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22 Things To Do This Thanksgiving Weekend And None Of Them Involve Eating Turkey

The Mission Inn in Riverside kicks off its holiday season on Friday with a spectacular show of lights. (Photo: Mission Inn Hotel & Spa)
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It's beginning to look a lot like the Christmas season in Southern California, complete with faux snow, light shows, a parade and paddle-boarding Santas. Want to skip the Black Friday consumerism? Spend the day touring a Claremont garden or listening to the music of Stanley Kubrick films. Turkey trots (and even a tofurkey run) will keep you fit while non-holiday events will fill your cultural calendar.

FRIDAY, NOV. 23; 4:30 p.m.
Festival of Lights
The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa -- 3649 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside
The historic hotel kicks off the holiday season with ceremony to illuminate one of the country's largest holiday public light displays. The ceremony is followed by a full fireworks display that starts the hotel's six-week celebration. Aside from the 5 million lights, the celebration includes 400 animated figures, appearances by Santa Claus and Sugar Plum Fairy ballerinas and a life-size gingerbread house. The displays will be on view through Jan. 6. Metrolink offers special train service from Union Station on select dates (Nov. 23, 24, 30 and Dec. 1, 7, 8, 14 and 15) for $7 round-trip and children 18 years and younger ride free.

FRIDAY, NOV. 23 - SUNDAY, DEC. 30; 6 - 10 p.m.
Snow Day L.A.
The Old Lodge at Montecillo De Leo Politi Park -- 2002 Stadium Way, Elysian Park
Now that it's feeling like winter (for SoCal), go tubing near Dodger Stadium. You can play in synthetic snow, view an interactive light show, pop into a photo booth and eat at food trucks. VIP options available. Snow Days happen Fridays through Sundays.
COST: $12 - $59; MORE INFO

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NOS Events Center -- 689 S E. St., San Bernardino
Insomniac presents a massive trance music event on three curated stages in the Inland Empire. Dozens of performers are scheduled including veteran acts John O'Callaghan, Markus Schulz and Paul van Dyk. The music is complemented by visuals and designs so concertgoers can dance (and sweat) the night away.
COST: Tickets start at $75; MORE INFO

FRIDAY, NOV. 23 - SATURDAY, NOV. 24; 8 p.m.
The Color Collective
Ruby Theatre at Complex Hollywood -- 6476 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood
The sketch and variety show, hosted and created by Royce Shockley, celebrates L.A.'s cultural diversity. This Thanksgiving Food Drive benefits the L.A. Food Bank so bring canned goods, packaged goods or boxed items to get a coupon for discounted drinks at The Broadwater Plunge. The show features a musical performance by Kim Tillman and comedy by Peter Kim and Natively Funny, a showcase of Native American performers.
COST: $10 - $15; MORE INFO

Stanley Kubrick's Sound Odyssey
Walt Disney Concert Hall -- 111 South Grand Ave., downtown L.A.
The L.A. Phil, conducted by Jessica Cottis, presents a night dedicated to the legendary director. His career will be told through film clips and the iconic music that Kubrick chose, from Beethoven to Penderecki. His filmography includes 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Eyes Wide Shut, Lolita and The Shining, so be forewarned that the clips may contain violence and mature content. The concerts are hosted by actor Malcolm McDowell, star of A Clockwork Orange.
COST: $68 - $212; MORE INFO

FRIDAY, NOV. 23; 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Golden Friday Fun Run 5K
Golden Road Pub (Glendale) and Golden Road Orange County (Anaheim)
Turn Black Friday into gold. Stay out of the stores and join in a 5K fun run and afterparty. Registration includes a race day T-shirt, two beer tokens for the party, snacks and raffle prizes. Half of the proceeds benefit animal nonprofits (pups are welcome to run and hang out). The race begins at 10 a.m. Event participants must be 21+.


There are also several other races happening this weekend:

Queen Mary Christmas
Queen Mary -- 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach
Sail to the North Pole aboard the majestic ship -- without leaving the LBC. Stroll the decks adorned with lights and decorations, listen to musical performances and take part in family-friendly activities. Be on the lookout for the ship's new captain, a jolly fellow with a white beard, a big belly and a red suit.
COST: General admission tickets start at $16 - $22; MORE INFO

Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort Hosts a Lighting of the Bay celebration on Friday night. (Photo: Newport Dunes Resort)

FRIDAY, NOV. 23; 3 - 8 p.m.
Lighting of the Bay
Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort -- 1131 Back Bay Drive, Newport Beach
The resort opens its 28th holiday season celebration with an afternoon of family fun. Listen to live chorale singing by OC Children's Song Group, Newport Harbor and Corona del Mar High School choirs. There's also cookie decorating, holiday crafts and train rides. Santa enters the party in a big way at dusk (around 5:30 p.m.) as he arrives by stand-up paddleboard and flips the magic switch to light up the bay with more than 50 electric Christmas trees and holiday decorations. An outdoor screening of Elf starts at 6 p.m.
COST: FREE (onsite parking is $10); MORE INFO

FRIDAY, NOV. 23; 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Green Friday
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden -- 1500 North College Ave., Claremont
If you want to #optoutside on Black Friday, then consider wandering the garden's 86 acres and viewing the current exhibition, Origami in the Garden². Shop at the Grow Native Nursery for a great selection of native plants.

