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Things to Do in New York in November

Updated: November 13, 2023

This post lists the many great things to do in New York in November, updated for 2023.

We include free, family-friendly, and nighttime activities and events.

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

We lead thousands of people each month through the streets of New York and on every tour you ask us about things to do in the city.

We also grabbed ideas from the roughly 200k members of our popular NYC Travel Tips Facebook group.

Visit New York in November

The group consists of locals, like our tour guides, veteran travelers, as well as newbies to the Big Apple.

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

Check out the group once you are finished reading this post.


This is our list of the ten best events and things to do in NYC in November. For even more suggestions, see our comprehensive guide to things to do in NYC.  

Several of the items below are already included for free with the purchase of a tourist discount pass.

For tips on the most popular activities in NYC, check out the following posts:

1. Attend a Sports Event

In November, the basketball season is heating up.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of ice hockey games and even some football games to attend throughout the whole month.




Ice Hockey

TIP: Madison Square Garden offers All-Access Tours so you can see how this iconic arena has become a world landmark. 

For a complete list, check here to see which games are on for November

2. See a Concert 

There are so many amazing performers that come through New York City and its surrounding cities.

Whether you're a fan of hard rock, pop music, or even classic 80s tunes, there are plenty of great concerts in the NYC area this November.


Music Festivals

  • Tropicaliente 2023 | November 4th | New Jersey Performing Arts Center | feat: Grupo Niche, Hector "El Torito" Acosta, and more

Check here for even more concerts in the NYC area this November.

TIP: See the inner workings of Madison Square Garden on their All-Access Tour!

You can find additional family-friendly activities below.

3. Enjoy a Broadway Show

November has some great shows opening.

This includes the annual Radio City Christmas Spectacular which begins its holiday run on November 17th until January 1st.

You can buy tickets to The Rockettes shows here.

Other shows on Broadway in November are:

See what other shows are on this month

4. Take a Walking Tour 

In November, we run many of our most popular pay-what-you-wish walking tours in several neighborhoods in NYC.

This time of year, the weather is suitable to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge and perfect to stroll through charming Brooklyn Heights.  

You might enjoy our New York Holiday Lights Tour that we begin to run this month.

Other popular tours are: 

We also offer food tours, bike tours, and occasional special theme tours like our ghost tours.

Searching Availability...

5. See New York City from the Water 

This month is a fine time to see the skyline of the city from a deck of one of the many NYC boat tours and cruises.

Just make sure you bundle up in a few layers since it gets cold out on the water.

You can also take the free Staten Island Ferry or ride on the East River Ferry which costs the same as a subway ride but with a prettier view! 

6. See a Stand-Up Comedy Show

Many comedians are drawn to the New York City area throughout the year, and you find some big names there in November.

Stand Up Comedy

Comedy Festivals

Comedy Venues

For even more great stand-up performances, check this list of comedy shows in November in the New York City area.

7. New York Comedy Festival

From November 3rd - 12th, 2023, some of the top comedians in America will be performing as part of the New York Comedy Festival.

Over ten days more than 200 comedians will perform at various locations throughout the city.

Below are just some of the comedians scheduled to perform this year:

We recommend getting your tickets well ahead of time to avoid missing out.

TIP: Did you know you can attend a free TV taping of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert or The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

Read our post on how to get free tickets to a TV taping in NYC

8. Visit a Top Attraction Without the Crowds

Take advantage of November being an off-peak season to visit a top attraction. Lines are shorter so your wait time, if any, will be shorter too. 

One of the most popular attractions in NYC is the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.

You can see the famous aircraft carrier as well as exhibits of other military marvels such as the world's fastest jets and the first space shuttle.

Though on the pricier side, you can find discounts on this family-friendly museum

It is also included for free with a number of tourist passes.

See a long list of other top attractions and museums here.

9. Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

On November 23rd, 2023 one of New York's most famous events takes place, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

All your favorite cartoon characters will take over 5th Avenue.  

No tickets are required to attend! This means you won't need to spend a penny to enjoy the floats and music.

Make sure you dress in layers to stay warm, though. 

The parade begins at 9 am but you should head over earlier to get a good spot.

To find out about the best viewing locations, see our post on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Find more free activities in the section below. You can get more inspiration for family-friendly events below, too.

10. Utilize a Tourist Attraction Discount Pass

If you're looking to see and do as much as possible, using a New York City tourist attraction discount pass can help you save money and time. 

Attractions Available on Passes Include:

  • Museum of Modern Art
  • Empire State Building
  • Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tour
  • Madame Tussauds
  • 9/11 Memorial and Guided Tour
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Madison Square Garden All-Access Tour

These passes save you money by bundling dozens of popular attractions and tours into one discounted ticket (up to 55% off).

They can also save you time by allowing you to skip the ticket lines and numerous locations. Read our post comparing your options.

For more ideas for any time of year, be sure to read our master post on things to do in NYC.


November is a great time to take advantage of the many free events and activities in NYC.

For even more free activities, see our Guide to Free Things to Do in NYC.

Veterans Day Parade   

On November 11th, 2023 over 20,000 marchers will participate in New York City’s Veterans Day Parade, making it the largest in the nation.

There will be floats, marching bands, and various veterans groups joining in.

The parade "steps off" at 9:30 am. 

