With the start of March, we’re growing closer to spring. The sunny weather brings a variety of outdoor festivals centered around everything from whales and cherry blossoms to music, tattoos and cask beer. There are also plenty of chances to make a difference, with charity walks, a golf tournament, a Bollywood-themed fundraiser and a beach cleanup. Those that prefer to stay indoors can still enjoy local art exhibits, dancing and a lecture from a popular author.

March 1, 8 and 15, 2017

(Credit: Time Nightclub)

Salsa Time
Time Nightclub
1875 Newport Boulevard
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
(949) 722-7103

Wednesday nights at Time Nightclub are home to Salsa Time, a Latin-inspired event that offers a little culture and a whole lot of fun. Each night will feature live music and dance exhibitions. Visitors can also experience salsa dancing for themselves with free lessons. The first night of the event, March 1, will feature entertainment from Melina Almodovar, Orquesta Afro-Son, Francisco Vazquez, Shakaia Francois and DJ JoJo. Subsequent weeks will include acts like Conjunto Oye!, Javier and Katya and DJ Karloz as well as Son Miron, Fuego y Sabor Latino Dance and DJ Voss.

March 1 – 26, 2017

(Credit: Hershey Felder Presents)

Hershey Felder Our Great Tchaikovsky
Laguna Playhouse
606 Laguna Canyon Road
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 497-2787

Written by Hershey Felder with music by Tchaikovsky, this performance is just one of many created by the master pianist. His series on famous composers aims to tell the story of their life and music, and Tchaikovsky doesn’t disappoint. Immerse yourself in the Russian master’s compositions, the most popular of which include “Swan Lake,” “The Nutcracker” and “Sleeping Beauty.” But, beyond the music, learn about his life and death, the latter of which remains a mystery to this day. The shows will occur every day except Mondays and Tuesdays through March 26, and they will be directed by Trevor Hay.

March 4, 2017

(Credit: Lahaina Galleries)

Caroline Zimmermann
Lahaina Galleries
1173 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 721-9117

From 4 to 7 p.m., stop by Lahaina Galleries at Fashion Island to see a new collection of paintings by artist Caroline Zimmermann. Her latest works are inspired by trips to tropical places like Hawaii, the Mediterranean and the Caribbean as well as Venice, Italy. Zimmermann, who is a surfer as well an artist, has a portfolio filled with ocean-related paintings, motivated by the challenge of capturing the changing qualities of water. Her works are filled with vibrant colors and expert shadowing techniques, which she perfects at her home in Laguna Beach and at a second studio in Tuscany, Italy. She will be present at the showcase, which will run only for the night.

March 4, 2017

(credit: nature10/shutterstock)

Community Yard Sale
Downtown Anaheim
201 Center Street Promenade
Anaheim, CA 92805
(714) 956-3586

The Center Street Promenade in Anaheim is the perfect place for a community yard sale—and that’s just what’s taking place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 4th. Local residents can reserve a spot to sell their vintage items and other second-hand objects. Whether it’s clothing and collectables or furniture and an old guitar, you’re likely to earn some extra cash. In addition to making some money, it’s a chance to free up some space in your home. On the other hand, if you’re not planning to sell anything, you can still visit the yard sale to do some shopping. You’re likely to find some hidden treasures for great deals while rummaging through the sale.

March 4, 2017

(credit: Shutterstock)

Heart and Stroke Walk
Angel Stadium of Anaheim
2000 East Gene Autry Way
Anaheim, CA 92806
(800) 242-8721

Exercise your own heart while helping out others’ hearts at the Orange County Heart and Stroke Walk. Sponsored by the American Heart Association, the event allows members of the local community to come together, take some steps and raise money for treatment. Taking place before the walk itself is a 5K run —3.1 miles of excitement—at Angel Stadium. After the run ends, opening ceremonies will proceed the 9 a.m. walk. Once you’re finished working on your fitness, visit the event’s health and wellness expo. Parking is free and there are multiple water stations available, both along the route and at the post-walk festival.

March 4, 5, 11 and 12, 2017

(Credit: Festival of Whales)

Festival of Whales
Dana Point Harbor
24921 Dana Point Harbor Drive
Dana Point, CA 92629
(949) 496-1045

The annual Festival of Whales – Dana Point’s signature festival – returns for two weekends this March. The event features a variety of activities for all ages, including sand sculpting competitions, a parade, art lessons, a marine animal lecture series, a pizza party, live music and a giant street fair with many different food and retail vendors. Visitors can also stop by the Ocean Institute for educational information about the sea and its wildlife. The harbor walkway will be home to classic car shows, featuring Woodies and Corvettes, among others. Don’t forget to take to the water for whale watching trips, a tall ship sailing adventure or even sailing and stand-up paddleboarding clinics.

