Top Orange County Things to Do in August

BeachFront Cinema photo by Beachfront Cinema.
Take movie night to the next level at Huntington Beach’s BeachFront Cinema.

This month, Orange County brings you Grammy Award-nominated performers, outdoor movie screenings, foodie festivities and more. See our list of 30+ top Orange County things to do in August.

Edited by Whitney Lauren Han.

Hunter Hayes
Aug. 1. Five-time Grammy Award nominee and county singer-songwriter Hunter Hayes will perform live at the OC Fair’s Pacific Amphitheatre, along with Nashville’s all-female country group Runaway June and YouTube star Coffey Anderson. 7 p.m. $40+ GA, $10 parking. Pacific Amphitheatre, 100 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa, 714.708.1500.


“Reflections on Reflections” Exhibit
Aug. 2-Oct. 15. Laguna Beach’s Ning Zhou Gallery celebrates its third anniversary with a show of new water-reflection photographs by its namesake and international master Ning Zhou. While primarily comprised of new work, Reflections on Reflections will reprise another show which was held in Athens in 2007 at the invitation of Greece’s then Prime Minister George Papendreou. Opening reception 6-9 p.m. Ning Zhou Gallery, 357 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, 714.726.1763.


Summer Dive-In Movies
Aug. 3-31 Pull up a chaise lounge poolside or get comfy on your own inflatable pool floaty to watch showings of your favorite blockbuster hits at Fashion Island Hotel. Featured screenings include Black Panther (Aug. 3), La La Land (Aug. 10), Ready Player One (Aug. 17), The Jungle Book (Aug. 24) and Avengers: Infinity War (Aug. 31). Guests can purchase popcorn, movie snacks and beverages from the bar. 7-11 p.m. $10 GA, free for overnight guests. 690 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach, 949.760.0808.


BeachFront Cinema
Aug. 4, 11. 
Take movie night to the next level at the beach. This month, the event features flicks Jaws (21+) and Star Wars: The Last Jedi on one of the largest inflatable outdoor movie screens in California. Arrive early for pre-movie festivities such as live entertainment, games and contests. Snacks and refreshments are available for purchase from food booths and the beach bar. Pre-movie activities 5 p.m., show time around 8 p.m. (dusk). $15 GA, $49 VIP (includes jumbo 2-person bean bag). Huntington State Beach, lifeguard tower 14, Huntington Beach.


Brunch Life Fest photo courtesy of Brunch Life Fest
Don’t miss out on the first-ever Brunch Life Fest in Long Beach.

Brunch Life Festival
Aug. 4. Calling all brunch fanatics! Indulge in local brunch tastings, mimosas and specialty drinks from the best restaurants in Long Beach, O.C. and L.A. at the first-ever brunch festival. Additional highlights include live entertainment, photo booths, outdoor games and more. Samples and tastings are while supplies last, and full size entrees and beverages will be available for purchase. 21+. VIP entry 10 a.m., GA 11 a.m.-4 p.m. $49 GA; $65 VIP; $20 a la carte (see website for details). Rainbow Lagoon Park, 400 E. Shoreline Dr., Long Beach.


Soccer and Brews Beer Fest
Aug. 4. Make your way to Orange County Soccer Club’s first beer festival to enjoy unlimited tastings of 50+ different beers from over 30 of the region’s top craft breweries. Highlights include a DJ spinning tunes, O.C.’s favorite food trucks, a game between USL Pro Soccer Team vs. Swope Park Rangers and more. 21+. VIP entry 4 p.m., GA 5-8 p.m. $25 advance; $35 GA; $45 VIP. Championship Soccer Stadium, 8272 Great Park Blvd., Irvine.


Lobsterfest Newport Beach
Aug. 5. Roll up your sleeves for the 10th annual Lobsterfest at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina. The dinner includes fresh whole Maine lobster flown in fresh the morning of the event, grilled N.Y. strip steak, salad, red potatoes, corn-on-the-cob, drawn butter, sourdough rolls and dessert. While feasting, enjoy live entertainment by The West Coast Party Crashers on the beachfront stage. 3-8 p.m. $75 GA; $150 VIP (advance only); $25 for children 12 and under. 1131 Back Bay Dr., Newport Beach, 949.478.3468.


“School of Rock”
Through Aug. 5. Based on the hit film, this New York Times Critics’ Pick musical follows Dewey Finn, a wannabe rock star posing as a substitute teacher, who turns a class of straight-A students into grade-A rockers. This high-octane smash features 14 new songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber, all the original songs from the movie and musical theater’s first-ever kids’ rock band playing live on stage. See website for show times. $29+. Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787.


VANS U.S. Open of Surfing
Through Aug. 5. Bring your sunscreen and spend the week in Huntington Beach for the worlds largest pro surfing competition. In addition to seeing some of the world’s most respected surf, skate and BMX professionals, expect a beach-lifestyle festival, skate and BMX events, autograph signings and community movie nights. 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Free. Huntington Beach Pier, Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach.


“End of the Rainbow”
Aug. 8-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.


