Top Orange County Things to Do in July

"The Magic of Adam Trent" photo by Matt Christine

Watch illusionist Adam Trent in “The Magic of Adam Trent” at Segerstrom Hall.

This month, Orange County brings you sunset movie nights, outdoor festivals, award-winning performances and more. See our list of 30+ top Orange County things to do in July.

Edited by Whitney Lauren Han.

A Taste of Greece
June 29-July 1. Join more than 12,000 guests for this annual Greek festival. Enjoy traditional cuisine and pastries, Greek folk dancing lessons, church tours and cooking demonstrations. F 5-10 p.m.; Sa noon-10 p.m.; Su noon-9 p.m. $3 GA; free for children under 10; free on Saturday from noon-5 p.m. for seniors age 65+. St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church, 4949 Alton Parkway, Irvine, 949.733.2366. irvinegreekfest.com  

 

4th of July Parade and Pier Festival
July 1-4. Enjoy four days of live entertainment, exhibitors, food vendors and family activities at this year’s festival themed “United We Stand” in Huntington Beach. Enjoy breakfast at Lake Park (7-10 a.m.), cheer on participants in the Surf City 5K run, visit pier plaza for entertainment and much more. End the day with a spectacular fireworks show over the ocean. See website for full schedule of events and locations. Fireworks on Fourth of July only at 9 p.m. Free admission; $10-$20 for bleacher and VIP seating; $5 breakfast. Huntington Beach Pier, Pacific Coast Highway and Main Street, 325 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach, 714.536.5486. hb4thofjuly.org

 

“The Magic of Adam Trent”
July 1. Broadway and TV star Adam Trent brings his signature brand of magic and illusion to Costa Mesa in a high-tech stage spectacle. Produced by the creative team behind The Illusionists, the world’s best-selling touring magic show, The Magic of Adam Trent is an immersive entertainment extravaganza of magic, comedy and music designed to entertain the entire family. 3 p.m. $49+. Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787. scfta.org

 

34th Annual Concert on the Green and Fireworks Festival
July 4. Witness a musical sky concert and fireworks extravaganza by Pyro Spectaculars in celebration of Fourth of July. Hosted by the Irvine Police Association, attendees can look forward to gourmet food trucks, live music by the Derek Bordeaux Group, professional field entertainers, field games and activities, bounce houses, raffles and more. Gates open at 3 p.m., fireworks at 9 p.m. $15 adults; $10 children ages 2-12 and seniors 60+; free for kids under 2. Irvine High School stadium, 4321 Walnut Ave., Irvine. irvinepa.org

 

Independence Day on the Back Bay
July 4. Come down to the Back Bay for the annual Fourth of July celebration at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina. Enjoy a jam-packed day of live music from some of the nation’s top tribute bands, an inflatable aquatic park, food trucks and a fireworks display to end the evening. Gates open at 8 a.m., fireworks show starts at 9 p.m. Entrance fee is $50 per car, street parking available. Free GA, $60 VIP tickets include table seating near the stage. 1131 Back Bay Dr., Newport Beach, 800.765.7661. newportdunes.com

 

Fourth of July Hornblower Cruises
July 4. Celebrate Fourth of July on the water in Newport Beach. Choose from the Old Glory Boat Parade brunch with free-flowing champagne, a lavish brunch buffet and live entertainment; or a fireworks dinner cruise aboard Wild Goose complete with live entertainment, libations and an all-American buffet. See website for departure times. Fireworks Dinner Cruise: $109.95/pp; Old Glory Boat Parade brunch: $75/pp; Observation Cruise: $72/pp. Hornblower Cruises & Events, 2431 W. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, 949.650.2412. hornblower.com

 

 

Festival of Arts
Starts July 5. See a breathtaking showcase for artists and art lovers at California’s longest-running outdoor fine-art exhibition featuring works by 140 juried artists. The Festival of Arts includes a wide variety of media such as paintings, photography, printmaking, sculpture, jewelry, handcrafted wood, ceramics, glass and more. Enjoy nightly live music, jazz concerts, guided art tours, demonstrations and art workshops. M-F noon-11:30 p.m., Sa-Su 10 a.m.-11:30 p.m. $5-$15. 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949.494.1145. foapom.com

 

“Million Dollar Quartet”
July 5-29. Tony Award-nominated musical tells the story of legendary music icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins when they came together at Sun Studios in Memphis to create the most famous jam session in recording history. See website for show times and prices. Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949.497.2787. lagunaplayhouse.com

 

Fashion Island’s Friday Night Flix
Starts July 6. Movies under the stars return to Fashion Island with Friday Night Flix throughout the month of July. Kicking the series off is Jaws, followed by A League of Their Own (July 13), Dirty Dancing (July 20) and Pretty in Pink (July 27). Check-in begins at 7:30 p.m., movies start at dusk. $10 GA includes a bag of popcorn. Neiman Marcus Courtyard in Fashion Island, 401 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach, 949.721.2000. shopfashionisland.com

 

"Hadza Hunters at Sunset, Tanzania" artwork by Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher.

