Your Ultimate Guide to November: 20 Cool Things to do in SoCal

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

Nov. 2


Grand Ave Arts: All Access is a day-long event of free family-friendly 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. 2, programs include a display of Diá de los Muertos: Altars + Art in Grand Park; a singalong with the LA Master Chorale on the Music Center Plaza; and a screening of children’s films at REDCAT. Free

Nov. 3-March 22, May 17


Your Ultimate Guide to November: 20 Cool Things to do in SoCal
Julie Mehretu, Stadia II, 2004, ink and acrylic on canvas, 108 × 144 in., Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, gift of Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn and Nicolas Rohatyn and A. W. Mellon Acquisition Endowment Fund 2004.50, © Julie Mehretu, photograph courtesy of the Carnegie Museum of Art

LACMA presents the first-ever comprehensive survey of work by artist Julie Mehretu. The exhibition features 40 works on paper and 35 paintings by Mehretu (b. 1970, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) “revealing her early focus on drawing, mapping, and iconography and her more recent introduction of bold gestures, sweeps of saturated color, and figurative elements.” Following its LACMA show, the exhibition travels next to the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Admission: $16 – $25

Nov. 8-9


To celebrate Diá de los Muertos (a few days late), the Oscar®-winning Disney/Pixar film Coco screens at the Hollywood Bowl at 8:00 p.m. both nights. The event features a live orchestra and digital projection on the Bowl’s shell. It makes for a perfect night for the whole family. This is a lease event, which means special rules apply (including no outside alcohol). Tickets start at $37.50

Nov. 8-10


Your Ultimate Guide to November: 20 Cool Things to do in SoCal
Courtesy of the Los Angeles Coffee Festival

The Los Angeles Coffee Festival returns to the Magic Box at the Reef in downtown LA. While roasting, brewing, tastings, latte art, and barista workshops and demos remain front-and-center, the festival also ties together music, art, food, charity, and film. The Kitchen section at the festival features star chefs Robyn Collins of Destroyer, Henry Molina of the NoMad Hotel and Dale Pinnock who’ll present their most innovative ideas. Music performances take place throughout the weekend with artists including Daisy Chute, Levenbirds, Erin Bowman, August & Alden, and Jnay. Tickets: $27 – $125

Nov. 9-10


Your Ultimate Guide to November: 20 Cool Things to do in SoCal
Courtesy of the American Indian Arts Marketplace

The American Indian Arts Marketplace at the Autry Museum features the works of more than 200 artists representing more than 40 tribal nations. View handiworks and shop for jewelry, sculpture, pottery, beadwork, basketry, paintings, mixed media and more. The largest Native arts fair in Southern California also features the music and performing arts, from poetry to dance, and the annual Short Play Festival from Native Voices, the Autry’s resident theatre company.
Tickets: $15 for general admission; $10 for seniors (60+) and students (with valid ID); $6 for children ages 3-12; and free for Autry members and veterans (with ID)

Nov. 9, 10 and 16-17


Your Ultimate Guide to November: 20 Cool Things to do in SoCal
Stuffed cookies Photo by: Sarah Winona Photography

Got a sweet tooth? This festival may satisfy your cravings. Dessert Goals takes over Evolve Project LA in Echo Park and features handmade creations from chefs and makers. With the theme, “Tie Dye Tiki,” expect bedazzled, colorful sweets. Vendors include Pop’t by Lily, The Dirty Cookie, Amborella Organics, Stuffed Cookies, Fancy Flavors, Afters Ice Cream and Lee’ Poof. While a few snacks and drinks are included in the 90-minute experience, each dessert is sold separately. Admission $15 – $35

Nov. 9-10


Now in its third year, the Vulture Festival takes over the Hollywood Roosevelt for a weekend of events dedicated to pop culture. Listen to actors and creatives in conversations and panel discussions, attend screenings, cast reunions and other special events. Announced highlights include: a poolside screening/singalong of A Star is Born; the creators and co-stars of PEN15 in conversation over AIM—AOL Instant Messenger; a conversation with the actor Elisabeth Moss in Anatomy of a Performance; and a Q&A with You series creator Sera Gamble that also includes a special screening and a few surprises. Tickets: Sessions generally range from $25 to $40

Nov. 11


While communities all over Southern California are commemorating Veterans Day in various ways, there’s an inaugural event at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Nov. 11 from 10:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m. The family-friendly event features military and veteran ceremonies, concerts, a resource fair for veterans and educational/historical exhibitions. Aerial demonstrations and flyovers will happen throughout the event. Free

Nov. 12


Comedian Jenny Slate visits The Theatre at Ace Hotel for an evening of readings and conversation. Slate is currently on her Little Weirds book tour. The magical memoir focuses on love and loneliness. She’ll be in conversation with Jay Duplass. Unfortunately, this event has been cancelled.

