(Credit: Ballet X/Alexander Iziliaev)

(Credit: Ballet X/Alexander Iziliaev)


This week is all about festivals! There are so many and each has a different focus. The Laguna Dance Festival demonstrates some of the best dancing from across the world, showcasing performances by both national and international dance troupes. Later in the week, a Greek festival gives us a taste of the best Greek food and great entertainment. This is followed by the one family-friendly festival and another that is geared more toward adults: the Orange County Children’s Book Festival and the annual Brew Ha Ha Craft Beer Festival.

Monday, September 19
(credit: Yogurtland)

(credit: Yogurtland)


Yogurtland 10-Year Anniversary
683 North Euclid Street
Anaheim, CA 92801
(714) 956-0400
www.yogurt-land.com

Yogurtland is currently in the middle of celebrating its 10-year anniversary with a special fundraiser for local children’s hospitals. A collaboration between the frozen yogurt giant and the Children’s Miracle Network, those interested in participating can stop by local Yogurtland stores to offer donations for children and their families currently in the hospitals. During the fundraiser, which will run through October 19, the stores will also be bringing back three of their most popular flavors: Almond Midnight Mocha, Birthday Cupcake Batter and Pineapple Sorbet. Children’s hospitals from all over the country will benefit from the event, including Children’s Hospital of Orange County in Orange.

Tuesday, September 20
(credit: Cagla Acikgoz/shutterstock)

(credit: Cagla Acikgoz/shutterstock)


Regaining Your Health, Youth and Vitality Workshop
Wellness Choice
1101 Dove Street
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 387-1333
www.wellnesschoice.com

Each Tuesday night, an hour-long workshop on regaining health and vitality is held at Wellness Choice. The office is home to one of the best chiropractors in Newport and one who aims to locate the root of chiropractic problems instead of just treating them. The workshop teaches attendees how to increase their energy and healing potential, how to reduce chronic problems and how to eliminate the use of medicine. It also discusses the top causes of death in America as well as provides tips on keeping the whole family at their healthiest. These weekly workshops, which run from 6:30 to 7:30 pm, are designed for patients of Wellness Choice, but they are also open to the public for free.

Wednesday, September 21
(Credit: Ballet X/Bill Hebert)

(Credit: Ballet X/Bill Hebert)


Laguna Dance Festival
Laguna Playhouse
606 Laguna Canyon Road
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 715-5578
www.lagunadancefestival.corgm

Though the majority of the festival kicks off on Thursday, Wednesday night brings a dance class led by Kyle Abraham. Known for his contemporary choreography, the master class will showcase his point-of-view as well as some of his hybrid moves. Watch Abraham in action Thursday and Friday evenings with a 70-minute performance mixed with contemporary, ballet and hip-hop. Saturday night, BODYTRAFFIC and BalletX with perform “Coast to Coast Contemporary Cool”, a one-night event combining boutique dance companies from Los Angeles and Philadelphia. The event wraps up with another BalletX performance on Sunday afternoon along with a pre-show discussion with the group’s artistic director.

Thursday, September 22
(Credit: Knott’s Berry Farm)

(Credit: Knott’s Berry Farm)


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

The annual Halloween scare-fest at Knott’s Berry Farm kicks off Thursday, with 13 unique attractions that aim to terrify guests. The new scare zone, The Hollow, features the Headless Horseman and his undead friends while three new mazes—Red Barn, Shadow Lands and Special Ops: Infected—are also a part of the festivities. Four different standalone skeleton key rooms are new this year as well, offering surprising scares in rooms titled Visions, ZOZO, Slasher and Prey. Perhaps the most unique of all is the virtual reality experience, FearVR: 5150, that places you inside the Meadowbrook Institute as a patient named Katie, who is strapped to a hospital wheelchair facing all kinds of terror. Knott’s Scary Farm, which will be held on 24 select nights through Halloween, will have plenty of old favorites as well, including Trick-or-Treat, Paranormal Inc., Voodoo—Order of the Serpent and The Dead of Winter: Wendigo’s Revenge.

Friday, September 23
(credit: Roy Pedersen/shutterstock)

(credit: Roy Pedersen/shutterstock)


San Juan Capistrano Greek Festival
Honda Center
27129 Calle Arroyo
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 542-3445
www.sjcgreekfest.org

Hosted by the Saint Basil Greek Orthodox Church, the San Juan Capsitrano Greek Festival runs through the weekend, bringing the sights, sounds and most importantly tastes of Greece with it. Obviously, the food is one main draw of this event; guests can purchase quite a range, including lamb chops with souvlakia, a Greek village salad, a gyro sandwich or Greek pastries as well as sample Greek beer, wine and coffee. Foodies will also love the olive oil demonstration that details the best ways to use it in your own cooking as well as the many health benefits the Greek staple is known for. There will be plenty of entertainment in addition to food. Check out the raffle, costumed Greek dances, dance lessons, shopping and a display of traditional Greek dolls. There will also be a lecture on the Getty Museum’s Byzantine icon exhibition. It’s a great way to explore Greek culture without ever having to leave OC.

Saturday, September 24
(Credit: OC Brew Ha Ha)

(Credit: OC Brew Ha Ha)


Brew Ha Ha Craft Beer Festival
Oak Canyon Park
5305 East Santiago Canyon Road
Silverado, CA 92676
(949) 363-1774
www.ocbrewhaha.com

Now in its seventh year, the annual OC Brew Ha Ha is a celebration of craft beer in Orange County and beyond. This year’s event offers unlimited tastings of over 250 craft and import beers brewed at more than 90 different breweries, including the Brew Ha Ha’s special collaboration brew, Stable Orbit. A double IPA, Stable Orbit was brewed by Anaheim’s Bottle Logic Brewing and San Diego’s AleSmith Brewing Company. Other brews available at the festival include those from Left Coast Brewing Company, Portland Cider Company, Stone Brewing Company, Valiant Brewing Company and Mad River Brewing Company. There will also be live entertainment from the Spazmatics and Groove Session as well as guest speakers and games. Some of the proceeds from the event will benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Sunday, September 25
 (Credit: Jose Valencia)

(Credit: Jose Valencia)


Orange County Children’s Book Festival
Orange Coast College
2701 Fairview Road
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 838-4528
www.kidsbookfestival.com

The OC Children’s Book Festival is filled with literary fun for the whole family. The festival will have thousands of books for sale, making it one of the world’s largest “bookstores”, but they will also have book and educational vendors like Bionerds, Discovery Cube, Read Conmigo and PBS SoCal offering products, services and ideas. There will also be stages where children’s authors, illustrators and other storytellers will speak, read or draw for audiences as well as a young adult stage, a cooking stage and a wild animal stage complete with exotic animal handlers and a nearby petting zoo. An extra layer of fun stems from things like dancing, hair styling, face painting and other family-fun activities to keep children entertained throughout the day. The event runs from 9:30am to 4:30pm.

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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