Top Orange County Things to Do in April

BANNER-shen-yun

Watch the spirit of China’s 5,000 years of civilization come to life in Shen Yun.

This month, Orange County brings you spring musical performances, family-friendly festivities, food tastings galore and more. See our list of 40+ top Orange County things to do in April.

Edited by Whitney Lauren Han.

All Day Happy Hour at The Spa at Fashion Island Hotel
Apr. 1-Aug. 31. Spa goers can get back-to-back-to-back rejuvenation during the spring and summer seasons at The Spa at Fashion Island Hotel. Every day, guests can receive three 30-minute treatments for just $155, plus a complimentary glass of sparkling wine. Treatment selections include Polynesian Noni and Tahiti Monoi Polish, Island Express Facial, Reflexology, Papaya Puree Body Polish, Head and Scalp Therapy, Signature Island Back Polish, Jet Lag Quick Fix and Island Signature Pedicure. Fashion Island Hotel, 690 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach, 949.760.4992. fashionislandhotel.com

 

Shen Yun
Apr. 3-8. Watch the spirit of China’s 5,000 years of civilization come to life with music, dance and acrobatics. Featuring one of the world’s oldest art forms—classical Chinese dance—along with patented scenographical effects and all-original orchestral works, Shen Yun opens a portal to a civilization of enchanting beauty and enlightening wisdom. See website for showtimes. $80+. Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787. scfta.org

 

‘Flying Solo’ with Nathan Gunn
Apr. 4-22. America’s leading baritone Nathan Gunn sings selections from classic American musicals, contemporary songs and a little bit of opera fun in his personal story, Flying Solo. This “Sexiest Man Alive” (People Magazine) recounts how he became elder of his heritage, the Scottish Clan GUNN, and learned what life is really about. See website for showtimes. Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949.497.2728. lagunaplayhouse.com

 

‘Love Letters to Nature’
Apr. 5-12. View an extraordinary exhibition of 29 paintings on rice paper by prominent and world-famous Chinese artist Wang Xin Yong. See how Wang showcases his insights into the nature and cultural landscapes experienced during his extensive sojourns in the United States over the last decade. Opening reception 6-9 p.m. Ning Zhou Gallery, 357 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, 714.726.1763. ningzhougallery.com

 

Newport Beach Special Olympics
Apr. 5, 28. Cheer on athletes participating in Newport Beach’s first-ever Special Olympics at the kick-off event and at the tournament. Special Olympics athletes, the City of Newport Beach Recreation and Senior Services Department as well as Newport Beach police, fire, city council, local officials and community members will participate in the official Unity Torch Walk, Hometown Hero Hoop Shoot Challenge and BBQ on April 5 from 6-9 p.m. On April 28, make sure to watch the official Special Olymics basketball tournament from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. See website for prices and more information. Newport Beach Civic Center, 100 Civic Center Dr., Newport Beach. sosc.org

 

Margaret Cho at Irvine Improv
Apr. 6-7. Watch Korean-American actress, author, singer and stand-up comedian Margaret Cho take center stage to critique social and political problems, especially regarding race and sexuality. Guests may know Cho from the hit TV show Drop Dead Diva as well as from Fashion Police, Chelsea Lately, 30 Rock and more. 21+. See website for showtimes. $25. Irvine Spectrum Center, 527 Spectrum Center Dr., Irvine, 949.854.5455. irvine.improv.com

 

Adventure Day at Caspers Wilderness Park
Apr. 7. Celebrate a world of outdoor activities and discoveries at the return of Adventure Day at Caspers Wilderness Park. Enjoy a day of adventure with natural history tours, wildlife exhibits, musical entertainment, puppet shows, arts and crafts, games and refreshments. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. Caspers Wilderness Park, 33401 Ortega Hwy., San Juan Capistrano, 949.923.2210. ocparks.com

 

Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine & Cocktails Brunch and Lunch Special
Apr. 7-28. Elevate your Saturdays by brunching on the rooftop terrace at Andrei’s. Through the end of the month, receive 20 percent off all brunch and lunch dishes like the salmon breakfast toast made with thinly-sliced salmon gravlax, free-range California egg salad, cherry tomato, capers and shaved red onion on grilled sourdough, and the brunch wrap made with scrambled eggs, black beans, Kennebec potato, bell peppers, scallions, cheddar and Oaxaca cheese, salsa Quemada and avocado cream. 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. 2607 Main St., Irvine, 949.387.8887. andreisrestaurant.com

 

Betsey Johnson
Apr. 7. Attention all fashion fanatics! Come meet designer and fashion icon Betsey Johnson at Macy’s South Coast Plaza. Hosted by celebrity blogger and TV personality Micah Jesse, be one of the first guests in line to meet Betsey and have your photo taken with her. Plus, receive a complimentary tote bag and gift with your purchase of $50 or more of full-priced Betsey Johnson merchandise. To top it all off, Betsey Johnson merchandise will be given away while guests wait in line. 2-3:30 p.m. Macy’s South Coast Plaza, 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, 714.556.0611. macys.com

 

KLOS-Sabroso-Craft-Beer,-Taco-&-Music-Festival-photo-courtesy-of-Albert-Lam-of-Westcoaster.net

Cheers to the KLOS Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco and Music Festival at Doheny State Beach.

KLOS Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco and Music Festival
Apr. 7. Get a taste of over 100 craft beers, tasty gourmet tacos, Lucha Libre-style wrestling and live music at this annual festival. Foodies will savor tacos provided by Chicana Vegana, Panchos Tacos, Good Fellas Taco Catering and more. To top off the array of flavors, those with a sweet tooth will be satisfied with Coned Ice Cream’s beer-infused ice creams. Celebrated punk rock icons The Offspring will again headline and be joined by various rock favorites including Pennywise and more artists to be announced. 21+. 1-9 p.m. $65.50 pre-sale, $75.50 day-of. Doheny State Beach, 25300 Harbor Dr., Dana Point, 888.512.7469. sabrosotacofest.com

 

Downtown Santa Ana Artwalk
Apr. 7. Take a stroll in downtown Santa Ana to visit over 25 galleries and more than 40 vendors for the monthly artwalk. Enjoy bites and booze from 40+ restaurants and bars. Additional highlights include live performances, kids art activities, artmusement, a coloring wall at M. Lovewell, community engagement, open mic and free styling, games at Good Beer Co. and more. See website for list of galleries, vendors and performers. Center of Artwalk, 125 N. Broadway, Santa Ana. dtsaartwalk.org

 

5 Points Plaza Pet Fair
Apr. 8. Head to 5 Points Plaza for an afternoon of fun with your four-legged best friend. Humans can enjoy barbecue and refreshments, while canines can sink their teeth into food and treat samples. Additional activities include pet portraits, games for dogs and an adoption fair with pets of every shape and size. A local vet will be passing out tooth brushes and information on veterinary services. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. 5 Points Plaza, parking lot in front of Kahoots Pet Store, 18593 Main St., Huntington Beach, 714.841.6631. 5pointsplaza.com

 

Carol Neblett: A Celebration of Life
Apr. 8. Commemorate the life and career of soprano Carol Neblett, Artist-in-Residence at the Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music. Watch live performances by her colleagues and former students as well as remembrances of Neblett and recordings of significant performances from her impressive career. 4 p.m. See website for ticket prices. Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University, One University Dr., Orange, 844.626.8726. muscocenter.org

 

Charlie & Me x WTFrenchie
Apr. 8. Jump into spring at Charlie & Me with special guests, French Bulldogs Weston and Fira of the Insta-famous WTFrenchie. Stick around for a meet-and-greet with the famous pups, complimentary monogramming with purchase and a special Vanderpump Pet Pop-Up shop inside Charlie & Me. During the event you’ll enjoy Dirty Cookie treats, plus small bites and beverages for you and your four-legged friend. 1-4 p.m. Free, open to public. Lido Marina Village, 3505 Via Oporto Ste.103, Newport Beach. lidomarinavillage.com

