Food & Restaurants

27 Top Things to Do in Orange County, California

The Orange County region of Southern California is home to some of the state’s signature sights, including Laguna Beach, Mission San Juan Capistrano and Disneyland. Golden shores smothered in sunshine, along with a few of the country’s top amusement parks, make this SoCal destination an obvious vacation choice. At times less obvious are Orange County’s diverse roots, which can be experienced through historic cultural centers, art installations and incredible fusion cuisine.

Alongside relaxed waterfront dining, spectacular hiking and al fresco shopping are many sites that traverse centuries of history. Californians are painted as carefree, but they’ve found many worthy causes as well, which include helping at-risk youth with a private car collection; teaching kids – and adults – about agriculture with free gardening classes; or simply donating to charity with a portion of each lavish lunch bill.

So while the many allures of Orange County are as clear as the sparkling Pacific, be sure to dive beneath the surface during your visit. You might find a hidden bar behind a bookshelf, or a deeper human story behind each city’s citrus glow.

Disneyland Resort

The original Disney theme park, Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, is an obvious choice for a few days of play in Orange County. Disneyland’s many activities and attractions have been wooing families for decades, but it’s worth noting that Disney is no longer just about the Mouse. The franchise now offers the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge area along with Avengers Campus, where kids can train to be the next generation of superheroes. Disney-themed food and beverage options have also expanded beyond pizza and nuggets to incorporate each park more fully. In Galaxy’s Edge, for example, you can seek out Luke Skywalker’s blue milk or head to Ronto Roasters for a wrap “prepared” by droids. The one-of-a-kind drinks and snacks do add up, but the many dining options are a fun way to immerse yourself and your family in the wonder of Disney’s worlds.

Disneyland Resort comprises two theme parks: Disneyland Park is the main one, with areas such as Galaxy’s Edge and Tomorrowland, while Disneyland California Adventure Park houses Avengers Campus, Pixar Pier and more. To visit both, you’ll need to purchase the Park Hopper ticket.

Address: 1313 Disneyland Drive, Anaheim, CA 92802

Head to Heisler Park

“Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County” was a semi-scripted MTV reality show in the mid-2000s. The authenticity of the television drama may be open to debate, but Heisler Park is a scenic stop in Laguna Beach that is entirely real – and definitely worth a visit. Up along the bluffs on Cliff Drive, the postcard-worthy park offers spectacular views of the ocean with walking trails, gardens and grassy knolls that are the perfect place for a picnic. Heisler Park also grants access to four Laguna beaches, and visitors love perusing the tide pools. Laguna Beach is halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego, which makes it the perfect stop for road-trippers cruising the world-famous state Route 1, or Pacific Coast Highway – though parking can be difficult to find on busy evenings and weekends.

Dana Point Harbor

Dana Point in south Orange County is a city known for stellar dolphin and whale watching, boating, paddleboarding and express ferries to nearby Catalina Island. The harbor hosts these many maritime activities as well as waterfront dining, shopping, yoga and other events. Wintertime ushers in the gray whale migration, while spring and summer are a great time to see blue whales in the area. In just minutes you can be on the ocean from Dana Point Harbor, and a variety of vendors offer whale watching cruises – even a sailing schooner from 1926. Travelers love the atmosphere at the harbor, saying you could easily spend the day just drifting along the waterfront, browsing the restaurants and shops.
For a major splurge, consider a stay or spa treatment at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, located on a bluff in Dana Point overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and head to The Ritz-Carlton’s 180blũ restaurant for drinks, bites and unreal sunset views. This casual venue in an upscale setting is first-come, first-served, so you won’t have to worry about trying to snag a reservation. Live music accompanies the oceanfront views on the weekends.

Crystal Cove State Park

Crystal Cove is a gorgeous state park between Corona del Mar and Laguna Beach that offers way more than its 18 miles of hiking trails. At low tide, the fantastical world of tide pools comes to life. While visitors must be extremely careful not to disturb the creatures that call them home, the four tide pool viewing areas at Crystal Cove State Park might reveal hermit crabs, starfish, anemones or even octopuses. Past visitors called the well-maintained park and its beautiful beaches a wonderful way to relax for a day.

The more than 12-acre Crystal Cove Historic District in the park comprises 46 seaside cottages from the early 1900s. Twenty-one of them are available for overnight rentals, but past guests warn that while they are affordable and uniquely vintage, they can be tricky to reserve. A self-guided walk will take beachcombers along an arroyo down to the cottages on the beach, with an online guide offering historical details such as the work that’s been done on the structures over the years. Crystal Cove once served as the setting of many 20th-century movies, starting with silent films in the 1920s. Cottage No. 13, where the 1988 movie “Beaches” starring Bette Midler was shot, is the final stop on the tour.

Knott’s Berry Farm

Orange County may be best known as the home of Disneyland Resort, but Knott’s Berry Farm has claimed the title of “California’s original theme park.” A once-small family farm now houses a water park, roller coasters and an authentically styled ghost town from the 1800s on 160 acres. In addition to its homegrown and California-themed roots, Knott’s maintains a “Peanuts” partnership, which means character meet-and-greets in the Camp Snoopy section of the park include everyone’s favorite beagle, Snoopy, and photo ops with Charlie Brown and the gang.

The park boasts plenty of rides and seasonal attractions, as well as the annual Knott’s Boysenberry Festival to celebrate the berry that launched the farm. A family-recipe fried chicken dinner has been served on the premises since 1934 and thus constitutes a signature dining experience at Knott’s Berry Farm. Past park patrons caution that, without paying extra for a Fast Lane pass, you will likely spend much of your day waiting in line.

Address: 8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park, CA 90620

Stroll Casa Romantica in San Clemente

Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens is, as the name suggests, a romantic estate and cultural institution in San Clemente, housed in a 1927 Spanish Colonial Revival historic landmark. Originally built as the home of Ole Hanson, the founder of San Clemente, Casa Romantica sits on 2.5 acres and features coastal flora from around the world and scenic ocean views. The center hosts a lecture series, live music, dance performances, art showings and more events throughout the year.

Visitors are able to enjoy historical exhibitions and an art gallery, as well as activity backpacks for children and access to any cultural events that occur during public hours. Groups of six people or more can take advantage of private docent-led tours of the grounds. Travelers say the breathtaking views and informative displays on topics such as Indigenous history make this site a must-see.

Address: 415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente, CA 92672

Hang ten at the Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum

From one of the country’s first recognized surfers demonstrating his skills in the area in 1914 to the city adopting the name “Surf City” in 1994, Huntington Beach has plenty to recount in the International Surfing Museum. This attraction was founded in 1987 by Natalie Kotsch, a Canadian woman who never surfed but was still able to build an incredible collection to spotlight the sport’s local history. Surfboards, memorabilia and more can be found in this gallery space, as well as the largest surfboard in the world. This massive 42-foot board was tested for the Guinness Book of World Records by 66 people riding it at once. The Surfin’ Sundays series provides free concerts hosted by the museum at the Huntington Beach Pier, with vendors and bands galore. Past patrons say that, while small, this museum is still an interesting stop even for those who don’t surf, and the guides have cool stories to tell about the sport.

Address: 411 Olive Ave., Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Shop at South Coast Plaza

Not just any shopping center, South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa is celebrating more than 50 years of retail therapy. If you want a taste of SoCal shopping, you’ll find it here in the dozens of high-end retailers, including luxury brands like Armani, Burberry and Louboutin. Shoppers rave about the massive size and elegance of this upscale mall. More than 35 eateries invite you to stay awhile to sample fine dining venues or casual options such as Tableau Kitchen and Bar, which offers photogenic New American cuisine within the wing near Macy’s Home Furniture Store. Even better, part of the proceeds from every Tableau meal is donated to local charities, so if you’re deciding between pancakes or a quiche, get both.

Address: 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Peruse notable sculpture garden California Scenario

Isamu Noguchi, a Los Angeles-born artist, has impressive works displayed worldwide, one of which sits right beside South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. Originally commissioned by the Segerstrom family as a cultural site to accompany their shopping center and completed in 1982, this public sculpture garden was named California Scenario. The site, which the community calls Noguchi Garden, consists of six principal sculptural elements symbolizing California’s geography, such as “Forest Walk” and “Desert Land,” in addition to the centerpiece. Titled “The Spirit of the Lima Bean” in homage to the Segerstrom family’s agricultural origins, that central sculpture is a later addition made of 15 precisely cut and fitted granite rocks. Noguchi incorporated indigenous plants and materials into his work, which past visitors to the garden have called a hidden gem.

Address: 611 Anton Blvd., Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Mission San Juan Capistrano

Known as the birthplace of Orange County, Mission San Juan Capistrano was founded more than two centuries ago as the seventh of 21 missions across California. Established by Spanish missionaries in 1776 to convert Native Americans in the area to Christianity, today the mission is a historic landmark in San Juan Capistrano with a chapel, museum and gardens.

In addition to rotating exhibits of artwork and artifacts, the mission has a permanent collection of several thousand historical objects, including an 1875 map of the mission, a Mexican coin from 1855, Native American tools and much more. Mission San Juan Capistrano also hosts a number of events throughout the year. Such festivities include summer concerts under the stars, December holiday lights programming or the St. Joseph’s Day celebration every year on March 19, which is a tradition held since the 1920s to mark the return of the swallows and usher in spring. Visitors say you don’t have to be religious to appreciate the beautiful architecture and well-preserved history of the mission.

Address: 26801 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

Marconi Automotive Museum

The Marconi Automotive Museum in Tustin goes well beyond a cool collection of cars. Founders Dick and John Marconi’s personal car collection, amassed over decades due to their love of racing, launched the Marconi Automotive Museum when they donated it in 1994. Today this nonprofit museum raises funds for Orange County children’s charities by donating a portion of its net proceeds from admission and special events. Some of the more than 100 iconic automobiles luring car enthusiasts to see the collection include the 1965 Ford Shelby GT350, the 1989 25th anniversary edition of a Lamborghini Countach and the 1996 Ferrari FX. The museum also currently has on display three iconic cars from film and TV: the Batmobile from the 1989 “Batman,” the “Dukes of Hazzard” Dodge Charger and the cognizant car from “Knight Rider.” Guests recommend a visit for the chance to lay eyes upon your dream car – whatever that is, the Marconi Automotive Museum might just have it.

Address: 1302 Industrial Drive, Tustin, CA 92780

Victoria Beach pirate tower

Underneath a cliff on Victoria Beach – one of Laguna Beach’s most unique seashore offerings – stands a mysterious tower that has sparked some imaginative rumors. At 60 feet tall, the affectionately nicknamed pirate tower, as locals call it, looks like it was plucked from a castle long ago. In truth, this structure was built in 1926 to accompany the mansion known as Norman House that sits atop the bluff. The California state senator who lived there with his family built it as a staircase down to the beach, with architecture likely inspired by the chateaus the family visited in France at the time. In the 1940s, a naval captain fascinated by pirate lore acquired the estate and contributed to the tower’s nickname by reportedly dressing as a pirate and hiding coins as a treasure hunt for beachgoers. Since then, the property has had numerous other owners, even once belonging to Bette Midler.

While the pirate tower today is privately owned and thus cannot be entered or climbed, curious photo-seekers can wander Victoria Beach in search of it at low tide – as long as you’re wearing appropriate footwear to traverse the rocky terrain. After snapping some pictures, explore the beach’s other fun features like sea caves and volleyball courts.

Address: 2713 Victoria Drive, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Spend a day in Newport Beach

Newport Beach has a whopping 450-plus restaurants and wide variety of shops to explore scattered across 10 distinct neighborhoods. Among those communities are Balboa Island, which is known for pleasant waterfront dining and its famous Frozen Banana dessert, and Balboa Peninsula, a 3-mile stretch home to a small amusement park and beaches that’s perfect for surfing or a leisurely bike ride. Corona del Mar, or “crown of the sea,” is a charming hamlet with cottages, gardens and tide pools at the Little Corona beach. To access the main beach – Corona del Mar State Beach, also known as Big Corona – take the Goldenrod Footbridge and set off to find the cliffs and caves of Pirate’s Cove, featured on the TV series “Gilligan’s Island.”

For an off-the-beaten path attraction in Newport Beach, you can seek out a sculpture called Bunnyhenge close to the city’s municipal center. Whether this local oddity is cute or creepy is open to debate, but you can lay eyes upon the 14 huge white bunnies displayed in a circle and decide for yourself. Once sparking outrage for its six-figure price tag, the public art installation is now close to a decade old and has become part of the character of the city.

Visit the museums of Santa Ana

Santa Ana, a famously windy California city, is also notable for its many museums. The Bowers Museum, for example, displays more than 90,000 objects and works of art in its permanent collection. Having grown exponentially since it first opened in 1936, this art museum hosts a wide range of exhibitions that explore masterpieces and historical artifacts from cultures all over the world, including Native American art that tells the story of the first Californians.

A mere half-mile north of Bowers Museum is Discovery Cube Orange County, a children’s science museum with interactive activities designed to inspire and educate. Young minds will be engaged by the more than 100 exhibits, such as the science center’s “Physics Lab” with its laser maze and wind tunnel, “Science of Hockey” or “Race to Recycle.” Recent visitors to Discovery Cube’s Orange County campus say the museum is so hands-on that even the shortest attention spans will be sated. After some well-spent hours immersed in science, you can always check out other Santa Ana museums such as the Kidseum, the Heritage Museum of Orange County or the Lyon Air Museum, which displays aircraft, rare vehicles and memorabilia mainly related to World War II.

Irvine Ranch Open Space

Protected wildlands with six nature preserves make up the Irvine Ranch Open Space in Silverado. Free parking and jaw-dropping views welcome visitors to 22,500 acres of biking, hiking and equestrian trails. The only caveat is that the park is so protected it’s only accessible through regularly scheduled programming, including self-guided Wilderness Access Days every month, which you can peruse on the OC Parks website. Events are typically free and may include a guided hike or ride in one of the canyons, an opportunity to search for animal tracks or a bug demo for kids. Past visitors say that, while you’ll have to plan ahead, the trail variety and wild beauty of the preserves make it all worth it, and you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for sightings of deer, coyotes and more.

Address: 13333 Black Star Canyon Road, Silverado, CA 92676

Take on a taco tour

If you come to Southern California, you’ll likely want to sample some of its renowned Mexican cuisine. A self-guided taco tour around Orange County is a great way to patronize some of the top spots for these handheld delights, especially if you take advantage of Taco Tuesday deals.

