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Best Activities To Do This Week In Orange County - January 16

The first month of the year is half way through and we're finally getting in the swing of things! This week brings a flurry of interesting activities, from the popular Newport Beach Restaurant Week to workshops that will teach attendees how to brew kombucha or grow sweat peas. There are a variety of art-related events as well, including a few concerts, a playwriting festival and a screening of a popular film from a few years back.
Monday, January 16

Celebrate The Beginning Of Newport Beach Restaurant Week
Various Locations
Newport Beach, CA
(855) 639-7678

Running through January 29, Newport Beach Restaurant Week offers two weeks of fabulous meals at some of Orange County's best eateries. The annual event, which is already in its 11th year, gives local restaurants the chance to join in and present special multi-course lunch and dinner menus. Set at fixed rates of $10, $15 or $20 for lunch and $20, $30, $40 or $50 for dinner, it's an easy way to savor various dishes at popular Newport restaurants. This year's participants include spots like Gratitude Newport Beach, Mr. G's Bistro, SOL Cocina, Provenance, Bluefin, Fig & Olive, CUCINA enoteca and A Restaurant. Each eatery will present options that represent their culinary tastes and style. Visit our Guide To The 2017 Newport Beach Restaurant Week for our picks for restaurants not to miss.

Tuesday, January 17
Styx Portrait Shoot- verified ashley
(Credit: Rick Diamond)

See Styx Live
City National Grove of Anaheim
2200 East Katella Avenye
Anaheim, CA 92806
(714) 712-2700

Creating music since the 1970s, Styx is a popular rock band that has sold over 30 million records domestically. They return to Southern California with an 8 p.m. show at the City National Grove of Anaheim, a relatively small venue that ensures an up-close view of the band's performance. Stop by to listen to them play their hits, including songs like "Come Sail Away" and "Too Much Time on My Hands." Their current, long-standing line-up consists of Tommy Shaw, James "JY" Young, Chuck Panozzo, Lawrence Gowan, Ricky Phillips and Todd Sucherman. Doors will open at 6 p.m. for dinner, with a menu that consists of a SoCal salad and three entrée options—seared chicken breast, grilled steak chili and cilantro-marinated tofu—plus coffee crème brûlée for dessert.

Wednesday, January 18
kombucha-workshop-for-homebrewing- verified ashley
(Credit: Sukhdeep Tracy Huang)

Kombucha Workshop for Homebrewing
Bodhi Tree Vegan Cafe
501 Main Street
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
(714) 969-9500

As people focus more and more on health, kombucha continues to gain popularity as a drink with extensive benefits. Brewed for thousands of years, the fermented probiotic tea beverage is created with raw cultures that help to optimize health. This workshop, which runs from 7 to 9 p.m., will cover not only the fundamental ingredients and origins of the drink, but also information about the natural carbonation process. The workshop will also incorporate essential oils and include some special flavor recipes. The cost is $35 and there are limited spaces available, but each participant will receive a starter kit complete with SCOBY, or symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.

Thursday, January 19
500 Days of Summer - Verified Ashley
(Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures)

View A Free Screening of "500 Days of Summer"
Screening of "500 Days of Summer"
Laguna Art Museum
307 Cliff Drive
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 494-8971

See a free screening of the popular 2009 film "500 Days of Summer" on Thursday night at the Laguna Art Museum. Part of the museum's Film Night series, the movie stars Zooey Deschanel as title character Summer, who doesn't believe in true love. Her co-star, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, plays a greeting card writer and hopeless romantic named Tom, who is instantly taken with Summer and tries to convince her that they have something real. The producer of the film, Jessica Tuchinsky, will speak briefly before the film, introducing it to those in attendance. Reservations are recommended and the event begins at 7 p.m.

Friday, January 20
camino real playhouse
(credit: Duke D./Yelp)

Visit The ShowOff! Playwriting Festival
Camino Real Playhouse
31776 El Camino Real
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 489-8082

Drama and comedy blends together in the annual ShowOff! Playwriting Festival, a favorite at the Camino Real Playhouse. Hundreds of writers submit their 10-minute plays each year, hoping to be a part of the showcase events that present the top seven plays. Created by seven different directors, the audience votes each night after seeing them all, and the top three earn cash prizes following the final evening. This year, the plays include "My Three Wives," "The Case of the Missing Know It All" and "Therapy Dog," among others. The event begins on Friday, Jan. 20 and runs through the following Sunday, Jan. 29. Tickets range from $27 to $37.

Saturday, January 21
world-class-sweet-peas-seminar-4-steve-hampson- verified ashley
(Credit: Steve Hampson)

Visit The World Class Sweet Peas Seminar
Roger's Gardens
2301 San Joaquin Hills Road
Newport Beach, CA 92625
(949) 640-5800

Expert horticulturalist Steve Hampson will lead this colorful workshop, which teaches attendees how to grow and care for sweat peas. Hampson has trialed more than 50 varietals in the last year at Roger's Gardens. These flowers, which thrive during cooler seasons, are very fragrant, making them a wonderful addition to any room in your home. Hampson will discuss how to sow the seeds, how to prepare the soil and how to grow these flowers in pots or containers. He will also discuss support systems for the flowers as well as how to keep them safe from both diseases and insects. The free event will last from 9 to 10 a.m.

Sunday, January 22
lord-of-the-strings- verified ashley
(Credit: Courtesy of SOCO)

See "Lord of the Strings"
LCA Wine
3303 Hyland Avenue
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(949) 760-9150

Held at LCA Wine at Costa Mesa's SOCO, the latest "Lord of the Strings" show will feature live music from Peppino D'Agostino and Peppino D'Agostino. Guitarist D'Agostino has played theaters and festivals all over the world while Reyes works as a recording artist, producer, engineer, harpist and violinist. Reyes has perfected the Paraguayan harp, a challenging instrument that he has dedicated his life to. The performance will start at 3 p.m. with doors opening up at 2 p.m. The series will continue a performance by Joe Robinson on March 19, Acoustic Eidolon on April 2 and Clive Carroll on May 7.

Ashley Ryan is an Orange County native that loves traveling, live music and photography. She blogs at Pure Wander and freelances for a variety of publications including Newport Beach Magazine and Laguna Beach Magazine.
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