OC Moms Guide – September 2018


September 2018

Those long hot days of summer may be behind us. But there’s still many equally hot though perhaps not as long days of fall ahead of us here in Orange County. And apparently, September is the month of awesome street fairs and fun international heritage events. Check out all these exciting activities happening in our area this September 2018!


Orange International Street Fair – Orange

September 1 + 2

This annual Labor Day Weekend tradition has been taking place in Orange since 1973. This year the theme is “Globally Good” and promises to be another fun weekend of food, entertainment, and neighborhood fun. Old Town Orange Plaza will be lined with vendor booths featuring food from all over the world! There will also be music and dance and other international entertainment. Sounds like a fun way to spend the holiday weekend!

Admission and entertainment is free. Food and other vendors are an additional cost. 


Labor Day Fireworks at Knott’s Berry Farm – Buena Park

September 2

Enjoy Sunday at Knott’s Berry Farm, or splashing around at Knott’s Soak City, and then cap it off with fireworks in the evening to commemorate Labor Day! Please note that this show takes place on the eve of Labor Day (which is actually September 3). 

Tickets for Knott’s Berry Farm start at $50 online. There are also usually coupons or discount deals through AAA and Costco among others. You can also buy a one day parking pass for $19 online through their website. Alternatively, if you can find street parking nearby, the cost is free to sit on the hood of your car and look skyward as the fireworks light up the sky!


Tall Ships Festival – Dana Point

September 7 – 9

From their press release: “Ocean Institute’s 34th Annual Tall Ships Festival offers multiple activities throughout the weekend. The celebration kicks off on Friday, September 7 with the Parade of Sails and the Sails ‘n Ales kick-off party, followed by a weekend full of tall ship tours, pirate voyages, mermaid encounters and vendors on Saturday, September 8 and Sunday, September 9.” There’s mock cannon battles, craft beer tasting, and tours of the visiting vessels. 

Prices vary per event and can be found at www.oceaninstitute.org. You can also buy a festival pass to attend events on all three days. Free parking is available at the designated shuttle lots located at Strand Vista Park and Dana Hills High School. Shuttles will run from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. from all lots.


OC Parks Sunset Cinema – Dana Point

September 7 + 14

Enjoy the last free movies of summer at Salt Creek Beach! September 7 is MOANA (rated PG) and includes live pre show entertainment of Polynesian dance. September 14 is JAWS (also rated PG, surprisingly!) and begins with a special presentation from the Ocean Institute. 

Attendence is free. Parking is also free beginning at 6pm. Showtime is at approximately 8pm. Bring your own blankets and popcorn!


Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort – Anaheim

September 7 – October 31

It’s never too early to scare up some Halloween Time fun right? We got a sneak preview of some of the Halloween decor at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure during the CHOC Walk. And boy oh boy is it going to be pumpkin-riffic! Certain rides will be getting limited-time-only Halloween theming and story changes. Entire lands will be revamped in the spirit of the season! Orange you glad I’m telling you about this?? (Sorry, I just can’t help myself with these bad puns!)

My favorite from last year was Haul-O-Ween at Carsland. It looks like Mater will be back at it this year with Mater’s Graveyard JamBOOree, and many more festive, family-friendly touches. And don’t even get me started on all the Halloween-themed menu items and sweet treats! Let’s just say that this mummy is very excited for what is going to be a frightfully fun time at the Disneyland Resort!

One day one park tickets for Disneyland or Disney California Adventure start at $91 for kids 3-9. $97 for adults. Children 2 and under are free. You can also buy tickets to Mickey’s Halloween Party, an after-hours celebration on select evenings starting September 19th.


Free Screening Of COCO In Spanish – Anaheim

September 14th

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Disneyland Resort is hosting another free movie night for local residents. This time, it’s COCO in Spanish with English subtitles at Ponderosa Park. 

Free for Anaheim residents. Starts at 6:45pm.


Coastal Clean Up Day – Multiple Locations Throughout Orange County

September 15

Do your part to keep our beaches and parks clean, and have a fun day of service with your kids at the same time! Hit our local beaches and inland parks with OC Coastkeeper to pick up trash that will otherwise end up in our oceans. Last year, 7,000 volunteers collected a record-breaking 70,485 pounds of trash and recyclable materials during the event. Some of the most obscure findings included wigs, a flute, car parts and more. I challenge you to find something during this event that’s even more random than these items!

