Whether you choose to ride the train to Disneyland, attend the new Cirque du Soleil show, sip margaritas or meet one of O.C.’s most generous faces, this week is filled with fun activities. Locals and visitors can also check out an innovative new festival that will allow you to check items off your bucket list, marvel at one artist’s ability to change his painting style or experience a variety of other artistic events.
Monday, February 19
celebrate mardi gras house of blues Best Things To Do This Week In Orange County   February 19 25

(Credit: House of Blues)

Celebrate Mardi Gras
House of Blues, Anaheim

Mardi Gras may have been last week, but the celebration continues throughout the month at the House of Blues. Guests can enjoy New Orleans-inspired dishes like Voodoo Shrimp, Creole bouillabaisse, gumbo and jambalaya as well as cocktails like the Bourbon Street Mule and the Smashed in the Quarter.

President’s Week Camp
Environmental Nature Center, Newport Beach

Monday marks the start of the center’s most recent camp, where kids from kindergarten through sixth grade will be split up into groups based on age and will rotate through three different camp stations with various interactive, educational activities. It runs through Thursday.

President’s Day at the Nixon Library
Richard Nixon Library, Yorba Linda

Honor some of our country’s most famous leaders on President’s Day. While taking part in “meet-and-greets” with former greats like Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson and Roosevelt, the first 1,000 visitors will be treated to a slice of cherry pie. There will also be live music.

Tuesday, February 20
ride the train to disneyland paul hiffmeyerdisneyland resort Best Things To Do This Week In Orange County   February 19 25

(Credit: Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort)

Ride the Train to Disneyland Resort
Disneyland Resort, Anaheim

It’s no easy to get discounts for Disney, but a new partnership between the theme park and Amtrak allows Southern California residents to enjoy a five percent savings on tickets and to enjoy free children’s rides on the Pacific Surfliner with the purchase of an adult ride. Ride the train to Anaheim’s Amtrak station to take advantage through May 21st.

Tiny Tigers Taekwondo
Children’s Museum at La Habra, La Habra

On the third Thursday of the month, this children’s museum offers an introduction for little ones into the art of taekwondo. Parents participate in the class with their kids, learning principles of self-defense as well as the importance of shared family experiences.

Rock Band Trivia Night
Chapter One, Santa Ana

Chapter One partners with South Coast Repertory for a night of musical trivia in honor of an upcoming production of “Cambodian Rock Band.” Test your knowledge of rock music and its famous bands while enjoying food, drinks and various prizes.

Wednesday, February 21
luzia matt beard Best Things To Do This Week In Orange County   February 19 25

(Credit: Matt Beard)

Cirque du Soleil: “Luzia”
OC Fair and Event Center, Costa Mesa

It’s been quite a while since a Cirque du Soleil show graced Orange County stages, but the famed theatrical troupe makes its return with “Luzia.” This production fuses light and rain to produce 15 stunning scenes that feature acrobatic movements, shows of strength, juggling and more.

Bruno Serato Book Signing
Casa Barilla, Costa Mesa

Beginning at 5 p.m., fans of local hero Bruno Serato can stop by this new Italian restaurant to meet the chef and get a signed copy of his book, “The Power of Pasta.” While Serato is known for creating one of the finest restaurants in Orange County, his true power lies in his efforts to help feed and find homes for underprivileged children in the area each week.

“Daddy Long Legs”
International City Theatre, Long Beach

Enjoy this rags-to-riches story on stage, as local actors recount the story of a girl living in an orphanage until a mysterious benefactor provides funds for her to attend college in exchange for monthly letters. Though she doesn’t know his identity, she grows fond of the man over time.

Thursday, February 22
national margarita day celebration cha chas latin kitchen Best Things To Do This Week In Orange County   February 19 25

(Credit: Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen)

National Margarita Day Celebration
Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen, Irvine

Who doesn’t love a good margarita? In honor of National Margarita Day, visit Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen for special deals on the eatery’s hand-shaken margaritas, made with blue agave tequila and fresh-squeezed juices. Choose from options like the classic margarita or flavored drinks like the spicy mango habanero or the hibiscus-infused watermelon margaritas.

