Things To Do

Things To Do This Thanksgiving Weekend in L.A. [11-23-2023 to 11-26-2023]

November 22, 2023 by Brian Champlin and Christina Champlin
Holiday Road opening night 2023. Image via Holiday Road

As we gobble our way toward Turkey Day we’re putting out the weekend guide a day early. And even if you’re planning on spending your entire Thursday with friends or family, there’s plenty on deck to keep you busy (assuming you’re not in a permanent food coma).

This November 23-26 in Los Angeles, you’ll find the 2023 Jazz at LACMA finale, the Nutcracker Suite, Holiday Road in Calabasas, the Hollywood Christmas Parade, the Los Feliz Holiday Market, Blitzen’s Bar, Santa’s Grand Arrival, and much more. Hope you enjoy the long weekend!

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Make Metro Part of Your Weekend

The Hollywood Christmas Parade -> The Hollywood Christmas Parade brings its annual float-tastic spectacle to the heart of Hollywood on Sunday. The route takes over portions of Hollywood Blvd, Vine St., and Sunset Blvd, which will be populated by movie cars, award-wining bands from around the country, equestrians, over-sized character balloons, and colorful floats.  Starts at 6 p.m. Free to attend, but expect a crowd. More info here.

Go Metro: Take the B Line to Hollywood / Highland station OR Hollywood / Vine station.

More Things To Do This Weekend

M = Less than .5 miles from an L.A. Metro Station, FA = Free Admission, TP = Top Pick


Enchanted: Forest of Light TP > Descanso Gardens’ annual light is back with a range of wondrous, illuminated installations, including a magical “stained glass” creations built in the Rose Garden by contemporary sculptor Tom Fruin. The one-mile walk also features geometric installations from HYBYCOZO on the Main Lawn; Flower Power lights, and sparkling adornments added to Descanso’s Ancient Forest. This week, Enchanted is open Monday through Wednesday, then and Friday to Sunday (closed for Thanksgiving). Adult tickets cost $35-$45 for non-members. More info here.

LA Auto ShowM > The nation’s top auto show returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center for a ten-day affair featuring a who’s who of automotive exhibitors, plus vehicle test drives, activations, and family-friendly entertainment. The LA Auto Show runs daily from November 17-26, with single day tickets starting at $24 for adults. Get more info here.

Pershing Square Holiday IceM > The annual 7,200 square foot skating rink in the heart of DTLA returns for the holiday season. GA tickets, including skate rental, cost $20 for adults. The rink runs daily from November 16 through January 7, 2024. More info here.

Lightscape at The L.A. Arboretum -> The L.A. Arboretum lights up the holiday season with a one-mile trail of installations and twinkling displays, taking place at the garden after-hours on select dates. This week they are open Wednesday through Sunday with the exception of Thanksgiving. Lightscape runs through January 2, 2024. GA adult tickets range $29-$35, depending on the date selected for purchase. Get more info here.

Blitzen’s Bar -> If you’re out shopping this weekend, stop by Blitzen’s Bar, a cozy pop-up in The Atrium of Westfield Century City. Relax in a cabana overlooking the festive Holiday Village as you enjoy handcrafted cocktails, tasty bites, scheduled snow fall, holiday activities and live performances from the Holiday Village cast. This all-ages pop-up, is presented by Fiji Airways, Starward Whisky and Peroni. More info here.

For The Record: Love Actually at The Wallis ->  The multimedia adaption of the the holiday classic Love Actually returns to the stage of The Wallis in Beverly Hills on select dates through December 31. This week the show will run Friday through Sunday. Tickets start at $69. More info here.

L.A. Zoo LightsM > The Los Angeles Zoo’s brightest annual tradition will transform the zoo grounds into a world of light and holiday magic. The after-hours event offers brightly lit displays and festive family-friendly experience every night throughout the entire holiday season. This week they’ll be open Wednesday and then Friday through Sunday. L.A. Zoo Lights will run through January 7, 2023. Adult tickets range from $29-$35, depending on the desired date to attend. More info here.

Astra Lumina: An Enchanted Night Walk Amongst The Stars – > ​​Every Thursday through Sunday evening, the South Coast Botanic Garden morphs into a multi-sensory celestial pathway where guests will walk amongst the stars thanks to brilliant lights, cosmic visions, and astral song. The seasonal attraction runs on select evenings through December 31. Adult tickets start at $35 and there’s an additional fee for parking. More info here

Santa’s Secret -> Voss Events presents Santa’s Secret, an adults-only Christmas experience making its West Coast debut at the Beverly Center this Friday. Visitors will journey through immersive and sassy holiday installations, encountering dancing Nutcrackers, sultry gingerbread ladies, rugged lumberjacks and an ice queen in a snow globe. The experience concludes with the revelation of Santa’s best-kept secret: a vintage speakeasy featuring a five-piece band and holiday-themed libations. Each night guests are treated to dazzling performances, including ballet, burlesque, and an X-Mas Barbie extravaganza, all hosted by Drag Queen superstar Asia O’Hara. Santa’s Secrets runs from November 24 to December 31, with tickets starting at $58 on select nights. More info here.

