Spring is officially in the air, and it shows! Break out the pastel colors and egg decorating kits while you munch on Easter brunch and celebrate everywhere from the Irvine Park Railroad to Knott’s Berry Farm. Expect to find a lot of active, outdoor events this month; with the weather so perfect, we wouldn’t have it any other way. Whether you’re surfing, running, enjoying an outdoor music festival or traipsing around Palm Springs, it’s the best time of year to take advantage of the sunshine before the heat arrives. Happy wandering!

April 1, 2017

(Credit: Rex Sanchez)

Mardi Gras for Autism
Fullerton Train Depot Center
110 East Commonwealth Avenue
Fullerton, CA 92832
(714) 213-8831

The famous celebration of Mardi Gras takes place in February, but this special event keeps the party going into the month of April. Held for one day only, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mardi Gras for Autism allows local families to come together in support of special education programs within Fullerton. The event is sponsored by Fullerton Cares, an autism coalition that aims to spread awareness, acceptance and action for those who are autistic. Expect to find a resource fair that will help with that mission as well as plenty of sensory-oriented vendors that will offer things like underwater touch pools, bounce houses, face painting and bubbles to keep kids busy.

April 1 – 2, 2017

(credit: Gary C. Tognoni/Shutterstock)

Palm Springs Desert X Trip
Desert X Hub; Various Locations
701 East Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, CA 92264
(949) 494-8971

Members of the Laguna Art Museum can head out on the Palm Springs Desert X Trip, led by the museum’s executive director, Malcolm Warner. The two-day experience will include an art-filled itinerary focused on Desert X, a Coachella Valley exhibition of curated art installations. Held at various indoor and outdoor locations, including Lita Albuquerque’s work at Sunnylands and pieces by Doug Aitken, Tavares Strachan and Gabriel Kuri. Aside from Desert X pieces, participants will visit Phillip K. Smith III’s studio and the Palm Springs Art Museum’s exhibition Women of Abstract Expressionism. The price is set at $250, which includes access to artwork, lunches and transportation within Palm Springs; lodging and transportation to the desert are not included.

April 1 – 16, 2017

(Credit: Discovery Cube)

Bubblefest XXI
Discovery Cube OC
2500 North Main Street
Santa Ana, CA 92705
(714) 542-2823

The annual Bubblefest is back at Discovery Cube OC, offering locals the chance to explore science and have insane amounts of fun with bubbles. The festival has plenty to offer families, but adults without children can enjoy it as well, with trips to the Bubble Zone and the Bubble Courtyard. Wave your magic bubble wand to create some stellar soap art, hop into the exciting water spheres or explore the Cube Jr. playground or Early Learners area. A highlight of the event is the Mega Bubblefest Laser Show, where artist Deni Yang will perform a stage show filled with bubbly goodness, music, lasers and other light effects.

April 1 – 23, 2017

(Credit: Knott’s Berry Farm)

Boysenberry Festival
Knott’s Berry Farm
8039 Beach Boulevard
Buena Park, CA 90620
(714) 220-5200

The month of April brings with it Knott’s Berry Farm’s annual Boysenberry Festival, a sweet way to celebrate food and fun at one of Orange County’s most exciting theme parks. At the festival, visitors can taste over 70 different boysenberry-filled treats in the Ghost Town, including pizza, ravioli, cream soda and even barbecue sauce. A wine and craft brew garden will have select boysenberry wine and brews available as well. But the party doesn’t stop at your taste buds. Visitors can also compete in pie eating contests, make their own boysenberry tarts, meet the Easter Beagle and watch live shows and music. Combine that with the park’s thrill rides and adventures in Camp Snoopy, and you’ve got a festival that’s not to be missed.

April 1 – 23, 2017

(Credit: Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel)

Incredible, Non-Edible Easter Eggs
Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel
1 Ritz Carlton Drive
Dana Point, CA 92629
(949) 240-2000

While there are many ways to decorate Easter eggs, this one is especially unique. The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel presents the Incredible, Non-Edible Easter Eggs, an art installation made up of four giant, handcrafted eggs. Painted by local artists, these eggs make the perfect backdrop for a spring photo or even for a day out in the sunshine. Relax and admire the work of James Galindo, Robin Hiers, Trevor Mezak and Kym de los Reyes. Start spring right by visiting the resort to see these stunning pieces up close, as they will be placed at the hotel’s entrance throughout most of the month.