Camp District
Through Aug. 9. Bring your kiddos to enjoy crafts, music, dance parties, storytelling, interactive activities, face painting, balloon art, games and more at Camp District. Every Thursday, this camp focuses on fun themes such as Little Athletes (Aug. 2) and Under the Stars (Aug. 9). 10 a.m.-noon. Free. AMC Courtyard at The District at Tustin Legacy, 2437 Park Ave., Tustin, 714.259.9090.


Yappy Hour
Aug. 9. Canines and their companions are invited to a special cocktail party at The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel. Pups will lap up drinks such as bacon-, chicken-, or beef-infused water (vegan options available) and housemade dog biscuits, while humans relax with a glass of Mutt Lynch Unleashed Chardonnay, Merlot Over and Play Dead, Chateau d’Og Cabernet Sauvignon or a refreshing cocktail featuring Tito’s Vodka. Cocktails, beer and a savory selection of barbecue items are also available for purchase. 5-8 p.m. One Ritz-Carlton Dr., Dana Point, 949.240.2000.


"Isadora" with Natalia Osipova photo by Sergei Misenko
Watch prima ballerina Natalia Osipova perform as Isadora Duncan at Segerstrom Hall.

“Isadora” with Natalia Osipova
Aug. 10-12. Choreographer of Russia’s fabled Mariinsky Theatre, Vladimir Varnava, leads a creative team to bring the modern dance revolutionary Isadora Duncan (1877-1927) to life. Taking center stage in this world premiere is Natalia Osipova, one of today’s reigning prima ballerinas and principal dancer of London’s Royal Ballet. F 7:30 p.m.; Sa 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Su 1 p.m. $29+. Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787.


OC Fair
Through Aug. 12. Indulge in a little bit of deep-fried everything at the OC Fair. Bring the whole family and enjoy action sports (rodeo, BMX, pig racing), tribute bands in the Hangar, carnival with rides, La Grande Wheel, livestock competitions, agricultural displays, petting zoo, wine tasting and of course—fried food galore. M-Tu closed; W-F noon-midnight; Sa-Su 11 a.m.-midnight. $7-$14 adults; free for children under 5; $10 parking (cash only). 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa, 714.708.1500.


San Clemente Fiesta Music Festival
Aug. 12. Get in the dancing groove at the 65th annual San Clemente Fiesta Music Festival. Expect live music, food and activities, plus a tortilla toss, pie-eating contest, jump rope and more. Free shuttle service is available from San Clemente High School. 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Free. 100-200 Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente, 949.492.1131.


Charlie Puth and Hailee Steinfeld
Aug. 15-16. Grammy Award-nominated singer and songwriter Charlie Puth takes center stage at the new performance venue in Irvine for the tour of his second album Voicenotes as part of the 2018 Honda Civic Tour. Billboard Music Awards winner and Golden Globe-nominated actress Hailee Steinfeld will guest star on Puth’s tour. 6:30 p.m. See website for prices. 14800 Chinon, Irvine, 949.988.6800.


Brea Fest

Aug. 17. Celebrate Brea’s art programs while indulging in fare from over 35 local restaurants and distributors at the annual Brea Fest. Enjoy live music, theater performances, gallery exhibits, live artist demonstrations and free activities for kids. 6:30-10 p.m. Free admission, food and beverage sold separately. Brea Civic & Cultural Center, 
1 Civic Center Circle
, 714.990.7771.


Festival Ballet Theatre’s “Gala of the Stars”
Aug. 17.
Experience an unforgettable night of dance at the the 11th annual “Gala of the Stars.” This unique event boasts an incredible roster of world ballet stars from internationally-acclaimed ballet companies, whose talent will be complemented by select, inspired young protégés. Current and future stars will share the stage in one spectacular performance. 6 p.m. $55+. 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787.


Fiesta Yacht Party and Caribbean Yacht Party
Aug. 18. Make the most of your weekend by hopping on board one of two 3-hour luxury yacht cruises through Newport Harbor. The Fiesta Yacht Party sets sail in the afternoon featuring margaritas, a bottomless taco bar and desserts, all while listening to the beats of top 40 music and the best Salsa/Latin hits. Come in the evening for the Caribbean Yacht Party to enjoy specialty rum libations, Caribbean cuisine, reggae music played by a DJ and more. 21+. Fiesta: Boarding 11:30 a.m, cruise at noon; Caribbean: Boarding 6:30 p.m, cruise 7-10 p.m. $68.50. Royal Princess Yacht, 2901 W. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, 714.485.6543.


Pacific Wine and Food Classic
Aug. 18-19. Cheers to the inaugural wine festival that will feature 200+ restaurants, chefs, winemakers and artisans, plus a celebrity chef host and live entertainment. See website for full list of participating vendors. VIP entry 1 p.m., GA 2-5 p.m. GA single-day: $115 for Saturday, $99 for Sunday; VIP single-day: $149 for Saturday, $139 for Sunday. Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort, 1131 Back Bay Dr., Newport Beach.


Festival Runway Fashion Show photo provided by The ACE Agency
Be inspired by the designs at this year’s Festival Runway Fashion Show in Laguna Beach.

