Top Orange County Things to Do in March

Hoag Classic, formerly Toshiba Classic, returns to the Newport Beach Country Club for it’s 25th year.

Festivals of food, music, veggies and tattoos—and that’s not even all. Check out our list of things to do in Orange County this March.

Edited by Laura Okey.

Kids’ Chess Tournament
Mar. 1. San Clemente Knights invite all levels for this fun and friendly outdoor chess tournament, including a pizza dinner, Academic Chess-rated games and a quick lesson. Parents can stay and watch, or enjoy shopping and dining at Outlets at San Clemente. 5:30-8:30 p.m. $20 per child, $15 each additional child. Center Court at Outlets at San Clemente, 101 W. Avenida Vista Hermosa, Suite 190, San Clemente, 949.535.2323.

Mar. 1-10.
 Back for its seventh year, the week-long tomato seminar offers an astonishing selection of heirloom and hybrid tomato plant varieties, including new varieties for 2019 and the Tomato of the Year. See website for hours. Roger’s Gardens, 2301 San Joaquin Hills Road, Corona del Mar, 949.640.5800.

Napa in Newport 
Mar. 2. Enjoy a selection of fine, rare and reserve wines from renowned Napa Valley wineries alongside perfectly paired culinary creations and a live auction. Benefits CureDuchenne which helps raise funds to find a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. 5-10 p.m. Monarch Beach Resort, 1 Monarch Resort, Dana Point.

Lantern Festival 2019
Mar. 2.
 Celebrate Pacific Symphony’s fourth annual Lantern Festival honoring the Year of the Pig. Highlights include live entertainment, Chinese folk dance lessons, lantern decorating, riddles and delicious eats. Enjoy performances featuring local music and dance groups in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall and activities on the Argyros Plaza. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Julianne and George Argyros Plaza, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787.

Dueling Pianos
Mar. 2, 9. The Traveling Keys OC perform their dueling piano extravaganza and sing-a-long in the Queen Mary’s Queen’s Salon. Get ready to move your feet and sing along. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. $15. 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach, 562.499.1739.

Festival of Whales
Mar. 2-3, 9-10.
 Celebrate the annual spring migration of gray whales with Dana Point Harbor’s 48th annual Festival of Whales. Activities include a parade, concerts, car shows, whale watching, Rubber Ducky Derby and Diamond Dig. See website for full schedule of events. 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Dana Point Harbor, Dana Point, 949.496.1045.

OC Restaurant Week features food and drink specials at 150 Orange County restaurants.

OC Restaurant Week
Mar. 3-9. Eat. Drink. Repeat. One hundred and fifty of Orange County’s favorite restaurants dish up delicious prix fixe menus at fantastic prices. New focuses this year include cocktails, and breakfast for dinner; new guides are divided into categories such as family-friendly dining, date night and ladies’ night. Lunch $10-$25, dinner $20-$50.

Rock for the Cause
Mar. 4. Rock out with Laguna Beach’s The 133 Band for an evening that benefits Friendship Shelter. The event will feature live music, drinks and hors d’oeuvres, courtesy of Skyloft. All proceeds will directly help end homelessness in the community. 7:30 p.m. $75+. Skyloft, 422 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, 949.494.6928. Tickets

Pianist Beatrice Rana
Mar. 6.
Pianist Beatrice Rana—Gramophone‘s Young Artist of the Year and winner of the silver medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition—appears at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Rana’s program on the Laguna Chamber Music Series includes Chopin’s Etudes, Ravel’s Miroirs and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. 8 p.m. $20-$98. 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 949.553.2422.

Disney’s Aladdin
Mar. 6-23. Soak in the unforgettable beauty, magic and comedy of the stage adaptation of the timeless Disney classic, Aladdin. Expect all your favorite songs from the film, as well as new music written by Tony and Academy Award winner Alan Menken. See website for show times. $30+. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787.

Casa Up Close: Doctor Tom Deméré, Paleontologist
Mar. 7. Learn about artificial intelligence and the positive potential it can contribute to the well-being of society. Dr. Tom Deméré, paleontology curator at the San Diego Natural History Museum, will talk about his most exciting discoveries. 7-8 p.m. $10-$12. Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens, 415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente, 949.498.2139.

Shop The Expo at Neiman Marcus
Mar. 8-9. Meet the new names that are shaking up the beauty industry at this one-of-a-kind shopping event, featuring exclusive products and limited-edition gifts with purchase. F 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sa 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Neiman Marcus Fashion Island, 601 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach.

Hoag Classic
Mar. 8-10. Returning for its 25th year, the Hoag Classic (formerly Toshiba Classic) brings golfers with worldwide professional victories to Southern California. Expect golf legends such as Fred Couples, John Daly, Bernhard Langer and Mark O’Meara, plus 80 additional players to compete in the tournament. $25 pre-sale, $30 day-of. Newport Beach Country Club, One Clubhouse Drive, Newport Beach, 949.660.1001.