April 2, 2017

(Credit: Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa)

California Double
Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa
21500 Pacific Coast Highway
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
(714) 698-1234

Back for the second time, The Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach hosts the California Double. Partnering with Snow Summit Ski Resort in Big Bear, the hotel offers a chance for visitors to learn to surf and ski—in the same day. Hit the sand with pros from the Hyatt’s Toes on the Nose surf shop, who are there to teach newbies and encourage those that already have some surf skills. After your morning lesson, board a luxury coach bus where you’ll enjoy lunch on the way to Big Bear. Once there, get ready to hit the slopes and take advantage of the springtime snow for the rest of the afternoon.

April 3, 2017

(Credit: Segerstrom Center for the Arts)

An Evening In Conversation With Yanni At His Piano
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
600 Town Center Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 556-2787

Possibly the greatest composer of our era, Yanni will grace the Segerstrom Center stage for one night only, bringing with him a remarkably intimate show. Stepping down off of the concert stage and focusing more on creating a personal connection with the audience, Yanni will perform with only a piano throughout the event. But aside from music, he will also offer insight, detailing everything from traveling the world to his musical process and experience playing massive shows. The evening will also feature audience questions, creating a special night that can’t be replicated. Meet and greet tickets are also available so audience members can meet the performer and take a photo for an extra cost.

April 4, 2017

(Credit: MOMS Club of Laguna Hills)

Laguna Hills Easter Party
Mandeville Park
24798 Mandeville Drive
Laguna Hills, CA 92653

The MOMS Club of Laguna Hills will host an Easter party at Mandeville Park in celebration of spring. The party will feature a potluck filled with snacks and desserts of all kinds, making it a tasty way to spend the day. Along with food, you’ll find crafts, a petting zoo and pony rides, perfect for little ones of all ages. Don’t forget to bring one dozen eggs per child. Just one chapter of a larger organization, the group organizes regular adventures for moms and their babies or children to partake in together. Whether it’s park play dates or trips to Pretend City, the group provides encouragement, support and a social circle to local moms.

April 5, 2017

(Credit: Seaside Gallery and Goods)

Provencal Dinner
Seaside Gallery and Goods
124 Tustin Avenue
Newport Beach, CA 92663
(949) 290-7249

Seaside Gallery and Goods presents their monthly culinary experience, the Provencal dinner. Diners will love taking a trip through the South of France with their taste buds at April’s installment of Eat. Drink. Learn. with Justin Myers. The $75 ticket, which is all inclusive, features a menu made up of roasted herb chicken stuffed with comté cheese, roasted carrots and potatoes. Pair your meal with variety of wines from the Alsace region and you’ll be in heaven. Next month, the collective will present their Cinco de Mayo dinner, filled with Mexican food and margaritas. Dinners take place in the Pelican Courtyard from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

April 6 – 8, 2017

(Credit: Pacific Symphony)

“Ellis Island: The Dream of America”
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
600 Town Center Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 556-2787

Part of the Pacific Symphony’s American Composers Festival 2017, Peter Boyer’s “Ellis Island: The Dream of America” is a supremely unique experience. The Grammy-nominated show includes actors, spoken text and projected historical images along with music performed by the Pacific Symphony. It tells the story of immigrants coming to America in the past. Along with the Ellis Island piece, the Symphony will perform John Adams’ “The Dharma at Big Sur” with electric violinist Tracy Silverman. The performances on April 7 and 8 will be recorded for PBS’ “Great Performances” special. Host Alan Chapman will lead a pre-concert talk on the orchestra level at 7 p.m.

April 8, 2017

(credit: glazok90/shutterstock)

Night Nation Run
OC Fair & Event Center
88 Fair Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

The unique Night Nation Run is the first fun run in history that doubles as a music festival. Lovers of electronic music will walk, run or even dance their way along a racecourse featuring a variety of stages topped with DJs. At the end of the run, you’ll find a main stage filled with celebrity performers and the hottest DJs throwing the party of the month. As you travel from stage to stage, expect to find a whole lot more than live music; colorful lights and lasers make the experience what it is. Runners get a glow necklace and a t-shirt in addition to their race bib. A second Night Nation Run will take place on April 29 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.

