November 2018 events calendar for Los Angeles

Plan your month with our November 2018 events calendar of the best activities, including free things to do, festivals and our favorite fall concerts
Enchanted: Forest of Light
Photograph: Michael Juliano
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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 for Thanksgiving. So bundle up (or strip down; it’s still L.A., after all) with affordable, essential fall fashion and take advantage of all there is to do in our November 2018 events calendar.

RECOMMENDED: Full events calendar for 2018

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Gloria Gaynor at Live Talks Los Angeles
Photograph: Courtesy Live Talks Los Angeles
Things to do, Talks and lectures

Live Talks Los Angeles

icon-location-pin New Roads School, Santa Monica
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L.A.’s star-studded lecture series has outdone itself this season with a lineup of writers, artists, performers, scientists and business leaders, who, for as little as $20 per Live Talk, will graciously blow your mind. See chats from the surving Beastie Boys, Tom Hanks, Sally Field and more.

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Photograph: Courtesy MOCA
Art, Painting

‘Laura Owens’

icon-location-pin The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Little Tokyo
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L.A. artist Laura Owens mixes touches of personal craft with styles that engage the history of painterly techniques. The Geffen has assembled 60 of her paintings, from the mid-1990s through today, in this mid-career survey.

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Photograph: Courtesy MOCA
Art, Photography

‘Zoe Leonard: Survey’

icon-location-pin Museum of Contemporary Art, MOCA, Downtown
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This large-scale overview provides a career-spanning look at the New York artist’s photographs and sculptures.

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Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square
Photograph: Courtesy Pershing Square Holiday Ice Skating Rink
Things to do, Ice skating

Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square

icon-location-pin Pershing Square Park, Downtown Financial District
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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. Come glide and pretend there’s snow on the ground at Pershing Square’s outdoor holiday skating rink—one of the biggest in the city. Look out for special events throughout the season, like curling lessons, a silent disco skate and DJ nights. RECOMMENDED: The best places to go ice skating in Los Angeles

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Things to do

LA Zoo Lights

icon-location-pin Los Angeles Zoo | Los Angeles, CA, Griffith Park
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Whether you like your holidays on the traditional side or served with a twist, you’ll find plenty of eye-popping, jaw-dropping wonder at L.A. Zoo Lights, which is delivering seasonal sights, sounds and delights nightly into January.

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Photograph: Michael Juliano
Things to do, Festivals

Enchanted: Forest of Light

icon-location-pin Descanso Gardens, La Cañada
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Descanso Gardens’ light-up experience has ditched the kitsch in favor of a whimsical, wondrous, curiosity-driven display that’s among L.A.’s most stunning and, more importantly, most fun. The interactive, nighttime program has set up 10 illuminated installations around the botanical garden grounds, from luminescent forests to free-standing hands-on art pieces.

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Invader
Photograph: Courtesy Invader
Art, Street art

‘Invader’

icon-location-pin Over the Influence, Downtown Arts District
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You’ve undoubtedly seen Invader’s work. The prolific (and anonymous) street artist has affixed is video-game–inspired tile mosaics on the side of buildings across the globe, including 200 works that’ve been installed in L.A. since 1999. Now, Invader’s work is heading inside for a career-spanning survey at Over the Influence. The solo exhibition, L.A.’s first in over a decade, will feature over 50 mosaics alongside a new series of canvas paintingsfrom the artist’s studio practice.

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Cat Power
Photograph: Stefano Giovannini
Music, Rock and indie

Cat Power

icon-location-pin The Theatre at Ace Hotel, Downtown Historic Core
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Chan Marshall is gutsy indie crooner Cat Power, who made her name as a cripplingly shy performer of bone-scrapingly raw and mostly acoustic songs. She’s since grown in both stature and confidence, but her music is still astonishingly direct and vulnerable.

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Illustration: Courtesy Turkey Trot Los Angeles
Things to do, Festivals

Turkey Trot Los Angeles

icon-location-pin Various locations in L.A.,
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Celebrate Thanksgiving with this catchall family-friendly event along Downtown’s Spring Street, chock-full of races, games and activities. Work off those calories in either the 5K or the 10K run/walk (there’s also a 1K “Widdle Wobble” for kids 10 and under). Or you can dress up like a turkey and join the costume contest or compete in the potato-sack race and turkey-calling contest. (Winners get a pumpkin spice cheesecake.) A kid zone will have face painting and arts and crafts to keep young ones happy. The race benefits the Midnight Mission.

