Weekend Roundup

Find the best Orange County things to do this weekend

la-habra-childrens-museumNew Year’s at Noon
Dec. 31. Let your children experience all the joys of a New Year’s Eve celebration and countdown without keeping them up until midnight! The Children’s Museum at La Habra will welcome 2012 12 hours early with a party that includes crafts, a ginger ale toast, balloon drop and dancing until noon. 301 S. Euclid St., La Habra, 562.905.9793. www.lahabracity.com

Great Park Family New Year’s Eve
Dec. 31. The Orange County Great Park invites families to ring in 2012 early at with their first ever New Year’s Eve party. Enjoy live music, dancing, great food, photo booths, carousel rides and games in a safe, alcohol-free environment. The event will reflect music and images of each decade from the 1940s to the present, and since the event ends at 9:30 pm, you can tuck the little ones in by 10 or head to another bash for more celebrating! Please use the Great Park’s Trabuco entrance, Irvine. 866.829.3829. www.ocgp.org

first-nightFirst Night
Dec. 31. The City of Fullerton will ring in 2012 with the 21st annual First Night in the streets of downtown. The First Night program began in Boston 35 years ago as a way to promote visual and performing arts while offering an alternative to drinking which most New Year’s celebrations center around. As always, the First Night celebration is alcohol-free and will feature tribute bands, activities for children, taiko drummers and food stalls. A firework show set to 2011’s hottest tunes will start the New Year off with a bang! Downtown Fullerton, 714.738.6545. www.ci.fullerton.ca.us

oc-block-partyNew Year’s Eve Block Party
Dec. 31. If you’re in search of a more casual affair to celebrate 2012’s arrival, look no further than the OC Fair New Year’s Eve Block Party. Dance to your favorite tunes from the ‘60s to the ‘90s, try your luck at the casino or enjoy thrilling carnival rides. A variety of Southern California’s hottest gourmet food trucks will be on hand to fuel the celebration. 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.708.1500. www.ocfair.com

benny-benassiNYE2012 featuring Benny Benassi
Dec. 31. The Yost Theater, Orange County’s leading dance venue, hosts one of the most anticipated New Year’s Eve events in Southern California. For one night only, the club will be transformed like the Orange County dance scene has never seen before. In honor of Yost turning 100, guests will enjoy a 100-minute long hosted vodka bar beginning at 8:00 pm. The evening will feature six full bars, aerial acts, confetti blasts and ten DJs including world-famous, Grammy Award-winning DJ Benny Benassi who will be spinning beats as the clock strikes midnight. 307 N. Spurgeon St., Santa Ana, 888.862.9573. www.yosttheater.com

casa-del-caminoFree New Year’s Eve Party
Dec. 31. You don’t have to break the bank to welcome the new year in style. La Casa del Camino, a Mediterranean-style boutique hotel in Laguna Beach, invites you to celebrate 2012’s arrival in their beautiful Grand Lobby. The hotel’s acclaimed restaurant, K’ya Bistro Bar, will provide a complimentary appetizer and dessert bar while musician Andrew Corradani fills the lobby with music. Guests will also be treated to a free champagne toast at midnight. 1289 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, 949.497.2446. www.lacasadelcamino.com

anqiQ du Soleil
Dec. 31. Celebrate the New Year at South Coast Plaza’s AnQi with their fabulous, ultramodern food bazaar. The evening begins in the Forbidden Den which includes champagne rain by graceful aerialists, beautiful Geishas to dine off of, an edible food wall and a library of sushi. Continue the celebrations with an interactive molecular station, a noodle and dumpling rickshaw, liquid nitrogen ice cream exhibit and the first breakfast bar of 2012! 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, 714.557.5679 www.anqibistro.com

Tradition by PascalTradition by Pascal
Dec. 31. Close out 2011 with a luxurious meal from Chef Pascal Olhats at Tradition by Pascal in Newport Beach. Guests may choose between a four-course or five-course meal created by Chef Olhats who is well-known for his mastery of French cuisine. The extensive New Year’s Eve menu includes gourmet selections such as steamed oysters on truffle leek beurre blanc, foie gras and duck confit cassolette, beef tenderloin with port wine Roquefort sauce and onion marmalade and roasted quail stuffed with poultry quenelle, cognac sauce. 1000 N. Bristol St., Newport Beach, 949.263.9400. www.pascalnpb.com


