Night Nation Run

From theater, festivals, celebrations and more, we’ve rounded up the best things to do in Orange County this April.

Edited by Laura Okey

Knott’s Boysenberry Festival
April 1-23. Celebrate the historic berry that put Knott’s Berry Farm on the map—the boysenberry! Knott’s Boysenberry Festival will feature countless one-of-a-kind boysenberry-inspired dishes, drinks and more, plus live entertainment for the entire family. Delicious treats include items such as boysenberry pizza with arugula and goat cheese, corn on the cob with boysenberry butter and mayo, freshly baked boysenberry fry bread. Also eat ribs, grilled chicken, alligator and more, all smothered in Knott’s very own farm-made Berry Market Boysenberry BBQ sauce. See online for ticket pricing and park hours throughout festival. Knott’s Berry Farm, 8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park, 714.220.5200.


Discovery Cube’s Bubblefest takes guests inside a giant bubble.


Discovery Cube’s Bubblefest
April 1-16. Learn the science of bubbles at an indoor festival combining bubble artistry, real science and spellbinding lasers for the whole family. This year’s Bubblefest features performances by bubble artist Deni Yang in the Mega Bubblefest Laser Show. The world-famous performance artist combines music, lasers, lighting effects and bubble artistry to create a spectacular show for all ages. Create your own bubble art with wands, participate in science demonstrations, roll around in water spheres and more. Tickets start at $15. Discovery Cube, 2500 N. Main St., Santa Ana, 714.542.2823.


Re:Imagine Garden Grove
April 1. Experience a vehicle-free, re-envisioned downtown Garden Grove for the third annual festival: Re:Imagine Garden Grove—A Downtown Open Streets Event. See Garden Grove as you never have before with pedestrians and bicyclists enjoying 2.5 miles of open streets filled with food, art, music, dance, workshops and more. The block-party atmosphere has something for all ages with kid zones, live music and interactive games. Historic Main Street will host an after party. Since the streets will be shut down, please see website for location, directions and parking information. Open streets 3-6 p.m. After party 6-10 p.m. Free. Garden Grove, 714.741.5290.


The Wizard of Oz
April 1-9. Based on the Oscar-winning film, the stage production of The Wizard of Oz will lead you and the whole family down the familiar yellow brick road. The musical includes classics such as “Over the Rainbow” and “We’re Off to See the Wizard.” See website for showtimes. Tickets start at $28. Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949.497.2787.


Spring Break: California Double
April 2. Experience Southern California’s landscape—from surf and sand to snowy mountain tops—all in the same day. Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach invites you to try the legendary California Double, taking you from wetsuit to snowsuit. Your day begins with surf instruction from Toes on the Nose and ends on the slopes of Snow Summit Ski Resort in Big Bear. Following morning surf lessons, jump on board a luxury coach bus and enjoy lunch en route, before getting fitted with equipment for a half day of boarding or skiing. Tickets include lessons, meals, lift tickets and travel, equipment rental pricing additional cost. Register by contacting or call. $199. Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach, 21500 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach, 714.845.4638.


Brain Candy Live!
April 4. Challenge your mind and your curiosity at Brain Candy Live!. The event stars Adam Savage (editor-in-chief of, former co-host of MythBusters), and Michael Stevens (creator of award-winning YouTube channel Vsauce), who will bring more than three tons of their crazy toys, incredible tools and mind-blowing demonstrations to the stage. 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $39. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787.

Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach features turbo-charged cars driving 185 mph down Shoreline Drive in Long Beach.

Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
Apr. 7-9. Watch a seven-rave lineup headlined by the IndyCar Series with stars like Scott Dixon, Will Power, Helio Castroneves, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Juan Pablo Montoya behind the wheel. The event is packed with activities, food trucks, sports bars and more. Families will enjoy a fun zone with rock climbing walls, games and racing simulators. Look forward to live performances from Kings of Chaos starring Billy Idol, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and Chester Bennington of Linkin Park on Saturday night at the Rock-N-Roar concert. See website for schedule of events. See website for all prices. 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, 562.981.2600.