Lovers of spicy food can go for the orange hot sauce at Oaxacan outfit Taqueros Mexican Restaurant in either its San Juan Capistrano or Mission Viejo location; this establishment is also known for its authentic birria. Local family-run chain Avila’s El Ranchito merits a stop at one of its 13 SoCal locations, all serving tacos galore and tasty flavored margaritas. Solita Tacos & Margaritas, with two Orange County locations in Huntington Beach and Anaheim, is another hotspot for Mexican cuisine, famed for its wood-grilled tacos and more than 20 kinds of salsa. Recent Solita patrons, who rave about the quality of both the food and service, recommend coming especially for Taco Tuesday. With so many other Mexican eateries to choose from in Orange County, you’ll find endless options if you decide to embark on a taco tour.

Irvine Spectrum Center

The Irvine Spectrum Center, anchored by an eye-catching Ferris wheel, features a range of shopping and dining, as well as lots of family-friendly entertainment. This Irvine attraction is no ordinary shopping center; if kids get bored of browsing shops, they can choose from an escape room, movie theater, carousel, cake-decorating studio, the Hello Kitty Cafe and more. Date night is also on the table here with tons of dining – and dessert – options and an improv comedy theater. Weekends feature live music from local artists and morning fitness classes; weekly happenings include Toddlers & Tunes on the first Tuesday of each month, an event that’s free and open to the public. Patrons enjoy the clean, open space and accessible parking at this lively outdoor mall.

Address: 670 Spectrum Center Drive, Irvine, CA 92618

Old Towne Orange

The city of Orange boasts a historic downtown and a similarly citrusy name to the county it resides in. Old Towne Orange, as California’s largest historic district featured on the National Register of Historic Places, is filled with antique shops, art galleries, restaurants and retail. Its Plaza Park has been a prime meeting spot for locals since its earliest days, with a fountain as the centerpiece and an abundance of trees. Designed in 1886 and still today the cultural heart of Orange, the plaza maintains its original elliptical layout and hosts community events throughout the year, such as the annual Orange International Street Fair.

The Starbucks in Plaza Square is one example of a repurposed historic building in Old Towne, with a unique facade designating it as the former home of The Orange Daily News from 1909 to 1967. The city of Orange has also been used as the backdrop for film and TV, so on your visit to Old Towne be sure to keep an eye out for familiar sights from Tom Hanks’ “That Thing You Do” or the “Parks and Recreation” series.

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve

To experience more of Orange County’s biodiversity, consider a visit to this 1,300-acre coastal estuary adjacent to Huntington Beach. The Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, one of Southern California’s largest saltwater marshes, is home to a variety of habitats and wildlife – including more than 200 avian species, making it popular for bird-watching. Start with the Interpretive Center, where you can browse educational exhibits on conservation and the history of human interaction with the wetlands, featuring aquariums, live reptiles and model replicas. Visitors can then explore several miles of publicly accessible hiking trails and scenic overlooks, taking care to stay on the designated paths. Travelers recommend a visit for a beautiful escape into nature, with no shortage of birds and other animals to marvel at.

Take your pick at U-pick farms

Southern California’s weather is ideal for growing produce year-round, which makes Orange County a great spot to seek out a farm to pick your own. Tanaka Farms in Costa Mesa, for example, offers U-pick wagon rides and guided tours all year long, with produce options varying by season and crop availability; you’ll just need to reserve your spot online. The ever-popular strawberry season typically runs from February or March through June, but the farm also boasts a wide variety of vegetables you can pick if the berries aren’t available when you go.

Spring also brings strawberries to South Coast Farms in San Juan Capistrano, where you pay for what you pick and need no reservation; you can also purchase fresh produce from its farm stand in Dana Point. Another U-pick option for some sweet berries is at The Original Manassero Farm’s Irvine Market location, where no reservation is required but you may want to call ahead at 949-554-5103 to check harvest availability.

Watch the Angels of Anaheim fly

Dress in your best red attire and get yourself to Angel Stadium in Anaheim – nicknamed the Big A – for some Major League Baseball fun. Catch a home game to cheer on the Los Angeles Angels, once portrayed in fictional form by the 1994 Disney film “Angels in the Outfield.” Today these 2002 world champions are owned by Arte Moreno, who became the first Latino to own a major U.S. sports team when he purchased the Angels from the Walt Disney Company in 2003. To save on seats at select ball games, you may want to sign up for a free Visit Anaheim savings pass and browse discount options. From April to September, Angel Stadium offers public tours during away games to take you behind the scenes to the dugout, press room and more; the venue also hosts certain special events like fireworks displays throughout the year. Visitors appreciate the friendly staff and parking ease in this historic stadium.

Address: 2000 E. Gene Autry Way, Anaheim, CA 92806

Check out an industrial food hall in the Anaheim Packing District

Orange County did indeed gain its name from the money-making citrus fruit. Today, a warehouse from 1919 where Sunkist once readied produce to sell has found a second life as a food hall. The Packing House is part of the Anaheim Packing District, a downtown complex that spans three other landmarks as well. From Japanese crepes to diverse culinary mashups and fresh fruit, the Packing House market is a one-stop palate-pleaser for everyone in your party.

Two other buildings, once a car dealership and a marmalade factory, also make up the historic hub of the Anaheim Packing District, offering delectable dim sum or some of that famous California wine among other food and drink options. The fourth landmark, Farmers Park, hosts community yoga, gardening and more just across the way. If you’re up for a challenge, try to seek out the Blind Rabbit speakeasy, hidden behind a bookshelf somewhere in the complex; the reward will be a delicious drink and mysterious atmosphere.

Address: 440 S. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim, CA 92805

Irvine’s Great Park

With a wide array of family-friendly amenities and attractions, the Great Park in Irvine more than lives up to its name. This public park, the repurposed site of a former air station, is centered on outdoor recreation, sustainable agriculture and the arts. Start your day at the Visitors Center to sign up for a free balloon ride 400 feet in the air or to rent sports equipment before checking out the latest exhibition at the Palm Court Arts Complex. One of the play areas, Kid Rock, teaches children about conservation ecology – and it’s not the only park attraction aimed at environmental education.

Interested parties of all ages looking to start a garden or get their thumb just a bit green should visit the Great Park’s Farm + Food Lab, an interactive outdoor classroom that focuses on horticulture. Browse this nonprofit farm’s themed planters and informational displays or consult the online park schedule to time your visit with a free gardening workshop (weather permitting). Past visitors say that while it’s tucked away, the Farm + Food Lab is a great place to bring toddlers and small children to teach them about growing food.

Address: 8000 Great Park Blvd., Irvine, CA 92618

Pretend City Children’s Museum

Children can take their games of make-believe to the next level at this replica city build just for them. Pretend City Children’s Museum in Irvine provides a hands-on environment for kids to get curious and creative, with a variety of educational exhibits and activities designed to give them a taste of “real life.” The bank, for example, lets children flex their math skills, while the cafe teaches about cultural diversity and the gas station encourages problem-solving. Youngsters can exercise their imagination to play an artist, construction worker, doctor or whatever else they choose, as well as experiencing exhibits like the grocery store.

The museum also hosts events such as the free monthly Family Autism Night, where children on the autism spectrum can play in a welcoming environment. Families who have experienced Pretend City say there’s no shortage of stimulating activities for young kids, particularly those who like playing house, though the museum can get crowded.

Address: 29 Hubble, Irvine, CA 92618

Fullerton Arboretum

California State University–Fullerton has an impressive arboretum with a number of different plant collections, where you can amble through the gardens and observe the wildlife. Accompanying the flora of the arboretum are pieces of Fullerton’s history, including the gardens and outbuildings of a cottage built in 1894 by one of the area’s pioneer doctors. This restored Heritage House, made from redwoods and firs in Eastlake Victorian style, is now a museum about life and medicine of the late 19th century. Also on the Fullerton Arboretum grounds you can find the O.C. Agricultural and Nikkei Heritage Museum, which highlights the historical impact of agriculture, as well as the contributions of Japanese Americans and pioneer families to the area. Visitor reviews note that the arboretum is a serene place to spend an afternoon, with beautiful botanical offerings making it worth a visit in any of the four seasons.

Address: 1900 Associated Road, Fullerton, CA 92831

The LAB Anti-Mall

Call it the “anti-mall” – well, this attraction calls itself that, at least. The LAB Anti-Mall is a Costa Mesa retail center whose name stands for “Little American Business.” Surrounded by the suburbia of Orange County, the founders of The LAB strived to create an unconventional space that would serve as a hangout, dining and shopping center, and hub for the creative community. More than 25 years later, The LAB boasts a clothing exchange where you can buy or even sell apparel, a refill station with eco-friendly hygiene products, a plant store, a record shop and more. Food and drink options range from doughnuts and coffee to sushi and craft beer. Events here include the monthly Maker’s Mart spotlighting local artisans, in addition to occasional pop-ups that take various forms – maybe you’ll stumble upon an art installation or some live music on your next visit to this so-called anti-mall.
Address: 2930 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Hike to witness the redwoods of Carbon Canyon

California’s redwood trees are famed for their vast size and majesty. While Northern California enjoys a reputation for its impressive redwoods, Orange County offers a taste of these arboreal wonders too. Head to Carbon Canyon Regional Park in Brea and take the milelong nature trail to Redwood Grove, which past travelers say is a pleasant and easy walk the whole family can partake in. The coastal redwoods spread across these 3 acres reach heights of 100 feet, and while they may not be as large as the ones further north, park visitors appreciate having access to such a sight in SoCal.

Elsewhere in the 124-acre Carbon Canyon Region Park are tennis courts, a lake with fishing piers and plenty of picnic areas. Carbon Canyon is also a prime spot for bird-watching and occasionally holds events such as guided hikes or outdoor movies.

Address: 4442 Carbon Canyon Road, Brea, CA, 92823

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The 5 Best Arcades in Orange County

Retro arcade gameAlthough it’s been a few decades since arcade games exploded into pop culture, people all around the world still love to play them. Whether it’s for nostalgia or simply to combat boredom on a Friday night, arcades still have a strong presence in Orange County as well.

To help you satisfy your craving to level up in Pinball and show those Space Invaders who’s boss, we’ve compiled a list of the 5 best arcades in Orange County. Let the games begin!

  1. Dave & Busters, Irvine: Located at the Irvine Spectrum, Dave & Buster’s Irvine is a great place to take a date or go out for a night with friends and family! This modern arcade destination has something for everyone— from arcade classics like Skee-Ball and PacMan to state of the art game experiences. Plus, you can even download mobile games and win real tickets on the go! Dave & Buster’s has a great rewards program, weekly specials, and budget friendly Power Hour games, as well as an extensive menu of food and drink options. Plan for a full night of fun!
  1. Boomers, Irvine: Inside Boomers’ huge family-oriented game room, you’ll find hundreds of games that are sure to get the good times rolling. Show off your moves with Dance Dance Revolution or challenge your friends to a riveting game of Ultimate Air Hockey or Laser Tag! Boomers Irvine also features tons of options for outdoor fun, including Miniature Golf, Go Karts, Batting Cages, and Bumper Boats. Your imagination is the only limit here! 
  1. Nickel Nickel, Garden Grove: After 19 years, Nickel Nickel has moved from Huntington Beach to Garden Grove in order to avoid raising their prices due to several encroaching development projects. The new location just opened in July of this year, and still offers families the affordable fun they’ve always loved. Patrons only pay $2 to enter, and can choose from 25 free play games or pay an average of 1-6 nickels per game for more in-demand games. They also feature the largest redemption counter in Orange County that is stuffed full of prizes perfect for any age. 
  1. Arcade 2084: As a private collection of golden-age (1980’s) classic arcade games, this exclusive arcade is unique in that it only opens to the public on select weekends. However, on open nights you only pay $10 admission for free play on all of the immaculately kept games, all night long. Although food and drink is not permitted in the arcade, there a number of restaurants and bars within walking distance at the incredible Anaheim Packing House. Outside of the ultra-rare video game titles featured, you can also find a small selection of Pinball Machines and a console gaming center with games from Atari, Nintendo, and much more. With the amazing selection of games and 80’s music blasting all night, Arcade 2084 is definitely the place to increase your geek street cred!
  2. Howie’s Game Shack: Howie’s is no traditional arcade—here you’ll find one of the largest online interactive game centers in North America that caters to a new era of gamers. With over 100 game titles, high end gaming PC’s, Xbox One systems, and Virtual Reality stations, this is social gaming as you’ve never experienced before. Howie’s regularly organizes game releases, tournaments and competitions that have Orange County gamers flocking to this Mission Viejo hotspot. With food, drinks, outrageously comfortable gaming chairs, and a 2:00 am closing time on Friday and Saturday, it’s no surprise that Howie’s has logged over 6 million hours of play time!

Best Places for a Holiday Party in Orange County

With this list, we have taken the hassle and stress of finding the perfect location for your holiday party. Whether it is for Hanukkah, Christmas, a holiday party, or New Year’s Eve, we have you covered!

Hotel Ballroom

It may or may not seem obvious, but there are huge benefits to having your soiree at a hotel. The amenities offered provide all you will need for a large holiday party: accessible locations, excellent catering, various bar and drinking options, and a safe space for your guests to spend the night. Other benefits include having the hotel staff handle all the set-up and clean-up. You can also host all sizes of groups and get different types of banquet rooms and set-ups for your specific needs. You can choose from many in Orange County—just in Huntington Beach, choose from The Hyatt, the new Pasea, or the Waterfront Beach Resort. The Kimpton hotels are found in several OC locations. Then there are the posh resorts of the South County, like the Ritz, the Monarch, or Montage, where you’re sure to get spectacular views. Plus there are dozens of ballrooms in Anaheim near Disneyland, which is a great option for your visitors from out of town (and their families).


You don’t have to travel to Murrieta or Napa to surround your guests with the intimate feel of a winery and vineyard. For a picturesque and unique venue, a winery offers a warm ambiance for your guests. You will enjoy an event-ready venue, with holiday decorations already creating the festive vibe. For the perfect surprise holiday gift, you can provide guests with wine from the venue to commemorate the event. For catering, most wineries provide outside catering and dining spaces, like a “wine cave,” which makes for an elegant atmosphere. One choice is the gorgeous Newport Beach Vineyards and Winery, which has space for up to 125 guests and plenty of options for live music, catering, and wine tasting. Check them out at

Rooftop Bar

For sweeping views and a more modern feel, rooftop bars can be the perfect chic atmosphere for your guests. These bars provide a view of the city lights, fantastic food, and a stylish feel. Allow your guests to dress up and enjoy the view of Orange County at night. Besides the sky rise hotels, the rooftop bar at La Casa Del Camino is famous for its ocean and city views, and don’t forget to try their Mojitos!

Country Clubs

Go for a classic venue with a country club setting. Most rooms are open to the public for rent and come provided with a list of event items you can rent. These venues are all-inclusive, with service that will take care of just about everything. One of the most famous clubs in town is the Balboa Bay Club, with a waterfront setting and gorgeous views of the Newport Beach Boat Parade. This club also has an on-site hotel with amenities such as a pool, lounge, restaurant, and beach access; check it out at If you don’t want to break the bank, the Costa Mesa Country Club or the Coyote Hills in Fullerton are excellent alternatives.

