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Every Top Event To Know About In Orange County - January 2018

As we move into the new year, it's time to relax after the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. This month, there are plenty of plays, live concerts and art exhibits to keep you busy as you lose yourself in art. There are also plenty of workshops to keep you busy, allowing you to create something new in the new year. Or get your exercise on with a number of fun runs and outdoor nature hikes that will elevate your fitness game, whether it was one of your resolutions to be more active or not. And don't forget those ongoing Christmas celebrations that are continuing into the first part of the month.
Morning-After Brunch-Hotel Irvine- VERIFIED ASHLEY
(Credit: Hotel Irvine)

January 1, 2018
Morning-After Brunch
EATS Kitchen & Bar, Irvine

Whether you're winding down from a night out on the town celebrating 2018 or a night in watching the ball drop on television, this brunch is a great way to start the new year. The weekend brunch will extend to Monday with options like French toast, chilaquiles or the breakfast burger.

Bluegrass Brunch
Restauration, Long Beach

Enjoy a two-course brunch to kick off 2018 accompanied by live bluegrass music from local artists including Brandon Baker and Kale Stiles. The first course is the house parfait, but diners choose from things like a harvest farm frittata, smoked salmon tartine or avocado toast for the second.

New Year Full Moon Equestrian Ride
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park, Silverado

Take a ride through Baker Canyon on horseback with friends on the first night of the year, enjoying the views of the lake and rock formations by the light of the moon. The three-hour event will traverse the supposedly haunted region's peaks and canyons.

Discounted Late Nights-Soupy Bouasaysy:Aquarium of the Pacific- VERIFIED ASHLEY
(Credit: Soupy Bouasaysy/Aquarium of the Pacific)

January 1 – 14, 2018
Discounted Late Nights
Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach

Arrive at the aquarium after 5 p.m. for special discounts on select evenings through the first half of the month. Guests will be invited to explore all of the exhibits except for the lorikeet forest, giving them the chance to pet a shark in the Shark Lagoon or see the penguins swim.

January 1 – 29, 2018
10 Skills for the New Year
Sur La Table, Newport Beach

Six classes will be held throughout the month to help participants hone their cooking skills in 2018. While learning these techniques, you'll prepare an arugula salad, herb-brined roasted chicken, a simple gravy and risotto plus chocolate ganache and caramel tartlets for dessert.

January 2 – 5, 2018
Anniversary Days
Ocean Institute, Dana Point

In honor of the institute's 40th anniversary, enjoy a special admission price of 40 cents per child with a paid adult ticket. The event will include hands-on interactive activities, special squid dissections, lessons on the 'sting-ray shuffle' and tours of the center's tall ships.

Ice Rink Themed Thursdays-Irvine Spectrum Center - VERIFIED ASHLEY
(Credit: Irvine Spectrum Center)

January 4, 2018
Ice Rink Themed Thursdays
Irvine Spectrum Center, Irvine

On the final Themed Thursday of the 2017-2018 season, dress up in gear representing Thursday Night Football to get a discount on your ticket. Enjoy a live DJ along with prize giveaways at this special event. The ice rink will remain open until January 7.

January 4 – 7, 2018
Three Kings' Day
Disney California Adventure, Anaheim

This Latin-inspired celebration of the three wise men that offered gifts baby Jesus in Bethlehem will include finely crafted decorations of the men themselves, children's shoes that have been left out for the wise men to fill them with toys and a circular cake called Rosca de Reyes. There will also be special coloring pages for kids as well as a DIY jeweled crown project.

The Romance of Prague and the Glory of Vienna-Dave Kuhn- VERIFIED ASHLEY
(Credit: Dave Kuhn)

January 4 – 25, 2018
"The Romance of Prague and the Glory of Vienna"
LCAD Gallery, Laguna Beach

With a summer abroad program that whisked students off to the Czech Republic and Austria, they were able to create an array of paintings, drawings and photographs that captured the architecture, natural beauty and art of Europe, and this exhibit showcases those works.