April 8, 2017

(Credit: The Queen Mary)

FantaSea: Where Magic Lives
The Queen Mary
1126 Queens Highway
Long Beach, CA 90802
(877) 342-0738

Now in its second year, the Queen Mary’s FantaSea presents a day filled with magic. Various areas of the ship’s deck are transformed into the Wizard Alley, the Hocus Pocus Parlor, the Secret Circle Study and the Cauldron, where magicians will step up to showcase their talents and tricks. Catch magic acts by Joel Ward, Lindsay Benner, Jon Armstrong, Siegfried Tieber and more by day, but prepare for even more amazement at night. Two 7 p.m. magic shows will take place at the event as well, including the Night of Illusions featuring Christopher Hart as well as David and Leeman and the Mysteries of Magic dinner show, complete with a four-course meal and performances by Kyle and Mistie Knight.

April 8 – 9, 2017

(Credit: The Observatory)

When We Were Young
The Observatory
3503 South Harbor Boulevard
Santa Ana, CA 92704
(714) 957-0600

Those that have ever wanted to relive their youth will appreciate the appeal of the Oberservatory’s When We Were Young festival. With music from many underground performers and a couple big-name rock bands, the show will reflect bands that have left a lasting impact on the music scene for the last few decades. The two-day event, held on the venue’s outdoor grounds, will feature performances from Morrissey, the Descendents, Taking Back Sunday, Silversun Pickups, AFI, Cage the Elephant, Alkaline Trio, Streetlight Manifesto and more. Choose between general admission and a VIP package that includes a private bar, a lounge, festival merchandise and access to an area right in front of the stage.

April 10, 2017

(Credit: Richard Stember, Science Heads Inc.)

Mobile Observatory Open House
Mission Viejo Library
100 Civic Center
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
(949) 830-7100

Science Heads—a local non-profit dedicated to the exploration of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)—will host an open house for their recently built mobile astronomy observatory. Partnering with the Mission Viejo Library during National Library Week, visitors can get up close with the observatory’s telescopes to catch views of the sun. Other free science-related activities will take place, perfect for those of all ages. The ribbon cutting ceremony will start at noon, while the open house will last from 1 to 5 p.m. After the event, the observatory will travel between schools, libraries and public events to serve as an educational resource for local students and families.

April 10, 2017

(Credit: The Queen Mary)

Ships & Giggles Comedy Night
The Queen Mary
1126 Queens Highway
Long Beach, CA 90802
(877) 342-0738

Launching April 10, the Queen Mary will host Ships & Giggles Comedy Night on the second Monday of the month, starting the week off right with some laughs. Mondays are always tough, but beat the weekday blues by heading down to the ship for a comedy series that begins with a two-hour happy hour. Following drinks, host Rocco Stowe will host the event, featuring some of Los Angeles’ best comedians: Abby Roberge, Aidan Park, Aiko Tanaka, and Michael Lenoci. The event will be held in the Art Deco Observation Bar each month at 8 p.m. with a revolving line-up of comedians to get you laughing.

April 12, 2017

(Credit: Pacific City)

Tahitian Sunset Paint Nite
Lot 579
21010 Pacific Coast Highway
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
(714) 960-3647

Come together with your friends for a night of painting, wine and fun at Pacific City’s Lot 579. The space is perfect for a Paint Nite, with plenty of room for laughter and excitement as you raise your glasses and get in the creative spirit. Grab a paintbrush and get ready to produce a masterpiece to be proud of. The night’s painting, led by an instructor, will feature a colorful Tahitian sunset, perfect for the walls of coastal California homes. The event will last from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., but be sure to arrive early so you can grab seats together. Food and drink will be for sale, but the $45 registration fee will include all of the supplies necessary for creating a gorgeous painting.

April 12, 2017

(Credit: Kerrin Piche Serna)

Origami for Everyone
Izakaya Takasei
2980 Yorba Linda Boulevard
Fullerton, CA 92831
(714) 577-0401

Hosted by Kerrin Piche Serna, Origami for Everyone is a special workshop that allows locals to find relaxation while creating something beautiful to keep. Though the meditative aspect is desirable, the real draw of this event is the chance to create some beautiful gifts or decorations and to learn more about the art of paper folding. Guests will learn about the various types of folds as well as four different origami models: a water bomb, a square box, a lily and a Japanese crane. Paper will be provided and the pace will be comfortable. Held at Izakaya Takasei, participants can get 20% off their food purchases during the event as well.

