Orange County is always a hot spot for fun entertainment, and this week is no different. Learn a new talent with classes in swing dancing, cooking or making flower crowns, or give back by attending one of this week’s local fundraising efforts. There will also be a few art shows, live performances and an opening of an all-new roller coaster at one of the area’s theme parks.
Monday, May 14
Swing Dancing Lessons
Phill’s Ballroom Dance Studio, Orange
Learn the basics of swing dancing in these special classes, which are discounted for those looking to try it out for the first time. In addition to group lessons, dancers can sign up for private lessons or classes for wedding dances.
Frank R. Bowerman Landfill Tour
Frank R. Bowerman Landfill, Irvine
Don your close-toed shoes and long pants for this 90-minute tour. Guests will be treated to a pre-tour presentation about the landfill and a review of the safety rules before setting out. OC Waste & Recycling will lead the event.
The Cure Kitchen & Bar, Huntington Beach
Stop by this Pan-Asian restaurant for trivia on Monday nights. In addition to testing your useless knowledge from 7-10 p.m., guests have the chance to win a $25 gift card for the eatery. They also have Monday night specials on margaritas for $7 during trivia.
Tuesday, May 15
Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa
It’s been a week and “Hamilton” is still going strong. This famed Broadway show is in Orange County for the first time, revealing America’s past through the eyes of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. The score features a variety of music, from hip-hop to jazz.
Philharmonic House of Design
Ritz Cove, Dana Point
Take in views of the ocean from this stunning house, located between the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel and Monarch Beach Resort. Set in a gated community, this special property will be available for tours on select days through June 3.
House of Blues, Anaheim
Mexican rock band Zoe takes the stage early this week at the House of Blues for a standing room-only show that adds a kick to a Tuesday night. The band will be joined by Salvador y El Unicorno as well as Dorian.
Wednesday, May 16
Garden Fusions: California Cuisine; A Taste of the Past
Sherman Library and Gardens, Corona del Mar
This unique dinner will be crafted by Pascal Olhats, the chef at Cafe Jardin. He will put together a gourmet dinner following the theme of the event to create a special experience, with dishes like shrimp scampi, lobster bisque and bananas foster.
The Observatory, Santa Ana
Connecticut-based rock band MGMT, which stands for “management,” will perform here in O.C. on Wednesday night at 8 p.m., impressing audiences with a unique psychedelic indie pop and groovy songs like “Electric Feel” and “Kids.”
The Grove, Anaheim
Standing United will raise money to fight addiction at this special casino-themed fundraiser. Guests can enjoy games like craps, blackjack and roulette in addition to dinner, various raffles and a silent auction.
Thursday, May 17
Flower Crown Workshop
Roger’s Gardens, Newport Beach
Learn to create a flower crown of your very own with step-by-step instruction from floral designer Alison Whiteman. She will provide all of the flowers and materials needed to create the trendy crown as well as light refreshments.
The Magic of Disney
Casa Romantica, San Clemente
Disney culture is a huge part of the fabric of Southern California. Celebrate that with art director Bradley Kaye, who will lead a panel on the history and secrets of the world-famous theme park. Participants include Disney employees from various departments.
Taste of Anaheim
Anaheim GardenWalk, Anaheim
For more than 20 years, the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce has offered this fun food tasting event. This year, enjoy cuisine from The Pizza Press, Urbana and Catal Restaurant, among others, as well as live entertainment and a silent auction.
Friday, May 18
Gift of Literacy Luncheon
The Pacific Club, Newport Beach
Author Janelle Brown, who has written books like “Watch Me Disappear” and “All We Ever Wanted Was Everything,” will be on-site to sign and sell books at this literacy luncheon that will benefit the Newport Beach Public Library Literacy Services program, which offers free literacy instruction for 200 adults.
Opening of HangTime
Knott’s Berry Farm, Buena Park
The West Coast’s first dive coaster opens up at Knott’s Berry Farm this Friday, taking the place of the former favorite Boomerang. As you hang over the first drop, you won’t even be able to see the track as you soak along at high speeds on the Knott’s boardwalk.
“Bye Bye Birdie”
Camino Real Playhouse, San Juan Capistrano
The opening of this old-fashioned musical is on Friday evening, telling the tale of Conrad Birdie, a singer who is drafted into the war. About to cut a song written by a struggling songwriter, the writer hopes to create a new song for Birdie to perform before he sets off to war.
Saturday, May 19
Saucing It Up
Studio, Laguna Beach
This cooking class at Montage Laguna Beach is hosted by executive chef Craig Strong, who will teach visitors how to cook a variety of go-to sauces. These sauces, like bearnaise or bordelaise, can be used to top meat, vegetables or seafood.
Artists With Heart
Peter’s Gallery, Costa Mesa
For one night only, this pop-up art gallery will help raise funds for those that have faced abuse with live music, cocktails, appetizers, a raffle and a silent auction. Artists include Rebecca Clubb, Christiana Lewis, Jose Wantland and Dorene White.
Pepper Tree Park, Tustin
Enjoy all-you-can-eat Maine lobster at this seafood festival. While munching on your meal, listen to tunes from the Shady Street Band, playing a slew of cover songs. Proceeds will benefit the local rotary club for events like fun runs, carnivals, Broadway in the Park and other community activities.
Screening of “Harry & Meghan – The Royal Wedding”
AMC Tustin 14 at The District, Tustin
The royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will draw audiences from all over as their ceremony is screened in the movie theater. This event marks the first royal wedding to be shown in a movie theater, and will be available in other locations as well.
Sunday, May 20
Doheny Blues Festival
Environmental Nature Center, Dana Point
Kick back, relax and enjoy some wonderful blues music at this themed music festival. In addition to live stages, guests will find a vendor village and craft beer tastings. Performers include Santos y Sinners and John Nemeth, among others.
Balboa Island Artwalk
Balboa Island, Newport Beach
More than a mile long, this art display features pieces from a variety of local creative types. In addition to the paintings shown, there will be jewelry, blown glass, photography, sculpture and live music to enjoy throughout the event.
Taste of the Nation
Montage Laguna Beach, Laguna Beach
In support of No Kid Hungry, local chefs come together to craft meals for the fundraiser while encouraging guests to make a difference in the fight to end child hunger. The event will feature eight chefs, including Amar Santana and Eric Samaniego.
Lahaina Anniversary Show
Lahaina Galleries, Newport Beach
Now celebrating 42 years, this island-themed gallery will showcase new pieces of art, including those by Leon Bronstein, Alexei Butirskiy, Ray Hare, Steve Matson, Andrea Razzauti, Jack Storms and Caroline Zimmermann.
Ashley Ryan is an Orange County native that loves traveling, live music and photography. She works as an editor at Firebrand Media, blogs at Pure Wander and writes for a variety of publications including Newport Beach Magazine and Laguna Beach Magazine.