January 5 – 6, 2018
2018 College Hockey Classic
Honda Center, Anaheim

This women's ice hockey competition will pit New York's St. Lawrence University against Missouri's Lindenwood University in the spirit of good fun. The two-day tournament includes former Southern California players who were part of the Lady Ducks youth program as well.

January 5 – 31, 2018
Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire
The Void at Downtown Disney, Anaheim

Spend a half hour immersed in the world of Stars Wars with this ongoing virtual reality experience opening up at Downtown Disney. Teams of four will work together, disguised as stormtroppers, to recover Imperial intelligence on the planet of Mustafar in order to help the rebellion.

Winter Bird Walk-Visit Newport Beach - VERIFIED ASHLEY
(Credit: Visit Newport Beach)

January 6, 2018
Winter Bird Walk
Crystal Cove, Newport Beach

Take a guided walk along the coastal and inland areas of Crystal Cove. Meet your leader at 8 a.m. at the Berns Amphitheatre and prepare to learn about the birds that call the park home, with your guide identifying the difference species as you go.

Habitat Recovery and the Ecology of Fire
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve, Orange

With recent fires tearing through Santiago Oaks and Irvine Regional Parks, as well as Gypsum and Weir Canyons, more than 9,000 acres of woodland and coastal sage scrub habitats burned. This three-mile hike showcases the burned areas, providing information on the effects of the fire on local plants and animals as well as how to ensure the land recovers in a healthy way.

Beach Clean Up
Salt Creek Beach, Dana Point

Head down to Salt Creek Beach for an early morning beach clean up. With billions of pounds of plastic littering oceans around the world, this event encourages locals to help protect marine life and local natural habitats by removing trash and litter found near the coastline.

Monster Energy Supercross-Feld Entertainment- VERIFIED ASHLEY
(Credit: Feld Entertainment)

January 6 and 20, 2018
Monster Energy Supercross
Angel Stadium, Anaheim

A touring show that kicks off the racing season with a bang, Monster Energy Supercross features a slew of motorcycle racers who take to the man-made course for 20 laps of high jumps, turns and curves. The winner earns points, and after 17 races (two of which will be in Anaheim), the man with the most points is deemed the champion.

January 6 and 21, 2018
Job Shadow Class: Veterinarian
Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach

Children between the ages of 13 and 17 who would like to enter the veterinarian field can learn from the aquarium's own veterinary staff with this job shadow class. In the three-hour event, participants will learn which tasks the staff complete, practice new-found skills on a stuffed animal and accompany the staff on their morning rounds. There may also be chances to observe a veterinarian treating an animal.

January 6 – 27, 2018
Screening of "Rocky Horror Picture Show"
Art Theatre, Long Beach

Every Saturday at midnight—throughout the month of January and beyond—the theater will screen this cult classic, complete with a shadow cast pantomime performance in front of the screen. Participate in the "midnight insanity" experience by wearing a costume of your own.

CHILL 1-Lily Fassnacht:The Queen Mary
(Credit: Lily Fassnacht/The Queen Mary)

Through January 7, 2018
The Queen Mary, Long Beach

The all-new CHILL winter festival at the Queen Mary features a ton of icy fun, including ice tricycles, ice bumper cars, ice shuffleboard and ice tubing in addition to the ice skating path. There are also a variety of internationally-inspired holiday traditions, foods and drinks to enjoy as well as meet and greets with gift bringers from Germany, Switzerland, China and more.

Winter Fest
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa

Enjoy the fun in the snow before it goes away! Today is the last day to enjoy Winter Fest before it's gone for the season. Enjoy ice tubing, ice skating, and a snow play area, a carnival with rides and games, a walk-through Christmas light display and much more!

Holidays at the Disneyland Resort
Disneyland Resort, Anaheim

Disney did not stop celebrating the holidays when 2017 ended. The ongoing displays include special holiday décor on rides like the Haunted Mansion and it's a small world, but also with the nightlife fireworks and World of Colors shows. Don't forget to also check out the nightly castle lighting ceremony, complete with music and falling snow.