Through April 15, 2017

(Credit: Irvine Park Railroad)

Easter Eggstravaganza
Irvine Park Railroad
1 Irvine Park Road
Orange, CA 92869
(714) 997-3968

Running up until the day before Easter, the Easter Eggstravaganza at Irvine Park Railroad provides a chance to meet the Easter Bunny and so much more. Families can step up to get their photos taken with the fuzzy friend or take part in daily Easter egg hunts complete with fun treats and prizes. The event also features egg basket tosses, face painting, train rides, hay rides, cooking decorating and more. Grab a bite to eat while you wander the park’s grounds or take advantage of the free, Easter-themed picture stands and coloring corner. As with any Irvine Park Railroad event, it lies adjacent to the park’s zoo, paddle boats and pony rides for extra fun.
For additional Easter events, visit our full list of the Best Easter Events In Orange County

April 16, 2017

(Credit: The Ranch)

Easter Brunch
The Ranch
1025 East Ball Road
Anaheim, CA 92805
(714) 817-4200

On Easter Sunday, delight your taste buds with The Ranch’s Easter Sunday Brunch. Held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the special event will present a variety of foods and flavors for those of all ages. Whether you get together with the whole family or dine as a couple, you’ll be thrilled with the restaurant’s selection with a special menu set at $75 per person. The event features endless bubbles—dry, sweet or mimosa—as well as your choice of a first course, a salad or soup, a main course and dessert. Some offerings include house-smoked salmon tartine, duroc pork belly, Mediterranean chopped salad, potato and spring onion soup, lobster benedict, free-range duck chilaquiles, goat cheese fritters and strawberry rhubarb crisp.
For additional places for brunch, visit our full list of the Best Restaurants For Easter In Orange County

Through April 16, 2017

(Credit: Disneyland Resort)

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

Held at the California Adventure theme park at the Disneyland Resort, the annual Food & Wine Festival presents a variety of culinary offerings to visitors through April 16. The event takes guests behind the scenes of some of their cuisine, featuring demonstrations, cooking tips and recipes from celebrity chefs like Guy Fieri, Graham Elliot and Jet Tila. The event will also include special Sweet Sundays, which feature dessert presentations and tastings, as well as winemaker and brew master dinners with suggested beverage pairings. Additionally, a variety of seminars will teach guests about wine and beer education and lifestyle topics, while those wandering the park can find special offerings at marketplace kiosks and restaurants.

April 20, 2017

(Credit: Andy Templeton)

Wild & Crazy Taco Night
SOS Community Health Center
1550 Superior Avenue
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
(949) 270-2137

Share Our Selves, a local non-profit organization that strives to assist low-income and homeless populations within Orange County, will host their annual Wild & Crazy Taco Night. Now in its 24th year, the event will benefit the SOS Food Pantry, which helps distribute excess food to those in need. The event’s Food Bag Challenge will aim to raise an additional $2,400 for the pantry through donations. At Taco Night itself, get ready for some delicious food prepared by some of the best chefs in Orange County, including those from solita tacos & margaritas, Slapfish, Rasta Tacos, Farmhouse, Sessions West Coast Deli, Driftwood Kitchen and more. With creativity and tacos all around, it’s sure to be another great year.

April 20 – 30, 2017

(Credit: Feld Entertainment)

Disney on Ice: Dream Big
Long Beach Arena
300 East Ocean Boulevard
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 436-3636

The latest installment of the Disney on Ice series is Dream Big, a show that presents just as much magic and adventure as any Disney performance. Hosted by the enchanting Tinker Bell, she uses her pixie dust to transport the audience through a variety of Disney tales, including The Little Mermaid, Tangled and Frozen. The show also features a variety of princesses like Jasmine, Aurora, Snow White and Tiana as they teach children to be strong and fearless—and, most importantly, to be kind to others. With so many loveable characters, this show is sure to thrill Disney lovers old and young.

April 21, 2017

(credit: VTT Studio/shutterstock)

Earth Day 10K
Peter’s Canyon Regional Park
8548 Canyon View Equestrian Trail
Orange, CA 92869

Celebrate Earth Day at one of Orange County’s finest regional parks. The Earth Day 10K at Peter’s Canyon will take runners through the park’s many trails, beginning in the main parking lot and continuing into the Lake View loop. With the drought nearing an end, there’s water in the lake once more, making for some stunning scenic views as you follow the dirt trails. With plenty of large inclines, you’ll get a stellar work out in as you run more than six miles throughout the park. Each person who crosses the finish line will receive a custom medal designed specifically for the race as well as a t-shirt. There will be snacks and a raffle following the event.

