If you just aren’t feeling the beer-soaked BBQ and you aren’t ready to flex that beach body just yet, there are still plenty of great ways to spend your Memorial Day Weekend. The summer has officially arrived and the weather is right to get out and have some fun for the three days you are away from the rat race. From the wholesome to the educational, here is a rundown of some great ways to celebrate Memorial Day that don’t involve a grill.
58th Annual Strawberry Festival
Euclid St & Main St.
Garden Grove, CA 92840
Like most festivals, Garden Grove’s Strawberry Festival began as a community enrichment project, a way to unify the city from all corners. Since it’s humble beginnings, 57 years have helped create one of the county’s most-anticipated summer events. Marked with traditions like the Red-Head Round Up, the Miss Garden Grove pageant, and the world’s largest Strawberry Shortcake ceremonial cake-cutting, the festival pays tribute to the city’s strawberry fields and agricultural history. Three days of food, carnival rides, music, and fun for the whole family, the Strawberry Festival is an OC mainstay that ushers in summer officially.
Bolsa Chica Conservancy
3842 Warner Ave.
Huntington Beach, CA 92649
For this weekend, the conservancy is hosting a animal feeding where visitors get to not only feed actual animals native to the area, but learn about conservation efforts and the area’s ecological specifics while interacting with animals. The event is offered as by the conservancy an effort to promote community involvement and awareness with regards to wetland preservation and ecological education. With involvement from city officials, private entities, and local business leaders, the Bolsa Chica institution makes learning fun with interactive events, wetland tours, and an educated understanding of the beautiful land California coast.
Ghost Town Alive
Knott’s Berry Farm
8039 Beach Blvd
Buena Park, CA 90620
An integral part of the Knott’s Berry Farm experience has been it’s Old West motif and the main drag that is known as the Calico Ghost Town. This year, the themed footprint celebrates it’s 75th anniversary and the attraction has received a facelift. Transforming into Ghost Town Alive, added features like a working horse stable for the Knott’s Equestrian team and guests being able to interact with the towns people and Ghost Town shops and businesses bring the old west to life. Having always been more décor than an attraction, Knott’s is embracing their historical stock in the Southern California amusement park ranks and the changes are worth seeing.
Almost Famous (on the sand)
Beach Blvd. and Pacific Coast Highway
Garden Grove, CA 92645
Luckily for us, Southern California not only has a plethora of outdoor movie options, but we also get them year round. However, the summer months bring out the big gatherings and Beachfront Cinema is likely one of the most spectacular backdrops to catch a flick. Boasting one of the biggest inflatable movie screens, patrons get the chance to catch timeless cinema while stretched out on the sand at sunset. Sweetening the pot with food trucks, live entertainment, and premium seating in the form of plush bean bags with the crash of the water in the distance, there is nothing like watching a flick with your toes in the sand.
527 Spectrum Center Dr.
Irvine, CA 92618
Though best known for his role in the sketch comedy series with Dave Chappelle, Charlie Murphy’s most infamous sketch has taken on some added importance. What would normally be outlandish is very real as Charlie Murphy recalls his hilarious encounters with the likes of Rick James and Prince in side-splitting fashion. A potent combination of sharp wit and cunning observation makes Murphy’s brand of comedy ideal for a wide cross-section of fans. Performing for three nights down in Irvine, there are guaranteed laughs whenever Charlie is in the building.
Memorial Day Half Marathon
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
Celebrate Memorial Day with a terrific family event in Laguna Hills. You can choose one of a number of options on this day ranging from a half marathon to a 5K or 10K that you can either run or walk. There is even a half-mile kids run, so everybody can participate. The longer races start at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center and finish at Laguna Hills Community Center. The kids races are all at the Laguna Hills Community Center. A portion of the proceeds from each participant goes to the USMC Darkhorse Battalion based at Camp Pendleton.