Knott's Merry Farm
Knott's Berry Farm, Buena Park

The merriest season of all continues at Knott's as well, with a variety of holiday shows, crafts, carolers and a tree lighting ceremony. Don't miss Santa's Christmas Cabin, where visitors can meet the jolly man and enjoy a variety of holiday treats, from eggnog and peppermint-topped cheesecake to tamales.

Winter Wonderfest
Discovery Cube, Santa Ana

Another winter festival with real snow play, Winter Wonderfest offers the chance to sled down a hill or to build a snowman. The event includes science experiments as well, including a 75-foot tubing experience where kids can determine whether they moved faster at the top of the bottom.

Farmers Market Yoga-Ashley Ryan- VERIFIED ASHLEY
(Credit: Ashley Ryan)

January 7 – 28, 2018
Farmers Market + Yoga
Orange County Great Park, Irvine

Visit the farmers market at the Great Park on Sunday mornings for fresh fruit, flowers, teas, nuts and more. Then, at 11 a.m., join 7 Elements Yoga for an outdoor yoga session complete with healthy shopping tips for those heading back to the market after.

World Famous Gospel Brunch
House of Blues, Anaheim

Another Sunday morning happening is the gospel brunch at the House of Blues, with a menu filled with signature southern items as well as carving stations and made-to-order omelets. Upbeat gospel music will be performed while you eat, creating an unforgettable dining experience.

January 9, 2018
President Nixon's Birthday Commemoration
Richard Nixon Library, Yorba Linda

A free event marking what would have been Nixon's 105th birthday, the day will feature a ceremony at the memorial site with the laying of a memorial wreath and a presentation of colors as well as a lecture on his legacy by his former deputy special assistant, Bruce Herschensohn.

January 10 – 28, 2018
"I Am My Own Wife"
Laguna Playhouse, Laguna Beach

Having won both a Tony award and a Pulitzer Prize, this play tells the true story of a German transvestite named Charlotte von Mahlsdorf who struggled to survive in Nazi Germany as well as during the repressive communist regime.

Wolves, Coyotes and Wildlife-Environmental Nature Center
(Credit: Environmental Nature Center)

January 11, 2018
Wolves, Coyotes and Wildlife
Environmental Nature Center, Newport Beach

Learn about the similarities and differences between wolves and coyotes in things like biology, social structure and behavior as well as what to do if you encounter either of these wild animals. There will be video footage as well as hands-on opportunities to see animal skulls and antlers.

Michi Wiancko
Casa Romantica, San Clemente

The cultural center will host a performance by Michi Wiancko, a violinist and composer known for her intricate, beautiful music. She will play solo, combining her own original compositions with stunning vocals, a loop machine and various styles of music as well as one improvised piece.

Ships & Giggles Comedy Night
The Queen Mary, Long Beach

Now on Thursday nights, this monthly comedy event features some of the hottest comedians in the country at the on-ship Observation Bar. Rocco Stowe will serve as the host as guests laugh and enjoy select food and drinks.

January 11 and 31, 2018
Afternoon Tea in the Gardens
Sherman Library and Gardens, Newport Beach

On two Wednesdays in January, stop by the gardens for a relaxing afternoon experience in a beautiful environment. In addition to a fresh pot of tea, tickets include a selection of tea sandwiches, chocolate scones, petite fresh currant and various desserts.

January 12, 2018
See Jane Sing
Irvine Bayclay Theatre, Irvine

Enjoy a fabulous Friday night in Irvine as live music and comedy come together, thanks to performer Jane Lynch. The actress and her band will grace the stage for a musical journey that will take guests through Broadway hits, silly tunes, cabaret classics and other favorites.

The Kellye Huff Band-The Ranch- VERIFIED ASHLEY
(credit: The Ranch)

January 12 – 13, 2018
The Kellye Huff Band
The Ranch, Anaheim

Savor a nice dinner in The Ranch's restaurant before stopping by the saloon for a night of live music. The Kellye Huff Band, a local group performing with soulful vocals and plenty of southern charm, will take the stage, will play some hits to get your hips moving and feet dancing.

