Top Orange County Things to Do in May

"HAMILTON" photo by Joan Marcus 2018
Grab your tickets to the Tony Award-winning hit musical “Hamilton” at Segerstrom Hall.

This month, Orange County brings you outdoor music and sports events, food and drink festivals, special holiday happenings and more. See our list of 30+ top Orange County things to do in May.

Edited by Whitney Lauren Han.

AVP Huntington Beach Open
May 2-6. The AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour hits Huntington Beach with the world’s best beach volleyball talent, and an ultimate beach festival with interactive activations, music, food and more. General admission is free, however, tickets are available to covered premium seating areas that feature a hosted lounge. See website for schedule of events and covered seat pricing. Free. Huntington Beach Pier, 1 Main St., Huntington Beach.


Cooking Demo and Book Signing with Nathan Turner
May 3. Meet acclaimed designer Nathan Turner at his book signing for his novel Nathan Turner’s I Love California. Pop by to watch cooking demonstrations with recipes from his new bestseller and hear Turner’s top tips for entertaining during the summer season. 2-4 p.m. To RSVP, contact Newport Beach Design Shop, Lido Marina Village, 3636 Newport Blvd., Newport Beach.


Glen Ivy Hot Springs’ Twilight
May 3-Oct. 28. From Thursday to Saturday throughout the summer and into the fall, see Glen Ivy Hot Springs transform into a tropical oasis for the return of Twilight. Each night will feature a variety of DJ and live music performances including reggae, world artists and more. Enjoy lounging in the warm waters or take an evening aqua Zumba class. The Ivy Kitchen will offer special evening menus and Lounge 1860 will shake up signature summer cocktails. Th-Sa 4-9 p.m. $38, buy one get one 1/2 off admission on May 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31. 25000 Glen Ivy Road, 888.453.6489.


Newport Beach Film Festival
Through May 3. Calling all movie buffs! Watch some 350 feature films and shorts, plus sessions with directors and screenwriters for this week-long film fest. Attend the Opening Night Gala with a live performance and a taste of Newport Beach with light bites from some of the area’s top restaurants. See website for prices and venues.


A Restaurant
May 4-6. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo weekend with a special limited menu of signature dishes inspired by Mexico using the finest locally sourced ingredients, courtesy of corporate executive chef Jonathan Blackford. The menu highlights include lobster and chorizo sopa, rabbit tamale verde, lamb shank barbacoa and pork rib colorado. F 4-11 p.m.; Sa 5-11 p.m.; Su 5-10 p.m. 3334 W. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, 949.650.6505.


Goodwill of O.C. Faley Special Games
May 4-6. Orange County’s largest non-competitive, inclusive sporting event for athletes with developmental and intellectual disabilities, returns in memory of Kathleen E. and Jack Faley, bringing together thousands of athletes, families and volunteers for a day of fun, friendship and sports. California State University, Fullerton, athletics field north of Titan Gym, 800 N. State College Blvd., Fullerton, 714.550.9155 .


La Habra Citrus Fair
May 4-6. Bring the family to the annual citrus fair for a weekend packed with carnival rides, fair-style food, live entertainment and the famous Bubble Parade. The fair also includes a livestock auction and youth expo, arts and crafts vendors and entertainment especially chosen in honor of Cinco de Mayo. Discounted ride tickets are available for pre-purchase online. See website for full schedule and venues. Free, $3-$6 per ride. 321 E. La Habra Blvd., between Cypress and Euclid Streets, La Habra, 562.697.1704.


O.C. Marathon Running Festival
May 4-6. Tour through Newport Beach, Santa Ana and Costa Mesa with a full or half marathon. Bring the little ones for the Kids Run, or for less experienced runners, opt for Wahoo’s 5K. Registration includes access to the Health and Fitness Expo. Registration fees and race times vary, see website for details. Parking F-Sa $8, Su $10. OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa, 949.222.0456.


Attend the grand opening of See’s Candies in Yorba Linda to get free samples and other goodies.

See’s Candies Grand Opening in Yorba Linda
May 4. Satisfy your sweet tooth at the ribbon cutting of See’s Candies newest location in Yorba Linda. The first 100 customers will receive a free tote, a Taste of See’s candy box with a purchase of $25 or more, free samples, giveaways and more. 9:30 a.m. Valley View Shopping Center, 17480 Yorba Linda Blvd., Yorba Linda.


