August 10, 2018

Festival of Children® Brings the Magic of Childhood to South Coast Plaza During National Child Awareness Month in September

Costa Mesa, Calif. (August 2018) – Now in its 17th year, Festival of Children® returns this September to South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, California, celebrating the magic of childhood and the charities that work tirelessly to improve the lives of children across Southern California. The month-long, high-energy event features a host of free, family-fun entertainment including more than 100 activities and performances ranging from face painting and arts and crafts to karate demonstrations, live dance and singing performances, animal shows, and much more. The event also showcases the important work of 70 local children’s charities, which receive free display space to help raise awareness for their individual causes among the 2 million people that visit the center each September.

Festival of Children Foundation (FOCF), a Costa Mesa, California-based, national non-profit organization that supports and serves nearly 500 children’s charities in all 50 states, founded the Festival in 2002 and since then, more than 32 million people have been educated to the important work of the participating charities. The event also celebrates U.S. Senate-designated National Child Awareness Month, another FOCF program, which seeks to refocus critical attention on improving the lives of all children in America.

“In 2002, we envisioned a community event that would celebrate our local children’s charities, and today Festival of Children has grown into one of Southern California’s most-anticipated, free family-fun festivals,” said Sandy Segerstrom Daniels, founder and executive director, Festival of Children Foundation. “This year, we are thrilled to shine a light again on 70, high-impact children’s charities and offer our community free access to numerous arts, culture and educational opportunities that are fun and entertaining for the entire family.”

This year, several new charities will participate, including: 2-1-1 Orange County, Child Creativity Lab, OASIS Center International, Pacific Marine Mammal Center, and Share Our Selves. Also new to the event are several performance groups, including: Dynamix Performance Troupe, Gracie Barre Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Musical Youth Artist Repertory Theater, The Dance Academy, The Ruby Karen Project, and We Break Dance Studio.

Among the many featured activities at this year’s Festival are:

Opening Ceremonies:                     

Saturday, Sept. 1, 12:00 p.m. – Welcome by FOCF Founder and Executive Director Sandy Segerstrom Daniels and featuring Kodi Lee and The Hi-Tops


Every Saturday, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. – Free mini LEGO build activities.

Back-to-School Fashions:                

Sunday, Sept. 2, 11:30a.m. – A classic fashion show featuring local children of all ages modeling the latest fashions from South Coast Plaza retailers.

Coffee, Tea, Mommy & Me:           

Each Friday in September at 11:00 a.m. – Free educational presentations about home safety, vehicle seat safety, nutrition, water and safety, followed by arts and crafts or music. Coffee and tea hosted by Corner Bakery.


Each Saturday and Sunday, various times – Ballet, Hip-Hop, Classical Korean, Chinese, Flamenco, Irish, Hawaiian, Contemporary, and more.

Arts & Crafts:                                          

Every Saturday and Sunday, Noon to 4:00 p.m. – Free crafts for kids courtesy of: Art4Kids, Child Creativity Lab, and Paint For A Purpose.


CanstructionOC returns to the Festival with nine extraordinary sculptures made entirely of canned food items. Designed and constructed by several local companies, the sculptures are disassembled at the close of the festival and more than 56,000 cans of food are donated to the Orange County Food Bank to help feed the county’s estimated 350,000 people of all ages, who struggle with hunger each day. This year’s teams include: Architects Orange, CDPC | BergmanKPRS| raSmith, Disneyland Resort | Design & Engineering, Little, OCJ Stars, Perkins Eastman | Dougherty, PJHM Architects, SoCalGas, and SVA Architects.

For more information about Festival of Children, including a list of the participating charities, activities and entertainment, please visit for most current schedule.


About National Child Awareness Month

The effort to have September declared as National Child Awareness Month began as a local effort in Orange County, Calif., by Festival of Children Foundation Founder Sandy Segerstrom Daniels to raise awareness and focus America’s attention on our greatest asset – our children. The Orange County Board of Supervisors first unanimously designated September as “Child Awareness Month” in September 2002. In September of 2003, the State of California commended Festival of Children Foundation’s efforts and designated September as “Children Awareness Month.” In 2008, the U.S. Senate passed U.S. Senate Resolution 644 designating September 2008 “National Child Awareness Month.” Since then, Ms. Segerstrom Daniels and Festival of Children Foundation have been successful in having every successive September designated as “National Child Awareness Month.”


About Festival of Children Foundation

Festival of Children Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that serves to bring together and coordinate the efforts of charities, companies and individuals who work to improve the lives of children. 100% of the administrative costs are covered by designated funding, allowing donations to go further in direct support of programs and services that improve the lives of children nationwide. For more information please visit


Press contacts:

Cassady Taylor, Festival of Children Foundation
(714) 438-3205,

Erin Peacock, Peacock PR
(949) 939-1872,