Searching for the best things to do in NYC in November?
You have come to the right place!
If you’re looking for fun things to do in NYC in November, my list will give you plenty of ideas and inspiration.
I adore NYC all year round…. But one of my favorite months in this amazing city has got to be November. There are just so many things to do at this time of year, and so many reasons to love visiting.
The fall foliage, the mild winter temperatures, the frosty blue-sky mornings, Thanksgiving food, parades galore, winter markets, and the lead-up to Christmas too.
There are so many reasons I love NYC in November, and my list of things to do in NYC this November is a testament to just how many options you have for experiencing the city at this time of year.
There are so many things to do in NYC in November, you’ll be spoilt for choice! Just wait!
Tip: Before we get into the list, head over to TikTok and follow me there! I create lots of NYC travel content, that I think you’ll love watching!
Enjoy the autumn foliage in Central Park
First on our list of things to do in NYC in November, it’s admiring the beautiful autumn foliage in Central Park (and other parks too).
In New York City, autumn transforms the bustling metropolis into a picturesque wonderland of vibrant hues, and it’s one of the most wonderful things to see at this time of year.
The city’s trees shed their summer greens, and the streets and parks become a canvas painted with shades of red, orange, and gold.
Central Park, with its sprawling woodlands and meandering pathways, is a haven for leaf-peepers, offering a serene escape from the urban hustle, and plenty of wonderful photo opportunities too!
Seeing the changing seasons is truly magical, and will always make November such a special time int he city for me.
- Tip: My favorite place to see (and photograph) the fall foliage in Central Park, is from Gapstow Bridge (click here to open the location in google maps).
Read more about Central Park: What are the best ways to tour Central Park?
Eat Thanksgiving dinner in the city
Next up on my list of fun things to do in NYC in November, it’s grabbing a Thanksgiving dinner in the city.
Finding the perfect Thanksgiving dinner in NYC isn’t difficult, as there are so many restaurants offering special menus and delicious food during this time of year.
I recommend going for a super traditional Thanksgiving meal, and if you’re stuck for ideas, I usually recommend heading to a steak house.
Steakhouses in NYC love their tradition and most will offer set-course dinners around the Thanksgiving holidays.
Here are some quick suggestions for grabbing Thanksgiving dinner in NYC:
- Carmine’s NYC (200 W 44th St)
- Katz’s Deli (205 E Houston St)
- The Dutch (131 Sullivan St)
- Quality Meats (57 W 58th St)
- Read even more about Thanksgiving in NYC: 22 restaurants open on Thanksgiving in NYC
Take a stroll around the Winter Village in Bryant Park
Next up, on my list of things to do in NYC in November, it’s exploring the Winter Village in Bryant Park.
- Address: 42nd Street and, 6th Ave, New York, NY 10018, United States
- Website: bryantpark.org/activities/bank-of-america-winter-village-at-bryant-park
- 17,000 square foot rink (with free skating!)
- Lots of stalls and festive shops
- Food stands and drinks stalls
Bryant Park’s Winter Village is a magical seasonal attraction that transforms one of the city’s most-loved parks, into a thriving winter wonderland.
Usually open from November – through to early March, it’s one of my favorite things to do in the winter.
Nestled amidst the towering skyscrapers of Midtown Manhattan, Bryant park’s iconic ice skating rink takes center stage, surrounded by charming kiosks selling artisanal goods, festive food stalls serving up delectable treats, and a beautifully adorned holiday tree that sparkles with lights.
The Winter Village exudes an enchanting ambiance, and I just love it. This is truly one of the most festive and cute things to do in the city at this time of year!
Indulge in hot chocolate and gourmet bites, and take a look at all the unique holiday gifts from local vendors and stands. I’ve bought some wonderful festive decorations from here in the past, as well as some amazing locally-made hot sauces too!
Tip: My favorite food on offer has to be the ‘Pickle Me Pete’ deep fried pickles!
