Where to party it up this New Year's Eve
Things to do on 12.31.2011.
If a quiet New Year’s Eve at home just isn’t your thing, there are plenty of local party options for the kick-off party of the year. Whether you’re looking for something to do with the family, an elegant dinner with champagne toast at midnight or an all-out rock ‘n dance party with 500 or so of your new closest friends, there’s something for everyone this New Year’s Eve.
Most events require reservations and tend to sell-out quickly, so call ahead.
For more New Year’s happenings, go to events.orangecounty.com.
21st Annual First Night Fullerton – A family-friendly New Year’s Eve event that focuses on visual and performing arts while offering an alternative to the traditional celebrations. There are numerous activities for kids including an ice skating rink, live music, food vendors and more with a spectacular fireworks display going off promptly at midnight. 7 p.m. Downtown Fullerton, between Wilshire and Commonwealth Avenues off Harbor Blvd., Fullerton. Free admission; $2-$7 per activity. 714-738-6545.
For those of you who like to party their pants off check out the Grove in Anaheim. Their “Drop the New Year’s Eve Party” will feature top DJ’s such as Bart B More, R3hab, Nicky Romero, PeaceTreaty, Mr. White, and DirtyRock. Last year was a little more refined, but this year’s party looks to get everyone shufflin’ and fist pumping into the New Year. Check out The Grove at Anaheim’s website for more details and to purchase tickets.
New Year’s Eve with Pablo Francisco – Celebrate New Year’s Eve with the man of a million voices (including his famous “movie guy” impression) with two special shows. The first gig includes a dinner package with salad, choice of prime rib, blackened Mahi Mahi or honey bistro shrimp pasta entrees and chocolate mousse for dessert. Dinner includes a complimentary glass of champagne. General admission tickets are also available for $35 and include a glass of champagne per guest. The later show includes free flowing champagne, an appetizer platter for two and New Year’s Eve party favors. 7:30 & 10 p.m. Brea Improv, 120 S. Brea Blvd., Brea. $65 dinner show; $35 general admission includes one glass of champagne. $65 per person for the 10 p.m. countdown show. 21+ only. 714-482-0700.
Giant New Year’s Eve Dance Party – Celebrate New Year’s Eve with Christian singles from all over Southern California in this alcohol-free event featuring live music, mixer games, party favors, dance lessons, snacks and evening communion. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Cal State Fullerton Titan Student Union Building, 800 N. State College Blvd., Fullerton. $39 prepaid; $50. 21+ only. 714-210-3337.
New Year’s Eve with Iration – An evening of reggae music featuring Santa Barbara-based band Iration with Seedless and Micah Brown opening. 9 p.m. House of Blues, 1530 S. Disneyland Drive, Anaheim. $37.50-$42.50. 714-778-2583.
New Year’s Eve with Rude Boys Outta Jail – Rock out this New Year’s Eve with Rude Boys Outta Jail plus special guest DJs and a champagne toast at midnight. Dinner and table reservations available. 10 p.m., open earlier for dinner. Slidebar Rock-N-Roll Kitchen, 122 E. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton. Free admission before 10 p.m. 714-871-2233.
Speakeasy New Year's Party – The Cellar Restaurant is going to be shut down for one night for violation of the National Prohibition Act of 1920. Mr. Dudley is not going to let fuzz ruin his annual New Years Eve Party. All you fellas grab your gals and come celebrate the New Year at an authentic speakeasy. The evening includes a 1920's inspired menu, champagne toast at mid-night, music from the era, and a slew of fun surprises inspired by the roaring 20's. Costumes are welcome so come as your favorite gangster or flapper. 8:30 p.m.-1 a.m. The Cellar, 305 N. Harbor Blvd., Fullerton. $80; Tables of four: $320. 714-525-5682.
New Years Eve Celebration at Heat Ultra Lounge – Ring in the New Year with Heat Ultra Lounge with a live video countdown, DJs spinning all night long, a champagne toast at midnight and a massive balloon and confetti drop. There will also be a laser light show and a view of Disneyland’s New Year’s Eve fireworks show. 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Heat Ultra Lounge, 321 W. Katella Ave., Anaheim. $25-$35; Bottle service packages also available. 877-655-4328.
White Wonderland – Fall down the rabbit hole and experience this White Wonderland, featuring various artists on a massive stage including Kaskade, Benny Benassi, Paul van Dyk and Dada Life. This is a two-day event held New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. 6 p.m. Dec. 31 and 7 p.m. Jan. 1. Anaheim Convention Center, 800 W. Katella Ave., Anaheim. $75- $250.
