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November 2020 events calendar for Los Angeles

Plan your month with our November 2020 events calendar of the best activities, including free things to do, festivals and our favorite fall concerts

Enchanted: Forest of Light
Photograph: Michael Juliano

There are plenty of things to do in our November events calendar before you need to start thawing that turkey. Balance the upcoming holidays with equal parts generosity—try one of these volunteer opportunities—and gluttony—gorge on the best pies in Los Angeles. So bundle up for an early peek at Christmas lights and take advantage of all there is to do in our November 2019 events calendar.

RECOMMENDED: Full events calendar for 2020

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Moonlight Forest
Things to do

Moonlight Forest

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden, Arcadia

This nighttime event, held across the grounds of the Arcadia botanical garden, returns for its second year with two additional themes: “polar dreams” and “ocean visions.”

Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square
Photograph: Michael Juliano
Things to do, Ice skating

Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square

Pershing Square Park, Downtown Financial District

L.A. doesn’t typically seem like much of a winter wonderland, until, that is, you create an ice skating rink right in the midst of Downtown skyscrapers and L.A. icons.

Things to do, Festivals

Enchanted: Forest of Light

Descanso Gardens, La Cañada

The botanical garden’s nighttime experience masterfully mixes hands-on art installations with atmospheric, luminescent forests, all against a background of uplit trees and shimmery sound effects.

Things to do

LA Zoo Lights

Los Angeles Zoo | Los Angeles, CA, Griffith Park

The L.A. Zoo is staying open after dark every night through January during this light-up holiday tradition, which for 2019 is adding more animal-inspired lights, an even longer tunnel of lights, Chinese lanterns, a voice-activated lighting display and an oversized, illuminated pop-up book.

Gabba Gallery
Photograph: Michael Juliano
Art, Galleries

Gabba Gallery’s Wishlist

Gabba Gallery, Westlake

Each year, HiFi’s Gabba Gallery presents a gallery show with works that are all actually affordable. Prices start at just $50—a steal for a quality piece of art—and never exceed $1,000. But you’ll have to move quickly: Once a piece is bought, it’s immediately removed from the wall and replaced with another. This year’s show, the seventh annual one, kicks off with an opening celebration on November 16 (7–11pm) and then runs through December 21.

Chinese Lantern Festival
Photograph: Courtesy Hanart Culture Chinese Lantern Festival
Things to do

Chinese Lantern Festival

Fairplex, Pomona

Hundreds of illuminated lanterns take over the Fairplex grounds with oversized displays inspired by seasons, biomes and mythical creatures.

Jerrell Gibbs, Pac, Thugz Mansion
Photograph: Courtesy Mariane Ibrahim


UTA Artist Space, Beverly Hills

See works from six young, emerging black artists in this UTA Artist Space show curated by Mariane Ibrahim Lenhardt. Figurative works from Jarvis Boyland, Jonathan Lyndon Chase, Jerrell Gibbs, Marcus Jahmal, Clotilde Jiménez and Vaughn Spann dive into and upend narratives about race and living in a “post-racial” America.

Love Actually Live
Photograph: Courtesy Lawrence K. Ho
Theater, Musicals

For the Record: Love Actually Live

Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Beverly Hills

We feel it in our fingers, we feel it in our toes: Christmas is all around, and we bet no one knows it better than the cast of Love Actually Live. Throughout December, cult-favorite musical series For the Record presents a stage show based on one of the world’s most beloved holiday movies, Love Actually.

Queen Mary Christmas
Photograph: Courtesy Queen Mary
Things to do, Ice skating

Queen Mary Christmas

Queen Mary, Long Beach

Cozy up—and make sure to bring your jacket—to the Queen Mary for its annual Christmas makeover. It’s the time of year when the iconic ship is transformed into a winter wonderland, which this year is decking out every facet with classic Christmas decor. Slip on some skates and glide across the rink and around a 26-foot-tall Christmas tree with views of the Long Beach waterfront. The event also includes meet-and-greets with Santa, musical performances, light displays and more. RECOMMENDED: The best places to go ice skating in Los Angeles

L.A. Kings Holiday Ice
Photograph: Courtesy L.A. Live
Things to do, Ice skating

L.A. Kings Holiday Ice

LA Live, South Park

The annual L.A. Kings ice skating rink once again returns to L.A. Live. Skate around the dazzling Christmas tree that stands in the middle of the outdoor rink, and take in an LED holiday light show on the huge screens around the plaza. RECOMMENDED: The best places to go ice skating in Los Angeles

Rooftop Cinema Club
Photograph: Courtesy Kimmi Cranes

Rooftop Cinema Club

Multiple venues

The masters of alfresco rooftop movie viewing have returned for another season of screenings in Hollywood and Downtown L.A.

Melrose Rooftop Theatre
Photograph: Courtesy Melrose Rooftop Theatre
Movie theaters, Outdoor

Melrose Rooftop Theatre

E.P. & L.P., West Hollywood

West Hollywood’s ultra-chic restaurant and rooftop bar, E.P. & L.P., is serving much more than just sumptuous handcrafted cocktails and modern Asian bites. The L.A. hot spot is now host to the Melrose Rooftop Theatre, an outdoor screening series on the rooftop space adjacent to its open-air bar, L.P.

Art, Photography

“Shirin Neshat: I Will Greet the Sun Again”

The Broad, Downtown

“I Will Greet the Sun Again” will make you angry: angry about the subjugation of women around the world, angry over entire populations being unwelcome in their own homelands and angry that such a beautiful body of work from Shirin Neshat hasn’t been on display in Los Angeles before.

Julie Mehretu
Art, Painting

“Julie Mehretu”

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Miracle Mile

A co-presentation with New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art, LACMA takes a first-ever mid-career look at the Ethiopian-American artist’s striking large-scale abstractions, with 35 paintings and 40 works on paper.

Photograph: Courtesy CC/Wikimedia/Minnaert
Art, Design

“With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972–1985”

Museum of Contemporary Art, MOCA, Downtown

See colorful, abstract and pattern-driven works of painting, sculpture, collage, ceramics, installation art and performance documentation in this survey of the Pattern and Decoration movement, which defiantly embraced forms typically held to be inferior to “fine art.”

Photograph: Courtesy Stanley Kubrick/Museum of the City of New York/SK Film Archives LLC
Things to do, Exhibitions

“Through a Different Lens: Stanley Kubrick Photographs”

Skirball Cultural Center, Westside

Years before he'd put the unmistakable imagery of 2001 and The Shining to celluloid, Stanley Kubrick was a teenage photojournalist in New York. The Skirball is celebrating that lesser-known period in Kubrick's career with a collection of over 130 of his photographs.

Things to do, Exhibitions

“Natural History of Horror”

Natural History Museum, USC/Exposition Park

It’s alive. It’s alive! The Natural History Museum is taking a look at the science and history that inspired some of film’s most iconic, hideous creatures.

J. C. Milligan, Crowds at Bullock’s Department Store, Broadway, Los Angeles, August 1919.
Photograph: Courtesy the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
Things to do, Exhibitions

“Nineteen Nineteen”

Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens, San Marino

Travel back a hundred years as the Huntington Library marks its centennial with an in-depth examination of the year 1919.

Photograph: Courtesy the Peninsula Beverly Hills
Things to do

Thanksgiving in Los Angeles

Thanksgiving in Los Angeles can be tough like an overcooked turkey—especially if you're without plans. Make sure that doesn't happen with our Thanksgiving guide.

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