OC Moms Guide – July 2023

Orange County events July 2023

Wondering what kind of fun and family-friendly Orange County events July 2023 has to offer? Here’s our top picks for fun activities in our area plus fireworks viewings and July 4th celebrations!


Sawdust Arts & Crafts Festival – Laguna Beach

Now through September 3

From their website: “Handcrafted art by 168 Laguna Beach artists, 3 stages of live music, complimentary art classes, glassblowing, art demonstrations and a variety of outdoor dining and saloon offerings- set in a unique artist village in the heart of Laguna Beach.”

Tickets: Adults $10, Seniors (65+) $7, Children (6-12) $5. Children ages 5 and under receive free admission and do not require a ticket to enter. Season Pass $30 for the whole summer, Annual Pass $40 includes that plus Winter Fantasy admission. 


OC Parks: Backyard Bugs – Laguna Niguel

July 1

If you’re looking for some affordable, outdoors, and family-friendly Orange County events July 2023 has to offer, this sounds like a fun one! From the OC Parks website: Insects are the most diverse group of animals on Earth and make up 80% of all known species. There are more varieties of bugs than all other types of animals combined! Join us on a family-friendly trek around Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park to learn all about these amazing animals who have perfected the art of ecological specialization. Insects may have a reputation for being icky, but they’re essential pollinators needed to sustain life on our planet.”

Free. Minors ages 16 and younger must have a legal guardian present at all times. Please wear closed-toe shoes and bring snacks and water. No registration required. Parking is $3 per vehicle. 


Click here for Orange County Mom Collective’s guide on where to see fireworks on July 4th plus other July 2023 Independence Day celebrations!

The Potocki Center’s Celebrate the Mosaic Bears: Folklorico Bear – Mission Viejo

July 8

Perhaps you already have your kids signed up for a ton of fun camps this summer. (If not, check out our list of summer camps in Orange County!) But if you reach a point when you just can’t think of anything else fun to do, count on the city of Mission Viejo to come through for you! MV Library hosts free story times, concerts, family-friendly activities, and family-friendly concerts! You don’t have to be a resident of Mission Viejo to participate, just a lover of books, stories, and fun. You can scroll through their list of activities in the link above, and here’s a description from their website for this bear-themed event: “We are continuing our celebration of the Mosaic Bears. Enjoy a free cultural experience as we pay tribute to Folklorico Bear with a special interactive and educational performance. Enjoy a free evening of Folklorico dance and Mariachi music at the Potocki Center for the Arts outdoor patio. Bring your favorite snacks, chairs, and the whole family to experience the best in local Mexican performers.”



MainPlace Mall’s Bumble Bees & Honey Summer Playdate – Santa Ana

July 12+26

Sometimes it’s nice to have a free and fun place to go with kid that’s indoors and well air-conditioned isn’t it? From their website: “July 12th: Out of this World– Kids attending this event will be able to make galaxy slime, enjoy face painting, participate in a mini Moon Pie sweet treat giveaway, and take home a fun galaxy-themed kids craft. July 26th: Doodle Days – During this final Summer Play Dates event, kids will participate in an Etch-A-Sketch and lollipop giveaway, visit a doodle art craft station, and enjoy the talents of a face painter and balloon twister.

Free. For children ages 4-12. No advance registration is required, but a parent or guardian must be present for children to participate. 


OC Fair – Costa Mesa

July 14 – August 13 (Wednesdays through Sundays)

The OC Fair is back again this year with many of the favorites we’ve enjoyed year after year at this month-long event which is themed “Happy Together” and are introducing an Everyday Passport for those OC Fair diehards who want to be able to go any and every day of the event! There are TWO different carnival areas featuring rides and games, action sports arena, arts exhibitions, animals exhibits, produce displays, live entertainment, and more.

Tickets must be purchased in advance except for those with the Everyday Passport. Limited capacity so buy them early. General (13-59) $13 on Weds-Thursdays, $15 on Fri-Sat-Sunday, Senior (60+) $9, Youth (6-12) $9, Children 5 and younger are free. Everyday Passport is $60. Fair parking is $12 per car. 