“Love Never Dies”
Through May 5. Fall in love with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s spellbinding sequel to The Phantom of the OperaLove Never Dies. This story of boundless love, full of passion and drama follows one of the most successful musicals of all time, which has now been seen by more than 130 million people worldwide and is the winner of over 50 international awards. See website for showtimes. $29+. Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787.


“The Sisters Rosensweig”
May 5-June 2. In a witty look at the quest for love, acceptance and self-fulfillment, three sisters from Brooklyn gather in London for a birthday party with the men in their lives. See website for showtimes. $58+. South Coast Repertory, 655 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa, 714.708.5555.


Cinco de Mayo at Puesto
May 5. Stop by Puesto to try a new take on their signature “Puesto Perfect” margarita, which will be on special at $12 per margarita or $50 per pitcher. If tequila isn’t your thing, try the beer-based cocktail “El Rey del Patio” featuring cucumbers, tomatillos, jalapenos and fresh squeezed lime juice. All of Puesto’s signature tacos will be available, complete with vegetarian and gluten-free options. Los Olivos Irvine, 8577 Irvine Center Dr., Irvine, 949.608.9990; Park Place Irvine, 3311 Michelson Dr., Irvine, 949.608.7272.


Cinco de Mayo Yacht Day and Night Party
May 5. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with specialty margaritas, authentic street tacos and dancing aboard the Royal Princess Yacht in Newport Harbor. This yacht is equipped with one-of-a-kind margaritas, an array of bottomless street tacos, quesadillas, mini burritos and churros. Beats of top 40 music and Salsa/Latin hits will be playing all evening along. Tickets include two specialty margaritas, unlimited taco bar and more. 21+. 1-4 p.m., 6:30-10 p.m. $65. Royal Princess Yacht, 2901 W. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, 714.485.6543.


Bourbon Derby Party at Five Crowns
May 5. Cheer on your favorite Kentucky Derby horses while savoring an exclusive Louisville-inspired menu paired with five whiskies at Five Crowns’ fourth annual bourbon party. Experience a proper Kentucky welcome with a traditional Mint Julep made with Woodford Reserve bourbon upon arrival. Dress to impress in Derby attire as prizes for “Male Best Dressed” and “Female Best Dressed” will be awarded in addition to a prize for the “Race Bet Winner.” 1:30-4:30 p.m. $155. Five Crowns Patio and Garden, 3801 E. Coast Hwy., Corona Del Mar, 949.760.0331. Tickets


Loco Brews, Loco Grooves
May 5. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with House of Blues Anaheim’s ultimate craft beer, food and music festival. The fiesta will feature craft beer samplings from 25 local breweries, 20 bands and culinary creations from executive chef Jeremy Cantwell. Food stations to look forward to are arroz con leche, bacon dogs and nachos, carnitas fries, churro bites, loaded jalapeño poppers, quesadillas, street corn, street tacos and tamales. VIP 2-9 p.m., GA 3-9 p.m. $12 GA; $15 wristbands; $60 VIP for only ages 21+. Anaheim GardenWalk, 400 W. Disney Way, Suite 337, Anaheim, 714.778.2583.


Mary Colby Tea & Fashion Show
Elevate your evening with high tea and a fashion show at Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens.

Mary Colby Tea and Fashion Show
May 5. Headlined by major fashion label St. John, don’t miss out on the sixth annual high tea fashion show to view up-and-coming couture collections. The high tea highlights a traditional assortment of canapés, desserts and cream teas with champagne along with a boutique silent auction featuring items generously donated by businesses and organizations to benefit Casa Romantica’s programming for school-aged children. 3-5 p.m. $65/pp, $520 reserved table for eight. Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens, 415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente, 949.498.2139.


Outlets at San Clemente Fiesta de Mayo Celebration
May 5. Head to the Outlets at San Clemente for an afternoon fiesta featuring local Mariachis, Ballet Folklórico and beer and wine tastings for the adults. Additional family-friendly activities include balloon artists, face painters and more. Attendees have a chance to win a $500 shopping spree. 1-3 p.m. Free. Outlets at San Clemente, Oak Tree Court, 101 W. Avenida Vista Hermosa, San Clemente, 949.535.2323.




