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Free Events & Things to Do
in
Orange County
Looking for inexpensive or free entertainment? We've compiled a list of events that have no admission charge. Please note, some of the events below may have optional charges for extra items or entertainment such as rides, raffles, etc. Links to the event are provided that will detail schedules, all activities and optional charges.

Upcoming Free Events
Ongoing Events for Free
Free Activities
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Annual Festivals in Orange County
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Irvine Global Village Festival - Irvine
September 27, 2014
10 am - 6 pm

Boasting artistic cultural performances on five stages, the Festival's live entertainment is a mosaic of music and dance representing more than 50 cultures from Europe, Asia, Africa, and North and South America. Immerse yourself in cultural displays, world religion and demonstrations, indulge in international cuisine, explore the world marketplace and keep the little ones in motion with hands-on art projects, games and activities in a giant, interactive Kids Village. Festival admission and parking are free.

LOCATION:
Bill Barber Park
4 Civic Center Plaza
Irvine, CA 92618

INFORMATION:
949-724-6606

San Juan Capistrano Greek Festival - San Juan Capistrano
September 27-28, 2014
11 am

Be Greek for the day! Enjoy authentic Greek food and pastries, live Greek music and dancing, shopping at the Greek bazaar, kid friendly activities and exhibits featuring Byzantine icons and traditional Greek costumes.

FREE Admission and FREE Parking. Complimentary shuttle service to and from the SJC Metrolink Station.

LOCATION:
27129 Calle Arroyo
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

INFORMATION:
(949) 542-3445

Orange County Children's Book Festival - Costa Mesa
Sunday, September 28, 2014
9:30 am to 4:30 pm

The Orange County Children’s Book Festival is designed specifically for children of all ages. This family-fun festival attracts more than 20,000 visitors who will be entertained and delighted by authors, illustrators, booksellers, animals, storytellers, costumed characters, train rides, crafts, food and entertainment and much, much more.

Admission and parking are free.

LOCATION:
Orange Coast College
2701 Fairview Road
Costa Mesa

INFORMATION:
(714) 838-4528

Dana Point State BBQ Championship - Dana Point
October 4, 2014
10 am - 5 pm

Heading into it’s third year, The Dana Point State Barbecue Championship has already become the largest BBQ event on the West Coast. More than 100 teams from all over the country compete for cash and prizes in this Kansas City BBQ Society sanctioned event. Last year the event drew more than 10,000 people who got to sample some of the best BBQ they will ever eat. The FREE event will feature great live music (TBA), a wide variety of microbrews, a vendor midway, Kids Zone, fun activities and more.

LOCATION:
Sea Terrace Park
Dana Point

Annual Sandcastle Contest - Corona Del Mar
October 5, 2014
11 am to 4:30 pm

Hosted by the Commodores Club of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce, thousands of sightseers will descend on "Big Corona Beach" to view amazing sand sculptures created by participants ranging from the novice to the expert.

Whether you're a participant or a spectator, it's a perfect way to spend the day with family and friends.

LOCATION:
Corona del Mar State Beach
(Marguerite & Ocean Blvd., Corona del Mar)

INFORMATION:
949-729-4400

Dana Point Oktoberfest - Dana Point
October 11-12, 2014
Noon - 7 pm

The Orange County Oktoberfest will take place over the last three weekends in October in Dana Point. Each weekend is anticipated to draw 5,000 people for a total of 15,000 over the course of three weekends! The event will feature authentic German music, German food, German costumes, German games and of course German and other beer selections. In fact, this event will become known as having more German and Craft brews on tap than any other event in Southern California. Unlike most Oktoberfest celebrations, the Orange County Oktoberfest will be free to attend and is family friendly, featuring games of heritage for not only the adults, but for the kids as well. Free Admission

LOCATION:
Sea Terrace Park
Dana Point

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Ongoing Free Events

ExploreOcean Science Saturdays & Science Sundays - Balboa

Science Saturdays & Science Sundays ExplorOcean offers families a fun, interactive hands-on experience to connect to the 7 essential principles of ocean literacy through Science Saturdays at ExplorOcean and Science Sundays at the Back Bay. Quick and engaging activities bring parents and children together as they make predictions, ask questions, problem-solve and think like scientists. Each month we will introduce a new theme based on one of the Ocean Literacy Principles. Science Saturdays and Sundays are FREE and offered to children of all ages. Join us and prepare to see your world in a whole new way! Program is ongoing, weather permitting.

