Hopefully, you have some time off this Thanksgiving holiday to unwind and spend time with loved ones. Luckily, in SoCal there is no shortage of events to attend and places to visit. But if you’ve failed to plan any outings for yourself or your family amid all the cooking and shopping, don’t worry because we have you covered. This week’s list of fun things to do has magic, snow, LA history, cultural dances and multiple light displays, all with their own twist.
Dean Mora’s Latinaires
Cicada Restaurant & Lounge | 617 S. Olive St., Los Angeles, CA 90014 | Nov. 26 | cicadaclub.com
Dine and dance to Latin tunes — such as mambo, rumba and swing — from the ‘30s and ‘40s made famous by stars like Desi Arnaz and Xavier Cugat.
Irwindale Speedway | 500 Speedway Dr, Irwindale, CA 91706 | Nov. 26-Jan. 2 | santasspeedway.com
This year, Santa is bringing five new displays, twice as many lights, three full light tunnels and his signature 110-foot Christmas tree to a whole new course at the Speedway.
4U By US Pop-Up
801 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, CA 91105 l Nov. 26 l eventbrite.com
This is a pop-up series based in Pasadena that provides opportunities to black business vendors. Go out and support.
Sacred Gardens | 2016 Fremont Ave.,Pasadena, CA 91030 l Nov. 27 l eventbrite.com
Join Chef Victor Aguiler, winner of Chopped 420, for a “highly” magical evening filled with a four-course meal, live music, art, comedy, and magic.
Leonardos | 6617 S. Wilson Ave., Los Angeles, CA, 90001 | Nov. 27 | ticketon.com
One Blood Promotions presents Jowell and Randy for “Viva el perreo” with live music from DJ Cangri, DJ G-Omar, DJ Victor and DJ Rany.
Leimert Park Village | 4343 Leimert Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90008 l Nov. 28 l eventbrite.com
Cruise down to Leimert Park for The Artwalk, a celebration of afro-centric to afro-futurism, youth, art and technology.
Wingwalker Brewery | 235 W. Maple Ave., Monrovia, CA 91016 | Nov. 28 | eventbrite.com
Unwind and relax before the hectic work week starts by sipping on some crafted beers and painting a holiday-themed masterpiece. Led by Taci Loving, paint a canvas of cheery snowmen you can display at home.
Bar Franca | 438 S. Main St., Los Angeles, CA 90013 | Nov. 29 | eventbrite.com
Learn the fundamentals of making cocktails, as well as the history of why we make them. Basics include how to use bar tools, cocktail terminology, and crafting two classic cocktails and two original ones. All tools and ingredients are provided.
Ideas Exchange x Book Club Event With Nikole Hannah-Jones and Kevin Merida
The California African American Museum | 600 State Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90037 | Nov. 30 | eventbrite.com
Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones will discuss her new book, “The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story,” with Los Angeles Times Executive Editor Kevin Merida.
Ahmanson’s ‘A Christmas Carol’
Ahmanson Theatre | 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012 | Nov. 30-Jan. 1 | centertheatregroup.org
Tony Award-winners Jack Thorne and Matthew Warchus offer a new interpretation of Charles Dickens’ classic tale starring three-time Emmy-winner Bradley Whitford as Ebenezer Scrooge; Tony and Emmy Award-nominee Kate Burton as Ghost of Christmas Past; and Grammy, SAG Award, Critics Choice, and Hollywood Critics Association Award-nominee Alex Newell as Ghost of Christmas Present/Mrs. Fezziwig.
Troubadour | 9081 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA, 90069 | Dec. 1 | troubadour.com
This is the first time Matisyahu’s Festival of Light shows in Los Angeles. Matisyahu’s mission, according to event organizers, is to “spread the Chanukah light and tradition in a way that is culturally relevant to everyone, of all ages, who want to experience something universal based on the transcended themes of peace and prosperity that reflects the Festival of Light.”
A Noise Within | 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107 | Dec. 3-23 | anoisewithin.org
This merry holiday classic returns with all new music to enchant and inspire viewers with the story of Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim and Scrooge.
The Mixx | 443 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena CA 91101 | Dec. 3 | themixxclub.com
No Duh mixes the experience and energy of a live No Doubt and Gwen Stefani concert with nostalgic visuals, props and costumes.
33 LA County Parks | Dec. 3-4, 10-11, 17-18 | parks.lacounty.gov
Parks After Dark returns to transform your local park into a snowy play area with 40 tons of snow, crafts, filled holiday stocking for every child (while supplies last), hot cocoa, food giveaways and a visit from Santa.
The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever | 5970 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90038 | Dec. 3 | eventbrite.com
Opening the evening with some magic tricks, magician Joshua Jay will then read from his new book, “How Magicians Think: Misdirection, Deception, and Why Magic Matters.” The session will end with a Q-and-A.
Heritage Square Museum | 545 Pasadena Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90031 | Dec. 4 | streetfoodcinema.com
Welcome the season at Yuletide Cinemaland with a special screening of “Elf.” In addition to holiday movies, Yuletide Cinemaland features Victorian home tours, a light tunnel, piano sing-a-longs, food trucks, a tavern barn, and photo opportunities, including with Santa. Presented by Native, the personal hygiene brand, audience members will also enjoy on-site embroidery and free products, totes and scratch and sniff stickers.