January 12 – 28, 2018
"Black Coffee"
Long Beach Playhouse, Long Beach

A lesser known murder-mystery play, inspired by an Agatha Christie tale, comes to Southern California this month, combining espionage and scientific discoveries as physicist Sir Claud Amory is murdered. Christie's master sleuth, Hercule Poirot, is there to find out what happened.

Successful Roses for Spring-Rogers Gardens- VERIFIED ASHLEY
(Credit: Roger's Gardens)

January 13, 2018
Successful Roses for Spring
Roger's Gardens, Corona del Mar

Kim Sterling and Lynn Hillman, the garden's rose experts, will teach guests how to take care of their roses this winter to produce beautiful flowers in the spring. In addition to revealing how, where and when to prune them, the lesson will feature tips on reducing disease and maximizing blooms. Guests will also visit the rose garden for hands-on learning.

On the Edges of Daily Life in Ancient Egypt
Bowers Museum, Santa Ana

Six UCLA doctoral students will present papers on various aspects of life in ancient Egypt during this museum talk. Subjects include tattoo practices, social identity based on familial relationships, healing practices and religion, sensory experiences and more.

Southern California Half Marathon
Woodbridge Region, Irvine

Get some exercise in this month with the 13.1-mile half marathon or the accompanying 5K race. Kids can participate as well, with a special one-mile lake run. Proceeds will go toward Woodbridge High School Athletics as well as other local charities.

Preserving the Season Workshop: Herb Wreaths
Orange County Great Park, Irvine

Stop by the Farm + Food Lab to create your own herb wreath during this free workshop. While it will add a touch of décor to your kitchen, it serves a practical purpose as well, featuring popular cooking herbs that can be snipped off and added to dishes as you're cooking.

January 13 – February 10, 2018
"Shakespeare in Love"
South Coast Repertory, Costa Mesa

Based on the screenplay of the beloved film, this stage play follows a young William Shakespeare as he makes his way through life and his career. Facing writer's block, he encounters a woman who desires to star in his plays—a woman he ends up falling for.

Dan McCleary-Dan McCleary- VERIFIED ASHLEY
(Credit: Dan McCleary)

Through January 14, 2018
"Dan McCleary: Prints from Oaxaca"
Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach

As part of the Getty Center's "Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA" initiative celebrating Latin culture here in Southern California, the Laguna Art Museum is showcasing artwork created by Dan McCleary, a local artist who regularly travels to Oaxaca, Mexico to work alongside master printer Fernando Sandoval.

January 14, 2018
Kris Kristofferson
The Coach House, San Juan Capistrano

Country music legend Kris Kristofferson comes to the local stage to perform hits like "Help Me Make it Through the Night" and "Me and Bobby McGee" this month. The singer-songwriter released his most recent album, an Americana collection called "The Cedar Creek Sessions," last year.

Tuner Evolution SoCal Car Show
Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim

The massive Anaheim Convention Center will host a car show with cash payouts in categories like Best in Show, Best Domestic, Best Euro and Best Team. There will also be music from live DJs, a breakdancing competition, an RC drifting demonstration and a variety of models and vendors onsite.

Donnie Darko-The Frida Cinema- VERIFIED ASHLEY
(Credit: The Frida Cinema)

January 14 – 16, 2018
Screening of "Donnie Darko"
Frida Cinema, Santa Ana

Newly remastered, both the theatrical cut and director's cut of this cult classic will be shown each day. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal as an unhappy man named Donnie, the movie details his increasingly violent actions inspired by a mysterious giant bunny that is telling him what to do.

January 15, 2018
Reach for the Heights with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Laguna Beach

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. day, hike the Little Sycamore trail with friends and family, lifted up in spirit by the words of an American hero. The group hike will begin at 10 a.m., but those who come later can navigate the trail on their own, reading inspirational quotes along the way and enjoying the stunning, expansive view frm the top.