Car Museum

If you have car enthusiasts, places like Crevier Classic Cars and the Marconi Automotive Museum have amazing displays of classic cars and exotics in southern California. They have tons of memorabilia—and even a few race cars! Air Museum Even most locals don’t even know about the one-of-a-kind venue Orange County has … the Lyon Air Museum, which boasts an impressive collection of World War II aircraft and other vehicles, including vintage airplanes and warbirds, military vehicles, military motorcycles, and classic cars on display. And you can truly transform this fantastic facility into a blast from the past for your holiday party. They can even have guests arrive by private plane or helicopter to their own hangar overlooking the runways at John Wayne Airport. Check out this unique event venue at And be sure to plan ahead, as this place books up quickly. In fact, plan ahead for any venue so you, too, can be relaxed at party time and enjoy it. As long as you choose a venue that has an inviting ambiance, fantastic food, and ample space for your guests to enjoy one another’s company, you will be sure to host the event of the year!

Top 10 Thanksgiving Dinners in Orange County

Thanksgiving is a day to be surrounded by family, sharing in the gratitude and love you feel for one another. Yet, most families feel the stress of preparing a huge dinner that can take all day to cook and lead to a huge grocery bill. That is why a lot of families in Orange County are choosing to dine out this holiday season. It is the perfect way to enjoy your family time without the stress of cooking and cleaning up.

From a small party of two to a larger family group of twenty, these restaurants will give you a Thanksgiving feast to remember.

  1.  Five Crowns: Known for its famous prime rib, during Thanksgiving you can dine on a special menu: roast turkey, traditional side dishes, or prime rib or seafood specialties.
    Address: Five Crowns, 3801 E. Coast Hwy., Corona del Mar, 949.760.0331
  2. Del Frisco’s Grille: Sit back and enjoy a prix fixe menu that starts with butternut squash soup or a scrumptious salad. For dinner, you can savor a turkey dinner with all the trimmings as well as non-traditional sides. For dessert, indulge in pumpkin cheesecake or pecan pie.
    Address: 772 Spectrum Center Dr., Irvine, 949.341.0376
  3. Taps Fish House & Brewery: This is not your ordinary buffet. With a tremendous selection of carving stations, fresh seafood selections, desserts, and sides, you will have no problem filling up on non-traditional holiday fare. If you are craving the classic dinner, you can order turkey with all the fixings.
    Address: 101 E. Imperial Hwy., Brea, 714.257.0101; 13390 Jamboree Rd., Irvine, 714-619-0404
  4. Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar: Their famous Chocolate Gooey Butter Cake is enough to convert any traditionalist on Thanksgiving. For the holiday, enjoy their prix fixe menu starting with the lobster bisque or house salad, then choose among the turkey leg, filet mignon, or sliced turkey with sides for your meal. The full dinner menu is also available.
    Address: 455 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach, CA 92660, 949.720.9633
  5. Pasea Hotel & Spa: In the mood to try something unique? Enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner with an ocean view! The hotel will host the Second Annual Food Coma in the Blue Room, which includes a buffet station and oyster bar.
    Address: 21080 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach, CA 92648, 855.622.2472 Pasea Hotel & Spa website
  6. Fashion Island Hotel: Instead of the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, gather your family during the day for a Thanksgiving brunch. The Oak Grill will be hosting an extravagant brunch from 11 am to 3 pm and will include live entertainment and a photo booth. The brunch will include traditional holiday fare, a seafood and breakfast station, sushi, and more.
    Address: 690 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach, CA 92660, 949.706.5466
  7. Orange Hill Restaurant: Another daytime buffet is at the famous Orange Hill Thanksgiving Day Champagne Buffett. Enjoy your bottomless mimosas from 10 am to 3 pm, and delight in crab legs, prime rib, turkey, and a huge selection of gourmet sides and desserts. Dinner is also an option, with their prix fixe menu from 5 to 9 pm.
    Address: 6410 East Chapman Ave., Orange, CA 92869, 714.997.2910
  8. The Montage, Laguna Beach: If you are looking to experience an epicurean menu, then look no further than The Loft Thanksgiving: a four-course, holiday tasting menu. The tasting menu includes selections such as butternut squash and fuji apple soup, pan roasted sea scallops, rib eye steak, black cod, turkey with cornbread-sage stuffing, and classic pumpkin pie.
    Address: 30801 S Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, CA 92651, 949.715.6420
  9. Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant: For a casual and fun family affair, head to Knotts Berry Farm and delight in their famous fried chicken. The restaurant is offering bottomless Boysenberry mimosas and all the Thanksgiving classics, such as turkey, stuffing, pies, and more.
    Address: 8039 Beach Blvd., Knott’s Berry Farm, Buena Park, CA 90620, 714.220.5055
  10. The Backyard at Hotel Irvine: For an interactive and playful Thanksgiving feast, look no further than The Backyard. Enjoy family entertainment such as lawn games, a petting zoo, live music, a photo booth, and face painting. The feast includes a carving station, a seafood station, a dessert station, a special kids’ buffet–and a breakfast station to boot!
    Address: 17900 Jamboree Rd, Irvine, CA 92614, 877.614.2137

OC Fair 2018

It’s not officially summer in Orange County until the OC Fair comes to town!

Hours and Dates

  • This year’s fair will run from July 13th – August 12th.
  • Wednesday – Friday: Noon – Midnight
  • Saturday – Sunday: 11 am – Midnight
  • Monday – Tuesday: Closed

Free Entertainment

  • Comedy Hypnotist; Wednesday – Sunday 6:15 pm, 8:15 pm. 10:15 pm
  • All Alaskan Racing Pigs Wednesday – Sunday. Every hour on the hour from 2-8 pm
  • Live Band Karaoke Wednesday, Thursday & Sunday 7 pm – 11 pm and Friday & Saturday 7:30 pm – 11:30 pm


  • Admission is free from 12 – 3 PM on opening day.
  • Active-duty military and veterans receive free OC Fair Admission, and are eligible to purchase 1/2 price general admission tickets
  • “We Care Wednesdays” offers free admission each Wednesday from noon to 3 when you donate items like school supplies, canned food, children’s books and clothing. Check here for the schedule and list of items.
  • Free admission from noon to 3 on Thursdays for any guests wearing overalls

The OC Fair is an event that a lot of us look forward to all year long, and this one is stacking up to be one of the best fairs yet.

4th of July in Huntington Beach

Surf City goes all out for the 4th of July every year! Here are just some of the events and activities you can enjoy:

  • Surf City 5k Morning Run 6 AM – 10 AM
  • Huntington Beach Parade 10 AM – 12 PM
  • Firework show from the HB Pier 9 PM – 9:30 PM

For a parade map, and more details about the full day of events, visit the Huntington Beach website here.

From all of us here at Support Orange County, we wish you a happy and safe Independence Day!

Sawdust Art & Craft Festival

Beginning Friday, June 29th the Sawdust Art & Craft Festival will return to Laguna Beach!

For over 50 years Orange County residents have visited this unique event each summer. Spread out over a 3-acre eucalyptus grove you’ll find a hand built village that features fine art and craft from over 200 local artists!

Activities include:

  • Free hands-on art classes
  • Outdoor eateries and cafes
  • Craft beer and wine
  • Live music & entertainment

Arts & Crafts available at the festival:

  • Hand-blown glass
  • Jewelry
  • Ceramics
  • Clothing
  • Textiles
  • Wood & metal sculpture
  • Photography

Click here for tickets and information

Monster Jam Roars Into Anaheim

monster truck crushing carsAre you looking for events in Orange County that will really get your blood pumping? If so, we’ve got your fix! The upcoming Monster Jam in Anaheim will feature high octane entertainment and intense competition between several of the most recognizable trucks in the world.

Thanks to a blower that forces air and fuel into their engines, these Monster Trucks all generate approximately 1,500 horsepower. To ensure safety while riding these mechanical beasts, the driver’s compartment is a steel safety structure mounted directly to the truck frame. Drivers also wear flame-resistant driving suits, gloves, shoes, and helmets—just in case.

Some competitions will also feature special vehicles such as ATVs (all-terrain vehicles) and Speedsters. ATVs are race-modified off-roading machines built for performance, while Speedsters possess optimum agility that makes them perfect for maneuvering over rough terrain and around obstacles.

Many of the Monster Jam events start with a pre-show Pit Party, which gives fans the opportunity to meet the drivers and get autographs or pictures. These Pit Parties do require a separate admission ticket, but the experience of seeing these vehicles up close and the additional activities appropriate for all ages is definitely worth it.

After opening ceremonies conclude, the competition kicks off with several signature events. These include timed racing, head to head racing and freestyle performances. A panel of audience members selected as judges will assign a point value to each performance, and the points awarded for each competition will be tallied to determine an event champion.

Monster Jam drivers are constantly challenging each other to create amazing spectacles to wow the audience and judges. Some of the tricks and stunts you can expect to see include backflips, wheelies, big air launches and cyclones—the familiar donut’s high-speed big brother.

One of the best things about Monster Jam is that its drivers come from all walks of life and are united by the desire to put on the best show possible. There is even a “Monster Jam University” in Illinois, which offers training programs and practical experience in every challenge new Monster Jam drivers will face.

Needless to say, Monster Jam is truly one of the best events in Orange County to satisfy any thrill-seeker. We hope to see you there for some word class four-wheel action!

Monster Jam tickets are available here for the following dates:


January 28th, 2017

6:30 PM



February 11th, 2017

6:30 PM



February 25th

6:30 PM

New Year’s Eve in Orange County

happy-new-year-1915418_6402016 is rapidly coming to an end, and it’s time to celebrate the beginning of a new year! Orange County offers several amazing New Year’s Eve events, ranging from free and family friendly options to extravagant parties filled with drinks and dancing. If you’re still looking for ideas on how to ring in 2017, check out our list below for some inspiration. Cheers!

First Night in Fullerton

Fullerton will be celebrating the 25th annual “First Night Fullerton” event as a family-friendly alternative to traditional New Year’s Eve celebrations. This popular alcohol-free event receives around 15,000 guests each year, and will take place in downtown Fullerton on Harbor Blvd., Pomona Ave., and Wilshire Ave. “First Night Fullerton” will feature musical performances, food vendors, zip lining and rides, and a spectacular midnight fireworks show to ring in the New Year.

Free parking is available at Fullerton College parking lots, located off of Lemon and Chapman Avenues in downtown Fullerton, as well as several other city lots within walking distance. The event begins at 7:00 pm and ends at midnight. Admission is free and open to the public.

Ring in the New Year at Knott’s Berry Farm

Knott’s Berry Farm is one of Orange County’s most popular places for families and friends to celebrate on New Year’s Eve. This year’s event will feature a midnight fireworks spectacular, as well as live music, DJ’s, and stage performances. Don’t forget to catch some thrills on the dozens of rides and roller coasters before the night is over!

Knott’s Berry Farm is located at 8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park 90620. The New Year’s event is included in the price of admission to the park, which opens at 10:00 am and closes at 1:00 pm.Tickets start at $42 for kids and seniors, and go up from there. Save money by purchasing your tickets online ahead of time!

Time Nightclub New Year’s Eve Party

Time Nightclub, previously known as Sutra, will be throwing a supercharged New Year’s Eve party that is sure to cater to both Orange County’s stylish elite and dedicated local club-goers. Acclaimed DJ Steven Wright will be spinning top 40, hip-hop and mash ups while guests enjoy the 7,000 feet of dancing space, state of the art lighting system, and a complimentary champagne toast at midnight.

Orange County’s most exciting club experience is located at 1875 Newport Boulevard, Costa Mesa 92627. The party starts at 9:00 pm and concludes at 2:00 am.Tickets begin at $59, and increase depending on your choice of VIP and/or group tickets.

OC Midnight Kiss New Year’s Party  

The 6th annual OC Midnight Kiss New Year’s Party is an amazing local celebration that’s perfect for couples and friends to spend their last few hours of 2016. Enjoy an open bar featuring Tito’s Vodka for four hours with general admission tickets, and a premium open bar all night for VIP’s. Top 40 house and hip-hop DJ’s will be spinning your favorite hits, so make sure to wear your dancing shoes!

The OC Midnight Kiss NYE party is located at the Wyndham Irvine at 17941 Von Karmen Ave, Irvine 92614. The party starts at 9:00 pm on Saturday and continues until 2:00 am.Tickets are available here and begin at $105 per person, and increase depending on your choice of VIP tickets, group and/or hotel packages.

Newport Harbor New Year’s Eve Yacht Party

This year, celebrate New Year’s Eve in style aboard one of Newport’s most elegant luxury yachts. “The Ambassador” is 140 feet long and features three levels, outdoor decks, a lounge and a dance floor. This four hour cruise through Newport Harbor is hosting a premium open bar all night, complete with an appetizer buffet, champagne upon arrival, party favors, and a special countdown to midnight.

The yacht will be waiting for you at 2901 W. Coast Hwy, Newport Beach 92663. Check-in begins at 8:30 pm, and the boat will board at 9:00 pm and return at 1:00 am. Don’t be late! Ticket prices begin at $159, and have sold out for 13 years in a row so get them ASAP!

108th Annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade This Weekend!

boat parade illustrationThe holidays are officially in full swing, and Orange County residents know that enjoying the festivities with friends and family doesn’t get much better than the annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade!

The 2016 Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade and Ring of Lights will run December 14th through Sunday, December 18th. The parade begins at 6:30 pm each evening off of Bay Island, and ends at approximately 9:00 pm. Fireworks will also be featured from the Balboa Pier around 6:15 pm on Wednesday and around 9 pm on Sunday.

The Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade cruises through Newport Harbor, which stretches around the Balboa Peninsula, located off of Newport Blvd. There will be plenty of parking available in all city parking lots, as well as several opportunities for street parking along the parade route. Since the parade draws thousands of viewers every night, please allow extra travel time to find parking!

The parade is a free event for the community and tourists to enjoy. The Balboa Village, aka home of the Fun Zone, is a great place to watch. There are also plenty of bars, restaurants, and kid-friendly activities nearby. However, for those who prefer a more intimate setting, watching the parade aboard a boat charter or in a waterfront restaurant is also highly recommended. Considering the popularity of the event, booking your reservations as early as possible is definitely encouraged.

The Newport Sea Base lawn is also a great place to join in on the fun of the boat parade. Located at 1931 W. Coast Highway, this site features reserved chair seating and food and beverages available for purchase from Sea Scouts. The non-refundable tickets are $10 per person in advance and $20 at the door if space is available. Onsite parking is $20 car and is only available with a prepaid parking pass.

The parade will take place rain or shine. However, if the Coast Guard issues a small watercraft advisory notice, the parade would be cancelled for that evening. The decision will be made by 6 pm each night and a message will be posted on the parade website in the rare case of a cancellation.