March 5, 2017

(Credit: Robin Hiers)

March the Beach, Save the Ocean
Driftwood Kitchen and The Deck
Sleepy Hollow Lane
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Spend a Sunday morning at the beach while helping out the local community and marine life at the same time. March the Beach, Save the Ocean is a fantastic event put on by Laguna Beach restaurants Driftwood Kitchen and The Deck. Part of Sentinel Restaurant & Hospitality Group, these two eateries have joined forces to clean up local Laguna beaches. During check in at 8:30 a.m., participants will enjoy complimentary Kean coffee and pastries before heading north and south along the shore to pick up trash for an hour and a half. Upon return, the restaurants will offer Bloody Pirate cocktails and island-style mimosas for $5.

March 10 – April 16, 2017

(Credit: Disneyland Resort)

Food and Wine Festival
Disney’s California Adventure
1313 Disneyland Drive
Anaheim, CA 92802
(714) 781-4565

Spring in California is especially apparent in fresh crops—a prominent part of California Adventure’s Food and Wine Festival. Celebrity chefs will take part in the celebration, demonstrating their skills for those in attendance and offering up a taste of their final dishes. Those participating include Guy Fieri, Graham Elliot, Robert Irvine and more. Winemaker dinners and brewmaster beer dinners will also take place during the festival, with experts giving commentary on the perfect wine and beer pairings for different types of food during the meal. Sundays mark a day devoted to pastry chefs with the event’s Sweet Sundays, and there will also be wine and beer seminars with educational components.

March 11, 2017

(Credit: OC Family Photography)

Anaheim Packing District
440 South Anaheim Boulevard
Anaheim, CA 92805
(714) 533-7225

Each year of this festival is unique and the fourth year is no different. After a previous chili cook-off and a park picnic, the fourth year of FirkFest is tiki-themed, titled the Caskaway Tiki Beer Fest. From noon to 4 p.m., 30 breweries will present unlimited pours and 50 different casks. The contents of the casks are meant to be consumed within a day after tapping, and are often unique, combining creative ingredients. Tropical-style casks have been prominent at the festival since it started in 2014, but expect to find even more tropical fruit and nuts, tropical-note hops and rum chips than ever before. Breweries represented include the Tustin Brewing Company, Bottle Logic Brewing and many more.

March 12, 2017

(credit: American Junkie)

Sunday Funday
American Junkie
2406 Newport Boulevard
Newport Beach, CA 92630
(949) 675-4444

On Sundays at 2 p.m., local Orange County residents can have some fun at Newport Beach’s American Junkie. The modern gastropub is an exciting, oceanside spot perfect for drinking and dining. But in addition to cocktails and culinary treasures, the eatery is known for its community atmosphere—it’s one of the best places to socialize in the area. While Taco Tuesday and happy hour are both popular times to visit, American Junkie’s Sunday Funday party is especially thrilling. Put on by I Love Fun, visitors can listen to live music from a local DJ, socialize with friends (or make new ones!) and sip on $3 well drinks, wine and beer.

March 12, 2017

(credit: Chris L./yelp)

Mason Regional Park
18712 University Drive
Irvine, CA 92612
(949) 923-2220

This family-friendly music and art festival—a play on the ever-popular Coachella—will take place for the first time in Irvine this month. From noon to 4 p.m., well-known singer songwriters will take the main stage, playing sing-a-long songs that will interest even the smallest of tikes. Aside from music, expect to find plenty of interactive experiences, including story time, face painting, photobooths, arts & crafts, bubbles, a costume contest and yoga that the whole family can do together. The series of events will continue with two more festivals in the summer and the fall. The first installment will be free and will take place rain or shine.

March 15 – 19, 2017

(Credit: Doug Gifford)

“Whipped Cream”
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
600 Town Center Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 556-2787

The American Ballet Theatre presents “Whipped Cream,” a whimsical show that tells the story of a little boy in a Viennese pastry shop that overindulges and becomes delirious. He dreams of characters like Princess Praline, her royal court, Prince Coffee, marching marzipan and more. The new production, which features outstanding classical ballet choreography, is a dazzling display of talent from Artist in Residence Alexei Ratmansky and visionary Mark Ryden. Expect to find famous names like Misty Copeland dancing in these performances, which will run from March 15-19. Tickets start at only $29.

March 16, 2017

(Credit: Anaheim GardenWalk)

Corks and Canvas
Anaheim GardenWalk
400 Disney Way
Anaheim, CA 92802
(714) 635-7400

On March 16, the Anaheim GardenWalk will host its Corks and Canvas event—a night filled with wine and painting. Los Angeles-based artist Jan Burton, who will help each and every attendee to create a masterpiece they can be proud of, will lead the two-hour class. Corks and Canvas will take place on the main level on the patio at McFadden’s Restaurant & Saloon and two glasses of wine are included in the ticket price of $40. Aside from your art project, you’ll be able to take home a commemorative wine glass. Tickets can not be purchased at the door so make sure to register ahead of time.

