San Diego New Years Eve Activities


by Roberta Murphy

New Year's EveMany know that our family spent a number of years in Big Bear Lake, and there began our annual New Year’s Eve party tradition.

In those days, our home was large enough to accommodate not only our on-and-off-the-mountain friends, but all their kids as well. There was always snow on the ground–and the celebration remained indoors.

These days, the home is smaller, but many of the same friends–and their now-grown children–still attend the Murphy New Year’s Eve gathering. And with our balmy San Diego weather, at least half the revelry occurs outdoors.

For those in San Diego who aren’t planning to attend our New Year’s Eve party, there are plenty of other venues which offer (or so we hear) some outstanding ways to ring in 2008–with or without children.

Some favorites:

La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad is hosting dual events at both its Blue Fire Grill ($80 to $95 for adults, $35 for children 5-12, under 5 FREE) and the newly reopened La Costa Legends Bistro ($65 adults, same as Blue Fire for children). Blue Fire offer includes pre fixe dinner and complimentary glass of champagne at midnight. The Legends Bistro New Year’s Eve event offers entertainment and a pre fixe dinner served until 11 p.m. Midnight toasts, though, can be made in the La Costa Bar upstairs. For information and reservations, call 800-854-5000 and press option 6.

Four Seasons in Aviara offers three different venues. Their signature Italian restaurant Vivace offers a 5-course pre fixe dinner for $180. Their more casual Argyle Steak House offers a 4-course $180 pre fixe dinner with entertainment from 7 to 11. Aviara Four Seasons California Bistro is presenting a 4-course pre fixe dinner for $110 with a separate children’s menu. Local residents, diners and Four Seasons hotel guests may also wish to pay a $60 cover charge per person for music, dancing and midnight ball drop–with festivities ending at 1 a.m. No host bar. For more information or reservations, call 760-603-6800.

2008 Escondido First Night has to be the best family New Year’s Eve bargain in San Diego County. The tickets ($10 in advance, $15 at the door) for this alcohol-free celebration include activities for all ages, live entertainment all night, storytellers, ventriloquist, face painting, puppet shows,, fireworks and more. Food available from great restauranats and local vendors. This famous annual event is held in the historic Grape Day Park, Escondido City Hall and the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. For additional information, call 760-715-4448.

New Year’s Eve Jazz Spectacular held at the La Jolla Hyatt Regency has to be a list topper. Billed as San Diego’s favorite New Year’s Eve Party (almost–don’t forget the Murphy party), the event may already be sold out, and Countdown at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla returns with an incredible line up of Smooth Jazz performers, which include Euge Groove, Peter White, Richard Elliot and Oli Silk in the Grand Ballroom. You can also dance the night way in Michael’s Lounge. Champagne toasts, noisemakers and the indoor countdown to 2008 will take place in Barcino’s Grand Foyer. Tickets are $135 per person for admission, $150 for reserved table seating, and $249 for premier dinner seating Call (858) 552-6000 for event details.

91X Big Night at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina promises to be a rocking New Year’s Eve for 3500 San Diego revelers. It’s an enormous event that includes all drinks and food, 12 unique party areas, 6 dance floors, 11 party bands and DJ’s–all for ticket prices that start at around $130 and range up to $180 (and possibly more). Discount rooms at the Sheraton may also be available (if not already sold out). For additional information call 877-77-CLICK.

Peartrees’ New Years Eve Gala Aboard the Midway Aircraft Carrier promises to be a memorable event. After all, how many non-Naval people can say they’ve rung in a New Year aboard a famous aircraft carrier? The San Diego skyline views will be fabulous, as will be Peartree’s catered dinner stations and the entertainment provided by the Big Daddy Orchestra. Black tie optional. Cost is $159 per person and includes hosted bar, dining, entertainment and dancing. For additional information and reservations, call 619-575-5500.

New Year’s Eve at the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego (One Market Place) promises to be a glitzy and yummy affair. Dine at Sallys Seafood on the Water ($125 per-person for a prix-fixe, four-course menu) or a New Year’s Eve dining extravaganza at Lael’s for just $65 per person. BIG BONUS: There will be a no-cover charge party in the Grand Lobby Bar with the Keith Jackson Jazz Trio performing from 4 to 8 p.m. –and the lively Uncle Boogie Band performing from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. For reservations and information, call 1 619 232 1234.

This short list by no means covers all the New Year’s Eve celebrations taking place in greater San Diego. The Gaslamp District will be full of festivities as will hotels and night clubs throughout the county.

Our advice: Drive safely, soberly and defensively.

Our goal for all: A safe arrival into 2008!