This post covers the top things to do in November in Washington, DC (updated for 2021), including nighttime activities, free things to do, and family-friendly options.
Be sure to read our master post on things to do in DC for even more ideas.
TOP 10 EVENTS AND THINGS TO DO
This section covers our top ten list of things to do in DC for November.
For more ideas on favorite things to do in DC, check out the following posts:
Some of the items listed in this post are included for free with the purchase of a tourist attraction discount pass.
1) Honor Veterans
DC has a number of special places to visit on Veteran's Day to honor all those who are and have served in our Armed Forces.
The most obvious location to visit would be Arlington National Cemetery, which is the final resting place of many American heroes and politicians.
You can also visit the Vietnam War Memorial, Korean War Memorial, and the WW2 Memorial to attend a wreath-laying ceremony at one of the war memorials on your own, or see them all on our National Mall tour
2) Go to a Concert
The capital tends to attract a lot of popular musicians throughout the year, and November will be no different. There will be a lot of great musical performances to see.
Here are a few of the best concerts to see in DC this month:
- Thundercat | Nov 2nd
- Cheap Trick | Nov 3rd
- Gladys Knight | Nov 5th
- Collective Soul, Better than Ezra, and Tonic | Nov 7th
- The Wallflowers | Nov 9th
- Pat Metheny | Nov 13th
- Sevendust and Daughtry | Nov 13th
- The Flaming Lips | Nov 16th
- Dinosaur Jr. | Nov 16th
- Genesis | Nov 18th
- Joan Osborne | Nov 20th
- Smokey Robinson | Nov 20th
- Dream Theater | Nov 21st
If you still can't find a performance you want to attend, check this list of concerts in Washington DC to see who else will be coming this month.
3) Attend a Live Sporting Event
Many of DC's professional sports teams will be playing in home games this month, so you'll have several opportunities to see your favorite team in November.
You'll also have the opportunity to see the Washington Capitals NHL team at home in the following games:
- Philadelphia Flyers | Nov 6th
- Buffalo Sabres | Nov 8th
- Pittsburgh Penguins | Nov 14th
- Montreal Canadiens | Nov 24th
- Florida Panthers | Nov 26th
If you're a basketball fan, don't forget that the Washington Wizards should also be scheduled to play at least a few games this month.
4) See a Musical in Baltimore
Washington DC is just an hour south of Baltimore, so you could easily hop on a train to go and see one of the great musicals scheduled to be hosted in this city during November.
The Hippodrome will be hosting the Off-Broadway musical Waitress on November 6th and 7th.
Alternatively, this same venue will also be hosting another Off-Broadway classic in Tootsie starting on November 30th.
Finally, if you're looking for a more family-friendly show, the holiday classic Elf on the Shelf will be produced at the Modell Performing Arts Center on November 13th.
Check this list of theatrical performances in and around Washington DC for even more shows to attend
5) Take a Sightseeing Tour!
Our guided walks are a great way to see the city. For 2021, many of our tours should be back to their regular schedule.
Check out our homepage to see what we have available when you are here.
6) Zoo Lights
Zoo Lights is a free annual event hosted by the National Zoo.
For 2020, Zoo Lights took their Santa Claws display on the road. They may do this again for 2021, but they have yet to announce their plans.
One thing is for sure: whether they bring Zoo Lights to your neighborhood or they bring it back to the zoo, chances are you'll have an opportunity to enjoy this activity again in 2021.
For more nighttime activities, visit our post on things to do at night in DC.
7) Shop Black Friday
Spend some time immersed in retail therapy on the busiest shopping day of the year!
Don’t forget that the day after Black Friday is Small Business Saturday–a great chance to support independently owned local business.
8) Watch Planes Take Off and Land from Gravelly Point Park
Aircraft enthusiasts flock to Gravelly Point Park which is adjacent to Reagan National Airport.
Accessible via bike trail or car parking lot, the grassy park is so close to the airport that planes flying in have their wheels down and are only seconds away from a touchdown.
Grab a lawn blanket on a nice day and enjoy the view!
For even more budget-friendly ideas, check out our post on free things to do in DC.
9) Celebrate Thanksgiving
Spend this classic American holiday in the capital!
Keep your eyes out for special Thanksgiving restaurant menus if you'd rather not cook your own turkey, run the calories off at the Turkey Trot after, or consider volunteering to brighten someone else's holiday.
Thanksgiving is also a good day to do some sightseeing in Washington DC, as they are usually much less crowded during this holiday.
10) Save Money with a Tourist Attraction Discount Pass
Tourist attraction discount passes bundle together many popular attractions and tours into one discounted price and can save you over 50%.
They also can save you time with skip-the-ticket-line privileges.
Attractions you can see with these passes include:
- CitySights Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour
- International Spy Museum
- Madame Tussauds
- The Capital Ferris Wheel
- George Washington's Home
We detail how these passes work and help you decide which, if any, is best for you.