Events in Southern California | November 2021

From turkey trots to holiday faires and the Surfing Santa Competition in Huntington Beach, the calendar of events in Southern California for November 2021 has some fun and safe options to keep you engaged this holiday season.

Check out all of the events below for great ideas on fun things to do in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, and across the Inland Empire.

Orange County Events

Sawdust Winter Fantasy – Art and Craft Festival

Saturday, Nov. 20th – Sunday, Dec.19th
5 Weekends, 10 AM-7 PM

If you love the summer Sawdust festival then you don’t want to miss the winter wonderland transformation this time of year. One of the amazing benefits of living in Laguna Beach is the fact that there are fun festivals all year round! Art media includes jewelry, clothing, fused and blown glass, ceramics, woodwork, forged metals, painting, photography, sculpture, clothing and textiles. The iconic Christmas village by the sea is a Southern California holiday staple, along with fun like the marionette puppet shows, magic shows and more.

Surfing Santa Competition

Saturday, Nov. 20th – Sunday, Nov. 21st
Register Online

This two-day surf and stand-up paddleboarding event is silly in all the right ways. This seasonal event gets everyone decked out in holiday gear in the water and supports Surfers Healing, the original surf camp for children with autism. The charity surf event will feature stand-up paddle-boarding as well as surfing at Salt Creek Beach. Prizes will be awarded for everything from Big Air and Fastest SUP Race, to the best costume. Go online to sign up or check out the schedule of events!

Sugar Plum Arts & Crafts

Thursday, Nov. 11th – Saturday, Nov. 13th
Hours Vary

Filled with dozens of artisans and craft vendors, the Sugar Plum festival is the perfect place to buy unique, local goods. Get ahead of your Christmas decorating and shopping by stopping by for wonderful gifts and a few goodies for yourself. The Arts and Crafts fair has everything from hand-crafted soaps and home goods to freshly baked bread and homemade jams and spreads.

Dana Point Turkey Trot

Thursday, Nov. 25th
First Race 7am

This 44-year-old tradition lives on! Last year was a virtual race, but this year it’s safe once again to work up your appetite side by side with your friends and loved ones.

Night of Lights OC

Friday, Nov. 26th – Sunday, Jan. 2nd
Wed,Thurs, & Sun, 5-10pm | Fri & Sat, 5-11pm

A magical and interactive winter wonderland drive-thru experience, Night of Lights OC is returning to the OC Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa. The experience guides guests through a mile-long drive-thru course filled with more than one million lights, themed holiday scenery and immersive vignettes, animated light shows, snow flurries and tunnels synchronized to music, special effects, and interactive characters. 

LA Events

Natural History Museum’s Spider Pavilion

Now – Sunday, Dec. 5th
Advanced Tickets Needed

This seasonal pavilion gives you a rare glimpse into the secret life of spiders! Stroll through the open air pavilion to see hundreds of orb weavers and their amazing webs all around you. Then enter the spider den to peer into enclosed habitats that house different species from tarantulas to jumping spiders – if you dare!

AFI Fest

Wednesday, Nov. 10th – Sunday, Nov. 14th
Tickets Available Online

AFI FEST is a world-class event, showcasing the best films from across the globe to captivated audiences in LA. With a diverse and innovative slate of programming, the eight-day film festival presents screenings, panels and conversations, featuring both master filmmakers and new voices. Special events at the festival take place at iconic LA locations, such as the historic TCL Chinese Theatre and the glamorous Hollywood Roosevelt.

2021 LA Auto Show

Friday, Nov. 19th – Sunday, Nov. 28th
Opens 9am Each Day

Whether it’s new vehicle shopping, free test drives, experiencing the latest tech or exploring an assortment of customized rides and supercars, there is something for everyone at the show.

