What's up for the weekend of Nov. 17-19: Hollywood, hot air balloons and Harry Potter

Hollywood insiders, hot air balloons, Harry Potter, avant-garde transportation and women with beards are all part of next weekend’s festivities.


Peek behind the magic curtain as animation professionals converge at the eighth CTN Animation eXpo. Nearly 100 small panels and workshops can give budding filmmakers a chance to hear from pros about Pixar, Disney, storytelling, authenticity, collaboration and virtual reality.

When: Nov. 17-19

Cost, info: From $10. Children age 10-13 must be with an adult; children younger than 10 are not permitted. No dogs. (818) 827-7138

Cathedral City

Sit back and admire as many as 35 colorful hot air balloons as they waft over the desert at the fourth Cathedral City Hot Air Balloon Festival. The morning launch sites change each day so visitors get different views of the vivid airships floating around the Coachella Valley. On Friday and Saturday evenings, many of the multicolored balloons will be floating but tethered to create a wondrous, glowing atmosphere.

When: Nov. 17-19

Cost, info: Free, but fees for some activities. Family-friendly. No dogs. (760) 321-5154.

Los Angeles

Don’t forget your magic wand for the Watson Adventure’s Wizard School Scavenger Hunt at the Getty Center. It’s not a traditional scavenger hunt; instead, it focuses on searching for art that echoes characters, places and objects in the Harry Potter books. (All-adult teams play separately from family teams.)

When: Nov. 18

Cost, info: Adults, $19 plus fees; children ages 10-17, $17 plus fees. Not recommended for children younger than 10. No dogs. (877) 946-4868, LAscavengerhunt


Hirsute readers: It doesn’t matter if you’re having a bad hair day because the fifth annual DUBS Was Here Beard and Moustache Competition is your chance to make your hair stand on end. Categories include styled mustache, long beard, freestyle beard and, for the ladies, Whiskerinas, with various materials used for artistic and creative effects. Benefits the Movember Foundation, which is working to improve men’s health.

When: Nov. 18

Cost, info: Adult spectator, $10; competitor, $20. 21 and older only because event is at a brewery. No dogs. (714) 623-5115, dubswashere.com

Los Angeles

Want to check out the latest inventions for traveling through cities? The LACoMotion Mobility Festival in the Arts District lets visitors look at, touch and ride cool new vehicles such as leading-edge bicycles, electric scooters and all manner of innovative transportation. Guests can also attend talks and panels about these ingenious devices.

When: Nov. 18 and 19

Cost, info: Free. Family-friendly. No dogs.


What would the internet look like in person? That’s the goal of Vulture Festival LA: to bring “witty, in-depth, critical coverage found on the web to life.” More than a dozen sessions and “conversations” with movie, TV and web stars, including Sofia Coppola, Sarah Silverman and Lena Dunham, are scheduled.

When: Nov. 18 and 19

Cost, info: From free to $150. Older children OK for some events. No dogs. (212) 508-0700, vulturefestival.com/la

To suggest an event that’s cool and close to home, email travel@latimes.com.



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