It’s a heartwarming and joyous escape from the city’s chill, where both locals and tourists come together to embrace the spirit of the season in the heart of New York City.
Escape the cold, and watch a Broadway show
Checking out a Broadway show is next on my list of things to do in November in NYC.
Escape the cold, and cozy up in one of the city’s amazing Broadway theaters… and sit back and enjoy a show. There are plenty to choose from!
November in New York City is an exciting time for Broadway enthusiasts, with a variety of captivating shows gracing the stages of the Theater District.
Here are some of my favorite Broadway shows, that I think you’ll enjoy:
- “The Phantom of the Opera” continues to mesmerize with its haunting romance.
- “Hamilton” offers a thrilling journey through history with its innovative storytelling and musical brilliance.
- “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” unfolds an epic new chapter in the wizarding world.
- “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” brings the glitz and glamour of the iconic Parisian cabaret to life with a dazzling spectacle.
- “Wicked” stands as an evergreen favorite, enchanting audiences with its spellbinding tale of the Wicked Witch of the West.
November on Broadway promises a diverse array of theatrical experiences, catering to a wide range of tastes and preferences, ensuring that there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
It’s absolutely one of the best things to do in November in NYC, especially as it isn’t weather-dependent too! So rainy days can’t scare us away!
Watch and support the NYC Marathon
Next up on my list of things to do in NYC in November, it’s supporting the NYC Marathon. Or maybe running it yourself (if you’re brave and fit enough!).
The New York City Marathon, is one of the world’s most iconic road races, and it just so happens to take part in November! Annually, thousands of runners gather from around the globe to take on the challenging 26.2-mile course through the city’s five boroughs.
Held on the first Sunday in November, this prestigious event showcases the spirit and resilience of athletes as they traverse through the diverse neighborhoods of Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Manhattan, ultimately crossing the finish line in Central Park.
It is a truly unforgettable experience for both runners and spectators alike, so you don’t need to be running the race to get a feel for this momentous day!
Here a map of the route, so you can plan where to cheer people from!
Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is next on my list! This is perhaps one of the most famous things to do in NYC in November, so of course, it had to make my list.
This iconic parade is a cherished American tradition that takes place annually on Thanksgiving morning in New York City. You’ll see dozens of floats and performers making their way through the city, it’s really something.
Dating back to 1924, this iconic parade features a spectacular procession of gigantic helium balloons, elaborately decorated floats, marching bands, and celebrity performances.
It winds its way through the streets of Manhattan, drawing millions of spectators along its route and capturing the hearts of viewers worldwide through live television broadcasts.
The parade’s grand finale is the arrival of Santa Claus, officially ushering in the holiday season. With its colorful pageantry and festive spirit, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has become a symbol of Thanksgiving, spreading joy and holiday cheer to people of all ages.
Tip: Read more about Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade here: The best places to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Blow Up
Next on my list of fun things to do in NYC in November, it’s the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Prade Balloon Blow-Up. Look, I know this sounds weird, but bear with me! It’s totally worth checking out, if you can!
- Address: 79th Street by the American Museum of Natural History
- Time: From around 3 pm until 10 pm
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Blow Up is an annual prelude to one of America’s most beloved holiday traditions—the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Held on the night before Thanksgiving, this festive, fun and weird event takes place near the American Museum of Natural History on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
During the Balloon Blow Up, millions of spectators gather to witness the magical transformation of massive helium balloons into the iconic characters that will float above the streets of New York City the following morning.
It’s a whimsical and family-friendly occasion where spectators can watch as the balloons come to life, growing from their deflated, flat state to towering figures that will soar high above the parade route.
Read more about Thanksgiving: 21 fast food restaurants open on Thanksgiving!
Visit one of the festive-themed bars in NYC
My next suggestion for things to do in November in NYC, is one for those who loves things a little quirky and niche.
Obviously, November is right before the holiday New York City, known for its vibrant and diverse culture, embraces the Christmas holiday season kicks in – so lots of the festive attractions and destinations are beginning to open their doors around this time.
