time Laguna Annual Commitment Day
Jan. 1. Mark your calendars and make your commitments to a healthy new year during the 5th annual Commitment Day Festival. Commitment Day includes a day of healthy events and activities and will kick off with a specialty 90-minute workout. During the workout, experience three class formats, including: Pound, a fun and energizing total body workout utilizing drum sticks and a mat; High Fitness, a new cardio and strength endurance format utilizing body weight with easy-to-follow choreographed movements; and Studio Cycle, an exhilarating cardio workout in a lively atmosphere. Enjoy a post-class brunch immediately following the event at the pool deck bistro. 10 a.m. Free. Life Time Athletic, 25600 Rancho Niguel Road.


Winter Fest OCWinter Fest
Through Jan. 1. Brace yourself as winter hits Orange County. Enjoy ice skating, ice tubing, carnival rides, live entertainment, petting zoo and more. Transport yourself to a wintry wonderland in a play park that features real snow for snow angels or snowman building, the world’s largest rocking horse, strolling carolers, personal visits in the cabin home of Mr. and Mrs. Claus and a walk-through holiday light show featuring two million sparkling lights. See website for daily hours. Tickets start at $10. OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa.


Discovery CubeWinter Wonderfest at Discovery Cube
Through Jan. 8. Experience a snowstorm of thrills as Discovery Cube hosts its second annual Winter Wonderfest. Learn the science behind sledding down ice ramps, weather and how snow is formed through hands-on activities. The holiday exhibit includes sliding down a 75-foot long ramp on inner tubes, a snow play area and real snow sledding. Build snow castles, snowmen, snow angels and all kinds of frosty creations. The Snow Meets Science learning station will include animal adaptations to the cold, the three states of water and cloud in a bottle. $5-$7. Discovery Cube Orange County, 2500 N. Main St., Santa Ana, 714.542.2823.


Through Jan. 8. This spectacle of free-running horses that marries equestrian arts with live music and dance, acrobatics and high-tech theatrical effects, arrives under a 10-story-tall white big top in Irvine. The dream-like production, created by one of the founders of Cirque du Soleil, involves 65 horses and 48 performers, including riders, aerialists, acrobats, dancers and musicians. Other highlights include the 17,500 square-foot stage that features a state-of-the-art video screen three times the size of the world’s largest cinema screens, as well as a three-story mountain for dazzling perspectives and a real lake—the last of which magically appears for a splashing finale. See website for showtimes. Tickets start at $29.50. The White Big Top, 16576 Laguna Canyon Road, Irvine, 1.866.999.8111.


chill-queen-maryQueen Mary’s Chill
Through Jan. 8.  Experience frozen magic as The Queen Mary is overtaken by a deep freeze for the fifth annual Chill. In addition to ice skating, ice tubing, sleigh rides and visits with Santa, jump in on a new interactive and immersive experience—Alice in Winterland. The re-imagination of the classic Lewis Carroll story features stunning, larger than life lanterns as you follow Alice and her adventure into the Hall of Doors, the White Rabbit’s kitchen, Mad Hatter’s work shop, the proverbial tea party and much more. See website for select dates and times. $39.99, Children ages 4-11 $29.99. Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach, 877.342.0752.



hotel-irvineFOOD + DRINK
New Year’s Day After-Party Backyard Brunch

Jan. 1. Start the new year right with an outdoor buffet. Enjoy delicious food stations including a farmers market vegetable and antipasto station, a shrimp and oyster station and carving stations, as well as a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar. Indulge with breakfast favorites like made-to-order pancakes with huckleberry compote, desserts such as build-your-own crèpes and more, plus live music. Noon and 2 p.m. Adults $65; children ages 5-12 $15. Hotel Irvine, 17900 Jamboree Road, Irvine, 949.225.6780.




selanne-steak-tavernNew Year’s Eve Gourmet Feast & Celebration
Dec. 31. RIng in the new year with a glorious five-course prix-fixe menu with amuse bouche. First course choices include Hokkaido scallops, lamb torteloni or Wagyu beef Bourguignon. Next, choose from scarlet beet “ravioli,” Bartlett pear with greens or the tavern’s wedge salad. An intermezzo of blackberry cabernet sorbet follows, and the entrée options are Norwegian halibut with black truffle risotto; Guinea hen with boudin blanc and Madeira jus; Australian Wagyu tenderloin with Yukon potato dauphinoise and bordelaise; bison striploin with lavender spaetzle; or American Wagyu shortribs with polenta, morel and cabrales blue. For dessert, choose between banana tarte tartin or chocolate salted caramel pot de crème. Enjoy live entertainment by Brazilian guitarist Marco Túlio and his Brazilian jazz musicians, party favors and champagne toast of Veuve Clicquot. Reservations required. First seating 5-7 p.m.; second seating 8:30-10 p.m. Dinner $195/pp; platinum wine pairings $125/pp. Selanne Steak Tavern, 1464 South Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, 949.715.9881.



travis-scottARTS + CULTURE
Travis Scott
Jan. 1.
See American hip hop recording artist and record producer Travis Scott hit the stage at The Observatory. Expect Scott to perform hits from his sophomore album, Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight, released early September. You’ll recognize his hit songs “Antidote,” “Rodeo” and “3500.” 8 p.m. $75. The Observatory, 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, 714.957.0600.



Elf the MusicalElf The Musical
Through Jan 1. See the modern day Christmas classic Elf, hit the stage, but this time, in the form of a musical. Watch the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy’s enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. See website for showtimes. Tickets start at $29. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787.