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Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Dave Reichert

What’s open on Thanksgiving day in Los Angeles

Check out our list of what’s open on Thanksgiving Day, including museums, gardens and theme parks.

Michael Juliano
Edited by
Michael Juliano
Contributor
Kate Wertheimer
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If you’re sticking around for the holiday, it helps to know what’s open on Thanksgiving day (aside from these restaurants serving Thanksgiving dinner, of course). Whether you’re looking for somewhere to spend the day solo or just need something to do with your family that’s not in your living room, there are a surprising amount of options available to fill your day. In addition to the Christmas lights displays that kick off around Thanksgiving, you’ll find that some of the most notable L.A. attractions keep their doors open. The list below offers a variety of options—kid-friendly, daytime and night, near and far—to either help celebrate Thanksgiving or feel miles away from it all.

RECOMMENDED: See more of Thanksgiving in L.A.

What’s open on Thanksgiving day in L.A.

  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • La Cañada
  • price 1 of 4

This delightful tribute to the horticultural magic of Southern California includes more than 600 varieties of camellias and some five acres of roses. Just a heads up that Enchanted: Forest of Light, the illuminated, after-hours event at Descanso, won’t be running on the evening of Thanksgiving but will be the rest of the weekend.

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  • Movie theaters
  • Independent
  • Fairfax District
  • price 1 of 4

Cinephiles study their ABCs at this beloved movie theater, defined by its bargain prices, shabby charm and film-for-film’s-sake attitude—not to mention that its owner is none other than Quentin Tarantino, making for an always-interesting bill. Its Thanksgiving picks are typically more interesting than whatever you’l find at the multiplex; this year, it’s back-to-back screenings of Rocky and Rocky II.

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Wi Spa
  • Health and beauty
  • Massage and body treatments
  • Koreatown
  • price 2 of 4

We can’t think of a better way to spend a traditionally stressful holiday than luxuriating away from the hustle and bustle, tucked away in the relaxing embrace of clay and steam. There are Korean spas—a classic L.A. experience—and then there’s Wi. The 24-hour mega spa offers treatment rooms; five different heated saunas including jade, clay and salt; hot tubs; dry and steam saunas; a TV lounge area; a restaurant; library and sleeping rooms.

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  • Comedy
  • Comedy clubs
  • West Hollywood
  • price 2 of 4

In a nutshell, the Laugh Factory is where to bring visitors if they want to see comedy celebrities—its round glowing orange sign is an iconic image synonymous with L.A. comedy. On Thanksgiving, the Factory typically hosts an annual free Thanksgiving Feast that’s open to anyone—the visiting, the hungry, the homeless—and served by comics and other celebs, who also perform sets throughout the afternoon.

  • Museums
  • Science and technology
  • Griffith Park
  • price 1 of 4

Okay, so the Griffith Observatory is technically closed on Thanksgiving Day, but our favorite part about the park landmark is taking in the views, which you’ll still be able to do. The star attraction here has always been the building itself and the view it affords of the cityscape, the hills of Griffith Park and the famed Hollywood sign. Famous for its appearances in movies both acclaimed (Rebel Without a Cause, La La Land) and disdained (Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace), this longtime Los Angeles icon is one of the city’s must-see attractions, and a perfect place to watch the sun set over another Thanksgiving.

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  • Attractions
  • Theme parks
  • Universal City
  • price 3 of 4

Though the rides lack both Disneyland’s charm and the sheer terror inspired by Six Flags Magic Mountain, Universal Studios Hollywood’s hillside theme park offers some worthwhile thrills fueled by silver-screen memories. And what better way to partake in a bit of holiday magic than at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where it always feels like a Thanksgiving feast anyway.

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  • Things to do
  • Ice skating
  • 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. Come glide around and pretend there’s snow on the ground at Pershing Square’s outdoor holiday skating rink—which will be open from 11:30am to 9:30pm on Thanksgiving.

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