November can put you in a difficult place wallet-wise, especially since it sits in between Halloween and the holiday season. But you can start the month off right by choosing from a range of inexpensive cultural events, from the camp film fun of rock star Peaches to a traditional Day of the Dead festival in Hollywood's favorite cemetery. These parties, shows and book launches are all less than $20.
Nanette Gonzales Hollywood Forever's Dia de los Muertos, 2011
5. Hollywood Forever's Dia de los Muertos
Halloween is over and your hangover should be, too. But you can still be among ghosts at Hollywood Forever's 14th annual Dia de los Muertos. Every year, calaca-painted Angelenos gather to take part in the Mexican holiday of honoring the dead, which dates back to the Aztecs. And Hollywood Forever is the only cemetery in the country to hold this "celebratory observance," which features a procession, Aztec and Mayan rituals, children's art area, costume and altar contests and three stages of live performances and music, including singer Ceci Bastida and Saúl Hernández of Mexican rock band Jaguares. The perennial highlight, however, is getting to quietly marvel at the 100-plus decorated altars -- judged in three categories, and this year themed The Magical World of Alebrijes after the Oaxacan carved-wood sculptures of animal-like creatures -- whether they're dedicated to a dearly departed relative, family pet or the cast of The Golden Girls ("Las Chicas Doradas," complete with cheesecake). Don't forget to visit Johnny Ramone while you're there. His bulb may have dimmed in 2004, but on this day, his monument will be up in lights. Hollywood Forever, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Sat., Nov., 2, noon-mid.; $15, children and seniors free until 4 p.m. (323) 308-4765, ladayofthedead.com. --Siran Babayan