The Best Things to do in Orange County this October

Taco Maria at The OC Mix

October’s lineup of events will have you welcoming fall with open arms. From spectacular wine and food festivals, Cirque du Soleil performances, Oktoberfest and Halloween celebrations, we’ve rounded up the best things to do in Orange County this October.

Sept. 13-Nov. 1. Celebrate Oktoberfest all month long at Old World. Enjoy German food, music and activities including beer tasting, a biergarten, farmers markets, yodeling and dachshund races. Don’t forget your wiener dog! See website for full schedule of events. Old World Village, 7561 Center Ave., Huntington Beach, 714.895.8020.

Knott’s Scary Farm
Sept. 24-Oct. 31. Halloween is fast approaching and Knott’s is the perfect place to put you in the zone –the scare zone. If you dare, visit the scare zone that has returned due to overwhelming demand, Special Ops: Infected – Patient Zero, where you will be enlisted to fight off the zombie apocalypse. This year, its 43rd, includes new lives shows, mazes and 1,000 monsters lurking throughout the park. Knott’s Berry Farm, 8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park, 714.220.5200.

Sugar Plum Arts & Crafts Festivals
Oct. 1-3; 15-18. Find thousands of quality handmade crafts, antiques and collectibles made in the U.S. from more than 120 vendors. The festival’s first stop is in Costa Mesa at the Orange County Fair grounds. See website for hours at each location. Free. Parking in Costa Mesa $7. Free parking in Buena Park. OC Fair & Events Center, 88 Fair Center Drive, Costa Mesa; Buena Park Downtown, 8320 On The Mall, next to Walmart, Buena Park, 562.598.0857.


Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival
Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival

Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival
Oct. 2-4. Savor spectacular wine and food at the 2nd annual event. The event features tastes from 30 Orange County dining destinations like the Montage Laguna Beach, Pelican Hill and Fig & Olive; sips from 200 world-renowned cult and boutique wines (don’t miss the $200 bottle pours), along with cocktails and beer; cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs such as Rick Bayless and Hubert Keller; mixology classes and a jazz lounge. Save $25 on general admission for daytime festival with WHEREOC promo code at check out. F 6:30-9:30 p.m., Sat-Sun 1-5 p.m. One day $150, weekend pass $250. Newport Beach Civic Center, 100 Civic Center Drive, Newport Beach, 888.511.3378.


Beachwood BBQ SourFest 2015
Oct. 6-11. Gabriel Gordon, Beachwood owner and beer hoarder extraordinaire, has cleared his cellar to pour more than 100 kegs of acidic and tart masterpieces from around the world. Both Seal Beach and Long Beach locations will fill almost every tap with sour beers for the duration of the six-day event. Don’t miss the special brewers night that will feature rare offerings from breweries like Allagash Brewing and more. The best part? A free shuttle will be running between both locations Friday through Sunday. See website for full schedule. Free admission. Beachwood BBQ, 131 Main St., Seal Beach, 562.493.4500. 210 E. 3rd St. Long Beach, 562.436.4020.


The Lion King
Oct. 6-Nov. 1. Relive your childhood with an all-time favorite: Disney’s The Lion King. Ditch the television screen for the theater and see the lively stage adaptation of the Acadamy Award-winning 1994 film that tells of a young lion prince and his destiny to be king.  Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787.


Brews & Brats
Oct. 7, 14, 21, 28. Chef Jason Montelibano will bring a taste of Oktoberfest to EATS Kitchen & Bar this fall with German brews and housemade bratwursts and sauerkraut. Available every Wednesday in October for lunch and dinner. L 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., D 5-10 p.m. $15. Hotel Irvine, EATS Kitchen & Bar, 17900 Jamboree Road, Irvine, 949.225.6780.


Festa dell’Autunno
Oct. 8-11. Experience Italy by way of Newport Beach with The Resort at Pelican Hill. Enjoy food and wine, live music and dancing, traditional art, Motori Italiani auto exhibits, bocce ball and flag performances at the Italian street festa on Saturday Oct. 10. Taste seasonally inspired cuisine and wine pairings at the guest chef wine dinners held Thursday through Saturday with Michelin-starred Italian chefs Alessandro Bocci and Sebastiano Lombardi. An ocean view jazz brunch will be held Sunday with festive alfresco dining, endless Prosecco mimosas and live entertainment. Each day holds a new authentic Italian experience! See website for time and price of each event. The Resort at Pelican Hill, 22701 S. Pelican Hill Road, Newport Coast, 888.553.3782.


Craft Beer Dinner
Oct. 9. Join Four Sons Brewery and Watertable Restaurant at Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach for a delicious 5-couse craft beer dinner. Enjoy pairings like Four Sons Coconut Amber with lemongrass and chili mussels and Beach Pail Pale Ale with slow cooked lamb ribs. 6 p.m. $70/pp. Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach, Watertable Restaurant, 21500 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach, 714.845.4885.


Orange County International Auto Show
Oct. 15-18.
See a large collection of the most beautiful vehicles in the world all in one place. This iconic event features 2016 production-model debuts – you can test drive 100 of them – plus concept, custom and exotic cars. $10-$12, Children under 13 free. Anaheim Convention Center, 800 W. Katella Ave., Anaheim, 714.765.8950.

Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities

Oct. 15-Nov. 29. In the words of Cirque du Soleil, “Seeing is disbelieving.” Reality is relative under Cirque du Soleil’s blue and yellow big top. The newest show, Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities, is set in the 19th century and designed to challenge your perceptions and disorient your senses. OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, 877.924.7783.


Laguna Plein Air Painting Invitational
Oct. 17-25. Thirty-five plein-air artists take the scenic beauty of Laguna Beach as their subject and recreate its canyons and coves on a canvas.  The works of art will be available for purchase. The week-long event will be held in multiple places, see website for full schedule. Heisler Park, 375 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach, 949.376.3635.


Stonehill Tavern
Oct. 20. Chef Raj Dixit of Stonehill Tavern welcomes Chef Michael Mina where they will prepare a surreal dining experience inspired by Salvador Dali. Mingle with Chef Mina at a wine reception while viewing original Dali art on loan from Galerie Moderne. Afterwards, indulge in Chef Dixit’s artful five-course “dishes imitating art” menu inspired by the drama and marvel of Dali’s original color wood engravings. Savor wine pairings with each course. Reception 6:30 p.m., Dinner 7 p.m. $120/pp includes wine pairings. Tax and gratuity separate. Stonehill Tavern at The St. Regis Monarch Beach, One Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, 949.234.3200.


Fall Guest Chef Series at Taco María
Oct. 20. Experience a revamped menu when the culinary masters Chef Carlos Salgado of Taco María and Chef Wes Avila of Guerrilla Tacos in LA share the kitchen. The series is designed to welcome creativity and collaboration in Chef Carlos’ kitchen, ultimately benefiting Orange County diners. Make your reservations ahead of time, this will sell out quick! Reservations available beginning Oct. 6. The OC Mix within SOCO Collection, Taco María, 3313 Hyland Ave., Costa Mesa, 714.538.8444.


Oktoberfest event at Bayside Restaurant
Oktoberfest event at Bayside Restaurant

Oktoberfest at Bayside
Through Oct. 23. In celebration of Oktoberfest, Bayside in Newport Beach will be offering a special menu crafted by Executive Chef Paul Gstrein, an Austria native. The specials will celebrate classic Bavarian cuisine and traditional ingredients of the region. In addition, an Oktoberfest beer will be available on draft. Among the menu highlights is the “Käserkrainer” Bratwurst  – Emmental cheese-infused smoked pork sausage with sauerkraut, roasted potatoes and sweet and spicy mustard. Bayside Restaurant, 900 Bayside Drive, Newport Beach, 949.721.1222.

Chocolate Wasted
Oct. 28. Get “chocolate wasted” with Hotel Irvine for national chocolate day. Red Bar & Lounge will host guests for the ultimate decadence – Pastry Chef Maggie Mulcare and head mixologist Gabe Sanchez will pair chocolate creations with fine whiskey selections like milk chocolate caramelized bar with Michter’s American Whisky or dark chocolate truffle with Deanston Virginia Oak. Reservations required by emailing 6 p.m. $35/pp. Hotel Irvine, Red Bar & Lounge, 17900 Jamboree Road, Irvine, 949.225.6780.


Shipwrecked Halloween Bash at Island Hotel
Oct. 31. Prepare your shipwrecked-themed costumes because Island Hotel is calling all pirates, talking parrots, captain hooks, shipmates, mermaids and mermen. The Halloween bash will have sunken treasures, underwater mysteries and prizes for the best costumes. At 11 p.m., a panel of judges at Aqua Lounge will determine the winners. Prizes include dinner for two at Oak Grill, a couples massage at the Spa at Island Hotel and an overnight stay for two in a coastal view corner suite at Island Hotel. 9 p.m. $25 entry fee includes one complimentary drink. Island Hotel Newport Beach, 690 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, 949.760.4920.

See more Halloween events >>>

Bavarian Sunday Family Supper and Beer Flights
Sundays in Oct. Bring the whole family for a Sunday supper with a Bavarian twist at Eats Kitchen and Bar. Gather around the table for Oktoberfest-inspired favorites like schnitzel, kielbasa, spaetzle, German potato salad and braised cabbage. Ask about Bavarian beer flights at Red Bar & Lounge! Reservations recommended. $39 for four guests. Hotel Irvine, EATS Kitchen & Bar, 17900 Jamboree Road, Irvine, 949.225.6780.


SOCIAL Costa Mesa One-Year Anniversary
Through October. Help SOCIAL Costa Mesa commemorate its one-year anniversary this month by ordering special signature dishes like chicken and waffles, Wagyu tri tip, the drive-thru burger and more. Taste specialty cocktails like the gunslinger, a smokey, bold, spirit forward drink with Rittenhouse rye, bourbon, black tea syrup, smoke and citrus oils, poured table side. To honor its first year, SOCIAL will be donating a portion of proceeds from the special menu to the National Charity League – Newport Chapter. 512 W 19th St., Costa Mesa, 949.642.2424.

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