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Travel Costa Mesa Blog

4 Places for Thanksgiving Dining – and a Black Friday Deal!

Posted on November 17, 2017 | 2:19pm

 

The holidays are here, and it’s the most wonderful time of the year to get together with family and loved ones. But aren’t you tired of chopping veggies and mashing potatoes? Let someone else do the cooking for Thanksgiving this year –  like a gourmet chef – while you relax and enjoy the holiday! Here are 4 great spots in Costa Mesa to try for Thanksgiving, plus a very special offer for a quick holiday shopping getaway before Christmas.

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Posted in Events, Food, Hotels, Misc

Holiday Events in Orange County

Posted on November 1, 2017 | 3:22pm

Celebrate the Season with Holiday Events around Orange County

ABT's The Nutcracker Snowflakes photo by Gene Schiavone

 

Have you already filled your calendar with holiday events? Or does the word ‘holiday’ make you cringe and you can’t believe it’s that time of year again? So often the holidays are hectic, even stressful, and the thought of preparing a feast for a dozen people (or more) may be a bit daunting. If kids are involved, they will likely be out of school for a few weeks and looking for holiday events to keep busy? No matter what your mindset this time of year, the signs are everywhere…the holidays are upon us!

 

To help you plan for an enjoyable holiday season, whether it be with extended family, friends or just your immediate group of close pals, Costa Mesa has a lineup of holiday events and dining experiences to help you make the best of America’s biggest feasting holidays, along with activities and entertainment to get you in the holiday spirit. And, it’s easy to get to Costa Mesa by car, plane or train.

 

Argyros Plaza in Costa Mesa

 

Take a Break and a Weekend Escape

We’re not suggesting you skip out on the holidays, unless you want to, but with a few school and work holidays here and there, why not take a break from the norm and get away for a few days this holiday season? Costa Mesa has some of the best shopping in the world at South Coast Plaza. With 250 stores ranging from designer boutiques to department stores, it’s the perfect place to cross a few things off your list. Or, treat yourself to a little something, because we all deserve to indulge in ourselves once in a while. With a full calendar of holiday events scheduled at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, its the perfect time to experience all that Costa Mesa and The City of the Arts™ has to offer.

 

marriott pool costa mesa

Costa Mesa’s wide variety of hotel brands including Westin, Hilton, Holiday Inn and Marriott are ready to welcome you with special Costa Mesa hotel deals.

 

Something Rotten at Segerstrom Center for the Arts Costa Mesa

 

Tango Party on the Plaza and Broadway Season Begins November 7

With the recent opening of the Julianne and George Argyros Plaza at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, there are activities and entertainment most every night of the week in Orange County’s theater district. Kicking off the Broadway Season, Something Rotten! begins a two-week run on November 7. Pre-show activities will take place beginning at 6:30 p.m. and are free to the community, as well as theatergoers. Experience Center 360 Café and enjoy activities like free Tango Lessons and lively theatrical performances on The Argyros Plaza from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. A full schedule of pre-show and theater performances at Segerstrom Center for the Arts is now available, including Journey to Oz, The Nutcracker and Mannheim Steamroller.

 

 

VETERANS DAY WEEKEND EVENTS

 

The annual Sugar Plum Arts & Craft Festival returns to Costa Mesa November 9 through 11. This is a great place to start shopping for holiday decorations and unique gifts for friends and family. Kick off a long weekend in Costa Mesa browsing hundreds of holiday-themed booths at OC Fair & Event Center!

ARTventure, November 10 and 11

A two-day juried exhibition of art, ARTventure, makes its third annual appearance at Design Within Reach at SOCO and The OC Mix in Costa Mesa. ARTventure is a fusion of the arts and entertainment, showcasing the work of local Orange County artists. ARTVenture brings true meaning to the reason Costa Mesa is the “City of the Arts.” The artwork will be displayed in a state-of-the-art showroom and will be paired with live entertainment in musical, theatrical, literary and culinary form. Participants in this event include Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Bistro Papillote, Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop, Costa Mesa Ceramics, Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, Farrow and Ball and Inspired Art & Wine.

