After you’ve finished making your list of resolutions and getting your post-holiday workout in, check out these fun events. While some, like Winter Fest and the ice skating rink, are events continuing from the end of last year, others are new for the New Year and have plenty to offer those interested in fitness, food, entertainment, nature and more.
Monday, January 1
Winter Fest
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa

This fun winter festival, which launched only a few days before Christmas, continues until January 7. Make sure to stop by to enjoy the ice skating rink, tubing, snow play area, festive holiday lights, carnival rides, games and more.

Morning-After Brunch
EATS Kitchen & Bar, Irvine

After a night of celebrating the end of 2017 and welcoming 2018, what could be better than brunch? Start the year deliciously with dishes like shrimp and grits, chicken chilaquiles, steak with tater tots or the special morning-after burger. Don’t forget the bottomless mimosas.

Commitment Day 5K
Life Time Athletic, Laguna Niguel

Commit to your goals for the New Year by starting out strong. This fun run is great for the whole family, encouraging participants to “walk, jog, stroll or run” to the finish line to earn race medals. Following the run, there will be a brunch social to enjoy.

Surf City Splash
Zack’s Pier Plaza, Huntington Beach

Start the year in a unique way—with a dip in the freezing Pacific Ocean. Before that, though, enjoy a pancake breakfast and recognition for things like Best Sea Creature Costume and Youngest Participant. Proceeds will benefit the Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum for the 18th year.

Tuesday, January 2
Tide Pool Hike
Ocean Institute, Dana Point

An educator from the institute will lead this walk and talk, which takes guests to the nearby tide pools to search for sea stars, snails, crabs and more. The 8:30 a.m. hike will also detail what king tides are and why they are helpful for researching.

District Freeze Ice Rink
The District at Tustin Legacy, Tustin

Through the middle of the month, guests can strap on ice skates and take to the ice for a memorable trip around the rink. Seasonal music and festive lighting are added once the sun sets, giving the real ice an extra special touch.

Debra DiGiovanni
Improv Comedy Club, Irvine

Canadian comedian Debra DiGiovanni will grace the improv stage this week so stop by for some laughter after the stress of the holiday season. A favorite at comedy festivals and multi-award winner, she is sure to thrill audiences as a major player in the industry.

Wednesday, January 3
Casa Wellness: Yoga
Casa Romantica, San Clemente

Wellness activities are important at the start of any year, and 2018 is no different. Join other yogis at this cultural center in South Orange County for an early morning yoga class ideal for beginners and seasoned practitioners. Moves will be inspired by multiple yoga traditions.

Discovery Hike
Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Aliso Viejo

A Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer will lead visitors on a five-mile hike over steep, uneven terrain for an adventurous mid-week fitness adventure. The leader will point out native flora and fauna as experienced hikers enjoy the strenuous trip.

Discounted Late Nights
Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach

Stop by the museum after 5 p.m. to receive discounted admission to the aquarium, where you’ll have the chance to explore exhibits featuring frogs, jellyfish, sea otters, penguins, sharks and more. Observe the animals at night or take advantage of the opportunity to touch a shark.

Thursday, January 4

Screening of “Shakespeare in Love”
The Frida Cinema, Santa Ana

In honor of South Coast Repertory’s upcoming performance inspired by the 1998 film, The Frida Cinema presents a screening of the movie, which tells the story of a young William Shakespeare and the inspiration derived from a love affair with a local theater-goer.

First Thursdays Art Walk
Various Locations, Laguna Beach

Wander the local art galleries as many artists are on-site to discuss their works during January’s monthly art walk. The event always aligns with a slew of exhibit openings and artist receptions to make a night of gazing at art extra special, with many galleries offering wine and appetizers.

Pasta and Unwind
House of Blues, Anaheim

After spending the holiday season cooking up lavish meals, take a break and enjoy one being prepared for you at the new House of Blues. In addition, the evening doubles as one of the venue’s DSCVR Thursdays so stick around after your meal to stumble upon new local artists in the Foundation Room.

Friday, January 5
Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire
Downtown Disney, Anaheim

This special immersive virtual reality experience is unlike anything you’ve experienced before, complete with a Star Wars theme. In groups of four, guests will compete amongst interactive sets and real-time effects to recover Imperial intelligence that is vital to the rebellion’s survival.

“The Romance of Prague and the Glory of Vienna”
LCAD Gallery, Laguna Beach

Students from the Laguna College of Art + Design studied abroad over the summer, and this exhibition is the result of their experience. View original paintings, drawings and photographs that reveal artist expressions of the beauty and architecture of Prague and Vienna.

2018 College Hockey Classic
Honda Center, Anaheim

The NCAA division I hockey classic brings female college players to the ice in Anaheim for a meet-up to remember. Two days in a row, New York’s St. Lawrence University will take on Missouri’s Lindenwood University, with a few players formerly of the local Lady Ducks youth hockey program.

Saturday, January 6
Monster Energy Supercross
Angel Stadium, Anaheim

Get your adrenaline pumping with this amped up supercross event. Riders like the 2017 Monster Energy Cup winner Marvin Musquin will return to the stadium to showcase his skills amongst other riders while a variety of monster trucks will also be on-site for some stellar action. The event will take place again on January 20.

Bride World Expo
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa

Gather inspiration and ideas for your upcoming wedding at this expo, which will offer up a variety of wedding dresses, booths from local vendors and DIY seminars. Visitors can speak with representatives for everything from venues and photographers to makeup artists and caterers.

Dia de los Reyes
Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa

Celebrate Three Kings Day with this free event on the new Argyros Plaza. In addition to live music, guests will be treated to photo booths, craft stations, a community procession, raffle prizes, storytelling and Rosca de Reyes—the Kings’ cake.

Sunday, January 7

Champagne Sunday Brunch
Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen, Irvine

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., stop by Cha Cha’s for a lively Sunday brunch. In addition to live music and bottomless mimosas, diners will enjoy a delicious menu filled with things like empanadas, pozole verde, spicy shrimp ceviche, chile con queso, huevos rancheros, homemade enchiladas and more.

Butterfly Garden Volunteer Day
William R. Mason Regional Park, Irvine

On the first Sunday of the month, help the park create a butterfly sanctuary with beautiful plants. Expect to learn special tips while you work. While gardening, you’ll find it’s easy to make new friends as well. All tools will be provided, but participants should bring sunscreen and water.

Festival of India
Bowers Museum, Santa Ana

Experience a whole new culture through music and dance as Ramya Harishankar’s Arpana Dance Company and other artists come together to showcase dances from various regions of India, from Bollywood funk to classic Indian numbers. There will also be arts & crafts, face painting and Indian desserts available during the event.

Ashley Ryan is an Orange County native that loves traveling, live music and photography. She blogs at Pure Wander and freelances for a variety of publications including Newport Beach Magazine and Laguna Beach Magazine.


Leave a Reply