San Clemente Ocean Festival – San Clemente


For those of you who recall this fun beachside event from last year, we’re sorry to say that it’s been postponed until 2024. We hope to be able to include it again in our July 2024 events post!

Free. There is limited parking available near the pier however there is FREE parking & round trip shuttle service from the Outlets at San Clemente.  


National Zookeeper Day – Orange

July 22

There are lots of great Orange County events July 2023 entries on the OC Parks calendar. Here’s one highlight from their events website: “Help us thank the zookeepers at the OC Zoo for all their hard work caring for the animals! The first 100 children ages 12 and under will receive a free train ride ticket for Irvine Park Railroad. Kids activities include making thank you cards for the zookeepers and fun crafts. Zookeepers will be giving special “keeper chats” throughout the day.

Reservations are not required. All activities are free with paid zoo admission ($2 per person, ages 2 and under are free). Zoo coupons/free
passes are not valid for this event. Parking is $5 per vehicle. 


Also, don’t forget about these ongoing FREE summer concert and movie events hosted by OC Parks!


OC Parks Sunset Summer Cinema

Every Friday night during the summer until September 8

From their website: “14 free movie screenings Friday nights beginning June 9 to Sept. 8 at Craig Regional Park, Carbon Canyon Regional Park, Yorba Regional Park, Irvine Regional Park, Mason Regional Park, Laguna Niguel Regional Park and Bluff Park at Salt Creek Beach. Guests of all ages can enjoy recent blockbusters and popular classics, complete with pre-show entertainment beginning at 6 p.m. Showtimes begin after sundown, at approximately 8 p.m.” 

The summer 2023 series includes family crowd pleasers like LIGHTYEAR, KUNG-FU PANDA, and SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME. Click on the link above for detailed list of movies/dates.

Free Admission and free parking starting at 6:00pm (screening starts approximately at 8:00pm after sundown). Food trucks and booths will have bites and beverages available for purchase at each location. Events take place outdoors. 


OC Parks Summer Concert Series

Every Thursday during the summer until August 24

From their website: “Enjoy live music from exceptional bands and artists at Craig Regional Park, Irvine Regional Park, Mason Regional Park, Mile Square Regional Park and Bluff Park at Salt Creek Beach. The concert series kicks off with Paco Versailles June 22 at Craig Regional Park in Fullerton, followed by popular local and acclaimed touring artists including Sweet and Tender Hooligans, The Rembrandts, Ozomatli, No Duh, FlashPants, The English Beat, The Aquabats! and Queen Nation. Flashback Heart Attack will close out the 2023 OC Parks Summer Concert Series with an electrifying performance at Bluff Park at Salt Creek Beach.”

Admission and parking are free. Open to the public of all ages. Doors will open at 5 p.m. for guests to enjoy the food trucks and to save their spot on the grass for the concert. All concerts are from 6 to 8 p.m. and take place outdoors.


For even more ideas of what to do with your kids this July 2023, check out our Ultimate Summer Bucket List For Orange County Families!


Orange County events July 2023 PIN

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Hilary Feldstein Ratner
Follow me on Instagram @EcoFriendlyMama, Twitter @EcoFriendlyMa, and Pinterest @EcoFriendlyMama! Though I was born and raised in New York City, I've lived in SoCal for over ten years now and am proud to call this beautiful and diverse place my home. My husband and I have a son and baby daughter (whom I was 9 months pregnant with when this photo was taken!). Prior to becoming a mommy I spent several years in feature film publicity and acquisitions for Miramax and later as the Creative Executive for Hilary Swank Productions before seguing to the music industry where I did Online Communications for the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares. In my ample pre-parenthood free time, I also freelanced as a script analyst and screenwriter. I am fortunate now to be able to devote all my time to my family, but I still love to write so am thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of this blog! I am a foodie, avid traveler, environmentalist, preschool board member, and unabashed Disney nut. I can also be found writing about green parenting and eco-conscious living on my personal website, https://ecofriendlymama.com.