Festival is all for the kids

COSTA MESA — Kids, not ready to say goodbye to your summer vacation? Although school is about to start, South Coast Plaza is offering a month-long festival that will have you believing it's still summer.

The Festival of Children started Friday but kicks off in earnest this weekend.

Centered around the Carousel Court and Jewel Court at South Coast Plaza, each weekend itinerary is full of things to do, such as arts & crafts hosted by the Bowers Museum, face painting by Tickled Pink, storytelling time by Orange County High School of the Arts and performances by the Orange County Children's Theatre and Maple Youth Ballet.

All proceeds from the event, which ends Sept. 26, benefit more than 80 children's charities, such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Kids Konnected.

The Festival of Children overlaps with National Child Awareness Month, an initiative for which the Foundation and South Coast Plaza's Sandy Segerstrom Daniels is campaigning for. Daniels, who is the founder and executive director of the Festival of Children Foundation, brought up the idea eight years ago through her involvement with children's charities.

Starting on Saturday morning, guests can check out Canstruction, an exhibit built out of canned food by an architecture and design firm. Afterward, organizers donate all the food to the Orange County Food Bank. Parents can get some ideas about their school shopping when they attend the Back-to-School fashion show on Sunday. Local kids will serve as models, wearing the latest trends in children's clothing, provided by South Coast Plaza's retailers.

For more information and the list of events, visit http://www.festivalofchildren.org.

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