All registered boats and homes compete for a number of awards, ranging from best theme, best music, and most humorous. Winners and the public are all invited to the Awards Dinner and Auction on January 27, 2017 at the Island Hotel Newport Beach to celebrate and raise funds for next year’s parade.

2016 marks the 108th year for the parade, which makes it one of the oldest running holiday traditions in the country. Nearly one million viewers enjoy the parade each year! The parade is proudly organized by the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce and hosted by the Commodores Club. For more information on viewing, local hotel accommodations and more please visit the parade website.

We hope to see you there to enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday season!

Food Bank Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer Opportunities

With so many things to be grateful for at each and every Thanksgiving, it’s incredibly important to remember those who are not as fortunate as we are.
Extending a helping hand is an important part of sharing the holiday spirit with your fellow Orange County residents, so we’ve put together a list of 5 food banks in Orange County that always need volunteer help. These incredible organizations do amazing work in our community every day, and so we hope that if you have time or resources to donate, this list inspires you to do just that.

OC Food Bank

The Orange County Food Bank works with almost 400 local charities and organizations in an aim to end hunger and malnutrition in Orange County. Annually, the OC Food Bank distributes nearly 20 million pounds of food and commodities to non-profit agencies in Orange County that serve low-income families and individuals. A few of their programs include the Food for Seniors Program, Farm 2 Family, and an Emergency Food and Shelter Program.

11870 Monarch Street

Garden Grove, CA 92841

(714) 897-6670

Second Harvest Food Bank

The Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County is a member of Feeding America, and works through a network of hundreds of non-profit partner programs to provide wholesome food and fresh produce to millions of hungry children, seniors and families in Orange County each year. Since 1983, their mission has been to end hunger in Orange County by combating the hunger gap and providing food for all who need it.

8014 Marine Way

Irvine, CA 92618

(949) 653-2900

Friendly Center

The Friendly Center is a family and community resource center dedicated to improving the lives of low-income children and families by providing more than 20 free programs and services through its 6 locations in Orange County. The Friendly Center was established in 1924, and aims to help families overcome the barriers that keep them from making positive change in their lives.

147 W. Rose Ave.

Orange, CA 92867

(714) 771-5300

Families Forward

Families Forward is a non-profit organization that is committed to helping Orange County families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Their mission is to help families achieve and maintain self-sufficiency through food, counseling, education, housing, and other support services.

8 Thomas Ave.

Irvine, CA 92618

(949) 552-2727

Southwest Community Center

The Southwest Community Center has been serving the low income residents of Orange County for over 35 years. Their mission is to provide the basic needs of clothing, food, shelter, transportation, and health and professional support services to all who need it. The Southwest Community Center also does adopt-a-family holiday programs and toy drives, the success of which was featured in the OC Register in 2012.

1601 W. Second Street

Santa Ana, CA 92703

(714) 547-4073

Surfing Santa Charity Event This Saturday!

surfingsanta2This Saturday, November 19th surfers from all over southern California will don Santa suits while they hang ten at Salt Creek Beach in the annual Surfing Santa Competition. The charity surfing contest is hosted by The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel and benefits local nonprofit Surfers Healing, whose mission is “to enrich the lives of people living with autism by exposing them to the unique experience of surfing.”

Surfing Santa is an annual one-day surf contest where competitors hit the waves dressed as Santa or any other holiday-inspired characters. Children of all ages and adults are welcome to compete to win some awesome prizes given to the top six surfers in five different divisions. Prizes include Maui Jim sunglasses, Carver skateboards, Surfline memberships, and many other items donated by local surf and active wear retailers. Additionally, the participant who wins the award for Best Costume will receive $500, and the winner of Biggest Air over the course of the day will receive a Brawner Board and $1,000!

The concept for the competition was developed in 2009 by Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel’s General Manager Bruce Brainerd to honor the resort’s commitment to supporting worthy causes. The five-star resort will also host an annual Surfboard Auction that kicks off the same day, and closes at noon on December 31, 2016. The collection of donated surfboards will be auctioned online, and over the years has highlighted boards from well-known artists and musicians, as well as personal boards donated from local surf legends. The Ritz-Carlton has proudly raised more than $210,000 for Surfers Healing since the inception of the Surfing Santa contest and Surfboard Auction.

surfingsanta1Surfers Healing is a foundation that hosts surf camps to share the therapeutic effects of surfing with autistic children and their families. Founders Izzy and Danielle Paskowitz have a personal dedication to the cause because when their autistic son Isaiah struggled with sensory overload meltdowns, surfing with his dad always calmed him down. After seeing the initial success surfing had on Isaiah, the Paskowitz family invited others to join them. Their idea caught on, and Surfers Healing has now become a grassroots non-profit organization that proudly hosts nationwide free surf camps and events for autistic children.

We hope to see you this Saturday at Salt Creek Beach to help support the families and surfers that come together each year to make a difference, one ride at a time.

Aries Spears Headlining Brea Improv

Get ready to laugh out loud, because Aries Spears will be at the Brea Improv all weekend!
Best known for his impersonations, Spears joined the cast of FOX’s MADtv in 1997, and quickly became one of the show’s standout talents. Some of Spears’ better known impressions include: Shaquille O’neal, Denzel Washington, Jay Z, Snoop Dogg and literally dozens more!
You may have also seen him in Jerry Maguire, Malcolm X, and Josie and the Pussycats.
The best part? The Brea Improv just released a promo code for $5 tickets!! Use the code DFBK5FOR5 upon checkout to receive your discount.
Visit to get your tickets now!

2nd Annual SoCal VegFest is This Weekend!

Vegan Festival in Orange CountyIf you love delicious plant-based food, yoga and meditation, rescue animals, Halloween costume contests, or just free and fun things to do, then you’re in luck! The 2nd Annual SoCal VegFest is taking place this weekend at Orange Coast College!

SoCal VegFest is presented by the local nonprofit APRL (Animal Protection and Rescue League), and is proudly run by a 100% volunteer staff. The festival is meant to engage curiosity about vegan/vegetarian lifestyles and to inspire and support anyone who is interested in learning about living a more healthy, environmentally friendly and compassionate life.

This one of a kind event will include free plant-based food samplings, vegetarian and vegan cooking demonstrations and contests, and several food trucks and vendors. Once you’ve had your fill of snacks, check out the cruelty-free marketplace for a truly incredible array of bath and body products, as well as amazing home goods.

Kids of all ages and adults are also welcome to participate in the Halloween Costume Contest! The 2016 theme is “We love animals”, but prizes will also be given out in the “Adorable” and “Spooky” costume category. Little ones can also romp around in the Kids Village while enjoying engaging activities meant just for children.

Make sure to check out the Main Stage and Speaker’s Hall to hear from the dozens of speakers and organizations who will be presenting on all things plant based over the course of the weekend. There’s also a plethora of information available about other local vegetarian/vegan events after this weekend’s festival. With all the interactive booths, musical entertainment, and raffles there truly is something for everyone!

Although all of the vendors and SoCal VegFest staff love animals, there are no pets allowed due to venue and health department restrictions. However, if you’re looking to add a new four-legged friend to your family, SoCal VegFest will have an adoption area for you to check out some rescue animals in need of a loving home!

Celebrate heathy eating and conscious living with other like-minded Orange County residents this Saturday and Sunday between 10am and 6pm. Admission and parking is free, and SoCal VegFest will go on rain or shine! We hope to see you there!

Huntington Beach Air Show

HB Air ShowAviation enthusiasts rejoice: The Breitling Huntington Beach Airshow will be flying over Huntington Beach this weekend!

Headlining this exciting event will be the United States Air Force Flight Demonstration Squadron, made up of the Thunderbirds and the Breitling Jet team. Flight demonstrations will take off with a rehearsal day on Friday October 21st, and on Saturday and Sunday official flights will begin around noon and will conclude around 4 pm. Surf City visitors will be able to view the free show along the coastline from Brookhurst Street all the way to the Huntington Beach Pier.

The show’s center will be located at Beach Boulevard and Pacific Coast Highway, between Huntington State Beach and Huntington City Beach. A VIP admission area will also be available at the show center, featuring upgraded seats for premium viewing, food vendor options, and more! Ticketed areas will be open from 10 am- 5 pm on all three days, but early arrival is highly recommended. Tickets and more information are available on the Breitling Airshow’s website.

Parking will be crowded, especially on the street, so various parking garages will be set up in downtown Huntington Beach. Additionally, GOGROUND is offering offsite parking at Goldenwest and Ellis Avenue with shuttle service to the event for $40 per car. Reservations are required and can be made here.

The viewing area will be located on the sand at the beach, so make sure to bring all of your usual beach gear: towels, chairs, umbrellas, sunscreen and water! Food vendors will also be available throughout the area, and if you would like to bring your own food make sure that any barbecues are at least 18 inches high and are used within 6 feet of a fire pit.

Beach regulations do not allow dogs, glass, alcohol, drugs, or firearms. Additionally, the entire show has been deemed a No-Drone Zone, and all those entering the show area are subject to search by local authorities. Cameras and binoculars are allowed, and due to the close proximity of the aircraft during the show those with sensitive hearing and young children may want to bring hearing protection.

The proceeds of this inspiring community event will go the Aerospace Education Foundation of Huntington Beach, a local non-profit organization dedicated to empowering youth to pioneer the next generation of aviation.

So what are you waiting for? Dig out your summer clothes and bring your family and friends to enjoy a spectacular day on the Pacific Ocean and some incredible acrobatic aviation performances! We hope to see you there!

The Scariest Haunted House in Orange County

The 17th Door
Tucked away unsuspectingly in Orange County’s famous Tustin Market Place is one of the most depraved haunted experiences that you can find anywhere. Now in its second year, The 17th Door boasts over 34 minutes of psychological terror as you work your way through 21 different rooms that promise to assault all 5 of your senses. Patrons can expect to experience claustrophobia, foul odors, and electric shock in addition to the multitude of pig demons, deranged clowns and undead entities that you’ll interact with throughout the experience.
A Truly Shocking Haunted Experience
The haunt follows the story of Paula, a college sophomore who has recently survived a suicide attempt and subsequent stint in a mental ward. Paula is struggling to pursue her dwindling dream of becoming a doctor due to a painful traumatic pregnancy, and frequent psychiatric evaluations that force her to revisit disturbing memories from her childhood.
What To Expect

It’s important to note that The 17th Door is not for the faint of heart. Prior to admission to Gluttire University, all patrons will be required to sign a waiver that outlines all of the different things you might be exposed to inside the attraction; including touching/licking, liquid, dizziness reptiles, fish and arachnids. For more information, please visit their FAQ page or contact them directly at (714) 441-9080.

Tickets & Parking
Tickets start at $24 and can be purchased here.
The Tustin Market Place has plenty of free parking.
Located right off the 5 Freeway, exit Jamboree. Directly next door to Party City.
2856 El Camino Real
Tustin, CA 92782

Orange County International Auto Show

Lamborghini at OC Auto Show

The 2016 Orange County International Auto Show is currently under way at the Anaheim convention center, and will run until this Sunday, October 9. This year’s convention will feature over 600 of the newest cars, trucks and SUV’s all in one location! Although the convention just began, this year’s show is stacking up to be one of the most exciting yet. Below we’ve included general information about the show, as well as highlights of the main attractions. We hope to see you there!

Tickets & Parking

Tickets are $12 for Adults & $10 for Senior Citizens and Military.

Children 12 & under get in free when accompanied by a paying adult.

Onsite parking is available for $15, or attendees can take advantage of the free parking and shuttle at Angel Stadium. Visit the OCIAS website for more information.


Exotic Cars

It wouldn’t be an auto show without a wide selection of high-end exotic vehicles from manufacturers such as Bentley, Lamborghini, Maserati, Porsche, Ferarri, McLaren and more. The Orange County International Auto Show has been billed as “SoCal’s greatest auto experience”, and this year should be no different. Attendees travel to the Orange County Auto Show from all over the country to get a glimpse of these rare vehicles.


Test Drives

While it’s unlikely that anyone at the auto show is going to toss you the keys to a Lambo’ to take for a spin, several auto manufacturers will be offering the opportunity to get up close and personal with their vehicles. This year’s auto show attendees will have their choice of over 100 vehicles to test drive from manufacturers like Honda, Kia, Ford, Toyota, Chevrolet and more!


Motor Trend Magazine

2016 OC Auto Show Attendees will receive a free subscription to Motor Trend Magazine.


Food Trucks

As if hundreds of captivating automobiles wasn’t good enough, the Orange County International Auto Show will also feature 4 of the best food trucks that Orange County has to offer.  Burger Monster offers mouthwatering hamburgers that boast fresh ingredients and hand formed patties for an optimal burger experience. Next on the list is the Kala Truck which offers traditional Mexican food with artful dishes and top-quality classic ingredients.  Additionally, the Coconut Truck offers craft sandwiches and was named 2015’s Best Food Truck in Orange County by OC Weekly. Lastly, the Tasting Spoon, headed by Chopped champion Joe Youkhan, has a vast array of gourmet options ranging from salads and wraps to burgers and artisanal pizzas.

Oktoberfest in Orange County


Fall is finally upon us, and there’s no better way to kick off the season than with beer and bratwurst!

For nearly 40 years OldWorld Village in Huntington Beach has been home to Oktoberfest, and this year’s celebration is stacking up to be the most eventful yet. Here are just a few of the attractions you can look forward to:

Oktoberfest Beers

First and most importantly, it wouldn’t be Oktoberfest without a wide selection of authentic German beers. OldWorld Village imports brands like Hofbrau, Spaten, Dunkel, Warsteiner and more!

Oktoberfest Shot Girls

Dozens of women audition each year with hopes of becoming one of OldWorld’s famous Oktoberfest Shot Girls. Also referred to as “Oktoberfest Babes”, these servers don traditional lederhosen while serving ice cold drinks and hot food! Among the job skills needed to be in this elite group: speed, agility, approachability and the ability to flawlessly execute the chicken dance.

Live German Music

Oktoberfest 2016 features music from 4 different German bands that will be performing festival and dance music throughout the celebration. With names like Stuwwelpeter, The Alpine Sextet, German American Brass Band, and Treppensteiger, you can be sure that this is the most authentic “Oom Pah Pah” music you’ll find in Orange County.


Alas, not all of the fun at Oktoberfest is intended for adults 21 years of age and older! Kinderfest is held every Sunday during Oktoberfest between 2PM – 7:30PM. Your little ones will enjoy carnival games, face painting, chicken dancing and a bouncy house. Don’t miss out on the Happy Hallowiener kid’s costume party on October 30th!

