Top Orange County Things to Do in May

Rosé All May photo courtesy Paséa Hotel & Spa
Rosé All May at Paséa Hotel & Spa in Huntington Beach.

Orange County brings outdoor food festivals, wine dinners, performances at Segerstrom Center for the Arts and Mother’s Day happenings in May. See our list of 20-plus top things to do.

Edited by Whitney Lauren Han.

Mole and Mezcal Dinner
May 1. Explore the intricacies of Oaxacan cuisine through four courses at Puesto created in conjunction with two internationally acclaimed Oaxacan chefs, Olga Cabrera from Casa del Sol and Aurora Toledo from Restaurante Zandunga. 5 p.m.-close. Park Place Irvine, 3311 Michelson Drive, Irvine, 949.608.7272.


Rosé All May
May 1-31. Sip your favorite summer wine at Paséa Hotel & Spa at a number of creative rosé experiences. Enjoy rosé wine flights and cocktails at Tanner’s Restaurant, chilly Frosé cocktails at the Ninth Island Pool and the “Chandonut” at Blend Cafe, #WineWednesday Yoga every Wednesday (free for hotel guests, $15 for non-hotel guests) and a complimentary glass of rosé with any spa treatment at Aarna Spa. 21080 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach, 855.622.2472.


Alfresco Beer vs. Wine Dinner
May 2. Enjoy a five-course seasonal beer vs. wine menu by corporate executive chef Ron Fougeray at Splashes. Libation pairings include local IPAs such as Latitude 33 Lost Cities Hazy IPA and summer rosé. Among menu highlights are seared scallops, sweet potato gnocchi and hamachi crudo. 6:30 p.m. $75. Surf & Sand Resort, 1555 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, 949.376.2754.


Newport Beach Film Festival
Through May 2. The 20th annual week-long film fest showcases more than 340 feature films and shorts and presents sessions with directors and screenwriters. Highlights from this year’s schedule span from documentaries about local heroes to international narrative features. The closing night gala features a live performance and light bites from some of Newport Beach’s top restaurants (ages 21+). See website for prices and venues.


AVP Huntington Beach Open
May 3-5. Watch the world’s best beach volleyball talents serve and spike at the annual pro beach volleyball tour. There’s also a beach festival with activations, music and food. Free GA; see website for VIP premium-seat pricing and schedule of events. Huntington Beach Pier, 1 Main St., Huntington Beach.


OC Marathon Running Festival
Kick-start your weekend at the annual OC Marathon Running Festival.

OC Marathon and Festival
May 3-5. The world-class event features the SDCCU OC Marathon and Half Marathon, OC 5K, Kids Run the OC “Final Mile,” Ultimate Finish Line Festival, and the OC Lifestyle and Fitness Expo. More than 23,000 participants enjoy food, music and other family-fun entertainment. Registration fees and race times vary; see website for details. Parking F-Sa $8, Su $10. OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, 949.222.0456.


Bourbon Kentucky Derby Party
May 4. Cheer your favorite Derby horses while savoring an exclusive Louisville-inspired menu paired with five whiskies at Five Crowns’ fifth annual bourbon party. Experience a proper Kentucky welcome with a traditional Mint Julep made with Woodford Reserve bourbon. Dress to impress in Derby attire: Prizes for “Male Best Dressed” and “Female Best Dressed” are awarded; there’s also a prize for the “Race Bet Winner.” 1-4 p.m. $120. Five Crowns Patio and Garden, 3801 E. Coast Hwy., Corona Del Mar, 949.760.0331. Tickets


Davio’s Kentucky Derby Party
May 4. Watch the races at the new Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse. Guests are invited to enjoy Derby-themed cocktails and small bites, take pictures in the designated photo area and have the chance to win a $100 restaurant gift card if their Kentucky Derby attire is chosen as the favorite. 1-4 p.m. 18420 Von Karman Ave., Irvine, 949.477.4810.


Mary Colby Tea and Fashion Show
May 4. The seventh annual high tea fashion show at Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens is headlined by the pre-fall collection of the major fashion label St. John Knits. The high tea presents an assortment of traditional canapés, desserts and cream teas with champagne as well as a boutique silent auction featuring items donated by businesses and organizations. 3-5 p.m. $85, $680 reserved table for eight. 415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente, 949.498.2139.


Fiesta de Mayo Celebration
May 5. Head to the Outlets at San Clemente for an afternoon fiesta featuring local mariachis, Ballet Folklórico de San Juan Capistrano and Mariachi Nuevo Capistrano. Indulge in Fiesta de Mayo specials at participating restaurants and eateries at the outlet such as Auntie Anne’s, Blaze Pizza, Rockwell’s Bakery & Café, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Ruby’s Diner and Slapfish. 1-3 p.m. Free. Outlets at San Clemente, Oak Tree Court, 101 W. Avenida Vista Hermosa, San Clemente, 949.535.2323.


Enjoy food, drinks and ocean views at the annual Laguna Beach Taste of the Nation.

Laguna Beach Taste of the Nation
May 5. Elevate your afternoon with food tastings, fine wines, craft cocktails, delectable desserts and panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean at Montage Laguna Beach. Savor bites created by celebrity chefs from California, Australian award-winning chef Curtis Stone and two chefs visiting from Montage Los Cabos, Mexico. Sip on wines, champagne and craft cocktails, including Cinco de Mayo selections provided by Casamigos at the Margarita Bar. VIP entry 2:30 p.m., 3-7:30 p.m. $250 GA, $275 VIP. 30801 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, 949.715.6000.