Angels Opening Day
April 7-9. For the team’s first home stand, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim go up against the Seattle Mariners. Angel Stadium, 2000 E. Gene Autry Way, Anaheim, 714.940.2000.


Sabroso Craft Beer & Taco Festival
April 8. Sip on unlimited tastings from over 100 craft beers and delight in $3 gourmet tacos from some of OC’s best chefs and restaurants. Participating breweries include Modern Times, Bottle Logic and Bootleggers Brewery among others. Live performances include multi-platinum rock band The Offspring, along with Sum 41, Unwritten Law and more. New to this years festival, see world famous Lucha Libre USA Luchadors like Red Spider, La Golosa, Lady Lee and Mariachi Loco, who will take to the ring for four action packed qualifying matches, followed by a championship match. VIP Noon; General admission 1-9 p.m. Doheny State Beach, San Juan Capistrano.


FantaSea: Magic Festival
April 8. Jump on board the majestic Queen Mary for a magical day of entertainment. Get up close and personal with roaming magicians, learn a trick or two from expert performers and see performances from celebrity magicians, an illusions show, mind reading mentalist show and dinner show. Tour the ship with with a trained paranormal guide and visit the Queen Mary’s most notorious ghostly hot spots. Noon-6 p.m. Tickets start at $15. See website for more details. Parking $20. 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach, 877.342.0738.


When We Were Young
April 8-9. Head to the Observatory grounds for a long list of performances from bands reminiscent of when we were young. Among them are Taking Back Sunday, AFI, Morrissey, Descendents and so many more. See website for full weekend lineup. Tickets start at $60. 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, 714.957.0600.


Spring Fling at SOCO
April 9. Put a spring in your step with SOCO and The OC Mix’s 6th annual Spring Fling. Bring the family for fun activities like a scavenger hunt, a photo booth, face painting, kids crafting and an appearance from the Easter Bunny himself. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. 3313 Hyland Ave., Costa Mesa, 657.232.0920.


A Doll’s House, Part 2
April 9-30. Based on Henrik Ibsen’s classic three-act play, A Doll’s House, Part 2 delivers the aftermath. See what happens when Nora, a mother who left her husband and children, returns after 15 years. See website for showtimes. Tickets start at $48. South Coast Repertory, 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.708.5555.


Night Nation Run
April 8, 29. Dance along an illuminated 5k course featuring live music from various electronic music DJs. Celebrate completing the course at an after party on the main stage, featuring surprise celebrity guest performers. General registration includes a Night Nation T-shirt, a race bib, a glow necklace, free giveaways and admission to the after party. 5-10 p.m. $60, children 8 and younger free. Parking $8. OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa; Angel Stadium, 2000 E. Gene Autry Way, Anaheim.


The Big Cheese Grilled Cheese Festival
April 12. Provisions Market and OC Baking Company are joining forces to honor National Grilled Cheese Month with a grilled cheese festival and competition. Sample a variety of grilled cheese sandwiches and vote for your favorite. Local chefs competing include Amar Santana (Vaca, Broadway by Amar Santana), Niki Starr (Mesa) and Max Schultz (Sessions West Coast Deli). Taste them all and vote for the best! 6-8 p.m. $60. Provisions Market, 143 N. Glassell Street, Orange.


Sandcastles on Main
April 15. Watch the beach take over the street as five tons of sand is dumped on the second block of Main Street in downtown Huntington Beach. The HB Downtown Business Improvement District and Marc Africano of Dig It! Sand Castles will set up 20 stations for the ultimate sandcastle building event. Teams begin sculpting at noon, with judging beginning at 2:30 p.m. Winners are announced by 3:30 p.m. Noon-4 p.m. Free. 2nd Block of Main St., Huntington Beach, 714.536.8300.



Kowabunga Van Clan of Huntington Beach Car Show
April 15. Make your way to the Huntington Beach Pier Plaza for a showcase of some of the finest Classic Volkswagen Vans in the area.  8 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. Huntington Beach Pier Plaza, Huntington Beach, 714.745.7165.


