Your Ultimate Guide To November: 20 Cool Events Happening In Los Angeles

We found a number of notable happenings in November to help plan your social calendar. Read on for all of PBS SoCal’s event picks and their details.

Nov. 3

GRAND AVE ARTS: ALL ACCESS (Arts festival)
Grand Ave Arts: All Access is a day-long event of free family-oriented programming taking place at various cultural institutions and organizations along Grand Avenue in Downtown LA. Running from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Nov. 3. Programs include an all-ages sugar skull workshop at the Central Library; interactive performances at the Colburn School; Downtown Día de los Muertos: Altars + Art; LA Opera at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion; and many other activities. Free.

Nov. 6-7

JONI 75 (Music)
For two nights, Nov. 6 and 7, The Music Center celebrates the legendary songwriter-musician Joni Mitchell in JONI 75: A Birthday Celebration Live at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. An all-star lineup pays tribute to Mitchell through music, including James Taylor, Brandi Carlile, Glen Hansard, Emmylou Harris, Norah Jones, Chaka Khan, Diana Krall, Kris Kristofferson, Los Lobos, Graham Nash, Seal and Rufus Wainwright. Limited view balcony seats may still be available for $50 by calling (213) 972-0711 to purchase.

Nov. 7

CINERAMA DOME (History)

Your Ultimate Guide To November: 20 Cool Events Happening In Los Angeles
Image: Cinerama Dome / Photo credit: Arclight Cinemas

The Cinerama Dome opened to the public on Nov. 7, 1963. To celebrate its 55th birthday, the Arclight Hollywood has been screening four classic films that originally premiered at the historic theater (which was built in only 16 weeks!). On Nov. 7, there’s a screening of the theater’s first film: It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, World, which ran in the Dome in 70mm for 66 weeks—still the theater’s longest run. Tickets: $13-$18.

Nov. 8-15

AFI FEST (Film Fest)

AFI FEST runs Nov. 8-15 with screenings and events held at the TCL Chinese Theatre, the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres, the Egyptian Theatre and The Hollywood Roosevelt. The festival opens with the world premiere of Mimi Leder’s On the Basis of Sex, a drama that tells the story of young lawyer Ruth Bader Ginsburg before she became a U.S. Supreme Court Justice. The festival closes with the world premiere of Mary Queen of Scots, directed by Josie Rourke and starring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie. There are free individual tickets to many of the screenings, but passes/packages guarantee admission (and run from $500-$10,000).

Nov. 9-11

PASADENA ARTS & CRAFTS SHOW (Shopping)
The Pasadena Arts & Crafts Show, held Nov. 9-11 at the Hilton Pasadena, is a marketplace of allied artists, artisans, makers, bakers and specialty purveyors presenting and selling artisanal goods and traditional handmade art. Vendor categories include: Clothing and Accessories; Textile, Weaving and Artisan Handwork Arts; Jewelry, Gems, and Minerals; Vintage, Antique, Ethnographic and Collectibles; Paper, Fiber, and Fine Art and Artisan Foods, Wines and Gifts. Admission is $8-$10; ages 18 and younger get in for free.

Nov. 9-11

THE LOS ANGELES COFFEE FESTIVAL 2018 (Drinks + food)
Now this is a stimulating event: The first-ever Los Angeles Coffee Festival takes over the Magic Box at the Reef. With complimentary coffee tastings, interactive workshops, demonstrations from world-class baristas, street food, coffee cocktails, live music and art, the festival celebrates coffee culture offering something for newbies and java experts alike. 10% of ticket sales are donated to Project Waterfall, which supports clean water projects in coffee growing regions. Tickets: $27-$125.

