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Travel Costa Mesa Blog

Archives for Music & Art

Broadway Shows Coming to Costa Mesa in 2018

Posted on February 21, 2018 | 3:58pm

 

 

It’s no surprise that Costa Mesa is known as the City of the Arts™. Each year, Costa Mesa’s Segerstrom Center for the Arts attracts some of the biggest Broadway theater and unique shows, giving the city its reputation as the heart of Orange County’s arts district. If you’re planning your Orange County vacation and looking to be in the middle of arts, culture and award-winning dining, check out these great shows coming to Costa Mesa in 2018!

 

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Posted in Events, Music & Art, Play

7 Ways to Celebrate the Year of the Dog in Orange County

Posted on February 15, 2018 | 10:11am

 

February 16, 2018, kicks off the Year of the Dog and many celebrations of the 2018 Chinese Lunar New Year in Costa Mesa and around Orange County. Families and friends gather in many ways during this spring event to enjoy cultural traditions, parades, food festivals and entertainment. Through March 4, 2018, here’s 7 fun ways to celebrate the Lunar New Year in Orange County.

 

With so many opportunities to celebrate, a weekend escape to OC makes it easy to visit all of the events. Costa Mesa, in the heart of Orange County, is a perfect central location to call home during Lunar New Year and many hotels offer great deals during this time.

South Coast Plaza Floral Displays and Free Entertainment

Visit South Coast Plaza’s eye-catching floral display featuring bold colors of gold and red, plus eight carefully crafted dogs and puppies in and around Jewel Court (just outside of Macy’s). Discover the Tales of Tradition throughout the Center, which feature special symbols of the traditions of the Chinese. South Coast Plaza’s Chinese New Year celebration is an ideal place to spend the afternoon, enjoying free entertainment on weekends and capturing photos in celebration of the holiday.

 

Tet Festival to Celebrate the New Year

Once again, the popular Vietnamese tradition of welcoming spring will be celebrated at the annual Tet Festival, returning to the OC Fair & Event Center during the weekend of February 16-18, 2018. There is no other cultural experience likes this, where attendees can immerse themselves in the traditional foods, performances, interactive games and music of the Vietnamese culture. Cap off the celebration with a spectacular fireworks show to bring good fortune in the New Year. Admission is just $6.00 and on Saturday, those choosing to wear traditional Chinese attire, or a military uniform will be admitted free.

Dior wallet phone case and credit card holder at South Coast Plaza 

Themed Lunar New Year Products

South Coast Plaza is home to the largest collection of retailers and restaurants of any luxury shopping center in the U.S. Many of the boutiques, including Gucci, Prada, Miu Miu, Bally, Salvatore Ferragamo, Vacheron Constantin and Piaget offer themed products and in-store experiences. Be sure to visit Prada Spirit, a pop-up that’s a U.S. exclusive, located in front of the Prada boutique. Visitors to South Coast Plaza between February 13 and March 4, 2018, who make a minimum purchase will receive a limited-edition crystal jar in the shape of a dog. Dior has designed the exclusive red calfskin Stars Wallet, Card Holder and Phone Case embossed with goldtone stars. Each is sold separately.

 

Outlet shopping mall in Orange

Outlet Shopping and Lunar New Year Discounts

If you love shopping and finding a great deal, look no further than The Outlets of Orange, just 20 minutes form Costa Mesa and the next city over from Anaheim. On Saturday, February 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., shoppers and visitors to the center will enjoy live entertainment, cultural performances, and lucky red envelopes to celebrate the Chinese tradition. The Outlets of Orange is a great place to get outside, enjoy the SoCal winter weather and explore this indoor/outdoor entertainment center. Through February 23, visit the on-site concierge for a lucky red envelope stuffed with discounts and deals to stores like Nike Factory Store, Steve Madden, BJs Restaurants, Lucky Strike Bowling and more.

 

Mickey and Minnie in Lunar New Year attire

Lunar New Year at Disney’s California Adventure

Does it get much more exciting than celebrating a holiday at the Happiest Place on Earth? If you’re a fan of Mickey and Minnie and the magic of this world-famous Southern California attraction, head to the Disney’s California Adventure through February 18 for a festive multi-cultural celebration. Follow Mulan, Mushu and their friend the lantern in a special performance of World of Color.

