It may be the second week of the year, but it’s still a time for new beginnings. From writing letters to planting seeds to meditating along with yoga and a hike, the beginning of the year is always full of new possibilities. In addition to working on yourself and your hobbies, consider seeing a play, making your own jewelry or searching for whales along the beautiful Orange County coastline this week.
Monday, January 8

(Credit: Festival of Arts)


Patrick Kelly Exhibit
Festival of Arts Pageant of the Masters, Laguna Beach

Acrylic painter Patrick Kelly, a regular exhibitor at the Festival of Arts for the last 40 years, will showcase his recent works as well as two pieces—“Series II” and “Monolith”—that were purchased by the festival for its permanent collection.

“American Illustration: Children at Play”
Hilbert Museum of California Art, Orange

Another art exhibit to visit this week is the free showcase at the Hilbert Museum, on the Chapman University campus. Part of the museum’s new illustration gallery, it features magazine illustrations from the 1920s to the 1950s that depict an idealized view of American childhood.

Screening of “The Breadwinner”
The Frida Cinema, Santa Ana

Based on a novel by Deborah Ellis, this new animated film follows main character Parvana, a young girl who dresses like a boy to help her family after her father is wrongfully arrested in Afghanistan. Angelina Jolie is an executive producer of the award-winning movie.

Tuesday, January 9

(Credit: Dale Frink)


Go Whale Watching
Newport Landing Whale Watching, Newport Beach

Keep your eyes peeled for blue whales, finback whales, gray whales and dolphins as you head out to sea with Newport Landing. The adventure also offers great bonding time while on board as well as stunning views of the ocean and the Newport coastline.

Letter Writing Week
Pretend City, Irvine

Help your little one learn literacy this week at Pretend City’s special letter writing week. Lessons include how to write letters, invitations, postcards and thank you cards while activities include mailing the letters the kids have written.

Plant Seeds at the Native Plant Nursery
Quail Hill Trailhead, Irvine

As part of this community stewardship program, participants will help plant seeds for species that are native to Orange County in an effort to produce more flora. In addition to benefiting the land, the plants will enhance the habitat for the local wildlife as well.

Wednesday, January 10

(Credit: Irvine Ranch Conservancy)


Meditative Yoga and Meadow Walk
Bommer Canyon, Irvine

Few things can be more relaxing than hiking and yoga so combine the two this Wednesday at Bommer Canyon. After a one-mile loop hike through a calming meadow, return to your yoga mat ready for an hour-long guided class under the shade of the sycamore trees.

Super Soccer Stars
Orange County Great Park, Irvine

This marks the first day of a ten-week soccer session for kids. Visit the park’s sports and fitness complex for a non-competitive, educational curriculum featuring positive reinforcement for children between the ages of 2 and 7. Kids will be split up by age group.

Crying in the Club
The Continental Room, Fullerton

Enjoy a night full of R&B jams that are sure to leave you feeling emotional. The event will feature DJ Pixel, including Britt and Rachel of Death Club, as well as DJ Trippp and a special guest, and will run from 9 p.m. until close.

Thursday, January 11

(Credit: Eric Stoner/Bowers Museum)


Australian Aboriginal Dream Painting
Bowers Museum, Santa Ana

In a special engagement class for seniors over the age of 62, participants will learn to create artwork inspired by Australian aboriginals, featuring earth tone paints and a series of dots that form a picture. It will take place in John M. Lee Court.

Water Casting with Jewelry Making Workshop
Sawdust Art Festival, Laguna Beach

One of the festival’s year-round classes, Erin Proctor will teach visitors how to create stunningly unique pieces of jewelry by pouring molten silver into water. Learn how to melt and pour in different ways to create different shapes and effects, and choose between creating a set of earrings or a pendant.

Beethoven’s Violin Concerto
Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa

With Ray Chen on violin and Michael Francis conducting the Pacific Symphony orchestra, this performance of Beethoven’s only violin concerto is special. They will also pair up to present Edward Elgar’s regal Symphony No. 1.

Friday, January 12

(Credit: Sawdust Art Festival)


Say It With Jewelry Workshop
Sawdust Art Festival, Laguna Beach

Whether you’re looking for a unique way to showcase your word of the year for 2018 or find a new gift for a loved one, this jewelry-making workshop gives guests the chance to emboss words on silver with small hand tools and stamps.

ShowOff! International Playwriting Festival
Camino Real Playhouse, San Juan Capistrano

Drama and comedy come together for this annual playwright festival, which includes seven short plays and an extra bonus production this year. All of them world premieres, the plays are 10 minutes each and the audience votes on the winners after watching. The festival runs until January 21st.

Teen Scene Giant Games Night
Montanoso Recreation and Fitness Center, Mission Viejo

Youth in grades 6 through 8 can bundle up to enjoy a night of oversize games under the stars this Friday. Featuring games like Jenga, Uno, dominoes and Connect Four, teens can hang out in a safe space while making new friends, getting competitive and enjoying snacks.

Saturday, January 13

(Credit: Montage Laguna Beach)


Spanish Cooking 101
Studio, Laguna Beach

Spanish cooking is all about the tapas, especially when it comes to dinner parties. Join Chef Craig Strong of Studio at Montage Laguna Beach to learn how to make gambas ajillo, serrano ham con pan amb tomate and more, as well as a chicken paella with shellfish.

Whale Walk and Talk
Dana Point Nature Interpretive Center, Dana Point

Held on the second Saturday of the month, Whale Walk and Talk is a great way to learn about the whales that swim along out shoreline, like gray whales in the winter and spring as well as blue and humpback whales in the summertime. Learn how to identify them and view them responsibly during this walk in nature.

Primitive Skills Society Meeting
Environmental Nature Center, Newport Beach

On the first meeting of the year, the Primitive Skills Society will focus on building primitive shelters, giving guests the opportunity to enjoy a meal cooked over the campfire while learning about this important skill for outdoor adventurers.

Sunday, January 14

(Credit: Danielle Bliss/SCR)


“Shakespeare in Love”
South Coast Repertory, Costa Mesa

A beloved film comes to the South Coast Repertory stage this week, depicting a young William Shakespeare and his bought with writer’s block until he meets and falls in love with a local woman who is desperate to make it into one of his plays.

“Pinkalicious, the Musical”
Irvine Barclay Theatre, Irvine

For a child-friendly theater option, opt for this one-hour musical based on the book by Elizabeth Kann and Victoria Kann. It tells the story of main character Pinkalicious, who can’t stop eating cupcakes and ends up turning pink from head to toe.

Hearts Like Lions
The Slidebar Rock-n-Roll Cafe, Fullerton

Indie rock band Hearts Like Lions will offer up a free show at local hotspot The Slidebar this weekend. Hailing from Long Beach, the four-piece band is likely to play hits like “Stranger” from the 2004 “These Hands” extended play album.

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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