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12 Epic Things to Do in Orange County This Spring

12 Epic Things to Do in Orange County This Spring

From Food Festivals to Classic Cars Shows, These Events and Activities Will Surely Add Some Fun to Your Calendar

Adios winter blue, and hello springtime! The sun is peeking through and that means it’s time to add some warm-weather fun to our calendars. Lucky for locals, Orange County is a hub for all kinds of entertainment this spring—from Easter extravaganzas to foodie festivals and more. Here are 12 epic things to do in Orange County this spring that you won’t want to miss.


Spring Festivities at Bella Terra

Dates: Select Weekends in March 

Things to Do Orange County

Spring is in full bloom at Bella Terra in Huntington Beach. This open-air lifestyle center is hosting a Spring Fling Festival from noon to 4 p.m. on March 23 to kick off the season with appearances from the Easter Bunny himself! A 360 photo booth complements traditional holiday photo ops with live videos, which are complimentary to all festival attendees. Take a photo with the fam in everyone’s Saturday best and then let the kids get a little dirty. Plant potting stations and cookie decorating are just a few of the fun activations happening on the green in front of Century Theaters. If you miss out on the festival photo op, the Easter Bunny will return every weekend in March for seasonal photos. Come back for an assortment of handmade local goods that make for the best Easter basket stuffers! The Easter Maker Market is happening on March 30 with dozens of local makers to shop from. While you’re there, don’t miss the opportunity to stop into the all-new Madison Reed Hair Bar for a spring snip! A fresh cut is sure to manifest warmer days.


California Wine Festival Dana Point

Dates: April 19-20

It’s the season of sauvignon blanc! A crisp white just goes hand in hand with sunny skies. Sip your way through coastal wine varietals at the California Wine Festival in Dana Point taking place April 19-20 at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa. It’s not science, but it’s practically a fact that wine tastes better with an ocean view. The weekend kicks off with a sunset reserve tasting followed by the beachside wine festival. Expect to hear the sounds of popping corks and live music, all while you sample unlimited pours of local wines with light bites to pair.


The Subaru Newport Beach Jazz Festival

Dates: May 31-June 2

Experience jazz like never before with three full days of live performances on the coast of Newport Beach. Saxophone symphonies and soul-filled music make the dance floor irresistible. Unlike any other music festival in SoCal, The Subaru Jazz Festival pays tribute to the Southern-based genre with a lineup of the best in jazz. Dance your way through the day, fueled by international cuisine to hear the weekend’s headliner: Babyface is a 12-time Grammy award-winner and music icon. The Back Bay Amphitheater is an intimate setting for getting close to the action while enjoying Newport’s stunning springtime weather. 


OC Night Market

Dates: May 31-June 2 

OC Night Market returns May 31-June 2 in full force! This legendary night market is the largest in the nation and attracts foodies from all over the county year after year for a weekend of indulgent foods and international cuisines. Our best advice? Come hungry. There are hundreds of food vendors to sample from, most with an emphasis on authentic Asian cuisines. From Korean corn dogs to dim sum dumplings and pork belly bao buns, it’s easy for your eyes to be bigger than your stomach. Bring friends and taste your way through Eastern flavors. Tickets are $5 at the door with food for purchase inside. 


Orange County Cherry Blossom Festival

Dates: TBA

Aligning with peak bloom season, Huntington Beach’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival rings in spring with the seasonal pink petals and the culture of the flower’s origin country, Japan. Festival entertainment at this Orange County event ranges from traditional to contemporary. Prepare to be mesmerized by classical dance in the morning and bump to the beat of electronic music in the afternoon. On top of sharing the beauty of Japanese cultural traditions, the Cherry Blossom Festival also raises funds for the international student exchange program between Huntington Beach and its sister city, Anjo, Japan. 


Dates: March 29-31

Comic lovers and artists unite for industry collaboration and celebration. During the last weekend of March, the Anaheim Convention Center will be teeming with life for WonderCon 2024. Spend the weekend exploring the halls filled with over 900 exhibitors. Around one corner is an exclusive movie screening, and around the next is a panel of comics professionals signing autographs and portfolio reviews. Attendees will get an exclusive preview of the new “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” collectables and more.

Swallows Day Parade and Mercado Street Faire

Date: March 23

Melodic chirps of birds in the morning is a tell-tale sign of spring. The return of the swallows from their winter home of Argentina to San Juan Capistrano for the sunny season is celebrated every year as a way to signal a new beginning. A Wild West-themed block party parade surrounds the historical mission beginning at 11 a.m., as part of the Mercado Street Faire, which runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.. It’s a full day of family fun, the talk of the town and truly a sight to behold. Local businesses even join in on the fun with Swallows Day specials at this festive Orange County event!


Fusion Fest at Tanaka Farms

Dates: May 4-5

Spring is the season of harvest, and Tanaka Farms is harvesting the spice for a Mexican- and Japanese-inspired Fusion Fest over Cinco de Mayo weekend. You’ll be surprised by how the bold flavors of Mexican spice harmonize with the traditional flair of Japanese cuisine. All credit goes to the chefs, and Chef Joni Marie Newman’s sweet and spicy teriyaki asada tacos with creamy sesame sriracha sauce are a must try. 


Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival

Dates: March 1-April 22

We can’t talk about all these festivals without touching on Orange County’s main attraction—yes, we’re talking about the magical kingdom. And ever since alcohol started being served inside the park, everything seems a bit more magical (if that’s even possible). Sip and savor the flavors of the season at Disney California Adventure’s Food and Wine Festival. Delight in dishes from around the globe, each with their own Disney twist. As you skip, hop, float or fly from the Incredicoaster to Radiator Springs Racers, refuel with carbonara mac and cheese while themed festival entertainment parades by.


Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off

Date: June 2

Things to Do Orange County

Chili is the gateway to summer food—cozy and comforting in the winter but also an essential to any backyard barbecue. The country’s largest one-day chili cook-off takes place in our own backyard in Old Town Tustin and is one of our favorite things to do in Orange County each year. June 2 marks the 40th annual block party with local craftsmen, live music and chili, of course! Stroll the streets as you enjoy the sun and stews. Local craft beers and wine will also be available—reds pair best with chili!


Seal Beach Classic Car Show

Dates: TBA

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines! Put the pedal to the metal for Seal Beach’s annual classic car show. Over 600 classic and custom vehicles will be on display, polished perfectly so that the Pacific sparkles just right through the window. With vintage convertibles and Mustangs lined up along the coast, you’ll feel like a main character in “Grease.” Seek out your favorites, chat with the owners and grab lunch at local hotspot La Crema Cafe. 


OC Marathon, Half Marathon and 5k

Dates: May 4-5

Things to Do Orange County
Calling all run-clubbers! The OC Marathon is right around the corner, so if you haven’t started training…pin this one for next spring. Look good and feel great this season, and do so in one of the most picturesque running destinations! The marathon, half marathon and 5k will take place on May 4 and 5 and is a Boston race qualifier. Need training friends to keep you accountable? Check out these local fitness and run clubs.

Originally published in Locale Magazine 

Text by Emily Miller 


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