If you’re up for a walk after the early-morning forage, head on over to downtown’s historic Union Station (800 N. Alameda St., 90012) for a “From Rail to Park” walk sponsored by Los Angeles Walks.org , which starts at 10:00 a.m. Walk Ambassador and National Park Ranger Anthony Bevilacqua will lead participants on an urban hike that connects open space, history, and art. The walk will start from Union Station, wind up into Elysian Park and back again. Along the roughly six mile roundtrip walk you’ll learn about LA State Historic Park efforts and more. Tickets are $15 in advance/$20 at the ‘door’. Meet outside the Alameda (main) entrance of Union Station near the Fred Harvey Room.
After your walk, check out the Hollywood Children’s Book Fair, which runs Saturday, November 14, from 12-4 p.m. at Cheremoya Avenue Elementary School, 6017 Franklin Ave, 90028. This year’s free event will include food trucks, activities, and nine of your favorite, award-winning, bestselling authors, who will speak and sign books. Authors include 2015 Caldecott Winner Dan Santat, 2015 LA Poet Laureate Luis Rodriguez, Sherri Smith, Oliver Chin, Cecil Castellucci, James Burks, Eugene Yelchin, and Karen English and more. Doors open at 11:30 a.m.
Later, for food and wine buffs, Fancifull, the provider of luscious delicacies and gift baskets at 5617 Melrose, will hold an in-store party to celebrate its 28th anniversary, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Come and celebrate with some of the store’s favorite cheeses, wines, chocolates and other fine foods. There will also be raffles and prizes. Store personnel will talk about the wines, cheeses, chocolates and patés, which can make great holiday and gift items. You’ll also get to meet some of the local artisan producers and sample their wares. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door.
Finally on Saturday, you really know the holiday season has started in our area when The Grove lights its big Christmas tree. The annual tree-lighting and holiday kick-off fest, “The Grove Christmas with Seth McFarlane,” is slated for tonight, and in addition to host MacFarlane, includes celebrity guests Meghan Trainor and Katharine McPhee, “an Incredible Musical Spectacular” (featuring a 70-piece orchestra and team of “top hat dancers”), the season’s first snowfall, lighting of the Christmas tree, the arrival of Santa Claus…and the always huge (and noisy!) Fireworks Finale@TheGroveLA. Festivities start at 7:30 p.m.
On Sunday, things calm down a bit, making it a great time to head over to Pasadena for the last day of the annual three-day Pasadena Craftsman Weekend. This 24th annual event, which actually runs from November 13-15, is “the largest and most comprehensive salute to the Arts & Crafts Movement in the Western United States.” Offerings include a tour of significant Craftsman-era houses, a variety of bus and walking tours, an Exposition Show & Sale with more than 40 exhibitors featuring antique and contemporary furniture and decorative arts, a silent auction and opportunity drawing, presentations and exclusive evening receptions at historic sites. Tickets may be purchased online, or by calling Pasadena Heritage. The Antiques and Contemporary Furnishing and Decorative Arts Sale (9 a.m – 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday at the Pasadena Convention Center) is free to enter and features more than 50 exhibitors from across the U.S., showing a broad spectrum of Craftsmen-era and period-inspired works including, furniture, textiles, pottery, tiles, metal work, wallpaper, stencils, and books.
Finally, we don’t have any more specific events to highlight for Sunday, but we’d like to give a shout-out to our friends at the Big Sunday organization, who have published their annual “Big Sunday Holiday List” of volunteer and charitable opportunities for the holiday season. The List includes more than 250 (!!!) different opportunities to help all kinds of people, in all kinds of ways, in cities all over California. Please remember: whoever you are, whatever you do, there is somebody who could use your help this holiday season. The list is updated weekly through January 1, so please keep checking back for new opportunities.