Best Things to Do This Thanksgiving Weekend in Los Angeles and SoCal: November 25-27

Celebrate the holiday season on Holiday Road or at the Lighting of the Bay. Watch The Nutcracker – played by puppets. Watch The Three Stooges on the big screen. Add to your vinyl collection with Record Store Day’s Black Friday releases.

Friday 25 Nov – Sunday 1 Jan 2023

Bay lighting
Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina
1131 Back Bay Dr., Newport Beach
The ceremony begins at nightfall on Friday, when the tranquil bay transforms into a winter wonderland with floating Christmas decorations and Christmas trees. The opening ceremony will be held from 4pm to 9pm with live music, stocking decorations, holiday photo booths and fire pits, subject to availability. There is also a demonstration by Eleven to crown the night

An outdoor installation featuring Christmas trees decorated with colorful lights.  A large tree (not a pine) towers over the rest.

Holiday Road returns to King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas for its third year.

Friday 25 Nov – Friday 30 Dec; 5pm – 10pm

holiday road
King Gillette Ranch
26800 Mulholland Highway, Calabasas
The immersive holiday event is back for the third year and features a walking trail with lots of lights, photo opportunities, food trucks and a holiday bar. Of course, Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will also be visiting.
COST: $29.99 to $44.99; MORE INFO

Album cover by Gerald V. Casale with drawings of animals in green with a silhouette of a person in white.

On Black Friday Record Store Day, Devo’s Gerald V. Casale is one of many artists releasing new music or new formats. Casale releases a six-track EP on clear vinyl, The Invisible Man.

Friday 25th Nov

Black Friday record store day
Different places
If you love shopping the day after Thanksgiving, shop at indie record stores on Black Friday Record Store Day. Many artists/record labels including Billie Eilish, Chief Keef, Frank Black and the Catholics, DEVO’s Gerald V. Casale, Old 97’s and many others release limited edition vinyl and cassettes. Among the dozens of participating local stores are Yuri’s Records in Southgate, Poobah Records in Pasadena, Run Out Groove Records in Burbank, Fingerprints in Long Beach and Amoeba in Hollywood.

Friday 25 Nov – Sunday 27 Nov; 8:30 p.m

turkeys! The musical
ZJU Theater Group
4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood
The musical comedy, directed by Ian Michaels, is a story about a village of turkeys just living their lives in the week leading up to Thanksgiving. Can they handle the truth about the holiday? From 16 years. Barrier-free.
COST: $20 – $25; MORE INFO

Friday 25 Nov – Saturday 26 Nov; 8 p.m

Cooking with gas
The Groundlings Theater
7307 Melrose Avenue, Fairfax
The Groundlings Main Company, alumni and members of the Sunday Company come together for a special holiday edition of the all-improv show. The evening is based entirely on audience suggestions, which are translated into comedy gold, satire and songs. The shows will also have a surprise guest.

Saturday, November 26; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m

24th Annual Three Stooges big screen event
The Alex Theater
216 N Brand Avenue, Glendale
The Alex Film Society with C3 Entertainment, Inc. presents this year’s yearbook Three Stooges Screening themed ‘Coffee, Paint & Glue!’ See the comedic antics of Moe, Larry and Curly in six classic short films, projected from pristine 35mm prints, courtesy of Sony Pictures.
COST: $14 – $16; MORE INFO

A royal female puppet with her hair pulled back and wearing a tiara and necklace surrounded by gold tinsel.

Bob Baker’s Marionette Theater presents The Nutcracker.

Saturday 26 Nov – Sunday 8 Jan 2023

The Nutcracker from the Bob Baker Marionette Theater
Bob Baker Marionette Theater
4949 York Blvd., Highland Park
Angeleno’s holiday tradition returns to delight children of all ages. This 1969 puppet adaptation of the classic ballet brings together favorite characters, including Clara and Fred, the Nutcracker Prince, the Rat King, the Sugar Plum Fairy and Bob Baker’s playful creations.

2015 Hollywood Christmas Parade

Penn and Teller served as Grand Marshals of the 2015 Hollywood Christmas Parade. This year’s Grand Marshal is Danny Trejo.

(Mike Windle


Getty Images North America)

Sunday 27 November; 6 p.m

Hollywood Christmas Parade
Sections of Hollywood (starts at Orange) and Sunset Boulevards
Actor, author and restaurateur Danny Trejo is serving as Grand Marshal of the parade, which is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year. Hosted by Erik Estrada, Laura McKenzie, Dean Cain and Montel Williams, with special co-host Elizabeth Stanton, the parade features Hollywood celebrities and movie cars, bands from around the country, horse riders, character balloons, floats and of course Santa Claus.

