September 12, 2017

Top Fall Happenings in Southern California 2017


As summer comes to a close and Southern California locals crave the upcoming crisp autumn air, there are new events to look forward to in all your favorite Southern California beach towns. From book festivals to sandcastle building to turkey trots galore, there is no shortage of family friendly things to do in Southern California! Here are our picks for stand-out events coming up!

Irvine Global Village Festival
September 23 10am-6pm
Bill Barber Marine Corps Memorial Park
4 Civic Center Plaza, Irvine

Didn't make it out to the Orange International Street Fair for Labor Day Weekend? The Irvine Global Village Festival is another opportunity to soak up musical and dance performances from over 50 different cultures, sample some international food, and experience the cultural diversity of Orange County! The kids will love the interactive Kids Village, and you can even do a little holiday shopping in advance at the world marketplace. The festival is free, so come on out!

Corona Del Mar State Beach 56th Annual Sandcastle Contest
October 1st, from 10am-3:30pm
Corona del Mar State Beach
3100 Ocean Blvd.
Newport Beach, CA

October 1st Corona Del Mar’s Big State Beach will host it’s annual sandcastle contest ! This event encourages veterans, as well as beginners to participate to win prizes and enjoy the tail end of the summer season. Sign up on the website above if you are interested in participation! Sign up fees run between $30-$60 (from families to professionals), and all participants get a free t-shirt! If you are not feeling up to the challenge, consider visiting Big Beach to join the fun by watching! This event is a great way to spend the first of October Southern California style, and is fun for the whole family!

Orange County Children’s Book Festival
October 1st 9:30am-4:30pm
Orange Coast College
2701 Fairview Rd
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

If sand castles aren’t your style, stop by the Orange County Children’s Book Festival on October 1st, which will take place in Costa Mesa, one of Newport Beach’s neighboring cities. From 9:30am to 4:30pm Orange Coast College will be filled with plenty of family friendly entertainers, crafts, food, booksellers, authors, costumed characters, and more! Don’t miss opportunities to meet authors like Sheri Fink (of the Little Firefly and more), Captain Tall Tale, and many other fun characters at the biggest book festival in the world! Parking is free for this top-notch event!

Taste of Carlsbad Village
October 12, 5pm-8:30pm
Carlsbad Village

Take a tour of Carlsbad Village, accompanied by live music and of course, lots and lots of food! 25+ restaurants team up to offer exemplary cuisine at the Taste of Carlsbad Village, and with a food and drink ticket you can also sample local wine and craft beer at ten different Sip Stop locations. Sound like a good night? We think so too!

Taste of San Clemente
Nov 3rd 6pm-10pm
140 W. Avenida Pico
San Clemente

Known as one of the most elegant and enjoyable things to do in San Clemente, the Taste of San Clemente is a true treat for your next California vacation. This event takes place on November 3rd, from 6pm-10pm. At $95 per person, guests will be able to enjoy a wine tasting of local vineyards and Microbrews, partake in the community’s most decadent cuisine, dance to live music, as well as receive a free ‘Taste of San Clemente’ wine glass or beer mug. There are no jeans allowed, as this is a cocktail attire event, and tickets are sold ahead of time. There will be no tickets available at the door. Don’t miss out on this legendary evening of culinary art!

Dinosaur Dash
November 5, 6:15-9:15am
2915 El Camino Real
Tustin, CA 92782

Love to run? Want to stay fit on your vacation? Join the Dino Dash and run for a cause! The Dinosaur Dash is put on by the Tustin Public Schools Foundation every year to raise funds for local public schools. With the 10k and 5k, 2k Fun Run, and 5k, 15k, and 50k Bike Tour, there is an event for everyone to participate. Before and after the run, enjoy food, games, crafts, and more! This event takes place on November 5, from 6:15-9:15am. Free parking is available at The Market Place (at Jamboree), and the event takes place on the Tustin side of the Market Place. Find a schedule of events (as well as other important info) here .

Turkey Trot Dana Point
Thanksgiving 2017
Golden Lantern & Dana Point Harbor Dr.

Joining a local Turkey Trot is another great way to stay active and enjoy the holiday beach town vibes in Southern California, and the Dana Point Turkey Trot is one of our favorites! On Thanksgiving Day, hundreds of locals and tourists alike gather together to participate in the largest turkey trot in California. Home to beautiful beaches like Salt Creek beach and local tourist spots like Dana Point Harbor, Dana Point loves to host family friendly events like these! Race through the beautiful beaches and cliffs of Dana Point then receive a shirt and medal to commemorate the day before enjoying different community vendors and food! Be sure to check out parking on the Turkey Trot FAQ page and click here for registration and fees .

Local Pumpkin Patches :

The low key beach towns and desert hills of Southern California might not strike you as a prime pumpkin picking location, but if you visit a few of our local pumpkin patches you might be surprised! From corn mazes to petting zoos, our local pumpkin patches are great places to celebrate the fall season! Here are just a few of our favorites:

With train rides, games, photo opportunities, playgrounds, and more, Irvine Park Railroad is almost a theme park itself, and never more so than in the fall when a pumpkin patch and corn maze join the railroad's other activities! Learn more here.

If your family is full of animal lovers, you might enjoy Pumpkinpalooza a Zoomars! Combine pumpkin picking with pony rides and a fun day at the petting zoo.

For a true farm experience, visit Tanaka farms! At this 30 acre farm you can not only pick out a pumpkin and meet local farm animals, you can also pick farm fresh vegetables, take a wagon ride, and more!

Theme Park Celebrations:

Of course if you're visiting the West Coast for a California vacation you can't go wrong with a visit to one of our local theme parks! As usual Disneyland California, Knott's Berry Farm, and others are pulling out all the stops to deliver amazing Halloween celebrations this year. Check it out:

Knott's Scary Farm : Looking for thrills and chills on your California vacation? Look no further than Knott's Berry Farm's Scary Farm! There's something new each year at Knott's Scary Farm including terrifying scare zones, nightmarish mazes and more. This event is always scream-worthy

Brick or Treat at LEGOLand California : Kid friendly and full of fun, LEGOLand's Brick or Treat includes extended park hours with costume contests, craft time, character meet and greets, and of course lots and lots of candy! Learn more here .

The perfect blend of spooky scares and kid-friendly fun, Halloween Time at Disneyland has something for everyone! Enjoy Halloween themed decorations and treats, see characters in costume, experience Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy, Haunted Mansion Holiday, and so much more! Check out all the festivities here .

Looking for even more fun things to do this fall in Southern California?
From beach bonfires to upscale shopping to local dining and more, our local beach towns are full of adventures for the whole family. Take a look!

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