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2001 A Space Odyssey 10.jpg
Things to do, Film events

Stanley Kubrick’s Sound Odyssey

icon-location-pin Walt Disney Concert Hall, Downtown
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Jessica Cottis conducts the LA Phil, with support from Grant Gershon and the Los Angeles Master Chorale, in a Kubrickian program of score selections from 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Barry Lyndon and Eyes Wide Shut, all set to moments from the films.

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The Nutcracker
Photograph: Courtesy Los Angeles Ballet
Dance, Ballet

The Nutcracker

icon-location-pin Multiple venues
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Relive your childhood theatergoing experiences this Christmas with Uncle Drosselmeyer, Clara and her beloved Nutcracker at the L.A. Ballet. The timeless show will travel all over L.A., from Glendale to Northridge, from Westwood and Hollywood to Redondo Beach over the holiday season, performing their classic pirouettes and Mouse King battles for all L.A. County to see.

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Photograph: Courtesy Craft and Folk Art Museum
Shopping, Markets and fairs

CAFAM Holiday Marketplace

icon-location-pin Craft & Folk Art Museum, Miracle Mile
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Have a crafty start to the Christmas shopping season at CAFAM’s annual holiday marketplace. If you’re making a list and checking it twice, consider this shopping event for unique handmade gifts and an opportunity to meet the emerging and established makers behind them.

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Dear Evan Hansen
Photograph: Matthew Murphy
Theater, Musicals

‘Dear Evan Hansen’

icon-location-pin Ahmanson Theatre, Downtown
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In this captivating original musical, high school student Evan Hansen is thrust into social relevance after a classmate's suicide. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul’s score combines well-crafted lyrics with an exciting pop sound, and Steven Levenson’s book gives all the characters shaded motives.

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Hollywood Christmas Parade
Things to do

Hollywood Christmas Parade

icon-location-pin Hollywood & Highland, Hollywood
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Like an Angelyne billboard on Sunset Boulevard, the Hollywood Christmas Parade is an essential part of L.A. kitsch. The nearly nine-decade–old parade will feature floats, balloons, bands, equestrians and celebrities as they ride in a U-shaped route that begins at Hollywood and Orange and ends up at Sunset and Orange. Reserved grandstand seats can be purchased, with proceeds going to Toys for Tots, but free curbside seating is also available.

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Justin Timberlake performs at Madison Square Garden on February 20, 2014.
Photograph: Michael J. Chen
Music, Rap, hip-hop and R&B

Justin Timberlake

icon-location-pin Staples Center, Downtown
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A consummate pro, J.T. mixes a young Sinatra's swagger and charisma with the airtight funk of Michael Jackson at his peak, making magic night after night with an accompanying big band. 

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Elvis Costello
Photograph: Joel Goodman
Music, Rock and indie

Elvis Costello

icon-location-pin Multiple venues
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One of the most adaptable songwriters of his generation, Elvis Costello has recorded soul, punk, folk, country reggae and pop, in addition to collaborating with legendary songwriters like Paul McCartney and Burt Bacharach. To this day, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee maintains a steady stream of new releases and regular live dates, including this appearance, backed by his band, the Imposters.

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boygenius
Photograph: Courtesy Lera Pentelute
Music, Rock and indie

Boygenius

icon-location-pin The Wiltern, Koreatown
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Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus combine forces in this emotionally direct rock trio.

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Music, Dance and electronic

Ladies of LCD Soundsystem

icon-location-pin 1720, Hollywood
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Longtime LCD Soundsystem members Nancy Whang and Gavin Rayna Russom embark on a small-club DJ tour. A dollar from every ticket sold will be donated to RAINN and their work offering support to sexual assault survivors.  

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The best photos of Coachella 2016
Music, Rap, hip-hop and R&B

Jingle Ball

icon-location-pin The Forum, Inglewood
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KIIS FM’s annual holiday behemoth’s lineup reads like a roll call of the station’s playlist: Shawn Mendes, Cardi B, Calvin Harris, Camila Cabello, Khalid, Dua Lipa, G-Eazy, Alessia Cara, Bazzi and Bebe Rexha will all take over the Forum this holiday season. The best seats will cost you a boatload, so look out for the free pre-show, Jingle Ball Village.

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Los Angeles Auto Show
Photograph: Courtesy Los Angeles Auto Show
Things to do

Los Angeles Auto Show

icon-location-pin Los Angeles Convention Center, Downtown
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Drift into the Convention Center for the 10-day L.A. Auto Show with cars that would even make Bond drool. If you're a car nerd, get behind the wheel to test drive one of the cherry rides, while celebrities meet and greet at the manufacturer exhibits. With world and North American debuts from BMW, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and more, rev up for the machines of the future.  

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