It’s a brand new month and we are ready to jump into the start of the holiday season here beginning in early November! New York City has the best places to find gifts and get into the holiday spirit. It’s the most wonderful time of year and it already feels like it in the big apple. With so many fun things both new and annual, you’re sure to have the best time here this month. Whether you’re a local looking for the biggest events or visiting town in the month of November, you will all love this list of everything New Yorkers are looking forward to this month!
Let’s begin with the most iconic way to kick off the holiday season and winter months. Thanksgiving is on the 23rd and we all know the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is the best way to start out the day! We have been lucky enough to see it in person a few times and it’s truly a fantastic experience. There are hotels you can book with views, too if you don’t want to stand out in the cold, but you’ll want to book this ASAP! They announce all the details on their site and it will air from 9AM-12PM. Some of our favorite balloons are back and we’re looking forward to seeing the amazing performances. It’s always a great time! If you can’t go in person, you can always watch the live music and fun balloons on tv!
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is always one of the best things to do in the city. At this time of the year, they have something extra special going on! It’s called Lightscape which is an illuminated trail that you can walk through! It takes my breath away and this is the perfect time to go see it. They have different colored lights and shapes of lights that they cast over different objects in nature and hang. This is a great place to bring your family and friends, not to mention it’s makes for a great photo opportunity!
The Watermark always has such cool pop ups happening over there! Located on Pier 15, they are opening a winter wonderland running November 10th-December 30th. There will be glasshouse dining and a full North Pole setup for photos. Tickets are available now and this is the perfect activity with friends to welcome the holiday season!
My girls and I love the Brooklyn Ballet! They are performing The Nutcracker on December 16th at 2PM and 7PM but tickets will sell out! Be sure to grab them this month to enjoy.
If you’ve been to the city, you’ll know this is a top attraction. There are so many things to do at The Winter Village. I suggest making a whole day out of it! Begin your day out by going ice skating, they have a great rink with free admission with nice rental skates. Then head on over to the Holiday Shops where you can find really cool gifts for loved ones this season. Finish your day by unwinding with the best hot chocolate. They also have cocktails and food options to offer at Bryant Park.
Located at Pier 36, this immersive experience is full of the coolest balloons in the world! This experience has won awards and actually had a run all over the world at this point. The best part is you can actually touch this art, so it’s kid friendly. With plenty of photo and video opportunities, this is a spot everyone will want to check out!
LuminoCity is an unforgettable, immersive experience! There are plenty of lights and imagination to tell a story. This is a timed and festive holiday experience to bring your family to this month and it’s at the top of our list!It’s located at Eisenhower Park and tickets start at $34 with an opening on the 9th. What’s better than an immersive light show with creations of art?! You’ve gotta see it!
The American Museum of Natural History has a great opportunity to learn all about elephants. If you have kids who love these animals, I recommend this for a fun and educational activity! It opens to the public on the 13th and ticket prices depend on residency, which is a you pick what you pay payment option. This is so much more than some random facts, you can learn about why elephants are used in religious symbols, political symbols, elephants behavior and a lot more.
Moxy is back with one of the most stunning and festive additions to the season! It’s an enclosed outdoor terrace to sip on pink cocktails from November 26th-January 1st. The best part is the entire spot is pink so you already know I have to get some photos there!
We are familiar with all the ice rinks, but wait for this roller rink to change your life! All season long, Oculus has Winter Whirl, which looks like an ice rink, but it’s for roller skating. Tickets are $30 and you can skate for 45 minutes.
The Holiday lights are back at the Bronx Zoo! From November 17th-January 7th, you can experience the wildlife amongst stunning holiday lights. Not only will there be holiday decor, but expect animal lanterns, arches, colored tunnels, tree lighting and more! This is the perfect event to bring your kids to at the end of November to see some animals and get into the holiday spirit. Tickets are on sale now!
Enjoy superb cocktails, apps and entrees at a fun restaurant! It’s only fitting that it’s called Holiday Bar because the holidays are among us. Tourist attractions move aside, this is one of our top picks for the season! Just be sure to book a reservation.
This event has been rescheduled to the 11th of this month. For those who love trying new things, you’ll have to check this out! Over 50 restaurants and community partners will be on Pier 16 and 17 to give donated tastes. It’s a good reason to try out new restaurants! Tickets are all sold in packs of tastes or you can simply donate if you can’t make it. Proceeds go to PS 343 and PS 397.
We just closed out a spooky month but the fun continues through January! The comedy of terrors has tickets that begin at $35 for this 90 minute show. It’s all about Dracula meeting a real estate agent and he is chased all over London. If you want to see a show that is lighthearted, this is the one.
The Book of HOV is a tribute to Jay-Z at the Brooklyn Public Library. It includes audios and interviews from all of his solo albums. This is a happening I think a lot of tweens and teens might enjoy, specifically so if you’re looking for something to do as a family, check this out!
How did I not know about this free activity?! Every Thursday the Chelsea Market has a 60 minute Vinyasa flow at 7AM. Make sure to RSVP your attendance for a head count weekly here. Check them out at 450 West 16th Street!
Calling all comedy fans, Second City is back in NYC! It’s reopened and $25 for tickets or $30 at the door. If you’re looking for a good date night activity I highly recommend getting tickets for one of the best comedy clubs.
