Top Orange County Things to Do in September

Pacific Northwest Seafood Celebration photo courtesy of The Rizt-Carlton

Dine on an eight-course family-style meal at Pacific Northwest Seafood Celebration.

This month, Orange County brings you concerts, food and wine dinners, new art exhibitions and more. See our list of 30+ top Orange County things to do in August.

Edited by Whitney Lauren Han.

Beer, Brunch & Ball
Sept. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29. Football season is here, and Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine & Cocktails is ready to host you! Every Saturday in September, come enjoy some college football and bottomless beers (select draft beers) for $16 with a purchase of any brunch or lunch entree. Must be 21+. 2607 Main St., Irvine, 949.387.8887. andreisrestaurant.com

 

Labor Day Hornblower Brunch and Supper Cruises
Sept. 1-2. Raise your glass this Labor Day weekend aboard one of two Hornblower cruises. On Saturday, enjoy the champagne brunch cruise that including live music, free-flowing champagne and a delicious brunch buffet. Come on Sunday evening for the supper cruise aboard the Wild Goose that features a four-course dinner along with DJ on board spinning tunes. F 7-10:30 p.m.; Sa noon-2 p.m.; Su 6-9 p.m. See website for prices. 2431 W. Pacific Coast Hwy., Newport Beach. hornblower.com

 

Festival of Arts
Through Sept. 1. 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

 

Pageant of the Masters
Through 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

 

New Blues Festival

Get in the blues rhythm at the New Blues Festival in Long Beach.

New Blues Festival
Sept. 1-2. Celebrate Labor Day weekend with the fifth year of New Blues Festival. The festival will feature 15+ bands on two stages, including performances by 2017 Grammy nominee Janiva Magness, Dennis Jones, Boxcar 7, The King Brothers and more. Come hungry so you can enjoy food trucks, beer and wine Vendor Village (blankets encouraged). See website for schedule and prices. El Dorado Regional Park, 7550 E. Spring St., Long Beach. newbluesfestival.com

 

Panxa Cocina’s Hatch Chile Month
Sept. 1-30. Led and inspired by Panxa Cocina’s Executive Chef/Co-Owner Arthur Gonzalez in collaboration with the ChilePepper Institute’s Co-Founder, Director and world-renowned chile pepper breeder Dr. Paul Bosland, this month-long culinary event will include diverse programming surrounding the distinctly New Mexican Hatch green chile. The tasting menu is available for lunch and dinner featuring authentic Southwestern favorites with highlights including Heirloom Blue Corn Quesadilla and Wagyu Country Fried Steak. Panxa Cocina, 3937 E. Broadway, Long Beach, 562.433.7999. panxacocina.com

 

“Sense and Sensibility”
Sept. 1-29. Based on one of Jane Austen’s most beloved novels, follow the Dashwood sisters—Elinor and Marianne—as they chase their dreams from Devonshire to London and back in this charming romantic classic. Note: This production contains strobe lighting effects. Ages 12+. See website for show times and prices. South Coast Repertory, 655 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa, 714.708.5555. scr.org

 

“End of the Rainbow”
Through Sept. 2. Catch this Tony Award-nominated play that looks at Judy Garland—her talent, tenacity and razor-sharp wit. Featuring some of Garland’s most memorable songs, “You Made Me Love You (I Didn’t Want To Do it),” “For Me And My Gal,” “The Trolley Song,” ”The Man That Got Away” and “Over the Rainbow,” this savagely funny play offers a unique insight into the inner conflict that inspired and consumed one of America’s most beloved figures. See website for show times and prices. Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949.497.2787. lagunaplayhouse.com

 

Labor Day on the Back Bay
Through Sept. 2. Come one, come all to all-ages concerts, 80’s on the Bay, Boots on the Beach and Led Zepagain, this weekend. On Saturday, Nashville meets Newport for a waterfront country celebration featuring headliners Troubadour Experience, a George Strait tribute, along with special guests Redwood Black and Westward Sons. On Sunday, rock n’ roll can’t miss world-renowned tribute bands Led Zepagain with Petty and the Heartshakers. Sa 5-10 p.m., Su 6-10 p.m. Sa: $20 GA, $60 VIP; Su: $25 GA, $50 VIP. Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort, 1131 Back Bay Dr., Newport Beach, 949.729.3863. newportdunes.com