Sunday 27 November; 19 o’clock

Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin Plays Live Score to suspiracy
Castle Theater
630 S. Broadway, downtown LA
Simonetti has composed soundtracks for some of the most well-known horror films, including Dawn of the Dead, demons, deep red and Tenebre. This year his band Goblin is celebrating Dario Argento’s 45th birthday suspiracy with a live performance of the score set to a screening of the film. In the second set of the show, Goblin plays his other footage alongside clips from the films.
COST: $25 – $40; MORE INFO

Sunday 27 November 2022; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m

Handmade holiday
The Playhouse
4 Westmoreland Place, Pasadena
Alongside Black Friday, Record Store Day and Small Business Saturday, the Sunday after Thanksgiving will become Museum Store Sunday. One of the local participating museums is The Gamble House, which features handcrafted goods and the work of local artists. In addition, the Gamble House offers tours (ticket included, advance reservations required), espresso drinks from Café Santo, Drag Queen Story Hour at 11am and music by guitarist Shane Savala.

Sunday 27 Nov – Monday 26 Dec (selected days)

Snow N Glow Holiday Festival
Surfer’s Point Live at the Ventura County Fairgrounds
10 W Harbor Blvd., Ventura
This seaside vacation experience features snow tubing, more than 1 million lights, holiday magic igloos to rent and a build-your-own s’mores bar. Snow N Glow is only open on weekends and Christmas week.
COST: $14.99 – $34.99; MORE INFO

Outdoor Choices

The beast
How about a glute kicker workout after enjoying all those Thanksgiving calories? This week’s outdoor picks head to The Beast trail in Santa Clarita. The trailhead is in Whitney Canyon Park, the parking lot is just off Highway 14 and San Fernando Road. While there are several hiking trails in the park, “The Beast” is a challenging hike that covers more than 4.5 miles uphill and ends at a series of radio towers on Mount Los Pinetos. On a clear day the view is excellent.

show selection

Hollywood Chinese: The First 100 Years
This weekend, the Academy Museum concludes its series examining the first 100 years of cinema, critiques and celebrations of Hollywood’s portrayals of the Chinese. Two screenings focus on the work of actor and director Joan Chen. She first appeared in the 1979 Chinese film Little flower and caught the attention of American audiences for her performance in the 1987 film The Last Emperor, directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. On Sunday at 2:00 p.m. there will be a double screening of Tang Shu Shuen’s The Arch (1968), followed by Chen’s Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl (1998). There is also a screening of The Last Emperor on Sunday at 7:30pm. Entrance tickets sold separately. Chen will be present at all performances.

An omelette with avocado, black beans, and salsa on the side.

Madre is introducing a new brunch menu at its Torrance and West Hollywood locations.

Food and drink deals

Check out the 411 on restaurant, bar and food events in SoCal this week:

  • The 6th Annual Smorgasburg, LA Christmas Market begins this Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm with merchandise from some of LA’s most popular makers and artisans. In addition to the regular food vendors at the market, the Holiday Food Gift offers SmorgasMART packaged foods. The Christmas market takes place weekly until December 18th.
  • On Saturday, November 26th, Madre will kick off brunch at its Torrance and West Hollywood locations. Known for its Oaxacan cuisine and mezcal selection, the menu includes several vegetarian options, including chilaquiles, as well as meat options like huevos con chorizo, steak & eggs, and tostada de tinga con huevo.
  • Australian-owned restaurant Great White recently opened its third location in Melrose, West Hollywood. The all-day cafe, helmed by Chilean chef Juan Ferreiro (formerly Per Se), offers menu items like Citrus & Burrata with pistachios, winter citrus, smoked oil, and sourdough; Chicken shawarma with wood-fired flatbread, roasted cauliflower, pickled raisins and labneh; Crispy fish with roasted broccolini, marinated radish and brown butter miso.
  • Pasta Sisters, a family-run restaurant and pasta shop, is offering a $5,000 reward for returning their grandmother’s handwritten journal full of recipes. The book was stolen in a burglary at the restaurant early Sunday morning.
  • Detroit Vesey’s bike cafe was also broken into this week. Owner Erin Vesey is in the process of preparing the restaurant for a move to a new location (it’s currently on 7th Street in downtown LA). Visit her Instagram to see how you can support the restaurant.


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