Dec. 31. Enjoy the festive lights of Downtown Disney as you indulge in a delicious three-course New Year’s Eve dinner with an exotic twist at Catal Restaurant. Begin with a lobster roll with homemade brioche, lemon aioli and Buddha hand lemon confit amuse bouche before diving into the rest of the delightful menu which features Manchester quail complete with applewood smoked bacon, savoy cabbage and freeze dried apples for the first course and Catalan fish stew with scallops, prawns, cod, mussels, octopus and baby leeks in a saffron broth with caviar aioli for the main course. The “Exotic Memories” dessert features a Tahitian vanilla bean and exotic fruit infused cake with coconut Malibu sorbet. Your taste buds will thank you for days! 1580 Disneyland Dr., Anaheim, 714.774.4442. www.patinagroup.com/catal

21 Oceanfront
Dec. 31. 21 Oceanfront has planned a spectacular soiree to usher in the New Year. Guests have a selection of a three-course dinner  between 4 and 7 pm or a five-course dinner with a champagne toast between 8 and 11 pm. Waiters in black tie will serve delicious appetizers like smoked salmon pate with raspberry jam and crostinis and calamari fritti before bringing out flavorful entrees like beef Wellington with mashed potatoes and asparagus, pan seared Chilean sea bass on a bed of root vegetable succotash and grilled lobster tail with red wild rice and sautéed spinach to name just a few of the selections. 2100 W. Oceanfront, Newport Beach, 949.673.2100. www.21oceanfront.com

french-75-nye-2French 75
Dec. 31. Welcome the arrival of 2012 in French style with live music, great food and lots of champagne at Laguna Beach’s French 75. Chef Gregory Moro’s four-course menu revolves around favorite French dishes such as roasted scallops au champagne, foie gras filet mignon and a decadent flourless chocolate cake among other classics. French 75 offers two convenient seatings to enjoy this veritable feast. The first is from 5-7 pm and the second is from 8pm to closing. For an extra $35 guests may indulge in free-flowing Pierrer Jouët Champagne Grand Brut. 1464 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, 949.494.8444. www.French75.net

Scott’s Restaurant & Bar
Dec. 31. Celebrate the New Year with dinner, dancing, entertainment and a complimentary champagne toast at Scott’s Restaurant & Bar. Chef Michael Doctulero has prepared a gourmet menu for the occasion. Highlights include oysters on the half shell with a champagne vinaigrette, chicken & artichoke involtini, filet mignon with Rossini sauce and Gran Marnier soufflé. The dinner package after 7 pm which includes a complimentary midnight champagne toast, entertainment, dancing, admittance into the private lounge event, party favors and a reserved table for the remainder of the evening. 3300 Bristol St., Costa Mesa. 714.979.2400. www.scottsrestaurantandbar.com

winery-nyeThe Winery
Dec. 31. The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar will host its annual New Year’s Eve Masquerade.  Guests may choose to indulge in a four-course dinner prepared by Executive Chef/Partner Yvon Goetz or may forgo the full dinner and enjoy a more party-friendly atmosphere in the Masquerade Lounge featuring a live DJ and dancing. Service for the first seating ends at 7:30 pm first seating while reservations for the second seating begin at 8:15 pm and include dancing to live music by “Family Style” at 10 pm, party favors and a champagne toast to ring in 2012. Entrance to the Vineyard Masquerade Lounge with a live DJ and dancing is priced at $25 and includes a champagne toast as well. 2648 Park Ave., Tustin, 714.258.7600. www.thewineryrestaurant.net

