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Posts Tagged ‘Shopping’

2024 Lunar New Year: Embrace the Year of the Dragon in Costa Mesa 

Posted on February 5, 2024 | 5:28pm

Lunar New Year is nearly here, and Costa Mesa is one of the best places to spend it. From dining to unique experiences, the city is brimming with ways to join in the festivities and welcome in the Year of the Dragon. 

About Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year is a celebration of the arrival of spring and the beginning of the new year on the lunisolar calendar. It is one of the most important holidays in China, and it is also widely celebrated by other cultures. It is a fifteen-day celebration marked by many traditions in the home, auspicious wishes, shopping and spending time with family. The fifteenth and final day of the holiday is celebrated as the Lantern Festival, marked to end the celebration. Lunar New Year is part of a larger cycle, moving through the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac, bringing us out of the year of the rabbit into the year of the dragon. The only mythological creature of the Chinese zodiac, the dragon symbolizes good luck, strength, and power. 

In 2024, Costa Mesa will kick off with several celebrations and special events on the weekend of February 9–11th, providing cultural experiences that will entertain, educate, and allow you to explore with family and friends. But it doesn’t end there—many places will have ongoing opportunities to celebrate throughout the month.

The Lunar New Year Experience at South Coast Plaza

Shop, Dine, and Celebrate

South Coast Plaza eateries will feature unique menu options, special offers, and activities to immerse you in the festive spirit of the Lunar New Year. Expect thematic decor, special shopping deals, and events throughout the month. Be sure to visit Jewel Court for a themed year of the dragon installation.

South Coast Plaza Lunar New Year Flavors

Paradise Dynasty 

Paradise Dynasty will offer six specialty dishes designed by their chef, including Singapore-style stir-fried black pepper lobster, steamed Chilean sea bass, braised pork, Paradise salted duck, and Dynasty sticky rice. Specialty dishes are available through March 31st. Hot Tip: If you arrive for the Lunar New Year, you will receive a lucky red envelope with a certificate for 20% off a future visit.

Afternoon Tea at Knife Pleat

This Michelin-starred restaurant is adding Lunar New Year-inspired additions to its Saturday afternoon tea service on February 10th, 17th, and 24th. Some of the unique items will include mini mooncakes, black sesame balls with mandarin filling, and chocolate gold coins. Hot Tip: For something stronger try their commemorative year of the dragon cocktail.

Lucky Dishes at Din Tai Fung

Known for its xiao long bao (soup dumplings), Din Tai Fung is a great stop for the whole family, where they will be serving up lucky Lunar New Year dishes. Adding to the luck, every guest will receive a red envelope with a surprise inside. Hot Tip: Arrive early to put in your name then explore South Coast Plaza while you await your call back. 

For Sweet Temptations

Laderach, Sugarfina, and See’s Candies will all feature limited-run Lunar New Year sweets. All make great gifts to take home to share the Lunar New Year cheer with friends and family.

More Year of the Dragon Specials

  • Terrace by Mix Mix: Offering a three-course prix fixe menu with Asian fusion flavors throughout February. Featuring shrimp spring roll lettuce wraps, glazed duck breast, and coconut panna cotta.
  • AnQi: Featuring a prix fixe Good Luck Menu February 10–11th, either as six courses or à la carte. Dig into crispy quail, Wagyu “pop tarts,” shrimp and lobster money bags, and more.
  • Water Grill: An immersive experience with festive decor, symbolic à la carte dishes, and garlic noodles (for luck and a long, joyous life). Ongoing from February 8–24th.

Lunar New Year Cultural Events

Pacific Symphony Lunar Year at Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Saturday, February 10th


Experience a celebration of communities coming together with performances of Eastern and Western music and dance at Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. A total of more than 200 performers will showcase their talents, including distinguished soloist Fei-Fei Dong performing Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy. Other performers of note include:

  • Acclaimed pipa player Yu Liu
  • Zither player Brian Bùi
  • Pacific Choral
  • The American Feel-Young Chorus
  • Armonia Singers
  • The Ya Ya Dance Academy 
  • Wendy Hua’s Violin Studio at Orange County Music and Dance

Tết Festival at OC Fair & Event Center

February 9th–11th

Hours vary by day

Experience the largest Vietnamese Lunar New Year Festival at the OC Fair & Event Center from February 9th through the 11th. This family-friendly celebration offers a memorable experience where you can merge fun and education, learning about Vietnamese culture in the best ways possible—through delectable food, traditional performances, and cultural exhibitions. General admission is $8, and children 2 years old and under get in for free. 