Festival Runway Fashion Show
Aug. 19. Just like TV’s Project Runway, see who’s in and who’s out this year as Festival of the Arts artists compete to create the most inspired couture using reclaimed, reused or recycled materials. Selecting the winners will be a panel of fashion experts including Kaye Spilker (Curator of Costumes and Textiles at LACMA), Alex Jaeger (Costume Designer) and Nelson Coates (Production Designer). Noon-3 p.m. Free with $15 Festival of Arts admission, $25 reserved section (includes Festival admission). Festival of Arts Grounds, 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 800.487.3378.


Plum Fest and Weiner Dog Races
Aug. 19. Old World is going plum crazy at the annual Plum Fest. Expect to try Pflaumenkuchen (a cake made with specialty plums that only ripen for a brief time once a year), plum crepes, plum schnapps, plum martinis and more. Enjoy live music, barbecue fare, full bar and street vendors. Doors open 1 p.m.; festival 2-6 p.m.; wiener dog races 3 p.m. Free. Old World, 7561 Center Ave., Huntington Beach, 714.895.8020.


“On Your Feet!”
Aug. 21-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.


Lady Antebellum and Darius Rucker
Aug. 24. Watch seven-time Grammy Award-winning American country music trio Lady Antebellum and three-time Grammy Award winner Darius Rucker come together to co-headline their Summer Plays On Tour. Joining as a guest performance is American country and pop music singer-songwriter Russell Dickerson. 6 p.m. See website for prices. FivePoint Amphitheatre, 14800 Chinon, Irvine, 949.988.6800.


OC Night Market
Aug. 24-26. Come one, come all to the original and largest Asian-themed night market in the country. The OC Night Market features hundreds of food, merchandise, crafts, arts, games, music and entertainment attractions in one jam-packed weekend of festivities that appeals to all ages. New and returning chefs will present delectable dishes. F-Sa 4 p.m.-midnight; Su 4-11 p.m. $5 GA, free for kids under 6; $8 parking. OC Fair and Event Center, 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa.


Celebrity Benefit Event
Aug. 25. Don your best attire to this red carpet one-night affair, followed by an exclusive live concert with Grammy Award-winning record producer and vocalist Steve Tyrell. Actress Sarah Drew from Grey’s Anatomy and star of the film Moms’ Night Out will draw the winning ticket for a 2019 Acura TLX and introduce a special performance of the Pageant of the Masters production after the live concert. Red carpet 5 p.m.; concert 6 p.m.; Pageant of the Masters 8:30 p.m. $50-$250. Festival of Arts Grounds, 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 800.487.3378.


Sam Smith: “The Thrill of it All” Tour
Aug. 25. For the first time ever, four-time Grammy Award-winning artist Sam Smith comes to Honda Center for his The Thrill Of It All Tour. The tour surrounds Smith’s highly anticipated sophomore album that debuted at Number 1 on Billboard’s Top 200 Album Chart. 8 p.m. See website for prices. 2695 E. Katella, Anaheim, 714.704.2400.


Blooms & Bubbly
Aug. 29. Take time to stop and smell the roses! The Resort at Pelican Hill invites you to sip on mimosas while award-winning floral designer Nisie Vorachard of Nisie’s Enchanted Florist leads a hands-on workshop on creating a hand-tied floral arrangement. 5-7 p.m. $125 (includes complimentary valet, mimosa and flowers for creating a hand-tied floral arrangement). 22701 Pelican Hill Road South, Newport Coast, 855.467.6800. Tickets


Shakira photo by Jaume de la Iguana
See Colombian singer and songwriter Shakira perform at the Honda Center.

Shakira: “El Dorado” World Tour
Aug. 31. After postponing her El Dorado World Tour to recover her vocal cords, multi-Grammy Award-winning Colombian singer and songwriter Shakira is back to continue the U.S. leg of her tour at the Honda Center. 7:30 p.m. See website for prices. 2695 E. Katella, Anaheim, 714.704.2400.


Festival of Arts
Ongoing. 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.


Knott’s Soak City Waterpark
Ongoing. Catch a break from the heat in the 15-acre water park, Knott’s Soak City. Have some fun on one (or more) of seven different water slide experiences—four of which are on the 60-foot tall tower. Guests can also enjoy the Gremmie Lagoon for kids, Tidal Wave Bay wave pool, the one-third-mile Sunset River and the three-story Beach House, featuring 200 water guns, nozzles, sprayers and other interactive surprises. See website for operating hours as they vary and are subject to change. Knott’s Berry Farm, 8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park, 714.220.5200.


Laguna Art-A-Fair
Ongoing. 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.


Pageant of the Masters
Ongoing. 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.


Sawdust Art Festival
Ongoing. 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.


BeachFront Cinema photo by Beachfront Cinema. Brunch Life Fest photo courtesy of Brunch Life Fest. “Isadora” with Natalia Osipova photo by Sergei Misenko. Festival Runway Fashion Show photo provided by The ACE Agency. Shakira photo by Jaume de la Iguana.

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