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Imagination Celebration: 50+ Free Events in Orange County

50+ free Events in Orange County

The Imagination Celebration is happening in Orange County from April 16th through May 29th, providing a unique way for you and your child to explore fun and educational experiences in music, drama, and visual arts. Most events offer hands-on participation, and all events include opportunities that will spark your child’s imagination. The event is hosted by Arts Orange County and the Orange County Department of Education, offering more than 50 free events in more than 20 cities in Orange County.


Ongoing Events

8th Annual Trash ARTist Challenge Exhibition

April 9 – April 24, 2016

Join us for the 8th Annual Trash ARTist Expo on April 9, 12-3pm, rain or shine!
The Muzeo Trash ARTist Challenge is a county-wide art contest that promotes zero-waste recycling by encouraging students to turn trash to art. The Challenge includes an Expo & Awards Ceremony on April 9, 2016, followed by a public exhibition of the participant’s artwork through April 24th. The purpose of the Muzeo Trash ARTist Challenge is to recognize student’s artistic reuse of trash to promote a message of creative conservation and sustainability.

The Addams Family

April 28 – May 1, 2016

This family-friendly musical is a funny, creepy, kooky one that we know you’ll enjoy! Based on the original tv series and movies, The Addams Family is a new musical comedy created by authors Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa. Don’t miss this story about a weird and wonderful family as it comes to life on the stage. Featuring the talents of Cornelia Connelly, Rosary Academy and Servite High School.

Arts Alive Festival

April 30 – May 1, 2016

Join us for the annual Arts Alive Street Painting Festival in Mission Viejo! This year’s festival will celebrate the arts and culture of the 1990s. Guests will enjoy art workshops, musical and dance performances and will witness the black top being transformed into amazing works of art.
The fun-filled festival features an array of tasty fare, a beer and wine garden, and arts and crafts available for purchase directly from the artists who created them!

Fancy Nancy, the Musical

May 6 – May 22, 2016

A sophisticated evening for the fancy side in all of us
Fancy Nancy and her friends Bree, Rhonda, Wanda, and Lionel are going to be performing in their very first show, “Deep Sea Dances.” Nancy is positive, that’s fancy for 100 percent sure, that she and Bree will be picked to be mermaids. When another girl wins the coveted role of the mermaid, Nancy is stuck playing a dreary, dull tree. Can Nancy bring fancy flair to her role, even though it isn’t the one she wanted?
based on the book “Fancy Nancy” by Jane O’Connor and Illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser

16th Annual Color and Light Student Exhibition and Awards Ceremony

April 14 – April 24, 2016

Join us for the 16th Annual Color and Light Exhibition by the students of Anaheim Union High School District.

OC Fair Imaginology

April 15 – April 17, 2016

The OC Fair & Event Center invites students and their families to go “Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead” at Imaginology for competitions, exhibits and free activities for children of all ages plus attendees can discover the fun of science, technology, engineering and the arts.
Additionally, Imaginology challenge students to demonstrate their abilities in the S.T.E.A.M. curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) with a variety of free competitions. Competitions are open to students (grades pre-K through 12) who live or attend school in Orange County, Calif. All qualified entries will be on public display during the Imaginology event and all division winners will receive cash award. There are no entry fees and entry forms are accepted online and must be submitted by Midnight on Friday, March 25. Visit for competition rules and guidelines.

2016 competitions include: Cardboard Engineering, Make It With Clay, Motion-Based Media (Film & Animation), Farmology, Fashionista!, Fiber Arts, Fine Art Drawing & Painting, Read & Draw, Computer-Generated Art, 3-D Printed Art, Jewelry, Kinetic Art, Digital Photography, Manipulated Photography, Poetry, Scarecrow Contest, Sawhorse Contest and Student Film Festival (NEW THIS YEAR).

