A firework on Independence Day, one of many displays in Orange County, California.

Almost every city in Orange County offers a Fourth of July event featuring fireworks and an afternoon fair. Photo from Pixabay.

Class is out and the weather is hot, but the dog days of summer need not be boring. There are plenty of fun things to do in Orange County.

Looking for a fun and low-cost way to spend an afternoon or evening this summer? Check out these eight events within an hour of campus.

Fullerton Market

Now through Oct. 27, Downtown Fullerton hosts the Fullerton Market each Thursday evening from 4 to 8:30 p.m. Enjoy live music, international food vendors, arts and crafts, locally-grown produce and a beer garden.

Little Saigon Night Market

Immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture at the sixth annual Little Saigon Night Market at the Asian Garden Mall in Westminster. The market is open from 7 to 11 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays now through Sept. 4 and will feature authentic Southeast Asian foods and crafts. Last year, as many as 3,000 people attended each evening.

Wolves at the Fullerton Arboretum

There’s always something happening at the Fullerton Arboretum right here on campus. Check out their calendar of events or stop by any day for some relaxation in a natural setting. Don’t miss Jere H. Lipps, director of the County of Orange and Cal State Fullerton cooperative The Cooper Center, discuss the impacts of climate change on July 14 at 7 p.m.; or the Wolf Ambassadors, who will visit on July 19 at 7 p.m., providing a chance to get up close and personal with real wolves.

A wolf is part of a nature education event at the Environmental Nature Center in Newport Beach, California, in spring 2015.

It won’t just be a lone wolf: Two big canines, Cael and Damu, will visit campus on July 19. Photo by Daniel Coats.

Fourth of July Fireworks in Fullerton

There’s no shortage of places to celebrate Independence Day in Orange County. The Fullerton High School Stadium will host a Fourth of July fair, featuring live music by Deke Dickerson and the Ecofonic and other entertainers, at 5 p.m. on July 4. That will be followed by a fireworks display beginning at 9 p.m.

Want to see the fireworks at the beach? Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Dana Point will all have fireworks after dark on the fourth.

Fullerton Summer Concert Series

Enjoy a night of music at the Fullerton Museum Center each Wednesday from July 13 to Aug. 10. Admission and parking are both free and food will be sold on site. Bands include U2 Experience, Jann Browne Band, Skynyrd Reloaded, Stone Soul and The Answer.

The Orange County Fair

Many consider the Orange County Fair to be the premier county fair in all of Southern California. Open Wednesdays through Sundays each week from July 15 to Aug. 14, come down to Costa Mesa to enjoy rides, food, concerts, contests, local crafts and action sports. Single-day admission for adults is $12 and parking is $10, or try your luck at free off-site parking on the weekends.

A classic 1950s sedan in Havana, Cuba.

Cuban classic cars such as this 1950s sedan will be on display at the Cuban Nostalgia Dinner and Dance. Photo from Pixabay.

Cuban Nostalgia Dinner and Dance

Relations between the U.S. and Cuba are improving, providing Americans with the opportunity to visit their island neighbor for the first time in nearly 60 years. You can enjoy a bit of Cuba right here in O.C. on July 16. That’s when the Cuban Nostalgia Dinner and Dance will be held at the St. Isidore Historical Plaza in Los Alamitos. Doors open at 4 p.m. Activities will include a classic car show (Cuba has a huge number of classic cars from before the 1959 revolution), Cuban food and appetizers, and a 6 p.m. dance. Tickets are $50, but that’s still way cheaper than a cruise or flight to Havana!

L.A. Food Fest

It’s technically outside Orange County, but it’s worth the drive. The L.A. Food Fest at Exposition Park will run from July 8 to 10. It’s just $15 to enjoy the market, which features 100 food vendors with cuisine from around the world.

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