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What to Do in DC in November

Book a Guided Walking Tour

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

Geroge Washington's Mount Vernon also has some special events we recommend you check out. 


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:

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.

The Washington Football Team will be playing two home games this month against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on November 14th and the Seattle Seahawks on November 29th.

You'll also have the opportunity to see the Washington Capitals NHL team at home in the following games:

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.

We also have self-guided tours and GPS-enabled audio tours of neighborhoods that you will likely visit as a tourist in the city.

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!

Head to popular shopping neighborhoods in the district like Georgetown and Downtown DC.

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. 

Washington DC Travel Tips and Hacks

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About The Author

Canden Arciniega

Canden is a historian and tour guide in Washington DC with 4 published books about the city. She has written for HuffPost Travel and has been featured in the Washington Post, WTOP, and numerous other DC papers. She's also been interviewed by the BBC, NPR, Travel Channel and Discovery Family Channel. Canden is the producer of our podcast, Tour Guide Tell All With a M.A. in History from University College London and a B.A. in History from Elon University, she is an authority on D.C. history, and has led tours in the city for over 10 years. She currently resides in DC, but has also lived in London and South Korea, and has travelled to 28 countries. Her two children (both under the age of 4) have their passports and own frequent flier accounts.
Updated: October 18th, 2021
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