New Years Day can be a tricky one for families. Football games are on all day, but you don’t necessarily want to plant yourself in front of the television all day. More to the point, your kids probably won’t let you. While a lot of places close for New Years Day, you can still find some great ways to spend the first day of the year that involve more than just sitting on the couch and watching football. Try these events to entertain your family on New Years Day.
Winter Fest OC
88 Fair Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(657) 333-2520
www.winterfestoc.com

It is nice to live in a place that has perfect weather throughout the year, but residents of Orange County have to go elsewhere if they want a white holiday season. Winter Fest OC brings real winter to the OC Fairgrounds. Here you and your family can enjoy a tubing slide that is 150 feet long. Ice skating is another activity you can enjoy here. Instead of watching bowl games all day, bring the family to Winterfest for the kind of activities that aren’t normally available here. Winterfest is open from noon to 10 on New Years Day. 

Commitment Day 5K
25600 Rancho Niguel Road 
Laguna Niguel, CA 92618
(949) 428-3900
www.commitmentday.com

Commitment Day is a movement to commit to someone or something that is important to you on New Years Day. You can take the opportunity to commit to more time with your family and to a healthy lifestyle. This event is a great way to get some exercise with your family after maybe indulging a bit too much over the holidays. The race starts at 10, but you don’t have to run. Walking the five kilometers is fine, and it’s a good way to get out of the house on the first day of the year.

Ice Skating at Irvine Spectrum
670 Irvine Spectrum Center Drive
Irvine, CA 92618
(949) 753-5180
shopirvinespectrumcenter.com

Ice skating at the Spectrum is a good way to get a winter experience in Orange County. Every year the rink is open from late November until early January. While other people recover from New Years revelry or watch football, you can bring the family here to enjoy some time together. Skating on New Years Day is from 1 until 11. Check the website for session times. Skates and socks are available for rental.

Surf City Splash and Pancake Breakfast
405 Pacific Coast Highway 
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
(714) 698-9837
www.hbsurfcitysplash.com

At the best of times, the water at Orange County beaches isn’t as warm as other beach destinations. It can be downright chilly even through some of the summer. If you want to experience it on January 1, this is the event for you and your family. It begins with a pancake breakfast at 9. Afterward awards are handed out to the oldest participant, youngest participant, and others. At noon, all the participants dash into the ocean that is sure to serve as a wake-up. Proceeds from this event benefit the Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum.

Dinosaur Time Trek: Shark Edition
800 W Katella Ave.
Anaheim, CA 92802
(714) 765-8950
www.dinosaurtimetrek.com

Kids have long been fascinated by dinosaurs. This event gives kids the feeling of going back in time to when dinosaurs lived. You’ll find hands-on activities here that your kids will love. You can buy your tickets for any time slot during the day, and once you’re inside, you can stay as long as you like. That means that your kids can explore the world of dinosaurs until they’re completely satisfied. Check the website for ticket prices. Parking is an additional cost at the Anaheim Convention Center.

By Gary Schwind
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