In the Loop


November means autumn adventure as well as looking ahead to December to buy hard-to-get tickets in advance. For help in planning, check out this month’s roundup of tips for short hops to nearby events, longer trips around the state and oh yes, space.

Start with space. Down below in Los Angeles, the California Science Center just unveiled its Endeavour display and “Endeavour: The California Story,” a companion exhibit of images and artifacts that relate the shuttle program to California (; 323-SCIENCE).

Also in Los Angeles, the L.A. Opera presents “Madame Butterfly” with projected English translations on Nov. 17, 25 and 28 and Dec 1, 6 and 9 (; 213-972-8001), Jeff Goldblum appears in “Seminar”— a comedy that “turns writing into a contact sport” — through Nov. 18 at the Ahmanson Theatre (; 213-628-2772) and the Second City gives “A Christmas Carol” a makeover in “Twist Your Dickens” — improv treatment, possibly with drop-in special guests — at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in neighboring Culver City (; 213-628-2772).

In Hollywood on Saturday, Nov. 17, at the Egyptian Theatre, a screening of Dashiell Hammett’s “The Thin Man” accompanies a discussion by his granddaughter of his recently published work, released more than a half-century after his death (

From Los Angeles to San Diego on Dec 1, join WW II veterans aboard vintage railcars for the Pearl Harbor Day Troop Train honoring America’s heroes who did so much to defend our flag and our freedoms (; 714-546-6923).

To the southeast in Rancho Mirage over the Nov. 17-18 weekend, the Fifth Annual Desert Woman’s Show at the Westin Mission Hills Resort & Spa features fashion, beauty, health, food and financial boot camp sessions in one of the largest women’s expos in California (; 760.285.3903), Palm Springs offers its Festival of Lights Parade ( and through Nov. 25, Oak Glen observes its Fall Apple Harvest with pies, cider and U-pick farms along a scenic five-mile loop, culminating in the Apple Butter Festival on Thanksgiving weekend (; 909-797-6833).

To the southwest in Ventura, Friday, Nov 30, brings a dazzling tree lighting followed on Saturday Dec. 1, by the Holiday Street Fair ( and Winter Wine Walk (; 805) 323-5691). Additionally on Dec. 1, Oxnard holds both its downtown Christmas Parade (; 805-247-0197) and Oxnard Tamale Festival ( and Mission San Juan Capistrano cheers Yuletide spirits with community-wide celebrations, Santa’s Workshop with cookie decorating for kids, food vendors, entertainers and a tree lighting (; 949-234-1300).

To travel without going far, visit Tehachapi for Breakfast with Santa on Dec 1 ( and the beautifully decorated Errea House Holiday Sale preview Dec 1 and 2 (; 661-822-8152).

Ridgecrest resident Donna McCrohan Rosenthal covers travel stories for AAA, Bakersfield Magazine and several West Coast publications. The author of 14 books, she has appeared on Oprah and A&E Biography and lectured at the Smithsonian.

Story First Published: 2012-11-07