It travels up 5th Avenue from 26th Street and ends at 45th and 5th Street, just blocks Rockefeller Center

For more information, click here

Keep in mind that Veteran's Day is a public holiday so some hours and closures for activities may occur that day.

Watch the New York City Marathon

On November 5th, 2023, over 50,000 runners from around the world will run through all 5 boroughs of New York. 

Watching the runners is a lot of fun. It’s also a great excuse to visit a neighborhood you have never been to before. 

Look at the marathon route and pick a neighborhood to watch from. Here are some locations we recommend:

Stroll through Central Park

While most of the trees will change color in late October, in early November, the trees still have some colorful foliage.

There are so many things to see in this huge park and our free, self-guided tour and audio tour of Central Park can help you find all the points of interest.

If you prefer to go with a guided tour, see our post on Central Park Tours, where you can find out about the many tours available, some free and some with a fee. 

Take a Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge  

This bridge is loved by locals who never tire of the sense of freedom one feels when walking across the bridge.

Tourists love it because of the incredible skyline views.

Whether you join one of our pay-what-you-wish Brooklyn Bridge Tours or go on your own, this is a walk you absolutely should make while in New York City.  

Use our guide to Walking the Brooklyn Bridge to make your walk unforgettable.  

TIP: Our Guide to Free Things to Do in NYC lists hundreds of activities and events that won't cost you a dime!


Below is just a short sampling of the many things to do at night in November. 

These are in addition to the items in the top 10 section, such as seeing a concert, attending a sports event, or going to the NY Comedy Festival.

For suggestions on other nighttime activities, see our post on things to do at night in New York City.

Attend WhiskeyFest New York

WhiskeyFest New York comes to the NY Marriott Marquis this month on November 9, 2023.

Depending on the type of ticket purchased, attendees will receive a nosing glass, program booklet, gift bag, admission to seminars, and access to a gourmet buffet.

Oh, and there will also be the chance to taste hundreds of whiskies.

VIP ticket holders can check in at 5:00 pm, and general admission ticket holders at 6:00.

For more information and tickets, visit the WhiskeyFest New York website.

Ride the Free Staten Island Ferry  

Take a free round-trip ferry ride from Manhattan to Staten Island and get spectacular views of Lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. 

Our guide to Riding the Staten Island Ferry should come in handy. 

Since the ferry terminal is in Lower Manhattan, consider scheduling your ride at a time that allows you to take our pay-what-you-wish Lower Manhattan Tour.

If you can't join the tour, definitely look at our guide Things to Do in Lower Manhattan, or try our GPS-enabled audio tour

Go Ice-skating  

Get a jump start on winter by lacing up and hitting the ice at one of the several famous rinks around the city including the rink in Bryant Park, the rink at Rockefeller Center, and the Lasker Rink in Central Park. 

For more information see our post, Where to go Ice-skating in New York City

Take a Bus or Boat Night Tour 

Seeing New York City at night can make for an entirely new way to see the city.

The New York skyline is breathtaking when illuminated after dark and a night boat tour is a special way to see the city.

Night bus tours are also a great way to see many different areas of the city in a short amount of time.  

Lastly, try our free self-guided tours viewable on your device, or our audio tours equipped with GPS which are good for night or day.

Shop at a Holiday Market

Christmas starts early in New York City! Some Holiday markets open in November.

Find out which ones you can visit from our post on the best holiday markets.

TIP: For lots more ideas, be sure to take a look at our post on things to do at night in New York City


Here are a few fun activities that will keep kids and adults amused. 

Many of the events listed above are family-friendly, such as attending a sports event, watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade, or going ice skating. 

You can find even more information about visiting New York with kids at Top 10 Things to Do with Kids in New York City as well as our 3-day itinerary for families

Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden   

It's worth taking a bit a slightly longer subway train ride to the Bronx to see these G-scale mini-trains circle 150 of New York City's landmarks along a half-mile of track.  

See the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, and Rockefeller Center re-created with only natural materials like bark and leaves.

The show runs from November 17, 2023, to January 15, 2024, 10 am - 6 pm

See more information on their website here


The Botanical Gardens also put on a holiday light show with light illuminating the historic buildings in the area after dark.

The event sells out quickly, so you'll want to grab tickets as soon as you can.

The dates for November are: November 18th, 19th, 23rd, 25th, and 26th.

Find more information on NYBG GLOW here.

Watch the Tree Lighting at Rockefeller Center

The Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting usually takes place the Wednesday after Thanksgiving. This year that would be November 29th, 2023.

This massive tree, which often approaches 80 feet tall and 50 feet wide, will have been dressed with more than 5 miles of LED lights.

Ten of thousands of people crowd the sidewalks. Well-known entertainers put on a show and then the lights are turned on.

This is truly one of the most beloved events in the city each year.

Visit the Rockefeller Christmas Tree website for an up-to-date schedule, and to learn more about the history of the tree.

Visit the Bronx Zoo 

The Bronx Zoo is one of the best zoos in the country and November is the best month to visit as the animals are more active this time of year.

The Zoo also holds a Harvest Festival in the fall. Kids can participate in apple tasting, learn about composting, and also learn how to press flowers.

Be sure to see our post on ways to get discounts on tickets to the Bronx Zoo

See our post, Top 10 Things to Do with Kids in New York City, and our 3-day itinerary for families


About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo,, and more.
Updated: November 13th, 2023
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