Our drive to Laguna Beach always routes us through the canyon, where the local art community is thriving. Summers are particularly known for drawing people from all over the world to The Festival of the Arts, where award-winning artists display their paintings, photography, sculptures, ceramics and artistic masterpieces. My son has had a growing interest in the festival, so I surprised him and my daughter over the weekend with a visit to the festival during their annual Family Art Day.
Festival of the Arts
A walk through the Festival of Arts reminds me of roaming the open-air art festivals in Europe. The carefully curated art collection features 140 local, award-winning artists’ work on display to browse and purchase. Each night, guests can enjoy live music, hands-on art activities, a local student art display, and a variety of special events including guided art tours, art workshops, and Concerts on the Green.
Festival of the Arts Special Events
During the summer, the Festival of Arts Grounds hosts a number of art-centric events for the whole family. From concerts on the green to a runway fashion show, here is your guide to special events at the Festival of Arts!
Art and Story Time
Every Monday, the festival hosts a weekly story-time specifically for kids 5 and under. Along with a book reading, kids and enjoy a hands-on art project. There may also be surprise visits from illustrators, story characters and more. Free with Festival admission. (12:30 – 1:30 pm)
Tribute Tuesdays Music Series
Every Tuesday night, guests can enjoy music from a variety of Tribute Bands with music that includes everything from West Coast Jazz to the Beatles. Free with festival admission. Reserved seating is available for $20 per person and includes Festival admission. (5:30 – 7:30 pm)
Art Talks and Tea
Are you passionate about art? Join this weekly series sponsored by PBS SoCal for a fascinating discussion from Festival of Arts exhibitors. The talk includes tea on the green while artists share their inspiration. Free with Festival admission. (1 – 2 pm)
Art Jazz, Wine, & Chocolate
All of my favorite things in one delicious series! Every Thursday night, guests can sample a variety of wines complemented by specialty chocolates while enjoying the sounds of jazz music. $20 plus $10 Festival addition. Reserved seating is available for $35 and includes Festival admission. Free with Festival admission. (5:30 – 7:30 pm)
Step Into the Spotlight Music Series
On Friday nights, the Festival stage showcases the sounds of those voices typically seen and heard in the background. The lineup includes extraordinary back-up singers and background vocalists. Free with Festival admission. Reserved seating is available for $20 per person and includes Festival admission. (5:30 – 7:30 pm)
Concerts on the Green
Enjoy the sounds of award-winning music legends during the Festival’s Saturday afternoon concert series. Enjoy the sounds of these musicians in a relaxed, outdoor gallery setting. Free with Festival admission. Reserved seating is available for $40 per person and includes Festival admission.
Festival Runway Fashion Show
On August 19, 2018, The Festival will host its annual Festival Runway Fashion Show, an artistic take on TV’s Project Runway. Admire creatively crafted couture using reclaimed, reused, or recycled materials. A celebrity host and a panel of expert judges select the winners. Free with Festival Admission. Reserved seating is available for $25 per person and includes Festival admission.
Family Art Day
This year, we spent a warm summer Sunday at the Festival of Arts during their Family Art Day. The kid-centric immersion in the arts featured performances by the insanely talented Le Petit Cirque, DIY slime, balloon art, tattoos, kid-friendly art projects, and more.
The Festival of Arts is family-friendly, and kids can enjoy a Junior Art Exhibition, a free family-friendly art tour, and youth art classes throughout the season. Classes include sculpture, printmaking, drawing, and more for an additional fee.*
Festival of Arts Tickets, Location, and Information
Festival of Arts runs July 5 – September 1, 2018.
Weekdays: 12noon – 11:30pm
Weekends: 10am – 11:30pm
*Early closing August 25 at 1:30pm
Festival of Arts Tickets
General Admission: Weekdays $10, Weekends $15
Students & Seniors: Weekdays $7, Weekends $11
Children 6 – 12: Daily $5
Free Admission for Children 5 and under, Military, and Laguna Beach Residents.
Passport to the Arts
If you plan to visit the Festival of Arts more than once during the summer, you might consider purchasing a Passport to the Arts. This passport includes admission to the Festival of Arts, the Sawdust Art Festival and Laguna Art-A-Fair throughout the summer (ends September 2, 2018). The passport also includes a one time, all-day free parking pass. The passport can be purchased online or at each festival site location for $29.
Festival of Arts Location
650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
For more information, visit LagunaFestivalofArts.org.