Skate for a Cause
May 5. Come see the top names in skateboarding participate in this annual skating event, where the proceeds will benefit the Sheckler Foundation’s “Be The Change” initiative. Highlights include games, drinks, food and giveaways at the Carnival Village from the following sponsors: Woodward West, Tech Deck, Ethika, Chronic Taco, Etnies Skatepark of Lake Forest, Etnies, Plan B and Zebra House Coffee. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Etnies Skatepark of Lake Forest, 20028 Lake Forest Dr., Lake Forest.


A Day of Beauty for Charity at Paul Mitchell the School
May 6. Join Paul Mitchell the School for a Day of Beauty. Enjoy mimosas and snacks while pampering yourself with a haircut, treatment and style, customized dermalogica treatments and a variety of hair and skin services. All proceeds from this FUNraising event will go to charities including Children’s Miracle Network, Eyes on Cancer, Food 4 Africa, Andrew Gomez Dream Foundation and more. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. SOCO and The OC Mix, 3303-3323 Hyland Ave., Costa Mesa, 949.760.9150.


MDA Presents: Summer Home with Little Boots
May 6. Enjoy a picturesque day on the bay while dancing waterside to Little Boots (DJ set) for the second installment of Summer Home—a monthly summer series by MDA Events featuring the best in music and fare. Supporting artists include local DJs Torosbros, Daniel Minaya and Herswerve. Indulge in food and specialty craft cocktails courtesy of Back Bay Bistro. 3-8 p.m. $10-$20. Back Bay Bistro at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort, 1131 Back Bay Dr., Newport Beach, 949.729.1144. Tickets


May 8-27. Tony Award-winning hit musical Hamilton comes to Orange County to tell the story of America’s Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington’s right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation’s first Treasury Secretary. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B and Broadway, Hamilton is the story of America then, as told by America now. Recommended for ages 10 and up. See website for showtimes. $80+. Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa, 714.755.5799.


Yappy Hour
May 10. 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, or 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.


An Evening with Audra McDonald
May 11. Tony, Grammy and Emmy-winning vocalist Audra McDonald brings her luminous soprano to Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. For this up-close and personal concert, McDonald and her trio will perform her trademark mix of show tunes, classic film songs and selections written expressly for her by many of today’s leading composers. 8 p.m. $39+. 615 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa, 714.755.5799.


50th Annual Costa Mesa Speedway
May 12. Experience the most exciting and unpredictable live action racing event in the nation. Costa Mesa Speedway gives you a seat in front of all the action for the first round of the American Motorcyclist Association National Championship Series. 6-10 p.m. $10-$20, parking $8. OC Fair & Event Center, Grandstand Arena, 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa, 949.492.9933.


Meet Los Angeles-based Latin folk band Cuñao’s Canción del Inmigrante at Bowers Museum.

Cuñao’s Canción del Inmigrante
May 12. Los Angeles-based Latin folk band Cuñao will present an outdoor evening workshop of the multimedia “opera” Canción del Inmigrante. Infused with puppetry, song, dance and activism, this “opera” shares the tale of the immigrant’s migratory experience where audience members will witness the journeys of the immigrants to the U.S.—exposing their struggles, frustrations and dreams. Doors open and open bar 7:30 p.m., performance 8 p.m. Free, online registration required. Bowers Museum, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, 714.567.3600.


Paint Away Breast Cancer
May 12. Renowned painter, designer and philanthropist KrisT will lead a painting class using her own design as a model to raise awareness and money to help find a cure for breast cancer. Attendees will be shown step-by-step instructions on how to paint their own beautiful tropical landscape. In addition to the painting class, there will be a live concert by TiMo, a DJ spinning tunes, balloon twisting, henna tattoos, a photo booth and food samples provided by participating Anaheim GardenWalk restaurants. All painting materials are included in registration. 5-9 p.m. $45, registration required. Anaheim GardenWalk, 400 W. Disney Way, Anaheim, 714.635.7410.


Second Saturdays at the SOCO Farmers Market
May 12-Aug. 11. On the second Saturday of each month, over 30 vendors will showcase the best that California farmers and local food artisans have to offer. Listen to live music, watch chef demos and take part in a variety of family-friendly activities while enjoying the newly-expanded market featuring more farmers, artisans and vendors than ever before. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Free, open to the public. SOCO and The OC Mix, 3315 Hyland Ave., Costa Mesa, 949.760.9150.


