(Credit: Shawn Hadjis)

(Credit: Shawn Hadjis)

While summertime is slowly coming to an end, the warm weather isn’t going away any time soon. Take advantage of that and get out to explore Orange County this week. Start your week off with some crosswords and coffee to get your mind moving before you explore the famed Sawdust Festival. There are some stellar shows to catch as well followed by a weekend of fun—a seaside lobster fest and a charity art show. No matter what you choose to do, you’re likely to find something to interest you on this list of the best activities to do this week in Orange County.

Monday, August 15
(Credit: Jessica Edwards)

(Credit: Jessica Edwards)
Crosswords, Classical and A Cup of Coffee

Garden Grove Library
11200 Stanford Avenue
Garden Grove, CA 92840
(714) 530-0711

Starting a new week is always hard, and early Monday mornings make it especially tough. Stop by the Garden Grove Library to start the week with three things that are sure to stimulate your mind: crossword puzzles, classical music and, of course, coffee. Sure, it’s easy to swing by the nearest Starbucks to get your dose of caffeine, but this event will give you a chance to stretch your mind while you wake it. Held in the library’s program room, Crosswords, Classical and A Cup of Coffee offers a relaxing space to exercise your brain. Hang with like-minded crossword fans while you sip coffee and listen to classical music, but if crosswords aren’t your thing, don’t worry as they offer coloring sheets for those who would prefer them. This event is held every Monday from 11 a.m. to noon.

Tuesday, August 16
(Credit: Sawdust Festival)

(Credit: Sawdust Festival)

Sawdust Festival
935 Laguna Canyon Road
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 494-3030

Held twice a year, the Sawdust Festival is one of the most famous annual events in Laguna Beach, offering a space for local artists and artisans to celebrate and promote their work while educating the public simultaneously. Though the summer festival runs for two months, you’ll never run out of art to view, events to attend or food to eat. Situated in the rolling hills east of downtown Laguna Beach, the proximity to the ocean and the shade of the eucalyptus trees overhead provide the perfect summer shade in which to stroll and look at paintings, jewelry, ceramics, photography, clothing, hand-blown glass pieces and wooden or metal sculptures. Each Tuesday evening, the festival hosts Art Alive, an event where local artists take to the festival stage to perform live art demos, educating and interacting with the audience as they go.

Wednesday, August 17
(Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images)

(Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images)

Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato in Concert
Honda Center
2695 Katella Avenue
Anaheim, CA 92806
(714) 704-2400

One of the summer’s most anticipated tours comes to the Honda Center on Wednesday. Snag tickets to see pop acts Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato in their co-headlining Future Now: The Tour. Having both released new albums within the last year, they’re sure to provide a show packed full of hits. Lovato’s “Cool for the Summer” became a summer anthem a few months ago and her stellar vocals on title track “Confident” sound even better live. Despite being a part of teen pop group The Jonas Brothers, Nick Jonas has left his kiddie image behind and gone for a more adult look and sound. Whether he’s playing guitar or dancing, his sultry songs like “Close” and “Jealous” have been racing up the charts since he made his solo debut less than two years ago. If you’re looking for a fun concert to end the summer with, this is it.

Thursday, August 18
(credit: Laguna Art Museum)

(credit: Laguna Art Museum)

Film Night: White Heat
Laguna Art Museum
307 Cliff Drive
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 494-8971

Sometimes summer nights call for old black and white movies. This screening of “White Heat” at the Laguna Art Museum gives art lovers a chance to get familiar with a 1949 classic. Starring James Cagney and Virginia Mayo, “White Heat” is a film noir that tells the story of Cody Jarrett, a gangster who confesses to a crime he didn’t commit to avoid paying time for a worse crime that he did commit. He unknowingly befriends an undercover detective who escapes prison with him, joins his gang and tries to take him down during the group’s next heist. Presented by the museum’s Curator of Historical Art, the film will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $7, but members of the museum get in free; admission includes access to the museum’s exhibits as well so make sure to take the time to view some art before or after the film.

Friday, August 19
(Credit: Joan Marcus)

(Credit: Joan Marcus)

Segerstrom Center for the Arts
600 Town Center Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 556-2787

The Roundabout Theatre Company brings their Tony award-winning presentation of Cabaret to Segerstrom Hall. Enjoy over two hours of singing and dancing as the Emcee of the Kit Kat Klub leads guests through tantalizing performances by Sally Bowles and co. Played by Andrea Goss, a veteran of Roundabout Broadway productions, and accompanied by Shannon Cochran, Benjamin Eakley and Randy Harrison, the stellar cast will knock your socks off during this Friday night performance. Though the show lasts through the weekend, Friday night features a special post-show reception. The event requires a special ticket, but also includes complimentary champagne and a chance to mingle with the cast after the show is over. The reception will be held in the Segerstrom Center’s version of the Kit Kat Klub.

Saturday, August 20
(Credit: Mystic Lake Photography)

(Credit: Mystic Lake Photography)

Dana Point Lobster Beach Fest
Doheny State Beach
25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive
Dana Point, CA 92629

On one of the last Saturdays of summer, head outdoors and spend the day at the beach. Dana Point is further away from the crowded tourist traps that are Huntington and Newport, and the day also features a fun festival that is sure to delight those of any age. Sponsored by the Monarch Beach Sunrise Rotary Club, the Dana Point Lobster Beach Fest is now in its seventh year. Savor fresh lobster straight from the East Coast, sample gourmet appetizers, sip on cocktails and get your dance on with a live band. The festival’s partner, the San Pedro Fish Market, will be on site to cook lobster—plus, proceeds go to local charities like the Make A Wish Foundation and the Boys & Girls Club. With all-you-can-eat options available, you can definitely get your fill of lobster this Saturday.

Sunday, August 21
(Credit: Shawn Hadjis)

(Credit: Shawn Hadjis)

Art Show Benefit
Left Coast Brewery
1245 Puerta Del Sol
San Clemente, CA 92673
(949) 276-2699

Stay beachside on Sunday. Lifestyle clothing brand Gamut has partnered with San Clemente’s Left Coast Brewery to present a charity art show. The show’s five-dollar Pick Your Pint program will help raise money for the South Orange County chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps protect local beaches as well as the ocean. Sample beer from Left Coast’s kegs while listening to live music from Rascalin and the Roots Rockers. As it is an art show, you can also view and purchase art from local artists and photographers, including Jeff Lukasik, Jake Riffel, Joey Leisz, Maris Johnson, Justin Fishberg and Rick Erkeneff. Running from 4 to 8 p.m., this is the perfect way to end the weekend—craft beer, live tunes, artwork and beach views.

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.