April 21 – 22, 2017

(Credit: CAMI)

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

For two hours, enjoy the stunning atmosphere of a Bollywood musical spectacular. “Taj Express” offers plenty of vibrancy, celebrating the sights and sounds of Indian culture with a combination of dance, music and cinema elements. Known internationally for its swirl of colors, sparkling costumes and high-energy dance numbers, this show has captured the hearts of audiences in all corners of the world, presenting a wonderful display of both India’s pop music and the famed Bollywood culture. While tickets started at $29, a dinner and show package is also available with a three-course meal at Royal Khyber.

April 21 – 23, 2017

(Credit: OC Fair & Event Center)

2017 OC Fair Imaginology
OC Fair & Event Center
88 Fair Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 708-1500

Get ready to forge full STEAM ahead at the 2017 OC Fair Imaginology, an annual event that celebrates science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. The event is perfect for families of all ages as youth from pre-school to high school are invited to compete in a variety of subjects in both group and individual project contests. Whether it’s robotics, coding, game development, simulation or something else entirely, there are plenty of topics to capture children’s interests. There will be plenty of interactive, hands-on, STEAM-related exhibits as well as information on how to launch careers in agriculture, science, technology and the arts. There will also be vendors on site to offer information on community activities that relate to the event’s topics.

April 22, 2017

(Credit: The Ranch)

Seasonal Cooking Class
The Ranch
1025 East Ball Road
Anaheim, CA 92805
(714) 817-4200

The Ranch presents their Spring cooking class, part of a seasonal series that allows diners to connect with the restaurant’s chef and try their hand at some of his favorite dishes. This event marks the first in the series for 2017, offering a five-hour interactive experience. Beginning at 11 a.m., participants will join Executive Chef Michael Rossi—and guest emcee of Orange Coast Magazine Cathy Thomas—in creating a four-course lunch, complete with wine pairings. The menu includes roasted eggplant hummus, cured artisan meats, yellowfin tuna and asparagus salad, Yukon gold potato gnocchi, a trio of grilled spring lamb and layered strawberry panna cotta.

April 23, 2017

(credit: Marlene J./yelp)

“Sleeping Beauty”
Irvine Barclay Theatre
4242 Campus Drive
Irvine, CA 92612
(949) 854-4646

As part of their effort to include entertainment the whole family can enjoy, the Irvine Barclay Theatre presents “Sleeping Beauty” on April 23. The classic fairytale is retold in a new and innovative way, with poetic elements crafted by David Gonzalez. His engaging storytelling style incorporates everything from rhymed verses and quirky lines to multimedia and live music. The funky retelling offers a twist you may not see coming, but it also requires a stellar imagination to make the show what it is. The event is recommended for ages 6 through 10, and starts at 3 p.m.

April 27 – 30, 2017

(Credit: The Duncan McIntosh Company)

Newport Beach In-Water Boat Show
Lido Marina Village
3434 Via Lido
Newport Beach, CA 92663
(949) 757-5959

The new Lido Marina Village in Newport Beach is home to plenty of interesting treats from succulent workshops to shopping events. But this one may just take the cake. The Newport Beach In-Water Boat Show incorporates the surrounding waterfront, offering a chance for visitors to explore the newest vessels. As one of the most popular yacht shows in the U.S. for the last four decades, the show also includes vendors on the shoreline who will discuss the perfect products and services for boat owners. Walk aboard the boats and explore their interiors as well as their decks, as more than 200 vessels will be on display.

April 28 – 30, 2017

(Credit: America’s Family Pet Expo)

America’s Family Pet Expo
OC Fair & Event Center
88 Fair Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(626) 447-2222

With such a vast number of people calling Orange County home, it’s no wonder American’s Family Pet Expo continues to grow each year—there are plenty of pets around! There is no better way to keep your pets happy and healthy than by staying informed and, with information on pet adoption, animal education, training and more, this event does just that. Aside from animal info and the must-have products of the year, the pet expo offers a stunt dog show, racing pigs and dogs, tortoises and rare reptiles, exotic birds and a cat activity center to keep guests entertained. There will also be adoptions all weekend.

April 29, 2017

(Credit: Lahaina Galleries)

Meet Artist Robert Bissell
Lahaina Galleries
1173 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 721-9117

For one night only, locals can stop by Lahaina Galleries at Fashion Island in Newport Beach to meet artist Robert Bissell. Since his childhood in England, Bissell has produced a variety of works featuring stunning natural scenes and whimsical animals. His latest works, which have been long awaited in the art community, include new limited-edition prints and sculptures that showcase similar content. One special original will also be showcased during the event. Stop by to meet the artist himself, chat with him about his work and ask your burning questions.

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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