King of the Road
Beginning April 19. See the stage adaptation of the true story of Grammy Award-winning, wisecracking country star and Tony Award-winning Broadway composer Roger Miller. See website for showtimes. Tickets start at $66. Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949.497.2787.


Wild and Crazy Taco Night
Apr. 20. Join more than 25 of Orange County’s top chefs including Deborah Schneider and Tia Baker of Solita, John Beber of Pueblo, Stephen Kling of Five Crowns and Katy Smith of Puesto as they concoct tacos with unusual fillings at this friendly competition. Benefits Share Our Selves. VIP 4:30 p.m.; General admission 5:30-7:30 p.m. $75-$150. 1550 Superior Ave., Costa Mesa.


Disney on Ice
April 20-23. Watch with wonder as eight Disney princesses—Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Tiana, Jasmine, Aurora and Snow White—embark on incredible adventures, determined to make their dreams come true. Additionally, experience the sisterly love from Frozen as Ana and Elsa take the icy stage. See website for showtimes. Tickets start at $20. Long Beach Arena, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, 800.745.3000.


Newport Beach Film Festival
Apr. 20-27. Movie buffs have the opportunity to watch some 350 feature films, shorts, documentaries and animation plus sessions with directors and screenwriters. Attend the opening night gala with a live performance and a taste of Newport Beach with light bites from some the area’s top restaurants. See website for schedule. 949.253.2880.

Taj Express: The Bollywood Musical Revue


Taj Express: The Bollywood Musical Revue
April 21-22. Experience the sounds of India and Bollywood on stage, capturing the vibrant spirit found in Bollywood movies for generations. Film, dance and music will come together taking you on a live cinematic journey through modern Indian culture and society, complete with colorful and elaborate costumes. 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $29. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787.


April 21-23. Ignite young minds with a series of competitions, workshops and activities in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts and math. The event will feature entertainment, exhibitors, vendors, contests and more. Activities range from poetry workshops and hands-on clay creation classes to jewelry and fashion design activities. Imaginology welcomes Orange County students (pre-kindergarten to high school) and their families. F 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sa-Su 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa mesa, 714.708.1500.


The Seigel
Through April 23. This comedy about modern love tells the story of a young couple and the peculiar path their relationship takes. Ethan Siegel asks for his girlfriend’s permission to marry—two years after their breakup. See website for showtimes. Tickets start at $25. South Coast Repertory, 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.708.5555.


North Italia Community Dinner
April 24. Experience traditional yet modern homemade Italian food during North Italia’s four-course spring community dinner. Indulge on seasonal flavors with menu items prepared from scratch in order to deliver the freshest and highest quality dish. 6-8 p.m. $65. 2957 Michelson Drive, Irvine, 949.629.7060.


An American in Paris
Beginning April 25. This Tony Award-winning musical tells the story of an American soldier and a mysterious French girl who yearn for a new beginning in the aftermath of war. See website for showtimes. Tickets start at $29. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787.


Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race
Apr. 28-30. Watch the exciting start of boats from around the world set sail from the Balboa Pier in Newport Beach to Ensenada, Mexico at this world-famous 125-mile overnight race. The best views are from Corona del Mar coastal cliffs and Balboa Pier. See website for details. 1 Balboa Pier, Newport Beach, 949.644.1023.


Taste of Huntington Beach
April 30. Sample favorite food from local restaurants in Huntington Beach, paired with California wines and unlimited sips from local breweries. Enjoy live entertainment and dancing. Noon-4 p.m., VIP Reception 11 a.m.-noon. $70-$90. Designated driver $60-$80. Sports Complex, 18100 Goldenwest St., Huntington Beach.


Finding Neverland
Through April 2. See the Orange County premiere of the hit Broadway musical. Based on the Academy Award-winning film of the same name and the play The Man Who Was Peter Pan, Finding Neverland follows the relationship between playwright J.M. Barrie and the family that inspired the beloved character Peter Pan. 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $29. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787.

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