Thanksgiving 2020: What’s open and closed in L.A.

A peacock near a bench at the L.A. County Arboretum & Botanic Garden.
The L.A. County Arboretum & Botanic Garden in Arcadia will be open to visitors on Thanksgiving. Tickets must be bought in advance.
(Gabriella Angotti-Jones / Los Angeles Times)

This will be a different sort of Thanksgiving weekend, with fewer families on the road, more people looking for options close to home and fewer options available because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, there are possibilities, including hikes, horseback rides, beaches, gardens and gambling.

Here’s a quick look at what’s open and what isn’t on Thanksgiving Day in Los Angeles County.

L.A. County

L.A. County rules permit these places (mostly outdoors) to be open: beaches, piers, skate parks, playgrounds, campgrounds, community gardens, drive-in theaters, golf courses, outdoors places of worship, hotels, batting cages, go-karts, miniature golf courses, tennis, bocce and pickleball courts, outdoor pools, shooting and archery ranges.


Under L.A. County’s restrictions, these options (mostly indoors) are off the table: restaurant dining rooms and patios (take-out is OK),
arcades, bowling alleys, movie theaters, bars and distilleries (except for retail sales), nightclubs, live performance theaters and concert venues, museum, gallery and aquarium interiors, indoor places of worship, stadiums and arenas, theme/amusement/water parks and basketball and volleyball courts.

Face coverings and distancing in public are mandatory; public health officials urge all to wash their hands often.

Parks, trails and playgrounds


Angeles National Forest, except for areas burned in the recent Bobcat fire. California 2, Angeles Crest Highway, is closed at Red Box/Mt. Wilson Road until further notice.

San Bernardino National Forest, except for the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area, also because of recent wildfires.

•Federal and state parklands in the Santa Monica Mountains, though some picnic tables and water fountains may not be available.

•Griffith Park. Miles of hiking trails and acres of grass. Some Griffith Park features remain closed, including Griffith Observatory and Travel Town. But the park pony ride has restarted, open to children ages 1 to 14.

Elysian Park in L.A. (Most L.A. area parks remain open.)

Franklin Canyon Park in Beverly Hills. (But picnic tables and drinking fountains are not available.)

•Hollywood’s popular Runyon Canyon Park is open with limits. Visitors may complete a one-way loop on the West Trail; the East Trail is closed.

Many of us will spend the holiday season the same way we’ve spent most of 2020: at home. Here are some ideas to make it special while staying safe.

Botanic gardens and zoos


•Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. Reservations are required (except for members); tickets cost $15. Info: Descanso Gardens

•The Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden in Arcadia will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last entry 4:30 p.m.) Thanksgiving Day. Reservations are required; tickets cost $15 each. Members show their card and get in free. Info: The Arboretum

•South Coast Botanic Garden on the Palos Verdes Peninsula also is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last entry 4:30 p.m.) Thanksgiving Day. Reservations are required; tickets cost $15 each. Members show their card and get in free. Info: South Coast Botanic Garden


•The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanic Gardens in San Marino is closed on Thanksgiving. If you want to visit on the Wednesday before, the Friday after or any day, you must make a reservation (even members). Tickets cost $25 to $29 for adults; open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Info: The Huntington

•The Sherman Library & Gardens in Corona del Mar are closed on Thanksgiving. Reservations are required if you want to visit on other days from 10:30 to 5 p.m.; tickets cost $5. Info: Sherman Library & Gardens

•The California Botanic Garden in Claremont is closed on Thanksgiving. The garden is offering free admission on Black Friday (Nov. 27) but reservations are required. Garden hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesdays through Sundays; tickets/reservations cost $10. Info: California Botanic Garden

•The Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens in Griffith Park is closed on Thanksgiving. It reopens Friday and will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Timed tickets are required (even for members) and must be booked in advance; $22 for adults. Info: L.A. Zoo

Welcome to our comprehensive gift guide for the 2020 holiday season.

Shopping centers


•Beverly Center, Los Angeles
•Citadel Outlets, Commerce
•Del Amo Fashion Center, Torrance
•Fashion Island, Newport Beach (some businesses might be open; check individually)
•Glendale Galleria
•Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica
•Westfield Century City, West L.A.

Partially closed

•The Grove in L.A.
•The Americana at Brand in Glendale

Other outdoor options


•Hollywood Forever Cemetery will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The cemetery, which schedules a daily hour-long kundalini yoga and meditation class, will offer one at 9 a.m. on its Fairbanks Lawn (pay by donation).

Forest Lawn Glendale, a cemetery that dates to 1906 and includes graves of many entertainment figures. Indoor exhibits (including the Great Mausoleum and the Great Hall of Liberty) are closed.

Sunset Ranch Hollywood, which offers horseback tours of the upper reaches of Griffith Park near the Hollywood sign, will be open on Thanksgiving (and Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day). Prices for one- and two-hour riding tours, typically six riders per guide, are $50-$95 per person.


•Though the Santa Monica Pier is open, its Pacific Park amusement rides, Ferris wheel and merry-go-round remain closed.

•Pop-up ice rinks are canceled this year. The Holiday Ice Rink at Pershing Square in downtown L.A., Ice in Santa Monica and other rinks won’t open this year.

•The Santa Anita Park racetrack in Arcadia is closed. The track is hoping to open to racing Dec. 26, according to its website.

Reservation gaming


Many reservation casinos, citing tribal sovereignty, have reopened throughout California with a variety of pandemic health measures in place. Among them:

Pechanga (hotel is closed), Riverside County
Morongo (restaurants have Thanksgiving specials), San Bernardino County
San Manuel, San Bernardino County