Free and supplies will be provided. However, participants are encouraged to bring their own clean up supplies if possible. Registration is required and you can select from one of the many different locations in our area. 


Fiestas Patrias For Hispanic Heritage Month – Santa Ana

September 15+16

From their website: “This year the 2 Day Festival has moved to the Santa Ana Civic Stadium where the main stage will be built, and the street fair, with 50+ vendors and traditional Mexican food will be located on the large 4 lane wide Flower Street from Civic Stadium Blvd to Santa Ana Blvd. The event weekend will consist of carnival, live performances on 2 different stages, packed with music, food and vendors. The City of Santa Ana will host, injunction with GC the Annual El Grito Ceremony on Saturday evening and the Fiestas Patrias Parade on Sunday at 4pm.”

Admission and entertainment is free. Additional costs for carnival rides, food, etc. 


40th Annual Polish Dożynki Harvest Festival – Yorba Linda

September 15 +16

From their website: “…you can taste traditional Polish food and experience Polish culture. Enjoy delicious Polish food such as freshly prepared stuffed cabbage, traditional pierogi, authentic Polska Kielbasa, and Polish beer. Food and music go hand-in-hand at a harvest celebration. Dożynki will feature Polish folk dancers in traditional costumes; full artistic program to come. This year’s opportunity drawing features a brand new Toyota RAV4 as the grand prize!”

Admission and entertainment is free. Raffle tickets cost $5. Food is an additional cost. 


Greek Festival – San Juan Capistrano

September 29 +30

From their website: “Come find your “kefi” at San Juan Capistrano’s Annual Greek Festival hosted by Saint Basil Greek Orthodox Church. The weekend event evokes the sights, sounds and tastes of Greece. Enjoy the hospitality (philoxenia) of San Juan Capistrano’s Greek community, meet some new friends and experience a glimpse of Greece without leaving Southern California. Lots of traditional Greek dishes to choose from! Try the flavorful lamb chops and souvlakia, a tasty gyro sandwich, or a delicious Greek village salad. Enjoy Greek wine tasting and beers in our sports bar taverna while listening to live Greek music. For your sweet tooth, we have plenty of yiayia’s Greek pastries to compliment your Greek coffee or refreshing iced coffee frappe.

“Watch a Greek folk dance performance by our costumed troupe and learn to dance like Zorba! There is plenty of shopping at the Greek bazaar and activities for kids. Enter the raffle for a chance to win great prizes. A fun-filled weekend for the whole family!”

Admission and greek dance lessons are free. Food and other vendors are an additional cost. 


Global Village Festival – Irvine

September 22

From their website: “Travel the world at the 17th annual Irvine Global Village Festival on Saturday, Sept. 22, at Orange County Great Park. This all-day event features more than 100 performances representing cultures from around the world; international cuisine; kids’ crafts and activities; cultural and religious exhibits; and an international marketplace. … The festival’s Kids Village is a vibrant and interactive destination for children, featuring kids-inspired music and dance performances, an inflatable play area, crafting, games and sports activities, plus kid-friendly food selections that appeal to our younger guests.”

Free admission and parking. Shuttle buses also available. A variety of cultural food vendors provide tasting samples at the event, with prices ranging from $2 to $5. Purchase by cash, debit and credit card varies by vendor. Cash is recommended.


Get Up And Go! Healthy Kids Running Series – Laguna Niguel

September 30 (1st week of the 5 week series)

From their website: “The Healthy Kids Running Series is a five (5) week running program in the spring and fall for kids from Pre-K to 8th grade. Each Race Series takes place once a week and offers age appropriate running events including the 50 & 75 yard dashes, the 1/4 mile, the 1/2 mile and the one mile run. Kids compete each week of the Series for a chance to earn points. At the end of the Series the top boy and girl with the most points in their respective age division receive a trophy. 

There’s a $35 registration fee which covers the entire five weeks of the series. All participants receive a medal and gift bag. 


Orange County Children’s Book Festival – Costa Mesa

September 30

Discover the latest in children’s book publishing! This annual festival features over 3,000 titles, including books personally autographed by authors. You can buy just about any book there. That makes this festival one of the world’s largest bookstores! Multiple stages feature authors, illustrators, and professional storytellers. There’s a trackless train ride, kids crafts, face painting, crazy hair styling, petting zoo, balloon animals, and other family fun activities. Food vendors and more!

Free admission and parking. Food and books available for purchase.


We hope you have a fun and festive start to the fall season!

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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.