Your Guide to Southern California Events
Some of the most interesting events only come around once a year. Every month you can find a fair, festival or event that makes a great day trip. This calendar provides information on annual events from Los Angeles to San Diego. Find fun things to do this weekend.
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View gray whales as they head down the coast to Baja California. Discounts, where to view from shore. Peak whale watching season is January and February along the Southern California coast. Competition is fierce between whale watching boats. Never pay full price.
Fairview Park free train rides. Open Saturday and Sunday year round, third weekend. Kids and adults love riding these little trains around Fairview Park in Costa Mesa. Ride as many times as you like for free. (contributions are welcome).
Camel races, beauty pageant, rides, and attractions highlight this annual fair. The Fair started as a celebration of the annual date harvest. Today the date festival is one of the largest events in the Inland Empire. The crowning of the Date Festival Queen and monster truck racing are all part of the fun.
The Palm Springs Tramway takes visitors from the hot desert floor to the cool San Jacinto mountains. Take an exciting trip on the world’s largest rotating tram cars that hold up to 80 passengers.
The Southern California Tet Festival continues to draw new visitors from outside of the Vietnamese community. Each year the festival draws 100,000 plus visitors. Each year the Tet Festival gets bigger and better so be sure to add the festival to your to-do list.
Most visited during the poppy season, March through May. April and May are usually the best viewing months depending on how much rain the fields get. There are eight miles of trails to explore at the poppy reserve, all with views of the flowers.
Carlsbad Flower Fields are easy to spot as you travel along the San Diego freeway. The flowers have been blooming in the hills above the Pacific ocean for nearly fifty years.The flower fields will be open for public viewing from March 1 through Mother’s Day each year.
The Dana Point Whale Festival is one of Southern California’s largest whale celebrations. Visitors come from all over Southern California to celebrate the annual migration of gray whales from Alaska to Mexico. This fun-filled event draws thousands of visitors to Dana Point Harbor each year over the first two weekends in March
In the spring, swallows migrate thousands of miles from winter homes to San Juan Capistrano. Each year the Festival of the Swallows is celebrated with festivities including the traditional bell ringing and parade to mark the return of the swallows.
An amazing display of flowers in the hills above Carlsbad, California.
Games, rides, arts, crafts, food, music, and dance, recreating the celebratory spring day in 1574. Immerse yourself in a village of more than 1,200 costumed performers and artisans including dazzling acrobats, internationally acclaimed musicians, and entertainers, juggling jokers and jesters, willful wenches, and, newly arrived, jousting knights are ready to celebrate.
If you love trains this family-friendly event is for you. At Railfest there will model train displays, antique farm equipment, arts and craft booths. Fillmore & Western Railway will be displaying props from movies that were filmed at the historic railway including the engine that was used in the movie Inception.
Fallbrook Avocado Festival is a fun family event. Plan on arriving early, this place gets crowded with over 50,000 visitors. Enjoy Arts & Crafts • Farmer’s Market Food Courts • Refreshment Gardens Live Entertainment • Guacamole Contests Children’s Activities.
Memorial Day weekend is the start of summer in Southern California even though the official first day of summer is not until mid-June. We have put together a list of the fun and exciting things to do over Memorial Day weekend.
Mother’s Day in Southern California is all about spending time with family, friends, and mom. Special Mothers Day events are being offered by restaurants, wineries, attractions, and destinations.
An amazing display of flowers in Carlsbad. Last time to see this year is Mother’s Day. Highlights of the Carlsbad Flower Fields include Miniature Rose Garden, Sweet Pea Maze, the American Flag of Flowers,1,500 square foot Poinsettia Display and acres of beautiful flowers.
Enjoy 16th Century games, rides, arts, crafts, food, music, and dance, recreating the celebratory spring day in 1574 when the world arrived to entertain Queen Elizabeth in the English Seaport of Deptford. Admission price includes all entertainment.
Fun family festival of trains. Loads of kids activities, exhibits, model train displays and train tours. Free admission. Open for tours will be a BNSF Railway Co freight locomotive and three vintage cabooses. Additional exhibits include BNSF track maintenance equipment, a homemade hand car, and various other rail-related displays.
Features historic aircraft performing and static displays. Another fun place for family-friendly entertainment. Air Show gates open at 8:00 am and there is usually a line forming by them. Flying starts at 11:00 so try to arrive early to the show. Walk around and check out all the aircraft and have a look at the booths and displays.
