This week has plenty to offer, no matter what your interests are. From art, music and movies to food events and thrill rides, the eclectic offerings embody everything that the end of summer should be. Get your heart racing on THE RiDE 7D, create your own water lily modeled after Monet’s paintings or enjoy a fantastic cheese spread. Later in the week, an local indie musician takes the stage, Long Beach cooks up some delicious barbecue and the Pacific Symphony performs music from “Jurassic Park.” Then, end the weekend right, at the Pacific Wine and Food Classic.

Monday, August 14
the ride 7d triotechthe ride 7d Best Things To Do This Week In Orange County   August 14

(Credit: Triotech/THE RiDE 7D)

Experience THE RiDE 7D
Irvine Spectrum Center
630 Spectrum Center Drive
Irvine, CA 92618
(949) 769-6772

This week, head to the Irvine Spectrum to experience an immersive virtual thrill ride that will leave you wanting to try it again. And luckily, you can. THE RiDE 7D offers eight different rides. Standard options include Los Banditos, Gigamon, Zombies and, the newest ride, Werewolves. Another ride, Road Fighters, is a limited-edition choice is set in the year 2156 amid heavy radiation and the end of civilization. Then, Monday through Thursday, the center offers three secret rides: Pirates, Alien Asteroid and Forbidden Mine. Each ride offers motion simulation, but it doesn’t end there; they also double as a game, where guests use laser guns to blast away monsters and other enemies.

Tuesday, August 15
monets water lilies pacific city Best Things To Do This Week In Orange County   August 14

(Credit: Pacific City)

Monet’s Water Lillies
Pacific City
21010 Coast Highway
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
(714) 930-2345

Stop by the kid’s play area at Pacific City on Tuesday morning for an experience inspired by the French impressionist painter Claude Monet. The event kicks off with story time, when guests will be treated to a tale about a little girl who paid a visit to Monet’s famous lily pond at his Giverny home. Then create some artwork of your own; the themed event will include the materials and instructions necessary to craft a colorful water lily. As with all PC Grommets events, an RSVP is required for the craft portion of the morning. There will also be plenty of discounts available for those in attendance, including 15 percent off at Smocking Birds, a complimentary kid’s meal at Lemonade and Mommy & Me facials at Sephora.

Wednesday, August 16
ultimate cheese and charcuterie backyard party sidedoor Best Things To Do This Week In Orange County   August 14

(Credit: SideDoor)

Ultimate Cheese & Charcuterie Backyard Party
3801 East Coast Highway
Corona del Mar, CA 92625
(949) 717-4322

Enjoy this exciting and delicious cheese party—the culmination of a series on specialty cheeses from various boutique creameries. From April to June, one creamery was featured, celebrating the company’s cheeses. Now, all four come together for one night only at SideDoor. Expect to sample cheese, charcuterie and other passed appetizers. Participating creameries include both By George Creamery and Willamette Valley Cheese Company Oregon as well as Cypress Grove and Cowgirl Creamery from Northern California. The restaurant’s cheese expert Tracy Nelsen will be on site to discuss the cheese offerings and there will also be beverage pairings, the first two of which are included in the price of the party.

Thursday, August 17
andrew macmahon in the wilderness andrew mcmahon in the wilderness Best Things To Do This Week In Orange County   August 14

(Credit: Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness)

See Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness
Salt Creek Beach Park
33333 Coast Highway
Dana Point, CA 92629
(949) 923-2280

A Dana Point native, Andrew McMahon is an obvious choice for an end-of-the-summer concert in the park. McMahon made a name for himself as the front man of Something Corporate, a pop-punk band that thrived on his vocals and songwriting skills in the early 2000s. In 2005, while on a break from touring with the band, McMahon launched his first solo project, Jack’s Mannequin, to showcase some other music he had written. For the last few years, McMahon has performed under the moniker Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, releasing singles like “Cecilia and the Satellite” and “Fire Escape.” His melodic music continues to inspire, detailing real-life experiences and attitudes.

Friday, August 18
long beach bbq festival long beach bbq festival Best Things To Do This Week In Orange County   August 14

(Credit: Long Beach BBQ Festival)

Attend The Long Beach BBQ Festival
Rainbow Lagoon Park
400 Shoreline Village Drive
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 570-3100

The Long Beach BBQ Festival kicks off at 5 p.m. on Friday, offering up a weekend full of food and fun. Purchase a ticket for the all-you-can-eat VIP Rib Village, where you can get unlimited tastings for four hours. Try everything from ribs, barbecued chicken and pulled pork to sides and dessert. Each VIP ticket also comes with unlimited nonalcoholic drinks and five glasses of beer or wine. There will be live music from the Alien Dance Band, Pickleback Shine, TimeBomb and Restless Blues as well as comedic magic shows, dance lessons, a photobooth and an interactive reptile exhibit. The event serves as a barbecue battle between local grillers and award-winning pitmasters to see who will take home the ultimate title.

Saturday, August 19
jurassic park universal studios Best Things To Do This Week In Orange County   August 14

(Credit: Universal Studios)

See “Jurassic Park” Along With The Pacific Symphony
Pacific Amphitheatre
100 Fair Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 708-1500

The Steven Spielberg classic “Jurassic Park” will be shown in high definition on Saturday night, projected onto the amphitheater’s big screen. Join paleontologists Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler as they explore an island covered in dinosaurs. This screening is special though, because the real focus is the impressive score. Composed by John Williams, the music from the film will be performed by the Pacific Symphony, positioned just below the screen so guests can watch the film and the orchestra at the same time. Richard Kaufman will conduct the symphony, and a pre-show performance by the Orange County Wind Ensemble will also take place at the Plaza Pacifica entrance.

Sunday, August 20
pacific wine and food classic pacific wine and food classic Best Things To Do This Week In Orange County   August 14

(Credit: Pacific Wine and Food Classic)

Attend The Pacific Wine and Food Classic
Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort
1131 Back Bay Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 287-3281

Immerse yourself in the flavors of summer with a visit to the Pacific Wine and Food Classic. Sunday is the last day of the two-day, all-inclusive event, which features more than 100 food and beverage stations. Expect culinary treats from Cathy Pavlos of Provenance, Greg Daniels of Haven Gastropub, Peter Lai from Oak Grill, Eric Mickle from Orange Hill Restaurant and more. A variety of wineries will also be on site, providing sips of favorite bottles. In addition to food and wine, Patron, Bacardi, Absolut Elyx and Maker’s Mark will also be present, offering handcrafted summer cocktails while The Bruery, Samuel Smith and more will offer brews. Guest chefs will also host on-stage workshops, revealing how to make everything from Spanish summer gazpacho and grilled peach and heirloom tomato Salad to shrimp shooters.

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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