Jan. 1. The New Year’s Eve festivities may have ended, but that doesn’t mean the party has to stop! Celebrate the first day of the year with international DJ, Tiesto and special guest Porter Robinson. Due to overwhelming demand, the event was moved form its original location at Sutra to The Observatory in Santa Ana. 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, 714.957.0600. www.observatoryoc.com

jim-jeffriesJim Jeffries
Dec. 30. Australian comedian Jim Jeffries closes out his outstanding year with an appearance at the City National Grove of Anaheim. Jeffries is known for his charming, Carlinesque storytelling style which has made him a highly sought after comic performer. For the past six years, Jeffries’ shows have sold out at the famous Edinburgh Comedy Festival. He has also made appearances on HBO, Comedy Central and Showtime. City National Grove of Anaheim, 2200 E. Katella Ave., 714.712.2700. www.citynationalgroveofanaheim.com

surf-city-comedySurf City Comedy Club Opening Night
Dec. 31. Surf City Comedy Club celebrates its grand opening on New Year’s Eve with a special dinner and performances by comedians Bob Perkell, Jeff Capri and Mike Pace who have each been featured on HBO, Showtime and Comedy Central. The evening also includes a viewing of the East Coast New Year’s Eve Countdown and a complimentary glass of champagne to toast 2012. Located within Endless Food & Fun, the new comedy venue allows parents to laugh at some of the hottest comedians in the area while their kids enjoy all of the activities, arcades and lazer tag of Endless Food & Fun. 7227 Edinger Ave., Huntington Beach, 949.287.3161. www.endlessfoodandfun.com

anaheim-ducksAnaheim Ducks
Dec. 29, 31. The Anaheim Ducks take on the Vancouver Canucks on Dec. 29 and close out the year with a game against the Colorado Avalanche on Dec. 31. 2695 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, 714.704.2400. www.ducks.nhl.com

the-strandIce Skating at the Strand
Through Jan. 1. Smell the salty sea breeze as you ice skate just steps away from the Pacific! The grand opening of the beachside rink features the Cirque du Soleil truck, pet photos with Santa and free hot chocolate. 155, 5th St., Huntington Beach, 714.465.4528. www.thestrandon5th.com

white-christmasIrving Berlin’s White Christmas
Though Jan. 1. Irving Berlin’s classic White Christmas tells the story of two army buddies turned showbiz sensations who move their production their former general’s Vermont inn. Watch with delight as the duo find their perfect mates, fill the once-empty inn and usher in a white Christmas! Tickets start at $20. South Coast Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787. scfta.org

tis-the-season‘Tis the Season
Through Dec. 31. Spend a special evening at Encore Dinner Theatre with Encore’s Eve Party. Enjoy a three-course meal, a showing of ‘Tis the Season, post-show dancing and a complimentary midnight champagne toast.‘Tis the Season is the heartwarming tale of a reunion  between grandchildren and their recently deceased grandfather, Henry. The children learn the true meaning of the holidays as Henry takes them on a whirlwind adventure to distant worlds of Currier and Ives, a night club called the North Pole, a gravesite of a Holocaust survivor Henry saved during World War II and a living nativity scene. Breakfast will be served at 12:30 am following the final performance of ‘Tis the Season. Encore Dinner Theatre, 690 El Camino Real, Tustin, 855.545.5400. www.encoredinnertheatre.com

Science of GingerbreadScience of Gingerbread
Through Jan. 1. Explore the science behind everyone’s favorite cookie houses. Participate in hands-on kitchen activities, view award-winning Gingerbread Competition entries and visit with Santa! Tickets from $12.95. 2500 N Main Street, Santa Ana, 714.542.2823. discoverycube.org

London-CallingLondon Calling
Through Jan. 12. The Orange County Center for Contemporary Art transports visitors across the pond with its newest exhibition, “London Calling.” Works by some of Britain’s emerging young artists, including Rosie Emerson, Tahnee Lonsdale and Agnetha Sjorgren will be showcased. Artists are represented by the London Gallery, Debut Contemporary. 117 N. Sycamore, Santa Ana, 714.667.1517. www.occca.org

best-kept-secret-2Best Kept Secret
Through Jan. 22. In the 1960s and ‘70s, creativity and artistic experimentation flourished at the University of California at Irvine. Laguna Art Museum explores the university’s influence on the development of contemporary art through its new exhibit Best Kept Secret. The exhibition displays the works of nearly 40 faculty and student artists and features first-hand interviews with the artists and other resources related to this time period. 307 Cliff Dr., Laguna Beach, 949.494.8971.www.lagunaartmuseum.org

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