Top Orange County Things to Do in October

Mariinsky Ballet, “La Bayadere.” Photo by Natasha Razina / State Academic Mariinsky Theatre.

This month, Orange County brings you musicals and plays, art exhibitions, Halloween festivities and more. See our list of 25+ top Orange County things to do in October.

Edited by Whitney Lauren Han.


Miss Saigon
Oct. 1-13. Experience the acclaimed new production of the legendary musical from the creators of Les Misérables. The epic story is about a young Vietnamese woman who is orphaned by war and forced to work in a bar run by a notorious character known as the Engineer. There she meets and falls in love with an American G.I., an encounter that changes their lives forever. See website for showtimes. $26+. Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787.


Casa Lumina
Through Oct. 3. Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens unveils its illuminated garden walk. The event highlights the beauty of the Native Bowl garden, utilizing outdoor projection technology with thousands of animated, multicolored twinkling lights to create an immersive physical experience. Su-Th 7-9 p.m. $7 GA entry, $5 member admission, $5 additional per glass of wine. 415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente,


Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival
Oct. 3-6. Exclusive, intimate epicurean lifestyle event features restaurant samplings, celebrity chef cooking demonstrations, master sommelier tasting panels, interactive mixology courses, and tastes from over 250 cult and boutique wineries. See website for schedule and ticket prices. Newport Beach Civic Center, 100 Civic Center Drive, Newport Beach, 888.511.3378.


Orange County International Auto Show
Oct. 3-6. Renowned event at the Anaheim Convention Center features more than 600 vehicles on display. They include debuts of 2020 production-models—you can test drive more than 100 of them—plus an array of concept, custom and exotic cars. Check website for show hours. $14 adults, $12 seniors, free for ages 13 and under. Anaheim Convention Center, 800 W. Katella Ave., Anaheim, 714.765.8950.


Christmas Boutique
Oct. 4. Get in the holiday spirit early! Get a jump on home decorations with a visit to the Christmas boutique at Roger’s Gardens, themed this year as an enchanted forest. Items include ornaments, holiday gifts and decor for starters. 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. Free. 2301 San Joaquin Hills Road, Corona del Mar, 949.640.5800.


Goosebumps the Musical: Phantom of the Auditorium
Oct. 4-27. Based on the popular Goosebumps book series by John Maclay, the slightly spooky, family-friendly Goosebumps the Musical: Phantom of the Auditorium follows Brooke and Zeke who’ve won starring roles in the new school musical—a mysterious production called The Phantom. But when seemingly supernatural events begin interrupting rehearsals, the friends begin to wonder whether the show they’re acting in might be cursed, haunted by ghosts or hoodwinked by pranksters. See website for showtimes and prices. Chance Theater @ Bette Aitken theater arts Center, 5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim, 888.455.4212.


Royal Air Force Red Arrows.

The Great Pacific Airshow
Oct. 4-6. All eyes look to the sky as planes and jets perform spectacular stunts over the Pacific Ocean. The beachfront air show begins at noon; many of the aerobatic maneuvers unfold directly over Huntington City Beach. Noon-4 p.m. See website for ticket prices. Paséa Hotel & Spa, 21080 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach.


Oct. 4-Nov. 2. Sinister Pointe Productions unleashes Mist, a heart-pounding Halloween scavenger group hunt to find 13 artifacts. F-Sa 7-11 p.m., Su and Th 7-10 p.m. See website for schedule. $29. 510 Westminster Mall, Westminster, 601.272.2791.


Autumn Harvest Festival
Oct. 5. Bring the family for a Halloween festival in the park where visitors of all ages can enjoy fall-themed activities and attractions. Dare to visit the “Haunted School House” or Adventure Maze and sneak over to trick-or-treat stationsthroughout the park. Children of all ages can participate in ghoulish games, costume contests and pumpkin decorating. Trick-or-treat bags are encouraged. No masks or face paint permitted. 4:30-8:30 p.m. $5 per person ages 3 and up, free parking. Heritage Hill Historical Park, 25151 Serrano Road, Lake Forest, 949.923.2230.