Recognized as one of the top blues music festivals in the nation, The Doheny Blues Festival features non-stop music in three alternating stages, plus tasty food, microbrew sampling, eclectic vendors and family fun.
Festival is held at St. John’s Greek Orthodox Church in Anaheim. There is an outdoor marketplace and ‘Zorba’s Kids Zone’ with carnival rides and games. Food booths will be selling delicious Gyros, Feta Fries and Loucanico along with sweet Greek pastries such as Baklava, Kataifi, Melomakarona and Chocolate Trigona.
The festival is held during peak season is a celebration of everything strawberry. Visitors enjoy delicious berry delicacies including strawberry beer, fresh picked, chocolate dipped, glazed and powdered strawberries.
Memorial Day weekend is the start of summer in Southern California even though the official first day of summer is not until mid-June. Festivals, theme parks, kids activities, road trips ideas, and places to camp.
(Memorial Day weekend) Ultra lite aircraft gather at the ranch to trade stories and show off their flying skills. There will be ultralight, light sport, & general aviation flying & static displays, RC airplanes, a rocket demonstration, skydivers, & other events. Food & memorabilia will be available.
Fiesta Hermosa is a three-day festival held over Memorial Day weekend and then again on Labor Day weekend. Billed as the largest arts & crafts fair in Southern California. The festival takes place in downtown Hermosa Beach on and around the pier.
List of fun things to do with Dad on his Special Day. Most fathers will be happy with a card of a phone call but if you want to do something a little extra for dad we put this list together. Things to do on Father’s Day that will put a smile on dad’s face.
Del Mar Fairgrounds mid-June through the Fourth of July weekend each year. The San Diego County Fairs twinkling lights, and buzzing sounds along the midway with both its nostalgic and modern games and rides, attract thousands of visitors from around Southern California to experience its summertime magic.
Late May or early June Leona Valley orchards will be open to the public for U-Pick cherries. With picturesque views of white cottony tree canopies against clear blue skies combined with the sweet smell of cherry blossoms, Leona Valley is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon or weekend, especially in late spring to early summer.
Guided tours, marketplace, hay rides and lavender inspired food. Highland Springs Resort also hosts a Sausage and Beer Festival in August and an Olive and Wine Faire in October featuring olive oil pressed from its own trees.
Pismo Beach Car Show is one of the largest classic car and street rod shows on the west coast. The auto show is held annually on the 3rd full weekend of June and has over 1000 classic cars and street rods on display. Thousands of spectators attend the event each year and enjoy cars, the sun, and beautiful Pismo Beach.
A celebration of surf culture in California. Contests & exhibits. The Doheny Surf Festival is a celebration of surf culture and a way of showcasing the important role Doheny has played in the development of surfing in California.”
Temecula Balloon & Wine Festival is being held the first weekend in June. at Lake Skinner Recreation Area in the heart of Southern California Wine Country. This popular festival features top concerts, wine tasting, and spectacular balloon launches.
Free admission and concerts at this huge North Orange County event. Brea Summer Festival kicks off the summer season at St. Angela Merici School 575 S. Walnut Ave. Brea, CA. Billed as the largest festival in North Orange County the event offers free concerts on all three nights.
The city of Ojai holds its concerts in the Libbey Bowl. Considered a highlight of the summer classical music season, the Ojai Music Festival is a four-day series of concerts, symposia, and auxiliary events set in the idyllic Ojai Valley, known as California’s Shangri-la.
Bennetts Honey Farm annual honey festival. Train rides to the honey farm, tours of the honey factory. An educational and tasty experience held in conjunction with the Fillmore & Western Railway, a refurbished railway tucked away in the rolling hills of Ventura County.
For nearly a month every mid-July to August, one of Orange County’s most eagerly awaited annual events rolls into Costa Mesa bringing with it all of the sights, sounds & smells of a 125-year old tradition. Costa Mesa, California. Rides, shows, speedway racing, animals and farm displays.
Festival includes amazing artworks, nightly live music, workshops, art tours, and special events. The festival grounds also feature the Pageant of Masters. The pageant re-creates classical and contemporary works of art, with real people posing to look exactly the original artwork.
Held mid-July at Santa Maria Fairgrounds. The Santa Barbara County Fair offers a variety of activities for the whole family. Carnival rides, entertainers, a petting zoo, animal shows and demonstrations, and exhibits and of course a huge selection of fair food from deep-fried Twinkies to corn on the cob.