 

A Giant Ferris Wheel, Stilt Walkers and Fortune Cookies

Our neighbors at Irvine Spectrum Center have a fun-filled day planned on February 18 from 1 to 3 p.m. to celebrate The Year of the Dog. Meet other families at the Giant Wheel Courtyard for dance performances, face painting, entertainment and a chance to receive a free Lucky Red Envelope. At Irvine Spectrum you’ll be surrounded by outdoor walkways and dozens of retailers, like H&M and Nordstrom, plus Dave & Buster’s for more entertainment. It’s a great place to let the little ones run around and enjoy this cultural event.

 

Lantern Festival Pacific Symphony

Lantern Festival, Chinese Folk Dancing and More

A final Lunar New Year event is the Lantern Festival on March 4 from 12 – 6 p.m. In its third year this free event is presented by Pacific Symphony in partnership with the South Coast Chinese Cultural Center/Irvine Chinese School. This family-friendly event allows attendees to make their own lanterns, which will transform and light up the new Julianne and George Argyros Plaza. Local dance and music groups will entertain guests during this afternoon celebration.

 

We wish everyone good fortune and good health as we usher in springtime in Costa Mesa!

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Posted in Events, Food, Misc, Music & Art

10 Costa Mesa New Year’s Eve Events

Posted on December 27, 2017 | 4:04pm

New Year's Eve events Costa Mesa

New Year’s Eve is quickly approaching. Where will you be? We’ve rounded up 10 great Costa Mesa New Year’s Eve events, ranging from kid-friendly to 21+.

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Posted in Events, Food, Hotels, Music & Art, Play

9 Holiday Events and Free Things to Do in OC

Posted on November 30, 2017 | 10:47am

Free things to do at Argyros plaza costa mesa

Take a Break and a Weekend Escape

 

Ready to celebrate the season? Costa Mesa has a lineup of 9 holiday events and free things to in OC to help make your holidays memorable. We want you to indulge in yourself or with your family and friends this season, and we have a special gift to help get your planning under way. Now through January 11, 2018, book two nights at a participating Costa Mesa hotel and receive $100 to shop or dine at South Coast Plaza. Plan around our calendar of events in Orange County and join us to celebrate the holidays.

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Posted in Events, Hotels, Misc, Music & Art, Play, Shopping

The OC Fair is Here! An Annual Costa Mesa Festival, With Concerts and Events Galore

Posted on July 14, 2017 | 1:18pm

With more than a million visitors to the OC Fair each year, visitors probably all have a slightly different take on how they approach this beloved Costa Mesa festival, the second largest in Southern California and one of the Top 10 in the United States. And it’s definitely one of the top Costa Mesa events for a month every summer!

 

“Farm Fresh Fun” is the theme for the OC Fair in 2017, and that about sums up how you might approach your experience. From tasting all the amazing fair food to exploring fresh produce and newborn animals in Centennial Farm, to the attractions and live Costa Mesa concerts, there is plenty of Farm, Fresh AND Fun to experience.

RIDES

Start your visit with a ride high above the OC Fair on the Sky Ride. An aerial tram that flies over the length of the Fairgrounds and back, the Sky Ride gives you a perfect overview of the OC Fair and a great way to see it all and navigate your fair strategy for the day. You’ll enjoy a nice breeze as you soar high above the visitors, you might even see an arena show underway, and you’ll definitely see the exhilarating rides in the midway area.

 

New this year to the OC Fair is La Grande Wheel XL, one of the largest observation wheels in the Western Hemisphere. See this beautiful Ferris wheel at night lit up with a glow that can be seen for miles. This is another great way to see the whole Orange County Fair from one vantage point. If you’ve already spent a few hours traversing the Fairgrounds, a ride on La Grande Wheel XL is a perfect way to give your feet a break without missing out on all the fun…and this year, your car will be air conditioned for a nice break from that hot SoCal summer sun. Fairgoers looking for a bit more of a rush can strap-in on Endeavor and experience 3G- acceleration.

COSTA MESA CONCERTS AND FREE ENTERTAINMENT

The opportunities to be amused and entertained at the Fair are endless! Pacific Amphitheatre, right on the OC Fairgrounds, is one of the best places to see an Orange County concert. This venue seats just 8,000 people, which means every seat in the outdoor amphitheater is a good one. This year’s lineup includes comedian Gabriel Iglesias, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the B-52s, Jake Owen, Michael McDonald and many others. An even more intimate space to see a local concert is The Hangar, with tribute bands performing nightly during the OC Fair.

