The 8 Best Things to Do in L.A. This (Long) Weekend

What to do on Thanksgiving weekend? We have some ideas
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Sure, it’s only Wednesday, but that means the long weekend is just a day away. Once you’ve emerged from your turkey coma, here are a bunch of fun things to do around L.A., from a Burt Reynolds double feature to a vegan-friendly 5K.


Farewell Open House at Bob Baker Marionette Theater

Friday, November 23

Bob Baker’s legendary marionette theater opened its doors at 1st and Glendale in Echo Park the day after Thanksgiving 55 years ago. On Friday, they’re inviting the community into that space for the last time for a totally free open house. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., old fans or people who’d never had a chance to visit before are welcome to tour the space and even catch pop-up puppet performances, free of charge (and no RSVP necessary). The theater has big plans for a new space in the near future, but the closure of the OG for sure marks the end of an era.

Stanley Kubrick’s Sound Odyssey

Friday-Sunday, November 23-25

Stanley Kubrick put great care into the music that scored his films. For this special orchestral concert, the L.A. Phil uses music from 2001: A Space OdysseyA Clockwork OrangeThe ShiningBarry Lyndon, and Eyes Wide Shut as an entry point to the iconic filmmaker’s particular taste in classical compositions.

Mission Inn Festival of Lights 

Friday, November 23

It’s the day after Thanksgiving, so it’s officially OK to switch on the Christmas lights. And nobody does it bigger than Mission Inn. Get there at 4:30 for an evening of celebrations leading up to the illuminating moment when they turn on some five million bulbs covering the historic property. Oh, and there’s fireworks, because if you’re going to be extra, be extra.

Burt Reynolds Memorial 35mm Double Feature

Saturday, November 24

Iconic handsome man Burt Reynolds passed away in September, and movies buffs are still reeling from the loss. Secret Movie Club, which hosts 35mm revival screenings in classic L.A. movie houses, is honoring the late actor with a midnight double feature of Smokey & the Bandit and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. SMC calls the former “just 90 minutes of pure fun and joy”—we agree.

Senior Pet Adoption Fair at Wallis Annenberg PetSpace

Saturday, November 24

November is Senior Pet Adoption Month, and the Wallis Annenberg PetSpace is teaming up with L.A. County’s Department of Animal Care and Control for an adoption event to highlight pups and cats with a lil bit of gray in their beards. Experts will be on hand to explain why older pets rule (they truly do), and kids can take advantage of free face painting and a story hour with author and animal advocate Lisa Wiehebrink. In response to the influx of animals local shelters have seen in the wake of the catastrophic wildfires, PetSpace is waiving adoption fees during the event. (Fun fact: Pictured pup Ballerina is among the seniors up for adoption.)

Small Business Saturday

Saturday, November 24

Assuming you weren’t trampled in to death on Black Friday, Saturday’s the day for supporting local stores and makers. Need help? Our L.A.-made holiday gift guide features a slew of stuff by and for Angelenos. Giving is better than receiving, but feel free to treat yourself too.

L.A. for the Holidays: Real Life Families Improvise Together

Saturday, November 24

Improvising with strangers is hard. But improvising alongside people changed your disgusting diapers, read your diary, and/or remember the time you peed your pants in second grade—that’s probably harder. As loads of transplanted comedians head out of town to spend the holiday with family, UCB is celebrating people with family in L.A. by inviting them all up on stage to perform together. Features Jake Regal, Isabella Roland, and Londale Theus Jr.—and their respective family members.

Tofurky Trot 5k and Vegan Food Fest

Sunday, November 25

If a Thanksgiving morning 10k sounds a little too ambitious, this post-Thanksgiving 5k run and trot might be a little more your speed. Sponsored by its namesake vegan turkey purveyor along with the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition, the run through Griffith Park is followed by a vegan food fest featuring more than two dozen vendors including El Machete, Compton Vegan, and Nelly’s Organics. 


RELATED: 7 of the Best Places to Buy a Christmas Tree in L.A.


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