Orange County New Year’s Eve Guide

Celebrate New Year’s Eve in style. Whether you’re looking for a night on the town or elegant dining, Orange County has plenty of options to help you ring in 2013.


The Cellar
Dec. 31. The Cellar invites guests to celebrate the New Year in its romantic dining room. Arrive at 5 pm for “Early Indulgence,” which includes a four-course prix-fixe menu and a bottle of bubbles for $64.95/pp. The restaurant increases its underground vibe with a Speakeasy Party at 8:30 pm. This includes a four-course prix-fixe menu, a Champagne toast at midnight and 1920s music and theme where costumes are welcome. $80/pp. 305 N. Harbor Blvd., Fullerton, 714.525.5682.

Charlie Palmer
Dec. 31.
Spend New Year’s Eve at Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale’s as Chef Seakyeong Kim prepares a special six-course prix fixe menu with options for wine pairing. The lavish menu features an amuse bouche of oyster and caviar, buckwheat honey-glazed duck breast and a Mont Blanc for dessert. $110/pp, $50/pp wine pairing; reservations are required. 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, 714.352.2525.

Mix Restaurant
Dec. 31. Dine at the Hilton Anaheim Hotel’s upscale restaurant Mix this New Year’s Eve. The four-course prix-fixe menu features dishes such as vidalia onion soup, pan-seared halibut, rosemary-crusted Colorado rack of lamb and a holiday dessert buffet for $48.50/pp.777 W. Convention Way, Anaheim, 714.740.4412.

Parker’s Lighthouse
Dec. 31.
Celebrate the New Year with great food, breathtaking harbor views, live jazz, a full bar featuring specialty cocktails and top wine selections and a view of a spectacular midnight fireworks display above Long Beach Harbor. The main dining room offers a three-course prix-fixe menu wither reservations available beginning at 5 pm. The Queensview Steakhouse serves a four-course prix-fixe menu with two hour seatings starting at 6, 8 and 10 pm and live music beginning at 8 pm. 435 Shoreline Village Drive, Long Beach, 562.432.6500.

Pizzeria Ortica
Dec. 31.
In addition to the regular menu, Pizzeria Ortica’s chef Justin Miller has created a memorable Italian family-style menu for a New Year’s Eve feast including a Chino Farms roasted American Kunekune pig served with roasted winter vegetables and seasonal dessert. $40/pp; reservations required. 650 Anton Blvd., Costa Mesa, 714.445.4900.

The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon
Dec. 31.
The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon celebrates the new year in true southern style. Savor a five- or six-course tasting menu with dishes such as gingered carrot soup, petite filet of beef and roasted breast of squab. After dinner, head to the adjacent saloon for the country countdown featuring Brad Johnson and the Killin’ Time Band. First seating $75/pp; second seating $175/pp; Saloon buffet $100-$125; saloon general admission $25. 1025 E. Ball Road, Anaheim, 714.817.4200.

Savannah Chop House
Dec. 31.
Savannah Chop House invites guests to end 2012 with a festive four-course dinner at the restaurant’s New Year’s Eve Gala. Dishes include lobster bisque, filet Oscar with truffle mashed potatoes, rack of lamb and Godiva chocolate s’mores crème brûlée. The evening also includes party favors, live music, dancing and a midnight toast. $64/pp. 32441 Golden Lantern, Laguna Niguel, 949.493.7107.

The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar
Dec. 31.
The Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar invites you to a festive New Year’s Eve Masquerade featuring a four-course dinner by executive chef Yvon Goetz. The first seating is 5-6 pm for $59/pp. The second seating is 8:30-9:30 pm and features live entertainment by five-piece R&B band Family Style, party favors and entry to the Masquerade Lounge for $169/pp. For $30/pp, guests can enjoy the Vineyard Masquerade Lounge, which includes light hors d’oeuvres, lounge seating, dance floor access and a cash bar. 2647 Park Ave., Tustin, 714.258.7600.

Black, Gold and Bold
Dec. 31.
Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort has built a 14,000-square-foot tent to host Newport Beach’s most extravagant New Year’s Eve party. Cirque du Soleil-style performers from Aerial Fitness Orange County perform aerial feats from 20 feet in the air as guests enjoy a massive four-sided bar. The event also features a DJ, several different dining stations, party favors and a countdown to midnight culminating in the firing of confetti cannons and a complimentary Champagne toast. Attire is casual or dressy, according to the black, gold and bold theme. General admission $75; VIP $125. Bayside Pavillion, 1131 Back Bay Drive, Newport Beach, 949.729.3863.