Dachshund Races

Last, but certainly not least, you can catch the dachshund races or “running of the wieners” every Sunday from 3PM – 4PM during Oktoberfest. After being placed into one of four weight classes, the dachshunds run a 22 yard course. At the finish line of the course, you’ll find a line of pet owners trying to lure their wiener dogs to the end zone with treats and toys. Admission during Oktoberfest is $7 for adults, $3 for kids, and children under 5 are granted free admission. You won’t want to miss this!

National Public Lands Day is Tomorrow!

national-public-lands-dayWant to visit a national park, monument, or forest without paying to get in? Then grab your hiking boots and head out tomorrow (Saturday, September 24th) for National Public Lands Day!

This annual day of service allows visitors to check out the beauty of California’s national parks and monuments for free. Incidentally, this year also marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, so there’s no better time to get outside and enjoy the view! Check out our list of the top 5 parks we’d love to visit this weekend to plan your adventure. We’ll see you on the trails!

  1. Yosemite– Yosemite National park features nearly 1,200 square miles in which visitors can enjoy camping and hiking through deep valleys, ancient sequoias, glorious meadows, vast wilderness, and much more.This expansive park is home to thousands of wildlife and plant species, and virtually every visitor falls in love with Yosemite Falls, which at 2,425 feet ranks as the tallest waterfall in North America. If you have time to make the 315 mile journey from Los Angeles to Yosemite National Park, it promises to be an adventure you’ll never forget!
  1. Joshua Tree-The Mojave and the Colorado desert both collide just east of Palm Springs to create the stunning Joshua Tree National Park. The picturesque park known for its unique Joshua trees is a relatively short drive outside of Orange County, making it an easy day or weekend trip. Adventure sports enthusiasts are sure to love the world class rock climbing and mountain biking Joshua Tree offers. Naturalists also flock to this local Southern California retreat for the bird watching, horseback riding, wildflower viewing, and stargazing.
  1. Sequoia and Kings Canyon– These dramatic national parks lie side by side in the southern Sierra Nevada mountain range, and range in elevation from 1300 feet to nearly 15,000 above sea level! Discover the underground world of Sequoia National Park on a tour of a marble cavern, or take a guided horseback tour through the foothills of Kings Canyon.Overnight camping and backpacking is the most popular activity here, but rock climbers and photographers will also have plenty to keep them busy!
  1. San Francisco Maritime– A visit to this National Historical Park is more like a journey back in time. Located in the Fisherman’s Wharf neighborhood, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park offers visitors incredible sights of historic ships and the chance to cruise San Francisco Bay aboard the 1891 National Landmark scow schooner Alma! Make sure to check out the area’s incredible history at The Maritime Museum and soak in all the beauty of the Aquatic Park Cove and Beach.
  1. Muir Woods– This redwood lover’s paradise is actually a California National Monument, as well as a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Besides the incredible array of flora and fauna, Muir Woods is also known for its rich cultural history. Indeed, in May 1945 United Nations delegates that were meeting in San Francisco traveled to Muir Woods to honor the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt with a special memorial.

Free Museum Day in Orange County!

free-museum-dayIf you’ve been lacking a bit of imagination in your day to day routines recently, we have your remedy! Plan ahead for some inspiring fun and mark your calendar for the annual Museum Day Live! event sponsored by Smithsonian magazine. On Saturday, September 24th you and a guest can enjoy free admission to any of the several participating museums and historical sites.

Although Museum Day Live! is actually a nationwide event, there are several outstanding options in Orange County that are participating. All you have to do to sign up in advance is enter your email address and download your two free tickets to the museum of your choice.

To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of three of the most amazing museums in Orange County that you can visit for free on Museum Day Live!

Laguna Art Museum– This gorgeous museum is unique because it collects, cares for, and exhibits works exclusively done by California artists or containing subject matter that represents the culture of our beloved Golden State. The stunning cultural center was built in 1929, and after being used as a gallery for several decades became the Laguna Beach Museum of Art in 1972.

Today, the museum showcases works from its collection, special exhibits, and several rotating fantastic events including artist talks, concerts, family days, and more! Make sure to take advantage of the current exhibits’ last few days and check out the dozens of incredible pieces by the undeniably talented Peter Krasnow, as well renowned photographer Anthony Friedkin’s The Wave Portfolio.

Heritage Museum of Orange County The breathtaking cultural and natural history center in Santa Ana covers nearly 12 acres in all. The centerpiece of the museum is a historic plaza of extensive floral gardens and citrus groves that feature several buildings from the 1890’s. Among those is the Kellogg House, one of the most popular field trip destinations for students in Orange County for over 30 years, which showcases what daily life was like in the late 19th century.

Take a stroll down some of the easily accessed walking trails to find a fully operational blacksmith shop as well as a newly added traditional produce farm maintained by local high school and college students. The natural beauty and unique charm found here has made this museum a highly sought after wedding venue, and regularly hosts outstanding educational tours and events.

Catalina Island Museum– Although technically located within Los Angeles County, we just had to include the fabulous Catalina Island Museum on our list. This museum, founded in 1953, just opened a brand new state-of-the-art building in the heart of Avalon that has to be seen to be believed. The Catalina Island Museum also boasts the first museum exhibition in California dedicated to the iconic “Queen of Pinups”— Bettie Page.

Also on display, of course, is a permanent exhibit of hundreds of artifacts and photographs that bring to the life the rich history of Santa Catalina. Make this a weekend trip to remember by taking advantage of some of the other fantastic leisure and adventure activities that the island offers before catching the ferry back home!

Orange County has a rich historical and artistic culture, and we are so excited to have the opportunity to explore more of our local treasure troves! If you have questions, make sure to check out Museum Day Live!’s FAQ’s here. We hope to see you out and about!

Tune Up At the SoCal World Guitar Show This Weekend!

Man at guitar conventionThe OC Fair and Event Center in Costa Mesa will be alive with the sound of music this weekend with the highly celebrated return of the SoCal World Guitar Show! This bi-annual event attracts thousands of musical enthusiasts, vendors, and buyers from all over the world. Trust us, if you’re a music lover you definitely won’t want to miss out!

Co-sponsored by Vintage Guitar magazine and Amigo Guitar Shows, this melodic event will showcase modern and vintage musical instruments and accessories, books, records, and much more! Some of the major exhibitors also include various highly-respected maintenance and service providers in the musical instrument industry.

Amigo Guitar Shows are America’s oldest, biggest, and best consumer guitar events. Since the late 1970’s, Amigo events have put on over two hundred shows all across the country! The Amigos are well known for pioneering almost every innovation in the guitar show business, including producing the world’s largest consumer guitar event in Arlington, Texas. With all the industry professionals in tow, this weekend’s music event in Orange County is definitely one of the best opportunities we’ve ever seen to learn about the vintage and modern world of music.

Visitors can expect to see everything from classic instruments like guitars, amps, banjos, violins, and drums to displays from manufacturers, retail stores, builders, and celebrities who attend the event. Attendees may also bring in any musical instruments, books, equipment, clothing, etc. to sell, trade, or have appraised at the show. Think of this rockin’ good time as a kind of musical swap meet!

The SoCal World Guitar Show will be held this Saturday, August 27th and Sunday, August 28th at the OC Fair and Event Center, located at 88 Fair Drive in Costa Mesa. Admission is $20 for adults, and kids under eleven are free if accompanied by an adult. Show times run from 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday, and 10 am to 4 pm on Sunday.

Even the most critical sound snob won’t be able to contain their excitement when they see the impressive array of instruments and music industry leaders at this weekend’s show. Grab your family and friends and come join in the harmonious fun!

5 Unique Event Venues in Orange County

Lyon Air Musem and event center in Orange CountyWhether you are looking for the perfect place to host a casual birthday party or the wedding venue of your dreams, our list of unique Orange County event venues has something sure to inspire!

  1. Lyon Air Museum: One of our favorite event venues in Orange County is located on the west side of John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, and features a pristine collection of fully operational aircraft, vehicles, and memorabilia from the World War II era. The immaculately kept exhibits are a stunning backdrop for charity or corporate events, memorial services, galas, wedding receptions, anniversaries, and even fashion shows! Lyon Air Museum’s 30,000 square foot hangar provides an intimate and historical event venue that is unlike anything your guests have ever seen before!
  1. The Grand Plaza Anaheim: This 100,000 square foot outdoor space located between the Hilton Anaheim and the Marriot Anaheim offers the perfect opportunity for thousands of guests to gather for year round events. The Anaheim Convention Center Grand Plaza is an ideal setting for alfresco dining receptions, concerts, exhibitions, meetings, and networking events. The convenient location and versatile outdoor space under the dazzling California sunshine make the Grand Plaza one of the most unique event venues in Orange County.
  1. Don the Beach Comber: Enjoy the spirit of Aloha at your next event in this 15,000 square foot Hawaiian themed restaurant. Don the Beach Comber features two large banquet rooms in the rear of the property that can be easily combined to host events. Intimate rooms for private anniversaries or birthdays are also available. Your guests are sure to enjoy the two waterfalls, hundreds of feet of bamboo, and exceptional Hawaiian Tapa wall art while sipping on handcrafted tropical cocktails. This Huntington Beach locale also regularly features local bands and themed live entertainment acts, so be sure to stop in for a festive Hawaiian retreat guaranteed to show you a great time!
  1. Seven-Degrees: For those seeking a truly spectacular experience, this simply stunning venue less than a mile from Laguna’s Main Beach offers a distinctive event space guaranteed to impress any crowd. The 25,000 square foot locale offers award winning architecture, extensive in-house design options, and several breakout rooms that provide an infinite number of unforgettable event opportunities. The lush gardens and succulent landscaping framed by the Laguna Beach canyons also create an unbelievably beautiful setting for outdoor weddings or events. The staff at Seven-Degrees prides themselves on artfully executing each tiny detail to create the celebration of your dreams!
  1. Discovery Cube: The Discovery Cube in Santa Ana is one of the most exciting and interactive event venues in Orange County, especially for families. This facility offers one-of-a-kind experiences for guests that combine learning and play, making it perfect for catered birthday parties, dances, and banquets. Permanent and traveling exhibits ignite the imagination of every visitor, and children especially love to engage with all of the amazing hands-on learning opportunities. Events at the Discovery Cube in Santa Ana are guaranteed to create amazing lifelong memories for guests of all ages!

Orange County’s Best Bonfire Beaches!

bonfire imageIt’s officially summertime in Southern California! Most Californians love to spend a Sunday afternoon sunbathing or tossing a Frisbee while foamy ocean waves churn in the background. However, the magic of Orange County’s best beaches is also truly alive even after sunset. Imagine the salty ocean air breezing through your hair while the comforting smell of burning wood floats up from a glowing fire pit. You’ve roasted the marshmallow for your S’more to the perfect golden brown texture, and as you take that first delicious bite you can’t help but admire the natural beauty of the stars twinkling above you. Sounds pretty good, right?

To help you achieve this level of summer nirvana, we’ve put together a list of our favorite Orange County beaches that offer fire pits for visitors to use. Pick out one (or a few!) and get glowing!

Doheny State Beach

Located in Dana Point, Doheny State Beach is one of California’s most popular beaches, attracting nearly a million visitors per year. The northern end of California’s first state beach features a five acre lawn with picnic facilities and volleyball courts. Tide pools and a visitor’s center with several aquariums can be found on the southern end of the state beach, making Doheny a great place to view California’s native wildlife up close. Campers and motorhomes are also welcome at the beach’s campground sites, several of which are only steps away from the sand.

Bolsa Chica State Beach

Located just south of Sunset Beach, Bolsa Chica is a perfect place to play volleyball, surf, and watch the legendary oceanfront sunsets. Bolsa Chica State Beach is a famous surf fishing destination for several local species. Wildlife and bird watching are also popular, as the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve is located directly across Pacific Coast Highway from the beach. A paved beachside trail runs for nearly 9 miles between Bolsa Chica and Huntington State Beaches, and you can expect to find runners, bikers, and skaters enjoying the view while they cruise the paths from sun up to sun down.

Huntington City Beach

With the landmark Huntington Beach pier and close proximity to downtown Huntington, this state beach is the hub of Surf City’s summertime experience. Thanks to the world renowned waves stretching down Pacific Coast Highway, the US Open of Surfing and several annual beach events are hosted here each summer. Besides the fire rings open to the public from 5 am to 10 pm daily, there are several beach volleyball courts for visitors to use. On the city’s adjacent historic landmark pier, visitors may fish without a license and Ruby’s Diner offers great views and classic American fare. Trust us, you should definitely splurge and order that milkshake!

Corona Del Mar State Beach

Corona del Mar’s half mile stretch of beach is a very popular spot for swimmers, surfers, and divers. The tranquil beach is framed by cliffs and a rock jetty, forming the east end of Newport Harbor. The beach’s surrounding area is simply gorgeous, and checking out local hiking trails or window shopping in boutiques is a great way to spend a few leisurely hours. Of course, fire pits are first come, first serve so be prepared to get there early or make new friends! You’ll definitely want to pack a picnic and blankets for this beach trip so you can fully enjoy taking in some of Southern California’s most breathtaking sunset views.

Fantastic Father’s Day Activities in Orange County!

fathers dayDads sure have done a lot for us over the years. They’re always been there to help us with car trouble, take care of the lawn, kill bugs in the house, and, most importantly, to provide a great pillow to sleep on. They work hard, don’t ask for much, and are usually a good sport about doing the dishes. For all these reasons and many more, they deserve to have a great time this Father’s Day weekend!

If you’re not sure how to treat the special Dad in your life this year, we’re helping you out with a quick list of some awesome Father’s Day events in Orange County that are simply too good to miss!

Cruisin’ Brea Classic Car Show

This year’s classic car show produced by Flying Deuces will feature hundreds of unique automobiles, and is sure to be their largest event ever! Bring the entire family and treat your Dad to a world class car show with some of Southern California’s hottest vehicles! Dad will love checking out all the classic muscle cars, trucks, and exotics, and everyone will love the free general admission and live music.

Downtown Brea also features dozens of restaurants, shops, and a nearby Edwards Theaters to entertain everyone for the whole day! Cruise on over to Birch Street and Brea Blvd this Sunday, June 19th, from 10 am to 4 pm for a great Father’s Day event with some of the most incredible cars we’ve ever seen! 

Father’s Day Sunday Brunch at Old World German Restaurant

You’ll definitely blow Dad away this year by splurging on the belt loop defying All You Can Eat Father’s Day Sunday Brunch at Old World German Restaurant in Huntington Beach! The menu boasts American and European favorites such as BBQ ribs, pastas, a waffle bar, seafood, bratwurst, fresh fruit, imported cheeses and deli meats, and Old World’s famous apple streusels, just to name a few! Besides the unlimited champagne, Dad is sure to love sampling some traditional German beers, including a grapefruit infused Hefeweizen lovingly referred to as the “Beer-Mosa”.