January 15 – 28, 2018
Newport Beach Restaurant Week
Various Restaurants, Newport Beach

This annual event kicks off mid-month, celebrating some of the finest cuisine in the coastal city with prix-fixe menus of different prices. With lunch menus ranging from $10 to $25, and dinner offered for between $20 and $50, locals and visitors alike can sample foods from some of the finest restaurants in town.

Ultimate Cheese & Charcuterie Backyard Party-SideDoor- VERIFIED ASHLEY
(Credit: SideDoor)

January 17, 2018
Ultimate Cheese & Charcuterie Backyard Party
SideDoor, Corona del Mar

Swing by this English-style gastropub for an evening of creamy cheese on January 17. The event will feature cheese from creameries that were featured on the menu over the last four months, including September's Jasper Hill Farm and December's Andante Dairy.

Scales, Feathers & Fur
OC Zoo, Orange

A preschool program designed for children ages 3 and 4, Scales, Feathers & Fur takes youngsters on a trip around the zoo, learning about the animals covered in scales, feathers and fur. It also includes hands-on experiences, crafts and close-ups with the animals.

January 17 – 28, 2018
3 Desserts Every Cook Should Know
Sur La Table, Costa Mesa

This hands-on cooking class will help students work together in order to craft three classic desserts perfect for winter. Learn to craft a decadent dark chocolate mousse and a flaky tartlet filled with tangy lemon curd before using a blowtorch to make baked custard into a ginger crème brulee.

(Credit: Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort)

January 18, 2018
Disneyland After Dark: Throwback Nite
Disneyland Resort, Anaheim

The very first Disney After Dark will be throwback-themed, encouraging guests to come dressed in vintage and retro attire to take a stroll down memory lane. The event will include meet and greets with classic characters, rides on attractions from the '50s and '60s, food and drink from the past, a tribute fireworks show resembling the park's first and old-time music and dancing.

Karen Clark Author Talk
Newport Beach Central Library, Newport Beach

Community leader, author and attorney Karen Clark will visit the library this month to discuss her latest book. Titled "Bill Clinton: America's Bridge to the 21st Century," the publication details Clinton's political career and the new vision and attitude, as well as scandal, he brought to the White House.

Little Lido Kid's Club
Lido Marina Village, Newport Beach

The January edition of this monthly child-centric tradition will be winter-themed, with a reading of a book about snowflakes as well as a related craft for kids to complete and take home with them. There will also be a raffle featuring prizes from the village's retail shops and restaurants.

January 18 – 20, 2018
100 Years of Bernstein
Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa

Highlighting the career of musician Leonard Bernstein, these three performances will each detail some of his greatest Broadway hits from "West Side Story," "Wonderful Town" and more. Those that will take the stage to honor the composer include Mary Testa, Alex Getlin, Joshua Israel and David Burnham.

Epic Distance Hike-Irvine Ranch Conservancy- VERIFIED ASHLEY
(Credit: Irvine Ranch Conservancy)

January 19, 2018
Epic Distance Hike
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve, Silverado

Experienced hikers will enjoy this truly epic hike through Limestone Canyon, traveling 16 miles in seven hours. The challenging adventure is sure to make for a rewarding experience, considering the steep hills and descents included on the hike, and the picturesque views along the way. Expect to visit both sides of The Sinks, Dripping Springs, Box Springs and more.

Ducks Vs. Kings
Honda Center, Anaheim

Bundle up and head to the Honda Center for a January hockey game. The beloved Ducks, one of only two professional sports teams from Orange County, will take on their biggest rivals, the neighboring Los Angeles Kings, in a battle that is sure to thrill.

(Credit: Joan Marcus)

January 19 – 21, 2018
"Jersey Boys"
Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa

Listen to exciting music by The Four Seasons during this award-winning Broadway musical that tells the story of the youth that became pop and rock 'n' roll superstars. With 175 million records sold worldwide before they were 30, songs like "Big Girls Don't Cry" and "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" light up the stage for over two hours.

January 19 – 28, 2018
The Car Plays
Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa

In one of the most unique theater displays you'll ever experience, The Car Plays returns to the center to blur the lines between art and reality. With five different 10-minute plays performed—each inside of a different car—it's definitely unlike anything you've seen before, and the adventurous display will have you returning next year for more.

