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The Best Things To Do In LA And SoCal This Post-Thanksgiving Weekend: Nov. 26 - 28

several lit-up structures in the shape of Christmas trees sit on the Newport Beach water at dusk
Lighting of the Bay begins at dusk on Friday and continues through New Year’s Day in Newport Beach.
(Courtesy of Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort)
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Kick off the season at a Dodgers Holiday Fest or a NASCAR racetrack experience. Watch Love Actually Live on stage. Head to Solvang for Julefest. Hide from HOLIDAY shoppers at a Dawn of the Dead screening. Check out live music from Dawes. Celebrate the first night of Hanukkah. Start your holiday shopping on Small Business Saturday. Nosh on chiles en nogada, sufganiyot, tamales and giant cookies.

With the COVID-19 Delta variant still out there, it's best to check ahead of time to make sure of vaccine/testing requirements.

Friday, Nov. 26 - Saturday, Jan. 1

The Lighting of the Bay 
Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina
1131 Back Bay Dr., Newport Beach 
The ceremony begins at dusk on Friday as the serene bay transforms into a winter wonderland with more than 50 illuminated Christmas trees. Bring blankets to bundle up while roasting s’mores. Newport Dunes’ public fire pits are available on a first-come basis and s’mores kits can be purchased from the onsite market.
COST: FREE; MORE INFO

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 a skinny, bored-looking woman draped in a yellow dress leans against a large wooden chair with an owl on the arm
American Contemporary Ballet opens its 10th season in Los Angeles with an immersive staging of 'The Nutcracker Suite.'
(Victor Demarchelier)

Friday, Nov. 26 - Friday, Dec. 24

American Contemporary Ballet Presents The Nutcracker Suite
926 N. Sycamore Ave., 6th Floor, Hollywood
ACB opens its 10th season in L.A. with an immersive staging of Tchaikovsky’s masterwork. Debuting in 2017, ACB’s interpretation is inspired by E.T.A. Hoffmann’s mysterious, romantic telling.
COST: $25 - $140; MORE INFO 

Friday, Nov. 26; 7:30 p.m.

Dawn of the Dead
Aero Theatre
1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica  
If you think that nothing says Christmas like zombies, join a Black Friday screening of George Romero's 1978 film. Presented by the American Cinematheque with Beyond Fest and Cinematic Void, it includes a Q&A with star Ken Foree.
COST: $10 - $15; MORE INFO

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Friday, Nov. 26 - Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022

Santa’s Speedway
Irwindale Speedway & Event Center
500 Speedway Dr., Irwindale 
This 30-45-minute experience allows cars to drive on an actual NASCAR racetrack — at a much slower speed — to experience holiday-themed vignettes including Santa’s Village with elves hard at work, giant illuminated lollipops and drive-through ornaments, Rudolph’s Enchanted Stables and a tree created from 100,000 programmable LED lights.
COST: $59 - $75 per car; MORE INFO

green and red lights illuminate Dodger stadium
The Dodgers Holiday Festival opens to the public on Friday with activations and fun for the entire family.
(Courtesy of the Dodgers)

Friday, Nov. 26 - Friday, Dec. 31

Dodgers Holiday Festival 
Dodgers Stadium
1000 Vin Scully Ave., Elysian Park
The newly renovated Centerfield Plaza features an immersive holiday experience filled with lights, bounce houses, Santa, elves and photo opportunities. For the first time, an open-air ice skating rink has been constructed across the outfield, offering 30-minute sessions. The event includes full-service bars, holiday-themed food and Dodger Stadium concessions including Shake Shack. Tickets must be purchased in advance and there’s additional ticketing required for ice skating and Santa photos.
COST: Tickets start at $16; MORE INFO

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Friday, Nov. 26 - Sunday, Dec. 19

Striking 12
Chance Theater Bette Aitken Theater Arts Center on the Cripe Stage
5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim 
The production is a hybrid of musical theater and a pop-rock concert, telling the story of a grumpy New Yorker who vows to spend New Year’s Eve alone. Before the clock strikes, a mysterious figure arrives with a promise to chase the winter blues away. The “anti-holiday musical celebration” helps audiences rediscover the meaning of the season. Families are encouraged to wear their pajamas for the adventure.
COST: $25 - $49; MORE INFO

Friday, Nov. 26 - Saturday, Nov. 27; 9 p.m.

Dawes
The Fonda Theatre
6126 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood
The L.A.-based rock quartet is currently on tour in support of its latest album, Good Luck with Whatever. The band is playing completely different sets each night with no songs repeated. Erin Rae opens both nights. All ages.
COST: $40; MORE INFO

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Friday, Nov. 26; 8 p.m.