Downtown Arcadia | First Avenue from Huntington Drive to Diamond Street | Dec. 4 | downtownarcadia.org
The street will be filled with free fun for kids, shopping booths, live music, beer and wine booths, DJ, Santa and raffles to win a one-night stay at Le Méridien with a $150 credit to Mélange, or a pair of tickets to the Lakers, Kings or Clippers. This is also an opportunity to donate food for hungry children, families, struggling seniors, disabled and unhoused individuals and pets.
City Hall | 6615 Passons Blvd., Pico Rivera, CA 90660 | Dec. 4 | pico-rivera.org
The City of Pico Rivera marks the start of the holiday season by transforming the grounds of City Hall into a winter wonderland complete with a snow toss area and over 25 tons of snow. In addition to the tree lighting, there will be crafts, food trucks and vendors, a beer garden, Stan Express train rides, live music and fireworks.
Museum of Latin American Art | 628 Alamitos AvenueLong Beach, CA, 90802 | Dec. 4 | molaa.org
Missing that blissful feeling you had on a field trip day morning? Well, MOLAA is taking visitors on an exclusive field trip to see the Great Wall of Los Angeles in the Tujunga Wash in the San Fernando Valley for a walking tour led by Pete Galindo, director of the Great Wall of LA Institute.The Great Wall of Los Angeles is Judy Baca’s half-mile-long masterpiece documenting the history of Los Angeles and its’ communities. Learn about the history of this project and future plans to continue documenting LA history. Transportation will be included to and from Long Beach.
Belmont Shore Winter Village
Belmont Shore Business Association | 200 Nieto Ave 200BLong Beach, CA 90803 | Dec. 4 | belmontshore.org
A central stage location will feature local performers including high school bands, dance troupes, an eight-piece brass ensemble as well as a special holiday concert from Manuel the Band who will close out the evening. There will also be a visit from Santa.
Downey Theatre | 8435 Firestone Blvd., Downey, CA 90241 | Dec. 4 | downeytheatre.org
Danza Artes de México presents Navidad Mestiza, a striking performance of traditional Mexican dances.
A Noise Within | 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107 | Dec. 5-7 | anoisewithin.org
Experience Rasa (essence/sentiment) in Kalaa (performing arts) through a traditional dance repertoire. A Bharata Natyam (South Indian classical dance) “Margam” is a curated compilation of pieces that entertain and elevate through an artistic experience of percussive dance and theatrical story-telling that embraces mythology, drama, and the human experience.Tickets are Pay What You Choose, and to ensure equitable access to all, a limited number of free tickets are held for every performance.
Candela La Brea | 831 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036 | Dec. 5, 9 | feverup.com
Enjoy dinner and drinks as talented performers play holiday classics like Ella Fitzgerald’s “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” Louis Armstrong’s “Cool Yule,” Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song,” and Stevie Wonder’s “That’s What Christmas Means to Me,” among others.
Pasadena Playhouse | 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena, CA 91101 | Through Dec. 12 | pasadenaplayhouse.org
“Head Over Heels,” fueled by music from The Go-Go’s, is finally premiering at the Pasadena Playhouse. The show follows a royal family searching for purpose, lovers in search of each other and a “kingdom in search of a beat.” The Playhouse is also transforming to create an experimental production allowing audience members to get in on the dancing as actors perform all over the theater.
South Coast Botanic Garden | 26300 Crenshaw Blvd., Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA 90274 | Through Jan. 17 | southcoastbotanicgarden.org
The Garden Lights & Ocean Waters (GLOW) exhibit has been reimagined. Event organizers say visitors can expect a “better and brighter experience.” Grab a bite to eat, maybe a drink, and walk through thousands of lights as music plays throughout. This year’s exhibit also features interactive experiences and themed nights.
Descanso Gardens | 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011 | Through Jan. 9 | descansogardens.org
Live your fairytale dreams and enter the Enchanted Forest of Light, a one-mile walk featuring interactive light displays. New this year, Descanso Gardens has added an entire town of stained glass creations from sculptor Tom Fruin.
Fairplex | 1101 W. McKinley Ave., Pomona, CA 91768 | Through Jan. 2 | elfontheshelfjourney.com
Returning for the second year in a row, The Elf on the Shelf’s Magical Holiday Journey is an outdoor experience featuring dazzling scenery, lights, ice skating, trolleys, walking paths, treats and a Christmas village.
Santa Anita Park | 285 W. Huntington Drive, Arcadia, CA 91007 | Through Jan. 2 | worldofillumination.com
Santa will have no problem finding this light display that puts even Rudolph’s nose to shame. From World of Illumination, producer of the world’s largest drive-thru animated light show, this display brings families face to face with elves, reindeer, the world’s largest animated toyshop and Santa himself.
LACMA | 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036 | Through Jan. 2 | lacma.org
Kehinde Wiley’s portrait of President Barack Obama and Amy Sherald’s portrait of former First Lady Michelle Obama have become iconic since being unveiled at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in 2018. As part of the five-city tour of the portraits, LACMA will present Black American Portraits in conjunction at an adjacent gallery. The tour will feature teacher workshops, tours and an illustrated book.
Kidspace | 480 N. Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91103 | Through Jan. 9 | kidspacemuseum.org
Winter has arrived in Pasadena as Kispace transforms into a space where children and families can share the magic of the season. Winter Frolic features a no-ice sock skating rink, “ice fishing” in the Kispace Arroy Stream, and snowflake decorating.
LA Arboretum | 301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, CA 91007 | Through Jan. 16 | arboretum.org
Following a sold-out run in London, Lightscape will transform the LA Arboretum with a one-mile illuminated trail featuring thousands of lights in various attractions like the Cathedral of Light, the Star Tunnel and the Fire Garden.