"Ring in the New Year " Fireworks Spectacular – Celebrate magical beginnings of all kinds with your loved ones as you behold this special fireworks display. Enjoy all of the other holiday-specific Disney attractions as well. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Disneyland Resort, 1313 S. Harbor Blvd., Anaheim. $80-$150 ages 10 and up, $74-$99 ages 3-9. 714-781-4565.
New Year's Bash with Kenny Sara & the Sounds of New Orleans – Ring in the New Year with some “foot tapping musical gumbo” courtesy of Kenny Sara and the Sounds of New Orleans and enjoy authentic New Orleans cuisine courtesy of the Jazz Kitchen. 8:15 p.m.-midnight. Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen, 1590 S. Disneyland Dr., Anaheim. Free admission. 714-776-5200.
New Year’s Eve with ATB – Spend New Year’s Eve with famed German DJ ATB (Andre Tanneberger). Dance the night away to ATB’s trance/dance music along with Manufactured Superstars. 9 p.m. The Observatory, 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana. $100. 21+ only. 949-777-3010.
2nd Annual New Years Noon Party – Don't want to keep the kids up until midnight? Children will celebrate New Year’s at noon with a hat and shaker craft, Ginger Ale toast, a balloon drop and dancing. 11 a.m.-Noon (RSVP by Dec. 28). Children's Museum, 301 S. Euclid St., La Habra. La Habra residents: $7; $6 Museum members; Free for children under 2. 562-905-9793.
New Year’s Eve Block Party – One of O.C.’s biggest New Year’s Eve bashes including numerous musical acts including classic rock, pop and current artist tribute acts (the Beatles, Jim Morrison, the Who, Elton John, David Bowie, AC/DC, Pearl Jam, Green Day and more). There will also be dueling piano performances, comedy acts, a casino, carnival rides and games and DJ party zones. A variety of the area’s most popular food trucks will be on-site during the party and various other food booths and scattered mini bars. 7:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa. $40-$55 admission; $10-$20 parking. 714-708-1500.
Great Park’s Family New Year’s Eve – Celebrate early with family and friends in a safe, secure environment and still be home by 10 p.m. to watch the official ball drop. This family-friendly occasion features live music, dancing, food, carousel rides, games and activities for kids in an alcohol-free environment. 5:30-9:30 p.m. Orange County Great Park, at Sand Canyon Ave. and Marine Way , Irvine. Free admission; $10 parking. 866-829-3829.
Annual New Year’s Eve Bash – An evening of live local music and drink specials. 9 p.m. Detroit Bar, 843 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa. $20. 21+ only. 949-642-0600.
New Year’s Eve with Craig Shoemaker – Ring in the New Year with the Lovemaster, comedian Craig Shoemaker with two shows to choose from. The first gig includes a dinner package with salad, choice of prime rib, blackened Mahi Mahi or honey bistro shrimp pasta entrees and chocolate mousse for dessert. Dinner includes a complimentary glass of champagne. General admission tickets are also available for $40 and include a glass of champagne per guest. The later show includes the countdown package with cheese, fruit and cracker platters per each couple, free flowing champagne and New Year’s Eve party favors. 7:30 & 10 p.m. Irvine Improv, 71 Fortune Drive, Irvine. $75 for 7:30 p.m. dinner package; $40 general admission. $75 per person for the 10 p.m. countdown show. 21+ only. 949-854-5455.
New Year's Eve British Invasion – Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Downtown Huntington Beach with tribute acts to the Sex Pistols and the Clash. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Gallagher's Pub & Grill, 300 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach. Free admission. 714-536-242.
If the party scene isn’t your thing, try something a little mellower and head out to the famous Huntington Beach pier for a final surf set for the last day of 2011. Wash away the old and begin anew. Who knows what local celebrity surfers you might see paddling out.
Still going to be at the beach January 1st, then you might as well participate in the 12th Annual Surf City Splash at the Huntington Beach Pier, where hundreds of locals will come out, some in outrageous costumes, to conquer the frigid waters of the Pacific all to help raise funds for the local surfing museum and other charities. For more info check out website.
New Year's with Galway Hookers – Really ring in the New Year with Irish rockers Galway Hookers. Free champagne for all at midnight. Full menu served until 10 p.m. 8 p.m.-midnight. Fitzgerald’s Pub, 19171 Magnolia St., Huntington Beach. $6 cover. 714-968-4523.