Well, in my opinion, you’d be a fool not to take advantage of this – and fully get into the holiday season!
With a plethora of festive-themed bars that add an extra layer of magic to the winter months, visiting some of NYC’s festive bars is next on my list!
These bars go beyond ordinary decorations, immersing their customers in a holiday wonderland. Think over-the-top decor, amazing themed drinks, and so much more.
- “Rolf’s German Restaurant” located at 281 3rd Ave, is renowned for its extravagant Christmas decor, featuring thousands of ornaments, lights, and garlands that create an enchanting atmosphere.
- “Miracle on 9th Street” – located at 649 E 9th St, is a pop-up bar that transforms Mace in the East Village into a holiday paradise, serving whimsical cocktails in kitschy holiday glassware.
- “Sippin’ Santa” located at 13 1st Ave, offers tiki-style drinks in a tropical Christmas setting at Boilermaker in the East Village.
Read more NYC ideas: Our top 23 themed restaurants in NYC
Get involved with the NYC Comedy Festival
The NYC Comedy Festival is an annual comedic extravaganza that takes the city by storm, showcasing some of the brightest talents in the world of comedy.
And lucky for you – it happens in November!
Hosted at various venues across New York City, this festival draws both established comedians and emerging acts, offering a diverse range of comedic styles from stand-up and improvisation to sketch and storytelling.
Some of the best comedians in the world were discovered at this festival, so you know it’s going to be good! Here are some comediants performing this year:
- Jimmy Carr
- Bill Burr
- Dave Attell
- Brett Goldstein (my favorite!)
- Nicole Byer
- Michelle Wolf
- Nate Jackson
Check out the other NYC Holiday Markets
Did you know that there are lots of other holiday themed markets you can enjoy in November in NYC?
I already recommend the Winter Village in Bryant Park (my favorite!) but there are plenty of other holiday-themed markets you can check out in other areas of the city too.
I’ve listed them below for you, including their opening and closing dates!
- Union Square Holiday Market: November 17 – December 24
- Holiday shops at Bryant Park: October 28 – January 2
- Columbus Circle Holiday Market: November 28 – December 24
- Brooklyn Borough Hall Holiday Market: November 28 – December 26
- Read more about visiting NYC in winter: My guide for when to expect snow in NYC!
Go ice-skating in Central Park
Ice skating in Central Park during November is a quintessential New York City experience that captures the essence of the holiday season, and it’s next on my list of magical things to do in NYC in November.
The crisp November air and the backdrop of golden leaves or even the occasional early snowfall create a picturesque setting for a day of gliding on the ice.
Whether you’re a seasoned skater or taking your first wobbly steps on the rink, the joy of skating against the stunning backdrop of Central Park is a delightful tradition that brings warmth and cheer to the heart of the city during the chilly days of November.
Read more Thanksgiving dining ideas: 5 Thanksgiving buffets in NYC
Have a shopping spree in Macy’s
Ok, so technically, you can go on a shopping spree in Macy’s during any month of the year – but I wanted to add it to my list of things to do in November in NYC because hiding away in Macy’s is great for dodgy-weather days.
- Macy’s website: macys.com/new-york-ny
- Macy’s address: 151 W 34th St. New York
- Opening hours: 10am – 9pm on weekdays, 10am – 10pm on weekends
- Phone: +1 212-695-4400
Tip: If you’ve got spending money to burn, make sure to set yourself a budget! There is so much on sale here, you’ll need to have a little self restraint!
Macy’s is absolutely huge, and they have departments for every kind of shopping spree. From clothing and underwear, to shoes, food, and kitchen appliances. Oh, and in the winter months – they have Christmas decorations too!
So I know you’ll find something you love.
Watch the Rockefeller Center tree lights switch-on
This iconic Christmas tree (and it’s switch-on ceremony) is next on my list of things to do in NYC in November.
This only happens once a year, and if you’re lucky enough to be in the city when those lights switch on, then you should go and check it out!