Stars on Ice
May 12. Experience the best of the 2018 Winter Olympics bronze medalist U.S. Figure Skating team. Ardent fans of figure skating have become familiar with U.S. National Champion Nathan Chen and 2016 World silver medalist Ashley Wagner, two-time Ice Dance National Champions and Olympic bronze medalists Maia and Alex Shibutani, 2017 U.S. Ladies Champion Karen Chen, as well as National Champion Jason Brown. The Emmy Award-winning production will also feature U.S. Olympic royalty, Ice Dance gold medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White. 7:30 p.m. $25+. Honda Center, 2695 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, 714.778.2583.


Brewery Dinner at Pitfire Pizza
May 17. Treat yourself to an evening with five unique beers from Anderson Valley Brewery paired with a four-course meal curated by Pitfire Pizza. Guests will take home a specialty pint and other goodies at the end of the night. 6:30 p.m. $35. 353 E. 17th St., Costa Mesa, 949.313.6333.


Newport Harbor Home and Garden Tour
May 17. Explore six hand-selected homes located in Newport Beach that encompasses ocean views and a variety of architectural and interior styles by local designers. Start with a morning reception at Balboa Bay Resort, followed by a tour of the docked boat Magnanimous and its sister Duffy boat, Watter Ranger. Along the course of the self-guided tour, enjoy lunch from Plums Cafe & Catering at the Newport Theater Arts Center and a reception at famed interior designer Barclay Butera’s Newport Beach showroom where 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 Balboa Bay Resort, 1221 W. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, 949.646.1556.


Rosé Soirée at SOCO and The OC Mix
May 17. Sample a curated selection of 20+ rosé wines by LCA Wine with rosé-inspired bites by ROSÉ Catering & Events as part of the LA Times’ Food Bowl. Bring your questions for the winemakers, enjoy live music in the courtyard and then stay for dinner at one of SOCO and The OC Mix’s award-winning restaurants. 5-7 p.m. $45 GA, $25 for LCA Wine Club members. 3315 Hyland Ave., Costa Mesa, 949.760.9150.


National Adoption Weekend
May 18-20. Find your new best friend at Petsmart’s adoption weekend event in support of local animal welfare organizations. PetSmart Charities works with these organizations across North America to host pet adoption events within PetSmart stores. All Petsmart locations.


OC GreekFest
May 18-20. Celebrate the best of Greek food, music, dancing and culture at this annual festival. Highlights include authentic Greek foods and homemade pastries, an outdoor marketplace and an expansive “Kidz Zone” with carnival rides, games and other activities. F 3-10 p.m., Sa-Su noon-10 p.m. $3 GA, free for seniors (65+) and children 12 and under. 405 N. Dale St., Anaheim, 714.827.0181.


Spend your weekend at the annual Doheny Blues Festival at Sea Terrace Park in Dana Point.

Doheny Blues Festival
May 19-20. Rock out to a lineup of rock, R&B and blues performers on three different music stages while enjoying fare and craft beer tastings. The lineup includes George Thorogood and the Destroyers, Buddy Guy, Eric Burdon and the Animals Blues Traveler and many more. Sa 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Su 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. $80-$475. Sea Terrace Park located on the corner of Pacific Coast Hwy. and Niguel Road, Dana Point, 949.360.7800.


PBS SoCal KOCE Open House and Studio Tour
May 19. Experience first-hand how some of your favorite PBS shows were brought to life through a guided tour of the PBS SoCal studio and editing facilities. Meet the people who work behind-the-scenes to create the viewing experience and participate in themed activities, photo opportunities with PBS KIDS characters Curious George and Clifford the Big Red Dog. There will be food trucks on-site, and attendees will have a chance to win PBS SoCal branded merchandise. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Free, free parking. PBS SoCal, 3080 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, 714.241.4100.


Taste of Santa Ana
May 19. Taste your way through Santa Ana at this culinary event featuring more than 40 notable restaurants and beverages from local craft breweries and wineries. Featured restaurant vendors include Boudin SF, Morton’s Steakhouse, Muscle Maker Grill, Panini Kabob Grill and Polly’s Pies, among others. While indulging in fare and drinks, enjoy live tunes, games and a photo booth. VIP entry 5 p.m., GA 6-10 p.m. $40 GA presale; $50+ GA after May 1; $65 VIP presale; $75+ VIP after May 1. MainPlace Mall (Lot 2), 2800 N. Main St., Santa Ana, 714.541.5353.