Laguna Beach area artists display artworks and crafts.
Nestled closely against the cliffs of Laguna Canyon, the Sawdust Art Festival is part of the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts. Visitors enjoy a colorful overview of the Laguna art world with an intimate setting for local artists and artisans to showcase their wares alongside some more mass produced pieces.
A two-day celebration of everything salsa. Presented by the Oxnard Downtown, the annual event features spicy food and top-notch music and entertainment, attracting an estimated 50,000 salsa lovers to the City of Oxnard for the two-day action-packed celebration.
New Orleans music with tons of fresh crawfish prepared Louisiana style. Rainbow Lagoon Park in Long Beach. Crawfish meals include succulent red baby potatoes, buttery corn on the cob and creamy and a delectable remoulade dipping sauce.
Marine Stadium. One of the largest dragon boat competitions in California. Polynesian Dancers, Salsa Dance, Martial Arts, Magic, and an Ice Cream Eating Contest.
The event featuring live music, food, beer, rides, games and FREE watermelon.
The Fair features live entertainment, contests, lots of interesting fried food, nostalgic and modern games and rides, horseshoes and everything else you would expect from a county fair. Exhibits at the fair include Agriculture, Amateur Art, Flowers, Gems & Minerals, Hobbies & Collections, Home Arts, Horse Shows, Large Livestock, Photography, Professional Art, Small Livestock, Uncle Leo’s Barn and Youth Expo.
Orange County Fair is held in Costa Mesa, California. The fair features rides, shows, speedway racing, animals and farm displays. Concerts play a big part of the Orange County Fair. Just about every day there is a new headliner.
The La Habra Corn Festival is hosted by the La Habra Host Lions Club in La Habra California. The event began as little more than a dance and cookout. It has grown to be the largest fundraising and community event in La Habra each year.
The Chula Vista Lemon Festival is a family-friendly event with activities and attractions for children and adults. The Lemon Festival celebrates Chula Vista’s heritage as the “Lemon Capital of the World” and offers a full schedule of live entertainment, beer garden, craft booths, food, kids fun zone and fresh squeezed lemonade.
The first Festival of Arts was held in 1932. Today the festival includes amazing artworks, nightly live music, workshops, art tours, and special events. The festival grounds also feature the Pageant of Masters. The pageant re-creates classical and contemporary works of art, with real people posing to look exactly the original artwork.
The Long Beach BBQ Festival features some of the top BBQ pit masters in the country. PorkyNBeans America’s Best Ribs, Howling Coyote specializing in St. Louis-style pork spare ribs, Cowboys Barbecue & Rib Company with over 150 titles. (rib vendors subject to change).
Laguna Beach area artists display artworks and crafts.Arts and craft from hundreds of local artists. Located in Laguna Canyon. The festival also features demonstrations such as glass blowing, free hands-on art workshops, a dynamic children’s art booth, three stages of live music, food vendors, including three local restaurants, and cold beverages from the Sawdust Saloon.
Popular things to do over the Labor Day weekend include camping, visiting a theme park, going to the beach or visiting a fair of a festival.
This is the largest county fair in the nation and offers an eclectic mix of world-class concerts, interactive exhibits, food, shopping, carnival rides and a lineup of arts, crafts, and agriculture.
(Labor Day weekend, Sept 1-4 2017. Parade of Sail Thursday, August 31) Tall ships and other fascinating vessels from around the world. Beer gardens, kids activity zone, and a low admission per person, this is the premier waterfront event year after year.
Marvel at an astonishing display of special-effects wizardry, aerial artistry, swashbuckling swordplay and dynamic duels, while dining on fine grub and grog. Broadway-quality show and a sumptuous pirate feast. It’s an adventure on the high seas when you and your crew are drafted (forcibly) by Captain Sebastian the Black. Tickets starting at $23.00
U-Pick apples and pumpkins only 90 minutes from Los Angeles. Apple picking season starts Labor Day weekend and runs through the end of November. Check with each farm for details on what is in season, events, and hours.
A three-day event. Ship tours, arts & crafts, food booths, and mock cannon battles. History comes alive, as crews from each ship, along with historical re-enactors, engage the public in cannon battles, pirate adventures, mermaid encounters, ship tours, and much more.
Home of the Guinness World Record for the Most Seafood Served. All the lobster is flown in nightly from Maine and will be available, once inside the festival, for additional purchase. In addition to lobster steamed in the world’s largest cooker, lobster rolls, sliders and even lobster-on-a-stick.