Musink Tattoo Convention & Music Festival
March 8-10. Musink returns to Orange County for its 12th year to celebrate music and tattoos with more than 300 of the world’s finest tattoo artists and killer entertainment. See performances by The Vandals, Limp Bizkit, Travis Barker, Suicidal Tendencies and many more. See website for weekend schedule and ticket options. Single day passes start at $29. OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa.

OC Wine Fest
Mar. 9-10. Celebrate spring at the second annual wine festival on the historical grounds of A Stones Throw Winery. Learn about and sip award-winning wines from around the globe. Taste craft beers, eat from gourmet food trucks, shop from unique vendors and enjoy live music. Sa-Su 1-5 p.m. 29943 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 818.994.4661.

Painting & Prosecco at The Resort at Pelican Hill
Mar. 13.
 Channel your inner artist with bottomless prosecco and a paintbrush on Pelican Hill’s outdoor lawn. Soak in panoramic sunset views of the Pacific while creating your own artistic masterpiece. Taught by local art guru Timree Gold, this step-by-step class is perfect for beginners and painting enthusiasts. Canvas and painting supplies included. 5:30 p.m. $85. 22701 Pelican Hill Road S., Newport Coast, 949.467.6800. Tickets

Big West Basketball Tournament
March 14-16. March Madness is in full swing with the Big West Basketball Tournament and the 2019 NCAA men’s quarterfinals, women’s and men’s semifinals and women’s and men’s championship games. See website for schedule and pricing. Honda Center, 2695 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, 714.778.2583. Tickets

St. Patrick’s Day Eve Pub Crawl
Mar. 16.
The Queen Mary’s historic salons transform to Irish pubs for one night only, accompanied by festive food and drinks and traditional Irish music in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. 7 p.m.-midnight. $22 adults, $12 children. 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach, 562.499.1739.

VeggiePalooza 2019
March 16-17. Taste the homegrown difference with over 100 varieties of tomatoes and 70 varieties of peppers, plus companion flowers, veggies and more available for purchase. All plants sold are grown in Fullerton at the Arboretum. Additionally, guests can participate in gardening classes, watch cooking demos and join a Q&A session with the UCEE Master Gardeners. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Fullerton Arboretum at CSUF, 1900 Associated Road, Fullerton, 657.278.4010.

Cherry Blossom Festival
March 17. Celebrate cherry blossom season with a festival featuring Japanese food, cultural exhibits, arts, crafts, games and live performances from traditional Japanese dancers. 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Free. Huntington Beach Central Park Bandstand, 7111 Talbert Ave., Huntington Beach.

St. Patrick’s Day at Malarky’s Irish Pub
March 17. Head to Newport Beach’s iconic Irish pub for the longest continuing St. Patrick’s Day party in the city. Beyond all the beer and Irish whiskey you can drink, expect professional bagpipers and Irish tunes, complimentary corned beef hash sandwiches and other Irish fare. Doors open at 6 a.m. 3011 Newport Blvd., Newport Beach, 949.675.2340.

Swallows Day Parade
Mar. 23. Celebrate the return of the swallows to the San Juan Capistrano Mission with the 61st annual Swallows Day Parade. As one of the nation’s largest non-motorized parades, activities include El Presidenté Ball, Fiesta Grande, and Taste of San Juan, among others. 11 a.m. Mission San Juan Capistrano, 26801 Ortega Hwy., San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.1976.

OC Fashion Week
March 23-27. Fashion meets innovation, beauty and art for the 2019 season of OC Fashion Week. Check out the season’s best in ready-to-wear and one-of-a-kind couture collections. The annual event will feature emerging and leading retail designers from all over the world. See website for schedule, locations and ticket prices.

Queensway 5K
Mar. 28.
 Lace up your sneakers and walk, run or jog through the Queen Mary’s Events Park and Long Beach harbor at the 2nd annual Queensway 5K. The course takes runners across the Queensway Bridge for breathtaking views of the Long Beach city skyline, ending at the Queen Mary Events Park for finish line celebrations, including signature food tastings, a post-run beverage and admission aboard the Queen Mary. See website for schedule; race starts 5:30 p.m. $40. 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach, 562.499.1739.

Ocean Institute’s Jazz Festival
Mar. 29-30. Experience the annual jazz festival fundraiser to support the Adopt-a-Class program that benefits more than 10,000 underserved students in Southern California. On Saturday, come for a gala and a four-course dinner from the executive chefs at Monarch Beach Resort, The Ranch at Laguna Beach, Montage Laguna Beach and The Laguna Cliffs Marriott. The festival features jazz artists including Grammy Award-winner Deniece Williams, plus Gregg Karukas and Michael Paulo, among others. See website for schedule and ticket prices. 24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, 949.496.2274.

March 31. Browse a collection of work from artists using mixed media art. From handmade jewelry and sculpture to primitive dolls, home decor and paper whimsy, find a large variety of unique masterpieces. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. $7. Spring Field Banquet & Conference Center, 501 N. Harbor Blvd., Fullerton, 714.573.1025.

Photo: Hoag Classic courtesy Cornerstone Communications. OC Restaurant Week courtesy OC Restaurant Association.