The first full week of October brings a variety of events. Start out the week with some delicious chowder, a little bit of Halloween fear or a high-caliber golf tournament. Later in the week, you’ll have two chances to savor delicious wines—either in Huntington Beach or San Juan Capistrano. Friday is the perfect day for a trip to Riley’s Farm while Sunday brings the feel-good Ukelele Festival. With so many unusual, exciting events this week, it’ll be hard to choose which to take part in.
Chowder For A Cause
Fly-N-Fish Oyster Bar
2304 West Oceanfront
Newport Beach, CA 92663
Celebrate the start of National Seafood Month with the second annual Chowder for a Cause. Held at Newport-based Fly-N-Fish Oyster Bar, the event offers New England Clam Chowder crafted with chopped clams, potatoes, leeks and applewood smoked bacon. Their chowder recipe is part of their dedication to sustainable seafood, but, more importantly, it is part of the Chowder for a Cause initiative. Sales from the restaurant’s chowder will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital throughout the month of October in an effort to battle childhood cancer and find cures for other life-threatening diseases. Last year, the event raised $10,000 in one month; this year, they aim to surpass that.
The Queen Mary
1126 Queens Highway
Long Beach, CA 90802
With stories about haunted encounters, the Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor is the perfect place to face your fears this October. The event includes access to the ship as well as to all of the attractions in the festival area in front. Hundreds of monsters are on site, led by the The Captain and his wife. New this year on board the Queen Mary is the Intrepid maze, featuring the Iron Master—creator and protector of the ship. Other popular mazes include the Circus Big Top Terror, Deadrise, Lullaby and Soulmate attractions. These contain a mix of illusions, monsters, water, strobe lights, small spaces and the famous Scary Mary.
Attend The Toshiba Golf Classic
Newport Beach Country Club
1600 East Coast Highway
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Wednesday is the first day of tournament play with the start of the Classic Pro-Am, which finishes up Thursday before the three-day weekend professional competition. With over 400 worldwide victories among those playing in the tournament, the Newport Beach Country Club will be swarming with talented athletes as well as over 80,000 viewers. Each year, the tournament generates over a million dollars for charity; although over 40 organizations have received money from the event, this year’s classic will benefit the Mary & Dick Allen Diabetes Center at Hoag Hospital. The tournament also hosts a special ticketed Womanology event as well as military appreciation and student days.
Patz & Hall Winery Dinner
Watertable at Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach
21500 Pacific Coast Highway
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Huntington Beach’s Hyatt Regency presents a unique dining experience at their Watertable Restaurant featuring wines from the Patz & Hall Winery in Sonoma. Known especially for their Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays, the winery has worked alongside the restaurant to provide the perfect wines to couple with the select dishes on the event menu. Cuisine here includes vanilla poached lobster tail, almond dusted chilean sea bass, black tea cold smoked duck and citrus red wine marinated venison loin, the first two of which are paired with Chardonnays while the last two are paired with Pinot Noirs. For dessert, the Soft Poached Pear complete with almond torte crumble and citrus gelato is paired with a 2013 Eroica Gold Riesling. Advanced reservations are required.
12261 Oak Glen Road
Yucaipa, CA 92399
Though it’s not technically located in Orange County, Riley’s Farm makes a great day trip—especially during the Halloween season. Their Sleepy Hollow event is one of their biggest of the year, starting with a fun hayride into the countryside. Visitors can indulge in pumpkin soup or corn chowder appetizers before the three-act play. But it doesn’t end there; the actors and actresses stay in character even once they’re off the stage. Even with the Headless Horseman on the prowl, there is so much fun to be had in Tarrytown. Visitors can partake in apple bobbing, pumpkin seed spitting, pumpkin carving or even a pie-eating contest while sipping on fine wines and hard apple ciders.
The Vintage Food and Wine Festival
Mission San Juan Capistrano
26801 Ortega Highway
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
The historic Mission San Juan Capistrano is the perfect place for the Vintage Food and Wine Festival with nighttime lights illuminating the adobe buildings and lush gardens. Now in its 20th year, this event highlights the latest and greatest in local food and wine. Wineries, breweries and even local spirit companies offer samples of their beverages while over 20 local restaurants and bakeries are on hand to showcase the tastes of the town. A ticket to the four-hour event is good for all-you-can-eat and all-you-can-drink throughout the night. This year, the festival will include restaurants like Bad to the Bone BBQ, The Vintage Steakhouse, Selma’s Chicago Pizzeria and Good Choice Sushi as well as beverages from the Five Vines Wine Bar, Partida Tequila and Capistrano Brewing Company.
Muckenthaler Cultural Center
1201 West Malvern Avenue
Fullerton, CA 92833
On Sunday, the Muckenthaler Cultural Center hosts the Ukulele Festival, a four-hour celebration of one of the most interesting instruments. Though the ukulele has always played a large part in island music — especially the Hawaiian Islands — it has been steadily gaining popularity in other styles of music as well. The event at the Muckenthaler will include a variety of jam sessions along with local artists including Janet Klein and Her Parlor Boys, 80bug and the KOLOHE Ukulele Club. Food and beverages will be sold, but the event will also host a variety of vendors like Ohana Ukuleles, Mo’s Fullerton Music and Island Bazaar selling ukuleles and sheet music.