 

Laguna Art-A-Fair
Through Sept. 2. 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 Sept. 2). $7-$9. 777 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949.494.4514. art-a-fair.com

 

“On Your Feet!”
Through Sept. 2. Directed by two-time Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots), with choreography by Olivier Award winner Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys) and an original book by Academy Award winner Alexander Dinelaris (Birdman), this Broadway features some of the most iconic songs of the past quarter-century—and one of the most inspiring stories in music history. See website for show times. $29+. Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787. scfta.org

 

Sawdust Art Festival
Through Sept. 2. 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. $4-$9. 935 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949.494.3030. sawdustartfestival.org

 

Fumanelli Wine Dinner
Sept. 4. Spend your evening outside in Aarna’s tranquil spa garden while indulging in a four-course dinner with Italian wine pairings hosted by Fumanelli. The celebrated Marchesi Fumanelli family has been cultivating grapes and producing prestigious wines since 1470 and will be celebrating an exclusive visit. 6-9 p.m. $120. Aarna Spa Garden at Paséa Hotel & Spa, 21080 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach. Tickets

 

Tastemakers of Orange County
Sept. 5. Celebrate the Asian and Pacific Islander community, culture and heritage by indulging in Asian and Pacific Island-inspired cuisines and beverages from distinguished O.C. chefs. Participating chefs include Shachi Mehra (ADYA), James Hamamori (Hamamori), Rainer Schwarz (Driftwood Kitchen + Hendrix), Tarit Tanjasiri (Crema Cafe + Crema Artisan Bakers) and more. Highlights include food tastings, entertainment, and silent and live auctions. VIP entry 6 p.m., GA 7-9 p.m. $85 GA, $125 VIP. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa. ocapica.org

 

Pacific Northwest Seafood Celebration
Sept. 7.
Indulge in an eight-course family-style meal prepared in an outdoor kitchen at the Pacific Northwest Seafood Celebration while overlooking Salt Creek Beach on the Dana Lawn. Guests can engage and interact with the chefs as they prepare the meal. Menu highlights include a Raw Bar with oysters on the half shell; cedar plank salmon with blackberry relish, clams, mussels and lamb chorizo; bruleed figs with foie gras mousse and cherry gastrique; and Pudwill Farm blueberry crumble. Endless pours of paired wines and cocktails will also be available. 6-9 p.m. $150. The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, One Ritz Carlton Dr., Dana Point, 949.240.2000. Tickets

 

Tall Ships Festival photo courtesy of The ACE Agency

Climb aboard on one of many historic ships at the Tall Ships Festival in Dana Point.

Tall Ships Festival
Sept. 7-9. Sail into the weekend for the annual Tall Ships Festival at Dana Point Harbor. Festivities and the Tall Ships parade kicks off on Friday (Sept. 7) while the Tall Ships tours, pirate adventures, cannon battles, mermaid encounters and several other activities await guests on Saturday (Sept. 8) and Sunday (Sept. 9). See website for schedule and prices. Free parking at Strand Vista Park or Dana Hills High School. Ocean Institute, 24200 Dana Point Harbor, Dana Point, 949.496.2274. ocean-institute.org

 

“Two’s A Crowd”
Sept. 7-16. Written by Martin Bergman and Rita Rudner, Two’s A Crowd pairs award-winning comedian and actress Rita Rudner and Phantom of the Opera’s Davis Gaines in the world’s first unromantic comedy, featuring songs written by Laguna’s own rock star Jason Feddy. See website for show times and prices. Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949.497.2787. lagunaplayhouse.com

 

9th Annual Wine Soirée Spectacular
Sept. 8.
Spend your evening with a wide variety of wines, delicious food, live music, a silent auction and a raffle where you can win 50 bottles of wine. Funds raised by this event will allow the Southern California Hospice Foundation to continue to offer invaluable assistance to children and adults with needs that lie outside of the hospice benefit, such as helping with food, transportation, utility bills and granting final wishes. 6-9:30 p.m. $150+. The Marconi Automotive Museum, 1302 Industrial Dr., Tustin. socalhospicefoundation.org