A Midnight Kiss 2012 – A magical New Year’s Eve party with three rooms of entertainment, an open bar and VIP specialty bar. There will be DJs spinning Top 40, and hits from the ‘80s and ‘90s in the upstairs ballroom. There will also be complimentary light snacks, veggie platters and desserts will be offered as well. There will also be a champagne toast, party favors and two balloon drops going on at midnight. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Wyndham Orange County, 3350 Avenue of the Arts, Costa Mesa. $85-$125. 714-751-5100.
New Year’s Eve with Don the Beachcomber – Ring in the New Year with live music, a complimentary appetizer buffet, free champagne toast and balloon drop at midnight and an appearance by magician Steve Owens. Guests will also receive free party favors and enjoy the countdown to 2012 on the giant TVs located within the restaurant. Signature cocktails and beer specials will be available throughout the evening. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Don the Beachcomber, 16278 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach. $30-$40 per person. 562-592-1321.
9th Annual New Years Eve Yacht Party – Celebrate New Year’s Eve in style aboard Newport Harbor’s most elegant, oversized luxury yacht, the Majestic. The Majestic has various outdoor desk and two large dance floors. The party includes: A four-hour luxury cruise through Newport Harbor, premium open-bar all night, a champagne greeting, an appetizer buffet court and party favors. 8:30 p.m.-1 a.m. Majestic Yacht, 2901 W. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach. $159-$185. 949-378-9971.
Free New Year’s Eve Party – A free New Year’s Eve event with live entertainment featuring duo James Ide and Kevin Smith performing reggae, pop, classic rock and hip-hop music from 8 p.m.-1 a.m. There will also be complimentary appetizers and desserts from 10 p.m.-midnight, a champagne toast at midnight and party hats and blow horns. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. House of Big Fish and Ice Cold Beer, 540 S. Coast Hwy. Suite 200, Laguna Beach. No Cover Charge. (949) 715-4500.
Free New Year’s Eve Party – An evening of complimentary appetizers and desserts courtesy of K’ya Bistro Bar from 10 p.m.-midnight, live entertainment with Andrew Corradini in the grand lobby from 8 p.m.-1 a.m., a complimentary champagne toast at midnight and party favors including hats, blow horns and confetti. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Hotel La Casa del Camino, 1287 S. Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach. Free admission. 949-497-2446.
11th Annual Family and Friends New Year’s Eve – An alcohol-free celebration featuring family-friendly entertainment, visual arts, interactive art activities, games and food booths. 5-9 p.m. Civic Center Plaza, 22232 El Paseo, Rancho Santa Margarita. Free admission. 949-635-1800.
New Year’s Eve with Dada – Ring in the New Year with rock outfit Dada with openers Groove Kitty and Relative Motion. 8 p.m. The Coach House, 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano. $50. 949-496-8930.
New Year’s Dinner and Masquerade Ball – Celebrate New Year’s in three different time zones with chef attended food stations featuring cuisines from around the world. There will also be live entertainment courtesy of a local orchestra playing rock ‘n’ roll to Broadway classics and a champagne toast at midnight. 7 p.m.-1 a.m. Back Bay Bistro, 1131 Back Bay Drive, Newport Beach. $85 per person. 949-729-1144.
New Year's Eve Dinner & Celebration – A fabulous celebration to ring in the New Year that includes a four-course dinner prepared by executive chef Andres Jimenez along with four-hours of live entertainment and a midnight champagne toast. Reservations are required and overnight packages at the hotel are available. 8 p.m.-midnight. The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, One Ritz-Carlton Dr., Dana Point. $375 per person. 949-240-2000.
JUST OUTSIDE THE COUNTY
30th Annual First Class New Year’s Eve Celebration – Ring in the New Year aboard the Queen Mary with seven parties featuring various musical acts, countless culinary creations and two fireworks displays all wrapped into just one night. 6 p.m.; Fireworks displays are at 9 p.m. and midnight. Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach. $99 per person; $199 Royal VIP; Deluxe dining and room packages are also available. Call ahead for reservations. 800-437-2934.
The last event is a tradition spanning over 120 years. Celebrated every 1st of the New Year, it is none other than the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena. It is advisable that tickets for bleacher seating is already sold out, but if you plan on finding a spot on the curb head out nice and early or find a spot the night before and camp out on the streets. Just a reminder that this year’s parade will be held on January 2nd as the “never on a Sunday” tradition comes to effect. If you don’t make it out, there is always the local television station to view the parade. For more info on the Tournament of Roses view the website HERE.