Festive Holiday Events in Orange County

During the holidays, Orange County has mild weather, and warm holiday spirit. Here is a list of holiday events and some fun holiday deals.


Food, drinks, music and more:

Silver Trumpet Restaurant offers a five-course holiday dinner on December 24 or 25 for $75 per person. Enjoy the holiday lights and sounds while strolling through Segerstrom Center for the Arts and Town Park to see the 96-foot Christmas tree. Stay overnight at Avenue of the Arts Hotel for 20% off regular pricing.


Old Vine Kitchen & Bar NYE 2020 Celebration offers a holiday buffet filled with global cuisine, live music and a champagne toast for $85 from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. When the night ends, stay overnight at the Crowne Plaza or Residence Inn by Marriott reserving a holiday hotel deal.

SOCIAL Costa Mesa is hosting a NYE 2020 featuring DJs, dancing, table service, plus festive food and drinks to ring in the new year. Tickets for individuals or group packages start at $80 and must be purchased in advance. Nearby hotels include Holiday Inn Express, BLVD, Best Western Plus and Ramada Inn & Suites starting as low as $99.

The TIME Nightclub New Year’s Eve celebration celebrates Orange County’s nightlife scene. Dance the night away to music by popular DJs and stunning light displays. Festivities include live viewing of the Times’ Square Ball Drop and glass of champagne or prosecco for toast. Tickets starting at $50. See Time Nightclub in action: https://youtu.be/IX0KrAM70B0

ABBA The Concert on December 30 is at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. It’s a tribute to the band ABBA, that will have you dancing, singing and celebrating some of the world’s most beloved music. Nearby The Westin South Coast Plaza and the Marriott offer pre-theatre or after the show food and beverages options.


Winterfest OC at OC Fair & Event Center. For as low as $15 per person, enjoy ice skating, Santa and reindeer flying overhead. Listen to live performances, go sledding, participate in crafts, watch fireworks and see a ball drop each night from December 19 – January 5, 2020. with special activities on New Year’s Eve. On Dec 31st, Winterfest OC is open from 2 pm to 1am, and guests can ring in the New Year twice with a special countdown, fireworks, and live music at both 6pm and 12 midnight. Winterfest video: https://youtu.be/xH19hWFNa80

Visit Travel Costa Mesa’s full calendar of events, and to learn more about the city throughout the year.

Celebrating TASTE in Costa Mesa

The 2nd annual Los Angles Times The Taste: Costa Mesa, is taking place October 18 and 19 at the MET. Many of the Times’ acclaimed Food staff will introduce some of Orange County’s rising chefs and culinary masters.


The two nights event offers cooking demonstrations, unlimited tastings, and sips of varieties of cocktails and beverages. This year, visitors will get a special chance to learn more from the likes of Chef Carlos Salgado of Michelin-starred Taco Maria, who will provide a glimpse into his contemporary spin to Mexican cooking with questions from L.A. Times Cooking Columnist Ben Mims.

Get a closer look at the artistry behind Chef Maher Nakhal’s Syrian pastries of Le Mirage Pastry, which spotlights Middle Eastern desserts and French pastries and has captured hearts with its bouza (Arabic ice cream).

Additional standout participants:

  • The Crack Shack
  • Terrace by Mix Mix
  • Knife Pleat
  • Roba Noodle
  • Delicato Family Winery
  • Puesto

This event is for guests $21 and over.

Here’s a schedule of tastings and demonstrations:

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 18 (7:00 – 10:00 p.m.)  L.A. Times Cooking Editor Genevieve Ko will host a demo featuring Syrian pastry chef Maher Nakhal (Le Mirage Pastry) as he reveals the handcrafted artistry behind his authentic Middle Eastern desserts and French pastries.

Chef Ross Pangilinan (Terrace by Mix Mix) will showcase his eclectic style and Euro-Filipino flavors through a demo of one of his signature dishes, hosted by Times Features Writer Gustavo Arellano.

