Top Los Angeles Things to Do in November

Stars in the Rose Garden photo by Jake Fabricius | Los Angeles Things to Do

Descano Gardens’ popular light show Enchanted: Forest of Light opens November 19.

From festive light shows to new art exhibits around the city, here are the best Los Angeles things to do this November.

Edited by Christina Wiese.

Ice at Santa Monica
Opens Nov. 1. This 8,000 square foot outdoor skating rink in downtown Santa Monica brings holiday spirit to the beach. M-Th 2-10 p.m.; F 2 p.m.-midnight; Sa 10 a.m.-midnight; Su 10 a.m.-10 p.m. $15, includes skate rental. Corner of 5th Street and Arizona Avenue, Santa Monica, 310.260.1199. downtownsm.com 

 

Día de los Muertos at Hotel Maya
Nov. 1. The celebration may be for the dead but the party will be more than alive this Wednesday night. Bring artifacts to place by a special altar to remember passed loved ones and then dance the night away with live Salsa music while enjoying Fuego tamales, a taco cart, a street corn station and tequila samplings. 5-9 p.m. Hotel Maya, 700 Queensway Dr., Long Beach. hotelmayalongbeach.com 

 

Salt & Straw
Nov. 1-22. Pregame your Thanksgiving week plans with a sweet treat from the family-run ice cream company. New flavors for November invoke the smells, tastes and cheer of the autumn seasons and include Sweet Potato Casserole with Maple Pecans, Buttered Mashed Potatoes & Gravy (yes, you read that right), among others. Various locations. saltandstraw.com

 

L.A. Dance Project
Nov. 2-4. Artistic director Benjamin Millepied’s dance company begins its residency at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts with a program of four works. 7:30 p.m. $55-$95. 9390 N Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310.746.4000. thewallis.org 

 

Eataly photo by Christina Wiese

The hotly anticipated Italian culinary destination, Eataly, opens its doors on November 3.

Eataly
Nov. 3. There are many things to be grateful for this November, but the opening of Eataly should be at the top of every Angelenos’ list. The authentic Italian culinary destination integrates restaurant eateries, a marketplace and La Scuola (the school) to empower guests to learn about dishes and then find the same ingredients in store to recreate the recipe at home. Other amenities include a dedicated area for house-made gelato, a traditional espresso bar and a cannoli station. The new Westfield Century City location marks Eataly’s first West Coast expansion. Opens at 6 p.m. 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Century City. eataly.com 

 

Centennial Celebration: 7th Street Produce Market
Nov. 4. Originally known as the L.A. Terminal Market, the historic 7th Street Produce Market celebrates 100 years this weekend. The site—home to Smorgasburg LA on Sundays—has evolved from its horse-drawn carriage days to its now modern reincarnation as a fresh food mecca. Festivities for the day include live entertainment, performers, select offerings from Smorgasburg as well as strolling through 30 unique and independent brands housed at ROW DTLA. 2-6 p.m. Free. 1318 E 7th St., L.A. rowdtla.com

 

Grand Ave Arts: All Access
Nov. 4. Now in its third year, Grand Ave Arts: All Access returns for a daylong, culture-filled event that showcases some of the best aspects of Los Angeles’ arts scene. DTLA’s premier cultural institutions—including The Broad, Center Theatre Group, Colburn School, Grand Park, L.A. Central Library, L.A. Chamber Orchestra, L.A. Master Chorale, L.A. Opera, L.A. Philharmonic, MOCA, the Music Center and REDCAT—open their doors for free family-friendly fun. Activities include interactive workshops and tours, granting behind-the-scenes access to the world-class arts and cultural organizations within the five-block area of Grand between Temple and 6th streets. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. grandavearts.tumblr.com 

 

‘Spamilton: An American Parody’
Opens Nov. 5. Can’t score tickets to Hamilton? This play, touted by the New York Post as the “next best thing to seeing Hamilton,” is a hilarious parody of the musical from the comedic force behind the long-running hit Forbidden Broadway. Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City. 213.628.2772. centertheatregroup.org

 

Downtown Día de los Muertos
Through Nov. 5. Spanning four city blocks, this celebration honoring the dead features 50+ community altars and commissioned works of art. Lunchtime tours will offered by artists Olivia Treviño and Robert Ramirez of LORE Productions. See website for full schedule and tour times. Free. Grand Park, 200 N Grand Ave., downtown. grandparkla.org 

 

Sweetfin Poke x Smorgasburg LA

Try produce-inspired seasonal bowls and exclusive test kitchen items from Sweetfin Poke at Smorgasburg LA.