 

Whether you’re an artist yourself or a patron of the arts, all creative minds are welcome. This two-day event makes for a great opportunity to stay and play in Costa Mesa for the long Veterans Day weekend. A special discount for ARTventure attendees is available through the Hilton Costa Mesa. Or stay two-nights and receive $100 certificate to shop at South Coast Plaza.

 

 

Veterans Day image

Salute to our Veterans: Veterans Day, November 11

 

The 2nd Annual Center Salutes our Veterans will take place in the new Julianne and George Argyros Plaza at Segerstrom Center for the Arts beginning at 10:45 a.m. A presentation of colors and the National Anthem will kick of the family celebration, at 10:45 a.m. Then, the community is invited to help create care packages for active military, while listening to the sounds LA Muses, The Fresh Rhythm, Patriot Band Ensemble and listen to stories from veterans. Food and drinks are available onsite at the new Center 360 Café and the event goes until 2 p.m.

 

 

A free family event to honor the veterans and heroes is scheduled to take place at Heroes Hall at OC Fair & Event Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on November 11. Visitors can explore a Vietnam-era helicopter; military vehicles and more than 70 exhibit booths. A complimentary lunch for all attendees is included along with entertainment such as military reenactments, the Swing Cats band with swing dancers and the Pacific Symphony Brass Quintet and more. Get the kids involved on this important holiday with a special postcard project and donating goods for a food drive. Heroes Hall is also featuring a new exhibit titled ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’ by Kimberly Millett.

 

 

 

To start the celebration of the 2017 holiday season, South Coast Plaza will light its 96-foot fir tree at Town Center Park (across from The Westin South Coast Plaza) at 6:30 p.m. on November 16. Enjoy a musical performance by Orange County’s School of the Arts, a visit with Santa and refreshments. Stay through the weekend and take in a Broadway show at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, enjoy dinner at nearby uber-hot Spanish restaurant Vaca by “Top Chef” alum Amar Santana, and enjoy pre-show entertainment in the arts plaza.

 

Holiday Performances and Snowfall on The Argyros Plaza

A month-long performance of A Christmas Carol begins the Friday after Thanksgiving, November 24, at South Coast Repertory. A week later, a magical Nutcracker comes alive inside Segerstrom Hall, and forecasters are predicting snow on The Argyros Plaza as the sights and sounds of holiday traditions come to Segerstrom Center for the Arts in a Holidays Around the World celebration from December 7 – 17.

Costa Mesa holiday home

 

Costa Mesa Home Tour

The 4th Annual Costa Mesa Home Tour takes place on Thursday, December 7 from 3-7 p.m. Guests on the tour will visit homes throughout Costa Mesa that are decorated for the holidays by some of the top Orange County designers. Following the tour, enjoy a reception with musical performances and holiday shopping at Pottery Barn in South Coast Plaza. Tickets for this annual event help support Arts & Science education and Heroes Hall, Orange County’s only veterans museum.

Veterans, military families, first responders & teachers can buy one ticket and receive an additional ticket at no cost.

 

The Westin South Coast Plaza Tree Lighting

  

Reindeer Sightings and Visits with Santa

All during this time, California’s largest shopping destination, South Coast Plaza, transforms into a winter wonderland to embrace the avid holiday shoppers and enhance the experience for visitors. Children will love the opportunity to ride a reindeer on the holiday carousel; visit Santa’s Workshop and capture some photos with the beautiful wintery backdrop of mountains and snow created inside South Coast Plaza.

 

Spend a few days in Costa Mesa and make lasting holiday memories. See the full calendar of events with entertainment for couples, friends and families.

Posted in Misc

A Farm-to-Fork Dining Experience in Orange County

Posted on October 30, 2017 | 2:36pm

A Fire-and-Ash Wine Dinner at Centennial Farm will take place Saturday, November 4, 2017 in the Red Barn at the OC Fair & Event Center.

This farm-to-fork dining experience is just one example of how Costa Mesa continues to become a culinary destination where award-winning chefs and popular restaurants are opening on the regular in this Orange County hot spot. Restaurants like Old Vine, Taco Maria and Vaca are not only serving up some of the freshest dishes with both locally sourced and high-quality imported ingredients; they are creating experiences that have foodies coming back time and again. In just a short time, “Top Chef:All Stars” alum from Bravo TV, Richard Blais, will join the trending foodie movement in Costa Mesa when he opens his first Orange County location of The Crack Shack.