- Tree lighting ceremony date: November 29, 2023
- Address: 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112
- Closest Subway stations: 47-50 Sts-Rockefeller Ctr
- The Tree will be lit daily from 5am-12am in the month afterwards
The Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony in November is a cherished New York City tradition that officially ushers in the holiday season with dazzling splendor.
Typically, the event is held in late November (after Thanksgiving), and the famous lighting ceremony features live musical performances by top artists and celebrity guests.
Oh, and of course, you get to witness the climactic moment when the towering tree is illuminated with thousands of twinkling LED lights.
Explore Chelsea Market
Chelsea Market is next on my list of things to do in NYC in November. This is one for anyone who considers themselves a foodies (a bit like me!).
Chelsea Market is a vibrant and eclectic urban marketplace located in the heart of Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood in New York City.
- Chelsea market website: www.chelseamarket.com
- Chelsea market address: 75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011
- Located in Meatpacking District
- Closest Subway stations: 14 St / 8 Av
Housed in a historic factory building that once served as the Nabisco factory (where the Oreo cookie was invented!), Chelsea Market offers a unique blend of food, shopping, and culture that draws both locals and tourists alike.
It’s the kind of place you can enjoy just strolling around and looking at all the amazing produce, but I always recommend heading there with an empty stomach so you can enjoy and actually taste the food too!
Inside, you’ll find a wide array of food vendors, restaurants, and specialty shops, making it a culinary haven for foodies. So, trust me, you’re going to have loads of great options to pick from.
Visit Little Island and see the fall foliage
Next on my list of things to do in NYC in November, it’s visiting Little Island Park.
If you haven’t been to this park before, you’re in for a treat, because it is simply spectacular.
- Little Island website: littleisland.org
- Little Island address: Pier 55 in Hudson River Park at West 13th Street.
- Located near Meatpacking Districts and Chelsea neighborhoods
- Closest Subway stations: 14 St / 8 Av
Located on the Hudson River, this contemporary park is a marvel of modern architecture, and seems to emerge out of the water like a little floating miracle
When autumn arrives, the foliage on Little Island’s manicured gardens, and interesting landscapes burst into a riot of vibrant colors, creating a stunning contrast against the sleek steel and glass structures of the city behind it.
It’s truly wonderful, and it’s a great alternative to seeing fall foliage in Central Park. Although if you have time for both – please do them both!
Read more about Little Island: FAQs for visiting Little Island, and how to find it!
Explore the Museum of Broadway
The Museum of Broadway is a captivating tribute to the rich history and cultural significance of one of the world’s most renowned theater districts, and it’s a wonderful choice for things to do in NYC in November.
- Museum website: www.themuseumofbroadway.com
- Museum address: 145 W 45th St, New York, NY 10036, United States
- Museum opening hours: 9:30 am–6:30 pm (8pm on Saturdays)
- Ticket price: $34-41 for standard adult ticket
Located in the heart of New York City, this museum celebrates the magic of Broadway through a collection of fascinating exhibits, artifacts, and interactive displays.
Visitors can explore the evolution of Broadway productions, from its humble beginnings to the dazzling spectacles of today.
The museum offers insights into the lives of legendary actors, directors, and playwrights who have left an indelible mark on the theater world.
It’s a must-visit destination for theater enthusiasts, providing a deeper appreciation for Broadway’s artistry and impact on American and global culture.
Read more about NYC: 45 things to do on a rainy day in NYC
Take a food tour
Food tours in NYC are such a perfect way to spend time, and they’re next on my list!
Now, there are so many food tours in NYC, that it’s be impossible to name them all – but the great things about all that variety is that you can usually find specific themed food tours to suit your tastes.
The city’s culinary landscape is a vibrant tapestry of diverse flavors and cultures, making it a paradise for foodies. And you can try a bit of everything here!
Embarking on a food tour allows you to embark on a gastronomic journey that spans the globe, from the aromatic stalls of Chinatown to the classic delis of the Lower East Side, and the trendy eateries of Williamsburg.
