San Diego

Weekend roundup

December 30-January 2


“Gatsby’s House” NYE Bash at InterContinental San Diego

Dec. 31. Ring in 2022 with a 1920s-themed soiree at the InterContinental San Diego hotel, which transforms into the glamorous “Gatsby’s House” for the night. The party includes a premium open bar and light bites, live DJs all night, three areas to mingle, two rooms to dance, festive party favors, and a massive ballroom countdown at midnight. Panoramic views of San Diego Bay complete the scene. Dress in your finest flapper attire. 9 p.m.-1:30 a.m. (Doors open at 8:30 p.m.) Tickets start at $165 per person; hotel packages are also available. 901 Bayfront Court, downtown. More Info


Dec. 31. If New Year’s Eve is a family affair this year, the kiddos will love this special celebration at LEGOLAND California Resort, where midnight arrives early. Festivities include live music and entertainment, interactive kids’ activities, access to the park’s 60-plus rides and attractions, and a special New Year’s countdown (6 p.m.). The evening ends with a grand-finale fireworks display. The celebration runs 6-8 p.m.; park opens at 10 a.m. Event entry is included with park admission. See website for safety protocols, ticket pricing and packages. 1 Legoland Drive, Carlsbad, 760.918.5346.

NYE “Ball on Broadway” at Parq Nightclub

Dec. 31. For those looking for a big night out on the town, Parq Nightclub is ready to party. The venue offers four different rooms with five different experiences all under one roof—including a masquerade ball, a “snow” ball and an enchanted forest—complete with a different DJ to set each mood. The talent lineup includes Justin Credible, DJ Dynamiq, Craig Smoove, Mike Zee, DJ Uptown, DJ Sally Cruz and DJ Xray. See website for safety/entry protocols. Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets start at $81 (with VIP bottle service available). 615 Broadway, downtown. More Info

NYE “Glitz & Glam Ball” at Lips

Dec. 31. Was 2021 a bit of a drag for you? The fabulous ladies of San Diego’s premier “drag palace” are back to lift your spirits and close out the year with panache. Hosted by “Tootie” (of course!), the “Glitz & Glam Ball” comprises a three-course dinner, libations, music and Vegas-style drag shows. Expect plenty of big hair, high heels, dancing and consumption of cheeky cocktails such as the Screaming Kiki and Pick That B*tch Up Off the Floor. $45 early seating; $75 late seating (call for times and reservations). 3036 El Cajon Blvd., North Park, 619.295.7900.

“Holidays in Your Car” at Del Mar Fairgrounds

Through Jan. 2. Ease out of the holiday season from the comfort of your car. One of SoCal’s largest holiday light spectaculars, this drive-thru experience features 1 million LED lights, holograms, projection mapping (e.g., computer-generated images cast by high-end projectors), 40-foot-tall installations, lasers and tunnels—all set to festive music. Santa and his team of elves will even be on hand to say hello. (The event is part of the Del Mar Fairgrounds’ Snow ‘n’ Glow Holiday Festival.) 4-10 p.m. Tickets start at $45 per car. 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar. More Info

Food + Drink

NYE Dinner at Kettner Exchange

Dec. 31. For sophisticated New Year’s Eve dining, this Little Italy hotspot strikes the right chord. Acclaimed chef Brian Redzikowski has dreamt up a special four-course meal of elegant dishes—such as the tuna-tartare “Twinkie,” black-truffle-mushroom ragout, crispy fried seabass with frisee and perilla leaf, and caramel-corn ice cream with popcorn streusel for dessert; along with optional wine pairings by beverage director Claire Sexton. See website for required prepaid seatings for parties of two and up to seven guests. $150 per person (additional $50 for wine pairing). 2001 Kettner Blvd., Little Italy, 619.255.2001. Reservations

NYE Masquerade at Understory

Dec. 31. Named for the dimly lit middle layer of the forest, this central bar at the Sky Deck at Del Mar Highlands Town Center is accented by woodsy greenery and tree-like pillars—perfect for hosting a masquerade-themed evening. Packages are tailored for two or four people and include bottles of Beau Joie Champagne, fried chicken and caviar; plus music by Gabe Vega and Juni, and a midnight Champagne toast. Email for reservations (encouraged). 6 p.m.-1 a.m. $175-$375 per package. 12841 El Camino Real, Suite 209-210, Del Mar, 858.925.7022.

“Studio 54” NYE at Bivouac Ciderworks

Dec. 31. Tease your hair, put on your bell bottoms and get your retro groove on at this ‘70s-inspired bash at Bivouac. (Why the Studio 54 theme, you may wonder? Because this carefree era embodies everything that 2021 wasn’t!) DJ ApotheKari leads the casual revelry at the craft cider taproom, spinning electro-disco tunes; along with strobe lights, specialty drinks, a sparkling hard-cider toast at midnight, and an “easy to eat in tight pants” bites menu. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. $35 per person (general admission). 3986 30th St., North Park, 619.725.0844. Tickets

New Year’s Celebrations at Wormwood 

Dec. 31-Jan. 1. Channeling a whimsical, “Old Paris” vibe, San Diego’s first dedicated absinthe bar and restaurant is offering a celebration on New Year’s Eve. Indulge in an eight-course menu in the gastronomic style of a Parisian bistronomie—complete with Champagne or a signature cocktail upon arrival. (And look for the green fairy!) Seatings are available 6-9 p.m. and 9 p.m.-midnight. On New Year’s Day, Wormwood offers regular dinner service beginning at 5 p.m. See website for pricing. 4677 30th St., North Park, 619.915.6706. Reservations

New Year’s Day Breakfast at Cafe 222

Jan. 1. Should you find yourself struggling with a little “hair of the dog” on New Year’s Day, Cafe 222 is here to help. The popular downtown eatery is offering a specialty morning remedy, available exclusively on Saturday: The Hangover Helper (pictured). The hearty platter includes French toast, four pancakes, three sausage links, two sausage patties, two eggs, griddled potatoes, coffee and orange juice. The cafe is open for breakfast and lunch, 8 a.m.-1:45 p.m. Walk-ins welcome. $26.95 per platter (sharing is frowned upon). 222 Island Ave., downtown, 619.236.9902.

Arts + Culture

Mannheim Steamroller Concert

Dec. 30. The bestselling Christmas music ensemble of all time celebrates its 35th anniversary and a record-setting tour after a year of dormancy. Mannheim Steamroller has sold more than 41 million albums, with 31.5 million sold in the Christmas genre alone. Led by Grammy Award-winner Chip Davis, this special concert at the Civic Theatre, “Mannheim Steamroller Christmas,” promises to be electrifying. The group will perform its rousing holiday classics and other select compositions. See website for theater safety protocols. 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $35.50. 1100 Third Ave., downtown, 888.973.7469.

Puzzling Adventures Scavenger Hunt 

Jan 1-2. Start the new year with some fresh air and culture-rich, family-friendly fun. This informative self-guided tour, scavenger hunt and adventure race all in one simply requires a mobile device with an Internet connection. And beautiful Balboa Park is your backdrop; explore its iconic landscaped gardens and other outdoor areas such as the landmark Spreckels Organ Pavilion—answering questions or solving puzzles at each stop to receive your next instruction. Play at your own pace (ideal for groups, couples and individuals.) $20-$35 per team. Start at the organ pavilion parking lot (2125 Pan American Road East), Balboa Park. More Info

Photo credits: Wormwood by Arlene Ibarra. All other images are courtesy of the venues and businesses featured.

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