Fall is officially here and it’s starting to actually feel like it! This week marks the start of some really exciting annual events, from a Halloween haunt to a beloved pumpkin patch and yearly sandcastle contest. But, aside from that, there are plenty of events to keep you and your crew occupied this week. Art lovers can enjoy Bower’s Museum’s new family-friendly exhibit, the Irvine Museum Collection’s twilight-filled paintings or the touring quilt and craft festival that’s heading to town. Plus, Huntington Beach will host a fun air show once again.

Monday, September 25
knott s scary farm knott s berry farm Best Activities & Events This Week In Orange County   September 25

(Credit: Knott’s Berry Farm)

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

The annual haunt is just as terrifying as ever, bringing plenty of adrenaline and spooky thrills to visitors through Halloween night. This year, Knott’s Scary Farm offers nine mazes, including past favorites like Paranormal Inc., Voodoo and Special Ops: Infected (which serves as a fun take on laser tag with a chance to shoot zombies). Of the nine, there are three brand new mazes—Dark Ride, Pumpkin Eater and the unique Trick or Treat: Lights Out, which arms guests with flashlights for a dark trip through the Green Witch’s house. There are also four scare zones, including the streets of Ghosttown, Fiesta de los Muertos, The Hollow and CarnEVIL. Plus, it’s your last chance to see Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, in her farewell Scary Farm stage show.

Tuesday, September 26
future park bowers museum Best Activities & Events This Week In Orange County   September 25

(Credit: Bowers Museum)

“Future Park: Art + Technology”
Bowers Kidseum
1802 North Main Street
Santa Ana, CA 92706
(714) 480-1520

Bowers Kidseum, an extension of the regular museum that focuses on creating exhibits that families can enjoy together, has partnered with Team Lab Kids, Inc. to present “Future Park: Art + Technology.” This new showcase expertly blends art and technology to create a one-of-a-kind playground for children within the museum’s walls. The exhibition contains four different sections: Sketch Town, Light Ball Orchestra, Connecting! Block Town and Hopscotch for Geniuses. Within these four sections, children can create virtual cities filled with everything from buildings to cars (and make 3-D papercraft models to take home), experiment with music and color by rolling giant orbs, design the roads and railway crossings that will allow vehicles to pass through and hop around on colorful projections along an interactive pathway. The interactive playground will remain at the museum through January 15.

Wednesday, September 27
dusk till dawn franz a bischoff Best Activities & Events This Week In Orange County   September 25

(Credit: Franz A. Bischoff)

“Dusk Till Dawn”
University of California, Irvine
18881 Von Karman Avenue
Irvine, CA 92612
(949) 476-0294

Landscapes are one of the most popular types of paintings, especially in a region as beautiful as Orange County. While local scenery definitely inspires much of the artwork in “Dusk Till Dawn,” the artists included in the showcase worked to capture the unique light that can be found on the edges of the day—from dusk until dawn. Rather than focusing on rays of sunlight, like they would in the daytime, the artists find ways to capture the absence of light, including darkening shadows and using many shades of blue. Among others, some of the artists whose works can be found in “Dusk Till Dawn” include Virgil Williams, James Swinnerton, Franz A. Bischoff, Granville Redmond, Paul Sample and Alfred Mitchell. It’s your last chance to catch these paintings, as the exhibit ends on Thursday.

Thursday, September 28
quilt craft sewing festival quilt craft sewing festival Best Activities & Events This Week In Orange County   September 25

(credit: Craft Sewing Festival)

Attend The Quilt, Craft & Sewing Festival
OC Fair & Event Center
88 Fair Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Arts and crafts aren’t just for kids, especially when the Quilt, Craft & Sewing Festival makes its way to Orange County. Held in The Hangar at the fairgrounds, this three-day event kicks off on Thursday, offering crafty locals a chance to mingle with art vendors and other craft connoisseurs. Test and buy everything from sewing machines, embroidery machines, quilting frames, fabric cutters and more. Those in attendance will also find a variety of accessories, including scissors, embellishments, patterns, stencils, books, magnifiers, rotary cutters, quilting tools and more. In addition to the vendors, there will be free seminars and arts workshops where attendees can learn about different types of arts and crafts as well as drawings for door prizes each day.

Friday, September 29
breitling huntington beach air show eric dean Best Activities & Events This Week In Orange County   September 25

(credit: Eric Dean)

Check Out The Breitling Huntington Beach Air Show
Along the Beach
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

This marks the second year of the Breitling Huntington Beach Air Show, a delight in the skies over the Huntington Beach coastline. With shows on Saturday and Sunday, the festivities really kick off Friday for the practice performance. The shows are free, but there is additional seating that can be purchased for those that want access to beach bungalows, music, narration, lunch, drink options and a private beach area. Performances and static displays will take place during the show, including those from a F-35 Lightning II, F-16 Viper, U.S. Navy Blue Angels, Canadian Forces Snowbirds, David Martin Aerobatics, a Fed Ex 757, Raising Cane’s L-39 jet, Coast Guard Search and Rescue, the Black Daggers parachute team and more.

Saturday, September 30
tanaka farms Best Activities & Events This Week In Orange County   September 25

(Credit: Tanaka Farms)

Visit the Pumpkin Patch
Tanaka Farms
5380 3/4 University Drive
Irvine, CA 92612
(949) 653-2100

A fall trip to the pumpkin patch is always a fun time—especially in Orange County. Tanaka Farms is a farm year-round, offering a variety of fruit and vegetable pickings and tours, but it really comes alive during pumpkin season. This weekend is the first weekend that visitors can stop by the pumpkin patch, and it’s easy to find activities the whole family can enjoy while you’re there. Whether you hop aboard the wagon ride, wind your way through the impressive corn maze, pick some vegetables for fall dinners or visit the petting zoo to meet the goats and sheep. Plus, of course, there are the many pumpkins to take a look at. Pick some out to carve next month for Halloween, or grab some with which to make some tasty pies this fall. There are a variety of photo opportunities as well, making for a fun and memorable outing. The pumpkin patch at Tanaka Farms will be open through Halloween.
Related: Best Pumpkin Patches In Orange County

Sunday, October 1
shutterstock 306536732 Best Activities & Events This Week In Orange County   September 25

(credit: a katz/shutterstock)

Corona del Mar Sandcastle Contest
Corona del Mar State Beach
3001 Ocean Boulevard
Corona del Mar, CA 92625
(949) 644-3151

Line up your team and get ready for a day at the beach with Corona del Mar’s annual sandcastle contest. Now celebrating an impressive 56th year, this one-day event gives you the chance to bond with friends or family while creating something spectacular. This year’s theme is Pirates of the Pacific, so come up with a stellar design that can help you and your crew win some of the amazing cash prizes that are offered each year. If you choose not to build your own castle, you’ll still have a blast watching others create their masterpieces and examining the intricate finished products of the pros. All participants will receive a complimentary t-shirt with which to remember the occasion.

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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