Things to Do in Boston in November

Updated: November 1, 2023

This post covers the best things to do in Boston in November.

We include evening, free, as well as family-friendly activities, and all are updated for 2023.

As local tour guides, we compiled this list based on our own experiences, but also answering your questions.

We lead thousands of people each month through the streets of Boston, and on every tour, guests ask us about things to do in the city.

We also grabbed ideas from the roughly 15k members of our popular Boston Travel Tips Facebook group.

The group consists of locals, like our tour guides, expats, regular visitors, as well as newbies to Boston.

You don't need to join in order to read the posts, comments, and recommendations.

So, check out our group when you are finished reading this post.


TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN NOVEMBER

This section highlights our top ten things to do in Boston in November. When possible, we’ve noted what is free and family-friendly.

If you’re looking for even more fun things to do in Boston, make sure to check our posts: 

It’s also worth noting that you can save money on some of the most entertaining attractions in and around the city with a Boston tourist pass.


1. Take a Walking Tour

We offer a variety of pay-what-you-want walking tours throughout the historic city of Boston to give you an intimate, up-close, and personal experience with the best information and entertaining stories!

Boston Walking Tours

The following tours are currently available:


2. Go to a Concert

The Boston area is home to many different music venues, big and small.

Below we have listed several top musicians playing in and around the Boston area in November.

Concerts

Click here to see the rest of Boston's November concerts.

NOTE: If you’re more interested in classical music, keep in mind that the Boston Symphony Orchestra will be performing at Symphony Hall all month.

Many of these concerts will start after dark, so it’s safe to say this is a good nighttime activity. For more fun in the evening, read our things to do at night section.


3. Attend a Sporting Event

Sports fans will have plenty of opportunities to see a live game in Boston throughout the month of November.

With the NBA season just starting up, the Boston Celtics will have nearly half a dozen games to see at the TD Garden.

The NHL starts its season at around the same time, so there will also be several great Boston Bruins games to attend this month.

Football

Hockey

Click here to see more games, matches, and sporting events in November in Boston.


4. See a Theatrical Performance

This city may not be the home of Broadway, but it has several great theaters that host popular shows.

Musicals

Performance Art or Magic

Family-Friendly Shows

Find even more theatre productions in the Boston here.


5. See a Christmas Tree Lighting

Numerous public Christmas trees will be ceremoniously lit throughout the last week in November in Boston, ringing in the holiday season!

Here’s a list of these free and family-friendly events in 2023, all with dates that still need to be confirmed

  • Massachusetts State House | November 21st
  • Faneuil Hall Marketplace | November 21st
  • Macy’s Downtown Crossing | November 22nd
  • Boston Common | November 30th
  • Copley Square | November 27th
  • Boston Public Garden | November 30th

Many of these trees can be seen on our Freedom Trail walking tour throughout the holiday season, and there will be several additional light displays popping up throughout the city at this time.

If you’re looking for more free activities you can enjoy, please read our section covering free things to do in Boston this November.


6. Go Ice Skating

Few things welcome winter and the holiday season like a jaunt around an outdoor ice skating rink!

Boston has a few to offer throughout the winter, and many of them will be open in November.

One of the most popular skating rinks in the city can be found at the Frog Pond in Boston Common.

Every year, the pond is turned into an ice rink where visitors can skate around.

If you’re looking for some of the other locations in this city where you can enjoy this activity, make sure to read our post about ice skating in Boston.

Needless to say, this is a pretty popular family activity.

For more great family-friendly events, check our things to do with kids section.


7. See Live Stand-up Comedy

If you're in need of a good laugh, there will be several notable comedians performing in Boston during the month of November.

Comedy Shows

Comedy Clubs

For even more great stand-up, check out this list of comedy performances taking place in Boston in November.


8. Grab a Bite at Boston Magazine’s Taste

Foodies will love this event that celebrates the top 50 restaurants in Boston and other local culinary establishments.