SATURDAY, NOV. 23; 9 p.m.
Soul Clap and Dance-Off with Jonathan Toubin featuring Mystic Braves
Teragram Ballroom -- 1234 W. 7th St., downtown L.A.
The famed NYC DJ and his New York Night Train bring their vinyl soul party to the West Coast. Rick Barzell of duo Green Slime picks the winner of the Midnight Dance Contest. Live sets from Mystic Braves and Isaac Rother & The Phantoms. The party is all ages.
COST: $10 - $16; MORE INFO

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SATURDAY, NOV. 24; 7 p.m.
Steven Page Trio
The Troubadour -- 9081 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood
The former frontman for the Barenaked Ladies brings his recognizable tenor to the intimate club. Wesley Stace (aka John Wesley Harding) opens. All ages.
COST: $25 fees; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, NOV. 24; 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Arroyo Seco Marketplace
Audubon Center at Debs Park -- 4700 N. Griffin Ave., Montecito Heights
Local businesses and vendors offer their nature-themed wares for sale, perfect for holiday gift lists.The center also hosts music, activities and programs running all day for the whole family. That includes screenprinting with Self-Help Graphics, holiday wreath-making with Audubon staff and Aztec stories by Michael Heralda. Food trucks will be onsite throughout the day.

Small Business Saturday
Throughout Southern California
Now that you've finished camping out for discounts at big box stores, it's time to #shopsmall and support local mom-and-pop businesses. Think about hitting a local store or coffee shop and eschewing the chains for just a day. Some merchants and neighborhoods, such as Montana Avenue in Santa Monica, are offering deals throughout the day.

SATURDAY, NOV. 24; 7:30 p.m.
Mondo Cult Film Variety Showcase #2: Sex and Satan
Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian -- 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood
The monthly screening series showcases the best new underground, absurd, experimental, rule-breaking and outlaw short films from around the world. The films selected generally have trouble fitting into a single genre or mainstream festivals. Films this month include Dirty Secrets by Laura Moss, which is porn without sex, and Baphomet High by Rebecca Raymond, in which Ellie discovers her elite school math club is a satanic cult. A discussion with filmmakers follows the screening.

SATURDAY, NOV. 24 - SUNDAY, NOV. 25; 1 and 5 p.m.
The Nutcracker 2018
The Broad Stage at SMC Performing Arts Center -- 1310 11th St., Santa Monica
The Westside School of Ballet presents a child-friendly version of the holiday classic, capturing the spirit of George Balanchine's original version. Partnering with the Santa Monica College Symphony playing Tchaikovsky's score, the traditional ballet in two acts is the the longest running "Nutcracker" production in L.A history. Tickets are going fast, but the ballet also runs on Dec. 1 and 2.

SATURDAY, NOV. 24 - SUNDAY, NOV. 25; 11:30 a.m. 6 p.m.
Holiday Marketplace
Craft & Folk Art Museum -- 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire
The museum's annual gift-shopping event and fundraiser showcases handmade goods by a curated selection of L.A.-based makers including Alyson Iwamoto, Ana Cho Ceramics, Babableu, Dark + Stormy Ceramics, Hilary Hahn, The California Workshop and Tomboy Nanny. Shoppers can partake in complimentary refreshments while enjoying music during the weekend. The marketplace is free with museum admission. There's a special VIP Preview and Brunch on Saturday from 10 - 11:30 p.m.
COST: $7 - $9; $15 for VIP preview MORE INFO

SATURDAY, NOV. 24; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Three for the Show: 21st Annual The Three Stooges® Big Screen Event
Alex Theater -- 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale
The Alex Film Society screens Three Stooges shorts for a program of yuks and nyuks. Special guests include relatives of the original Stooges: Moe Howard, Shemp Howard, Larry Fine and Curly Howard. Raffle baskets will be available, filled with Stooge goodies from C3 Entertainment. Proceeds from the raffle support the nonprofit Film Society.

SATURDAY, NOV. 24; 10:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Secret Movie Club Conversation: Problematic Movies
Los Feliz 3 -- 1822 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz
The club's first organized conversation tackles a serious topic: How should we treat and view "classic" films that have become "problematic" due to language or to the moviemaker's personal life or views on race and gender. The debate and discourse will be civil (organizers promise) and they ask that debaters have the research and citations to back up their claims (aka no "alternative facts").

SUNDAY, NOV. 25; 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
2018 LA Tofurky Trot Fun Run & Vegan Food Fest
Crystal Springs Recreation Area -- 4730 Crystal Springs Dr., Griffith Park
The family-friendly 5K (3.1 mile) fun run/trot/walk is open to all and will be followed by a vegan food fest featuring local and national vendors. Medals go to the top adult and child finishers and prizes go to the cutest dog and the human wearing the best costume. All runners will get a Tofurky Trot swag bag with coupons. The fest also features live music, performances and speakers.

Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden in Pasadena holds an art fair this weekend. (Photo: Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden/Facebook)

SUNDAY, NOV. 25; 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Art Fair in the Garden
Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden -- 270 Arlington Dr., Pasadena
The Japanese garden is transformed into a natural open-air gallery with paintings, photographs, ceramics, sculptures and prints by local Pasadena artists including Kruti Shah, Darien Donner, Vic Picou and Jim Marshall. Also on view in the gallery through Dec. 9 is the exhibition, "The Exuberant Abstractions of Vera Arutyunyan." All artists are donating a percentage of their proceeds to help fund the garden's educational and cultural programming.
COST: $9.50 - $12; MORE INFO

SUNDAY, NOV. 25; 5 p.m.
Hollywood Christmas Parade
Hollywood and Sunset Blvds., between Orange and Vine
While the Rose Parade may have Tish and Cord, the 87th edition of the Christmas parade is hosted by Erik Estrada, Laura McKenzie, Dean Cain and Montel Williams. In addition to more than a dozen marching bands, musical performances include Ashanti, Clare Dunn, The Band Of Merrymakers and several former American Idol stars.

How are you spending your weekend? Let us know on Twitter @christineziemba and @LeoHasACat.

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