Costa Mesa

Museum After Midnight: OCMA to Hold a Free 24-Hour Opening Party

Celebrate the Orange County Museum of Art's new Costa Mesa location with a supersized celebration.


What to Know

  • Orange County Museum of Art's Grand Opening Celebration
  • Free; 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 9
  • Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa

Exploring a magical museum at 1 or 2 o'clock in the morning, while the moon is high and the crickets are chirping and the streets are silent and the various artworks seem even more enchanted, is the sweet stuff of storybooks.

But finding a real-world institution that's pushing a party into the wee smalls of the night, the quiet hours leading up to first rays of the day?

True, some museums will stay open through to 6 p.m., or perhaps a little later, but the treasures are generally locked up tight come midnight.

Something special is brewing in Costa Mesa, however, and it involves the brand-new address of the Orange County Museum of Art.

The art institution, formerly located in Newport Beach, is throwing one out-sized grand opening, an ebullient bash that's so big that it will take 24 festive hours to complete.

That celebration begins at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8 at the eye-catching museum, which is now holding grand court at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts campus.

There are five debuting exhibitions to call upon while savoring the free festivities, and moving about the 53,000-square-foot museum?

Visitors absolutely should, all to soak in the magical Morphosis design, with its unexpected folds, striking slopes, and thrilling curves.

The new museum has about 50% more exhibition space, compared to its former home, meaning art fans will want to plan additional time for art-fun adventuring.

The 24-hour party has several exciting elements, so perusing the schedule, to decide what you'd like to experience, is recommended.

A drumline, with fireworks, will open the proceedings, while the Pacific Chorale will perform at 6 o'clock. Symphonic pieces, dancing on the museum's rooftop, a silent disco, movie screenings, sound baths, aura photography, art activities, and sunrise yoga are some of the other treats to be found during the mondo opening ceremonies.

There will be three fireworks presentations, should you want to see one or all: At the opening, the closing, and midnight.

And if you're curious about what will be afoot at 3 a.m., a very unlikely hour for any cultural destination to be open? It's about ensorcelled as you'd expect: A "Witching Hour" event will focus on tarot readings.

You're welcome to stop by at any point during the day-long, 5-p.m.-to-5-p.m. party, and join whatever events that intrigue you.

Or if you're up for it? Stay for most if not all of the celebration, if you're feeling it.

The five opening exhibitions will just be getting their shared starts as the party concludes; the "California Biennial 2022: Pacific Gold" and "13 Women" are just two of the shows.

Check them all out here, as well as other visiting details, and make a date to visit the return, and newest chapter, of one of our state's most venerable, vibrant, and now-reinvented museums.

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