 

Casa Jazz Club: John Beasley Trio
Sept. 8. Join Grammy-nominated recording artist, Emmy-nominated music director and pianist John Beasley with his trio in the Main Salon for a concert, cheese plates, complimentary wine and more. 7-8 p.m. $50-$55. Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens, 415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente, 949.498.2139. casaromantica.org

 

Newport Beach Concert on the Green: Desperado
Sept. 9. Founded in 2002 by lead singer, guitarist and keyboardist Aaron Broering, Desperado boasts a lineup of five lead singers and multi-instrumentalists dedicated to replicating the music, imagery and mystique of the Eagles. Concert goers are encouraged to bring picnic dinners, blankets and low-slung beach chairs to enjoy the concert, plus there will be food trucks on hand selling dinner and desserts. 6-7:30 p.m. Free. Newport Beach Civic Center Green, 100 Civic Center Dr., Newport Beach, 949.717.3802. newportbeachca.gov

 

Oktoberfest
Sept. 9-Oct. 28. To mark their 40th anniversary, Oktoberfest Huntington Beach promises to make their year the best celebration yet. There will be authentic German food, imported German beers, German-based bands and other festivities, competitions, games and more. See website for schedule and pricing. Old World German Restaurant, 7561 Center Ave., Huntington Beach, 714.895.8020. oldworld.ws

 

StyleWeekOC
Sept. 14-16. Teaming up with SIMPLY, Orange County’s original fashion week returns with three panel discussions with highly acclaimed experts and influencers in fashion and beauty, including Lauren Bushnell, Lo Bosworth, Louise Roe and more. Expect pop-up shops featuring celebrity brands, interactive activations throughout the center and in-store parties. The events are free and open to the public. Fashion Island, 401 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach. styleweekoc.com

 

Romance of the Mission Benefit Gala
Sept. 14. The Mission Preservation Foundation presents this gala dinner, hosted by Ritz-Carlton and concert in the ruins of the Great Stone Church by vocalist Jackie Evancho to benefit the historic Mission San Juan Capistrano. Reception 6 p.m. Concert 7 p.m. with candlelight dinner to follow. $350. 26801 Ortega Hwy., San Juan Capistrano, 949.234.1323. missionsjc.com

 

Brew Ha Ha Craft Beer Festival
Sept. 15. Cheers to the ninth annual craft beer festival with unlimited sips of 100+ craft beers from regional and out-of-town breweries that are rarely seen in Southern California. Participating breweries include Bootlegers, Chapman Crafted, Stereo Brewing, Stone Brewing, Faction Brewing and many more. Guests will enjoy picturesque views, classic backyard games, live entertainment and gourmet food trucks such as Mess Hall Canteen, Viking Truck, Meat Up BBQ and Fiesta Gourmet. 21+. VIP entry at noon, GA 1-4 p.m. $45 GA, $60 VIP. Lakeview Park, 5305 E. Santiago Canyon Road, Orange, 949.363.1774. ocbrewhaha.com

 

Jason Mraz
Sept. 14. Grammy Award-winning American singer-songwriter Jason Mraz returns to center stage for his Good Vibes Tour with special guest American folk/pop singer and songwriter Brett Dennen. 6 p.m. $35+. FivePoint Amphitheatre, 14800 Chinon, Irvine, 949.988.6800. fivepointamphitheatre.com

 

Rascal Flatts
Sept. 15. American country three-man band Rascal Flatts is touring the U.S. for their tenth studio album “Back to Us” with special guest country music duo Dan + Shay and American Idol Season 15 winner Trent Harmon. 3:30 p.m. See website for prices. FivePoint Amphitheatre, 14800 Chinon, Irvine, 949.988.6800. fivepointamphitheatre.com

 

Knott’s Scary Farm
Sept. 20-Oct. 31. Watch as Snoopy’s favorite theme park turns sinister on select nights during the Halloween season. This year includes new live shows, mazes and 1,000 monsters lurking throughout the park. Scary Farm opens 7 p.m. Admission to every event night: $95. See website for Scary Farm event nights. Knott’s Berry Farm, 8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park, 714.220.5200. knotts.com

 