Catch an NFL game
November is right in the middle of NFL seasons, so if you can afford it, I really recommend taking in an NFL game during your time in the city!
NFL games aren’t just for fans of the sport though. I’m not all that much into the sport itself, but I love heading to the stadiums and soaking in the atmosphere, enjoying the food, and the energy too.
- The closest NFL stadium to NYC is the MetLife Stadium.
- The New York Giants and The New York Jets play there.
Tip: Don’t spend money getting a taxi to the stadium. Getting there is really easy via public transport, especially on game days. Just follow everyone else wearing a football jersey!
Check out the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights
If you’re visiting NYC in late November, then you might be able to catch the start of festive season at Dyker Heights.
This iconic and famous street in Brooklyn, put on the most incredible displays of Christmas lights during the winter months – and it’s a favorite of mine.
Basically, if you didn’t know, Dyker Heights in a regular suburban neighborhood in the Brooklyn. But every year, the residents go all out with their festive lights, and the result is quite something.
If you want to be wow’ed then this is the place. It’s an incredible choice for things to do in NYC in November.
Tip: Read my guide on the best ways to see the Dyker Heights Christmas lights, for all the info you need. It’s easier than you think!
Visit Summit One Vanderbilt
Next on my list, it’s visiting the amazing Summit One Vanderbilt.
Visiting Summit One Vanderbilt is an exhilarating experience that offers a breathtaking perspective on New York City.
Essentially this place is an observation deck – but it puts a twist on what you’d ordinarily expect from an NYC observation deck, that much is certain.
I think this might be one of my favorite observation decks in the city, and it’s one I always recommend to people looking for something a bit unique and quirky.
The observatory boasts immersive exhibits, interactive displays, and even an adrenaline-pumping glass floor for those who dare to step out over the city streets below.
Summit One Vanderbilt is not just an observation deck; it’s an architectural marvel that provides a unique opportunity to witness the city from a whole new vantage point.
Also – good news – it’s mainly indoors.
Read more about NYC: What is the best observation in NYC? And which is the worst?
Admire the amazing window displays on 5th Avenue
Admiring the enchanting window displays on Fifth Avenue is my next idea for things to do in NYC in November.
There’s something about November and December in NYC – shops you seem to step up their window decor.
Mainly, you’ll want to explore the stretch between 34th Street and 59th Street, particularly during the holiday season and November.
Here are some of the iconic locations to indulge in this beloved tradition:
- Saks Fifth Avenue: Saks is renowned for its extravagant holiday window displays that feature elaborate themes and stunning light shows. The unveiling of their windows is a grand event in itself, often accompanied by performances and music.
- Bergdorf Goodman: Located at Fifth Avenue and 58th Street, Bergdorf Goodman’s holiday window displays are a work of art.
- Tiffany & Co: For a touch of elegance, visit Tiffany & Co. at Fifth Avenue and 57th Street.
- Cartier: Just a stone’s throw away from Tiffany’s, Cartier’s Fifth Avenue location boasts elegant and artistic window displays that perfectly complement their high-end jewelry offerings.
- Macy’s: While not on Fifth Avenue itself, Macy’s flagship store on 34th Street (Herald Square) offers elaborate holiday window displays that attract large crowds each year.
Go for ramen
Next on my list of the best things to do in NYC in November… It’s going for ramen!
Ramen has to be the coziest, most warming and delicious meal to grab in NYC – so I simply had to include it on my list of the best things to do in NYC November.
After all that sight-seeing in the chilly temperatures, you’ll want something like ramen to warm you back up!
- Ippudo: With multiple locations in the city, Ippudo is celebrated for its rich and flavorful tonkotsu (pork bone) broth, along with a variety of ramen options and delectable appetizers.
- Totto Ramen: Totto Ramen is a cozy spot in Hell’s Kitchen and Midtown East, renowned for its mouthwatering spicy ramen and delectable chicken paitan broth.
