Whether you’re inspired by nature and farming, or art, music and food, the next week is filled with activities to keep you busy. Kids will enjoy the summer Nature Adventure Camp in Newport while those of all ages will enjoy picking ripe strawberries off the vine at Tanaka Farms this week. Art connoisseurs can take their pick from a one-of-a-kind music experience, an art festival, a country music festival or a music-inspired dinner at a local hotspot. Don’t forget that the 4th of July is coming up—this year, you can celebrate early.

Monday, June 26

Nature Adventure Camp
Environmental Nature Center
1601 East 16th Street
Newport Beach, CA 92663
(949) 645-8489

Presenting local nature-related summer camps for kids since the 1970s, the Environmental Nature Center will host Nature Adventure Camp this year. Beginning Monday, the program is designed for students who will be entering kindergarten through third grade. It will take place four days a week with each week offering a new session and theme. Start out with Incredible Insects before learning about Outdoor Creativity, Amazing Animals, Oceans Around Us, Ancient Earth, Outdoor Survival and more. Campers will be divided into groups by grade and will complete age-appropriate educational activities each day. An additional Science Explorers Camp, held on Shellmaker Island, will start the same day for those in fourth through sixth grades.

Tuesday, June 27

(Credit: Mesa)

Chef’s Table: A Dinner Inspired by Florence & The Machine
725 Baker Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 557-6700


Wednesday, June 28

(Credit: Tanaka Farms)

Strawberry Tours
Tanaka Farms
5380 3/4 University Drive
Irvine, CA 92612
(949) 653-2100

Known for their pumpkin patch in the fall, Tanaka Farms in Irvine also hosts strawberry tours throughout the end of June. Now in the last week to visit the strawberry patches, it’s the perfect time to head over and learn about the working farm. The tours, which last for an hour, includes a guided ride in a wagon all across the 30-acre farm. Guests will discover which fruits and vegetables are in season during which times of year while sampling strawberries off the vine. They will also take a pound of the delicious berries home with them. Tours run from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, but advanced reservations are required.

Thursday, June 29

(Credit: Pacific Symphony)

Artists Unite!
Orange County Center for Contemporary Art
117 North Sycamore Street
Santa Ana, CA 92701
(714) 667-1517

Music and art lovers come together to enjoy an evening of creativity at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art. This alternative art space will host a pre-concert party, complete with wine, craft beer and an art exhibit called “Art as Protest.” A theme for the night, guests will learn all about meaningful issues that have impacted musicians and composers over time, from protests and political justice issues to environmentalism. The concert itself will start at 8 p.m., featuring the musical stylings of pianist Gloria Cheng and vocalist Carver Cossey. The Pacific Symphony orchestra will back up the pair in a diverse set list from a variety of composers.

Friday, June 30

(Credit: Sawdust Art & Craft Festival)

Attend The Sawdust Art & Craft Festival
Sawdust Grounds
935 Laguna Canyon Road
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 497-9229

For more than 50 years, the Sawdust Art & Craft Festival has graced the artist community of Laguna Beach, presenting artwork created entirely by residents of the famous city. One of three summer festivals—the others being Art-A-Fair and the famed Festival of Arts—the Sawdust festival gives guests a chance to view paintings, hand-blown glass pieces, jewelry, clothing, ceramics and pottery, wood and metal pieces, photography and more. With special live entertainment, local food offerings and a eucalyptus grove providing shade, as well as artist demonstrations and hands-on workshops, there’s something for everyone. The festival starts Friday and runs through Sunday, Sept. 3.

Saturday, July 1

(Credit: The Queen Mary)

ShipKicker Country Music Festival
Queen Mary Events Park
1126 Queens Highway
Long Beach, CA 90802
(877) 342-0738

The Queen Mary will once again host the ShipKicker Country Music Festival on July 1. Now in its third year, this is the ship’s only country festival throughout the year. For 2017, you’ll see acts like Jerrod Niemann, the Swon Brothers, Daniel Bonte and Honey County in addition to headliner Lee Brice. Smaller bands will play as well, and there will be plenty of non-musical entertainment to keep visitors busy all day. Shop with vendors like City Roots in Boots and the Calico Hat Company for country-related gear, sip beer in the beer garden or get up and dance during the festival’s line dancing lessons. There will also be life-size yard games like corn hole and Connect 4.

Sunday, July 2

(credit: DonLand/shutterstock)

4th of July Party
Aqua Lounge
690 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 760-4920

While 4th of July fun will take place on Tuesday, you can never go wrong with celebrating this fun, patriotic holiday early. The sleek Aqua Lounge near Fashion Island will host a 4th of July party on Sunday night, giving you the chance to break out your red, white and blue a few days early. Throw on some colorful clothes and head out to this nightclub, known for its handcrafted cocktails, unique sharable bites and great music. Special patriotic-themed cocktails will be poured at the party while guests can hit the dance floor to groove to beats by DJ Tirade. While there won’t be any literal fireworks, you’re sure to feel some sparks as you light up the night at Aqua. VIP booths are available and one complimentary cocktail is included in the $20 cover charge.

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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