January 20, 2018
Avalon 50-Mile Benefit Run
Crescent & the Pier, Catalina Island

Beginning at 5 a.m., this 50-mile run is a serious event for experienced runners—but it's a great way to see the island of Catalina. Take in stunning views of the blue ocean without the pollution found on the mainland and navigate through untouched landscapes with wildlife sheltering nearby. There is also a 50-kilometer, or 31-mile, option.

The Super Run
El Dorado East Regional Park, Long Beach

With a galactic run bib, galactic blaster cuffs to push you faster and a special galactic finisher's medal, The Super Run was clearly made for only the most heroic of people. The run, which traverses the outskirts of the large park, has a variety of partners, including Run for Autism and CureSearch for children's cancer research.

Starlight Star Bright Night Hike
Carbon Canyon Regional Park, Brea

Everything looks different in the dark so why not experience a different side of Orange County with a nighttime hike through Carbon Canyon? This popular annual hike is ranger-led for safety, and will lead our through a redwood grove while highlight wonders that can only be seen at night. In addition to the hike, there will be hot chocolate, cookies and a live animal presentation.

(Credit: Ocean Institute)

January 20 – 28, 2018
Cannon Battle Sails
Ocean Institute, Dana Point

Hop aboard one of the institute's tall ships amid blasting cannons, towering rigging and bustling decks. Work with the ship's crew, against the full force of the wind, to wrangle the canvas of the sails and learn about the skill and knowledge involved in sailing and surviving on the sea.

January 21, 2018
Animal Tracking
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve, Orange

Travel three miles in three hours while you seek out tracks on the ground to learn about the wildlife that calls Fremont Canyon home. To learn about the local animals, from mild mule deer to the more dangerous bobcats, coyotes and mountain lions, keep your eyes peeled for fur, bones and scat along the way as well.

January 22 and 29, 2018
Visionaries Lecture Series
Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach

The winter lecture series kicks off this month (with additional classes in February and early March), and it deals with the art market and its place in the current world. Look at the role of traditional art galleries and museums versus smaller galleries and art fairs as well as controversies and politics that now surround the art world.

January 25, 2018
Mexican Bark Painting
Bowers Museum, Santa Ana

Amidst the many children's art programs in Orange County is the Bowers Museum's special seniors program, Anne's Treasures. Guests over the age of 62 can visit twice a month for art, music or lectures, and this time, the class features the painting of village scenes on Amate bark paper.

January 25 – 28, 2018
The NAMM Show
Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim

An annual multi-day music convention for musicians and music lovers alike, the NAMM Show unites the music community with products from the worlds of sound and event technology. With products from more than 7,000 brands on site, it's a great place to buy equipment in addition to seeing live performances.

January 26, 2018
Jefferson Starship
The Coach House, San Juan Capistrano

A rock band that is comprised of some of the members of famous San Francisco group Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship will stop in San Juan Capistrano for one night only to play some of their most popular songs from the last 40 years.

Lunar New Year-Paul Hiffmeyer:Disneyland- VERIFIED ASHLEY
(Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland)

January 26 – February 18, 2018
Lunar New Year
Disney California Adventure, Anaheim

Culture abounds at California Adventure for Chinese New Year, with ornamental lanterns galore, characters dressed in traditional costumes, a Lucky Wishing Wall and a procession featuring Mulan and Mushu. A show titled Hurry Home will also include the same characters.

January 26 – February 25, 2018
"Octette Bridge Club"
Newport Theatre Arts Center, Newport Beach

Eight sisters of Irish descent meet to play bridge and gossip over the course of 10 years in this play by P.J. Barry, with the first act set in 1934 and the second act taking place 10 years later. Each character's personality and struggles are revealed as the scenes go on.

Winter Color Garden-Rogers Gardens - VERIFIED ASHLEY
(credit: Rogers Gardens)

January 27, 2018
Winter Color Garden
Roger's Gardens, Corona del Mar

While vibrant, colorful flowers often stir up pictures of spring and summer, it's possible to get beautiful blooms in winter in Southern California as well. Join the gardens' horticulturists as they help you determine which plants and flowers will last all year long as well as tips for keeping them healthy.