Event parking is $12.

OC Lantern Festival at Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Saturday, March 2nd


At the tail end of the Lunar New Year celebrations on March 2nd is the OC Lantern Festival held at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Free for the whole family, the event marks the end of the Lunar New Year season. Be dazzled by a lobby transformed with floating lanterns and the dive into the array of events, including music, dance, art making, food, riddles, and more. Then, it all culminates with a thrilling dragon dance held in the plaza!

Shen Yun at Segerstrom Center for the Arts

March 13th–17th

If the Lunar New Year celebrations have sparked your interest in learning more about the vibrant cultures across the continent of Asia, a performance of Shen Yun is a must see. This performance explores China’s rich 5000-year history through inspiring performances of classical Chinese dance and music with stunning costumes and backdrops. 

Stay the Night to Continue the Celebration

With Lunar New Year celebrations lasting fifteen days it’s a beautiful time of the year to extend your stay to experience everything this holiday has to offer. Start the Year of the Dragon with comfort and extensive amenities when you book an overnight stay at one of our eleven Costa Mesa hotels.

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Posted in Events

Shop Unique, Support Local: 15 Must-Visit Small Businesses in Costa Mesa

Posted on November 20, 2023 | 12:19pm

It’s …TIMEEE! Small Business Saturday is coming up on November 25th and you don’t have to look very far to find unique small shops in Costa Mesa. We’ve rounded up a list of 15 independently owned business you’ll want to support this holiday season.

1. Mellowist

You can take home a piece of living art when you shop at Mellowist on Randolph Street! Owners Jessica and DJ have carefully curated a unique selection of plants that are beautiful paired with locally crafted pottery.


If you need a gift for someone who loves exploring the outdoors, you have to check out SISU at the SOCO & The OC Mix. This sibling owned shop carries camping gear and home goods from brands you won’t be able to find anywhere else!

3. Lovely Curated Things

– photo by Lovely Curated Things

Female-owned women’s clothing boutique, Lovely Curated Things has a great selection of trendy and fashionable items. Score on unique vintage pieces, stylish boho clothes, and workwear staples without breaking your bank.

4. Work in Progress

– photo by @koralanne IG

If you love coffee and wine, make sure to visit Work in Progress at The CAMP. The relaxing environment and aesthetic décor make it the perfect spot for a midday caffeine or vino fix. And for those unexpected gifting situations, they offer bottled wine and a fun range of greeting cards.

5. Inspired Art Wine 

– photo by Inspired Art Wine

If you are looking for a fun group night out or memorable date night, we recommend booking a class at Inspired Art WineTake a step-by-step painting class while sipping on your favorite glass of wine! This relaxed space is a great way to tap into your inner artist and take a break from the holiday hustle and bustle.

6. Landers Supply House 

Landers Supply House is a must-visit unique hidden gem for shopping during the holidays. Their impressive range of vintage denim, jackets, jewelry, and western apparel is the perfect place to find a gift for someone who appreciates a unique, timeless piece.

7. Hadley & Ren Floral Co.

– photo by @phoebe_eats IG

Elevate your décor game this season with an everlasting floral bouquet from Hadley & Ren Floral Co. Their stunning collection of thoughtfully curated dried flowers are perfect for adding a unique, sophisticated touch to your holiday.


– photo by NEAT

Nestled in the heart of a local neighborhood, NEAT is a top choice for anyone looking for freshly brewed coffee and a warm welcoming vibe. If you need stocking stuffers, they have coffee bags from around the world, available for purchase!

