(by) Donna McCrohan Rosenthal– November glitters as you’ll see from this month’s roundup of short hops and trips around California. Check the website or call ahead before setting out.
To the north in Yosemite, Tenaya Lodge serves complimentary hot chocolate for all overnight guests Nov. 21 – Dec. 30. On Thanksgiving, Nov. 24, Tenaya provides two options open to all overnight guests: full buffet or a special plated menu 559-683-6555; reservations 888-514-2167).
To the northwest from Wednesday, Nov. 9, to the end of Jan., San Francisco neighborhoods invite you to “Watch the City Glow” with the 10th Annual Illuminate SF Festival of Light. Launched in 2013, the event has grown to 62 temporary and permanent eco-friendly light art installations created by acclaimed international and local artists, such as “Lantern Stories: San Francisco,” a public art installation of 29 illustrated lanterns honoring Chinatown’s history by award-winning interdisciplinary artist Yu-Wen Wu, and the Exploratorium brings back its popular “Glow: Discover the Art of Light” Thursday, Nov. 17, through Sunday, Jan. 29.
Down below, the Los Angeles Opera presents “Omar” through Sunday, Nov. 13 with its soaring score and inspirational true story of a 19th-century scholar captured and shackled into slavery (213-972-8001). At the LA Zoo, “Zoo Lights: Animals Aglow” runs Friday, Nov. 18, through Sun., Jan. 22 (though closed most Mondays and Tuesday plus Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas). See the website for value nights and premium nights, and the Family New Year’s Eve with express entry to Zoo Lights, buffet dinner with dessert, dancing, live broadcast of the Times Square ball drop, for all ages (323-644-4200).
In Buena Park, the season’s spirit reigns supreme at Knott’s Merry (a.k.a. Berry) Farm from Friday, Nov. 18, to Sunday, Jan. 8, with the entire park a holiday festival, featuring thousands of twinkling lights, miles of themed garlands, jumbo snowflakes, and picturesque settings. Enjoy shows like its ice show with Snoopy, the Peanuts Gang, and a cast of world-class ice skaters. Note the discounted admissions on Military Tribute Days (Nov. 1-17, plus Veterans Day, Nov. 28-Dec. 15, and Fire and Law Tribute Days (Nov. 28-Dec. 15, Jan. 9-26) (714-220-5200). In Disney’s California Adventure Park, the “World of Color” Friday, November 11, to Sunday, January 8, combines water, light, story and song into 23 minutes of shimmering enchantment (714-781-INFO).
To the south, Riverside’s Mission Inn’s 30th Annual Festival of Lights (Friday, Nov. 25 – Friday, Jan. 6) returns with one of the nation’s largest holiday light collections, voted “Best Public Lights Display” by USA Today (951-784-0300). In Laguna Beach through Sunday, Nov. 13, the Laguna Playhouse stars JoBeth Williams and Peter Strauss in the world premiere adaptation “Love Among the Ruins, based on 1975 ABC TV’s classic with Katharine Hepburn and Laurence Olivier (949-497-ARTS).