As the calendar ushers in the fall and the island’s slower season, Halloween on Catalina Island ushers in a November with an array of things to do, ranging from athletic to multi-cultural.

The centerpiece of Halloween on Catalina Island is a parade of costumed children, who showcase their costumes along Crescent Avenue before dispersing to Trick or Treat at Avalon businesses. Adult revelers will find plenty of entertainment in Avalon’s many bars, which will welcome Halloween celebrants both in costume and not.

First Fridays celebrate Dia de los Muertos Catalina Island style

The Catalina Island Museum, which has become one of the top attractions on Catalina Island, hosts monthly First Fridays celebrations, which in November coincides with Dia de los Muertos. This family-friendly festival will feature live music, face painting, tequila tasting, tacos, a dance performance and an art contest. It all kicks off at 6 p.m. and is $12 for museum members, $17 for non-members and $5 for children, who must be accompanied by an adult.

Always a must-stop on any visit to Catalina Island, the museum’s current exhibits include a showcase of Esther Williams, including memorabilia from Jupiter’s Darling, which was filmed on the island; an sculpture exhibit that explores the concept of extinction; and an in-depth exploration of William William’s indelible impacts on the island.

Catalina Island races and runs challenge endurance athletes

November kicks off Catalina Island’s endurance event season, with one of the biggest events taking place Nov. 2. The Catalina Island Triathlon & Duathlon attracts hundreds of elite athletes who plunge into Avalon’s waters, run its hills and cycle on the rugged terrain surrounding the city. Competitors can take on the triathlon course, a swim, bike, run race or take on a duathlon with a run, bike, run course. Race day will also feature a 5K run/walk.

November also features the Catalina Island Half Marathon & 10K on Nov. 16. Consisting of either 13.1 miles through the island’s East End trails or a 10K on the streets and roads around Avalon, the day’s races all start and end near the waterfront. Kicking off a little later, a kids run has become a popular component.

New beginnings

Catalina Island’s more sedate pursuits will also get a boost in November when the Avalon Public Library reopens after an extensive expansion and renovation. Part of the Los Angeles County Library, the Avalon branch serves locals and visitors alike with books, including an extensive collection of Catalina books, as well as free wi-fi and computers for public use. On Nov. 4, library fans and officials will celebrate its reopening with a ribbon cutting at the library, 215 Sumner Avenue.

In November, we also look forward to the reopening of the Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel. Built in 1926, the prolific author lived in the adobe style home until his death in 1939. The home turned hotel, perched about the Avalon Bay, operated until 2011. After an extensive renovation, the hotel will reopen with new guest suites, an elevator and the same sweeping views of the bay.

Catalina Island honors its veterans

Explore further afield while giving back by taking part in the Catalina Island Conservancy’s Windward Beaches Cleanup. Held monthly at various beaches on the island’s remote windward side, these cleanups offers visitors and residents alike the opportunity to get off the beaten path and experience some of Catalina Island’s most awe-inspiring scenery. The clean-up is scheduled for Nov. 9.

Catalina Island’s US martial history dates back to the Civil War, when a contingent of Union soldiers arrived in Two Harbors and built barracks that now serve as the clubhouse for the Isthmus Yacht Club. Since World War I, Catalina Island residents have left their island paradise to serve their country in wartime. On Veterans Day, Nov. 11, Catalina Island’s VFW Post will honor their sacrifice and courage, along with that of all veterans, at the Avalon Veterans Memorial.

Catalina Island offers a tempting alternative for the holidays

Catalina Island visitors who are looking to get a jump on their holiday shopping won’t want to miss the Catalina Island PLAY Preschool Auction, scheduled for Nov. 14 at the Toyon Grill. Featuring an array of handcrafted items for the live auction as well as a silent auction with travel packages, overflowing gift baskets and one-of-a-kind experiences, this event offers plenty of ways to support the island’s preschool. 

There’s always something to be grateful for on Catalina Island and this year is no exception. Whether you celebrate with extended family or just yourself, the island is an intriguing destination for Thanksgiving. Several restaurants will offer Thanksgiving dinner, providing you and yours an option for the traditional repast without the worry of who must do the dishes.

Spending Thanksgiving at Catalina Island west end is a treat. Start your day with the Annual 5K Turkey Trot and Fun Run followed by a traditional "Island Style" Thanksgiving dinner at Harbor Reef Restaurant.

Best of Winter boat and hotel packages

Realize savings when you book your boat and hotel together with the Catalina Island Best of Winter Packages, available November through March. Participation varies by hotel property. 

Mark your calendars

Get your holiday shopping going at the 26th Annual "Shop Catalina" extravaganza scheduled from 12-8 pm on Saturday, December 7. It's the one day to pick up your Catalina Island savings card which is valid through the remainder of the month.

And of course, you don't want to miss our annual New Year's Eve Gala at the historic Catalina Island Casino! Reserve your spot today.