9. Pürre Boutique

– photo by Pürre Boutique

Pürre Boutique is dedicated to offering organic, sustainable products, from natural apothecary items to timeless home goods and jewelry. Whether you’re treating yourself or looking for a thoughtful gift, they’ve got you covered.

10. Costa Mesa Ceramics Studio

– photo by @strelitzia_photo IG

Book a wheel-throwing class at Costa Mesa Ceramics Studio, where you can mold and shape clay into unique pottery pieces. Not much of an artist? Don’t worry, they have a lovely selection of handcrafted dinnerware and vases ready for purchase!

11. Fleur De Lys

– photo by Fleur De Lys

Started by two friends who envisioned a workplace where their dogs could tag along, Fleur De Lys has become one of Costa Mesa’s most popular shops! They have everything from beautiful stationery and home décor to well-appointed kitchenware. It’s almost impossible to walk out empty handed.

12. Fill Up Butter Cup 

– photo by Fill Up Butter Cup

Looking to shop more sustainably this holiday season? Fill Up Butter Cup is your one stop shop for home and body essentials that are biodegradable, compostable or can be easily recycled!

 13. Hola Adios Coffee

– photo by Hola Adios

Hola Adios Coffee is no ordinary coffee shop, it is inspired by the intrepid journeys of their green buyers, who spend weeks visiting coffee farmers across North, Central, and South America! They even offer a variety of artisan made products like blankets, baskets, and bags.

14. Period Correct

– photo by Period Correct

If someone on your list a self-described “car guy,” you can’t miss Period Correct. Their high-quality gear is influenced by racing, architecture, watches, and more. It’s all about premium materials, unique style, and exclusive collabs.

15. Rococo Boutique

Spoil the women in your life at Rococo Boutique. They offer a curated selection of high-quality clothing, jewelry, accessories and home goods.

Ready to shop small in Costa Mesa? Be sure to tag us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Threads. Don’t forget to use #ShopSmall and #ShopLocalCM!

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Posted in Shopping

Top 3 Ways to Beat the Heat and Unwind in Costa Mesa

Posted on August 13, 2020 | 8:27am

National Relaxation Day is August 15, but we think that any day you can relax is a reason to celebrate. Coming to Costa Mesa? Follow our guide to add a little zen to your visit. There are plenty of activities, shopping and dining open in Costa Mesa. Be sure to bring your masks because they are required. Can’t make the trip? Don’t worry. We have a relaxing virtual vacation as well.

Play outside

Get outdoors from some fresh air and the beauty of Costa Mesa parks. TeWinkle Park is particularly serene, with a lake and soothing waterfall. It’s the perfect backdrop to unwind with some yoga or reading. You can also hike or bike from Fairview Park or Talbert Regional Park to the beach.

If you’re making it a mini-break and staying overnight, lounge by one of our Costa Mesa hotel pools. All of our hotels offer increased safety and cleanliness procedures

The Pavilion at South Coast Plaza on July 29, 2020, in Costa Mesa, California. (Photo by Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging)

Shop in the open air

Indoor shopping may be closed, but Costa Mesa has a range of open-air shopping choices for everyone. The Pavilion at South Coast Plaza recently opened with 14 newly built suites on the second level of the North parking structure. You can pamper yourself with a private in-person shopping experience in elegant South Coast Plaza tradition. The Pavilion is available by complimentary appointment. Find out more information about reserving your suite, and participating boutiques, here.

Head over to The LAB and The CAMP for an array of small, local businesses in two unique settings. The LAB, which stands for “little American business,” has a variety of shops including  vintage clothing, zero waste and more. Across the street at The CAMP, you’ll find stores that celebrate the outdoor, eco-friendly vibe. 

For more information about which stores are currently open, visit our Costa Mesa Business Updates page.

Dine al fresco

Enjoy a delicious meal at one of Costa Mesa’s acclaimed restaurants while staying safe with innovative dining options. AnQi unveiled an unparalleled dining experience with their “An the Garden” patio dining. Guests can dine on small plates, AnQi’s signature dishes and Noodle Bar menu. Stay safe with the House of AN’s “Extra Care and Contactless Service,” which includes hermetically sealed silverware, UV blue-light wands and auto butler buzzers on each table.