The InterContinental Hotel New York Barclay has a restaurant that pays homage to the hotel’s 1920’s origin. The Parlour’s food and drink selection take you on a historical journey and they have brand new wine and jazz experiences right here at the Barclay location. Enjoy Somm Sundays for wine pairings with bites from 3PM-11:30PM every Sunday through the end of the year. Another fun happening is Jazzy Wednesdays, where they host a jazz band from 5-8PM. These are perfect fall date ideas!
The Galaxy focused experience called “Beyond the Light” is running through the 26th. It’s in collaboration with Nasa scientists to create an experience showcasing the galaxy. The digital art space is captivating and so beautiful. If you haven’t at least looked at their social media, you’re missing out! Grab your tickets for one of the best art installations in town!
Harry Potter fans, come to the best experience of the year! Enter the immersive wizarding world and see storytelling all through technology and totally exclusive experiences. It includes characters and locations from Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts. Tickets are currently on sale, but run don’t walk because it is a hot commodity! The experience is open until January 7th at Herald Square.
This is one happening we are especially excited for to get into the holiday spirit! From November 24th-December 30th, you can enjoy this Christmas cocktail menu, see Santa, elves and rock out to festive tunes. Located at Pekarna NYC, tickets are available for $22 for this super fun 90 minute experience!
Sunday, November 5th is the NYC Marathon! For everyone running this year, good luck and have a safe run! So much hard work and dedication has gone into your training and you should be so proud! We’ll all be showing our support for them! The race starts in Staten Island and will take place in all 5 boroughs and finish in Central Park.
My family and I love to ice skate! It keeps us active and we happen to live right by an ice rink, so we go often. Be sure to read our post on the best ice skating rinks to visit in NYC ! They’re all different and great in their own ways. Glide Brooklyn is an ice rink opening under the Brooklyn Bridge! You can get bites and sips at the Cafè there after you skate. Outdoor activities are usually around for a limited time in the winter months, but early November is usually pretty occupied with plenty of happenings and our favorite things outdoors. Ice skating sticks around for the next season, as well! Who is ready for winter activities?!
Saks Fifth Ave Lights
The last weekend of November is what is leading us into the holidays. We look out for the Saks Fifth Avenue light show, which is beyond gorgeous. This is when they decorate the outside of the store with beautiful lights and light them up to perform a show. Different colors and times, it’s all a magical experience! We make sure to go every year! Holiday lights are so special and the perfect way to welcome this time of year!
Christmas Lights Tour
The Dyker Heights Christmas Lights are back and better than ever! This Brooklyn display is a must-see for us each year. The neighborhood goes all out and it’s so merry and bright! This is something we like to do on a weekend night with the kids! One thing to note is a lot of houses turn their lights off around 9PM so make sure to get there before then!
I can’t contain my excitement! The holiday markets are a few of the most magical parts of the city around the holidays! They’re some of the best places to get snacks, hot chocolate, find artisanal gifts for loved one’s and overall just have a great adventure for the day. A few top choices are the Bryant Park Christmas Market, Union Square Holiday Market and the Christmas Market at Columbus Circle. The Bryant Park Christmas Market even has an ice skating rink! They will run from the 16th to December 24th.
Another hilarious comedy related event is here! There are tons of comedians performing like Conan O’Brien, Bill Burr, Dave Attell and tribute performances. Some events are sold out but several still have tickets available, so run! It’s all happening at the beginning of the month.
The Radio City Christmas Spectacular is truly an iconic holiday special! The Rockettes always put on a fun show and we love to support the arts. This show always gets us into the holiday spirit! Tickets are available for purchase and can be bought for groups, as well. It begins on the 17th and runs through the holiday season!
Black Friday Shopping
Is it just me or do Black Friday sales seem to drop earlier each year? A few stores I like to keep an eye on are J Crew, Old Navy, Amazon, Target, Best Buy and the list could go on and on. But these are the stores that have items like technology at lower prices or basics that I either like to stock up on or wait to purchase for sales. I’ll make a whole post about where I’m shopping this month!
The Holiday Train Show is back! If you have kids, this is something you’ll want to check out for sure! It’s located at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and runs from November 17th-January 15th. So while you have some time to visit it, get a head start and check it out now! Tickets are on sale now.
Rockefeller Tree Lighting
The Rockefeller Christmas Tree is the most well-known tree in the city. And as it should be, it’s stunning! They are lighting it Wednesday, November 29th and it will stay lit until January 13th. Make a whole day out of seeing the lit tree if you can’t attend the lighting. Go ice skating at the rink, eat lunch and check out the tree!
The American Museum of Natural History has an annual tradition of decorating a beautiful tree. Each year, they add origami pieces to deck out the tree for the holiday season. With some amazing exhibits to see like The Secret World of Elephants, make an afternoon out of going to check out the tree and everything the museum has to offer.
My girls and I love the ballet! We go and see The Nutcracker every year and not only is it such special time together and a fun tradition, but the show never gets old! It’s so beautiful to watch and the performers work so hard. They deserve a great audience! Tickets are on sale and these are one’s you will want to snag ASAP. The show runs about 2 hours and opening night is Friday, November 24th and it closes Saturday, December 31st.
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