- Ramen-Ya: A cozy East Village eatery, Ramen-Ya serves up classic Japanese ramen dishes with a focus on rich broths and customizable toppings.
- Ramen Lab: This Lower East Side spot is known for its rotating selection of ramen chefs from around the world, offering a unique opportunity to savor various ramen styles and flavors.
Enjoy some hot chocolate in Soho
Just a quick suggestion for things to do in NYC in November, grab some hot chocolate!
There are so many wonderful little French cafes and regular cafes that offer amazing hot chocolate in Soho.
A warming, soothing and delicious hot chocolate has to be one of the best winter-warmers, and it’s such a crowd-pleaser too!
Here are a couple I would recommend:
- Jacques Torres Chocolate: Jacques Torres, known as “Mr. Chocolate,” has a shop in SoHo that serves some of the city’s most decadent hot chocolate. Their classic “Wicked Hot Chocolate” with a hint of spice is a must-try.
- Vosges Haut-Chocolat: This upscale chocolate boutique on Spring Street offers a luxurious “Drinking Chocolate” that’s rich, velvety, and available in various flavors, including their signature “Red Fire” with ancho and chipotle chili.
- Maman: Maman’s charming French-inspired café on Centre Street serves a delicious “Lavender Hot Chocolate” made with real lavender-infused milk. It’s a delightful and soothing treat.
- Breads Bakery: Located on Prince Street, Breads Bakery serves a comforting hot chocolate made from high-quality chocolate and topped with a generous dollop of whipped cream. It pairs perfectly with their fresh pastries.
- The Smile: This cozy café on Bond Street offers a delightful and creamy hot chocolate. It’s an ideal spot to warm up during a chilly SoHo day.
Watch the Veterans Day Parade
Next on my list of things to do in NYC in November, it’s another parade that is annual held in November, and can’t be watching during any other month.
The Veterans Day Parade in New York City is a cherished tradition that honors and pays tribute to the brave men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces.
Held annually on November 11th, Veterans Day, this parade is one of the largest and most impressive of its kind in the country.
The parade route typically marches along Fifth Avenue, drawing thousands of spectators, veterans, and military personnel who come together to celebrate the nation’s heroes.
Go Christmas shopping
How could I write a list like this, without including Christmas shopping?
NYC is one of the best cities in the world for shopping, and if you need to pick up some thoughtful gifts for the holidays, then this is the place to do it!
NYC is especially fantastic for toy stores and children’s gift – check out the blog post below if you want more info on that!
Read more about shopping in NYC: The BEST toy stores in NYC!
Visit the South Street Seaport Area
Next on my list of fun things to do in NYC in November, it’s visiting the South Street Seaport, and specifically, the Tin Building.
This gorgeous part of the city is still a little bit of a hidden gem to be honest, and it’s well worth visiting.
The Tin Building specifically makes a great choice for things to do in New York City, because it’s a gorgeous indoor food market, with plenty of eateries and food choices.
It would be a wonderful choice for a rain day in November!
Read more about the South Street Seaport: Top 22 restaurants in the South Street Seaport
Watch the The Rockettes’ Christmas Spectacular Show
And lastly, on my list of things to do in NYC in November, it’s the iconic Rockettes’ Christmas Spectacular Show.
This is a beloved holiday tradition that has been enchanting audiences for nearly a century, and showtimes usually start in November sometime.
Held annually at the iconic Radio City Music Hall in New York City, this dazzling production is a spectacular display of dance, music, and festive cheer.
The show typically runs from November through January, making it a quintessential part of the holiday season in the Big Apple.
At the heart of the Rockettes’ Christmas Spectacular is the precision dance troupe, the Rockettes themselves.
These talented and iconic dancers perform in perfect synchronization, showcasing their incredible talent through a series of intricate and high-energy routines.
The Rockettes are renowned for their signature kickline, which is a highlight of every performance and a true crowd-pleaser.
I hope my list of things to do in NYC in November has given you loads of ideas!
Read more abut visiting NYC: 60 free and cheap things to do in NYC