Sweetfin Poke x Smorgasburg LA
Nov. 5, 12, 19. Sweetfin Poke, one of the only chef-driven poke concepts in town, will showcase Chef Weiss’s monthly bowls and exclusive test kitchen items. New items to try include Korean Chile Spicy Tuna Poke in a cucumber and avocado wrap, and the Okinawan Potato Poke Bao Bun with a miso and black garlic paste, topped off with crispy onions. Sundays. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. ROW DTLA, 777 S. Alameda St., downtown. la.smorgasburg.com 

 

‘Chasing Mem’ries: A Different Kind of Musical’
Opens Nov. 7. Tyne Daly and Robert Forster star in this touching play—having its world premiere here—with songs written by legendary lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman. See website for full schedule. $32-$90. Gil Cates Theater, Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood, 310.208.5454. geffenplayhouse.org

 

Mr. C Beverly Hills’ Poolside Cinema
Nov. 7, 14, 21, 28. Summer might be in the rearview mirror, but Mr. C Beverly Hills will be continuing their popular Poolside Cinema Series well into the fall season. This month’s lineup includes First Wives Club, The Karate Kid, The Breakfast Club and Jurassic Park. Relax on chic, comfortable loungers and pre-reserve your seats by purchasing in advance a Mr. C Cinema prix-fixe menus ($35 or $45/pp) featuring Cipriani classics, cocktails, Peroni Nastro Azzurro and popcorn. Doors open at 7 p.m. 1224 Beverwil Dr., L.A., 310.277.2800. mrcbeverlyhills.com 

 

AFI Fest
Nov. 9-16. Each November, filmmakers, celebrities and movie lovers all pour into Hollywood theaters for the American Film Institute’s annual AFI Fest. 2017 marks the 31st edition of the event, making it L.A’s longest-running international film festival. Expect a lineup of highly anticipated new films and awards-season contenders. CL Chinese Theatre, 6925 Hollywood Blvd.; TCL Chinese 6 Theatres, Hollywood & Highland, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Third Floor; Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd.; The Hollywood Roosevelt, 7000 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 866.234.3378. afi.com 

 

L.A. Comedy Fest
Nov. 9-19. Featuring film, live comedy acts and a screenplay competition, this showcase attracts up-and-comers and established comics alike. Check website for schedule and ticket information. Let Live Theatre, 916 N. Formosa Ave., L.A. lacomedyfest.com

 

‘Taking Shape: Degas as Sculptor’
Opens Nov. 10. Exhibition exploring the improvisational nature of renowned artist Degas through Norton Simon’s collection of modèles—the first and only set of bronzes cast from the original wax and plaster statuettes. S 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; M, W, Th noon-5 p.m.; F, Sa 11 a.m.-8 p.m. 411 West Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. $12 adults; $9 62 and above. nortonsimon.org

 

Street Food Cinema
Nov. 11. Enjoy live music and food from the city’s top trucks at this month’s outdoor screening of Wonder Woman. See the website for full details. Doors 5:30 p.m.; band 6:30 p.m.; movie 8 p.m. $6-$21, under 6 free. 323.254.5068. streetfoodcinema.com 

 

Sausage Fest 2017
Nov. 12. Bring your wurst and spend the afternoon with L.A. chefs Youself Ghalaini (FIG Restaurant) and Joel Miller (The Wallace). Enjoy live music, brats and artisan beers from local breweries like Verdugo West Brewing, Boomtown and Santa Monica Brew Works. Hops not your thing? Opt for FIG’s newest dry, white wine, the Georgina Jones Grüner Veltliner—named after the wife of Senator Jones, the founder of Santa Monica—which makes its debut at the festival. 1-5 p.m. $50/pp. Ticket includes all you can eat and sip. FIG Restaurant at Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, 101 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica. figsantamonica.com 

 

 