Besides the regular Sunday Wiener Dog Races happening at 3 pm, this year also happens to coincide with World Cup Soccer so make sure you make reservations ahead of time!  With this deliciously action-packed event, you’re guaranteed to see Dad smile from ear to ear. Prost! (Cheers!)

Chili at the Beach in Huntington

If your Dad is in the mood to soak up some sun and fresh ocean air this Saturday, June 18th, take him over to the 9th Annual Chili at the Beach event in downtown Huntington Beach! This tasty competition offers guests free admission and unlimited chili and salsa tasting tickets for just $10 if you purchase online, $15 at the event. Check out all of the vendors to find some fun activities or last minute gifts for Dad, and enjoy the live musical entertainment and roaming street performers! Let the kids run wild in the Kids’ Zone while Dad grazes and enjoys the day.

Chili and salsa tastings are the main attraction for this event, so it’s recommended that you show up early to make sure you can sample as many as possible! Once you’re full up, end the day with a leisurely stroll on the Huntington Beach Pier, and don’t forget to snap a picture of you and Dad in the world famous scenery!







The Top 5 Best Farmers Markets in Orange County

Costa Mesa’s SoCo Farmers Market

Located in the SoCo Collection at 3315 Hyland Avenue, this is the place to spend a casual Saturday between 9 am and 2 pm. The market carries an impressive variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, honey, eggs, meat and poultry. Food trucks and handmade ice cream vendors are also usually in attendance to appease any hangry spouses or kids that need a snack. The SoCo Collection center is known as Costa Mesa’s “destination for inspiration” and offers up gorgeous stores that feature home décor, women’s fashion, and more. The adjacent OC Mix is also a great place to grab a cup of coffee, check out some artisanal cheese and olive oil shops, and bask in the glory of all the local boutique items you could ever desire.

Fullerton’s Certified Farmers Market

This Wednesday morning market runs every week from 8 am to 1 pm, and is believed to be the oldest farmers market in Orange County. Located at Independence Park at 801 W. Valencia Drive, Fullerton’s favorite farmers market is famous for the fresh produce and extensive variety of fruits, vegetables, potted plants and flowers for sale. Many of the goods are brought exclusively to the market from vendors and farmers across the state, and cannot be found in neighborhood stores. Operated by the nonprofit Fullerton Certified Farmers Market Board, this market has many long-time customers that rely on it to fill their fridge each week.

Irvine’s Great Park Farmers Market

Every Sunday between 10 am and 2 pm, families flock to Irvine for the Great Park Certified Farmers Market located at 6950 Marine Way. This dog-friendly market features organically grown fruits and veggies from the Great Park Farm and other local farms, live entertainment, handmade artisan goods, and gourmet food trucks. The Farmers Market also features health clinics, nutritional seminars, and author meet-ups on a monthly basis. But the fun doesn’t stop there! Carousel rides are available for $2 each, and check out breathtaking views of Orange County for miles in every direction while soaring 400 feet above the ground in the Great Park Balloon. This extremely popular attraction is only $10 for adults and free for kids with an adult, but is run on a first come, first served basis.

Newport Beach Farmers Market

If your weekend plans are beach-centric, make sure you stop by the Newport Beach Pier on Sundays from 9 am to 2 pm to check out the unbelievable sights, sounds, and smells of the Newport Beach Farmers Market! This market features all the usual characters; locally grown produce, fresh baked breads, nuts, sauces, artisan goods, etc. What really sets this market apart (besides the ultimate Southern California beachfront scenery) is the famous Dory Fleet Fish Market just a few steps away. The freshest seafood imaginable has locals and visitors lining up as early as 5:30 am at this historical landmark. Everything you need to supply a feast fit for a king is waiting for you at the Newport Beach Farmers Market!

 Tustin Certified Farmers Market

This market is located in the quaint area of Old Town Tustin on the corner of 3rd Street and El Camino, and runs Wednesdays from 9 am to 1 pm.  This popular farmers market has been going strong for over 20 years, and features locally grown produce, honey, bread, eggs, and plants. Grab some tamales or kettle corn to munch on while you shop for produce or peruse the crafty section stocked with unique, handmade items that make great gifts.  Although this market is of a modest size in a busy downtown area of Tustin, the variety of goods is all-inclusive and free parking is easy to find.

Note: All of our featured markets run all year and are also California Certified Farmers Markets.

All Hail the Fish Fry Carnival!

Fish FryCosta Mesa is widely recognized as the heart of Orange County, and it’s no surprise with the plethora of restaurants, bars, shopping, outdoor activities, and close proximity to some of the best beaches in the state. Community events for local Orange County residents are also an important part of the Costa Mesa culture, many of which are hosted on a weekly basis at the Orange County Fairgrounds.

However, this weekend Costa Mesa’s Fairview Park is the place to be for the Costa Mesa- Newport Harbor Lions Club’s 69th annual Fish Fry & Carnival! Guests are invited to enjoy free admission to three days of music, carnival rides and games, local vendors, and, of course, the famous fish dinners! This family friendly event is also presenting a Battle of the Bands, the Fish Fry’s first annual Car Show, and the traditional Baby Contest!

Each year, the Costa Mesa- Newport Harbor Lions Club hosts thousands of Orange County residents at their Fish Fry event to help raise money for local schools, clubs, and other community organizations. These Lions have been crowned “The Fish Fry Club” because of their fish-shaped hats and traditional fish fry recipe that goes back to the 1920’s. You definitely won’t want to miss out on the flaky, golden, perfectly battered fish!

Swim on over to Fairview Park on Friday, June 3rd from 5:30-7:30 pm to check out local classic cars at the inaugural Car Show, sponsored by First Friday RoadShow. Stand-Up comedy by Lions Club member Bob Ooten and Friends will also be featured in the Beer Garden from 6:45-7:00pm and 7:45-8:00pm. The fish starts frying at 5 pm, and keeps on cooking until 9 pm! Over the course of the weekend, several local bands will be filling the air with a variety of music for guests to enjoy throughout the festivities.

Lions Club members will continue the fish fry on Saturday and Sunday from 12pm-9pm, and with over 68 years of experience frying fish you definitely won’t want to miss out. Check out the Costa Mesa Fish Fry Facebook page to print out a coupon to receive $1 off your fish dinner at the event! Of course, the Lions Club asks that you only bring one per family since the Fish Fry is a non-profit event and every little bit helps!

Sunday’s highlight is undoubtedly the annual Baby Contest, where parents can register their babies aged 6-24 months to win a number of categories including best personality, most beautiful and overall appearance. Of course, the judges are impartial and this is a light-hearted contest not to be taken too seriously.  All of the adorable babies will be presented with some kind of a special award! Registration fees are $5 and interested parents should bring proof of birth date to register their baby.

Outside of this weekend’s awesome Fish Fry fiesta, the park has also recently seen several improvements to the wetland habitats, including new dog-friendly walking paths and the planting of thousands of new plants, trees, and native shrubs. Families can visit every day before sundown to enjoy fun in the sun riding bikes, playing Frisbee, testing out remote controlled toys, or simply having a picnic.

Join us this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for one of Costa Mesa’s favorite summertime events where the fish will be frying and the sun will be shining! Fairview Park in Costa Mesa is located right next to Estancia High School at 2525 Placentia Avenue. We’ll see you there!

The Garden Grove Strawberry Festival Is Back!

Strawberries are a very special, delicious little piece of fruit that millions of people around the world begin to crave as soon as the weather starts to heat up. In fact, Americans eat an average of three and a half pounds of fresh strawberries each per year! Since California produces nearly 80% of the supply of our country’s strawberries, it’s only natural that we should celebrate these heart-shaped treats over Memorial Day weekend with the return of the beloved Garden Grove Strawberry Festival!

strawberry festival 1The first Garden Grove Strawberry Festival was held in 1958, and was put together as a way to bring together the east and west sides of Garden Grove. The festival itself is a non-profit (501-c-3) organization that is separate from the City of Garden Grove, but has raised money for numerous city projects as well as the city’s police and fire departments. The Garden Grove Strawberry Festival has developed a rich history of giving back, and over the past 50 years over $5.5 million in proceeds has been donated to hundreds of local non-profits! The festival also treats over 2,000 special needs kids to a full day of free rides and food, and college scholarships to local outstanding students are also awarded each year!

We’re definitely planning on kicking off the weekend by attending the Welcome and Strawberry Cake Cutting Ceremony on Friday at 6 pm, where free strawberry shortcake is served to all who attend! The world’s largest strawberry shortcake is cut by the Mayor of Garden Grove and has been reported to weigh as much as 500 pounds!

waveswingblurAdmission to the festival is free for everyone, and wristbands for unlimited rides all day can be purchased for $30 on Friday and $35 Saturday through Monday. For many, these exciting rides are the highlight of our annual Strawberry Festival, and there are dozens of options guaranteed to delight everyone in your family! The festival also offers game booths, arts and crafts, and commercial booths.

There are also several Strawberry themed events, including the annual Strawberry Stomp 5K Run that takes place early Saturday morning before the Festival Parade. Registered participants who participate in their best strawberry themed outfit will be given a chance to receive a one year membership to Chuze Fitness! Every finisher will receive a finisher medal when they cross the finish line and the top 3 male and female in selected age categories will also receive medals. Monday’s Redhead Roundup Contest is also sure to be a hit with categories like Strawberry Blond, Cutest, and Redhead with the Most Freckles!

In the 1980’s the City of Garden Grove began broadcasting the festival parade on local TV stations, and this tradition still continues today. This year’s celebrities in attendance appearing in the parade on Saturday at 10 AM will include, but are not limited to, Miss California, Miss Garden Grove, several awarded actors and public personalities, multiple U.S. Olympians, and Snoopy! There will also be incredible live music and performances over the course of the weekend, including a Strawberry Idol Karaoke Contest!

Join us for the annual fruit fiesta located at the Village Green in downtown Garden Grove that begins this Friday, May 27th at 1 pm and concludes Monday, May 30th at 10 pm. It’s one sweet way to celebrate Memorial Day Weekend with the whole family!

5 Upcoming Free Activities In Orange County!

free activities in orange countyOrange County is an amazing place to live for so many reasons, but sometimes things can get a little pricey. For those who are looking to keep their budget in check this summer without missing out on all the fun, check out this latest list of upcoming free Orange County events to help get the ball rolling!

Newport Bay Conservancy’s “Explore the Bay Family Hike”

This Saturday, May 21st, from 10:30 to 11:30 am the Muth Interpretive Center of Newport Beach is hosting an Explore the Bay Family Hike. Learn about Upper Newport Bay and enjoy its miles of beautiful trails on this easy hike. We advise you to bring a hat and water, and make sure you lather on some sunscreen before you hop out of the car. There’s no registration necessary, just head on down!

Meet on the patio of the Muth Interpretive Center at the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve, located at 2301 University Drive in Newport Beach. Visit or call 949-923-2290 for more information.

16th Annual Yorba Linda Celebration of the Arts Festival

Mark your calendar for Sunday, June 5th from 11 am to 4 pm for the ever popular annual fine arts and music festival presented by the Yorba Linda Arts Alliance! This incredible free, family friendly event will feature original works of art, photography, ceramics, glassblowing, wood working demonstrations, and children’s art activities. Explore the fine art, historical, and cultural exhibits while enjoying live entertainment, food trucks, and the beautiful outdoor park setting.

The Yorba Linda Celebration of the Arts Festival will be held at Hurless Barton Park & Thomas Lasorda Jr. Field House, located at 4701 Casa Loma Ave. in Yorba Linda.

Community Yoga Tuesdays at Cypress Library

Come and get your zen on (for free!) at the Cypress Library on Tuesday evenings (except the first Tuesday of the month) from 7 to 8 pm. This is a gentle, slow paced class designed to be approachable for yogis of all ages and skill levels. Wear comfortable clothing and socks, and bring a water bottle and yoga mat if you have one. You will be required to sign a waiver upon arrival.

Guests should meet in the library’s Program Room, located at 5331 Orange Ave, Cypress. For more information, please call 714-826-0350.

Yorba Linda Public Library’s “Star Wars Day”

May the force be with you this Saturday, May 21st at the Yorba Linda Public Library’s “Star Wars Day”! All ages are welcome to attend, and the event runs from 10 am to 1 pm. Everyone in your family is sure to enjoy all of the themed crafts, games, a light saber demonstration, taking photos with their favorite Star Wars characters, and much more!

We promise—this is not a trap! For more information, call the Yorba Linda Public Library at 714-777-2873 or visit at 18181 Imperial Highway in Yorba Linda.

Old Town Tustin Street Fair and Chili Cook Off

Join us in Old Town Tustin on Sunday, June 5th from 11 am to 5:30 pm for this free family friendly event! The street fair features craft booths, a kids carnival, live music and entertainment, and much more! Love spicy foods? Indulge in sampling dozens of chili concoctions, or try your hand at the chili pepper eating contest! There’s also a watermelon eating contest for those that can’t stand the heat.

This event is located on El Camino Real and Main Street, and parking may be hectic so plan to head over early. For more information call (714) 573-3326.

The OC Night Market Provides a Taste of Summer Fun!

The OC Night Market is getting the summer season started by opening for the first of three weekend events, starting this Friday, May 13th! Festival goers will be celebrating the third year of the OC Night Market from 4pm-midnight at the Orange County Fairgrounds and Event Center, located at 88 Fair Drive in Costa Mesa, CA 92626.

The OC Night Market is one of the largest food festivals in Orange County, and features over a hundred local food vendors and chefs! Since the OC Night Market is produced by 626 Night Market, the largest Asian-themed night market in the U.S., many of the food vendors also feature traditional and contemporary Asian fare, as well as the more familiar over-the-top fair cuisine. With all the incredible vendors and the sixteen food trucks to choose from, the OC Night Market is basically food heaven.

We’re definitely looking forward to stopping by Norigami’s booth for the famous “Noritacos”, a mouth-watering combination of crispy seaweed tempura shells and fresh sushi-inspired fillings like spicy tuna, ahi poke, and soft shell crab. Thai Me Upp will be also be offering some feast-worthy Satay chicken wrapped with roti shell, peanut sauce, pickled cucumber and red onions. Grab a cold brew from the Kirin Ichiban beer lounge, and dinner is served!

For those who are looking to satisfy their sweet tooth, Rolling Ice Creamery offers a one of a kind dessert experience straight from Thailand featuring customizable rolled ice cream made from scratch using a sub-zero temperature pan. Square Ice Cream is also offering its most popular calorie-fest of a dessert; a square donut filled with ice cream, topped with Fruity Pebbles and then drizzled with white chocolate. Yum!!!!

The OC Night Market also aims to serve as a platform for local entrepreneurs, small businesses, artists and performers to connect to other like-minded individuals in the Orange County community. Over 50 non-food vendors will be selling unique homemade arts and crafts, jewelry, clothing, accessories, and bath and body products. The OC Night Market website has a full list of participating vendors for those who would like to research some of these amazing Orange County small businesses.