Samplings from restaurants and bars include: Absolut Juice, Amor Y Tacos, Angel’s Envy, Barton & Guestier, Bernardus Winery, Beyond Meat, Codigo 1530, Color Wine, Delicato Family Winery, Driftwood Kitchen, Ellie’s Long Beach, Filomena’s Italian Kitchen, First Growth Brands, Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, Harley Laguna Beach, Jame Enoteca, Karl Strauss Brewing Company, LA Brisket, Las Vegana Mexicana, Las Brisas, Licor 43, Miguel’s Jr., Mule 2.0, Outpost Kitchen, Puesto, Revel Spirits, Roba Noodle, Tackle Box, Terrace by Mix Mix, The Chori-Man, The Ranch at Laguna Beach, Vaca, Verde Kitchen, WAVE Gourmet Burgers, Wine Group, Zing Zang and Zyr.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19 (12:00 – 3:00 p.m.) Chef Carlos Salgado of Michelin-starred Taco María will provide a glimpse into his contemporary, Mexican-influenced cooking with L.A. Times Cooking Columnist Ben Mims.

Taking the crowd on a wine tour through Monterey County, Rob Baker (Southern Glazer’s) will lead a presentation on Bordeaux-style wine from Carmel Valley’s Bernardus Winery.

Samplings from restaurants and bars include: 2145 Pizza, Absolut Juice, Barton & Guestier, Bartenura/Herzog, Bernardus Winery, Billy’s at the Beach, Blinking Owl, Bodvar-House of Roses, Café Sevilla, Casa Barilla, Clay Oven Indian Cuisine, Delicato Family Winery, Descanso a Modern Taqueria,Ensaymada Project, Georgia’s Restaurant, Habana, Honey Bubbles, Karl Strauss Brewing Company, Koval, La Kebabology, Louies by the Bay, Leblon, Licor 43, LSXO, Mayors Table Pacific Pub & Kitchen, Mule 2.0, Olea, Revel Spirits, Roba Noodle, Santa Teresa, Sharffenberger, Shuck Oyster Bar, St. Germain, The Chori-Man, The Halal Guys, The Taco Man, The Yellow Chili, Verde Kitchen, Zing Zang and Zyr.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19 (7:00 – 10:00p.m.) Chef Wing Lam (Wahoo’s Fish Tacos) will cook up his legendary Baja-style fish tacos and discuss the start of his iconic SoCal brand.

Michelin-starred chef Tony Esnault (Knife Pleat) will demonstrate modern, seasonal interpretations of classic French techniques with Times Senior Food Writer Jenn Harris.

Samplings from restaurants and bars include: 2145 Pizza, Absolut Juice, Ai Pono Café, Barton & Guestier, Bartenura/Herzog, Bernardus Winery, Billy’s at the Beach, Blinking Owl, Bodvar-House of Roses, Bosscat Kitchen & Libations, CUCINA enoteca, Delicato Family Winery, Descanso a Modern Taqueria, Ensaymada Project, Georgia’s Restaurant, Gracias Madre, Honey Bubbles, Karl Strauss Brewing Company, Koval, La Kebabology, La Vegana Mexicana, Lady M Cake Boutique, Leblon, Licor 43, LSXO, Mesa, Mule 2.0, Olea, Revel Spirits, Santa Teresa, Sharffenberger, Silver Trumpet Restaurant and Bar, St. Germain, Toast, The Chori-Man, The Yellow Chili, Verde Kitchen, Zing Zang and Zyr.

For a detailed description of each event and full lineup of participating chefs and restaurants, visit https://events.latimes.com/taste/

 The MET is located at: 535 Anton Blvd. Costa Mesa, CA 92626


Friday, October 18 (7:00 – 10:00p.m.) – $100 (GA) – $150 (VIP), Saturday, October 19 (12:00 – 3:00p.m.) – $80 (GA) – $130 (VIP), Saturday, October 19 (7:00 – 10:00p.m.) – $100 (GA) – $150 (VIP). To purchase tickets, visit https://events.latimes.com/taste/

 Instead of driving home, Visit Costa Mesa is offering some great hotel deals, go to Travel Costa Mesa.