March 17 – 19, 2017

(Credit: Taylor Foiles)

OC Fair & Event Center
88 Fair Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 708-1500

The annual MusINK festival turns 10 this year, bringing with it a stellar music line-up, some amazing tattoo artists and a unique car show. Bands like The Vandals, Lagwagon, The Used, Bad Religion and Pennywise will take the stage during the three-day festival, which was created by Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker. On top of the entertainment, guests can get tattooed by hundreds of famous artists at the festival’s tattoo convention. There will also be a Low and Slow Car Show, including a collection of cars curated by Barker and various car clubs. A special VIP ticket allows access to a viewing area by the stage, a lounge and a meet-and-greet with Barker himself.

March 18, 2017

(credit: Marina Kondratenko/shutterstock)

Western Barn Dance
Circle S Ranch
16211 Jackson Ranch Road
Silverado, CA 92676
(714) 393-4858

The Saddleback Canyon Riders will host this fun western event, held at the ETI Corral 357 at Circle S Ranch in Silverado. The Western Barn Dance will celebrate the local O.C. equestrian community, with focus on the laidback lifestyle exhibited by the group. From 7 to 10 p.m., expect to dance to country western music and make new friends. The event will include dance lessons for those who are not familiar—everyone is invited to join in. Learn dances like the Electric Slide, two-step line dances and more while sipping on wine or soda.

March 18, 2017

(credit: Christian Bertrand/shutterstock)

Bollywood Night Fundraiser
Mission Hospital Conference Center
26726 Crown Valley Parkway
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
(949) 364-1400

A fundraiser held by the Mission Hospital High School Auxiliary Board volunteers, Bollywood Night is a great chance to explore this Indian film style. A general admission ticket will get you a henna tattoo, two raffle tickets and free games in addition to entrance. Enter raffles for exciting prizes like tickets to Disneyland and enjoy dinner and snacks before heading home. Don’t forget to stop by the puppy playpen, sponsored by the Huq Foundation. Proceeds from the event will go toward the $25,000 the high school volunteers have pledged to raise for the hospital’s adolescent mental health services. The event will also celebrate the life of a student who graduated from the program last May, but passed away following a Trabuco Canyon crash.

March 19, 2017

(credit: We Are The Rhoads)

Death Cab for Cutie
House of Blues
400 Disney Way
Anaheim, CA 92802
(714) 778-2583

Following the closure of the Downtown Disney House of Blues last fall, the venue reopened at the end of February in a new location—the Anaheim GardenWalk. In their first month at the new location, they will present a variety of shows from local and national acts. One such national act is Death Cab for Cutie, an indie band that has made it big over the last decade with hits like “I Will Follow You Into the Dark” and “Soul Meets Body.” The Washington-based band has released eight studio albums, the most recent of which came in 2015. Indie pop band Pure Bathing Culture will open the show.

March 19, 2017

(Credit: Environmental Nature Center)

Reading In The Redwoods
Environmental Nature Center
1601 East 16th Street
Newport Beach, CA 92663
(949) 645-8489

In honor of Read Aloud Month, the Environmental Nature Center is celebrating with Reading in the Redwoods, an exciting literary event that is perfect for all book and nature lovers. From 9:30 to 11 a.m., participants will take a short hike with Valerie Bain into the property’s redwood forest, where they will listen to a live reading of “Everybody Needs a Rock” by Byrd Baylor. Kids are encouraged to bring their own rocks because, after story time, they will be invited to share the story of their own rock or to trade it with someone else. Bring your own blanket to sit on and don’t forget the $10 entry fee per child—adults are free.

March 19, 2017

(Credit: Derek Yamashita and Ryan Heberden)

Huntington Beach Cherry Blossom Festival
Huntington Beach Central Park
7111 Talbert Avenue
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

The program linking Huntington Beach with sister city Anjo, Japan, was in jeopardy of being cut due to lack of funds until a Girl Scout created this festival in 2013. In an effort to nourish the friendship between the cities, Huntington Beach’s Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates a Japanese tradition with cultural music and dance, food, arts, games and cultural exhibits. There will also be calligraphy and origami workshops for children, artistic Japanese plants and martial arts experts. This year, 35 years since the two cities became friends, a delegation from Anjo will visit the festival and there will be a ceremonial planting of a Japanese cherry blossom tree.