A two-day event that features arts and craft exhibits, food booths & fun activities. We recommend taking the free shuttle to this event. Parking can difficult to find in the Harbor area.
Experience Authentic Foods, Music, Folk Dancing & Three Parades. Numerous events are held over three days including Living History Festival, Old World Artisans Marketplace, Viking Beer & Wine Garden, Viking Encampment, and Kids Corner.
Head out to the desert for country music and old west events. Street Fair with live music, vendors, arts & crafts, antiques, old west gunfights, and car show.
Knott’s Scary Farm is the largest and most haunting Halloween activity in Southern California! The fully transformed theme park encompasses 13 uniquely haunted attractions and mazes, sinister shows, a dozen thrill rides in the dark and more than 1,000 horrifying creatures.
Celebrate the fall season with U-Pick apples. Menghini Winery featuring music and dancing, an antique tractor display, children’s games and activities, gold panning demonstrations, a beer, and wine garden, food and merchandise vendors, contests, and, of course, apple pie.
The Orange County Auto Show features hundreds of new cars and trucks. Visitors to the car show will also be able to test drive many of these new vehicles. Kids area, classic cars, exotic cars, and custom cars will be on display.
Highlights include live entertainment, port tours, vendor marketplace. Enjoy offerings that include a special banana treat at our vendors as they get creative to win “top banana” recognition with their custom delicacies.
Calico Ghost Town event features music, shows, and games for every age that will recall the days when silver mining was king. Returning to Calico Days for the third year is the Pico Pistolero Old West Card Room. Learn how to play the table games of the old west like Doc Holiday, Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp.
Southern California Halloween events and festivals: pumpkin patches, theme parks, haunted houses, and mazes. Scary festivals from Los Angeles to San Diego. The best things about living in Southern California is you are never too far away from something fun to do. Halloween events from Los Angeles to San Diego.
Knott’s Scary Farm is the largest and most haunting Halloween activity in Southern California! The fully transformed theme park encompasses 13 uniquely haunted attractions and mazes, sinister shows, a dozen thrill rides in the dark and more than 1,000 horrifying creatures. Check out our ticket deals save up to $42
Dark Harbor at the Queen Mary in Long Beach is perhaps the most frightening Halloween event in Southern California. Dark Harbor offers 4 shipboard mazes and 3 onshore mazes. There are hundreds of monsters located throughout port of purgatory whose only job is to scare you. Save $12.00
U-Pick apples and pumpkins only 90 minutes from Los Angeles. Apple picking season runs through the end of November. Check with each farm for details on what is in season, events, and hours. Oak Glen is a wonderful family day trip destination, especially during the fall season.
Southern California’s original Haunted Hayride is located in Griffith Park. Guests ride aboard a tractor-pulled hay wagon through the woods of Griffith Park. Sideshow with the backward Scary-Go-Round. The slideshow includes a house of mirrors and free psychic reading plus a place to buy souvenirs. Save $16 on VIP tickets all attractions included.
Free admission to the festival. Visitors are allowed to drive onto Searles Dry Lake and collect minerals. This is the only time the dry lake is open to the public. At the gem show, dealers exhibit geodes, salt crystals and Pink Halite that can be collected on and near the dry lake.
November Events Southern California Events
List day trips and activities that will please the whole family. Included are several amusement parks which are offering discount tickets plus a list of free activities. Use this guide and the rest of Daytrippen.com to plan your Thanksgiving weekend adventures.
(November 4, 5, 10, 11, 12 2017.) Day Out With Thomas 2017 is a fun-filled event that provides children of all ages the opportunity to climb aboard and take a ride with Thomas and Percy as well as participate in tons of Thomas & Friends themed activities. Thomas, Percy, and Sir Topham Hatt will be arriving at the Orange Empire Railway.
(November 17 -December 25) L.A. Zoo Lights is a nighttime light experience with glowing animals rendered in LED lights, lasers, 3D projections, and interactive displays. Visitors will not see any of the zoo’s animals except for reindeer.
11/18/2017 – 11/19/2017. South Orange County Surfing Santa Competition. Competitors dress like Santa or holiday characters and surf the waves at Salt Creek Beach. The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel presents its annual Surfing Santa Competition. This seasonal event supports Surfers Healing, the original surf camp for children with autism.
Comedy Clubs, festivals, concerts, outdoor activities. Great ideas from date night to a fun family outing. Check out our huge list of Los Angeles events.