Jon Batiste
Sept. 21. Eclectic jazz musician and charismatic bandleader for Stay Human, the house band for CBS’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Jon Batiste makes his Musco Center debut. The New Orleans-bred, New York-based musician, educator and humanitarian will share his virtuosic music style during this intimate performance, singing and playing piano, keyboards and his signature harmonaboard in Musco’s state-of-the-art concert hall. 7:30 p.m. $25-$55. Musco Center for the Arts, Chapman University, 415 N. Glassell, Orange, 844.626.8726. muscocenter.org

 

“The Other Place”
Opens Sept. 21. Written by Sharr White and directed by Matthew McCray, compelling and acclaimed drama focuses on Juliana Smithton, a respected neurologist whose life has recently begun unraveling: Her husband is leaving her, her daughter has eloped with a much older man and even she’s beginning to question her own good health. F 8 p.m.; Sa 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Su 3 p.m. $25-$35. Chance Theater @ Bette Aitken theater arts Center, 5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim, 888.455.4212. chancetheater.com

 

Hoodie Allen
Sept. 22. American rapper, singer and songwriter Steven Adam Markowitz, who’s known for his stage name Hoodie Allen, returns to center stage for 35 dates at small, intimate venues for the Hanging with Hoodie Tour. Each ticket comes with a free meet-and-greet after the show. 7 p.m. $30. House of Blues Anaheim, 400 W. Disney Way, Suite 337, Anaheim, 714.778.2583. houseofblues.com

 

“Knights in Armor”
Opens Sept. 22. Explore Bowers Museum’s newest exhibition that features over 90 stunning masterpieces of European arms and armor as well as paintings dating from the Medieval and Renaissance ages to the Romanticized Medieval revival of the 1800s. All pieces and artwork are a loan from the Museo Stibbert of Florence, Italy bring to life the legendary figure of the knight, his code of chivalry and his battlefield role. Tu-Su 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $23 adults; $20 students and seniors 62+; $10 members. Bowers Museum, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, 714.567.3600. bowers.org

 

Toast to the Casa photo courtesy of Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens

Spend your evening at Toast to the Casa in Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens.

Toast to the Casa
Sept. 22. Sample food, wine, beer, spirits and cigars from nearly 30 local vendors at this 16th annual fundraiser gala to support Casa Romantica’s cultural and education programs. Watch, listen and dance to themed music and performance acts from opening until closing. Support the arts at the Wheel of Wine, silent auction, premier live auction and opportunity drawing. 5:30-10 p.m. $175 before Sept. 1, $200 GA. Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens, 415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente, 949.498.2139. casaromantica.org

 

Concert at Peninsula Park: Southland Sings
Sept. 23. Watch a lively choreographed concert featuring upbeat contemporary and classic Broadway hits by Southland Sings. Local eateries near Peninsula Park provide great options for take-out or pre/post show dining. 5-6:30 p.m. Free. Balboa Peninsula Park, 100 Main St., Newport Beach, 949.717.3802. newportbeachca.gov

 

Dark Harbor
Opens Sept. 27. Named one of the top 10 most haunted places on Earth by TIME magazine, Southern California’s most terrifyingly authentic haunt will once again rise from the deep, dripping with history of the infamously haunted ship. Dark Harbor’s resident spirits include Ringmaster, Captain, Samuel the Savage, Graceful Gale, Half-Hatch Henry, Iron Master, Scary Mary, Voodoo Priestess and Chef. See website for times. $20+. The Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach, 562.499.1739. queenmary.com

 

Patz & Hall Wine Dinner at The Loft
Sept. 27. The culinary team at The Loft presents a delectable five-course menu expertly paired with Patz & Hall’s limited-production wines. Special guest for the evening is Patz & Hall Winery’s Founder Anne Moses will guide the guests through the dinner. Reception 6 p.m., dinner 7 p.m. $150. Montage Laguna Beach, 30801 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, 949.715.6420. montagehotels.com

 