Summer Fun at Discovery Cube Los Angeles and Orange County

Walking to the entrance of Discovery Cube Los Angeles (Lake View Terrace), I stopped in awe as a mighty Tyrannosaurus rex vocalized and moved it’s head with the help of advanced animatronics.


The two story discovery center opened a few years ago in Los Angeles. This family fun destination is filled with science-based interactive exhibits and classes to challenge and encourage kids to learn and play.

On the first floor there are 9 different learning exhibits that include a fun lesson about condensation to a 300-mile helicopter journey to learn how water travels from Mt. Whitney through the Los Angeles aquaduct. For fans of Disney California Adventure popular ride Soarin’, it’s a similar experience.


Upstairs is a brand new Dino Summer show and exhibit featuring examples of dinosaurs from around the globe that include the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex of North America and the swift Velociraptor of the Gobi Desert.


Also upstairs on the second floor is a Stanley Cup Champions the Los Angeles Kings exhibit. Families can become an expert on and off the ice acting as a Kings player blocking shots as a goalie, or sitting in a replica Zamboni machine. It’s a fun place to learn and unlock the secrets of hockey.


This summer the Discovery Cube ignites the spark of curiosity and the wonders of science by offering Dinos Everywhere classes and camps. Curious about the internet? Google engineers will offer onsite classes. Interested in healthy cooking? Petersonville Healthy Kitchen Cooking Classes are offered the first day of the month during the summer.


From Memorial Day to Labor Day, kids of all ages can visit Discovery Cube for a day or attend camps and sleepovers. There are classes and workshops where dinosaur enthusiasts learn about Dinosaurs Around the World.

 Here are 7 Fun Ways to Keep Your Kids Engaged this Summer:

  1. Discovery Cube’s Dino-themed Birthday Parties
  2. Dino Summer Field Trips
  3. Dino Summer Camps – June 25, July 16, July 23: Grades K-2. Dino Detectives Camp is on July 9, July 30, August 6: Grades 3-5
  4. Dino Sleepovers include exploration of the exhibit and the Discovering Dinos stage show.  
  5. In the Orange County location they are offering a Petersonville Healthy Kitchen Cooking Class the first day of the month during the summer. Sign up for the June 1, July 1, August 1, September 1. Grab your chef’s hat and work together with family and friends to craft home-made recipes with direction from Cube staff. Participants will learn healthy living habits, cooking tips and tricks, and facts about the ingredients being used. Preferred ages, 4 & up. The class is $20 per setting, up to 4 people per setting.
  6. Google engineers are teaching young computer scientists ages 8 to 13 how the internet works at the Internet Jr. Workshop presented by Google Serve. They will be at the Discover Cube OC on June 13-14. Then they go to the Discovery Cube LA the following day on June 15. It’s a fun-filled, hour-long workshop where students will learn what ISPs are, why 404 errors happen, and an overarching view of how the whole system works.
  7. Other Camps at the Discovery Cube LA include Code Constructors June 25, July 9: Ages 10-13 and Mission To Mars July 16, July 23: Grades 3-5. 

The nonprofit Discovery Cube Orange County opened in 1989. In November 2014, a second nonprofit Discovery Cube Los Angeles opened in the Hansen Dam Recreational Area of the San Fernando Valley. Most recently, Discovery Cube’s Ocean Quest opened in Newport Beach as a base of operations for ocean-science education and programs. The Sea Monsters: Prehistoric to Modern Day Ocean Predators exhibit spans time from prehistoric marine reptiles, like the Mosasaurus lurking in the shadows, to modern day behemoths like the Portuguese Man-of-War that can stretch its tentacles 165 feet below the surface of the sea.


For more information, visit discoverycube.org. Follow the Los Angeles and Orange County campus on social platforms (@DiscoveryCubeLA@DiscoveryCubeOC). 

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