‘Turn Me Loose’
Through Nov. 12. This play about late comic genius Dick Gregory, presented in association with John Legend, sees Scandal’s Joe Morton portraying the stand-up comic and civil-rights activist. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. 310.746.4000. thewallis.org

 

Bai Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square
Opens Nov. 16. Skate among the skyscrapers at this ice skating rink, presented by Bai, which materializes every holiday season at Pershing Square. Opening day highlights include free skating all day, a literal “ice breaking” ceremony where a large ice sculpture is shattered, balloon artists, face painters and a performance from Disney’s Aladdin. See website for hours, prices and skate-session schedule. 532 S. Olive St., downtown. holidayicerinkdowntownla.com 

 

The Whisky Extravaganza
Nov. 16. Whether you’re a novice or connoisseur, explore a wide range of premium and unique whiskies from around the world through educational tasting sessions, masterclasses led by industry experts and hand-curated culinary pairings. 6:30-7:30 p.m. masterclasses, 7:30-10:30 p.m. GA. $150. Millennium Biltmore Hotel, 506 S Grand Ave., downtown. Tickets

 

Aeschylus’ ‘The Suppliant Women’
Nov. 17-19. The Getty Villa Theater Lab kicks off its season with one of the earliest known refugee stories from ancient Greece. Presented by Rogue Machine Theatre and directed by Michael Arabian. F 3 p.m.; Sa 3 p.m., 7:30 p.m.; Su 3 p.m. $7. Getty Villa, 17985 Pacific Coast Hwy., Pacific Palisades, 310.440.7300. getty.edu

 

L.A. Zoo Lights photo by Jamie Pham

Stroll through a disco ball forest and thousands of LED lights at this year’s L.A. Zoo Lights.

L.A. Zoo Lights
Nov. 17-Jan. 7. This L.A. holiday tradition returns for its fourth year to set the Zoo aglow with thousands of LED lights, a disco ball forest and much more. Breathtaking new features for 2017 include a musical holiday tree experience, a reimagined water show, a glittering North Pole perfect for Santa photos, a Northern Lights experience featuring animal constellations that come to life and a Wild Wonderland finale spotlighting endangered and vulnerable species. Special programming includes Preview Week, VIP Experiences, Holiday Happy Hours and Family New Year’s Eve. See website for full schedule and pricing. 5333 Zoo Dr., L.A. lazoo.org

 

Jackalope Indie Artisan Fair
Nov. 18-19. This free and family-friendly event returns for another year in the heart of Pasadena. Find over 200 artisans from the handmade community offering unique holiday gifts, birthday presents and a variety of wares. Try your hand at DIY crafting workshops or grab a bite from an on-site, local food truck. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. 275 S Raymond Ave, Pasadena. jackalopeartfair.com 

 

‘Bright Star’
Through Nov. 19. The Broadway musical written and composed by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell follows a literary editor who finds a connection with a young soldier coming home from World War II—awakening her longing for the child she once lost. Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.628.2772. centertheatregroup.org

 

‘Tattoo’ at The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHMLA)
Opens Nov. 19. New traveling exhibition at NHMLA explores more than 5,000 years of tattoo history and culture. Different from its iteration at other museums, this exhibit will feature content dedicated to the vibrant tattoo scene in L.A., highlight the dynamic work of female tattooists and also have a working tattoo parlor on-site with live demonstrations and special times for tattoo appointments. $12 adults, seniors and students; $6 children 6-12; Free for Museum members and children age 2 and under. nhm.org

 

Photo by Jake Fabricius

Descano Gardens’ popular light show Enchanted: Forest of Light opens November 19.

Enchanted: Forest of Light
Nov. 19-Jan. 7. This hotly anticipated, one-mile walk at Descanso Gardens will open earlier than ever before. Additions for 2017 include a brand new Aqueous display, plus new expansions and enhancements to the Flower Power and Ancient Forest displays. See the show before it opens to the public with a special Preview Party on November 18. See website for hours. Descanso Garden Members $23-$25; GA $28-$30; Under 2 free. descansogardens.org

 