Dance Workshops: Paving the Future with our Feet

April 16 – May 23, 2016

Free Dance Workshops

Saturday April 16th
10am- 10:45am Pina’s Peanuts (4-10mos old Parent/Child class)
11am-11:45am Limon’s Tots (2-3 yr olds)

Monday April 18th
10am-10:45am Pina’s Peanuts (4-10 mos old Parent/Child class)
11:15am-12pm Isadora’s Mover’s (10 mos-18mos Parent/Child class)
12:30pm-1:15pm Limon’s Tots (2-3 yr olds)
2:30pm-3:15pm Limon Nuggets (18mos-2yrs)

Monday May 2nd
10am-11am Mini Limons (4-5 yr olds)
11:30am-12:30pm Graham Crackers (6-8 yr olds)
2-3pm Horton’s Groovers (8-12 yr olds)

Monday May 16th
10am-10:45am Pina’s Peanuts (4-10mos old Parent/Child class)
11:15am-12pm Isadora’s Mover’s (10mos-18mos Parent/Child class)
12:30pm-1:15pm Limon’s Tots (2-3 yr olds)
2:30pm-3:15pm Limon Nuggets (18mos-2yrs)

Monday May 23rd
10am-11am Mini Limons (4-5 yr olds)
11:30am-12:30pm Graham Crackers (6-8 yr olds)
2-3pm Horton’s Groovers (8-12 yr olds)

Legally Blonde

April 21 – April 24, 2016

A fabulously fun award-winning musical based on the adored movie, Legally Blonde: The Musical follows the transformation of Elle Woods as she tackles stereotypes, snobbery, and scandal in pursuit of her dreams. This action-packed musical explodes on the stage with memorable songs and dynamic dances. Equal parts hilarious and heartwarming, this musical is so much fun it should be illegal!

Lion King Jr

April 22 – April 24, 2016

Disney’s The Lion King Jr. is playing at Segerstrom High Theater on Friday, April 22 through Sunday, April 24. The cast and crew contains approximately 40 students, led by Arts & Learning Conservatory, receipient of Art’s OC’s outatnding Arts Organization of the year.
The Lion King Jr. tells the story of the epic adventures of a curious cub named Simba as he struggles to accept the responsibilities of adulthood and his destiny as king. Guided by the wise Rafiki, along the way, the young lion encounters a colorful cast of characters including spunky lioness Nala, charismatic meerkat Timon, and lovable warthog Pumbaa. To claim his rightful place on the throne and save his beloved Pridelands, Simba must find his inner strength and confront his wicked Uncle Scar. The Lion King Jr. features classic songs from the 1994 film such as “Hakuna Matata” and the Academy Award®-winning “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” as well as additional songs penned for the Broadway production.
Come and enjoy this wonderful production!
The Arts & Learning Conservatory gives hundreds of local children opportunities to grow in their theatrical abilities every year through entertaining, family-friendly productions. Children from ages 5-18, come from greater Orange County neighborhoods to participate in A&L’s musicals, workshops and classes.

Imagination Celebration at Arts Alive

April 30 – May 1, 2016

Join us at the Arts Alive Festival in Mission Viejo! Bixby Educational Events, Inc.will have a booth where you can paint a mask made from the vacuum former made at Urban Workshop.

Art Class Series presented by Art Innovators

May 5 – May 26, 2016

Art Innovators will be teaching a series of free art classes for kids every Thursday in May from 4:00-5:00pm. The classes are open to children between 5 and 12 years old. Each class is limited to 20 students, so stop by the library or give us a call to sign up now! You can sign up for as many classes as you like.
May 5th: Mother’s Day Suminagashi Card
Try the ancient Japanese art of marbling plain paper with water and ‘floating ink.’ Finishing touches done with oil pastels will transform your vibrant creation into a one-of-a-kind Mother’s Day card!
May 12th: Panda with Balloons
Learn to draw an uplifting cartoon image with Art Innovators’ simple drawing method. We will use water color pencils to add color and a wonderful background.
May 19th: Keith Haring Puzzle
Make a puzzle in the lively and modern style of American Artist Keith Haring. See how art can express messages with images. And finish the image with art markers and metallic markers.
May 26th: Dog Explorer in the Desert
Explore how to use lines to give perspective to an imaginary scene. Special touches using chalk pastels and some sparkle will add to the wonder of your artwork.

Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Jr.

May 7 – May 22, 2016

Presented by special arrangement with Musical Theater International
A one hour musical adapted from the classic Disney animated movie. Alice chases the White Rabbit, races the dodo bird, and beats the Queen of Hearts at her own game.
Optional Tea Party one hour before the show. For an additional $5 meet the cast and enjoy tea and cookies.


April 16th

Once Upon a Time: opening day

Once Upon a Time… Exploring the World of Fairy Tales
Opening Day Members Celebration
12pm – 4pm
Free for Bowers Museum Members!

Calling all members of the Bowers court! You are cordially invited to the celebration of opening day for “Once Upon a Time… Exploring the World of Fairy Tales.” Visitors are encouraged to dress in their favorite fairy tale inspired costumes. All day festivities include face painting, art making, and a photo booth! Special guest Mr. Balloon Man will be twisting balloon sculptures from 12pm to 2pm.

Once Upon a Tutu…
…there were princes, and princesses who twirled and danced so beautifully they took your breath away! And now you can come see them for yourself in this once a year, super special event!
There is no charge for this event, it is our way of reaching out to the community and sharing our love of the finest forms of ballet and dance with you!
This Event Includes:
~ A 45 minute performance of select ballet, contemporary and hip hop pieces showcasing the discipline, beauty, and fine art of Vaganova ballet in its truest form.
~ 30 minute hands-on ballet barre class for children interested in learning ballet themselves
~ A Tutu Cute! Dress Up Station for children to try on their favorite showcase looks!


April 23rd

Imagination Celebration at Urban Workshop

Come and see what you can learn to make in the workshop! For the price of $20.00, you can create a great gift for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or graduation that you assemble yourself. Take a tour of the facility while you are there to see what other great tools and items you can make when you register for summer camp.

Princess & Superhero Fun Day

Come dressed as your favorite princess or superhero and learn how to dance and move like them followed by crafts, face painting, and balloon art. This fun-filled dance experience concludes with refreshments and a live ballet performance. A proud partner of Imagination Celebration.
Southland Ballet Academy – Irvine Studio: Saturday, April 23, 2016 from 2 – 4pm


April 24th


The Marionette show is included with Kidseum admission.

Marionette Magic (not a magic show) is a wonderful half hour variety puppet show featuring some of Franklin’s most popular and frequently asked for characters. In the spirit of a “Best Of” genre of show productions, Marionette Magic is the culmination of almost twenty years of puppet making and performances, and will continue to propel and capture the magic and fascination of Franklin Haynes Marionettes.

La Patita Loca, with fruit on her head, kicks off the show. Our big and popular star Fat Manmakes a grand appearance. Patty Polar Bear, a beautiful white Polar Bear shows off her circus talents on her circus ball. Lucy the Clown (pictured right) on her flying trapeze does wonderful tricks of twists and flips. Little Freddy, a warm funny freckled boy who wants to be tall just like his big brother, walks around on his stilts. Pinocchio, the most famous marionette of all, gets the kids on their feet and teaches a shuffle-step routine. The kids will go wild as Mr. Bubbles actually blows bubbles with his bubble wand.

The show will culminate with a skit about fairy tales to tie in with the current exhibition at Kidseum Once Upon A Time: Exploring the World of Fairy Tales.

Dia del Nino/Day of the Child

Honor youth and celebrate children through the arts during a day of free performances, participatory arts activities, and art exhibitions. This year’s theme is “Another World is Possible.” This bilingual event is appropriate for children of all ages.


April 26th

Young Inventor’s Workshop

Author Susan Casey displays and demonstrates inventions of young inventors, then involves children in a brainstorming session to think of ideas for inventions.