 

Coast Country Jam
Apr. 8. See country music mega stars take the stage at Huntington State Beach at this annual music festival. Along with live country music, enjoy fully stocked beach bars with a wide selection of beer, delicious barbecue, bull riding, line dancing and more. Headliners include Toby Keith, Granger Smith, Frankie Ballard, Jerrod Niemann, Jobe Fortner, Alexandria Corn and Christie Huff. All ages welcome. Noon-9 p.m. $15-$278. Pacific Coast Hwy. and Brookhurst St., Huntington Beach. coastalcountryjam.com

 

Knott’s Boysenberry Festival
Through Apr. 8. Make merry at America’s first theme park for the annual boysenberry fest. Indulge in over 75 one-of-a-kind boysenberry-inspired dishes and drinks like the new boysenberry boba. Don’t forget to try appetizing bites of ribs, grilled chicken, alligator and more smothered in Knott’s very own farm-made boysenberry barbecue sauce. See website for prices and park hours throughout festival. Knott’s Berry Farm, 8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park, 714.220.5200. knotts.com

RAIN-A-Tribute-to-the-Beatles-photo-by-Richard-Lovrich

Come together for RAIN’s tribute performance to The Beatles at Segerstrom Hall.

RAIN: A Tribute to The Beatles
Apr. 11. Jump into this time machine for the 50th anniversary of the release of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. For the first time ever, RAIN will bring the album to life in its entirety along with other Beatles favorites. 7:30 p.m. $39+. Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787. scfta.org

 

25th Annual Wild & Crazy Taco Night
Apr. 12. Watch more than 25 of Orange County’s most celebrated chefs create unique and delicious tacos exclusively for this wild evening. Featured chefs include David Andrade from Pueblo, Rich Mead from Farmhouse, Andrew Gruel from SLAPFISH and Katy Smith from Puesto among others. All proceeds benefit the Share Our Selves’ Food Pantry, which distributes an average of 235 bags of food to low-income and homeless individuals and families each day. VIP pre-party 4:30-5:30 p.m., event 5:30-7:30 p.m. $85 GA, $150 VIP. 1550 Superior Ave., Costa Mesa, 949.270.2137. shareourselves.org

 

Disney’s California Adventure Food & Wine Festival
Through Apr. 12. Indulge on booze and bites at one of the happiest places on earth—Disney’s California Adventure. The event will feature up to 13 festival booths with everything from California produce to coastal dishes and stand-alone beer and wine outposts. Beyond the food and drink, enjoy cooking demonstrations from California chefs as well as Food Network celebrity chefs (celebrity demos at additional cost), wine education and tasting seminars and beer and spirit seminars. See website for more details. Festival is additional cost to park admission. Disneyland, 1313 S. Disneyland Dr., Anaheim, 714.781.4565. disneyland.com

 

Kanye West’s Music Interpreted Through Spanish Wine
Apr. 12. Experience an evening featuring an unique blend of music from Kanye West, five tasting menus paired with five different Spanish wines and paintings by local artist Kathy Lajvardi. Each pairing is explained by celebrity sommelier, Amelia Singer (Hulu’s The Wine Show). 7 p.m. $100 pre-sale, $125. LVBX, 1220 N. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, 949.441.4832. sommxevents.com

 

Stone Brewing Beer Dinner at Pacific Hideaway
Apr. 12. Sip on suds paired perfectly with coastal favorites at a decadent four-course beer dinner specially paired with Stone Brewing craft beers. Guests can indulge in courses like house-made lobster bratwurst and vanilla bean stout cheesecake, while enjoying unique beer pairings designed to bring out the delicious flavors in each dish and brew. 5-7 p.m. Reservations required, call 714.965.4422 or email info@pacifichideawayhb.com. Pacific Hideaway, 500 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach. pacifichideawayhb.com

 