Enjoy an evening of food, wine, beer, crafted cocktails, live entertainment, and more at Boston Magazine's Taste Dinner Series!

In years past, this event has included a variety of different foods from over 30 of the most talented chefs in the city.

A portion of ticket sales goes to the Greater Boston Food Bank.

Check the Boston Magazine Taste website for more details.

NOTE: Even if you can’t make it to this event, you may want to think about taking a Boston food tour to learn more about the greatest places to grab a bite in Beantown.


9. Watch the Turkey Trot

Just before Thanksgiving, this annual race is held not only to celebrate the holiday but also to encourage visitors to give to the local food bank. 

While the event isn’t free to enter, it won’t cost a dime to come and cheer on the runners as they compete for various awards and prizes.

Turkey Trot Boston

The Turkey Trot will be taking place on November 18th by the Charles River at Artesani Park.

The race will begin at 8 am and all events will be finished by 10:30 am.

This is an excellent and affordable activity that you can enjoy with the family.

If you’re looking for other fun events that won’t set you back, check our free things to do section.


10. Use a Tourist Pass to Save Money

No matter what you’re planning to do in Boston this November, chances are that you’ll be able to save a lot of money on popular activities by using a tourist attraction discount pass.

While an all-inclusive pass provides admission to dozens of attractions over a set number of days, there are also passes that allow you to pay one flat price for the specific services you plan to use.

There are also build-your-own pass options which are very easy to use, as you just have to get 2 tickets in order to save 20% on both activities!

Here are some of the most notable attractions included with these tourist passes:

Depending on which pass you choose and how you use it, you could save anywhere from 20% - 50% off general admission prices.

You’ll also enjoy skip-the-line privileges at certain locations included with each service.

For more details, make sure to read our post covering Boston tourist attraction discount passes.


FREE THINGS TO DO IN NOVEMBER

If you plan accordingly, there are a lot of fun activities that are totally free to attend in Boston.

This section will cover several things to do that won’t cost a dime. 

Some of the items we’ve mentioned in previous sections like attending a Christmas Tree Lighting and going to the Turkey Trot also cost nothing for admission. 

For even more great, affordable ideas, make sure to read our post covering free things to do in Boston.


Visit a Free Museum

There are several great museums in Boston that don’t cost a thing to enter.

Some of them offer free entry throughout the year, but others only offer free days every month or so.

Here are a few of the more popular locations you can visit without paying for admission:

  • U.S.S. Constitution Museum
  • Bunker Hill Museum
  • Waterworks Museum
  • Commonwealth Museum
  • Boston Fire Museum
  • Massachusetts Historical Society

For more details and additional locations that don’t cost a thing, please read our post covering free museums in Boston.

For even more great, affordable ideas, make sure to read our post covering free things to do in Boston.


Attend the Veteran's Day Parade

Boston's Veteran's Day Parade takes place on November 5th, 2023.

Marching bands, veterans, active military folks, and more march down Boylston, from the Boston Public Library to City Hall Plaza.

The parade lasts from noon until 3:00 pm.

For more information, visit the Veterans Services parade page.


Climb up Bunker Hill

Visit the grounds of the first major battle to take place during the American Revolution!

While you’re at Bunker Hill, climb up the 221-foot Obelisk.

This challenging climb (there are lots of stairs!) is worth it when you are greeted with panoramic views of the city at the top.


Stroll through a Winter Holiday Market

The Snowport Winter Holiday Market at Boston's Seaport features hundreds of stalls selling food, drink, crafts, home goods, Christmas trees, and more.

There are also activities such as iceless curling and a holiday tree lighting ceremony.

Access to the market is free, although some activities and goods have a price.


Walk Through Fenway Open Studios

The artists of Fenway Studios open up their spaces to those who want to come in and view their works.

This is a chance to meet the artists and see their amazing original art.

Access is free, although it's suggested you bring a non-perishable food item to turn in, items that benefit the Lifeboard Food Pantry.

Check the website for dates.