Old Vine Kitchen & Bar recently opened OVKB The Roof, a beautiful rooftop dining space with socially distanced tables. Chef Mark McDonald also debuted an exciting new menu with wine pairing options by sommelier Kate Perry. 

To find out which restaurants offer patio dining, as well as takeout and delivery, visit our open restaurants page.

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Posted in Food, Hotels, Play, Shopping

Holidays Made Easy: Shop and Stay in Costa Mesa

Posted on November 13, 2019 | 2:31pm

Finding the perfect gifts during the holidays can be stressful. What if shopping for gifts were just as fun as watching loved ones open them? Forget online shopping. Costa Mesa has everything from luxury shopping to one-of-a-kind boutiques. So grab your best shopping partner and head to Costa Mesa for a relaxing getaway with our holiday hotel deals!

Where to Stay

The Westin South Coast Plaza with pool in front.

We love to shop in Costa Mesa and our hotels know it. Stay at Hilton Costa Mesa and enjoy their South Coast Shopping Package, which includes the South Coast Plaza VIP Passport and complimentary valet parking. Plan to do some serious shopping? The Westin South Coast Plaza offers a Shopper’s Delight package, complete with $100 gift certificate to South Coast Plaza. There’s even a bridge that connects to the shopping center. If you’re making a weekend of it, we’ve partnered with Residence Inn by Marriott to include a $100 South Coast Plaza gift certificate in their Shop and Stay in Costa Mesa package.

Where to Shop

South Coast Plaza bridge with a couple holding hands and shopping bags.

South Coast Plaza is the largest shopping center on the West Coast with over 250 retailers and 30 restaurants. They have designer boutiques, large department stores and both Apple and Microsoft stores. If you have a variety of people to get gifts for, or want to do all of your shopping in one place, then this is your destination. They’re open 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Black Friday too. Plus, you can relax at the full-service Spa Nordstrom after you’ve finished shopping.

Exterior of The Cheese Shop and We Olive & Wine Bar at SOCO & The OC Mix.

If Small Business Saturday is more your thing, we have shopping for you too. Go to Savory Spice Shop, The Cheese Shop, The Mixing Glass or We Olive & Wine Bar in SOCO & The OC Mix for the cook or cocktail enthusiast in your life. You can also check out their artisan boutiques and grab a bite or some coffee while you’re there. 

A couple drinking coffee with shopping bags at The LAB in Costa Mesa

Just a short drive away is The LAB, which is celebrating its 25th year of “anti-mallism.” The LAB (Little American Business) is just the place to find the perfect original and unconventional gift. Walk in to Prism Boutique for homeware, clothing and accessories or over to May Martin for handmade jewelry.

A couple holding hands shopping at The CAMP at night in Costa Mesa.

Across the street from The LAB is The CAMP, an eco-friendly retail center dedicated to healthy living and local community. Stop in SEED Peoples Market for home goods, outdoor gear, footwear and accessories. Purre Boutique and Baskets of Gold carry apparel and accessories, along with vegan and organic products. For a unique gift option, try Organic Designs by Aggelige for succulent arrangements, air plants, terrariums or cacti.

You can find something for everyone on your list—including yourself—in Costa Mesa. Want more suggestions on how to spend your Costa Mesa getaway (including a peek inside the South Coast Plaza VIP Lounge)? Check out these recommendations from Obsessed by Portia, Marcie in Mommyland and Maple Leopard.

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Posted in Hotels, Shopping

Use The Force: A Star Wars Weekend in Costa Mesa

Posted on December 20, 2017 | 12:25pm

Star Wars Costa Mesa

Were you one of the first to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi in Orange County last weekend? If you’re not – or, let’s be honest, if you plan to see it again – we’ve developed the perfect Costa Mesa movie night for you and yours because the holidays may be here and family is in town, but Star Wars waits for no one. Whether you’re planning to turn it into a date night or just heading out with friends, this plan has you covered.

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Posted in Food, Hotels, Shopping