Orange is a small, quaint little town. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of things to do when you’re hanging around in the city. From parks to restaurants, there’s a long list of activities to do solo, or with friends and family. So get out and enjoy the charm of one of the oldest established cities in Orange County and take part in some of the many exciting community events the city has to offer.
In a little city, it makes sense to have a little park. Pitcher park is indeed little, but it’s a great place to hang out and have a picnic, walk your dog, or read a book. If you’re planning a photoshoot, it’s a cute place to snap a picture or two with grassy backdrops and a wooden barn. Hart Park is nearby if you want a place to go and use playground equipment, as well.
If you’re feeling fancy, book yourself a dinner reservation at The Hobbit. Most weekends book about three months in advance, which is a testament to how unique of an experience dining there is. There’s a flat fee of about $90 for the whole meal of seven courses on their ever rotating menu. The course even comes with an intermission, where you can take a walk around the renovated home.
If you like beer, you need to try The Wall. If you don’t like beer, you still need to try The Wall, because they have a fantastic array of food that’s always changing, like the monthly burger. But if you go for the beer, you won’t be disappointed. Most of the 50+ selection of different beers is self pour. So you sit down, grab a glass, and get to sample as many flavors as you’d like. They charge by the ounce, and you can keep track of what you paid on the screens as you pour.
The Orange dog park association recently received a facelift. There’s a place for small dogs and big dogs, so you don’t have to worry about them mixing. And there’s plenty of room for your dog to run around to his heart’s content. There’s also plenty of room for you, too, but if you’d rather take a seat, then there’s new seating and benches available for you.
Grijalva park itself is an option for you to go hang out and play on the sand volleyball court. But the gym and activity center located inside the park hosts classes and an open gym with an adult basketball league. You can drop by and shoot some hoops, or look in to see if there’s an exercise class that you’re interested in.
Get your climb on at The Factory and try your hand – and your feet – at bouldering. The gym offers you access to all their walls when you pay a one time entrance fee, or you can become a member and keep going back. There’s all levels of walls to climb, so whether you’ve never bouldered in your life or are a seasoned expert, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
If you’re local to orange and have never been to Old Towne Orange, also called The Circle, then you’re missing out. When you go to Downtown, you can visit Watson’s Soda Fountain, which was recently remodeled. You can also go on an antiquing adventure, and browse the many antique shops and thrift store. While you’re there, you can relax at the SunSpark yoga studio or get your hair done at one of the salons. There’s also endless options for when you want to grab a bite to eat, from The Pie Hole to Tokyo Cafe to a number of cute breakfast and brunch nooks, like the Blue Frog.
Where: Fred Kelly Stadium
The Foundation Games is an annual, 2-day youth track and field competition. The event is free and registration is open to elementary and middle school aged students. With over 1800 students participating, the Foundation Games is the largest qualifying junior track meet in California.
Where: Assistance League Chapter House in Old Towne Orange
Taste of Orange is an annual fundraiser and tasting festival featuring local food, beer, and wine. Event includes silent auction, live entertainment, and drawings. Funds support literacy and inspirational programs for at-risk teen girls.
When: June to August
Where: Hart Park Bandshell
The City of Orange hosts the annual Concerts in the Park event at the Hart Park Bandshell located at 701 S. Glassell Street. The concerts are held every Wednesday from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Concerts run from the middle of June through the middle of August. Concert goers will enjoy a different style of music every week from big band tunes to to country music, top 40, Latin, jazz and more.
When: July 3
Where: Fred Kelly Stadium/El Modena High School
The annual 3rd of July Celebration kids of the party at 4:00 p.m. with live music, a petting zoo, children’s activities, pony rides, and community food booths. When the sun goes down, the Orange Community Master Chorale will perform, followed by a patriotic fireworks spectacular. Children 2 and under are free. All others are $7.
When: September – Labor Day Weekend
Where: Old Towne Orange
The Annual Orange International Street Fair features food and entertainment from all over the world, including German, Irish, American, Mexican, and Greek. The Street Fair also features a street dedicated to children, vendors, arts and crafts booths, and more.
Where: Old Towne Orange Plaza
The annual Treats in the Streets Autumn Festival is a free community event for the whole family. Participants will enjoy a costume parade, entertainment, games, and trick or treating from local merchants. Food from local non-profit groups are available for purchase. The event runs from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
When: November – the week of Veteran’s Day
Where: Handy Park
A weeklong tribute to Veterans with flag processions and flag ceremonies taking place throughout the week with 1,776 flags on display at the event. Flags will be available for purchase with the proceeds benefitting veterans, active military personnel, and their families.
When: Veterans Day – November
Where: Veterans Memorial at Depot Park
The City of Orange and members of the community gather to honor military veterans and current military members with patriotic music, inspirational speeches, and displays of military members and their families. The event is open to the general public but parking is limited.
When: Early December
Where: Old Towne Orange Plaza
The Orange Tree Lighting Ceremony is an annual event that features a musical program that features a candlelight choir procession. The event begins in the afternoon with photos with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, carnival games, crafts, and food. The ceremony and tree lighting begins at 5:15.