Hot in the City: Find Summer Fun in Costa Mesa
Summer is the season for relaxing, reconnecting with family and friends, enjoying time outdoors, and soaking up some sun. There’s no better place to do all that than Costa Mesa, where the weather will be perfect, with average highs in June, July, and August at 73, 77, and 78 degrees. You’ll also find a full schedule of fun summer activities near Costa Mesa.
Keep reading to learn more about summer activities, shows and performances, and the best places to do some summer shopping in and near Costa Mesa.
Costa Mesa and the surrounding area are full of fun summer activities all season long.
Orange County Fair
The annual month-long Orange County Fair is back in Costa Mesa at the OC Fair and Events Center. The fun starts on July 15 and goes through August 14. This year’s theme is perfect for summer: Feel the Sunshine. The fair is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays and from 11 a.m. to midnight on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Tickets are on sale now and must be purchased in advance because the fair is limiting the number of tickets per day. Rates run at $12 for general admission on Wednesdays and Thursdays; $14 for general admission on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays; and $7 for people older than 60 and children ages 6–13 Wednesdays through Sundays. Buy tickets here.
This year’s annual Lions Club Fish Fry & Carnival is Friday, June 3, through Sunday, June 5, at Lions Park in Costa Mesa. The Fish Fry raises money for local clubs, schools, and other community organizations. Admission is free, and fish dinners are $15. There will be an opportunity drawing, a beer and wine garden, bands, booths, and carnival rides.
When: Friday, June 3, 5–10 p.m.; Saturday, June 4, 11 a.m.–10 p.m.; Sunday, June 5, 11 a.m.–9 p.m.
Movies on the Lawn
Movies on the Lawn are back in Irvine this summer! All movies are at Great Park, and admission is free. Movies start at dusk, but people are encouraged to arrive at 6:30 p.m. to find seating and get something from the food trucks on site.
- June 18: Luca
- July 16: Encanto
- July 23: Space Jam: A New Legacy
- August 13: Sing 2
Fourth of July in Huntington Beach
Huntington Beach is pulling out all the stops this year for the Fourth of July with two parades, a four-day festival, and fireworks.
OneHB Neighborhood Parade
This Fourth of July parade is more like a small-town parade than the celebrity and float extravaganza on Main Street and the Pacific Coast Highway. It features military personnel and veterans, local elected officials, front-line heroes, and live entertainment. The parade will start at 8:30 a.m. and continue until around 12 p.m., going from south to north in Huntington Beach. Organizers will publish the exact route here on the morning of the Fourth.
The Fourth of July Parade
Huntington Beach has celebrated the Fourth of July with a massive parade since 1904 with floats, celebrity guests, and marching bands. This year’s parade begins at 10 a.m. and proceeds down Main Street. The best viewing spots are on the Pacific Coast Highway from 8th to Main Street, the Lake Park area, and the shopping area on Main Street.
Pier Plaza Festival
From July 1 through July 4, stop by the Pier Plaza Festival, next to the Huntington Beach Pier. The event is every day from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., with food and craft vendors, concerts, and other activities.
Fireworks on the Pier
The Fourth of July festivities conclude with a big fireworks display over the Huntington Beach Pier. The show features 1,300 rounds of fireworks. You can view it from the beach or anywhere with an ocean view in the city.
Fourth of July in Newport Beach
Newport Beach hosts its annual Independence Day celebration on the Back Bay. The fun begins at 8 a.m. on July 4, culminating with a Fireworks Extravaganza at 9 p.m.
Santa Ana River Trail
There’s no better time of year than summer to take a stroll on the trail. The Santa Ana River Trail is a 50-mile multi-use path that goes from the Huntington Beach Bicycle Trail at Pacific Coast Highway to South Waterman Avenue in San Bernardino, going along the edge of Costa Mesa. It’s concrete or asphalt the whole way, and you can walk, bike, skate, or ride a horse on the path. It’s also wheelchair accessible. There is a gap in the path, though, in Corona, before it resumes at the Hidden Valley Wildlife Area, which is east of Norco. The plan for the trail is for it to eventually run from Big Bear Lake to Huntington Beach, which would be 110 miles.