April 28th

Vincent Van Gogh

Multi award-winning actor Aaron Pyle stars as the brilliant and troubled Dutch artist. His career as a unique and talented painter is told with great heart through his journals, letters, and recollections from the life of this special innovative man. These one-man shows on famous figures of history entertain as well as inform and are not to be missed! – Presented by JTL Productions


April 30th

Princess & Superhero Fun Day

Princess & Superhero Fun Day – A Proud Partner of Imagination Celebration!
Come dressed as your favorite princess or superhero and learn how to dance and move like them followed by crafts, face painting, and balloon art. This fun-filled dance experience concludes with refreshments and a live ballet performance. A proud partner of Imagination Celebration.
Southland Ballet Academy – Fountain Valley Studio: Saturday, April 30, 2016 from 2 – 4pm

MenAlive: Orange County Gay Men’s Chorus

Join MenAlive for a fun-filled Choral Music Performance. We’ll be performing some of your favorite NEW Pop Hits, as well as some classic tunes. Songs include “Happy”, We Are Family”, “Fight Song”, and many more!

Imagine Yourself a Dancer

The Huntington Academy of Dance and Ballet Etudes Youth Ballet Company are pleased to invite children ages 4-6 to experience first hand life at the dance studio! Take advantage of a free interactive dance workshop. Participants will enjoy a fun dance class, take a photo with a real ballerina, create a dance – related craft, talk with dancers about classes, shoes and performing and watch a live show presented by Ballet Etudes Youth Company. Preregister now and plan to spend Saturday, April 30th as a dancer at Huntington Academy of Dance! Preregistration is required and space is limited.
This is a free event hosted by Huntington Academy of Dance, Ballet Etudes Youth Company, and Imagination Celebration Sponsors.

Ryman Arts Application Day

8th – 11th grade students can join Ryman Arts for a still life drawing workshop. Drawings may be used for Ryman Arts application. Family/educators welcome. Supplies will be provided. RSVP required.


May 1

PSSS Season Finale: Celebrate With Dance

Newly returned from a tour to Florida and energized by a season of artistic achievement, Santiago Strings brings you an electrifying musical culmination its silver jubilee! From Copland’s toe-tapping “Hoedown” to the jazzy rhythms of “Cook it Hot or Get Out of the Kitchen,” there’s something for everyone to dance to in this brilliant display of young talent and robust dance styles. This concert reflects on Santiago Strings’ 25 years of musical excellence and celebrates the future with a world premiere commission by Pacific Symphony composer in residence Narong Prangcharoen.

Arts Festival Day

A special community arts festival featuring an array of art experiences for even the youngest of artists! Dabble in paint, collage, and a variety of art mediums. As a celebration of our Creepy Crawlies exhibit, we will feature a butterfly and ladybug release ceremony. Concessions will be available for a nominal fee. Museum admission is free!


May 6th

Artists of Tomorrow: San Clemente Student Art Exhibition

Gallery Opening
May 6, 2016 | 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Tickets: Free Admission
Location: Casa Romantica Gallery and Main Courtyard
May 6 – 29, 2016
Hours: Tues – Thurs 11 AM – 4 PM, Fri – Sun 10 AM – 2 PM, Closed Mondays
Tickets: Exhibit included with $5.00 Casa Romantica Admission
Location: Casa Romantica Gallery
This 13th annual exhibit will feature painting, drawing, ceramics and photography of students from San Clemente High School. It is an opportunity for students of the SC Community to experience participation in a juried, professional exhibition. Awards and Scholarships will be announced at the reception. The exhibition will also include works by local Middle Schools (painting, drawing and three dimensional art) which will be displayed in the Main Salon. This exhibition is also how Casa Romantica participates in the Imagination Celebration and the exhibition and reception are designed to encourage and inspire youth participation in the arts. Reception will include performances by SC High School music students.

Sparkling Synchro Spectactular

Annual Spring Water Show – A FREE community event – Be prepared to be dazzled at our Sparkling Synchro Spectacular – a delightful evening of synchronized swimming. Includes Raffle, Silent Auction and Snack Bar.


May 7th

Soka University’s 15th Annual International Festival

Soka University’s annual International Festival is held on the first Saturday of May from 10:30 am to 5:00 pm. The Festival, which is part of Orange County’s Imagination Celebration (, features international food, over 900 dancers and musicians on three stages, art exhibitions, ceramic sales and demonstrations, games, inflatable rides and over 230 non-profit and business exhibitors.
Attendees are encouraged to wear international attire and to celebrate their own heritages.
All proceeds from the International Festival go to the Soka University Education Fund. Don’t miss the International Festival on May 7th!