Nov. 13-25


The Material Girl is now on her 11th concert tour, this time in support of her latest studio album Madame X. She’s playing several dates at The Wiltern between Nov 13 and 25. These are cellphone- and recording device-free concerts; phones and smartwatches will be secured in Yondr cases that will be opened at the end of the event. While doors open at 7:30 p.m., please note that the show does not begin until 10:30 p.m. Tickets start at $257

Nov. 13


KCRW presents a live podcast recording of Broken Record on Nov. 13 at the Palace Theatre in downtown LA. The podcast—dedicated to music and conversation will cover Flea’s story, from his childhood love of jazz, punk, and funk to his time playing with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The musician discusses his memoir Acid for the Children with New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell. Tickets: $29 – $100

Nov. 14-21


AFI FEST runs Nov. 14-21 at several Hollywood venues including the TCL Chinese Theatre, the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres, and the Hollywood Roosevelt. The film festival opens with the World Premiere of American Film Institute Conservatory alumna Melina Matsoukas’s Queen & Slim about a couple’s first date that takes an unexpected turn when a police officer pulls them over. The festival closes with the world premiere of Apple’s The Banker, directed by George Nolfi (The Adjustment Bureau). Individual tickets run $9 – $20 and passes start at $250

Nov. 14-16


Stage and screen performer Megan Hilty (NBC’s Smash, Wicked) performs for three nights at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. She makes her Center solo debut in Samueli Theater’s intimate, club-style setting. Her concert repertoire will include a selection of songs from Smash, Broadway, the American Songbook and her albums Tickets: $89

Nov. 15-Jan. 5, 2020


Your Ultimate Guide to November: 20 Cool Things to do in SoCal
Photo credit: Jamie Pham

Get your tickets in advance for this popular holiday attraction. The wild wonderland of light is fun for the whole family. New attractions this season include the world’s largest illuminated pop-up storybook, more light animals, hand-crafted Chinese silk lanterns and an interactive dancing light display controlled by visitors’ voices. The self-guided walk runs about 60-90 minutes. The lights are open from 6:00-11:00 p.m. daily, except Nov. 28 (Thanksgiving), Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Children ages 2 and younger get in for free, general admission: $11.95 – $21.95

Nov. 16


Live Talks Los Angeles presents a special event at 3:00 p.m.that may spark joy: Marie Kondo, queen of the uncluttered life, at the Aratani Theatre in downtown LA. She’ll discuss her new book Kiki & Jax: The Life-Changing Magic of Friendship. The children’s picture book by Kondo and Salina Yoon is inspired by the KonMari Method and teaches young readers how to “create openings for joy in all parts of life.” Tickets start at $20

Nov. 17


For the 14th year, The Great Los Angeles Walk leads a trek across SoCal, this year from Arcadia, through Pasadena on Colorado Blvd. and down Figueroa St. through Highland Park on the way to downtown Los Angeles and City Hall. The walk begins at 9:00 a.m., meet at the War Memorial Fountain at Arcadia County Park. It’s a great way to get exercise before tucking into Thanksgiving dinner. Participants decide how much or little they want to walk, so it’s no pressure, just a lot of fun. Free

Nov. 18


The L.A. Times’ Ideas Exchange series teams with the Times’ Book Club to present a night with Julie Andrews on Nov. 18 at 7:30 p.m. at the Orpheum Theatre. Best known for her iconic roles in Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music, Andrews discusses her new memoir Home Work with LAT columnist Mary McNamara. General admission: $47.50 and includes a copy of the book

Nov. 22-24


Your Ultimate Guide to November: 20 Cool Things to do in SoCal
DesignerCon poster cover art by Camille Rose Garcia

DesignerCon (DCON), the largest celebration of design, art, and toys, runs Nov. 22-24 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Landing just in time for the holiday shopping season, the show takes over 350,000 square feet of space, hosting more than 800 artists, brands and vendors, including SuperPlastic, KidRobot, Mighty Jaxx, Gary Baseman, Ron English, Camille Rose Garcia, and Jim Mahfood. The Medicom section is dedicated to hard-to-find art outside of Japan, and a themed art show honors the OG Jedi master himself, Mark Hamill. DesignerCon also features workshops, panel discussions, podcasts and speaker sessions throughout the weekend. Tickets/passes: $20 – $200

Nov. 24


The irreverent, satirical parade is a companion event to the majestic Rose Parade. Doo Dah-ers are an eccentric bunch who know how to put fun first. This year, parade-goers can watch more than 90 entries (some with floats) with about 1,000 participants marching the loop along Colorado Boulevard between Altadena Drive and San Gabriel Boulevard. The parade starts at 11:00 a.m. with many afterparties in the afternoon. Free

Nov. 29


The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa in Riverside begins the holiday season with its annual Festival of Lights. The five-week free celebration features one of the nation’s largest holiday light collections. It opens with a “Switch-On” Ceremony on Nov. 29 in which the castle-like hotel is instantly illuminated with 5 million holiday lights, followed by a full fireworks display. Free

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, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.