Science Saturdays Location:
ExplorOcean Galleries and Science Courtyard
600 East Bay Avenue, Newport Beach
Time: Noon-3pm

Science Sundays Location: Back Bay Science Center
600 Shellmaker Rd, Newport Beach
Time: 10am-2pm

INFORMATION:
(949) 675-8915

Huntington Beach Art Walk
Huntington Beach
6-9 PM

Experience the talents of visual and performing artists, live music, food and fun in Downtown Huntington Beach! The FREE self-guided walking tour spans over 8 blocks of Downtown Huntington Beach, primarily on Main St., 5th and 3rd streets.

This art event is held every 3rd Thursday of the month from 6 pm to 9 pm.

Santa Ana Art Walk
Santa Ana
First Saturday of the Month
7:00pm - 10:00pm

Orange County's hippest new neighborhood invites you to stroll down the four blocks of the 2nd Street Promenade from Broadway Avenue to Spurgeon Street on the First Saturday of EVERY month from 7:00pm - 10:00pm. Admission is FREE.

The monthly event will give you access to buy original art work from some of Southern California’s freshest, edgiest and most talented artists. It also will have open viewings of working lofts owned by artists and designers all in an award winning urban setting.

Dana Wharf Sportfishing Kid's Fishing
Dana Point Harbor

Kid's Free Fishing Clinic
Every Sunday!

12pm - 12:30pm

Join us every Sunday for our free kid's fishing clinic! Dana Wharf is proud to offer a dockside experience for young anglers! Ask the experts and learn new fishing techniques, new hook tying secrets, win raffle prizes and so much more! No reservations are needed! Try out your new techniques on the 1/2 day trip departing immediately after the clinic where kids fish free AND their rental gear is included!

LOCATION:
34675 Golden Lantern
Dana Point

Saturday Fun Roll - Huntington Beach
Every Saturday
10:30 am

Meets every Saturday morning at 10:30a.m. just north of the Huntington Beach Pier at the amphitheater for a skate of approximately 16 miles round trip. The pace is nice and easy and all ages and levels are welcome. They make several rest stops at various points to let everyone catch up. If you miss them at the beginning, just skate south on the beach path, they retrace the route back, so they'll eventually meet. It's highly recommend that you wear all protective gear - at least wristguards and a helmet. Afterwards you can join everyone for lunch in or around downtown Huntington Beach.

Parking - There is a parking lot next to the pier, cost is about $9.00 per day. Free parking can be found a few blocks away, up any street from 6th to 17th, where there are no meters.

Bolsa Chica Conservancy - Free 1st Saturday Tour - Huntington Beach
1st Saturday of the month
9 am - 10:30 am

Free First Saturday Tour offers an exceptional on-site presentation of the Bolsa Chica Story. On the first Saturday of each month, their docents gather at the south lot of the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, across the street from the main entrance to Bolsa Chica State Beach. Docents are stationed on or near the footbridge, a truly magnificent entrance to the restored Bolsa Chica wetlands. Tours begin every 15 minutes and five areas of interest are included in the presentation: history, birds, endangered species, ecology and restoration.

This free tour is on a first come, first served basis.

LOCATION:
Bolsa Chica Conservancy
South lot of the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve
3842 Warner Ave., Huntington Beach

Phone:
To reserve private tours, call (714) 840-1575

Pumpkin Patch School Field Trip and Tours
Ongoing - (free teacher admission)

Irvine Park Railroad – located inside of beautiful and historic Irvine Regional Park - offers Pumpkin Patch school and group tours. You can choose a package that’s best suited for your class or group. Activities vary by package and can include a train ride, hay ride and moon bounce. Free activities include a hay maze, picture stands and child-friendly haunted house. All children who participate in this school field trip / tour will receive a free pumpkin and bottle of water. A minimum of 25 paid children per group is required for group pricing. Teachers are FREE. Schedule your school or group ahead of time and you can have access to a Party Pavilion in this great park at no additional cost to enjoy a sack lunch and other activities. Irvine Park Railroad is centrally-located in Orange County.

LOCATION:
Irvine Regional Park
1 Irvine Park Road
Orange, CA 92869

INFORMATION:
For complete Pumpkin Patch activities, or to make a class or group reservation, call Irvine Park Railroad at (714) 997-3968.

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Free Activities & Things to do

Orange County Beaches

Except for parking fees, most beaches in Orange County have no charge for admittance. We have a list of some of our most popular beaches by following the link above.

Orange County Parks

Stroll through wilderness or hiking trails, follow an excercise course, watch the kids on the playground or simply and enjoy the fresh air and wildlife. Orange County parks have a lot to offer.

Click on the link above for some of our favorite parks. Except for some regional parks, there are no charge for admittance.

 

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Featuring free events and throughout Orange County. Family friendly events for those on a budget.

 

 
   

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