Black Tie Gala at the Balboa Bay Club
Dec. 31.
Celebrate the New Year at a spectacular black tie gala in the Grand Ballroom of the Balboa Bay Club. The evening starts at 8 pm with a reception featuring hors d’oeuvres, Champagne and a martini bar. Next, enjoy an elegant five-course dinner with wine pairing. After dinner, the fourteen-piece band, Rembrandt, plays a mix of old favorites, festive classics and the latest hits for an unforgettable night of dancing. Usher in 2013 with “Auld Lang Syne” and a celebratory Champagne toast. 1221 W. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, 949.645.5000.

The Resort at Pelican Hill
Dec. 31.
The Resort at Pelican Hill invites guests and locals alike to ring in the New Year with live entertainment, specialty dining and children’s activities. The resort’s three restaurants, Andrea Ristorante, Pelican Grill & Lounge and Coliseum Pool & Grill each offer unique menus, entertainment and toasts. Larger groups can ring in 2013 with a private cabana and a complimentary midnight Prosecco toast. Those celebrating in the Great Room will be treated to a balloon drop and a complimentary Prosecco toast. Children ages 4-12 are invited to a pajama party at Camp Pelican complete with festive games, crafts, dinner and a holiday movie to ring in the New Year. Andrea Ristorante first seating 5-7 pm, $130/pp; second seating 8:30 pm-1 am, $170/pp. Pelican Grill & Lounge $125/pp, $165/pp with wine pairing. Coliseum Pool & Grill $95/pp, $40/child. Coliseum Cabanas $150/pp for up to 8 guests. New Year’s Eve in the Great Room $35/pp. New Year’s Eve Pajama Party at Camp Pelican $130/pp. 22701 Pelican Hill Road South, Newport Coast, 949.467.6800.

Donavan Frankenreiter
Dec. 31.
Singer/songwriter Donavan Frankenreiter performs some of his surf-infused hits at the Coach House. DJ & Jamie Allensworth Band support. $45/pp.  33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.496.8930.

Great Night! Family New Year’s Eve
Dec. 31.
The Orange County Great Park invites families to celebrate New Year’s Eve with live music, dancing, great food, carousel rides and games and activities for children all in a fun, alcohol-free environment. At 9 pm, the Great Park will transform into a party atmosphere in time to ring in the New Year with a pop of streamers, party hats and noise makers and still get the kids to bed at a decent hour. Free admission; parking $10. Great Park Balloon and Preview Park, Perimeter Road, Irvine, 866.829.3829.

Heat Ultra Lounge
Dec. 31.
Ring in the New Year at Heat Ultra Lounge with dancing, Champagne, balloon drops, confetti cannons, laser light show, party favors and much more. Bottle service packages are available beginning at $480. General admission $20; VIP admission $25. 321 W. Katella Ave., Anaheim, 714.776.4328.

Kendrick Lamar
Dec. 31.
Countdown to 2013 with hip hop’s latest sensation, Kendrick Lamar. good kid, m.A.A.d city, Lamar’s debut studio album, is popping up on many lists of the year’s top albums. RL Grime and The Underachievers support. General admission $59.75; VIP $100; open bar ticket $150. 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, 714.957.0600.

New Year’s Eve Masquerade Party
Dec. 31.
Experience an extraordinary night masked in mystery and excitement as you countdown to 2013 in style at the Yost Theater. The evening includes a midnight Champagne toast, balloon drop, complimentary mask and much more. $40/presale; $50/door. 307 North Spurgeon St., Santa Ana.

OC Fair New Year’s Eve Block Party
Dec. 31.
Rock out at the OC Fair New Year’s Eve Block Party, back for its third year. Unlike other NYE parties, the New Year’s Eve Block Party offers great fun in a casual setting—no black ties here! Enjoy tribute bands from each decade since the ‘60s, DJ entertainment, carnival rides, a demolition derby, delicious food and much more. 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.708.1500.

The Psychedelic Furs NYE Bash
Dec. 31.
The House of Blues Anaheim invites you to rock into the new year with the post-punk band the Psychedelic Furs. Dramarama support. Advance tickets $05; day of admission $55. 1530 S. Disneyland Drive. Anaheim, 714.778.2583.

White Wonderland
Dec. 31.
Sutra partners with Insomniac Events to create White Wonderland New Year’s Eve Gala at the Anaheim Convention Center. Guest DJs include Above & Beyond, Avicii, Madeon and Sebastion Ingrosso. White attire is mandatory. General admission $100; VIP $180. 800 W. Katella Ave., Anaheim, 949.777.3010.

The Newly Restored Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain in Grand Park is a Great LA Attraction

When it comes to recent Los Angeles attractions that have emerged over the last couple of years, the restored Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain in Grand Park probably tops the list for photographers, whether amateur or professional. It’s absolutely captivating at night with the glow of magical colors that reflect off the water. The park itself is a 12-acre urban oasis that runs from Grand Avenue at the Music Center to Spring Street at City Hall. A variety of performances and events are held there. The Music Center operates and oversees the park and brings in a number of community events, festivals, and holiday parties.

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