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What to Do in Los Angeles This November: Free National Parks & Knott's Merry Farm

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Joshua Tree National Park
Photo by Giuseppe Milo/Flickr

Joshua Tree National Park

The best of what to do in and around Los Angeles this month.

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Catch Kesha’s comeback performance, celebrate Día de los Muertos as it should be observed, and learn how to turn your ideas into political action from a D.C.-based political strategist. Plus, look ahead to planning the best New Year’s Eve to ring in 2018.

AFAR Local is our monthly insider guide to the best of what’s happening in cities around the U.S.

November 1 | Music
The queen is back. After a few years of silence from the sassy, bedazzled pop star due to ahigh-profile legal battle with her former producer Dr. Luke, Kesha has returned to music with a new album that’s bold and beautifully executed. She’ll be belting out “Praying,” “Woman,” and surely some old favorites at the Hollywood Palladium for the L.A. stop of the accompanying tour.
7:00 PM | Hollywood Palladium, 6215 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles | From $57 | website

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November 2 - 4 | Dance
L.A. Dance Project
L.A. Dance Project is the first dance company in residence at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.. The company will be performing fall and spring showcases, the former in November and the latter in April 2018. The fall program includes the L.A. premiere of “Closer,” choreographed by company artistic director Benjamin Millepied, and the U.S. premiere of “Second Quartet,” choreographed by Noé Soulier.
7:30 PM | 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills | From $45 | website

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November 4 | Cultural event
Self Help Graphics & Art’s 44th Annual Día de los Muertos Celebration
Live mariachi, traditional ceremonial altar blessings, workshops, food and drink vendors, face painting, and more come together at Self Help Graphics and Art’s annual Day of the Dead celebration. The local art gallery, which is also currently running an exhibit surrounding the tradition called Día de los Muertos: A Cultural Legacy, Past, Present & Future, has been hosting what is arguably the most popular Day of the Dead celebration in Los Angeles for 44 years running.
4:00 PM - 10:00 PM | Self Help Graphics & Art, 1300 E. First St., Los Angeles | Free | website

November 4 | Art
Grand Ave. Arts: All Access
Grand Avenue is quickly becoming the epicenter for the new downtown L.A.—full of cool, young vibes and shed of its once dangerous reputation. At Grand Ave. Arts: All Access, visitors can sample from 10 of the street’s best cultural hubs, including the Broad, the gorgeous downtown branch of the L.A. Public Library, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and the Music Center.
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM | Grand Ave. between Grand Park and Fifth St., Los Angeles | Free | website

November 7 | Activism
Activism Now
Angela Rye is the CEO of Washington, D.C.-based political strategy and advocacy firm IMPACT Strategies. In this talk at the California African American Museum, Rye will speak about current events and discuss ways we can all fight for the causes we care about. A frequent commentator on CNN and NPR, Rye has her finger on the pulse of issues that face many modern-day Americans, especially women and African Americans.
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM | California African American Museum, 600 State Dr., Los Angeles | Free with RSVP | website


November 9 - 19 | Comedy
L.A. Comedy Fest
It’s no shocker that the largest comedy festival in the United States takes place in Los Angeles. Every year, the L.A. Comedy Fest showcases funnymen and women in live comedy acts, on film, and through written screenplays. There will be thousands of performers and hundreds of films, plus panels and parties surrounding the event as well. Tickets aren’t on sale yet, but check back on the website for updates and snag them when the event schedule becomes available.
Let Live Theatre, 916a N. Formosa Ave., Los Angeles | Times & prices vary | website

November 11 - 12 | Outdoor event
Free Entrance Days in the National Parks
Veterans Day weekend is your last chance to get free entrance to every national park in celebration of the National Park Service’s centennial last year. Take advantage of the deal and get out of the city for the weekend at Joshua Tree, Channel Islands, Sequoia, or Yosemite National Parks—all are between two and five hours away and make ideal last-minute weekend mini-vacations.
Locations vary | Free | website

November 18 - January 7 | Holiday event
Knott’s Merry Farm
Knott’s Berry Farm is transforming again this season. The spooky decorations from Knott’s Scary Farm in October will be replaced with red, green, gold, and white in celebration of the holidays. Dubbed Knott’s Merry Farm, festivities will include a Christmas Craft Fair, nightly tree lighting ceremonies, a wow-worthy ice show performance, and plenty of other surprises.
Knott’s Berry Farm, 8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park | From $45 | website

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November 19 | Parade
Pasadena Dooh Dah Parade
The 40th Occasional Pasadena Dooh Dah Parade is a place to celebrate all the irreverent wonder of East Pasadena. Costumes are a must in this parade, whether you’re watching from the sidelines or marching in the streets. And you’re sure to see some creative reuse of Halloween costumes. Dooh Dah Queen Imani Phoenix will reign over the entire event.
11:00 AM | Parade starts at Nina St. and Vinedo Ave., Pasadena | Free | website

December 31 | Plan ahead: New Year’s Eve
Prohibition NYE
Coming back for its sixth year, Prohibition NYE is a relatively new L.A. tradition, although it’s already one of the most popular NYE events in the city. The Roaring Twenties come to life with burlesque; live jazz ensembles; an open bar featuring champagne, beer from local Angel City Brewery, and fit-to-theme cocktails; and a performance by deep house and Nu-disco producer Gold Room. Once tickets go on sale, they’ll get scooped up fast, so keep an eye out for that date so you don’t miss out. 
9:00 PM | Union Station, 800 N. Alameda St., Los Angeles | From $150 | website

Sarah Purkrabek writes about music, travel, and people from her home in the heart of Los Angeles. 

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