The Elf on the Shelf’s Magical Holiday Journey

Friday, Nov. 5th – Sunday, Jan. 2nd
5pm – 7:15 pm drive through start times

Prepare to be swept away in an immersive drive-thru experience like no other! The Elf on the Shelf’s Magical Holiday Journey  is an original story brought to life by world-class artists from theater, TV, and film, including scenic design by Emmy Award® winner David Korins (Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen,  The 2019 Oscars), original music composed by Emmy Award® nominee Curtis Moore (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), and lighting design by Broadway lighting designer David Weiner (Romeo and Juliet, Outside Lands Festival).

LA Turkey Trot

Thursday, Nov. 25th
Thanksgiving Morning

Experience LA like never before – with absolutely no traffic – at the city’s best Thanksgiving tradition! Run or walk a 5k or 10k before you feast to help fundraise for The Midnight Mission, or have the kids participate in the Widdle Wobble for the little trotters ages 12 and under. The historic course runs along Spring Street AKA the Wall Street of the West as you run past notable buildings such as the Continental Building, the Walt Disney Concert Hall and more.

Inland Empire Events

Mammoth Mountain Opening Day

Saturday, Nov. 13th
7:30 am – 4 pm

Get the 2020/21 season going with the traditional Broadway Express banner breakthrough. It’s time to shred!

Palm Springs Wild Turkey Trot

Thursday, Nov. 25th
Race Begins 8am

Last year’s event was virtual but this year it’s back to the regularly scheduled programming. All participants receive a long sleeved tech t-shirt, finisher medal, free finisher photo download and wild turkey hat. A portion of your entry supports the Mizell Center’s Meals on Wheels Program, providing food for homebound seniors. 

Earth, Wind & Fire

Sunday Nov 21st
7:30 – 11:30pm

The 6th Annual Riverside Turkey Trot will take place VIRTUALLY which means you can run anytime, any distance & anywhere! Your bib and t-shirt will be mailed Thanksgiving week and for anyone wanting to race before the big meal, join on Facebook Live at 8 am on Thanksgiving morning for a live warm-up, followed by the National Anthem and runners count down!

Festival of Lights in Riverside

Friday, Nov. 26th – Thursday, Jan. 6th

This year will not feature a switch-on ceremony, but the Mission Inn will still host their annual Festival of Lights with decorations and displays. One of Riverside’s most impressive holiday light displays, it’s a must-visit if you’re in town during the holidays!

San Diego Events

San Diego Beer Week

San Diego Beer Week

Friday, Nov. 5th – Sunday, Nov. 14th
Events throughout San Diego County

Promoting more than 150 independent craft breweries and spanning 10 days, this year’s beer week has more participation than ever! There will be tons of events held throughout San Diego County at breweries, restaurants, and more so check out the full schedule on the website to find something fun near you.

O’Side Turkey Trot

Thursday, Nov. 25th
Registration Begins 6am

Oceanside’s 16th Annual Turkey Trot 5-mile or 5K run/walk. Register & join one of the fastest-growing holiday traditions. Be sure to bring the entire family, as there will be races for everyone. 

Encinitas Holiday Street Fair

Saturday, Nov. 20th – Sunday, Nov. 21st
9am – 4pm

Held in the spring and fall, The Encinitas Holiday Street Fair is located down the center of six blocks of scenic South Coast Highway 101, two blocks from the Pacific Ocean. The event draws large crowds and features a booth arrangement that provides half of the vendors with two adjoining sides open to traffic, if they choose.

Harvest Walk

Now – Saturday, Nov. 13th
Saturdays only, 11am – 6pm

Belmont Park is still transformed into a vibrant taste of fall with an Open-Air Market, featuring Local Food Vendors, Artisans, and a Craft Beer Garden. Enjoy the all-new Go Kart Track, Classic Movie Cars on display, Street Magic, and many more fun ways to experience fall for the whole family! They’ve also got one of the state’s BIGGEST Pumpkins for all to see – and if you guess the weight you could win a prize! There are also adoptable dogs from San Diego Humane Society and partners available.

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