Laguna Beach Taste of the Nation
May 20. Elevate your afternoon with food tastings, fine wines, craft cocktails, delectable desserts and panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean at Montage Laguna Beach. A number of high-profile chefs will come together to prepare farm-to-table delicacies in honor of Share Our Strength’s mission to end childhood hunger. Guest chefs include Craig Strong and Julia Browne (Studio), Amar Santana (Broadway Amar Santana), Brian Huskey (Tackle Box), Eric Samaniego (Michael’s on Naples Ristorante) and more. Additional highlights include a live auction conducted by Dan Dotson of A&E’s Storage Wars and live entertainment. VIP entry 2:30 p.m., GA 3-7:30 p.m. $250 GA, $275 VIP. 30801 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, 949.715.6000.


P!nk – “Beautiful Trauma World Tour 2018”
May 25. Known for her incredible and entertaining live show, international pop icon P!NK brings her world tour to Orange County. P!NK last hit the road on her The Truth About Love Tour which saw her play 142 sold out shows across 13 countries. 8 p.m. See website for prices. Honda Center, 2695 E. Katella, Anaheim, 714.704.2400.


Garden Grove Strawberry Festival
May 25-28. Celebrate Memorial Day weekend at the 60th annual Garden Grove Strawberry Festival. Festivities include a giant strawberry cake cutting ceremony, a parade, 35+ carnival rides, a Strawberry Stomp 5K Run, a VIP celebrity breakfast, contests, games and more. The parade will feature floats, bands, equestrians and characters like Knott’s Berry Farm’s Snoopy. 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 for rides. Village Green between Main St. and Euclid Ave., Downtown Garden Grove, 714.638.0981.


Heartbeat of Mexico
Celebrate the Heartbeat of Mexico at Musco Center for the Arts in Orange.

Heartbeat of Mexico
May 26-27. Feel the beat of Mexico with a celebration dinner and a performance by two-time Grammy winner Mariachi Los Camperos on opening day. Come back the next day for the free daytime festival featuring performances by some of the top local and regional Mexican and Mexican-American music, dance and folklórico ensembles, and grab tickets to see a performance by multiple Grammy- and Latin Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Natalia Lafourcade. Additional highlights include crafts for kids and families, a food fair and more. Sa dinner 4:30-7 p.m., performance 7:30 p.m.; Su festival 1-7:30 p.m., performance 6 p.m. See website for performance tickets. Musco Center for the Arts, Chapman University, One University Dr., Orange, 844.626.8726.


Monarch Beach Resort’s Master of Illusions
May 26. Prepare yourself for a special night of comedy and illusions with magician and illusionist Anthony Hernandez. Named as one of the “Top Five Best Male Performers” with the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, Hernandez has been voted “Best Theatre Show” and “Best Entertainer” by the IE Hot List and Inland Empire Magazine. Guests will received cotton candy and a magic wand bracelet. 7-8 p.m. $30 for the first child; $20 each additional child; free for adults and children under 3. Monarch Beach Resort, One Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, 949.234.3900.


Newport Beach Beerfest
May 26. Spend your weekend indulging in unlimited tastes of more than 150 craft beers, wines and spirits. Beyond unlimited tastings of libations, enjoy a food truck tasting village featuring 15 local trucks. Stick around for live entertainment by Jill and Julia, Atlas Genius and Bass Punks. GA 7-10 p.m., VIP entry at 6 p.m. $35 GA, $50 VIP. Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort, 1131 Back Bay Dr., Newport Beach, 949.729.3863.


Scottish Fest USA
May 26-27. Experience Southern California’s largest Scottish and Celtic festival. Indulge your senses to the sounds of bagpipes and drums, the flavors and smells of authentic Celtic foods and the sights of traditional kilts, dancing competitions and more. All ages welcome. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. See website for schedule of events and ticket prices. OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa, 714.708.1500.


Boots on the Beach
May 27. Grab your cowboy hats and dancing boots for the annual country fest at The Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort. Enjoy craft beer tasting and barbecue all evening long while listening to live music from Gethen Jenkins, Shotgun Jefferson, Morgan Leigh Band, Tina Michelle and host/DJ for the evening David Bugenske from Go Country Radio. 5-10 p.m. $20-$60. 1131 Back Bay Dr., Newport Beach, 800.765.7661.


“Hamilton” photo by Joan Marcus 2018. See’s Candies Grand Opening in Yorba Lina photo courtesy of Allison+Partners. Cuñao’s Canción del Inmigrante photo by Walleska Barreto. Heartbeat of Mexico photo by Daniel Reyes.

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