Ohana Dana Point
Sept. 28-30. Grab your sunscreen and head out to the annual Ohana music festival on Doheny State Beach featuring musical acts such as Eric Church, Mumford & Sons, Young the Giant, Norah Jones and many more. Craft beer, wine, signature cocktails and artisan food options from local restaurants and food trucks will be available all day long. F 2:30-10 p.m.; Sa noon-9:45 p.m.; Su noon-9:30 p.m. See website for ticket prices. Doheny State Beach, 25300 Dana Point Harbor Dr., Dana Point. theohanafest.com

 

Iron & Wine
Sept. 28. Better known by his stage and recording name Iron & Wine, American singer-songwriter Sam Beam is on tour for his Grammy-nominated Beast Epic album with special guest Nashville indie folk singer-songwriter Erin Rae. 7 p.m. $30. House of Blues Anaheim, 400 W. Disney Way, Suite 337, Anaheim, 714.778.2583. houseofblues.com

 

Disney: “Beauty and the Beast” Live in Concert
Sept. 29. Experience the music of Walt Disney’s animated classic Beauty and the Beast come to life with a 65-piece orchestra comprised of professionals from the American Federation of Musicians and The Chapman Orchestra. With music from the Grammy and Academy Award-winning score by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman and Sir Tim Rice, the tale as old as time will dazzle during this cinematic live music experience. 7:30 p.m. $20-$50. All print-at-home tickets include a no-cost parking pass. Musco Center for the Arts, Chapman University, 415 N. Glassell, Orange, 844.626.8726. muscocenter.org

 

Fall Out Boy
Sept. 29. Rock out to your favorite Fall Out Boy songs at their M A N I A Tour in the Honda Center with special guest American rapper, singer and actor Machine Gun Kelly. $1 from every ticket sold will go to the Fall Out Boy Fund benefiting charities throughout Chicago. 7 p.m. $55.50+. 2695 E. Katella, Anaheim, 714.704.2400. hondacenter.com

 

“Kings, Queens & Castles”
Opens Sept. 29. Bring the kiddos to Bowers Kidseum for the Kings, Queens & Castles exhibit, a children’s chess exhibition co-created by The World Chess Hall of Fame and The Magic House, St. Louis Children’s Museum. Designed for children ages 3-11, this innovative, nationally traveling exhibit brings the game of chess to life and provides an engaging introduction to individual chess pieces and game strategy. See website for times and prices. Bowers Museum, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, 714.567.3600. bowers.org

 

Surf City Surf Dog photo by Charmaine Gray

Watch canines riding some waves at the annual Surf City Surf Dog in Huntington Beach.

Surf City Surf Dog
Sept. 29. Catch a few waves with your furry friend at one of Southern California’s most pristine beaches. This event brings together the community, surfers, dog lovers, families and pets for a day of fun and fundraising. While canine competitors try to catch the top five waves in 12 minutes, food trucks will be open to attendees on land. Check-in 7:30 a.m., event 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Huntington Dog Beach, 100 Golden West St., Huntington Beach, 714.841.8644. surfdogevents.com

 

7th Annual Golden Foodie Awards
Sept. 30. Come see the best chefs, libations and cuisine from chef-driven and independent restaurants at the annual Golden Foodie Awards. Guests will nosh and imbibe creations from O.C.’s finest curators of taste trends. Celebrity master of ceremonies Simon Majumdar will preside over the affair and will be joined by special guest Neil Saavedra to dole out awards to winners of the 17 categories, including the highly anticipated Chef of the Year and Pastry Chef of the Year honors. Red carpet 5 p.m.; awards 6:40 p.m.; after party 8:30 p.m. See website for prices. Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa, 900 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach. goldenfoodieawards.com

 

Jeff Garlin
Sept. 30. Have a laugh with American actor and stand-up comedian Jeff Garlin at Irvine Improv. Many know Garlin from his role in the ABC hit comedy The Goldbergs as well as his extensive voice-over acting credits including Disney Pixar’s WALL-E, Cars 2 and Toy Story 3. Ages 18+. Doors 5:30 p.m., show 7 p.m. See website for prices. Irvine Spectrum Center, 527 Spectrum Center Dr., Irvine, 949.854.5455. irvine.improv.com

 

Pacific Northwest Seafood Celebration photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. Tall Ships Festival photo courtesy of The ACE Agency. Toast to the Casa photo courtesy of Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens. Surf City Surf Dog photo by Charmaine Gray.

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