Imaginology
Apr. 13-15. Ignite young minds with a series of competitions, workshops and activities in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts and math (S.T.E.A.M.). The event will feature entertainment, exhibitors, vendors, contests and more. F 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Sa-Su 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa, 714.708.1500. ocfair.com

 

Molly Wood Garden Design Spring Tabletop Workshop and Travel Treasures
Apr. 13. O.C.’s garden guru and style maker Molly Wood will teach two workshops on how to spruce up your home. There will be the unveiling of Molly’s finds from the Original Round Top Antiques Fair. Guests can also look forward to treasures and vintage goods you can’t find anywhere else in Orange County. Workshops 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Free, RSVP required. Molly Wood Garden Design, 1660 Orange Ave., Costa Mesa, 949.548.1611. mollywoodgardendesign.com

 

Paper Flowers: Proteas
Apr. 14. Get into the spring spirit with a step-by-step class on how to make paper proteas with regular card stock paper. Taught by Handmade By Sara Kim, learn different ways to incorporate them into your wedding, events and your home. All materials will be supplied along with light refreshments. 10 a.m.-noon. $65. M. Lovewell, 305 E. 4th St. Unit 103, Santa Ana, 657.245.3553. mlovewell.com

 

San Clemente Micro-Brew Fest
Apr. 14. Grab your friends to sample micro-brews from all over Southern California including Oggis Sports Brewhouse Pizza, The Bruery and Four Sons Brewing Co. Popular food trucks such as Brew Wings will serve delicious grub and local bands including The Kalama Brothers and Special Blend will play throughout the day. VIP opening noon, GA 1-5 p.m. $40 GA presale; $45 GA at the door; $50 VIP. Left Coast Brewing, 1245 Puerta Del Sol, San Clemente. scchamber.com

 

All-John Williams Boston Pops Orchestra
Apr. 16. The Boston Pops on Tour and conductor Keith Lockhart will perform a program of film music by Boston Pops conductor laureate John Williams. Enjoy excerpts from such classic films scores as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Harry Potter and the Star Wars series, as well as less familiar music by Williams including themes from such classic scores as The Witches of Eastwick, The Towering Inferno and Heidi. 8 p.m. $48-$268. Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787. scfta.org

 

Beast Feast
Apr. 19. Dine with acclaimed executive chef Joe Magnanelli and chef de cuisine Cesar Sarmiento as they cater to adventurous foodies with their primal dinner series. Lamb kicks off the first of three, intimate family-style dinners. 6:30 p.m. $70 (excludes tax and service fee). CUCINA enoteca Newport Beach, 951 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach, 949.861.2222. urbankitchengroup.com

 

Cakebread-Cellars-Wine-Dinner

Elevate your evening with the Cakebread Cellars Wine Dinner at Surf & Sand Resort.

Cakebread Cellars Wine Dinner
Apr. 19. Set against the backdrop of beautiful ocean views, spend your evening enjoying a four-course dinner with select premium wines by Cakebread Cellars at Splashes Restaurant. Reception 6:30 p.m., dinner 7 p.m. $150. Surf & Sand Resort, 1555 South Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach. surfandsandresort.com

 

Pappy Van Winkle Dinner
Apr. 20. Indulge in four courses paired with Pappy Van Winkle bourbons like the 10-Year-Old Pappy, 12-Year-Old Pappy, 15-Year-Old Pappy and 20-Year-Old Pappy, plus a welcome cocktail called. $100 deposit, $195 (excludes tax and gratuity). Chapter One, 227 N. Broadway, Orange, 714.914.4287. chapteronetml.com

 

Loving French Classics Cooking Class
A
pr. 21. For those not traveling to Paris this April, head to Loving French Classics to experience French favorites in Southern California. With tips from Studio’s executive chef Craig Strong, participants will start with composing everyone’s favorite French onion soup, followed by coq au vin and ending with impressive éclairs. 11 a.m. $150 (excludes tax and gratuity). Studio in Montage Laguna Beach, 30801 Coast Hwy.,  Laguna Beach, 949.715.6420. montagehotels.com