2018 Documentary Film Series
Orange Public Library, Orange

The first of three screenings in the series will take place this month, with two others following in February and March. The January showcase features 2010 documentary "Bag It: Is Your Life Too Plastic?" Filmmakers take a look at the effects of plastic on ecosystems, the ocean and the human body.

Painting Class: Cactus and Succulents
Sherman Library and Gardens, Newport Beach

Local artist Carol Kreider leads this garden-themed painting class, with trips through the garden a must to experience the beauty and find inspiration in the various desert plants within before attempting to create watercolor cacti or succulents.

Winter Family Game Day
Orange County Great Park, Irvine

Grab the whole family and head to the Great Park for a Saturday morning or afternoon filled with endless fun. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., guests can recline on the lawn, enjoy a delicious picnic and take part in a variety of lawn and board games as well as arts & crafts.

An Evening with Jeffrey Toobin
Carpenter Performing Arts Center, Long Beach

As a CNN analyst and writer for "The New Yorker," Toobin is an expert on politics, law and media in America and will bring a little bit of that knowledge to Southern California with the Wit and Wisdom series. In his talk, he will delve into details about the workings of the Supreme Court, its influence and the effect of the recent election on the court.

Festival of Human Abilities-Aquarium of the Pacific- VERIFIED ASHLEY
(Credit: Aquarium of the Pacific)

January 27 – 28, 2018
Festival of Human Abilities
Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach

Now in its 15th year, the amazing Festival of Human Abilities presents the creative talents of those with disabilities. Expect to see things like wheelchair dancing, live art demonstrations, handicap accessible scuba diving presentations, live music and a sign language choir. There will also be workshops hosted by those with disabilities.

January 28, 2018
Mystery Treks Hiking Club
Environmental Nature Center, Newport Beach

Each month in 2018, the nature center will host a special event with an on-site lecture followed by an off-site hike. For January, guests will participate in a sunset hike at a mystery location after a Back to the Basics talk on the property with hiking tips and insider information.

Laguna Niguel Triathlon
Crown Community Park, Laguna Niguel
Prove your absolute fitness prowess with this annual triathlon, combining running with biking and swimming. Participants will run a 5K, then enjoy an eight-mile bike ride before finishing the event with a 175-yard jaunt in a swimming pool. Snag a finisher's medal on the first part of the SoCal Tri Series.

January 30, 2018
Passion Pit
The Observatory, Santa Ana

Massachusetts-based indie band Passion Pit comes to Orange County at the end of the month, playing the main room at The Observatory with songs like "Take a Walk." Purchase the Inner Dialogue Experience ticket to also get access to the pre-show sound check and Q&A, an autographed poster and access to purchase merchandise before the show.

Healthy Shopping and Food Prep-Casa Romantica- VERIFIED ASHLEY
(Credit: Casa Romantica)

January 31, 2018
Healthy Shopping and Food Prep
Casa Romantica, San Clemente

Part of the cultural center's focus on wellness in the new year, this class, led by nutritionist Kristi Acuña, will help participants learn to correctly read food labels, to identify which ingredients are harmful and which are beneficial and to prepare healthy foods to be eaten.

Throughout January 2018
The Films of Guillermo del Toro
Frida Cinema, Santa Ana

During the month of January, the Frida Cinema will present a series of six films by famed director Guillermo del Toro. Watch "Cronos," "Pan's Labyrinth," "Pacific Rim," "The Devil's Backbone" and "Crimson Peak" leading up to the showing's of his newest film, "The Shape of Water."

Go Whale Watching
Newport Landing Whale Watching, Newport Beach

Winter is the perfect time for whale watching, and Newport Landing has five different shops on which to take guests out on the water. This time of year is when the blue whales are migrating from the cold waters of the Arctic to more southerly waters to breed during winter. It's a fun event for the whole family, and on top of whale sightings, keep your eyes peeled for dolphins.

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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