Eddie Izzard
Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa

For one night only, comedian Eddie Izzard takes the Segerstrom Hall stage on his “Believe Me” tour. The performance features plenty of comedy, but also touches on the entertainer’s emotional side, revealing the man behind the myth.

“The Elasticity of the Almost” and New Works
Musco Center for the Arts, Orange

This Chapman University performing arts center partners with local dance troupe Backhausdance for a contemporary piece that combines theatrical elements with beauty and humor. Other works include the world premiere of “Beyond the Noise” and duet “The Empty Room.”

Friday, February 23
change agents russell pierce Best Things To Do This Week In Orange County   February 19 25

(Credit: Russell Pierce)

“Change Agents”
The CAP Gallery, Laguna Beach

A one-man show featuring works from local artist Russell Pierce, this exhibit showcases 50 different paintings of celebrations and world leaders. In a unique twist, each piece of art was created in a different style, creating a varied selection ready to impress and amaze.

Huntington Beach Film Festival
Huntington Beach Library Theater, Huntington Beach

On Friday, this local film festival continues with the second of three days of cinema-related events. In 2018, more than 40 films from 20 different countries will be presented, showing independent films that help to promote tolerance and diversity.

Questival Adventure Race
Orange County Great Park, Irvine

Check some pretty stellar activities off your bucket list this week by signing up for Questival, a unique festival that requires you to sign up with friends and complete quests with your team over the course of 24 hours. Use an app to access the list, which includes things like taking a cooking class, making a video of a scary story while camping in the wilderness and more.

Saturday, February 24
stepping out cami Best Things To Do This Week In Orange County   February 19 25

(Credit: CAMI)

“Stepping Out”
Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa

Dublin Irish Dance presents this one-night performance, featuring high-energy steps, traditional Irish music and a captivating vocalist. The performance takes the audience on a cultural and historical ride through the history of the Celtic people, from 1800s rural Ireland to emigrating to New York.

Editing iPhone Photography Workshop
Bluebird Canyon Farms, Laguna Beach

Local photograph Mary Hurlbut leads this educational session on iPhone editing, revealing tips for cropping photos using aspect ratios, enhancing images by increasing the contrast, adding borders and text and more. The two-hour workshop will utilize apps like Afterlight and Photoshop Express.

Harlem Globetrotters
Honda Center, Anaheim

Sports lovers, comedy enthusiasts and those just looking for a good will all enjoy the family-friendly Harlem Globetrotters basketball game this weekend. On Saturday, watch as the team once again takes on the Washington Generals in a silly, innovative game that is sometimes serious but always thrilling, especially for youngsters.

Sunday, February 25
irvine park railroad anniversary celebration irvine park railroad Best Things To Do This Week In Orange County   February 19 25

(Credit: Irvine Park Railroad)

Irvine Park Railroad Anniversary Celebration
Irvine Regional Park, Orange

In the first railroad event of the year, celebrate the anniversary of this beloved landmark. In honor of the attraction’s 22nd year at the park, entrance is free and activity tickets are only $2. In addition to train rides, enjoy carnival games, panning for gold, face painting, hay rides and more.

Vintage Surfboard Festival
Hobie Surf Shop, Dana Point

The Vintage Surfboard Collectors Club partners with local favorite Hobie Surf Shop for a one-of-a-kind festival making its debut this year. Whether you stop by to buy or sell vintage surfboards, or simply to look at the masterpieces on hand, this event is one that is not to be missed. There will also be special memorabilia, contests, coffee and food throughout the day.

#BlazeItForward: A Tribute to Blaze Bernstein
Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa

Pay tribute to a local teen whose life was taken too soon with a free event at Segerstrom Hall. In an effort to spread love, guests are asked to bring canned items for the Second Harvest Food Bank or monetary donations for the Blaze Bernstein Memorial Fund. There will be both musical and spoken word performances from Orange County School of the Arts students, too.

Ashley Ryan is an Orange County native that loves traveling, live music and photography. She blogs at Pure Wander and freelances for a variety of publications including Newport Beach Magazine and Laguna Beach Magazine.


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