 

All of the arenas and stages offer lively entertainment throughout the day and evening, from the jaw-dropping Peking Acrobats to the always-entertaining hypnotist (audience participation required) and Demolition Derby. An all-time favorite is the All Alaskan Racing Pigs, where eight pigs will race their little tails to the finish line. Grab a seat in the corral and watch the little piggies hustle!

 

Get your reality TV fix in person. On select days throughout the course of the Fair, chefs like Stéphane Tréand of Costa Mesa’s ST Patisserie Chocolat will showcase his talents creating delicate chocolate sculptures so beautiful, you almost won’t want to eat them. On July 27, the winner of Food Network’s “Chopped Jr.” in 2016, 14-year-old Mason Partak will once again put his skills to the test by competing live in a culinary competition with Chef Tréand. A full lineup of culinary demonstrations and intense competitions are planned and sure to make for great entertainment.

OC FAIR FOOD

Get a snack before a show, like a pie-sized soft pretzel, or wood-fired corn on the cob dressed with some mayo (or butter if you prefer), lemon juice and cayenne pepper for a kick.

 

Dinner or lunch options include burgers, tacos and a larger-than-usual handheld turkey leg, but there’s so much more. Having received accolades for creating the most unique fried items, it’s worth stopping by Chicken Charlie’s. Try the sample platter of mushrooms, artichokes and zucchini, deep-fried and served with ranch. Great way to get your daily serving of veggies! Or, go for the cheese curds – deep-fried and all. Plus each year, the OC Fair gives us something new try – like a hearty 5 lb. barbecued pig leg, or the Unicorn Pineapple Bomb that will have all the kids (and maybe adults) giddy about this tasty drink served in a pineapple garnished with rainbow candies!

 

The folks at the Fair know how good their food is, and they want you to try it all. So they created a sample size of many of the Fair foods – think fried, wrapped in bacon, or sprinkles of sugar on top. Every Thursday from noon to 4 p.m., samples of select Fair food are available for just $3.00.

 

Wine tasting with Orange County’s Wine Society gives you the opportunity to taste the best California wines from the 30,000 California wines entered into the OC Fair competition. Make this a stop on your journey through the Fair and enjoy a glass of wine with cheese and crackers. If you’re visiting on a weekend, check out the wine seminars. Sit back, sip and enjoy live music from the surrounding stages.

 

EXPLORE THE AWARD-WINNING FAIR EXHIBITS

DIY Inspiration can be found throughout the Fair, where Pinterest comes to life right in front of you. Find formal table settings, to award-winning jams and jellies and this year, some of the best brewers will have their craft beer blends on display.

 

And, if you’re a collector, or want to see someone else’s interesting collection, head over to the Centennial Farm area (inside adjacent to the award-winning produce display) and you’ll find collections of stamps, stuffed animals (think Ty Beanie Babies), Disney items, antique dolls and more.

PLAN YOUR VISIT AND MAKE A WEEKEND STAY OUT OF IT

With so much to do, there’s not enough time, but for 23 days this summer, you can return to the OC Fair to experience all it has to offer. You can always extend your stay in Costa Mesa to get the most out of the Fair, take a break at one of the nearby hotels, cool off and take a swim, or head to the beach for a day of relaxation.

 

OC Fair Admission is $12 during the week and $14 per person on the weekend. But there are also many ways to get discounts to the fair. A few of them are listed below.

Veterans and active-duty military personnel – Admission is always free with ID and their guests can purchase up to six half-price tickets.

We Care Wednesday – Get free admission and one free carnival ride when you donate items to select local nonprofits between noon and 3 p.m.

Kids Day – Each Thursday, children 12 and under get in free all day.

Best Deal Ever – On Saturdays and Sundays (from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.), Fairgoers can take advantage of half-price admission and carnival rides for half the usual number of tickets.

We hope to see you experience some good ‘ol “Farm, Fresh, Fun” this summer in Costa Mesa!

What ride, concert or event are you most excited to see?

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Posted in Events, Food, Locals, Misc, Music & Art, Play