Nov. 10-11

AMERICAN INDIAN ARTS MARKETPLACE (Festival and shopping)

Your Ultimate Guide To November: 20 Cool Events Happening In Los Angeles
Image: American Indian Marketplace / Courtesy of The Autry

The 28th annual American Indian Arts Marketplace returns to the the Autry Museum on Nov. 10 and 11 for a weekend of Native American artistry, performances, demonstrations, theater shows, films and food (yay frybread!). View the works of more than 200 artists from 40+ tribal nations, including sculptures, pottery, beadwork, basketry, photography, paintings, jewelry, textiles, wooden carvings, for the largest arts fair of its kind in Southern California. On Sunday, join the Native Voices Artists Ensemble for the Native Voices Eighth Annual Short Play Festival: FOOD. The ensemble is the country’s only Equity theater company dedicated exclusively to producing new works by Native American, Alaska Native and First Nations playwrights. Admission: $6-$14.

Nov. 10-11

2018 INGLEWOOD OPEN STUDIOS (Art)
Various galleries and artists open their doors to the public for the 12th annual Inglewood Open Studios. Guests can tour private artist working spaces—including those of Susan Amorde, amoammo, Michael Cormier, Staci Cross, Holly Tempo—and enjoy art in many forms. Some spaces will also host workshops and talks. The opening artists’ reception will be held on Nov. 9 at Residency Gallery in Downtown Inglewood with artwork by IOS artists on view, and performances by Inglewood artists Adwin Brown and féi hernandez. Free.

Nov. 15

HISTORY OF CENTRAL AVENUE (History talk)
The California African American Museum hosts a series of discussion and presentations on The History of Central Avenue. “The Avenue” was the center of West Coast jazz from the 1920s to 1950s, and the sessions look at the area’s heyday and eventual decline. The first program on Nov. 15 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., focuses on Central Avenue’s past as a gathering place for Los Angeles’s black residents. The sessions are led by Robert Lee Johnson, author of Notable Southern Californians in Black History. Free.

Nov. 16-18

DESIGNERCON (Design)

Your Ultimate Guide To November: 20 Cool Events Happening In Los Angeles
Image: DCON / Photo: Courtesy of DesignerCon/Facebook

The ever-growing DesignerCon (DCON) leaves Pasadena for the Anaheim Convention Center Nov. 16-18. Featuring a weekend of collectible toys, art, apparel, ephemera and more, DCON mixes pop, urban, street and underground art with more than 800 artists, designers and vendors. Chevy Metal, a metal cover band fronted by Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters, plays the opening night party. (Pro-tip: DCON is the best place to get your holiday shopping done early.) Tickets: $20-$60.

Nov. 16-Jan. 6, 2019

L.A. ZOO NIGHTS (Holiday)

Your Ultimate Guide To November: 20 Cool Events Happening In Los Angeles
Image: Zoo Lights / Credit: Jamie Pham/GLAZA

LA Zoo Lights returns to Griffith Park’s Zoo and Botanical Gardens on Nov. 16 with thousands of LED lights, a disco ball forest, glittering twinkle tunnel, projections and more. Zoo Lights includes a 60-90 minute self-guided walking tour through select areas of the zoo while most of the animals are sleeping. Check out animal-themed displays and meet real reindeer along the way. The lights are open from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. daily, except Nov. 22, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Admission is $10 with online purchase for all ages (2 and older) and times during “Preview Week” from Nov. 17 to 22. Then ticket prices from $11.95 – $21.95. Children younger than age 2 get in for free.

Nov. 17

PHARRELL WILLIAMS (Book talk)
Live Talks Los Angeles presents An Evening with Pharrell Williams on Nov. 17 at 8:00 p.m at The Novo at LA Live in Downtown LA. The multiplatinum musician, producer and recording artist discusses his new book, A Fish Doesn’t Know It’s Wet. Tickets: $25-$95.

