• Pamela Froman

Fall Entertainment Guide 2020

Fall is on its way and despite the restrictions placed on us because of COVID, there are still plenty of ways to be entertained. Streaming live events and festivals, drive up music and movies, and virtual art museums are all ways for you to enjoy yourself.

Virtual Festivals

You can check out a local festival, even if it isn't in person.

This year the L.A. Times 25th Festival of Books is completely virtual. It starts October 18, and continues for four weeks, There will be author panels, readings, and other happenings.

The Food Bowl is coming to your kitchen. There will be a virtual food-fundraiser with 30 chefs and celebrities. Tune in and support the World Central Kitchen. Plus, they will be announcing the esteemed Gold and Restaurant of The Year Awards.

Music Events and Concerts

Music is a perfect way to enjoy an evening, and these days you can do so from the comfort of your vehicle.

Concerts In Your Car is a live drive-in series that takes place in the parking lot of the Ventura County Fairgrounds. Each week there is top tier talent that performs on the outdoor, in-the-round stage, so you can sing, dance, and laugh.

Upcoming events from Concerts In Your Car include: DJ Snoopadelic, Oct 2, 5:30 p.m., Chris Janson, Oct 10, 8 p.m., The Beach Boys Oct 23, 8:30 p.m., Oingo Boingo Oct 24, 8 p.m., and Aaron Lewis & Sully Erna Oct 31, 8 p.m.

The Bach Organ Recital Series will be performed by Adan Alejandro Fernandez on Oct. 14, 12:30 p.m. He will play the music of Bach, Buxtehude, and others on the 2,109-pipe Borg Petersen Memorial Organ in Cal Lutheran's Samuelson Chapel. The free live-streamed concert takes place the second Wednesday of each month through December.

LA is full of hilarious comedians. Usually, we have access to comedy shows at clubs with comics, open mic nights, and improv performers. That's not the case these days. However, you can still get your local laughs virtually. The Laugh Factory is streaming live shows Monday through Friday at 2 p.m. and you can also revisit sets from comics including Leslie Jones and Kumail Nanjiani on the club's YouTube channel.

Social Distancing in Person

Some events are taking place in person, albeit with social distancing measures in place.

Check out the gorgeous blooms at Descanso Gardens. The gardens are open until 8 p.m. There are roses and flowering cherry trees as well as stunning fall foliage. You can even sip a cocktail in Descanso's Japanese Gardens on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoons. Not up for visiting in person? Take a virtual tour via YouTube.

Want to perfect your creativity? Still Life Ceramics studio at ROW DTLA has taken its spinning pottery wheels out of doors for Pottery in the Park. Get in on an hour-long class where you'll learn the basics and make your very own bowl.

Every Wednesday night, the LA County Arboretum and Botanical Garden offers a socially-distanced walk through the forest so you can enjoy the beauty of nature.

Do you want fresh fruit and vegetables? Many local farmer's markets – such as the one in Thousand Oaks – are still taking place. You can support local farmers and chow down on delicious produce via farm boxes.

A Night Out at The Monarch Beach Resort offers a three-course al fresco dinner with live jazz on the Grand Lawn. Enjoy ocean breezes and Chef Gregory Noble's menu, along with a cash bar. The evening also features the talents of renowned guitarist Peter White, Grammy Award-winning pianist Gregg Karukas, and international saxman Michael Paulo. Joining them is an all-star band with bassist Nate Philipps and drummer extraordinaire Eric Valentine. For safety purposes, attendees will only be seated within their own group, at tables that seat from 3 to 6

This fall, beheaded beasts, blood-gushing villains, 14-foot aliens, and the world's most beloved blockbuster heroes will converge on Los Angeles for an immersive entertainment experience. Icons of Darkness (IOD) will premiere at The Montalbán in partnership with TV actor, writer, producer, and director Richard “Rich” Correll. IOD will offer cinematic buffs, sci-fi fans, cosplay enthusiasts, and horror aficionados a walking tour of props, artifacts, and memorabilia from movies spanning almost 100 years of Hollywood history. Hundreds of films will be represented, including Frankenstein, The Exorcist, Star Wars, Iron Man, Jurassic Park, Spiderman, Joker, and Harry Potter.

View From The Top

There are plenty of ways to enjoy the natural beauty of Los Angeles!

The Sandstone Peak hike is the tallest peak in the Santa Monica Mountains at 3,114 feet. The 6-mile loop trail offers a solid workout and the fantastic scenery of the ocean. LA hiking trails have reopened but stay away from any that seem crowded.

