Arts & Entertainment

How to win your Thanksgiving weekend in SoCal

File photo of pumpkin pie.
File photo of pumpkin pie.
Annie/Flickr Creative Commons

Whether you're cooking a big dinner or just staying home, there's plenty to do this Thanksgiving weekend. Tired of turkey? Try something new for dinner. Need a place to walk off all those extra calories? We've got something for that, too.


La Habra Tamale Festival 

Forego the traditional Thanksgiving fare and fill up on tamales instead. There might not be turkey, but this festival still showcases the makings of the winter holidays, including a tree lighting ceremony, live entertainment and more. Pro tip: Make sure to try your hand at the churro eating contest!

WHEN: Sunday, Nov. 27, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. 
WHERE: Euclid Street, La Habra | MAP 
COST: Free admission 


Guillermo del Toro: At Home With Monsters

If you haven't already hit up this gem, now's your chance. While most of the city is out of town or still recovering from the self-induced food coma, the usually crowded museum will be mostly empty for your leisurely pleasure. That's what we call winning in L.A. 

WHEN: Last day is Sunday, Nov. 27
WHERE: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Miracle Mile | MAP 
COST: Tickets are $15 | Get tickets 


Holiday Marketplace 

When the crowds descend, you'll probably want to spend as little time as possible at shopping hubs across Southern California. You can get a head start on your holiday shopping needs at this marketplace featuring one-of-a-kind products like jewelry, housewares and art. Pro tip: For an extra kick of hand-made product commerce, head over to the Patchwork show

WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 26, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. 
WHERE: The Craft & Folk Art Museum | MAP 
COST: Free 


Hollywood Christmas Parade 

The streets of Hollywood are already crowded, but this weekend they'll be shut down to spread some holiday cheer. It's the first major event to usher in Christmas, serving as preamble to Pasadena's Rose Parade and rival to New York's Thanksgiving Parade. Celebrity appearances include Lou Ferrigno and Montel Williams — not to mention the giant floating Santa Garfield and the Grinch.

WHEN: Sunday, Nov. 27, 5 p.m. 
WHERE: Hollywood | MAP OF ROUTE 
COST: Free 


Enchanted: Forest of Light 

Here, you'll find an interactive, nighttime experience featuring a 1-mile walk through 10 distinct lighting displays at Descanso Gardens, which can serve as an alternative to traditional tree lighting ceremonies. We anticipate plenty of Instagram-worthy moments. Pro tip: Tickets are timed and must be purchased in advance.

WHEN: Open Saturday, Nov. 25 through Jan. 8 
WHERE: Descanso Gardens, La Cañada Flintridge | MAP 
COST: Tickets are $28 Get tickets 


Participants in a
Participants in a "turkey trot."
Chris Cast via Flickr Creative Commons

Burbank Turkey Trot

In anticipation of all the food to be consumed, folks can participate in this 5K or 10K walk/run. Don your best turkey outfit — or not — and strut with friends, family and your pets, all to benefit the Burbank YMCA.  If you can't make this one, here's a full list of other trots around the city

WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 24, registration is at 6 a.m.   
WHERE: Burbank Community YMCA | MAP 
COST: Registration is $45 the day of


Green Friday

On the day after Thanksgiving, the California State Parks Foundation will offer free day-use parking passes for all 116 state parks while everybody else is out shopping. The foundation says the passes will go fast though, so don't wait too long to get one. It'll also give you a chance to walk off that second helping of pumpkin pie. 

WHEN: Friday, Nov. 25
WHERE: Any California State Park | REGISTRY
COST: Free, but you need to order a pass online

How are you spending your weekend? Let us know on Twitter @matthew_bloom, @lizmoonyoz and @LeoHasACat.