Nov. 17

THE GREAT LOS ANGELES WALK (Walking in L.A.)
The 13th edition of The Great Los Angeles Walk heads across Los Angeles starting at 9:00 a.m. on Nov. 17. It’s a great way to get exercise and keep the waistlines in-check for Thanksgiving. The walk starts at Pershing Square in DTLA, heads along 6th street through Koreatown and then all the way to the beach. As always, the Walk is completely free. It’s up to the participants to decide how much or little they want to walk, so it’s no pressure, just a lot of fun.

Nov. 17-18

SURFING SANTA COMPETITION (Holiday fun)

Your Ultimate Guide To November: 20 Cool Events Happening In Los Angeles
Surfing Santa Image / Credit: The Ritz Carlton, Laguna Niguel/Facebook

The annual Surfing Santa and Stand Up Paddle Board Competition takes place on Nov. 17 and 18 at Salt Creek Beach in Dana Point. The holiday event not only celebrates the season, but also raises money for Surfers Healing, an organization that works with kids with autism through surfing. And, yes, the surfers and stand-up paddleboarders will be in Santa or other holiday-related costumes. Entry fee: $60 per person, per division and includes lunch and a goodie bag. Several cash prizes will be awarded (for both skill and creativity).

Nov. 18-Jan. 6

ENCHANTED: FOREST OF LIGHT (Holiday lights)
Descanso Gardens’ winter light show, Enchanted: Forest of Light, returns on Nov. 18. Walk one mile through botanic garden’s collections as they’re bathed in lights nightly from 5:30-10:00 p.m. through Jan. 6, 2019. Tickets: $28-$30; free for children 2 and younger (tickets are still required). The tours are timed, so advance purchase is required.

Nov. 18

HANSEL AND GRETEL (Opera)

Your Ultimate Guide To November: 20 Cool Events Happening In Los Angeles
Image credit: A scene from LA Opera’s 2006 production of “Hansel and Gretel,” directed and designed by Doug Fitch. (Photo credit: Robert Millard / LA Opera)

The LA Opera presents the revival of composer Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, the classic fairy tale appropriate for all ages. Conducted by James Conlon and sung in English, Hansel and Gretel will have six performances between Nov. 17-Dec. 15. Tickets begin at $16.

Nov. 18

PASADENA DOO DAH PARADE (Fun)
The Occasional Pasadena Doo Dah Parade holds its 41st edition on Nov. 18 beginning at 11:00 a.m. down Colorado Boulevard (between Altadena Drive and San Gabriel Boulevard) in East Pasadena. The eccentric, irreverent, and fun parade features participants marching to the beat of their own drummers. Forget pomp and circumstance, this parade is all about fun. The all-ages event is free. The Official Doo Dah After-Party is being held at the American Legion, and Unofficial Doo Dah After-Parties will be held at PooBah Records and the Colorado Bar.

Nov. 27

A CONVERSATION WITH BOB WOODWARD (Talk)
The veteran journalist discusses his latest book, Fear: Trump in the White House with NPR’s Sam Sanders on Nov. 27 at 8:00 p.m. at the Microsoft Theater in Downtown LA. Woodward provides a look into the Trump presidency, followed by questions from the audience. Tickets: $24.50 – $99.50.

Nov. 28-Jan. 27, 2019

WICKED (Theater)

The popular musical Wicked returns to the Pantages Theatre for limited run beginning on Nov. 28. The story focuses on two witches from Oz who started out as rivals then friends. Things change, however when one’s called “good” and the other’s deemed “wicked” by the world. The show is recommended for those ages 8 and older. Tickets start at $42.

Nov. 30

INGRID MICHAELSON TRIO PRESENTS: SONGS FOR THE SEASON (Music)

The piano-uke playing pop-star celebrates the holidays early with a concert at Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Koreatown on Nov. 30 at 8:00 p.m. Michaelson is touring in support of her just-released Christmas album, Songs for the Season. Tickets start at $55.

Christine N. Ziemba is a Los Angeles-based arts and culture writer who loves to tell people what to do (and where to go). Check out her events columns and other musings on PopRadarLA.com, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.