When Halloween is over, that can only mean one thing: time for Santa. You get a couple of days to donate or cash in all of that Halloween candy before the advent calendars, candy canes, and Hanukkah gelt start arriving. Rip down the Halloween decorations, quick, because some of your neighbors are already prepping their amazing holiday light displays. Yes, November is the sandwich month, and we're not just talking turkey. Read on for our top November things to do in LA, Ventura, and OC. We'll keep adding to our calendar daily and sending our weekly newsletter in time for each weekend, too; with so much going on, we'll have to!
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Día de los Muertos
November 1-2, 2018
The first weekend of November is all about Day of the Dead. As the Halloween buzz starts to wear off, this is a great opportunity to show kids where all the spooky, sketelon-y Halloween stuff really comes from. Here in LA, the native origins of what has become the biggest kid holiday of the year is still alive and well, and most of the celebrations, with their ancient rituals and macabre joviality, are free and family-friendly.
Day Out with Thomas
November 3-12, 2018
All aboard! OC's Orange Empire Railway Museum welcomes Thomas the Tank Engine and his friend Percy—both available for rides.
ICE at Santa Monica Community Grand Opening
November 8, 2018
Each year the beach community celebrates the arrival of its unlikely patch of holiday ice with an ice show, a community celebration, and an evening of free skating. The show to kick off the 11th season of the popular rink promises to be a good one.
ICE at Santa Monica offers ice skating by the sea. Photo courtesy of Downtown Santa Monica
Citadel Christmas Tree Lighting
November 10, 2018
The Citadel is usually the first tree lighting of the season and lays claim to the tallest Christmas tree in the region; you can bring a tape measure and decide for yourself over an eggnog.
Snow Day LA
November 9 - December 30, 2018
Snow tubing, ice skating, and snow flurries are in the forecast on weekend evenings in Elysian Park this month.
Enchanted Forest of Light
November 18, 2018 - January 6, 2019
A mile-long walk through the woods of Descanso Gardens features 10 holiday themed works of light art that make up the best possible excuse for a cup of hot chocolate.
Pasadena Model Railroad Club is only this accessible once a year. Photo by Aaron Gold
Pasadena Model Railroad Fall Open House
November 17-20 2018
Train fans wait for months for the chance to visit this epic model train set-up - which can hardly be called miniature with its 30,000 feet of tracks, dozens of trains, and collection of villages. An inexpensive outing and a must-see for anyone into model railroads.
November 16, 2018 - January 6, 2019
Santa's reserve crew move in at the LA Zoo and hang out in wait, in case the man in red needs them to step in and pinch fly on the big night. In the meantime, they get a sunny vacation and a little face time with LA kids.
Surfing Santa Competition
November 17-18, 2018
Warm up your cameras; it's only once a year that Santa takes to his surf board (in large numbers), and it definitely merits a trip to the beach to watch.
Pasadena holds its other famous parade this month. Photo courtesy of the Doo Dah Parade
Doo Dah Parade
November 18, 2018
Pasadena kicks off parade season with its quirky contribution to ambulatory entertainment. The Doo Dah Parade is satirical twist on the Pasadena's other famous parade, and a high-ranking item on our list of 100 Things To Do with LA Kids before They Grow Up.
Daily through November 25, 2018
The Natural History Museum's arachnid display wraps up its annual run this month. Watching the hairy-legged octopeds feast on each other makes for a fine family Thanksgiving outing. This flip side of the Butterfly Pavillion gives bug fans the opportunity to get closer to big, hairy spiders than anyone in his right mind would want.
Hollywood Christmas Parade
November 25, 2018
The Hollywood Christmas Parade forms the epic climax of Thanksgiving weekend in LA and wraps up our November GoList perfectly. Another bucket list item, one of these years you must do it; what better year than 2017, under the care of Grand Marshall and Hollywood medecine man, Dr. Oz?
And finally, this is the month that most of those wonderful seasonal ice rinks spring up. Not only are the rinks loads of fun (with great holiday card photo ops); they also often have impressive opening festivities and recurring events with big name skaters, kid-friendly characters, and family concerts. If you'd like more ideas, subscribe to our weekly events newsletter, which gets you ready for the weekend each Thursday!