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(by) Donna McCrohan Rosenthal – November means autumn, Thanksgiving, festivals, and fun. Offerings abound, as you will read in this month’s round-up of short hops and trips around the Golden State.

Donna Rosenthal

North, south, east, and west, the statewide November 3-19 musical showcase California Festival presents a wide range of cutting-edge composers and trailblazing artists, such as songs of Latin American protest led by Gustavo Dudamel to world premieres at the LA Phi. Find more details and the extensive calendar at

To the northwest: Thursday, November 23, enjoy a multiple-course gourmet Thanksgiving feast on a 3.5-hour journey aboard the vintage luxury Napa Valley Wine Train 800-427-4124); for Yosemite National Park through Sunday, December 3, plan a winter getaway at the Historic Ahwahnee hotel and get your third night free (valid on new reservations only). This applies to travel December 3-21 and you must book by Monday, December 18. Cancellations made seven or more days prior to arrival will receive a full refund. Cancellations within seven days of arrival forfeit the deposit paid 866-425-3366).

Down below, see “Barber of Seville” through Sunday, November 12, then from Saturday, November 18 to Saturday, December 9, “Frida y Diego” at the LA Opera. In “Frida y Diego,” “Mexico’s most iconic artists (and stormy lovers) leap off the canvas in this new musical portrait from Grammy Award-winning composer Gabriela Lena Frank and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz. When a desperate wish on the Day of the Dead reunites Diego Rivera with his wife Frida Kahlo, he jumps at the chance to seek forgiveness. But Frida refuses to return to the world that caused her so much pain 213-972-8001). Also in Los Angeles, Sunday, December 31, marks the last chance to see Endeavour on exhibit for several years until the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center opens to the public 323-724-3623).

From Friday, November 17, through Tuesday, January 2 in Arcadia, the L.A. County Arboretum’s Lightscape “merges nature and art in the mesmerizing Fire Garden, awesome Arch of Light, eye-catching Feast of Light, exotic Dancing Palms, and the magnificent Winter Cathedral. Food trucks every night and a full bar too” 626-821-3222).

To the southeast on Saturday, November 11, and Sunday, November 12, and featuring 40 chef-owned restaurants and 80 boutique wineries for tastings, sippings, and pairings, the annual Palm Springs Food and Wine Festival brings together some of the best chefs in the world for a celebration of food, drink, culture, live music and demonstrations by renowned chefs 760-409-1530).

Farther south and on the coast through Sunday, December 31, the San Diego Natural History Museum explores the majesty and magnificence of the largest animal ever to walk the earth with “Titanosaur,” a 3D Cinema production. Follow scientists as they gather clues to understand and imagine these gargantuan reptiles 877-946-7797).