‘Twas the weekend before Thanksgiving, and all through the land, we were so busy menu making, no outings had been planned. When what to the rescue should suddenly appear? A newsletter from Red Tricycle, hip hooray, give a cheer! We found the kookiest parade in town, music, crafts, bird watching, music, elves on stage and a wall that can heal…

Faery Flower Crowns

Downtown

The LA Auto Show
Kids (and parents) that love cars will adore seeing over 30 world car debuts and custom cars on display for the first time. Sit in insanely expensive and cool cars and motorcycles and be the first to know about new green technology. Fri.-Sun., 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Downtown. $5-$15. All ages. Event details.

The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra
Adventures abound within the music of English composer Benjamin Britten. Experience the musical journeys and magical landscapes of his best loved works, including The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. Sat., 11 a.m. Downtown. $27.50-$31.50. Ages 5-11. Event details.

Mid-City & Beverly Hills

Make Garlands of Gratitude
Make some decorations for the upcoming feast. Kids can talk about what they are truly thankful for while creating garlands of gratitude at the Zimmer Museum. Sun., 2-4 p.m.. Miracle Mile. $7. Ages 2-8. Event details.

Beverly Hills Lights Up
The trees that light up are palms, the twinkling lights are reflections of Baccarat crystal. Santa’s in town and it snows on Rodeo. This is one of the first holiday lightings in town; it’s definitely one of the fanciest and it’s also one of our favorites. Sun., 6 p.m. Beverly Hills. Free. All ages. Event details.

Eastside

Create Autumn Mobiles
Using natural materials like pine cones and adding some playful water-colored leaves and beads, kids can create a festive mobile that will be perfect hanging on your door for the holiday (or for a Grandma gift!). Sat., 3-4 p.m. Eagle Rock. $30. Ages 4 & up. Event details.

San Gabriel Valley

Pumpkin Dissection
The Halloween ones are mush, and the Thanksgiving ones are about to be pie. Kiddos will weigh, gut, squish their hands around, examine, and take home seeds of pumpkins for roasting or planting. Sat., 2 p.m. Pasadena. $7 plus museum admission. Ages 5-8. Event details.

The Doo Dah Parade
Be ready to laugh it up at this kooky parade. Known as the twisted sister of the conventional Rose Parade, the Occasional Pasadena Doo Dah Parade gets national attention for the eccentric and irreverent satire. Sun., 11 a.m. Pasadena. Free. All ages. Event details.

Exploring Nature with the Kizh
Join members of the Kizh Gabrieleño tribe to discover how the Kizh used native plants, what these plants did and still do for our environment, and how you can use them around your home today. Sat., 10 a.m.& 12:30 p.m. City of Industry. Free. All ages. Event details.

Westside

Bird Watching for Kiddos (And Parents!)
This is a special short walk for kids and their families. Just bring sunscreen, water, walking shoes and sharp eyes—the binoculars are provided. Sun., 10-11 a.m. Malibu. Free. Ages 2-6. Event details.

Faery and Earth Warrior Crown Making
Kids choose from an array of both natural and dried flowers and materials from which they can create and craft their faery own one-of-a-kind crown in this all day workshop that leaves you with time to get a jump on shopping. Sat., 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Malibu. $55. Ages 3-6. Event details.

San Fernando Valley

“Elf,” Live on Stage
You love the movie, now see the show featuring Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Fri.-Sun., Various times. Thousand Oaks. $29-$69. Ages 3 & up. Event details.

Simi Valley

See ‘The Wall That Heals’
If you haven’t taken the kids to DC, part of it is coming to you! The Wall That Heals is a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. It’s visiting, alongside a mobile Education Center that displays the photos, letters and memorabilia left at the real Wall. Fri.-Sun., 24 hours a day. Simi Valley. Free. All ages. Event details.

What are you doing this weekend to get ready for Thanksgiving (or when you take a break from getting ready for Thanksgiving!)? We’d love to hear your weekend plans in the comment section.

—Meghan Rose

photo credits: Meghan Rose and Secrets of the Faeries