Look through photographs taken in over 45 African countries at Bowers Museum’s newest exhibit.

“African Twilight: Vanishing Rituals & Ceremonies”
Opens July 7. See a celebration of Africa’s artistry and boundless creativity, captured with photographs and film covering the last 15 years in over 45 African countries by renowned artists Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher. Tu-Su 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $10-$15 GA, free for children under 12. Bowers Museum, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, 714.567.3600. bowers.org

 

“Drawing on the Past: Works on Paper”
Opens July 7. View a remarkable display of drawings, pastels, watercolors and etchings by California artists dating as far back as the 1880s. The exhibit also features works by some of the most prominent watercolor painters such as Phil Dike, Arthur E. Beaumont, Emil Kosa and Arthur G. Rider. Tu-Sa 11 a.m.-5 p.m. The Irvine Museum Collection, 18881 Von Karman Ave., Suite 100, Irvine, 949.476.0294. irvinemuseumcollection.uci.edu

 

Pageant of the Masters
July 7-Sept. 1. Arguably one of the most unique productions in the entire world, you will be amazed by 90 minutes of tableaux vivants (“living pictures”). In the incredibly faithful re-creations of classical and contemporary works of art, real people pose to look exactly like their counterparts in the original pieces. This summer’s production is themed Under the Sun where a live narrator guides you through the story of each living picture accompanied by a full orchestra. Daily 8:30 pm. $15-$178. 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949.494.1145. foapom.com

 

Grilling Summer Favorites at Studio
July 8. Want to expand your grilling skills? Take tips from Studio’s superb culinary team to learn how to perfect your grilling prowess with steaks, ribs and chicken, plus prepare sauces to pair with their mains. 11 a.m. $150 (excludes tax and gratuity). Montage Laguna Beach, 30801 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach. 949.715.6420. montagehotels.com

 

#SummerHomeOC
July 8. Dance waterside with this special MDA DJs & Friends event featuring some of the finest locally sourced talent including Thomas Garcia, Dagz Bros, Double D’s, Michael Vegh and Diamond Heist. Indulge in food and specialty cocktails courtesy of Back Bay Bistro while enjoying a picturesque day on the bay. 3-8 p.m. $5-$10, free validated parking when you enter from the second gate on Back Bay Drive. Back Bay Bistro at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort, 1131 Back Bay Dr., Newport Beach, 714.624.0515. Tickets

 

Movie Mondays
July 9, 16, 23, 30. Local movie-goers can catch up with friends old and new on these casual evenings of fun activities, picnic dinners, food trucks and five fan-favorite films on consecutive Mondays. Featured films include Back to the Future (July 9), The Princess Bride (July 16), Moonrise Kingdom (July 23), The Mask of Zorro (July 30) and Star Trek (Aug. 6). Closed captioning included in all films. Set-up begins at 5:30 p.m., movies start at dusk (approximately 8 p.m.). Free. Julianne and George Argyros Plaza, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787. scfta.org

 

Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen’s First Anniversary
July 12. Celebrate the first anniversary of Cha Cha’s with Latin-inspired lobster tacos made with maseca dusted crispy lobster tails ($6 à la carte, $18 full plate). Pair the tacos with the special El Palomar Margarita made with fresh serrano chili, orange liqueur, fresh squeezed lime juice, agave nectar, housemade hibiscus tea and hand-shaken with AsomBroso Blanco 100% blue agave tequila for $10 (regular) and $15 (grande). Enjoy live performances by either a live Latin band, a Mariachi band or traditional Folklorico dancers all day long. 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. 13126 Jamboree Road, Irvine, 714.408.7819. chachaslatinkitchen.com

 

OC Fair
July 13-Aug. 12. Indulge in a little bit of deep-fried everything at the OC Fair. Bring the whole family and enjoy action sports (rodeo, BMX, pig racing), tribute bands in the Hangar, carnival with rides, La Grande Wheel, livestock competitions, agricultural displays, petting zoo, wine tasting and of course—fried food galore. Concerts at the Pacific Amphitheatre include artists such as Earth, Wind & Fire, Hunter Hayes, Trevor Noah, Straight No Chaser and more. M-Tu closed; W-F noon-midnight; Sa-Su 11 a.m.-midnight. $7-$14 adults; free for children under 5; $10 parking (cash only). 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa, 714.708.1500. ocfair.com

 

Brew-Hee-Haw-photo-by-Brew-Ha-Ha-Productions

Cheers to a fun-filled weekend featuring over 80 breweries at the annual Brew Hee Haw.

