Three Unique Things to Do this Summer

It’s summertime and the living is easy. Well, not quite but you know the feeling – it’s that summer feeling of freedom and happiness. That thing where you want to be outdoors and doing something that makes you happy. So put on some sunscreen and grab the family for these fun events in and around Orange County.

1. Get Artsy at the Festival of the Arts. The Festival celebrates its 84th year July 5 through August 31 in Laguna Beach, CA. There are art exhibits and art activities throughout the summer at the Festival of the Arts grounds in Laguna Beach but if there is one thing you should do at the Festival this year – watch the Pageant of the Masters, where works of art – sculptures and paintings literally come to life. For more information, visit: festivalofthearts.com

Festival of Arts, Laguna Beach

In the spring, we had the privilege of touring the Festival Pageant behind the scenes.

Pageant of the Masters

It was fun to meet the actors (all volunteers) participating in the annual Pageant of the Masters.

Laguna Beach, Festival of the Arts

Art comes alive at the Pageant of the Masters, Festival of the Arts, Laguna Beach.

2. Watch a backyard movie at the Hotel Irvine. At Hotel Irvine, near the junction of the 405 Fwy and Jamboree Road, one night, my family and I enjoyed watching E.T. under the stars. Movie Nights in the Backyard is the perfect night for families and friends as guests watch a movie on a 16-foot giant outdoor movie screen and enjoy a delicious buffet of burgers, hot dogs, chicken etc. prepared by the hotel chef. You can also pre-order a picnic from Marketplace (inside the hotel). Did I mention the candy and popcorn bar? They even had an ice cream cart, to the delight of my ice cream-loving son. And for adults, wine and cocktails are available too.

And get this, admission is only $5 per person, and free for children under five. Doors open at 7pm so you can hang out before dusk when the movie begins. They have open seating and you can bring blankets, low chairs, pillows or cushions. For more information, visit: hotelirvine.com

Here is the movie schedule:
Friday, July 22: Avengers, Age of Ultron
Friday, July 29: E.T. the Extraterrestrial
Friday, August 19: The Breakfast Club
Friday, August 26: Pitch Perfect 2

hotelirvine_1

Chilling with his buddy, waiting for the movie to start.

Chilling with his buddy, waiting for the movie to start.


Yum. An ice cream cart, popcorn bar, food available for purchase.

Yum. An ice cream cart, popcorn bar, food available for purchase.


Movie time! This photo courtesy of Hotel Irvine.

Movie time! This photo courtesy of Hotel Irvine.

3. Go on a ghost tour of the Queen Mary – the historic Queen Mary cruise ship docked in Long Beach as a hotel is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year! You don’t have to wait till Halloween to visit one of Time Magazine’s Top 10 Most Haunted Places in America! FYI, it’s not really that scary, especially because the Haunted Encounters tour they offer takes place during the day. We brought our kids too to explore the ship and hear stories about famous apparitions. For more information, visit queenmary.com

Her majesty. Larger than the Titanic!

Her majesty. Larger than the Titanic!

Looking out from inside. The stories they told us from within this cabin! Cue: creepy music.

Looking out from inside. The stories they told us from within this cabin! Cue: creepy music.

If you’re really into spooky scary things, you might want to check out Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor in the fall.

Ghostly apparitions through this hall way.

Ghostly apparitions through this hall way.

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