Orange County

Weekend roundup

May 23-27

Treat yourself to gelato at the new Bacio di Latte in Fashion Island.

Monarch Butterfly Day, wine and spirits, Memorial Day happenings and more…. Here are the top Orange County weekend events for May 23-27.

Edited by Whitney Lauren Han.


Garden-Grove-Strawberry-Festival-phot-by-City-of-Garden-GroveGarden Grove Strawberry Festival
May 24-27. Kick off your weekend with a luscious start at the 61st annual strawberry festival. On the agenda are a giant-strawberry-cake-cutting ceremony, a parade, carnival rides, contests, games and live performances. See website for full schedule of events. F 1-10 p.m., Sa-Su 10 a.m.-10 p.m., M 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Free; $1 each ride. Village Green between Main and Euclid streets, Garden Grove, 714.638.0981.




Monarch-Butterfly-Day-photo-courtesy-The-ACE-AgencyMonarch Butterfly Day
May 25. Learn about monarch butterflies and their natural habitat with an up-close look at these creatures at the 10th annual event. Explore a netted butterfly enclosure and learn how to plant your very own butterfly garden. Highlights include crafts, face painting, a balloon artist and food (available for purchase). 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free entry and parking. Mile Square Regional Park, 16801 Euclid St., Fountain Valley, 714.973.6600.




Newport-Dunes-Memorial-Day-Weekend-photo-courtesy-The-ACE-AgencyNewport Dunes Memorial Day Weekend
May 24-27. Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort fills the long weekend with family-friendly activities and special events. Check out Newport Dunes’ newly expanded beachfront Inflatable Water Park; take part in Liquid Run—the largest inflatable obstacle course fun run—from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The run features more than 50 obstacles to traverse atop clean, clear water. Also enjoy music, an open play zone, food trucks and a Liquid Libations lounge. On Sunday night, celebrate with Boots on the Beach from 6:30 to 10 p.m with live performances of country favorites. 1131 Back Bay Drive, Newport Beach, 949.729.3863.



SideDoor-Backyard-Game-Night-Kick-Off-photo-courtesy-The-ACE-AgencySideDoor Backyard Game Night Kick-Off
Starts May 27. Celebrate the opening of SideDoor’s backyard and weekly game nights for the summer. Mondays through Wednesdays, the Union Jack flag flies above SideDoor, signifying that the patio and garden are open for game night. Enjoy lawn games, specialty cocktails and signature dishes. M-W 4:30 p.m.-close. Five Crowns and SideDoor, 3801 E. Coast Hwy., Corona del Mar, 949.717.4322.




Bacio-di-Latte-photo-courtesy-Violetta-GroupBacio di Latte
Now Open. Italian gelato brand Bacio di Latte opens its second Southern California location in Fashion Island. The 1,100-square-foot shop features architecture inspired by the French countryside. Vibrant gelato pods are filled with the brand’s original chocolate classics including the Giandujotto and Belga and sorbets such as the Fragola and Mango. Three new specialty flavors were created: ricotta & pistachio, matcha and mango sorbet. 133 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, 949.520.7538.



Tim-Ho-Wan-photo-courtesy-Bread-&-Butter-PRTim Ho Wan
Now Open. The international dim sum restaurant, Michelin-starred in Hong Kong, opens its first California location in Irvine. The 129-seat restaurant is the first in the U.S. to offer a takeout window in addition to full table service; libations include draft beers, eco-friendly wines and a private sake label. Among popular dishes are baked barbecue pork buns, steamed shrimp dumplings (har gow), pork spare rib with black bean sauce, chicken feet with abalone sauce and peanut, pan-fried turnip cake, and sticky rice in lotus leaf. Su-Th 10 a.m.-10 p.m., F-Sa 10 a.m.-midnight. Diamond Jamboree, 2700 Alton Pkwy., Suite 127-131, Irvine, 262.888.8828.