OC Brew Hee Haw
July 14-15. Following another record-breaking year, the annual craft beer fest returns to the world-famous OC Fair opening weekend. This boozy event features unlimited tastings from 80+ breweries, dancing, a commemorative glass and free admission to the fair. 21+. Tasting sessions: Sa noon-4 p.m. and 6-10 p.m., Su noon-4 p.m. $55 online, $65 day-of. OC Fair, 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa, 714.708.1500. ocbrewheehaw.com

 

Paper Cacti & Macrame
July 14. Taught by Handmade By Sara Kim, join in on this step-by-step workshop on making paper cacti and a macrame hanging planter that will never need to be watered and lives forever. All the materials—card stock paper, scissors, glue, mini pot, moss, macrame cord and a packet of paper to take home for practice—will be supplied. 10 a.m.-noon. $65. M.Lovewell, 305 E. Fourth St., Unit 103, Santa Ana, 657.245.3553. mlovewell.com

 

Cheese & Charcuterie Backyard Party
July 18. Bask in the summer evening with fellow cheese lovers at SideDoor’s popular Backyard Party series. Enjoy all-you-can-eat cheese and charcuterie from featured creameries such as Beehive, Cato Corner Farms, Cascade Cheese Co., Small California Creameries and Small Spanish Creameries. Certified expert and cheesemonger Tracy Nelsen will be on hand to educate guests on cheese presentations and perfect pairings. 5:30-8:30 p.m. $55 (includes tax and gratuity). Five Crowns & SideDoor’s Greenhouse, 3801 E. Coast Hwy., Corona Del Mar, 949.760.0331. Tickets

 

“Guys and Dolls”
July 19-22, 26-29. Let this Tony Award-winning musical transport you to a world of big city gamblers and the women who love them in 1950s New York. Watch as the story follows Nathan Detroit, who struggles to run his famous floating craps game, while his fiancee of 14 years and hot box dancer Adelaide has decided it’s time to get married. See website for show times. $25 GA, $20 seniors/students/parties of 10+. Aliso Niguel Theatre, 28000 Wolverine Way, Aliso Viejo, 949.415.6281. lagunanigueltheatre.org

 

Pentatonix at FivePoint Amphitheatre
July 19. Three-time Grammy Award-winning a cappella group Pentatonix brings their harmonious vocals to this new performing arts venue with special guests Echosmith and Calum Scott. Doors open 8 p.m. $29.50+. 14800 Chinon, Irvine, 949.988.6800. fivepointamphitheatre.com

 

Brad Paisley at Honda Center
July 21. Critically acclaimed singer, songwriter and guitarist Brad Paisley takes center stage for one night in Anaheim with special guests Kane Brown and Dan Tyminski. 7:30 p.m. Honda Center, 2695 E. Katella, Anaheim, 714.704.2400. hondacenter.com

 

San Clemente Ocean Festival
July 21-22. Celebrating over 40 years of “The Greatest Show on Surf!,” come to enjoy the competitions, beach runs, body-surfing clinics, fishing derby, woody car exhibit, ocean art show, children’s events and more. See website for more information. San Clemente Pier, San Clemente, 949.440.6141. oceanfestival.org

 

'School-of-Rock'-photo-by-Matthew-Murphy

Rock out to the “New York Times” Critics’ Pick musical “School of Rock” at Segerstrom Hall.

“School of Rock”
July 24-Aug. 5. Based on the hit film, this New York Times Critics’ Pick musical follows Dewey Finn, a wannabe rock star posing as a substitute teacher, who turns a class of straight-A students into grade-A rockers. This high-octane smash features 14 new songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber, all the original songs from the movie and musical theater’s first-ever kids’ rock band playing live on stage. See website for show times. $29+. Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787. scfta.org

 

Full Moon Yoga
July 27. Join Miraval Mindfulness instructors for an evening of outdoor meditation and candle-lit gentle yoga to live music under the full moon at Monarch Beach Resort. This event is free, but provided on a donation basis with all proceeds benefiting local charities. Please bring your own mat and props. Yoga blankets will be available on a first come basis. 7 p.m. 1 Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, 855.368.2940. monarchbeachresort.com

 