THINGS TO DO AT NIGHT IN NOVEMBER

Boston is a lively city in the evening and offers all kinds of activities and events for night owls.

This section will feature a few of the best things to do after dark during the month of November.

Our previous sections covered some of the better nighttime activities such as Christmas Tree lighting ceremonies, concerts, musicals, and sporting events.

In addition to what’s listed in this section, make sure to check out the section on nighttime activities in our master post on things to do in Boston.


Take a Ghosts and Gravestones Bus Tour

If you’re looking for a more spooky experience in Beantown, perhaps a haunted bus tour is in order.

Hear about Boston’s dark side on this 90-minute ghost bus tour with numerous costumed guides.

The tour departs from Old Town Trolley stop #1, at the end of the Marriott Long Wharf Hotel at 200 Atlantic Avenue.

For more information, visit the Ghosts and Gravestone Trolley of the Doomed website.


Take A Beacon Hill Crime Tour

Our guides offer a Beacon Hill Crime Tour a few times a week.

Beacon Hill is thought to be one of the loveliest neighborhoods in the city, yet it has a dark history.

In the early 60s, the Boston Strangler terrorized folks who lived there.

To hear more about the history of related events, and to visit crime scene locations, sign up for our tour.

In addition to what’s listed in this section of the page, make sure to check out the section on nighttime activities in our master post on things to do in Boston.


THINGS TO O WITH KIDS IN NOVEMBER

Beantown has lots of activities to offer that are fun for the whole family, and we’ll be covering a few of the better November events in this section. 

Don’t forget to check our other sections for ideas like going ice skating, attending a sporting event, seeing the Christmas lighting displays and more are welcome to people of all ages. 

For additional ideas, consider reading our post covering things to do with kids in Boston.


Go on a Tour of Fenway Park

While baseball isn’t in season in November, you can still tour the home stadium of the 2018 World Series Champions, the Boston Red Sox!

Fenway Park is the oldest baseball stadium in America and offers daily tours that are fun for the whole family.

Whether you want a quick outing or something a bit more detailed, there are a variety of different tours available at this historic ballpark.

It’s worth noting that the public Fenway Park tour is included with some Boston tourist passes, which is a great way to save money on this activity.


Visit the New England Aquarium

Spot all kinds of marine life with a visit to the New England Aquarium!

Enjoy hundreds of species of fish, fur seals, penguins, lobsters, sea turtles, and more. 

The museum also offers numerous family-friendly interactive exhibits for kids to enjoy and they are open every day in November except Thanksgiving.

If you’re looking to save money on this activity, keep in mind that admission to the aquarium is actually included with several Boston tourist passes.


Take a Holiday Cruise

Join Boston Sailing with a 1.5-hour holiday boat cruise around the harbor! 

Choose from the family-friendly "Cocoa and Carols Cruise", enjoy a whiskey and holiday ballads with an "Irish Christmas Carol", or tap your feet to the beat with a "Holiday Jazz Cruise".

Tickets range from $35/$44 for children to $53/$70 for adults.

Don’t worry – these boats are well-heated during the winter, and each of these outings offers several opportunities to keep warm.

TIP: For even more boat cruise ideas, check out our boat tours post!


Attend A Thanksgiving Parade

Head to Plymouth for their big 3-day celebration of Thanksgiving.

They have "America's only historically accurate" parade with floats, vintage cards, folks dressed in outfits from hundreds of years ago, and more.

It all starts at Plymouth Rock and ends a Benny's Plaza.

Visit the website for more information.


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About The Author

Brian Burgess

I was born in Cambridge and have been living in the Boston area all my life. I am a graduate of Boston's Emerson College with a degree in communications with a journalism/history focus. I have been leading tours for Free Tours By Foot Boston since it was started in the city of Boston in 2012, and enjoy sharing my knowledge of Boston's rich history with not only the guests on my tours, but with everyone I meet. <a href="https://freetoursbyfoot.com/contributors/brian-burgess/" Read More...
Updated: November 1st, 2023
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