L.A. Kings Holiday Ice -> The city’s largest outdoor ice rink has returned to L.A. LIVE for the holiday season, with daily hours starting Friday and through December 31. General admission, which includes skate rental, starts at $25 per adult. More info here.

Krampus Cove Pop-Up -> Beginning this Friday a Krampus-themed experience takes over Lost Property Bar in Hollywood with a ticketed ($25) one-and-a-half-hour experience featuring macabre craft cocktails and an interactive experience with evil elves and Krampus himself. Throughout the week, seatings are available at 6 pm or 8 pm, and on the weekends, you can choose from 3 pm, 5 pm, or 7 pm. The bar will open to the public without tickets from 9:30 pm to 2 am, with Saturday and Sunday doors opening at 8:30 pm for un-ticketed walk-in service. Krampus Cove pop-up will be available every night of the week except Mondays and will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. More info here

Holiday Road TP > On Friday Holiday Road returns to King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas for its fourth year, bringing a 1-mile walking trail of immersive scenes and holiday-themed activities for all to enjoy. The experience continues on select dates through December 27. Tickets range from $29.99-$39.99. Get more info here.

Jazz at LACMA – FA TP > On Friday, the 2023 season of Jazz at LACMA comes to a close with a performance by Luther Hughes and the Cannonball-Coltrane Project. The concert takes place at 6 p.m. at Smidt Welcome Plaza. Admission is free, however seating is limited and first come, first served. More info here.

Hikari – A Festival of Lights at Tanaka Farms -> Hikari a Festival of Lights at Tanaka Farms turns the 30-acre Irvine farm into a dazzling spectacle of lights. Go on a wagon ride or explore by foot a lantern lite field and meet some animals in the petting zoo, participate in crafts, grab some food, Santa for a photo and buy gifts a the market stand. Open this Friday through Sunday. Admission start at $35 per adult. More info here.

Desire, Knowledge, and Hope (with Smog) at The BroadM > Desire, Knowledge, and Hope (with Smog), the latest exhibition from The Broad’s private collection of 21 Los Angeles-based artists. Named after John Baldessari’s masterpiece ‘Desire, Knowledge, and Hope (with Smog)’ delves into themes that contemplate Los Angeles as a city in constant flux and unrest, as well as addressing societal concerns transcending geographical boundaries. Works on display include Ed Ruscha, Barbara Kruger, Doug Aitken, Lari Pittman, Catherine Opie and Mike Kelley. The exhibit runs through April 7, 2024. More info here.

Winter Fest OC -> This Friday, Winter Fest at the O.C. Fair & Event Center returns with a slate of family friendly activities including an outdoor ice skating, a nine-lane 150-foot-long ice tubing slide, ice bumper cars, and LED mini golf, plus nightly Holiday celebration featuring snow flurries and Santa appearances. GA tickets online for this weekend start at $34.99 for adults, or $29.99 for kids, plus fees. Winter Fest is open on select dates until January 7, 2024. More info here.

Movie Night at Ovation HollywoodM FA > Ovation Hollywood’s monthly movie night continues with a screening of The Year Without a Santa Claus (1976) in the Center Courtyard this Friday. Get free popcorn and discounted treats from the TCL Chinese Theatre Concessions Stand. Starts at 7 p.m. More info here.

3rd Annual 0.3KM Turkey Trot with LA Ale Works -> This Saturday join LA Ale Works for a quick and fun workout, followed by festivities at Common Space. The race starts at LA Ale Works, ending at Common Space, where 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners will be awarded. It’s free to watch and cheer. Only 100 tickets will be available for purchase in advance starting November 1. Each ticket includes a Turkey Trot Race Bib, a branded cup from LA Ale Works and Common Space Brewery, and two beer tickets, valid for a beverage at each brewery. More info here.

Sun & Sea Collective Pop Up Market – > El Segundo’s outdoor mall The Point celebrates Small Business Saturday with a pop-up event featuring 25 local vendors offering  apparel, jewelry, plants and more. Plus: There will be live music, and Santa Claus will be there too. Runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

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The Nutcracker Suite -> Starting this Saturday, the American Contemporary Ballet will once again perform their annual one-of-a-kind version of the Tchaikovsky classic. Performances take place on select Thursdays to Sundays through December 24. Tickets cost between $70 to $135. More info here.