At the Art Walk area, artists will showcase their talents in medium such as photography and spray paint, with many pieces for sale at the event as well. Festival goers are also invited to participate in the ever popular Chalk Art contest! Local DJ’s and several live music performers will keep the energy flowing throughout the jam packed event each night while guests mix and mingle on the dance floor.

The OC Night Market is a great way to celebrate the return of glorious Southern California summer with your friends and entire family, and children 6 or under can enjoy free admission! General admission ticket prices are only $5, parking is $8, but both are cash only. ATM’s are available at the event, as are bike racks for local residents to avoid the parking fee.

Join us this weekend at the OC Night Market for incredible food, creative arts and crafts, energizing dance and music performances, and much, much more!


Cinco de Mayo events in Orange County

Cinco De MayoCinco de Mayo has been celebrated each year since 1863 to commemorate the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French troops at the Battle of Puebla. This victory established a sense of patriotism and unity among the Mexican people, and as many thousands of Mexican gold miners celebrated it effectively established May 5th as an important holiday in California’s history.

Since Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner, we’ve compiled a quick list of some festive Cinco de Mayo events throughout Orange County in order to help you celebrate Mexican culture and indulge in some traditional food and fun!

Fullerton- Celebrate Cinco De Mayo with this free, family-friendly event at the Fullerton Market! The Fullerton Market is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and will be held each Thursday from April 7th through October 27th between 4 and 8:30pm. The Market features local food vendors, live music and entertainment, a farmer’s market with fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables, and handcrafted artisan goods.

This Thursday, parents can enjoy an outdoor beer and wine garden while the kids have fun with Mexican crafts and activities at the Kids’ Korner, all while enjoying festive performers and live music by “La Sirena y Orquesta Mar de Ashe”.  

Irvine- The Cinco De Mayo Fiesta at Pretend City Children’s Museum will be a jalapeno-hopping good time for kids and their parents! Pretend City provides an interactive and educational environment for children, and this Thursday will be celebrating Mexican culture with some festive themed activities.

Kids can learn about the history of piñatas while getting to create their own artful interpretation, engage in an interactive themed story time, and participate in the Jalapeno Hop dance party! Guests will also enjoy the music of Mama Lisa’s World and make a Mexican Dancing Doll to dance with to the music!There are no reservations required, and the price is included with museum admission.

Santa Ana- Bowers Museum, located at 2002 N. Main Street in downtown Santa Ana, hosts a monthly Thirsty Thursday event every first Thursday of the month. This month’s festivities happen to fall on Cinco De Mayo, and the Bowers is going all out to celebrate!

This Thursday enjoy happy hour drinks, live Mayan and Mexican music, a Diego Rivera inspired art workshop, and music and dancing in the courtyard! Included in the admission price of this event also includes a glass of champagne, and ticket prices vary from $10 for students and Santa Ana residents to $20-30 for museum members or general public.  This event will be held at Bowers Museum from 5-11pm, and is for guests at least 18 or over.

Costa Mesa– For those who are interested in attending a powerful cultural tribute to Mexico, The Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa will be hosting an incredible Cinco de Mayo event that is sure to make an impression!

Grammy nominated Mariachi Sol de Mexico will be honoring the Mexican holiday with traditional and contemporary music, as well as original songs by the 13 member group. Before Mariachi Sol de Mexico takes the stage, concert goers can enjoy free activities starting around 6:30, set to include dancers, Jose Hernandez Academy students performing in the Arts plaza, and a performance by folk band Conjunto Tenocelomeh. Tickets range from $29-$89, and the show starts at 8:00 pm.

Earth Day Events in Orange County

Earth Day graphic

Earth Day Events in Orange County!

 Earth Day is an incredible opportunity to bring people together to reflect on the importance of protecting our natural world. In fact, Earth Day is one of the largest international holidays, celebrated in 192 countries. This year will mark Earth Day’s 46th year of celebration since it’s creation by the Earth Day Network nonprofit.

We’ve compiled a short list of some of our favorite Earth Day events in Orange County. They’re sure to inspire you to appreciate and care for the world around you every day!

Newport Bay Conservancy’s “Earth Day at the Bay”

Come and celebrate Earth Day 2016 at this fantastic (and free!) all ages community event! The kids won’t be able to contain their enthusiasm with Earth Day themed crafts, a face painting booth, live animals, and scavenger hunt! Parents can also enjoy exhibits, food trucks, live music, and a screening of a Newport Beach Film Festival movie.

Raffle tickets will be available for purchase for thousands of dollars worth of credit to local Orange County businesses. All proceeds from the ticket sales will benefit the Newport Bay Conservancy.

The 26th annual “Earth Day at the Bay” will be held Saturday, April 23 from 10 am-3pm at the Muth Interpretive Center in Newport Beach.

Earth Week 2016 at Cal State Fullerton

Cal State Fullerton’s Center for Sustainability will host a variety of events for all members of the community next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday on campus. Activities will include a farmer’s market, exhibits on green energy, sustainable transportation and a showcase on recycling and waste. The Fullerton Arboretum is also sponsoring Orange County’s first bioblitz.

Parking will be available at the university, and Earth Week events will be held at a variety of times and locations on campus.

Pretend City Children’s Museum Earth Day Celebration

Children of all ages and their grown-ups will learn about the Earth in an interactive environment at the Earth Day 2016 Celebration hosted by Irvine’s Pretend City! Engaging activities such as recyclable art projects, natural science experiments, and environmentally themed story time and art lessons will be featured.

Pretend City employs an arsenal of trained educators to help guide you and your child. With the experienced staff and amazing activities, everyone is guaranteed to learn something new and have a great time along the way! This Earth Day event will be held Friday, April 22nd from 10am until 4pm, and is included in the price of admission.

Be Green and Recycle Earthday Fair

Habitat for Humanity of Orange County will be hosting a furniture re-painting DIY workshop for $35 per person. In addition to the workshop, there will also be a free electronic recycling drive from 9-6 at the Santa Ana ReStore. All proceeds will go toward funding affordable Habitat OC homes for under privileged families in O.C.

This Earth Day Event in Orange County will be held on Saturday, April 23, 2016. Visit their website for more details.

Bolsa Chica Wetlands Coastal Cleanup

The Bolsa Chica Conservancy is a small non-profit organization that relies heavily on volunteers to help restore native habitats. They host a number of volunteer events each month focused on conservation and coastal clean up.

Kids as young as 6 and adults of all ages are welcome to attend this month’s next clean up efforts on Saturday, April 30th to put their Earth Day thoughts into action! RSVP beforehand and make sure to slather on the sunscreen, wear closed toe shoes and bring a reusable water bottle.





Easter Events in Orange County

Easter events in Orange County

Time flies-or in this case-hops, when you’re having fun! This coming weekend is already Easter Sunday, and the beautiful Orange County weather begs for some extra entertainment fit for the whole family! Luckily for those of who you are in need of some last minute plans, we’ve done the hunting for you and have compiled a basket-full of Easter events in Orange County that are sure to put a spring in your step.

  1. Bunny Train– Kids can go on egg hunts throughout the day at different times depending on age group. Baskets are available to buy at the park if you forgot yours at home! The event also offers a hayride, cookie decorating, games, and train rides, of course. Children can also show off those adorable spring outfits and get their photo taken with the Easter Bunny. The Easter Eggstravaganza will be hosted this Saturday, March 26th, at the Irvine Regional Park in Orange starting at 9:00 am.
  2. Farmer’s Market Spring Festival– Every Thursday the Anaheim Certified Farmers’ Market takes place, but this week is an extra special occasion. This Thursday, March 24th, the Market will host its annual Spring Festival, which appeals to kids and their parents. For the little ones the festival offers a special craft project and a free photo with the Easter Bunny, while the parents can enjoy all the usual goodies that the Market regularly has to offer.
  3. Tustin’s Easter Egg Hunt– This Saturday, March 26th, you’ll have no problems waking your kids up early. This egg hunt begins at 9 am sharp, but the fun doesn’t stop there! Among the other attractions offered at this free community event are inflatables, pony rides, games, a petting zoo and pictures with the Easter Bunny. Head on down to the Tustin Sports Park this Saturday morning for what is sure to be a bunny blast with your chickadees!
  4. Easter Eggstravaganza– Pile the kids into the car and head on down this Saturday, March 26th, Laguna Niguel’s Chaparosa Park for a sensational seasonal celebration. The morning’s activities will include fun inflatables, live entertainment, art projects, and energizing games for the whole family. Kids can get their faces painted and take their photo with the Easter Bunny, and parents can meet some of the Parks & Recreations class instructors as well.
  5. Rabbit Run 5K/ Egg Hunt- At this Saturday’s annual event at Jeffrey Trail Middle School, participants can enjoy some holiday fun while they run, walk, or hop their way through a 5K. There will be two races- the OC Challenge and the Easter-themed Rabbit Run, which is a 3.1 mile Easter egg hunt. The Easter Bunny waits for participants at the finish line, and prizes will be given for the winning runners. Strollers, bikes, and tricycles are allowed, but use at your own risk.

We hope this list has helped some ideas bloom for you and your family to be able to enjoy a fantastic Easter holiday together! Don’t be shy and hop on over to one, or all, of these amazing Orange County events this weekend!

Work at Night to Maximize Efficiency

Working at night can be one of the best ways to maximize your efficiency on specific projects and tasks. When working during the day many know very well that distractions are commonplace. When trying to finish projects during a hectic afternoon of phone calls and meetings, it can be time easier to set aside an evening to focus on completing work without interruption. A night set aside for working extra hours can be a slippery slope, be sure to limit the evening hours spent per week to avoid burnout. “Burning the midnight oil” can be a key to success, but also know that a well-planned evening schedule will avoid over-working and missing out on quality rest and a balanced lifestyle.
For those planning on putting in those extra hours:
Rest: After your long workday, take time to rest and enjoy 30-45 mins away from anything work-related.
Workout: Work off that stress from the day and get re-energized, ask any of your friends and they will agree.
A Healthy Meal: A healthy dinner with friends, family or flying solo will give you that break from the workday and not leave you weighed down at night.
Get Outside: My favorite way to gear up for a night of work is to take a long walk and think about your goals. 15-30 mins is all your need, and nothing beats fresh air.
There are many reasons you may want to work after hours, go seize the night and be sure to take care of yourself while doing so!
Written by Bob Bradley, AirTimePR

Orange County Business Directory

Free business directory for local businesses in Orange County. Feel free to add your business to the directory. And don’t forget to include a description of your services, and a photo or logo. Thanks

Where to Find Food Trucks in Orange County

Looking for Gourmet Food Trucks in Orange County?? Us too. And although you can find a few food trucks at local bowling alleys or business parks, you can always find Food Trucks at the Orange County Fairgrounds. That’s right, the OC Fairgrounds. Every Thursday food trucks are featured at the OC Fairgrounds. And they rotate too, so each week there is a different selection. From the Kogi Truck, the Lobsta Truck, the Barcelona truck, the Grilled Cheese Truck, and the Wiener truck. And for you vegetarians, there’s the SeaBirds Kitchen. They even have dessert trucks for that after lunch sweet tooth. Plus, the OC Fairgrounds has the Farmer’s Market right next door, so you can shop for some farm fresh food to take home for the weekend. There are usually between 5 and 10 trucks there every Thursday. So bring some cash, bring a friend, and bring your appetite, as there is a great selection of items on the lunch menu to choose from.

How to Clear a Clogged Garbage Disposal

Clogged Garbage DisposalHave you ever had a clogged garbage disposal? Well I have, several times. Once with potato peels, once with egg shells and coffee grounds, and my wife and family clogged it up on Thanksgiving Day with veggie peels and who knows what. Well, I’ve tried the baking soda and vinegar trick, but that probably only works with a mild clog. So before you call the plumber, try this simple trick:

1. Remove any additional debris from the sink and the garbage disposal.
2. Remove the screw on cap that covers the air gap, and hold a rag over it.
3. Get a big fat toilet plunger, and start plunging.

After just a few good hard plunges, your garbage disposal should be unclogged. You may need to use a good quality plunger, which has the additional section on the bottom. You may even want to spend $10 to buy a brand new one, since the other one may have been used in the toilet. Be sure to hold the air gap overflow tightly with the rag in order to keep the water from ejecting. This will force the clog through the garbage disposal hole, and clear your clog. Good luck!


Father’s Day Events in Orange County

If you’re tired of recycling the same ideas for this Father’s day or if that neck tie present is getting old, here is a chance to make some new memories. Whether your dad is a sports junkie or prefers an afternoon of wine tasting, there dozens of events this weekend in Orange County to keep your father entertained.

1. Flightdeck Flight Simulation Center

– Anaheim

If you’re looking to get off the ground and test some landing skills, take your dad to an authentic military flight simulation center. It gives civilians the experience of flying a fighter jet in real flight simulators, no more children’s arcades. Flight gear, training and in-flight instruction are provided to ensure a challenging adventure. Guests can wait in the “Officers Club” and watch their dad pilot a Boeing 737. Order dad a gift voucher on their website or book a flight!

2. Cruisin’ Brea Classic Car Show – Brea

June 15, 2014
10 am to 4 pm

If you were hoping to get dad that muscle car this year, but came up a little short, here is the next best thing. Each year the Brea Classic Car show draws more than 10,000 attendees to beautiful Downtown Brea. With more than 175 cars, Live music, free general admission and parking cruise down to the car show and indulge in some nostalgia.

Birch Street & Brea Blvd

3. Pretend City Celebrates Father’s Day – Irvine

June 14, 2014
10:00 am – 4:00 pm

If you’re looking to spend some quality time with dad and help in his personal hygiene regimen, Pretend City’s Father’s Day celebration is guaranteed to help. Children and dads get to enjoy the magic of playing together. Participate in for “tie-rrific” art activities all day, join in the afternoon for the shaving cream race, as dads and children participate in a shaving contest, and don’t forget about story time.

Pretend City
29 Hubble
Irvine, CA 92618

4. Frisby Cellars Winery- Father’s Day Wine Tasting!

-Lake Forest, CA

Sunday, Jun 15 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

If your father enjoys the finer things in life and is looking forward to a break from the grind, treat him to Frisby Cellars Winery& Tasting Room.
Open 12-5 PM Saturday and 1-4 PM Sunday for tasting and wine gifts. Special Father’s Day discount on Tasting Flights for Dad.
*Discount valid with purchase of one regular tasting.

Phone (949) 243-6691

Price $15.00

Must be 21

5. Angels Baseball


Finally, if your dad has a sports craving with his favorite team, take him out to the ball game. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim play the Arizona Diamondbacks at Angel Stadium. Friday there will be fireworks and live music in the garden and Sunday, fans receive a Father’s Day oven mitt and pot holder 7:05 p.m. June 15 and June 16; 12:35 p.m. June 17.

