25 Fun Things to do This Week in L.A. [11-15-2021 to 11-19-2021]

We haven’t even hit Thanksgiving and still the holiday light spectacles are coming out in full force. But hey, at least it’s not 90 degrees like over the weekend! Gotta love the seasons in Los Angeles. Anyway…


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Monday / Throughout the Week

1. One Night Stand Activation -> The Sex Lives of College Girls premieres on HBO Max this Thursday, and as part of the run-up to promote the new series, there will be is is a mobile pop-up at two local university campuses this week featuring complimentary RISE coffee and treats from Insomnia Cookies. Guests who fill out a short quiz will receive goodie bags and can choose to be entered into one of three different sweepstakes. The activations take place Monday at Cal State Long Beach at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and on Tuesday at UCLA on the Bruin Walk Outside of Pauley Pavilion (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

2. SPARKLE DTLA-> This holiday installation at The Bloc in DTLA feature 18 million hues of lights synchronized to festive tunes alongside a 32-foot Christmas tree and a 16-foot holiday ornament. Runs nightly every hour from 5 to 9 .m. Free and open to the public. More info here

3. Portraits at LACMA -> The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has two new exhibitions celebrating portraiture now on view: The Obama Portraits Tour and Black American Portraitsboth on display inside the Resnik Pavilion. The Obama Portraits Tour includes Kehinde Wiley’s Barack Obama and Amy Sherald’s Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama, both on loan from the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. LACMA general admission tickets are $25, and remember that L.A. County residents can get free admission on weekdays after 3 p.m. More info here.

4. Becoming Jane: The Evolution of Dr. Jane Goodall -> A new exhibition at the Natural History Museum spotlights the life and work of renowned scientist and chimpanzee conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall. Visitors can explore Dr. Goodall’s life and work through a series of multimedia installations, including digitally rendered chimpanzees, a life-size replica of Dr. Goodall’s research tent, and even a talking hologram of Dr. Goodall herself. NHM general admission tickets are $15. More info on the exhibition here.

5. Patriotism in Conflict: Fighting for Country and Comunidad -> The latest exhibition at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes looks back at the National Chicano Moratorium in East Los Angeles, contextualizing the rally with the events and cultural trends that led up to the historic day of activism. Over 300 materials are on display, including photographs, silkscreen prints, hand-made posters, flyers, textiles, multi-media artworks, and video and film installations; selected memorabilia, such as medals, buttons, flags, personal letters and certificates; and special reference publications from newspapers, magazines albums, and journals. LA Plaza is open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from noon to 5 p.m., and Saturday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free admission. More info here.


6. A Visit with Giovanni Valderas -> This Tuesday, Nov. 16, Dallas-based artist Giovanni Valders will building his landscape intervention project, Casita Triste (Sad Little Houses) at the Craft In America Center between 1 to 4 p.m. Guests are invited to stop by to converse with the artist, and to contribute to several of the sad little house piñatas. At the end of the session, the artist will disperse the works throughout the surrounding neighborhood. No reservation necessary, just drop in between the hours listed. More info here.

7. Free Botanical Gardens -> Every third Tuesday of each month, Descano Gardens, the L.A. Arboretum, and South Coast Botanic Garden offer free admission days. Advanced reservations are required, and based on availability.

8. Elf on the Shelf Magical Journey ->  Elf on the Shelf is back at the Pomona Fairplex beginning Friday, Nov. 5. This year’s attraction features newly upgraded scenic displays, a Christmas village, ice-skating rink, and of course the signature walk-through journey of Christmas from an elf’s perspective. Tickets are $19.95 for children and $24.95 for adults. Runs on select dates through Jan. 2, 2022. More info here.


9. Lightscape at the LA Arboretum -> On Friday, Nov. 12, the LA Arboretum opens an illuminated nighttime attraction for the winter season called Lightscape. The mile-long, self-guided walk features thousands of twinkling lights in various themed attractions including a Winter Cathedral, Star Tunnel and Fire Garden. Adults tickets start at $32. Runs on select nights through Jan 16, 2022. More info here.

10. Intervention: Fresh Perspectives at USC PAM -> To mark the USC Pacific Asia Museum’s 50th anniversary, the institution is hosting a group exhibition featuring seven asian American artists who created works in response to the PAM’s collection. The new exhibition, on display now, runs through Feb. 6, 2022. Museum admission is $10. Open Wednesday to Sunday. More info here.

11. Welcome to Chechnya Screening -> This Wednesday, The Gay Sexuality and Social Policy Initiative will host a screening of Oscar- and Emmy-nominated documentary film, Welcome to Chechnya at the UCLA Fowler Museum. The film tells the story of activists battling anti-LGBTQ persecution in the Chechen Republic. More info here.

12. Vegan Playground -> This weekly Arts District night market pops up at Boomtown Brewery every Wednesday and features 20+ rotating vegan vendors each week. Starts at 5 p.m. Admission is free. More info and RSVP here.


13. Partial Lunar Eclipse -> If you’re up late on Thursday night you can catch the start of what will be the longest partial lunar eclipse in almost 600 years, according to NASA scientists. If visibility is poor or you don’t have a good vantage point to watch the celestial event, remember that Griffith Observatory will be streaming the eclipse live here. The eclipse is expected to start at 11 p.m. and last 3 hours and 28 minutes, peaking around 1 a.m. on Friday.

