New Irvine 2015

The new year is just around the corner and with that comes plenty to get excited about around Irvine. New businesses are opening and entertainment options continue to grow, further diversifying the city's already varied offerings. Here are just a few of the things in Irvine to get excited about in 2015.

  • UC Irvine will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2015. The school will feature a variety of events throughout the year under the theme "Bright Past, Brilliant Future". UCI has set up a special website highlighting the history of the school and planning of anniversary events, including the jubilee scheduled for Oct 2-4 which will include a Festival of Discovery.
  • The Hilton Garden Inn Irvine/OC Airport (2381 Morse) is scheduled to open March 15, making it Irvine's 16th hotel property and bringing the city's total room count to 3,870. The hotel will cater to both the business and weekend leisure traveler and plans to offer complimentary shuttle and parking. It will feature 170 guest rooms, 6 suites, a restaurant, bar, and 2,000 square feet of meeting space.
  • Located next to the massive Irvine Spectrum Center, Los Olivos Marketplace, a 120,000-square-foot specialty shopping center is scheduled to open in late 2015. The center will feature casual dining, shops, and the first Whole Foods Market in Irvine.

  • The Segerstrom Center for the Arts has a full calendar of entertainment set for 2015. Highlights include Sleeping Beauty put on by the American Ballet Theatre (March 3-8), Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg (June 5-7), Dirty Dancing (Feb 3-15), Annie (May 13-24), The Phantom of the Opera (August 5-16), Motown the Musical (June 16-28) and Guys and Dolls (April 14-19). For a full calendar of offerings visit the Segerstrom website.

  •  The newest grocery store to join Irvine's diverse ethnic markets is Seafood City, an incredibly popular chain of Filipino grocery stores known for its produce, bakery, and yes, its seafood. Inside the store is Jollibee which is a bit like the Filipino version of Mc Donald's, Red Ribbon Bakery which features beautiful light-weight pastries and flaky empanadas, and Valerios Tropical Bakery, known for its pan del sal.
  • Diamond Jamboree  is Orange County's international restaurant destination featuring over a dozen different ethnic dining options. Recently the center released a Diamond Jamboree gift card which allows guests to purchase one gift card to use at several participating restaurants throughout the center, making it a great gift. Best of all, the card gives users 10% off their bill, adding to its value. 

  • Fulfill your inner Willie Wonka by taking a tour at ChocXO , Irvine's bean to bar chocolate factory at the Irvine Spectrum Center. During the one hour tour you will learn how the chocolate bean is fermented and dried, view the factory, and sample raw cacao pulp. cocoa nibs, cocoa liquor, chocolate bar, filled chocolate, and even chocolate bark. Yum!

  • Burntzilla is planning on opening in the Trader Joes plaza at Walnut and Culver, making it the first brick and mortar store for two of Orange County's favorite food trucks.  Dogzilla is known for its menu of wildly tasty gourmet hot dogs while The Burnt Truck's focus is on delectable gourmet sliders. No official opening date has been set but we think the two are sure to be a winning combination!

  • The Jeffrey Open Space Trail will be having its official ribbon cutting on January 10th, officially opening two of the four sections of the trail. The trail is designed to have a woodsy feel and will connect the Woodbury, Stonegate, and Cypress Villages. The 3.5-mile trail will feature plaques and monuments highlighting region's history.

  • Pretend City, Irvine's hand-on childrens museum, has plenty of education fun in the works for kids. The year begins with a brand new dental exhibit and the tranformation of their pretend cafe into the Veg-N-Out Café in January. On Feb 2nd, the museum will be celebrating the opening of their new Imagination Playground. Families also have a Tales of Korea exhibit, set to open May 25th, to look forward to in the new year.