Laguna Plein Air Painting Invitational Gala
Oct. 5-13. The Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA) presents the West Coast’s most prestigious fine art event. The invitational show highlights the nation’s top plein air painters, who compete for prizes. This 9-day celebration of landscape painting includes demonstrations, PleinTalk conversations, educational events and other activities. 7-10:30 p.m. $150. Festival of Arts, 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949.376.3635.


Landscapes Exhibit Opening Reception
Oct. 5. Chalk & Vermilion Fine Art’s second exhibition of the season features an unparalleled collection of 20th and 21st century masterworks including works by Picasso, Warhol, Dalí, Murakami, Muniz, Haring and Basquiat. Call to RSVP. 6-8 p.m. The Penthouse at South Coast Plaza, 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, 203.989.2073.


Jonas Brothers at Honda Center
Oct. 6. Grammy-nominated multiplatinum powerhouse trio the Jonas Brothers bring their Happiness Begins Tour with guests Bebe Rexha and Jordan McGraw to the Honda Center. 7:30 p.m. 2695 E. Katella, Anaheim, 714.704.2400.


Mostly Blues Festival
Oct. 12. Pack a picnic and gather the family for an afternoon of free music and outdoor fun on the Aitken Arts Plaza. Hear live Memphis soul from Booker T (Green Onions), the Iguanas’  mix of New Orleans and Mexico sounds, and Aki Kumar with his blend of Bollywood-pop and blues. 2 p.m. Free; reservations preferred. Musco Center for the Arts, Chapman University, 415 N. Glassell, Orange, 844.626.8726.


Savor Santa Ana. Photo by Brian Feinzimer Fein Image.

Savor Santa Ana
Oct. 12. Walk DTSA’s tree-lined brick sidewalks route map in-hand and enjoy tastings at more than 40 downtown restaurants as well as live entertainment and a free trolley. 5:30-9:30 p.m. Five tastings for $10. Downtown Santa Ana Historic District, North Spurgeon and 4th streets, Santa Ana.


Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra
Oct. 13. The Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra performs Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G Minor and works for soprano and orchestra by Mozart and Puccini featuring European sopranos Axelle Fanyo (France) and Jerica Steklasa (Slovenia). 4 p.m. $25-$58. Chapman University, 415 N. Glassell, Orange, 844.626.8726.


La Bayadère
Oct. 16-20. Mariinsky Ballet and Orchestra performs the Petipa classic, an epic tale of a doomed temple dancer, the warrior who betrays her, and her archrival. See website for showtimes. $39+. Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787.


Levendi Wine Dinner
Oct. 16. Bacchus Bar & Bistro presents a five-course wine-pairing dinner featuring wines from Levendi Winery. Featured dishes include short rib risotto, herb-crusted lamb and flat iron steak. Sip on wine pairings such as 2016 Chardonnay, 2016 Stagecoach Cabernet, 2015 15th Anniversary Cabernet and Late Harvest Viognier. Reservations required. 6:30 p.m. $99. Quail Hill Shopping Center, 6735 Quail Hill Parkway, Irvine, 949.502.4600.


Beast Feast
Oct. 17. Chef Cesar Sarmiento presents the second installment of his primal dinner series in which he utilizes the entire animal instead of a few popular cuts. After January’s mollusk kick-off, the first of four family-style dinners, chef Cesar concludes the series with duck. 6:30 p.m. $84. Cucina Enoteca, 951 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, 949.861.2222.


The Taste by Los Angeles Times
Oct. 18-19. The Taste, a celebration of the Southern California culinary scene presented by the Los Angeles Times, returns to Orange County, Before expanding to the county last year, the event took place at the Paramount Pictures Studios backlot in Hollywood for nine years, Admission includes unlimited tastings, seasonal cocktails and cooking demos. 21+. F 7-10 p.m; Sa noon-3 p.m. and 7-10 p.m. $80-$100. The MET, 535 Anton Blvd., Costa Mesa. Tickets


Opens Oct. 19. Sometimes a meal is more than just food. A man shares his bowl of berries and a young woman falls in love. A mother meticulously prepares her son’s favorite dish to keep him from leaving home. And a Korean-American son cooks soup for his ailing father to say what words cannot. The perfect bite transcends time and cultural differences in this poetic tale of love, loss and healing by the author of The Language Archive and Office Hour. See website for showtimes and prices. South Coast Repertory, 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.708.5555.