Salon Saturno: A Benefit for Alexandria House
The Paramount
2708 East Cesar E. Chavez Ave., Boyle Heights
The historic ballroom, operating for nearly 100 years, recently reopened after a nearly two-year COVID shutdown. On Black Friday, there’s a benefit concert for the L.A.-based transitional home for women and children. It features performances by Doris Anahi, Maya Murillo, August Eve, Chrisol, Danie Espinoza, Adriana (from The Altons) and DJ Vick Jagger.
COST: $20; MORE INFO

Saturday, Nov. 27; 10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Creative Communal X Shop Small Saturday 
Runway Playa Vista
12775 Millennium Dr., Playa Vista 
This weekend is Small Business Saturday, and the retail center hosts local makers, live music, kids’ activities and face painting.
COST: FREE; MORE INFO

a street of old timey shops with thatched roofs and christmas trees out front
This year's Solvang Julefest returns in a modified, pandemic-safer set of happenings beginning Nov. 27.
(Courtesy of Amy Joseph/Solvang Julefest)

Saturday, Nov. 27 - Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022

Solvang Julefest
Various locations in Solvang
This year’s Julefest (Yule-fest) includes the Nordpolen scene in Solvang Park, a Nisse scavenger hunt adventure, a tree lighting ceremony, the Julefest parade, candlelight and food tours. Various activities happen on select dates, so check the schedule before heading to Solvang.
COST: Varies; MORE INFO

a guy stands on a stage holding a sign that reads "Merry Christmas"
'Love Actually Live' returns to The Wallis in Beverly Hills for the holiday season.
(Kevin Parry)

Saturday, Nov. 27 - Friday, Dec. 31; 7 p.m.

Love Actually Live
Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts 
9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills
The multimedia concert celebration of Richard Curtis' beloved film returns to the Wallis after last year's hiatus. Actors, singers and a live orchestra perform soundtrack faves including “Christmas is All Around,” “Trouble With Love" and “Both Sides Now.”
COST: $39 - $125; (previews Nov. 27 - 30: $35 - $105); MORE INFO

Sunday, Nov 28; 4:15 p.m.

Menorah Lighting and Hanukkah Celebration
Outside the Breed Street Shul
247 North Breed St., Boyle Heights
Held on the first night of Hanukkah, this event honors the Jewish history of Boyle Heights and L.A.'s Eastside. All are welcome to attend the celebration, which includes latkes, jelly donuts, gelt and dreidel games.
COST: FREE; MORE INFO

a multi-story wood house sits on a large piece of grassy land
The Gamble House hosts the 'Have a Handmade Holiday' shopping event on Sunday, Nov. 28.
(Alexander Vertikoff
/
GHB_e04_07_ExtNW_2012_mWrk.tif)

Sunday, Nov. 28; 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Handmade Holiday
The Gamble House
4 Westmoreland Pl., Pasadena 
The outdoor, curated holiday marketplace features nine local artists selling handmade jewelry, pottery, prints, glass, wood and metalwork. The day also includes story time led by junior docents (bring a blanket to sit on the grass), a live cello performance by docents Roger Lebow and Delores Bing, children’s craft activities, old-fashioned carolers and kitten adoptions. There’s also an Ikebana Workshop ($45, pre-registration required) guided by Gamble House Flower Committee docents on Japanese-style flower-arranging.
COST: FREE; MORE INFO

Sunday, Nov. 28; 4 - 6 p.m.

Grand Chanukah Extravaganza
2ND & PCH
6400 Pacific Coast Hwy., Long Beach
The retail center has partnered with Shul by the Shore to celebrate the Festival of Lights and honor the first night of Chanukah. The menorah lighting will take place at 4 p.m., led by Rabbi Abba Perelmuter. Entertainment includes a live three-piece band, a stilt walker and crafts for children. Some pre-packaged refreshments and chocolate gelt will be served.
COST: FREE; MORE INFO

reeds, bushes and trees grow around a lake
Franklin Canyon Lake is an easy one-mile loop trail located between Beverly Hills and the San Fernando Valley.
(dlofink, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

Outdoor Pick

Franklin Canyon Park
With many people out of town for the weekend, it’s a good time to hit this popular park nestled between Beverly Hills and the San Fernando Valley. It has five miles of easy and moderate trails, including a mile loop around the lake/reservoir. Since we’ve probably all eaten/drank a lot this week, take the more challenging 2.3 mile (round trip) Hastain Trail, which leads to an overlook with great views of the lower canyon. Some parts of the trail on the eastern part may be closed as part of an ongoing dispute with a private land developer, so check with the park or be prepared to change your route. The main park entrance is located at 2600 Franklin Canyon Dr., Beverly Hills.