March 20 – April 7, 2017

(Credit: The City of Irvine)

Spring Camps
Various Locations
Irvine, CA

The spring intersession for Irvine’s city camps runs from March 20 to April 7, with April 3-7 aligning with the local district’s spring break week. Youth between the ages of 3 and 17 can take part in these camps, with a specific age breakdown dictating which ages are right for which camps. Sign up for options like arts camp, junior tennis camp, culinary camp, chess camp, soccer camp and even a volunteer camp for high school students. The camps take place at various locations throughout the city, from Quail Hill and University community parks to the Irvine Fine Arts Center.

March 21 – April 2, 2017

(Credit: Carol Rosegg)

“Finding Neverland”
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
600 Town Center Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 556-2787

Beginning March 21, the beloved Broadway show “Finding Neverland” will spend nearly two weeks on the Segerstrom Hall stage. Tony-winning director Diane Paulus presents the story of Peter Pan, a famed character that has become a household name thanks to the Disney animated movie. The character was created by playwright J.M. Barrie, whose story is told brilliantly in the musical. Upon meeting a beautiful widow and her four sons, he finds inspiration in the childrens’ make-believe play, using it to craft his own play for London’s stages. The production explores the wonder of childhood, the power of imagination and the magic of pixie dust.

March 23, 2017

(credit: sashafolly/shutterstock)

Project HeART
The Reef
800 South Harbor Scenic Drive
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 435-8013

The nonprofit Heels for Hearts, an organization that raises funds for the Heart and Vascular Institute at Long Beach Memorial Hospital, will hold their Project HeART charity art auction on March 23. From 6 to 9 p.m., visitors can bid on artwork that serves as a visual representation of women’s heart health. Watercolors, oil paintings, drawings, sculptures, woodworking pieces and jewelry will be auctioned off while guests enjoy beverages and snacks. Some featured artists who will offer up pieces for donation include Luz Montiel, Michele Rene and Lilly Rocha. Tickets run from $25 to $30.

March 25, 2017

(Credit: Scott Schmitt)

Swallows Day Parade
Downtown San Juan Capistrano
El Camino Real and Ortega Highway
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 493-1976

For 59 years, the Swallows Day Parade has maintained its stature as one of Orange County’s premiere parades. Celebrating the Fiesta de las Golondrinas, or the return of the swallows to Mission San Juan Capistrano every spring, the event has long been one of the country’s largest non-motorized processions. Horses, stagecoaches, marching bands and other groups come together to showcase their community spirit. The event kicks off at El Camino Real and Ortega Highway at 11 a.m. rain or shine.

March 27, 2017

(Credit: Kids Konnected)

Kids Konnected Annual Golf Tournament
El Niguel Country Club
23700 Club House Drive
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
(949) 582-5443

Tee up at this annual golf tournament to help raise money for Kids Konnected, an organization that helps support youth who have been affected by a parent’s cancer. Golfers and local businesses come together to provide funds for the group. The event will also include a helicopter ball drop, where attendees will purchase a certain number of balls, which will be labeled with a number. The balls will then be dropped from a helicopter and the first ball in or closest to the hole will win a prize. Registration begins at 9:15 a.m. while the tournament officially starts at 11.

March 30, 2017

(Credit: Kyle Cassidy)

An Evening with Neil Gaiman
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
600 Town Center Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 556-2787

British author Neil Gaiman comes to the Segerstrom Center for the Arts for one night only. Known for his comic book series “The Sandman” and acclaimed novels like “Coraline” and “American Gods,” the writer promises an amazing show that will both delight and befuddle members of the audience. The live event is scheduled to include readings from Gaiman as well as storytelling. He also plans to hold a question and answer session where guests can ask their burning questions. The talk will be held in the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall and tickets start at $29.

March 31 – April 2, 2017

(credit: Lauren Elisabeth/shutterstock)

Anaheim Convention Center
800 West Katella Avenue
Anaheim, CA 92802
(714) 765-8950

For three days, the Anaheim Convention Center will play host to WonderCon, an off-shoot of San Diego’s famous ComicCon. The convention will be similar to it’s southern counterpart, featuring a variety of the hottest comics, movies, television shows, animations and collectibles. There will also be plenty of authors, actors and animators at the event to give lectures, meet with fans and sell some of their work. There will also be screenings of various anime shows and games for attendees. The convention is also home to unique activities, like an annual blood drive, a children’s film festival, a costume masquerade and a portfolio review.

Through April 15, 2017

(Credit: JoAnne Artman Gallery)

“This Is America II”
JoAnne Artman Gallery
326 North Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 493-1976

New works by America Martin will be on display at JoAnne Artman’s current exhibition, “This Is America II.” The two-month showcase will offer visitors a glimpse at her amazing collection of works, each of which features vibrant colors and a modern style. A mixture of paintings, sculptures and mixed media pieces, the works in “This Is America II” help to highlight the artist’s Columbian-American heritage. Her constantly evolving catalog is regularly enhanced by new paintings that further her message and style.

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.