Creatures of the Night
Oct. 19. Get a glimpse into a different world at Sherman Library & Gardens. Guests at the family friendly event  interact, observe and learn about the many plants and animals that are most active at night. Highlights include a photo op in front of a birds-of-prey selfie wall, arts and crafts, a scavenger hunt and a hot-dog cart. 5:30-8:30 p.m. $10 members, $15 non-members, $5 minors ages 5-17, free for children 4 and under. 2647 E. Coast Hwy., Corona del Mar, 949.673.2261.


Sea Fare
Oct. 19. Fall into a festival of flavors at the Aquarium of the Pacific: The most so-fish-ticated event of the year features an open bar, tastes from more than 30 local restaurants, breweries and bakeries, a live and silent auction and a photo booth. 7-11 p.m. $130. 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, 562.590.3100.


The Great Crush
Oct. 20. Benefitting the Arthritis Foundation, the event formerly known as “Sunday in the Vineyard” features a wine tasting with more than 80 wines, passed hors d’oeuvres by the Winery’s executive chef/partner Yvon Goetz, and live and silent auctions. Guests can also partake in an early tasting during a Yacht Tour through the Newport Marina prior to the main event. 2-5 p.m. $150. The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar, 3131 W. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach.


Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. Photo by Justin Stephens/Netflix.

An Evening with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin
Oct. 21. Legendary actors Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin have been friends for more than 40 years and have taken their friendship to the next level: starring in their own hit Netflix series, Grace & Frankie. Tickets are only sold as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series season package. 7:30 p.m. TBD. Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787.


Orin Swift Cellars Wine Dinner
Oct. 24. Oak Grill executive chef Brittany Valles and her team present a multi-course wine dinner featuring Orin Swift Cellars—best known for its wine The Prisoner. 6-9 p.m. $135. Call to make reservations. Fashion Island Hotel, 690 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, 949.760.4920.


Boo Ha Ha
Oct. 25-26. Have a scary good time at the first-ever haunted Oktobeerfest, Boo Ha Ha. The event features more than 80 German style and local craft beers, stein-holding competitions, zombie face painting and Halloween costume contests. For those with more than just a hunger for horror, traditional German food, including pretzels and bratwurst, are available for purchase all night long. Ages 21+. 6 p.m.-midnight. GA: $55 pre-sale, $65 day-of; VIP: $55 pre-sale, $70. OC Fair and Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa.


Arthur Beaumont: Art of the Sea
Opens Oct. 26. Explore Bowers Museum’s newest exhibition, which features watercolors by Arthur Beaumont that capture the grandeur of the sea and vessels that sail on it. This exhibit includes works in the Irvine Museum Collection and is curated by James Irvine Swinden. Tu-Su 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $23; $20 students and seniors 62+; $10 members. Bowers Museum, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, 714.567.3600.


Dark Harbor
Ongoing. Named one of the top 10 most haunted places on earth by Time magazine, the Queen Mary hosts an event dripping with its haunted history. Dark Harbor’s resident spirits include Ringmaster, Captain, Samuel the Savage, Graceful Gale, Half-Hatch Henry, Iron Master, Scary Mary, Voodoo Priestess and Chef. See website for times. $20+. The Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach, 562.499.1739.


Dimensions of Form: Tamayo and Mixografia
Ongoing. Fifty prints by modern master Rufino Tamayo, on loan from the Mixografia gallery in Los Angeles, depict silhouetted figures, celestial bodies and the seprent-god Quetzalcoatl. Tu-Su 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $13-$15, $10-$12 students and seniors 62+, free for ages 12 and under. Bowers Museum, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, 714.567.3600.


Knott’s Scary Farm
Ongoing. Snoopy’s favorite theme park turns sinister on select nights during the Halloween season. This year brings new live shows, mazes and 1,000 monsters lurking throughout the park. Scary Farm opens 7 p.m. Admission: $95. See website for Scary Farm event nights. Knott’s Berry Farm, 8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park, 714.220.5200.


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