Isamu Noguchi’s California Scenario
Located at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, the California Scenario is one of the country’s preeminent sculpture gardens and the most accessible to the public in Southern California. Isamu Noguchi designed the garden to symbolize the state’s geographic characteristics and incorporated indigenous materials and plants. The Segerstrom family commissioned the garden in 1979, and Noguchi completed it in 1982.
Whether you’re in the market for luxury goods, local products, or fresh veggies, you’ll find what you need in Costa Mesa.
Where: 3315 Hyland Avenue, Costa Mesa
When: Saturdays (rain or shine) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
What you’ll find: The weekly market features a KidsZone with free crafts, so even children will love going shopping. You’ll also find seasonal produce, free-range meat, exotic fruit, nuts, and eggs. In addition, shoppers have a selection of bread, Salvadoran pupusas, gumbo, and more.
Where: 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa
When: Thursdays (rain or shine), 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
What you’ll find: This market is an Orange County Farm Bureau Sponsored Certified Farmers’ Market. That means you’ll find farmers selling nuts, vegetables, and fruit straight from their farms. The county agricultural commissioner inspects each farmer at this market to ensure the farmers are growing what they’re selling.
Where: 2937 Bristol Street, Costa Mesa
When: The Camp is open every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
What you’ll find: If you’re looking for a shopping center dedicated to supporting the local community while being mindful of the environment, then check out The Camp. You’ll find stores selling wellness products, clothing, and home goods. There are also restaurants, wine and liquor stores, a nail salon, a fitness studio, etc.
Where: 2930 Bristol Street, Costa Mesa
When: Monday through Thursday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Individual store hours may vary.)
What you’ll find: The LAB (Little American Business) is an indoor-outdoor shopping area with restaurants, cafes, and retail stores focused on music, fashion, art, and hip cuisine. Check the LAB’s website for up-to-date information on maker markets, art installations, and live music.
Where: 901 South Coast Drive, Costa Mesa
When: Open every day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Store hours may vary.)
What you’ll find: This upscale shopping center has it all: retail, restaurants, movies, and live concerts. Take a walk around the concourse and check out the flowers and lush foliage surrounded by Italian/California architecture.
Where: 3333 Bristol Street, Costa Mesa
When: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
What you’ll find: South Coast Plaza is more than a mall: It’s the biggest luxury shopping center on the West Coast, featuring more than 275 restaurants and boutiques. You’ll also find the Orange County Museum of Art and Segerstrom Center for the Arts next to the shopping center.
Shows and Performances
There’s no shortage of live music and summer fun in Costa Mesa. From big shows to smaller weekly performances, there’s something for everyone.
Where: 901 South Coast Drive, Costa Mesa
When: Every Friday and Saturday, 6:30–9:30 p.m.
Check the website for details on weekly performances.
Where: 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa
When: July 15–September 3
Cost: Varies, but all tickets include OC Fair admission through August 14.
The series kicks off with Kool & The Gang and The Family Stone on July 15. It concludes on September 3 with Jackson Browne.
Where: 20 Lake Road, Irvine
When: Saturdays, July 9–August 6
Cost: Free or $20 for reserved seating
Go to the website for information about performers. Food trucks will be on site. Bring blankets or chairs.
Where: 7111 Talbert Avenue, Huntington Beach
When: Sundays, June 26–August 21
Check the website for a list of performers.
The Costa Mesa area is the perfect place to spend summer. You’ll find fun summer activities near Costa Mesa like the Orange Country Fair, Fourth of July celebrations, shopping opportunities, and exciting concerts. And if you decide to make Costa Mesa your home, give us a call at The Parsons. We’d love to meet you!
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