Angel Stadium, 2000 E. Gene Autry Way, Anaheim.

Phone: 714-940-2000.

Price: $37.10-$190.75.

10 Free Things to do in Orange County

Nothing says summer quite like warm nights, the smell of sunscreen and barbecues, and sand between the sheets. So to help heat up the summer kick off are free events and activities that will keep friends and family entertained without burning a whole in your summer budget.

1. Summer Solstice Health and Fitness Expo at Huntington Beach State Park June 21. Free admission, giveaways, prizes, free workout sessions and music for everyone to enjoy and get in shape for that swimsuit.

2. Movie Mondays at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Mondays beginning July 7 through Aug. 4, Segerstrom Center for the Arts invites families and friends to gaze under the stars and enjoy Shirley Temple’s “The Little Colonel,” “Spice World,” “Gigi,” and many other summer flicks.

3. Children’s Museum of La Habra. First Sundays of every month admission is free from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (except holidays). Restrictions do apply, 500 people are admitted on these free Sundays and a maximum of 250 wristbands are distributed per session. Session times are 1 to 2:45 p.m. and 3:15 to 5 p.m.

4. Shakespeare By the Sea, July 19-20. First “Hamlet,” then “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. See how much of your high school English class you remember. Bonita Canyon Sports Park, 1990 Ford Road, Newport Beach,

5. Cypress Community Festival, July 26. An all day affair, with a morning 5K/10K run and pancake breakfast. Following the run is a car show, chili cook-off, family games, food booths, children’s rides and everything that makes a true festival. Oak Knoll Park, 5700 Orange Ave., Cypress,

6. Vans U.S .Open of Surfing, July 26-Aug. 3. It’s why we call it surf city U.S.A. Spectators can cheer on their favorite surfers while they compete for the World Tour Huntington Beach Pier,

7. Orange International Street Fair, Aug. 29-31. 112 E. Chapman Ave. Explore the world one block at a time. There will be five ethnic streets – and one dedicated solely to children’s crafts and games – 42 food booths and plenty of entertainment. The fair is run by local nonprofits with all proceeds returning directly back to them.

8. Carbon Canyon Regional Park Redwoods, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Just off the 57 you would never know that there was a major highway down the road. With all of the playground equipment and picnic benches of a neighborhood park, there is a vast canyon as the backdrop. Whether it’s to take the kids out, or train for your next half marathon this park will get you on your feet and off the couch. Located at 4422 Carbon Canyon Road, Brea.

9. Visit your local farmer’s market or swap meet, find your local honey maker or a hidden treasure at a swap meet. It’s a great way to get your children acquainted with their fruits and veggies and helping local farmers.

10. Art walks, with Art Walks in Fullerton, Santa Ana, Huntington Beach and all around Orange County, it’s a great way discover up and coming, edgy artists. Many art walks include food trucks, music and other entertainment. Take a break from looking at the box and think outside the box by exploring local art galleries.

By Cristina Ramos, staff writer.

Youth Flag Football

Friday Night Lights (FNL) Fall registration is now open in Orange County for Youth Flag Football and Cheer. There are 5 leagues in Orange County to choose from, and league expansion opportunities available. includes Irvine, Tustin, Foothill Ranch, and Lake Forest. includes Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, Cypress, and Long Beach. includes Garden Grove, Anaheim, Westminster, Stanton, and Buena Park. includes Huntington Beach and Fountain Valley. includes Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Santa Ana, and south HB.

There are 5 divisions for boys and girls from Kindergarten to 8th grade.

For more information call (562) 756-5307.

Orange County Youth Football

Orange County Youth Football

Fullerton Police Beating

Breaking News….
Two Fullerton Police, charged with the death of Kelley Thomas, have been acquitted.
A sad day for Fullerton, and the people of Orange County. Okay, maybe they didn’t kill him on purpose, but they did beat him to death… And for that they have Murder 3, AKA Manslaughter. Either way, it sounds like these cops “got away with murder” as the saying goes.

See ABC News for more information…

ABC NEWS Fullerton Beating

Kelly Thomas trial: 2 former Fullerton cops found not guilty
Monday, January 13, 2014
Cathy Thomas: ‘They got away with murder’
Kelly Thomas mother, Cathy Thomas, speaks to the media on Monday, Jan. 14, 2014. Ron Thomas talks to the media on Jan. 14, 2014.
Cathy Thomas: ‘They got away with murder’
TAGS:legal, court case, orange county news
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SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) — Two former Fullerton police officers accused in the death of Kelly Thomas, a homeless mentally ill man, have been found not guilty on all charges.

The jury’s verdict was read just before 4 p.m. Monday. Thomas, 37, died five days after a violent confrontation with six officers in July 2011. The incident was caught on surveillance video.

Former Fullerton police officer Manuel Ramos was charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter, and former police corporal Jay Cicinelli was charged with involuntary manslaughter and excessive force. Both men pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Prosecutors argued that surveillance video shows proof that Ramos abused his authority, turning a routine encounter into a deadly one with his threat. But defense attorneys said the video showed that officers followed their training and police department policy when dealing with an uncooperative, combative suspect.

The two sides also differed on what the cause of death was in Thomas’ death. The defense claimed Thomas died because of an enlarged heart caused by years of methamphetamine use, but prosecutors said he died from a lack of oxygen caused by chest compression and facial injuries.

Ramos was the first law enforcement officer in Orange County to be charged with a homicide for an on-duty death.

Following the verdict, Thomas’ parents spoke to the media and expressed their shock.

“I’m just horrified. They got away with murdering my son,” said Kelly Thomas’ mother, Cathy Thomas. “I guess it’s legal to go out and kill now. He was so innocent. It just isn’t fair at all.”

Related Content
STORY: Kelly Thomas trial: Jury begins deliberations
STORY: Defense slams DA in Kelly Thomas closing
STORY: Final witness testifies in Kelly Thomas trial
His father, Ron Thomas, said the “defense lied continuously” during the trial.

“What this means is all of us need to be very afraid now. It’s carte blanche, for police officers everywhere can beat us, kill us, whatever they want. Because it has been proven right here, today, they’ll get away with it,” said Ron Thomas.

He said a civil suit will likely continue and he hopes the federal government will get involved.

After the acquittals of Cicinelli and Ramos, Orange County’s district attorney said his office will drop charges against a third officer involved in the struggle that led to Kelly Thomas’ death. Former Fullerton officer Joseph Wolfe would no longer face charges of involuntary manslaughter and excessive force.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

Safest Cities in Orange County

Everyone knows that Irvine is one of the safest cities in California, but check out a few of the others that made the list:

1. Irvine – 0.51 crimes per 1,000 residents
2. San Ramon – 0.61 crimes per 1,000 residents
3. Murrieta – 0.66 crimes per 1,000 residents
4. Pleasanton – 0.68 crimes per 1,000 residents
5. Laguna Niguel – 0.73 crimes per 1,000 residents
6. Eastvale – 0.74 crimes per 1,000 residents
7. Mission Viejo – 0.76 crimes per 1,000 residents
8. Palo Alto – 0.80 crimes per 1,000 residents
9. Yorba Linda – 0.81 crimes per 1,000 residents
10. Rocklin – 0.83 crimes per 1,000 residents
11. Chino Hills – 0.84 crimes per 1,000 residents
12. Camarillo – 0.92 crimes per 1,000 residents
13. Temecula – 0.94 crimes per 1,000 residents
14. Orange – 0.97 crimes per 1,000 residents
15. Cupertino – 0.97 crimes per 1,000 residents
16. Diamond Bar – 0.97 crimes per 1,000 residents
17. Arcadia – 0.99 crimes per 1,000 residents
18. Menifee – 1.09 crimes per 1,000 residents
19. Simi Valley – 1.11 crimes per 1,000 residents
20. San Clemente – 1.15 crimes per 1,000 residents

Orange County NeoConnect Convention

IIDA Orange County NeoConnect 2013 – Connecting the Commercial Interior Design Industry to the Commercial Interiors Manufacturers and products! Get Engaged, Get Educated, Get Inspired. Discover the latest innovative products and resources for commercial interiors.

10/10/13 5-8:30 pm
The Hanger, Orange County Fairgrounds,
88 Fair Drive Gate 8 Lot 1
Costa mesa, CA 92626

Orange County Auto Show – Anaheim Convention Center

Check out the New Cars slated for 2014 along with a slew of hybrids, bi-fuel, and prototype cars.
Where: Anaheim Convention Center
800 West Katella Avenue
Anaheim, CA 92802
When: October 3 – October 6, 2013
Thursday, 4 pm – 10 pm
Friday, 12 noon – 10 pm
Saturday, 9 am – 10 pm
Sunday, 9 am – 7 pm

Gourmet Food Trucks at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa on Thursdays

Do you love gourmet food trucks? Well cruise on over to the Orange County Fairgrounds on Thursdays from 11:30 to 1:30 for your choice from about a dozen food trucks. The foods ranges from gourmet tacos and carnitas on fries, to lobster rolls. There’s Cajun, vegetarian, deep-fried, gourmet hot dogs, Mexican, Thai, pulled pork, and BBQ. Pull up a table and enjoy a few minutes of sunshine before you head back to the rat race. Or get it to go and at least have a nice lunch while working at your desk. And the best part is, many of the trucks rotate from place to place, so there is always something new to choose from. Check out this delicious crab roll from the Lobsta Truck. Yum!

Fall Pet Days at the Orange County Fairgrounds – Nov 2

Adopt a pet at the 4th Annual Fall Pet Days at the Orange County Fair on Saturday November 2nd.  Cost is $2 or get in free with an unopened can or bag of dog or cat food.  Booths and fun for all ages.  If you are a dog or cat lover in Orange County, this is the place to be.  Please pass the word, maybe a friend or relative of yours could use the company of a dog or cat.


How to Promote Business on Facebook

Ever wonder “How to Promote Business on Facebook” but, always see people charging to show you the basic steps?  I got you covered!

promotebusiness via facebookThe internet has opened up many channels that you can use to reach consumers. This includes social media networks such as Facebook. Facebook is the largest online community. It has millions of users worldwide. If you want to reach potential customers it is one of the best avenues to use.

There are several factors that you should consider if you want to promote business on Facebook. First of all, you should know why you are joining it. This will determine how you will use it.

Registering a free account is easy. You simply have to provide your name and email address. Having a personal page is not necessary but it can help you get through to people you know.

The next step is to create a page for your business. It involves filling out the required information in the fields provided. It includes identifying yourself by the sector, brand, product or the name of the business. The use of Keywords is important because it will help people get to your page. It may also help your fan page to get listed in search engine results.

The profile of your company should clearly outline what the business is about. Other things including a link to your website, overview of your company, and a product and service description are also equally as important. They should not be overlooked.
Always use every asset at your disposal to drive people to your fan page. Other social networks such as Twitter are good places to post links to your Facebook page. The fan page details should not be left out of your site and other marketing literature.
Your page should be a hub of engaging information. Update it regularly and make sure that the content is relevant to your business and reflects the brand. If people find the material to be helpful they will become regular visitors and they will suggest your page to their friends.

Responding to questions and encouraging discussions is a good way to keep the page active. A page is effective in word of mouth marketing because people will be able to see what visitors post. You can also opt to comment on the business fan pages run by other people too.

Last but not least, keep in mind the difference between the engagement of a photo over text. Using photos in place of the “Old School” text status updates can raise your reach for engagement beyond belief!

The points above are key aspects that should be focused on. They will make your strategy to promote business on Facebook successful. Facebook offers an easy way to generate traffic which will in the long run help you to achieve your objective.
Don’t forget to check out the free social media training I did. Check it out here:

The Busy Woman’s Guide to Getting Fit, Fierce, and Fabulous: Special Preview

Hello, there! I just wanted to take a quick moment to introduce myself to you all. My name’s Daniel Wallen and I’m a published author, certified personal trainer, and life coach from Kingsport who will be writing a weekly fitness post here at Support Tri-Cities. I’m very excited for this and just want to say a quick “thank you” to CJ for inviting me to do this. If you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or look me up on Facebook!

I have something exciting to share with you: my book, “The Busy Woman’s Guide to Getting Fit, Fierce, and Fabulous,” is going to be free for the next three days on Amazon. Below is a special preview chapter about how to enjoy yourself during life’s special occasions, holidays, and vacations, while still moving forward for your health and fitness goals. Enjoy!

“Fun is good.”
-Dr. Seuss

Yes, you should have a desire to be fit, fierce, and fabulous. Yes, you must have focus and discipline to turn your desire into reality. No, this doesn’t mean you can’t break the rules on special occasions.

I would like you to avoid the words “always” and “never.” While you should avoid certain foods most of the time, you shouldn’t tell yourself that you can “never” have them. Life is meant to be fun, and the occasional indulgence won’t hurt you as long as you make positive decisions most of the time.

Learn from my mistakes.

When I got into this health and fitness stuff, I got a bit carried away with it all. So carried away that I found myself doing ridiculous things like packing healthy foods in Tupperware for a trip to Dollywood with my ex-girlfriend. No, I am not kidding and yes, she ridiculed me for it (and had every right to). The world won’t end if you let it go and enjoy yourself on life’s special occasions.

A Word on Vacations

Out for drinks with the girls? Vacationing to Disney with the kids? On a cruise to an exotic country with the love of your life? Forget the rules! You won’t magically go up a pants-size. You won’t gain 10 lbs in a week.

What will happen? You’ll have fun, get a much-needed break from all this health stuff, and come back with renewed vigor and focus. Ohhhh, scary.

A Word on Holidays

One day of fun isn’t going to wreck your waist-line, so enjoy yourself – but get rid of your left-overs ASAP.

Holidays are meant to be a day of celebration, not two weeks of eating junk. Try to find someone to give your left-overs to. That could be a homeless shelter, a needy family, or college students (I hear they are always hungry!).

Even if you can’t find someone to take it, trash your left-overs without guilt. Eating a bunch of junk and getting fat will not solve world hunger.

A Word on Alcohol

Surely you know a guy who was a ripped monster in high school, but now he has an uber big beer belly. Thus is the consequence of boozing too much.

That said, I’m not going to tell you to never drink alcohol. Life is meant to be fun, and in moderation alcohol is totally okay.

I love some Shiner Bock… and whiskey… and red wine… and Long Island Iced Teas… okay, I should stop talking now.

Here’s a simple way to keep the booze under control – give yourself a weekly six-pack-limit. Two options to spend it:

Option 1: Have a beer a day (or the equivalent in wine or liquor).

Option 2: Have it all on Friday or Saturday if you want to party hard.

Take it from Dr. Seuss

Fun is good. Live a little. Forget about all of this health stuff when presented with life’s precious moments and focus solely on enjoying yourself. You earned it!

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