Santa’s Grand ArrivalM FA > Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Mall kicks off the holiday season with a free event this Saturday featuring a toy giveaway (while supplies last), live musical performances, a special reading by Santa’s elf, and of course meet-and-greets with the rosy-cheeked man in red. Runs 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. More info here.

MUAM Market -> This Saturday explore MUAM Market, an open-air market featuring over sixty independent Asian creators showcasing jewelry, clothing, art, and food. dublab and In Sheep’s Clothing will also present Radio M2, a temporary radio station in the district. The studio, nestled within the district, houses a curated collection of vinyl records, music accessories, and live broadcasts. More info here.

The Hollywood Christmas ParadeM FA > The Hollywood Christmas Parade brings its annual float-tastic spectacle to the heart of Hollywood on Sunday. The route takes over portions of Hollywood Blvd, Vine St., and Sunset Blvd. Starts at 6 p.m. Free to attend, but expect a crowd. More info here.

Museum Store Sunday at MOLAAM FA TP > Did you know every year on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, museums around the country band together to host unique sales and discounts on merch as part of Museum Store Sunday? Long Beach’s Museum of Latin American Art is among those institutions celebrating with a special sale this year, and they’ll even have artist and jewelry designer Tita Lopez onsite to meet visitors and discuss her designs. Plus: MOLAA offers free admission to the museum every Sunday, so you can go check out some art before or after you shop.

Topanga Vintage Market -> Every fourth Sunday of every month at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, the Topanga Vintage Market pops up with close to 200 sellers offering everything from antiques to vintage clothing and local artisan goods. Runs 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Entry is $5. Get more info here.

Mayumi Holiday MarketM > Common Space Brewing hosts a holiday edition of Mayumi Market, which highlights local Asian American and Pacific Islander creators. The Sunday pop-up will feature some 40 vendors offering baked goods, jewelry, candles, skincare, clothing, accessories, art prints, and more. Free to attend. Runs noon to 6 p.m.

Resizing Reality at Time Travel MartFA > On Sunday, the Bob Baker Marionette Theater and 826LA celebrate the opening of the Resizing Reality exhibit at the Time Travel Mart in Echo Park. Stop by between 2 and 4 p.m. for a Sip ‘n Shop. A live puppet show will take place at 3 p.m. More info here.

Free Screening of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem!FA > There’s a free screening of the 2023 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Sunday at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. A Q&A will also be held with director Jeff Rowe, moderated by Scott Mantz. The program starts at 11 a.m., and seating is first-come, first-served. More info here.

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Los Feliz Flea Holiday Market at The AutryFA > The Los Feliz Flea heads to the The Autry Museum for four consecutive Sundays of shopping pop-ups heading into the holiday season. Expect a curated range of vendors offering artisan crafts, vintage finds, unique jewelry, and handcrafted decor. Free to attend. Runs 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on all dates. More info here.

Classical Sundays at SixM FA > Great Music LA’s Classical Sundays at Six pops up at St James Episcopal Church with a performance by YuEun Kim (violin) & Sung Chang (piano). The show takes place at 6 p.m. and ddmission is free. More info here.

Ice Santa Monica – M > Ice Santa Monica is back with an 8,000 square-foot ice rink pop-up at the intersection of Arizona Ave and 5th St in Downtown Santa Monica. Skate rental and admission is $22. The rink is open daily through January 15. More info here.

Dining & Drinking

(picks by Christina Champlin)
hail-mary-pizza-wings-happy-hour
Pizza and wings at Hail Mary Pizza. Photo credit Hail Mary Pizza Instagram.

Hail Mary Pizza Daily Happy Hour -> Happy Hour takes place every night at Hail Mary Pizza in Atwater Village. This beloved neighborhood spot offers some enticing deals, including a Buy One Get One (BOGO) at half price for any pizza on the menu. Additionally, patrons can enjoy special offers on fire-roasted wings for $10, broccoli with chimichurri for $9, and a selection of beers and wines by the glass ranging between $6 to $13. Happy Hour at Hail Mary Pizza operates twice daily, on weekdays (Monday through Thursday), from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., weekends (Friday through Sunday), from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and every night from 8 p.m. to close.

Miracle a Christmas Themed Pop Up Bar -> This holiday season, gather some friends and head to Miracle, a Christmas-themed pop-up bar located inside Neighbors at Runway in Playa Vista. Guests can indulge in seasonal craft cocktails within a festive setting that embraces maximalist aesthetics. Throughout the pop-up, exclusively at Neighbors, you can purchase Miracle mugs and glassware – the SanTaRex is a personal favorite. Reservations for Miracle are now open, and the pop-up will run through the first week of January 2024.


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