Healthy Junk Vegan Faire
July 28. Located along the palm-lined and market-light illuminated Center Street Anaheim in CtrCity Anaheim, the renowned vegan comfort eatery Healthy Junk is hosting its fifth annual Vegan Faire: “One Love.” In addition to the expanded footprint, festival-goers can also unwind with a second music area and a tropical beverage at the beer garden, hosted by the Anaheim Fall Festival. 4-10 p.m. Free. Center Street Promenade, Anaheim. veganfaire.com

 

OC Meets Napa
July 28. Celebrate Latino influence in Orange County with a festival of food, wine, live entertainment, activities and more. Latino chefs and Latino vintners and wine makers from Napa and Baja will come together and offer up some of their best bites and sips. Over 60 top Orange County restaurants will participate. VIP reception 6-7 p.m., GA 7-10 p.m. $125 before July 21, $150 GA. Mission San Juan Capistrano, 26801 Ortega Hwy., San Juan Capistrano, 323.622.2405. altamed.com

 

VANS U.S. Open of Surfing
July 28-Aug. 5. Bring your sunscreen and spend the week in Huntington Beach for the worlds largest pro surfing competition. In addition to seeing some of the world’s most respected surf, skate and BMX professionals, events include a beach-lifestyle festival, skate and BMX events, autograph signings and community movie nights. 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Free. Huntington Beach Pier, Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach. vansusopenofsurfing.com

 

Knott’s Soak City Waterpark
Ongoing. Catch a break from the heat in the 15-acre water park, Knott’s Soak City. Have some fun on one (or more) of seven different water slide experiences—four of which are on the 60-foot tall tower. Guests can also enjoy the Gremmie Lagoon for kids, Tidal Wave Bay wave pool, the one-third-mile Sunset River and the three-story Beach House, featuring 200 water guns, nozzles, sprayers and other interactive surprises. See website for operating hours as they vary and are subject to change. Knott’s Berry Farm, 8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park, 714.220.5200. knotts.com

 

Laguna Art-A-Fair photo provided by Laguna Art-A-Fair

Peruse works by 125 artists at the annual Laguna Art-A-Fair.

Laguna Art-A-Fair
Ongoing. Jump into the art scene at this annual juried festival that includes works by 125 artists in painting, drawing, photography, digital art, mixed media, sculpture, jewelry, ceramics, glass and wood. Live entertainment on weekends. Su-Th 10 a.m.-9 p.m., F-Sa 10 a.m.-10 p.m. (closes 6 p.m. on July 4 and Sept. 2). $7-$9. 777 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949.494.4514. art-a-fair.com

 

OC Parks Sunset Cinema
Ongoing. Pack a picnic, blankets and beach chairs to enjoy this film series that brings 14 family-friendly screenings to regional parks. Featured films for July include Honey, I Shrunk The Kids (July 7), Trolls (July 13), Ghostbusters (July 20) and Zootopia (July 27). Food trucks will also be on-site. Films begin at approximately 8 p.m. Free entrance and parking. Carbon Canyon Park, 4442 Carbon Canyon Road, Brea, 714.973.6865. ocparks.com

 

OC Parks Summer Concert Series
Ongoing. Every Thursday night, rock out to popular local and national artists for this outdoor concert series. Save your spot on the grass for the concert and then grab some grub from the food trucks or drinks from the beer garden. Participating artists include Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Stone Soul, Flashback Heart Attack and Topcat, and The English Beat, with more artists still to be announced. All concerts 6-8 p.m. Concertgoers 21+ can purchase beer and wine at the beer tent. 5-8 p.m. Free. Various locations, 714.973.6865. ocparks.com

 

Sawdust Art Festival
Ongoing. View works by 200 Laguna Beach artists—glass, painting, jewelry, ceramics, clothing and textiles, sculpture, scrimshaw, photography—plus demos, kids activities, outdoor cafes and live music in a eucalyptus grove. Daily 10 a.m.-10 p.m. (closes 6 p.m. on July 4). $4-$9. 935 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949.494.3030. sawdustartfestival.org

 

Pirate Coast Paddle Company Glow Tours
Ongoing. Spend your summer evenings at the bay on an LED light-adorned paddleboard or kayak. Come and see marine life only visible at night on this unique excursion on Friday and Saturday nights through Labor Day. Afterwards, enjoy cocktails and dinner at Back Bay Bistro. 8 p.m. F-Sa; call for schedule. $45 per session. 1131 Back Bay Dr., Newport Beach, 949.278.0011. piratecoastpaddle.com

 

“The Magic of Adam Trent” photo by Matt Christine. “Hadza Hunters at Sunset, Tanzania” artwork by Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher. Brew Hee Haw photo by Brew Ha Ha Productions. “School of Rock” photo by Matthew Murphy.

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