TV/Streaming Pick

The Beatles: Get Back
Director Peter Jackson’s three-part miniseries on the Fab Four debuts on Disney+ on Thanksgiving night. The Lord of the Rings director spent nearly four years editing and restoring unused footage originally shot by Michael Lindsay-Hogg for his 1969 documentary, Let It Be. Jackson’s film tries to dispel the myth of constant infighting and tension during the period when The Beatles wrote and rehearsed 14 new songs that would end up on their last two albums, Abbey Road and Let It Be. The film also features a final concert performed on the rooftop of their London headquarters. Parts 2 and 3 of The Beatles: Get Back air on Disney+ on Friday and Saturday.

a green poblano chile is covered in creamy white sauce and topped with pomegranate seeds and cilantro
Casita Del Campo is offering the traditional Mexican dish, chile en nogada, on Fridays and Saturdays through December.
(Courtesy of Jacob Lyman/Casita Del Campo)

Dine and Drink Deals

Check out the 411 on restaurant and bar happenings in SoCal.

  • For a limited time, Casita Del Campo in Silver Lake offers the traditional Mexican dish chile en nogada (a large poblano chile stuffed with beef picadillo and covered with a walnut-based cream sauce). The dish is available every Friday and Saturday, 4 p.m. to closing, during November and December. 
  • Every Saturday through Dec. 11, 2 - 5 p.m., Angelenos can bring an unwrapped toy or $10 gift card to Chicas Tacos locations and get two holiday tamales made as part of the collab between legendary Boyle Heights tamale-maker Angeles Lopez and award-winning chef Eduardo Ruiz. All toys and gift cards will go to the children of the Venice Community Housing project. Drop off toys at Chicas Beverly Grove this Saturday, followed by Chicas Culver City on Dec. 4 and Chicas Tacos All Season Brewing Co. on Dec. 11.
  • Hanukkah donuts — sufganiyot (traditional jelly filled donuts with powdered sugar), mini sufganiyot and Star of David sprinkle donuts — are available daily at both Primo’s Donuts locations, Friday - Dec. 6.  
  • Fred Segal’s flagship location on Sunset features a holiday dessert pop-up on Saturdays, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m., through Dec. 18. This week, the retailer welcomes Laroolou serving up pies and thiccies (giant cookies). A portion of dessert sales go to the nonprofit Priceless Planet Coalition.
  • L.A.’s newest natural wine shop, Unfined Wines, officially launched online earlier this week, helping make natural wines appeal to Angelenos. The shop delivers the same day in L.A., 365 days a year, and serves as a wine concierge. They’ll make personalized recommendations via the WineHotline (phone or text) or through the website.
  • Jon & Vinny’s Slauson recently opened in the Hyde Park/View Park area of South L.A., offering Italian breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. The opening is the third Jon & Vinny’s in the L.A. area after the Fairfax and Brentwood outposts. (h/t Eater L.A.)
  • The ROCA pop-up at the Americana at Brand has a BOGO slice deal only on Black Friday. Get a free slice with purchase (one free slice only per guest).
  • Maple Block Meat Co. in Culver City offers a few Black Friday specials, including The Gobbler Sandwich, $13 (all day), breakfast burrito, $10 (lunch only) and draft beers for $5 (all day). Their smoked almonds and Everything Rub are half off from Black Friday to Cyber Monday.
  • Birdie G’s Hanukkah takeout and delivery menu is available until Dec. 5. The heat 'n' serve, à la carte menu includes carrot miso matzo ball soup, savory noodle kugel and sauerkraut latkes. Orders must be placed 72 hours ahead of time.
  • Lunetta Restaurant in Santa Monica offers its All Daisy cocktail, made with blanco tequila, hibiscus, dry curaçao lemon and aromatic bitters, for half-price all day on Black Friday. (It’s normally $14.)
  • Plant-based burger joint Monty’s Good Burger launches a limited-edition collab with  Primitive Skate. It features Monty’s classic burger on a charcoal bun alongside a white chocolate shake covered in black and white sprinkles. There's also merch.
  • Heritage in Long Beach, from brother-sister team Lauren Pretty and chef Philip Pretty, has shifted to offering a winter tasting menu for dinner only. The prix fixe options allow a little flexibility with each course. Changes are also happening in their daytime Heritage Sandwich Shop, which shares the space, as tableside sit-down lunch service began earlier this week. (h/t Eater L.A.)
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