14. The National Parks of Japan -> Japan House LA is currently exhibiting a limited-time showcase on The National Parks of Japan featuring photographs, maps, and videos. This Thursday the public can get special insight into the secrets and histories of the parks through a conversation with writer/editor Lucas BB, who has explored and written about the parks for over two decades. The conversation will be streamed online at 5 p.m. on Thursday, and you can register here. If you’re like to visit Japan House LA to view the works, hours are Monday-Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.



15. LA Auto Show -> The LA Auto returns to the Los Angeles Convention this Friday to kick off the annual 10-day event. The 20201 Auto Show includes a dozen participating brands offering test drives, including outdoor courses from Camp Jeep, Ford Bronco, and Volkswagen. Visitors can also check an after-market showcase, Galpin’s Hall of Customs, and cutting edge concepts created by the Art Center College of Design. Adult any-day tickets start at $20. More info here.

16. Winterlit -> Winterlit, opening this Friday, transforms the Third Street Promenade into a festive experience featuring tens of thousands of colorful lights, decor and garland, all extending on to 2nd and 4th Streets. illuminating convenient shopping and cozy outdoor dining experiences. Friday’s open includes the annual lighting of the official City of Santa Monica 24-foot-tall holiday tree beginning at 6 p.m. More info here.

17. Reel Change: The New Era of Film Music -> From Nov. 19-21 at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the LA Phil presents a series of three concerts featuring film and television compositions curated by Kris Bowers (Green BookBridgerton), Nicholas Britell (MoonlightSuccession) and Hildur Guðnadóttir (Joker, Chernobyl, Battlefield 2042). Friday and Saturday’s shows start at 8 p.m., and Sunday’s concert is at 2 p.m. Tickets start as low as $20. More info here.

18. Habitat Restoration Day -> This Friday morning the Friends of the LA River (FoLAR), California Native Plant Society, and San Fernando Valley Audubon are hosting a special meet-up to remove invasive mustard plant from the Sepulveda Basin. removal and bird walks in the Sepulveda Basin. Guests who participate will learn about how the invasive species affects the local environment, and also be treated to special birds walks coutesy of the SFV Audubon (binoculars provided!). Runs from 8 to 11 a.m. More info here.

19. After After School Special -> The Elysian Theater (located on Riverside Dr. adjacent to Frogtown) just re-opened last month as a home for live comedy events, and this week’s slate of performances is capped off by a late-night Friday show featuring three local comedians promising an experience akin to the “weirdest of weird very special episodes” of an after school special. Tickets are $10. More info here. Also, a pro-tip: If you have a late-night food craving, come early and scope out the taco vendor who posts up across the street on the other side of Riverside Dr.


20. Casa Vega $2 Meal For 65th Anniversary -> Casa Vega celebrates their 65th anniversary by rolling back prices to 1956, which was the year that Casa Vega originally opened. Stop in on Monday, Nov. 15. during lunch service (11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) to score the popular House Combinacione #1 for $1.98 (regular price: $19.95) The combo plate comes with your choice of two house special items like tacos, Chile Relleno, tamal and enchilada, served with either soup or Tostada Chiquita, and a sides of Spanish rice and refried beans.

21. Rooftop Sushi Happy Hour -> I|O Rooftop,situated atop The Godfrey Hotel Hollywood, recently launched an all-new daily happy hour (4 to 7 p.m.) featuring a selection of sushi, premium sakes and beers. Unique sushi items on the menu include a Torched Salmon Roll featuring Hamachi, cucumber, avocado, lemon, serrano; and a Truffle Mushroom Roll made with marinated portabella, truffle powder, furikake and goat cheese. 

22. Trivia Night at The Waterfront -> On Thursday Nov. 18 history podcast Right Answers Mostly (RAM) will host a trivia night at Venice Beach’s The Waterfront. From 6 to 8 p.m. self-described unqualified and probably tipsy “historians” Tess Bellomo and Claire Donald will take you on an uncommon history journey from trivia about the early 2000’s to Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker and even the Titanic. Reservations can be made via The Waterfront’s OpenTable page under the “Experiences” section. Reservations are $25 and that cost will go towards any food and drinks purchased at The Waterfront during the event.


23. World Week of Italian Cuisine -> In celebration of “World Week of Italian Cuisine” (Nov. 15-21) stop by Eataly’s La Pizza & La Pasta restaurant during Aperitivo (5 to 7 p.m.) to enjoy a complimentary mini-tasting and demonstration of assembling an ultimate Italian “salami e formaggi” and receive discounts on items ordered from the special  “Tagliere Italiano” menu. Branded cutting boards will be offered to guests as part of the experience as well (limited quantity).

24. Thanksgiving Pies and Sausage Rolls at S.O.L. -> West Hollywood’s Melbourne-inspired café, Strings of Life is transforming into a seasonal  ’S.O.L. Pie Shop’ now through Thanksgiving Day. Executive Pastry Chef Jaci Koludrovic will be baking up a selection of festive gluten-free, vegan, and dairy-free pies, available by the whole or slice. New holiday drinks like a Chocolate Ganache Mocha are also on the menu as well as a savory Thanksgiving Gobbler Sausage Roll.

25. Cocktails For Charity -> Riviera 31 Bar & Lounge is shaking up a fall-inspired punch for a good cause. Starting Nov. 19, guests can order the Pilgrim Punch by the glass ($12) or served in a grand punch bowl ($60) a portion of the proceeds from all Pilgrim Punch sales will go towards the organization PATH (People Assisting The Homeless) to help in their fight to assist the unhoused in getting into real homes. 

Any notes or corrections? Want to suggest an event we should add to an upcoming list? Hit us up at [email protected].


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