Crystal-clear views are stellar from the Mount Wilson Observatory with an elevation of 5,700 feet. And you can get a live look from the Towercam atop the 150-Foot Solar Tower 24 hours a day.


Missing L.A.'s artwork and museums? Many galleries remain closed but you can bring the art home virtually.

The Arts District's Corey Helford Gallery is releasing new shows this month including the wild “Birds of Paradise” by Australian pop surrealist Marie Larkin and animal oil paintings of “Bruno Pontiroli's A Rebrousse-Poil.” You can check out the pieces on the gallery's website.

The Grammy Museum offers up amazing talks and performances that we can partake from home. Check out their premium streaming service (for $2.99 per month), where they post artist interviews, performances, and live streams.

Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles has reopened (although it's by appointment only). But they also are featuring a huge collection of online exhibitions, such as those celebrating Mark Bradford, Paul McCarthy, and Annie Leibovitz.

LACMA's most stunning content is online right now. You can listen to chamber music performances, take online courses, and view exhibitions. The most stunning area in its collection is the “Artists on Art” videos, where icons like John Baldessari, Betye Saar, Ed Ruscha, and Catherine Opie explore the galleries and discuss their favorite works.

You can head over to the Broad's YouTube channel for “L.A. Intersections: Music, Language, Movement,” a three-part video series that was filmed at places around the museum.

Virtual MOCA, the Downtown museum's online presence, offers tours, workshops past exhibitions, movie nights, artist takeovers, and a virtual book club.

Drive-Up Movies

These days the drive-in is ubiquitous with entertainment. Here are a few places to get your film fix on.

Eat-See-Hear brings dinner and a show right to your living room. You can sign up to receive 16 weeks of exclusive access to Showtime's Sunday Night Features plus you'll also get the locations of secret food trucks across L.A.

You can enjoy classic movies in your car at the Seaside Cinema at the Ventura County Fairgrounds. Upcoming shows include: Pretty Woman on Sept 30, and The Big Lebowski on Oct 1.

San Fernando Valley Summer Drive-In is being held at Sherman Oaks' Westfield Fashion Square Mall. Order takeout from the mall's food court to chow down in your car, and watch each film on a 60-foot screen. Up and coming double features include Edward Scissorhands, Labyrinth, Casper, Scream, and more.

You can catch movie screenings and comedy shows from the Sunset Strip – all while in your car. Andaz West Hollywood is screening '70s L.A. classics alongside tales of counterculture and rebellion. Each show comes with food options off of the Andaz menu (sliders, beer, cocktails, hot dogs, popcorn, and candy). The screenings take place on the third level of the hotel's open-air parking garage.

Stranger Things: The Drive-Into Experience will bring the Netflix series to life with an hourlong adventure. The adventure takes groups of 24 cars at a time into sets complete with actors in costume and special effects.

Pair dinner and a movie without leaving your car at Movies from Mel's Drive-In on Sunset Blvd. Mel's is complementing its carhop service with drive-in movies on select Sunday nights. Catch screenings of classics like Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Grease, Jaws, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

If watching movies in your car isn't your thing, you might prefer the Fairmont Miramar's Poolside Cinema. Every Saturday at 8 pm, you can don a bathing suit, munch on free popcorn, and enjoy a family-friendly movie around the Fairmont's gorgeous pool. This summer's lineup includes The Sandlot, Toy Story, Hook, and more. Eats and libations are available from the FIG Restaurant menu.

Hang With The Animals

Even our local zoos are going virtual.

The LA Zoo's mesmerizing “Bringing the Zoo to You” program is coming into your living room. Turn it on and check out a baby gorilla chowing down on lettuce, a lazy lion licking its paws, a koala bear munching a tree branch, and swimming hippos frolicking in the water.

The Santa Barbara Zoo is open! However, online advance tickets are required and attendance is capped each day to limit the total number of guests. The Santa Barbara Zoo is home to 146 species of mammals, reptiles, birds and insects. More than 500 animals are exhibited in open, naturalistic habitats.

Do it Yourself For Foodies

When it comes to dining there are quite a few options out there – outdoor setups and takeout options from ultra-fancy restaurants. But if you want a restaurant meal that you can cook at home, opt for a make-your-own meal-kit.

Sushi Roku's kit comes with five kinds of fish, matching sauces, multiple veggies, and cooked sushi rice along with nori and soy paper.

Scopa Italian restaurant is offering its mix-and-match housemade pasta and sauces to boil and heat up at home.

Pizza lovers can start from semi-scratch with pizza kits from Roberta's or Milo & Olive. Check them out at or

Entertainment and fun is alive and well in Los Angeles – even if it's while you are in your car or at home!

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