Fiddler on the Roof
May 7-19. The Tony Award-nominated Broadway revival of the beloved theatrical classic introduces a new generation to the uplifting celebration that raises its cup to joy. The production features movement and dance by Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter, based on the original staging by Jerome Robbins, and a live orchestra. See website for show times. $29+. Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787.


The Queen Mary’s Waterfront Cook-Off
May 11. Take the family for an afternoon of finger-lickin’ fun featuring tastings, lawn and beer games, eating contests, and more. Watch SoCal’s top pitmasters and chili experts compete for trophies, $10,000 in cash prizes and the highly-coveted People’s Choice Award. In addition to the barbecue and chili tastings, guests can enjoy corn, funnel cakes and a variety of other treats, plus hang out in the game zone to play giant Connect Four, beer pong, horseshoe toss, ladder ball, corn hole and ride on a mechanical bull. Noon-5 p.m. $35 GA, $75 VIP. 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach, 800.437.2934.


Stars on Ice
May 11. Come see the 2018 Winter Olympics bronze medal-winning U.S. Figure Skating team at the Honda Center. Skaters include world champion Nathan Chen and medalists Maia and Alex Shibutani, Ashley Wagner, Mirai Nagasu, Jeremy Abbott and Bradie Tennell. The Emmy Award-winning production also features U.S. Olympic royalty: Ice Dance gold medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White. 7:30 p.m. $25+. 2695 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, 714.778.2583.


Mother’s Day Brunch at 21 Oceanfront
May 12. Treat your mom to a three-course brunch with sweeping ocean views. Starter choices include an acai bowl, avocado toast, bacon-wrapped shrimp polenta, Caesar salad and lobster bisque. Main course options include King crab eggs Benedict, strawberry mascarpone French toast, dry-aged rib eye steak and eggs, crab-stuffed salmon Oscar and seafood Louie salad. End your repast with a banana bread pudding, vanilla bean gelato or chocolate covered strawberries. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. $79 adults, $25 children ages 5-10. 2100 W. Oceanfront, Newport Beach, 949.673.2100.


Mother’s Day Lunch or Dinner at Bistango
May 13. Elevate mom’s morning with a three-course prix-fixe menu prepared by chef Javier Montoya. Menu highlights include exotic mushrooms consomme, pan-roasted New Zealand lamb chops and warm caramelized apple tart. Listen to live music during dinner service. A two-course kids’ menu is available as well. Lunch: 11 a.m.-3 p.m., dinner: 5-9 p.m. 19100 Von Karman Ave., Irvine, 949.752.5222.


Newport Harbor Home and Garden Tour
May 16. Explore seven Newport Beach homes that encompass ocean views and a variety of architectural and interior styles by local designers. Begin with a morning reception at Jenni Kayne Apparel and Home with light breakfast bites by Malibu Farm; a luncheon takes place at Newport Theatre Arts Center. The tour ends with an afternoon reception at famed interior designer Barclay Butera’s Newport Beach showroom; Barclay himself will be on hand to welcome guests with wine, hors d’oeuvres and an up-close look at the Barclay Butera Lifestyle Collection. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. $85. Starting at Malibu Farm, 1221 W. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, 949.646.1556.


Experience Anaheim GardenWalk’s annual Taste of Anaheim.

Taste of Anaheim
May 16. Indulge in samples from Southern California restaurants and bakeries plus drinks, music and fun at the 24th annual tasting event. Participating eateries include the Pizza Press, Grasslands Meat Market BBQ & Churrasco, Zov’s, Tortilla Jo’s, Naples Ristorante, Catal Restaurant and Roscoe’s House of Chicken & Waffles. 5:30-10:30 p.m. $40 pre-sale, $45 day-of, free for ages 5 and under. Anaheim GardenWalk, 400 W. Disney Way, Anaheim.


National Adoption Weekend
May 17-19. Find your new best friend at Petsmart’s adoption weekend event, which supports local animal welfare organizations. If you can’t adopt a pet in need at the event, inspire others by posting a picture of adoptable pets using #PicMe to increase their chance of getting adopted. All Petsmart locations, 800.423.7387.


Doheny Blues Festival
May 18-19. Jam to a lineup of rock, R&B and blues performers on three stages while enjoying food and craft beer tastings. The lineup includes Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, Jonny Lang, Taj Mahal Quartet, the Marcus King Band and Vintage Trouble. See website for set times. $80-$475. Sea Terrace Park, Pacific Coast Highway at Niguel Road, Dana Point, 949.360.7800.


Garden Grove Strawberry Festival
May 24-27. Celebrate Memorial Day weekend at the 61st annual strawberry festival. Expect a giant strawberry cake cutting ceremony, a parade, carnival rides, contests, games and 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 St. and Euclid St., Garden Grove, 714.638.0981.


"The Pygmalion Effect" photo by Michael Khoury
Don’t miss “The Pygmalion Effect” at Segertrom Hall in Costa Mesa.

The Pygmalion Effect
May 24-26. 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.


Tequila and Mezcal Tasting Dinner
May 25. Sip on libations with a five-course dinner at Eats Kitchen & Bar. Chef Jeff Moore pairs each dish with tequila and mezcal 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.


Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
May 28-June 9. Find your way back to a world of pure imagination during the Segerstrom Center for the Arts showing of the classic children’s tale. Watch as Willy Wonka and four golden-ticket winners embark on a life-changing journey through Wonka’s factory. See website for show times. $29+. Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787.


Rosé All May photo courtesy Paséa Hotel & Spa. Laguna Beach Taste of the Nation photo provided by Marguarite Clark Public Relations. Taste of Anaheim photo by YuRockstar. “The Pygmalion Effect” photo by Michael Khoury.


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