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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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UCI Illuminations presents: Reading by Min Jin Lee, author of Pachinko - Irvine
Thursday, October 18, 2018
5-7 p.m.

“Luminous…a powerful meditation on what immigrants sacrifice to achieve a home in the world. This story confirms Lee’s place among our finest novelists.”

PACHINKO follows one Korean family through the generations, beginning in early 1900s Korea with Sunja, the prized daughter of a poor yet proud family, whose unplanned pregnancy threatens to shame them all.

Sponsored by Illuminations: The Chancellor's Arts and Culture Initiative as part of the Confronting Extremism Initiative

Free admission

LOCATION:
Crystal Cove Auditorium
UCI Student Center
Irvine, CA 92697

UCI Illuminations presents: Vernon Reid’s Band of Gypsys Revisited - Irvine
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
8-9:30 p.m.

Band of Gypsies Revisited extends the music of Hendrix’s most jazz-oriented band, and Reid has assembled a prodigious quartet drawn mostly from the soul-jazz-hip-hop collective Burnt Sugar Arkestra for this one time visit to the West coast. The group includes drummer/vocalist James “Biscuit” Rouse, who spent three years as music director for Lauryn Hill, bassist/vocalist Jared Michael Nickerson, who’s toured and recorded with Charlie Musselwhite and The The and guitarist/vocalist André “Dré Glo” Lassalle, a longtime Reid collaborator whose credits include work with Miles Davis and John Scofield.

Sponsored by Illuminations: The Chancellor's Arts and Culture Initiative as part of the Confronting Extremism Initiative

Free admission

LOCATION:
Winifred Smith Hall
UC Irvine - Claire Trevor School of the Arts
4000 Mesa Road
Irvine, CA 92697

NH Annual Health Fair - Free screening, community resources, & entertainment - Garden Grove
Saturday, November 3, 2018
9am – 1pm

Bring your whole family - this Health & Wellness Fair is a FREE event for ALL ages! Enjoy entertainment, raffles, photo booth, resources, kid’s corner with bounce house, face painting, balloons, free food and more!

Free Flu Vaccines on Health Screening for: Dental (visual only), Vision, Glucose, Cholesterol, Blood Pressure, Behavioral Health, Bone Density, Hepatitis B & C, Anemia, Cervical Cancer, Breast Cancer, Body Mass Index & Other Services.

Please note, space is limited for these complimentary services and Flu Vaccines. First come, First serve

LOCATION:
NH Comprehensive Health Center
7761 Garden Grove Blvd
Garden Grove, CA 92841

INFORMATION:
714-898-8888
Click here for more information on this event

Discovery CubePresents: Pumpkin Launch - Fullerton
Saturday, November 4, 2018
10 am - 2 pm

Bring your lawn chairs and witness history at this free event as teams compete to see who can launch a pumpkin at targets using giant trebuchets and other devices. Plus, kids can participate in hands-on activities throughout the day. Don’t miss this great family event!

LOCATION:
Cal State Fullerton
800 N. State College Blvd.
Fullerton, California, 92831

INFORMATION:
714-542-2823

UCI presents: A Silent Night: A WWI Memorial in Song
November 7, 2018
6:00 pm

This innovative art song recital pays homage to the centennial of World War I. The concert features baritone John Brancy and pianist Peter Dugan. Their repertoire ranges from song cycles of the 19th century to original arrangements of the American Songbook and modern popular tunes.

Free admission

LOCATION:
Winifred Smith Hall
UC Irvine, CA

West Coast Gem & Mineral Show - Costa Mesa
November 9-11, 2018

West Coast Gem & Mineral Show is back at a new location! 75 vendors will be showing minerals, fossils, gems, jewelry beads, crystals, meteorites, lapidary, decorator and gift items, lapidary and metaphysical supplies.

Open to the Public. FREE Admission.
Customer parking is $5/day

LOCATION:
Hilton Orange County / Costa Mesa
3050 Bristol St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

UCI Illuminations presents: Why Our Brains Love Story - Irvine
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Band of Gypsies Revisited extends the Why our brains love story: a two-part series to better understand a naturalistic and scientific perspective on storytelling.

People tend to believe that watching their favorite television series is a way to escape, ‘zone out,’ and relax, but is there more going on in the brain? An ongoing collaboration between the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory (CNLM) and the ClaireTrevor School of the Arts (CTSA) is exploring why we love to sit down with a good book or movie.

Sponsored by Illuminations: The Chancellor's Arts and Culture Initiative as part of the Confronting Extremism Initiative

Free admission

LOCATION:
Herklotz Conference Center at the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory Qureshey Research Laboratory (QRL)
309 Qureshey Research Lab
Irvine, CA 92697

Harvest to Home Free Gardening Class
Saturdays
must pre-register

Urban edible gardening classes for free in an outdoor classroom! No matter who you are, our gardening classes are perfect for you. Every other week Harvest to Home holds free gardening classes for anyone interested in learning more about growing plants. A diverse group of gardeners attend, ranging from those who have never picked up a trowel to veteran gardeners looking to improve their skills and enjoy the sunshine!

LOCATION:
2905 Red Hill ave, Suite C
Costa Mesa, CA

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Ongoing Free Events

Artists Village Art Walk - Santa Ana
First Saturday of the Month
6:00pm - 10:00pm.

Downtown Santa Ana comes alive with arts the first Saturday of each month when galleries, theatres, artists and performers in the Artists Village host a monthly Open House for the public. This free event attracts as many as 1500 individuals who come from throughout Los Angeles and Orange County to walk more than 150 participating studios and galleries located in historic buildings in the heart of downtown Santa Ana.

INFORMATION:
714-571-4229

Dale Carnegie of Orange County Workshops - Santa Ana

For over a century, Dale Carnegie has been improving individual and business performance around the world through professional development and leadership training. Their unique approach to training is by enhancing organizational Emotional Intelligence with tailored professional development solutions and leadership training to help teams, departments, and organizations achieve performance goals.

Courses, seminars and fee workshops are available to help you find the best training to suit your needs on your schedule.

LOCATION:
1805 East Dyer Road
Santa Ana, California 92705

Dana Wharf Sportfishing Kids Free Fishing Clinic
Dana Point Harbor

Kid's Free Fishing Clinic
Every Sunday!

12pm - 12:30pm

Dana Wharf Sportfishing invites all children to come to their dock side fishing clinic and learn hands on techniques on fishing from the experts.

After the clinic Dana Wharf will be running a fishing trip from 12:45 – 5:45, adults are $46 plus license and equipment, children 12 and under fish for FREE when an adult ticket is purchased at $46 ( 1 free child per paying adult at $46, no discount tickets of any kind are accepted for this adult ticket ). Extra bonus is the chance of spotting whales, dolphins and other marine life! This trip includes equipment!

LOCATION:
34675 Golden Lantern
Dana Point

INFORMATION:
For information and reservations call Dana Wharf at 949-496-5794 ext 7

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

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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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