Turkey-day is almost upon us! Don't spend this weekend frantic with planning. If you're not sure what you're doing for the holiday yet, save some stress and go out for dinner. See our list of Monterey County's Best Thanksgiving Dinners for menus, costs and more!
Golf fans, head over to Pebble Beach this weekend for the Callaway Golf Pebble Beach Invitational. Pros and amateurs will compete for the $60,000 1st place purse. The tournament is played simultaneously at Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and Del Monte from Thursday through Saturday; the final round is at Pebble beach Golf Links on Sunday. Attendance is free for spectators — possibly this year's best deal at Pebble Beach.
Prepare for Thanksgiving by meeting some birds — like blackfooted penguins, a Laysan albatross, a horned owl, and a Harris hawk — that probably won't ever wind up on your dining room table. "Feathered Friends" at the Monterey Bay Aquarium features includes special bird shows, daily feedings, a family craft room, the chance to meet some rescued birds, and more. For $12 extra ($10 for members) you can even receive a behind-the-scenes tour. Saturday and Sunday, 10am-5pm, Monterey Bay Aquarium, 886 Cannery Row, Monterey. Included in admission fee (behind-the-scenes tour is extra).
The ice skating rink is back on Custom House Plaza! Starting Saturday and running through January 9th, skate within earshot of the sea lions at Ice Skating By the Bay. Monday-Friday 11am-10pm, Saturday 10am-10pm, Sunday noon-8pm. Custom House Plaza at the foot of Fisherman's Wharf, Monterey. $12 adults, $10 for children 12 and under. Skates are $3.
Get in the holiday spirit (and imbibe some perfect-for-the-holidays wines) at Paraiso Vineyards' "All the Trimmings" Holiday Open House. Listen to carolers, sample great cheeses, food and wine, ship at the 5,000-foot Paraiso Home Decor Boutique, and stick around for a visit from Santa Claus. 6pm-10pm, 38060 Paraiso Springs Rd, Soledad. $15.
House music powerhouse DJ Sparkinzi (check him out streaming on Warmth Radio) drops some fat beats at the Freestyle Dance Jam in Pacific Grove. 8-10pm, Chautaqua Hall, Central and 16th, Pacific Grove. $10 for adults, $5 for children.
You may have seen Sarah Vowell on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, heard her voice on NPR's This American Life or in the film The Incredibles, or read her fantastic books Assassination Vacation, The Wordy Shipmates or The Partly Cloudy Patriot. Tonight, see her in person at Carmel-by-the-Sea's Sunset Center. 8pm, Sunset Center, San Carlos and 9th Street, Carmel-by-the-Sea. Tickets are $48–$68 and can be purchased online.
The Monterey County Weekly's Best Band of 2009 and 2010, Cheeky Spanks, is sure to pack the house tonight at Bullwacker's. 8:30pm-midnight, 653 Cannery Row, Monterey. No cover.
Metal night comes roaring back at Jose's Lounge Underground with San Francisco's Wonderland Syndrome, Fresno's Carcosa, Citi and local thrashers City of Ashes. 9pm, 638 Wave St., Monterey. $5.
Shop for the holidays at Carmel's annual Homecrafters Marketplace, featuring handmade crafts from many artisans. 9am-4pm, Sunset Center, San Carlos and 9th Street, Carmel-by-the-Sea. Free to attend.
Learn about jobs in film and purchase movie memorabilia at the Monterey County Film Commission's "Focus on Film" day. The movie memorabilia sale is free to attend and runs from 11am-3pm; the "Reel Jobs" talk takes place at 3pm and is $10 ($5 for senior citizens). Monterey Conference Center, 1 Portola Plaza, Monterey.
Paraiso's "Swankalicious Holiday Weekend" concludes with a Strolling Open House. Shop the Paraiso Home Decor Boutique and enjoy some fine wines. Noon-3pm, 38060 Paraiso Springs Rd, Soledad.
The first holiday tree lighting of the season happens tonight at the Del Monte Center. Cozy up to Santa as you enjoy holiday entertainment, cookies and hot cocoa. For every three cans of food you bring to donate to the Food Bank of Monterey county, you'll receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win a $500 shopping spree. 5-7pm, Munras Avenue at Highway One, Monterey. Free to attend.
Award-winning pianist Jon Nakamatsu and clarinetist Jon Manasse (formerly principal of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra) perform tonight at the Sunset Center. After a pre-concert talk, they'll play a truly diverse program that includes Brahms' Sonata in F minor, Carl Maria von Weber's Grand Duo Concertant in E-flat Major, Mendelssohn's Rondo Capriccioso in E Major, Paquito D'Riviera's Lecuonerias from The Cape Cod Files and John Novacek's Four Rags for Two Jons (composed specifically for them). Talk at 7pm, performance at 8pm. Sunset Center, San Carlos and 9th Street, Carmel-by-the-Sea. Tickets are $41 to $65 and can be purchased online.
LA funk-rock band Permanent Ability boasts an impressive resume; their first album featured George Clinton (of Parliament Funkadelic fame), lead singer Brian Lanese won Best Frontman Award, Dino Andino (formerly of Tourniquet) is a Best Bassist Award winner, and their most recent album was produced by Jim Wirt, who has worked with Incubus and Hoobastank. They play what is sure to be an intense show tonight at Jose's Lounge Underground. 9pm, 638 Wave Street, $5.
San Jose's Northern Son have drawn comparisons to Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen, which is no surprise when you listen to their music. They play Fernwood tonight alongside country-rockers Hurricane Roses. 9pm, Highway One in Big Sur. No cover.
If you swoon to the sound of the Indigo Girls, you won't want to miss Trusting Lucy tonight at London Bridge Pub. 9:30pm, Wharf Number 2, Monterey. No cover.
The best blues bands in the region duke it out for a chance to play the Monterey Bay Blues Festival at today's Battle of the Blues Bands. All spectators get to vote for their favorite band. (No, Bristol Palin isn't competing.) 2pm-7pm, Monterey Room, Monterey Fairgrounds, 2004 Fairground Road, Monterey. $10.