‘Caravaggio: Masterpieces from the Galleria Borghese’
Nov. 21.-Feb. 18. For a limited time only, experience a rare exhibition featuring three celebrated works by world famous Italian painter Caravaggio. The three paintings—Boy with a Basket of Fruit, Saint Jerome and David with the Head of Goliath—highlight Caravaggio’s bold, naturalistic style and will be viewed alongside The Getty’s exceptional collection of Italian masterpieces. On loan from the Galleria Borghese in Rome, the paintings’ arrival also marks the launch of the Caravaggio Research Institute, conceived by Anna Coliva—director of the Galleria Borghese—with the support of the Roman luxury House FENDI. Tu-F, Su 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Sa 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Closed Mondays, Thanksgiving, Christmas. Free. 1200 Getty Center Dr., L.A. getty.edu

 

‘Something Rotten!’
Opens Nov. 21. This funny, irreverent ode to musicals tells the story of two brothers in the 1590s who try to outshine the Bard by writing the very first musical. Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.628.2772. centertheatregroup.org

 

Best Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving in Los Angeles

AR Cucina
Nov. 23. Enjoy an Italian-twist on this year’s holiday meal. Featuring local produce, inspiration and food from chef/owner Akasha Richmond’s recent trip to Italy, feast on a selection of antipasti before diving into Turkey Breast “Porchetta” Style and Braised Dark Meat Turkey, Branzino “Al Cartoccio” or Wild & Porcini Mushroom Ragu. Wine pairings and Italian-inspired specialty will complement the dinner. 2-8 p.m. $65 adults, $35 children 10 and under; excludes beverage, tax and 20% gratuity. 9531 Culver Blvd., Culver City, 310.558.8800. arcucina.com

 

Crossroads
Nov. 23. No meat, no problem. Popular plant-based eatery Crossroads, helmed by Tal Ronnen—one of the nation’s leading pioneers in plant-based cuisine—offers up a tasty four-course holiday menu. Feast on an autumn chop salad, Holiday Spiced Chickpea Cake, classics like mashed potatoes and stuffing, as well sweet potato biscuits. Apple custard cake and chocolate tarts round out the meal. Noon-5 p.m. $80/pp. 8284 Melrose Ave., L.A., 323.782.9245. crossroadskitchen.com

 

Gracias Madre: Gracias Por Oaxaca Thanksgiving Fundraiser
Nov. 23. Indulge in a vegan, Mexican-inspired meal while doing good this Thanksgiving holiday. Gracias Madre, in partnership with local L.A.-based Guelaguetza, will serve a plate filled with a butternut squash tamale, a fall salad, rice piffle, pumpkin cheesecake and a cranberry margarita to wash it all down. All proceeds will be donated to Por Oaxaca for earthquake relief in Oaxaca. 1-5 p.m. or until food runs out.$25 suggested donation. 8905 Melrose Ave., West Hollywoodgraciasmadreweho.com

 

Saddle Peak Lodge
Nov. 23. Cozy up this Thanksgiving at Saddle Peak Lodge, nestled in the picturesque Santa Monica Mountains. Chef Adam Horton curates a special four-course menu that includes dishes such as roasted baby beets, grilled quail, seared New Zealand elk tenderloin and much more. Don’t forget to leave room for dessert offerings such as Memo’s Pumpkin Pie, petite chocolate brownies and banana-huckleberry bread pudding. Noon-8 p.m. 419 Cold Canyon Rd., Calabasas, 818.222.3888. saddlepeaklodge.com

 

Thanksgiving Day Cruises
Nov. 23. Take in fresh ocean air as you cruise across the water to ring in Thanksgiving Day. Brunch Cruise lasts two hours and includes unlimited champagne and mimosas, brunch buffet with holiday dishes and live music. Buffet Supper Cruise lasts 3 hours and features a boarding glass of champagne, traditional Thanksgiving buffet and live music. $69-$93. See website for more details. Departs from Fisherman’s Village Marina, 13755 Fiji Way, Marina de Rey. hornblower.com

 

Turkey Trot Los Angeles
Nov. 23. Spend Thanksgiving morning in downtown L.A., taking in a scenic 5K or 10K route through the area’s historic streets. The race starts at City Hall and takes runners past Grand Park and Walt Disney Concert Hall. There is also a Widdle Wobble 1K for kids. Proceeds benefit charity the Midnight Mission. 5K 8 a.m.; 10K 8:45 a.m.; Widdle Wobble 10 a.m. $20-$60. 200 N. Spring St., downtown, 310.821.7898. turkeytrot.la

 

Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Magic comes to life this Yuletide season with a dazzling light projection at The Wizard World of Harry Potter.

Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Nov. 24-Jan. 7. This holiday season, the wizarding village of Hogsmeade transforms with festive decor, lights, garlands and wreaths. Stroll the streets while you try bites and Butterbeer from the Three Broomsticks, take in a showing by the Frog Choir and see the all-new holiday spectacle with dazzling lights against the majestic backdrop of the Hogwarts castle. See website for schedule and pricing. Universal Studios, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City. universalstudioshollywood.com

 

The Hollywood Christmas Parade
Nov. 26. Welcome the holidays at this 86th annual parade, with a concert beforehand. The parade winds through Hollywood and features floats, balloons, characters, marching bands and equestrians. Concert 5 p.m.; parade 6 p.m. Grandstand tickets $32-$85. The route starts on Hollywood Blvd. at Orange Dr. and travels east to Vine St., south on Vine to Sunset Blvd. and west on Sunset, back to Orange. 866.727.2331. thehollywoodchristmasparade.org

 

Zadie Smith & Michael Chabon: A Conversation
Nov. 30. UCLA welcomes acclaimed authors Zadie Smith (White Teeth, On Beauty, Swing Time) and Michael Chabon (The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, WonderBoys, Moonglow) to discuss the similarities between their latest novels. 8 p.m. $15 UCLA students; $25 UCLA faculty and staff; $29-59 public. Royce Hall, 340 Royce Dr., L.A. cap.ucla.edu

 

Movember Milk
Through Nov. 30. Los Angeles-based Pressed Juicery has joined forces with the Movember Foundation to offer a limited edition Movember Milk. Perfect for refueling and refinishing after a workout, the milk is packed with 16 grams of protein and an all-natural combination of almonds, dates, bananas, almond butter, plant protein, cacao, vanilla and sea salt. 30 cents of each bottle purchased will be donated to the Movember Foundation. pressedjuicery.com

 

SPONSORED
City Highlights Tour at Skyspace LA
Ongoing. Skyspace now offers a complimentary City Highlights tour with every general admission ticket. Fall in love with L.A. by learning more about the city’s history, pop culture, art, film and architecture. Daily tours last 35-40 minutes and depart on the hour beginning at 11 a.m. from the north-facing side of the 69th floor. 633 West Fifth St. #840, downtown, 213.894.9000. Tickets

 

‘Hamilton’
Through Dec. 30. The national tour of the Broadway hit brings its brilliant raps about Founding Father Alexander Hamilton (played by Michael Luwoye) to the Pantages stage. Hollywood Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323.468.1770. hollywoodpantages.com

 

Pamper yourself with exclusive, luxurious chocolate-inspired treatments at The Ritz-Carlton Spa.

Chocolate-Infused Treatments at The Ritz-Carlton Spa
Through Dec. 31. Renowned L.A.-based chocolatier, Valerie Gordon, has joined forces with The Ritz-Carlton Spa to offer exclusive, luxurious treatments this winter season. Pampering begins with a cup of Valerie’s hot chocolate blend before indulging in one of four options: Chocolate Peppermint Pedicure, Chocolate Spice Organic Facial, Chocolate Glow Body Ritual, or Whiskey-ing Away for the Holidays—a hot stone massage in which essential oils evoke the essence of whiskey. $95-$185. Call for appointments. 900 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown, 213.763.4400. ritzcarlton.com

 

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors
Through Jan. 1. The Broad presents the hotly anticipated traveling exhibition comprising of six kaleidoscopic mirrored environments—including Kusama’s most recent room, All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins (2016)—alongside large-scale installations, key paintings, sculptures and works on paper from the Japanese artist’s 65-year career. The Broad is the only space in California to host this exhibition. Advance tickets, $25; limited same day standby tickets, $30. 221 S Grand Ave., downtown, 213.232.6200. thebroad.org

 

Descanso Gardens photos by Jake Fabricius. Eataly photo by Christina Wiese. AFI Fest photo courtesy of AFI Fest. L.A. Zoo Lights photo by Jamie Pham. Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter photo courtesy of Universal Studios Hollywood.

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