MenAlive: Orange County Gay Men’s Chorus

Join MenAlive for a fun-filled Choral Music Performance. We’ll be performing some of your favorite NEW Pop Hits, as well as some classic tunes. Songs include “Happy”, We Are Family”, “Fight Song”, and many more!

Soap Carving for Kids

Join in the fun with family-friendly workshops taught by Linda Conn of the Orange County Woodcarvers Guild! Space is limited so “Book Online” to reserve your spot!

Hands on Dance

Visit us at our studios for “Hands on Dance”, a free fun event for youth. Make ballet themed-crafts, and try on real tutus and pointe shoes. The event will also feature a special performance by Anaheim Ballet School students, followed by a chance for kids to take mini-classes in ballet and jazz. Best for children ages 2 – 12.
Hands on Dance is presented by Anaheim Ballet, and is a proud partner of the county-wide arts festival Imagination Celebration.

Imagination Celebration at Urban Workshop

Come and see what you can learn to make in the workshop! For the price of $20.00, you can create a greatgift for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or graduation that you assemble yourself. Take a tour of the facility to see what other great tools you will learn as you join us for summer camp.


May 13th

Arts on the Lawn

Artists, dancers, musicians and actors collaborate in this family event! See amazing artwork on display & performances occur every half hour. Event happens outside in our beautiful gardens. Our theme is children’s book illustrators – Dr. Seuss and Maurice Sendak. Face-painting. Print-making.


May 15th

Concert at the Musco Center for the Arts

Maestro Daniel Alfred Wachs conducts the County’s official youth orchestra, and one of Musco Center’s Artistic Affiliates, in a concert featuring repertoire from their upcoming tour of Spain: Bernstein’s Suite from Candide, selections from Albéniz’s Suite Iberia and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5.
Now in its 46th season, OCYSO is a recipient of the prestigious American Prize in Orchestral Performance and has been dubbed “the real thing” by the Los Angeles Times. Music Director Daniel Alfred Wachs has led OCYSO through many prestigious performances, including U.S. and West Coast premieres, European tours, and a season-long project with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, culminating in a 2015 PBS documentary. OCYSO’s series of Concerts for Fifth Graders, presented by Philharmonic Society of O.C., has provided music education for more than a million students over 25 years.


Children’s songwriter Nathalia uses a creative bilingual approach to engage families in an interactive musical performance. From themes like cruising down the Amazon River to Magic Fairy Tales, her infectious songs will have families singing, dancing, even learning a little Spanish, in this fun multicultural experience! Many of the songs will relate to fairy tales to tie in with the current exhibition, Once Upon a Time: Exploring the World of Fairy Tales.

The interactive music performance is included with Kidseum admission.


May 20th

Draw the Line – Quick Sketch Sessions

3 1/2 Hour Sessions – 3:30 / 4:15 / 5:00
Ages 6-12
In these fun workshops participants will learn to draw wildlife animals by connecting lines and shapes. Focusing on the process of drawing and its elements, the subject will only reveal itself when the drawing is complete. Its a puzzle of perspective. This is a fun educational art project kids will love!


May 21st

Anaheim Children’s Festival

Anaheim Children’s Festival is an art festival with over 50 booths providing art activities FREE for children and their families. The Festival also has 2 stages where live entertainment takes place throughout the day. Food booths are also at the event (nominal fee). Organizations provide opportunity for FREE art activity in painting, chalk, sculture, dance, making musical instruments and a myriad of venues. Pearson Park is the venue. The Anaheim Public Library Bookmobile and Anaheim ShowWagon, Fun of Wheels and Oak Canyon vehicles are also in attendance. There are volunteers to help children with any and all activities. Anaheim MUZEO will have exhibits and acitvity as well. Interactive sessions in dance and performance are also offered free to attendees.


Learn more about the Imagination Celebration at

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