 

‘Shrew!’
Through Apr. 21. In Shakespeare’s battle of the sexes, The Taming of the Shrew, Petruchio wins. But, what if a 16th-century woman had written it? In Amy Freed’s clever and wickedly funny spin on the classic, Kate triumphs, too. Recommended for those high school and above. See website for showtimes and prices. South Coast Repertory, 655 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa, 714.708.5555. scr.org

 

Wellness and Earth Day Weekend at Origins
A
pr. 21-22. Hosted by Linkronicity and Origin South Coast Plaza, come for this two-day event that features five Orange County businesses uniting for a fun weekend with plant-based mind-body, soul and spirit wellness. Discover the benefits of Origins Plantscription anti-aging power serum with free skin consultations, mini-facials and one-on-one private life coaching with Linkronicity’s Stacey Kumagai. Attendees will get a chance to win prizes from Nèkter Juice Bar, Seasons 52 and Sprouts Farmers Market. Noon-5 p.m. Free. Origins in South Coast Plaza, 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, 714.957.8800. origins.com

 

Blooms & Bubbly at The Resort at Pelican Hill
Apr. 22.
Sip on mimosas while award-winning floral designer Nisie Vorachard of Nisie’s Enchanted Florist leads a hands-on workshop creating hand-tied floral arrangements. Surrounded by spring blooms in Pelican Hill’s pop-up floral studio, learn the secrets to creating a beautiful bouquet and leave with your very own floral masterpiece to enjoy at home. 10-11:30 a.m. $95 (includes complimentary valet, mimosa and flowers). 22701 Pelican Hill Road S., Newport Coast, 888.507.6427. pelicanhill.com

 

Eilo’s Kitchen Airstream x Earth Day at The Ecology Center
Apr. 22. 
Come one, come all to the annual Earth Day festival, where individuals and families can enjoy a variety of eco-friendly food and happenings. Enjoy strawberry picking, how-to workshops, compost demos, kids yoga, live music and delicious cuisine from the new Eilo’s Kitchen Airstream—a full-service catering company and part-time pop-up restaurant offering fresh, creative and locally-sourced menu items made from all-natural ingredients harvested right here in California. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free, RSVP required. The Ecology Center, 32701 Alipaz St., San Juan Capistrano, 949.443.4223. theecologycenter.org

 

Frank Family Wine Dinner
Apr. 24.
Executive chef Eddie Albarran and the culinary team at 21 Oceanfront presents an exclusive wine dinner featuring Frank Family Vineyards wines paired with each course. While Dan Matin—VP of Sales at Frank Family Vineyards—gives his speech, enjoy hamachi crudo with cucumber, radish, avocado and jalapeno oil to start. Additional menu highlights include lobster and asparagus salad, pan seared Chilean sea bass, herb roasted N.Y. strip steak and apple and walnut crumble tart. Reservations required. 6:30 p.m. $129 (excludes tax and gratuity). 2100 W. Oceanfront, Newport Beach, 949.673.2100. 21oceanfront.com

 

'Love-Never-Dies'-photo-by-Joan-Marcus-2

Don’t miss ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ sequel ‘Love Never Dies’ at Segerstrom Hall.

‘Love Never Dies’
Apr. 24-May 5. Fall in love with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s spellbinding sequel to The Phantom of the OperaLove Never Dies. This story of boundless love, full of passion and drama, follows one of the most successful musicals of all time, which has now been seen by more than 130 million people worldwide and is the winner of over 50 international awards. See website for showtimes. $29+. Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787. scfta.org

 

Veuve Clicquot Five-Course Champagne Dinner
Apr. 26. There’s nothing quite like the pop of a champagne cork. At Oak Grill, they’re hosting an unforgettable evening serving an elegant five-course spring-inspired dinner paired with sips from flutes of Veuve Clicquot. Cocktail hour 6 p.m., dinner 7 p.m. $125 (excludes tax and gratuity). Oak Grill in Fashion Island Hotel, 690 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach, 949.760.4920. oakgrillnb.com