(November 19 January 7, 2018) Descanso Gardens holiday evening event where visitors can interreact with amazing light displays. featuring a one-mile walk through unique lighting experiences in several areas of Descanso Gardens. Parking is free and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
List of fun things to do in and around Orange County CA. Food tours, concerts, shows outdoor activities. If you are looking for fun activities in the OC you will find them here.
(November 18 – December 17) Set under a canopy of Eucalyptus trees, the paths around the festival are lined with wood chips and stone pavers, giving shoppers the experience of an old English village. Folk music and the smell of sawdust fills the air and are both refreshing as well as intoxicating.
(November 24- 26) Open house at the dairy. Feed camels Pomegranates, petting zoo, magic shows, farm tours. Oasis Camel Dairy Farm is one of Southern California’s most unique attractions. Located in Ramona, It bills itself as “an oasis from the ordinary”’, and that’s the truth.
Fun attractions in and around San Diego. Everything from sporting events to comedy clubs. Bay cruises, kayaking adventures.
Take a hayride to Santa’s shop for holiday gifts. Bates Nut Farm will be hosting their largest Arts and Crafts Fair of the year over the Thanksgiving weekend.
List of fun things to do Thanksgiving Weekend in Orange County. Attractions, activities, parks, day trip ideas along with a few hidden gems. This list is great for both out of town visitors and locals.
Discover the best places and events to celebrate the Christmas season in Southern California. Our list covers some of the most popular family attractions, including parades, Christmas lights, shows, train rides, festivals, and activities.
(December 1 -10, 2017) The LA Auto show highlights automobile innovations in design, luxury, and performance. Check out hundreds of cars from domestic and international manufacturers. There will be over 100 new vehicles available for test rides. Custom, exotic, and classic autos along with brand new models.
(December 13, 2017, through January 7, 2018) Featuring the first-ever Ice Adventure Park in the U.S., the new CHILL feature 38,000-square foot ice park with an ice skating track, ice bumper cars, ice tricycles, a zip line, ice shuffleboard, a two-story, 100-foot-long ice tubing slide and many more festive winter activities.
December 1-3, 2017Browse over 24,000 handmade creations at the Pomona Harvest Festival. Gift giving gets personal touch when you choose unique one-of-a-kind gifts. With over 300 exhibitors you will be sure to find that perfect gift.
(December 13 – 17, 2017) The biggest and best Christmas boat parade in California. Watch beautifully decorated yachts, boats, kayaks, and canoes sail along the harbor in the 109th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, hosted by the Commodores Club of the Newport Beach.
(December 2 – 23 & 26 – 305 – 9 pm) 125,000 lights decorate the San Diego Botanic Gardens. Garden of Lights is truly a magical holiday experience for the whole family so bring them down for an evening of Christmas fun at the gardens.
(December 15 -30, 2017)Frozen Fairgrounds at Del Mar puts wonder back into the season with two beautiful (and covered) outdoor ice skating rinks. Ticket includes skate rentals and an all-day skating pass.
(November 18 – December 17) If you are looking to find that perfect, truly special holiday gift, then check out the Laguna Beach Sawdust Art Festival Winter Fantasy. This annual event is not your typical gathering of local arts and crafts artisans. What makes it really unique, is that each booth is hand built and manned by the artist themselves.
Pomona Harvest Festival Hours: December 1-3, 2017. Friday: 10:00am to 5:00pm; Saturday: 10:00am to 6:00pm; Sunday: 10:00am to 5:00pm. Browse over 24,000 handmade creations at the Pomona Harvest Festival. Gift giving gets personal touch when you choose unique one-of-a-kind gifts. With over 300 exhibitors you will be sure to find that perfect present.
Free admission Monday through Thursday. Get in the holiday spirit at Knott’s. Knott’s Crafts Village is free Monday – Thursday. November 27 -30 and December 4 – 7, 2017. All other days Park admission is required to visit the Crafts Village. This year there are only 8 days when you can get in for free.
(Friday & Saturday Dec. 8, 9, 15 & 16, 2017) View from anywhere in the Harbor for free or take a cruise and be part of the parade. Awards will be given for Judges Choice, Best Use of Lights, Best Animation, Most Colorful, The Most Original, Best Sailboat and Powerboat.
(December 1st through 23rd) ‘Tis the season for Irvine Park Railroad’s annual Christmas Train. Come with family and friends and take this enchanting night ride through historic Irvine Regional Park to meet Santa Claus.