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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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The Kid's Pet Parade
Saturday, February 16, 2019
(Rain Date is February 23, 2019)

Part of the annual Fiesta de las Golondrinas celebration. Kids between the ages of 5 to 12 can show off their favorite animals in a contest for, The Cutest, Most Unusual, Best Team Costume (owner and pet), Funniest & Most Obedient (pet, not child).

A special "Judges Choice" prize will be awarded and this winner will be given the opportunity to be in the Swallows' Day Parade.

Location:
Los Rios Park
31747 Los Rios Street
San Juan Capistrano, CA

INFORMATION:
949-493-1976

Brilliance: A Night of Music and Light - Costa Mesa
February 23, 2019

As the sun goes down, watch the Argyros Plaza transform into a world of light and color! Wear your favorite glow-in-the-dark accessories and join the crowd on the dance floor for a silent disco. Grab a pair of light-up headphones and tune in to your favorite one of our three Silent DJs. While you take a break from dancing, step into our light painting photo booth. Then, in partnership with UC Irvine's new Emergent Media + Design program, discover and explore interactive art and technology projects created by students and faculty.

Free Event.

LOCATION:
Julianne and George Argyros Plaza
600 Town Center Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

UCI Chancellor's Distinguished Speaker: Poet and essayist Kevin Young - Irvine
February 26, 2019
5:00 PM-6:30 PM

This event is part of the Illuminations Authors Series.

Kevin Young has published ten books of poetry and two books of essays. His passionate, rhythmic lyrics are rich with scenes from American history. Among many other honors, he was the 2014 winner of the Leonore Marshall Prize for Poetry from the Academy of American Poets. Two volumes, "Blue Laws" (2016) and "Jelly Roll" (2003) were nominated for the National Book Award; his collection "Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels" (2011) won an American Book Award. "Jelly Roll" won the Paterson Poetry Prize. "Most Way Home" won the Zacharis First Book Award. His latest book, "Brown: A Book of Poems" (2018) is a New York Times Editors Choice selection and has been featured on NPR and many other national venues.

Free admission. Public is welcome.

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

INFORMATION:
(714) 556-2787

Pacific Symphony: Lantern Festival - Costa Mesa
March 2, 2019
11 am - 5 pm

Bring the entire family for Pacific Symphony’s annual Lantern Festival, celebrating the Year of the Pig! The Lantern Festival, which can be traced back 2,000 years, takes place 15 days after the Lunar New Year—on the first full moon night in the lunar calendar—and marks the return of spring, representing the reunion of family.

Admission is FREE, but tickets are required. Due to venue capacity, admission will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis throughout the course of the event. You’ll have the opportunity to decorate your very own lantern, take in live music, try your hand at solving a riddle, take a Chinese folk dance lesson and more!

LOCATION:
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall
615 Town Center Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

INFORMATION:
714-
556-2787

Parenting OC's Annual Summer Opportunities Jamboree - Santa Ana
March 2, 2019
10 am - 3 pm

Parenting OC returns to Discovery Cube for its annual Kids’ Summer Opportunities Jamboree event. This year, Jamboree will have special guests, along with games and many new exhibitors featuring family travel destination spots, summer camps, and school information.

The Aquarium of the Pacific will be in attendance with the acclaimed Aquarium on Wheels, and back by popular demand is the Bubble-Dash Games. Come on down for this fun-filled, free family event.

LOCATION:
Discovery Cube Science Center
2500 N. Main St.
Santa Ana, CA, 92705

German Style Carnival FASCHING - Huntington Beach
March 3, 2019
3-6 pm

Free Admission - Hosted by German Campus School

Families with children ages 4 -17 are welcome to join an afternoon filled with activities, dances and games lead by teachers of GermanSchoolCampus.com. A family fun event with traditional Fasching’s delicatessens like the famous “Berliner”, Krapfen, and Currywurst.

LOCATION:
Old World Village
7561 Center Ave.
Huntington Beach

D. Yoder Family Sundays - San Clemente
March 3, 2019
10 am and 2 pm

Wind down with a visit to the vivid gardens at Casa Romantica with FREE admission and self-guided tours!

D. Yoder Family Sundays are held on the first Sunday of each month for activities and a program thematically based on Casa Romantica’s Casa Captivating programs for all ages.

Free Admission

LOCATION:
Casa Romantica
415 Avenida Granada
San Clemente, CA 92672

South County Pet Expo - Lake Forest
March 9, 2019
10 am - 2 pm

This exciting and informative event, presented by Chairwoman Lisa Bartlett, Orange County Board of Supervisors, OC The Pet Adoption Center OC, and Saddleback Church. This family and pet friendly event will also feature rescue groups with many loving animals available for adoption, fun and exciting canine demonstrations, local vendors providing all manner of pet products and services, food trucks and giveaways.

Free admission, parking and shuttle service.

LOCATION:
The Commons green belt area at the Lake Forest Sports Park
28000 Rancho Pkwy
Lake Forest, CA

Cherry Blossom Festival
Sunday March 17, 2019
10:30 am - 5:30 pm

A FREE day of fun for the whole family filled with Japanese food, music, dance, cultural performances, and games and crafts for the kids. This festival is in support of the over 30 year student exchange relationship Huntington Beach shares with their sister city of Anjo, Japan.

LOCATION:
Central Park Bandstand
7111 Talbert
Huntington Beach

Annual 'Gardenfest' - San Clemente
Saturday, April 13, 2019

Hosted by the San Clemente Garden Club. Admission is FREE! Families are welcome.

This years highlights include annual Plant Sale and Garden Flea Market, exhibits demonstrating sustainable practices for your garden, garden related opportunities in our community, Open to the Public 'funky container' and 'floral design' contests, San Clemente Art Association's Garden and Flower Show painting competition, Butterfly Habitat Education and Water Smart Program.

LOCATION:
San Clemente Community Center
Avenida Del Mar at Calle Seville.

Bolsa Chica's Earth Day Festival - Huntington Beach
Saturday, April 13, 2019
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Join the Bolsa Chica Conservancy for some free family fun, as we celebrate our annual Earth Day Festival! The festival will include educational activity booths, tours, food, a bounce house and more! Don' t miss out on the eco-friendly fun!

Sponsored by the Bolsa Chica Conservancy and the Amigos de Bolsa Chica.

LOCATION:
Bolsa Chica Conservancy Interpretive Center
3842 Warner Avenue
Huntington Beach
Public Parking Across the Street from the Interpretive Center

Celebrate UCI - Annual Open House - Irvine
Saturday, April 20, 2019
10:00 a.m

This spring event features an outdoor Festival, Open House and Car Show. Wayzgoose, UCI's oldest tradition, is a student run festival in Aldrich Park - filled with live entertainment, food, games and rides for UCI and the community. Many offices and services will be open or available with information for everyone especially prospective students. This includes academic program information and sessions; campus, housing and recreation facilities tours; Financial Aid and Admissions; and much more.

Events and Parking are FREE.

LOCATION:
UCI Campus
Irvine

Soka University's Annual International Festival - Aliso Viejo
Saturday, May 4, 2019
10:30 am - 5 pm

Enjoy over 900 musicians and dancers performing on three stages and over 250 non-profit, craft and business exhibitors! There will be lots of international food, exhibitors, games and activities, art exhibitions, ceramic sales, a children's play area with Bounce House, student projects --- and much more!

Admission is FREE for everyone! Parking is $10 cash on campus

LOCATION:
Soka University
1 University Drive
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656

INFORMATION:
949-480-4081

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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