WR-Kitchen-&-Bar-photo-courtesy-Jane-Gillespie-Public-RelationsWR Kitchen & Bar
Now Open. Wood Ranch opens a new concept, WR Kitchen & Bar, in Laguna Niguel. The restaurant features a more contemporary vibe, and open kitchen full bar and an a la carte menu. New snacks include blistered shishito peppers and brisket caramel popcorn (pictured). WR also offers Wood Ranch favorites such as tri-tip, baby-back ribs and the barbecue chopped salad.  Su-Th 11 a.m.-10 p.m., F-Sa 11 a.m.-11 p.m. The Center at Rancho Niguel, 28061 Greenfield Drive, Laguna Niguel, 949.342.4740.



Davio's-Spirits-Pop-Up-Series-photo-courtesy-Ajenda-PRDavio’s Spirits Pop-Up Series
May 23. Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse kicks off its monthly spirits pop-up series with O.C.’s first craft distillery, Blinking Owl, and spirits enthusiast Andrew Aoun. Sip on specialty craft cocktails such as Vesper, Organic Orange Mule (pictured) and Cucumber Collins; enjoy one-of-a-kind bar bites by Davio’s executive chef Istvan Toth. 5-8 p.m. Irvine Towers, 18420 Von Karman Ave., Irvine, 949.477.4810.




Newport-Beach-Wine-Festival-photo-courtesy-Hawkins-InternationalNewport Beach Wine Festival
May 24-26. Balboa Bay Resort celebrates the start of summer with its 16th annual wine festival. The resort’s new executive chef, Vic Casanova, has created paired menus for each of the weekend’s dinners and tasting events. Guests can purchase individual event tickets or a festival pass. See website for schedule and prices. 1221 W. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, 949.645.5000.



Agave-Dinner-photo-courtesy-Marguarite-Clark-Public-RelationsAgave Dinner
May 25. One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, more! Sip on libations at a five-course dinner at EATS Kitchen & Bar. Chef Jeff Moore pairs each dish with Don Julio tequila selections chosen by spirits maven and general manager Andrzej Lewczyk. Limited to 40 attendees; reservations required. 7-9 p.m. $90. Hotel Irvine, 17900 Jamboree Road, Irvine, 949.225.6780.




'The-Pygmalion-Effect'-photo-by-Michael-KhouryThe Pygmalion Effect
May 24-26. The new production from the Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg’s award-winning artistic director and choreographer Boris Eifman takes its inspiration from the Greek mythological tale of Pygmalion—a sculptor who became infatuated with his own life-like carving of a beautiful girl. See website for show times. $29+. Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787.




Heartbeat-of-Mexico-photo-courtsy-Momentum-Solutions-TeamHeartbeat of Mexico
May 25-26. Feel the beat of Mexico at Musco Center for the Arts’ fourth annual event. On Saturday, enjoy the Ballet Folkórico celebration at Chapman’s Memorial Hall. On Sunday, a free daytime festival on various stages at the Bette & Wylie Aitken Arts Plaza presents mariachis, Aztec dancing and other additional folklórico groups; the event also includes a painting demonstration, games, and food from local vendors. Sa noon-6 p.m., Su noon-5 p.m. Chapman University, One University Drive, Orange, 844.626.8726.


Photos: Garden Grove Strawberry Festival by City of Garden Grove. Monarch Butterfly Day, Newport Dunes Memorial Day Weekend and SideDoor Backyard Game Night Kick-Off courtesy the ACE Agency. Bacio di Latte courtesy Violetta Group. Tim Ho Wan courtesy Bread & Butter PR. WR Kitchen & Bar courtesy Jane Gillespie Public Relations. Davio’s Spirits Pop-Up Series courtesy Ajenda PR. Newport Beach Wine Festival courtesy Hawkins International. Agave Dinner courtesy Marguarite Clark Public Relations. “The Pygmalion Effect” by Michael Khoury. Heartbeat of Mexico courtesy Momentum Solutions Team.

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