 

Southern California Spring Garden Show
Apr. 26-29. Notable landscape designers have partnered with local home stores to create Southern California lifestyle displays that will provide inspiration for your own house and garden. More than 60 vendors will be offering plants, flowers and gardening accessories. Free. Crate and Barrel/Macy’s Home Store Wings, 3333 Bear St., Costa Mesa, 800.782.8888. southcoastplaza.com

 

Newport Beach Film Festival
Apr. 26-May 3. Movie buffs have the opportunity to watch some 350 feature films, shorts and animation plus sessions with directors and screenwriters. Attend the Opening Night Gala with a live performance and a taste of Newport Beach with light bites from some the area’s top restaurants. See website for prices and list of venues. newportbeachfilmfest.com

 

The Joey Alexander Trio
Apr. 27. Grammy nominated jazz prodigy Joey Alexander will impress the audience with his playful musicality and keen sense of swing at the Musco Center for the Arts. Guests can look forward to the 14-year-old’s new album Eclipse, available May 4 on Motéma Music, that showcases his significant progress as an astute composer, writing six of the 11 tunes. 7:30 p.m. $30-$60. Chapman University, One University Dr., Orange, 844.626.8726. muscocenter.org

 

Newport-to-Ensenada-International-Yacht-Race

Start your morning early with the Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race.

Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race
Apr. 27-29. Watch boats from around the world set sail from the Balboa Pier in Newport Beach on Friday, April 27 at 11 a.m. with the last boat passing by at approximately 1:30 p.m. The world-famous race concludes in Esenada, Mexico. 1 Balboa Pier, Newport Beach, 949.644.1023. nosa.org

 

Back to the Beach Festival
Apr. 28-29. Dig your toes in the sand for a family-friendly weekend festival inside Huntington State Beach featuring great food, drinks and local artisans from the vendor village. Kids can enjoy the Lil Punk Kidzone full of carnival games of chance and inflatable bounce houses. VIP Lounge for ages 21+. Doors open at noon. $60-$90 adults, free for children under 10. Huntington State Beach, 21601 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach. backtothebeachfest.com

 

‘Dirty Blonde’
Apr. 28-29. Explore the phenomenon that is the legendary Mae West, one of America’s most enduring and controversial pop culture icons, in this sparkling romantic comedy with music about a guy, a gal and their mutual admiration for one voluptuous blonde. See website for showtimes. $61-$81. Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949.497.2728. lagunaplayhouse.com

 

O.C. STEAM Fest
Apr. 28. Come one, come all to learn, discover and play at this exciting community event. Enjoy a fun-filled day of games and activities related to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) including human foosball, dancing robots, LEGO engineering, virtual reality, live animals and race cars, plus live performances, food trucks and much more. 2-7 p.m. $10 at the door, two tickets for $10 until April 25. Orange County Great Park, 6950 Marine Way, Irvine, 949.263.8340. ipsf.net

 

TAO: Drum Heart
Apr. 29. Feel the beat of the revered Japanese tradition of Taiko drumming through the halls of Musco Center for the Arts. Athletic artists with these giant traditional drums will perform innovative choreography in a spectacle that showcases energy, stamina and precision. 4 p.m. $30-$50. Chapman University, One University Dr., Orange, 844.626.8726. muscocenter.org

 

Taste of Huntington Beach
Apr. 29. Get a taste of endless samples from over 50 local restaurants in Huntington Beach, paired with the finest wines in California and unlimited sips from local breweries. The annual tasting event will also showcase live entertainment by The Ramsey Brothers Band. VIP reception 11 a.m.-noon, GA noon-4 p.m. $70 GA, $90 VIP. HB Sports Complex, 18100 Goldenwest, Huntington Beach. tastehb.com

KLOS Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco & Music Festival photo courtesy of Albert Lam of Westcoaster.net. ‘Love Never Dies’ photo by Joan Marcus.

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