 

With so much good food to choose from, how do you decide where to go when dining out? Sure, there is a time and perfect place for an intimate dinner with special people in your life, but think about the times that are most memorable with groups of friends, experiencing something new for the first time.

 

Specially curated dining events have become more and more popular as a way to experience great food, meet new people, learn cooking techniques and even rub elbows with the chefs behind the creative cuisine.

 

This is exactly what you’ll find at A Fire-and-Ash Wine Dinner. It’s held on a fully functioning farm inside the Red Barn at Centennial Farm in Costa Mesa. When you’re there, you’ll feel as though you’re miles away in the middle of the country, under twinkling lights and sounds of nature.

Centennial Farm at OC Fair

This exclusive dinner has all the components of being a talked-about Costa Mesa culinary event. Guests will be treated to a variety of sparkling wines from the Orange County Wine Society along with roasted butternut squash soup shooters, flatbreads and short rib polenta cakes for appetizers, followed by tours of Centennial Farm.

 

The multi-course, family-style dinner menu will feature items from California’s bountiful produce and artisan meats cooked exclusively in ash over an open fire. Each course will be served with wine that perfectly complements the dish. The first course begins with a savory waffle Panzanella micro green tower; the second course includes Cornish game hens, an ash-roasted autumn squash trio and beefsteak Portobello complemented with wines from Martin Ray from Sonoma. Dessert is the third of four courses and includes a traditional dessert that is cooked over an open flame – S’mores – but in this case there is a twist on these melt-in-your-mouth, marshmallow and chocolate-stacked graham crackers. Pastry Chef Stéphane Tréand of ST Patisserie Chocolat in Costa Mesa will prepare handmade, fired, passion-toasted marshmallow and dark chocolate Bon Bons. Is your mouth watering yet? As if this wasn’t enough, Mini Donuts with Affogato (shot of espresso and vanilla ice cream) will be served with Orange County Wine Society’s port wine or Bailey’s Chocolate Cherry.

 

Red Barn at OC Fair

If you’ve been looking for the next dining experience to raise the bar on an evening with good food and friends, there is still time to be a part of this fall event. In fact, it’s a great time to snag those tickets by using a discount code to save a few bucks. Read on for more details and to order your tickets. By attending this event you are helping to provide year-round educational opportunities through Centennial Farm, Heroes Hall and Imaginology community programs at OC Fair & Event Center.

 

Reservations for this unique dining experience are $125 per person, which includes dinner, wines, gratuity, tax and parking. As one of our neighbors, you can save $25 per ticket by using code OURBARN when purchasing tickets on Ticketmaster. Extend the weekend with hotel deals in Costa Mesa and experience events happening around this lively city.

 

Posted in Misc

Vans Returns to Costa Mesa and Home of Action Sports Brands

Posted on October 18, 2017 | 11:05am

Do you have a special connection to the Vans brand? Costa Mesa does, and we were excited to reconnect with Vans last week at their new global headquarters as they return to their roots in Costa Mesa as one of the leaders in action sports. It was a homecoming for many in the action sports industry, but also for fans of the Vans brand. After more than 50 years, Vans has returned to Costa Mesa – home to its first retail store – settling into its new world headquarters located on South Coast Drive adjacent to the 405 freeway. During an exclusive event on October 12 for 500 employees and their friends and family, more than 2,000 guests showed up for the celebration.

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Posted in Misc

Celebrate Fall at these Orange County Events

Posted on September 27, 2017 | 12:24pm

 

A fall getaway, why not? Consider taking a trip to Costa Mesa, in the heart of Orange County, the ideal location for a few days away to relax and enjoy the changing of the seasons and all the Orange County events happening. Hotels in Costa Mesa are running great weekend deals that make it easy to find a reason for an escape.

family picnic in park

If you want to explore the festivities that fall brings, we’ve got a great lineup of activities from festivals, to pumpkin carving, holiday decorating, train rides and more. Just a short drive from San Diego or Los Angeles, or a one-hour flight from Arizona, Nevada or Northern California into John Wayne Airport, it’s easy to get to Costa Mesa so you can maximize your weekend fun and all the events happening in Orange County.

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Posted in Events, Food, Locals, Play, Shopping