Best November New York City Activities

The best Things To Do in New York in November range from Hudson Valley fall foliage to major designer bargains at New York City sample sales. The Big Apple is packed with autumn adventures (speaking of apples, don’t miss out on New York City’s farmer’s markets – it’s harvest season)!

Whether you want to find the best viewing spots for the Thanksgiving Day Parade, grab a traditional Turkey Dinner, hit the Ice Skating rinks or cheer on one of our major sports teams, we offer you our insider tips and guide to a great November in NYC.

FREE Central Park Walking Tours

things to do in New York in November

New York City offers FREE walking tours all year round, and autumn in New York is incomparable when it comes to beautiful views of Central Park.

Against a backdrop of cobblestone and some of the world’s greatest ‘parkitechture’, learn about the history, geology and design of one of the world’s most fabulous parks.

See famous sites from movies and TV, find out about fun, free things to do in Central Park, catch the performances of some of NYC’s most gifted entertainers giving it away free (although a small donation in a guitar case or coffee cup is always appreciated), soak in Central Park’s colorful beauty and walk off those famous New York City hot dogs. This is a great way to spend an autumn afternoon in New York City.

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Take a Fall Foliage Cruise or Trip

With dozens of discount tickets available, you can't miss with a trip in or out of the city to see the fall leaves in their glorious autumn colors. Take to the river and join Classic Harbor on one of their classic sailboats and head north up the Hudson River to take in the beautiful fall foliage.

More Fall Foliage Trips

Fall Foliage New York

  • New York Fall Foliage Tours - helicopters, Circle Line: Bear Mountain Full-Day Cruise and more options
  • Bear Mountain Fall Foliage Cruise - all day upstate cruise and onboard Oktoberfest with music, food and beer specials. Oktoberfest Cruise runs Saturdays and Sundays Sept 21-November 10, 2019, and Columbus Day, Monday October 14th.

Photo Credit: Margaret Sneddon, Harpist

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Check the NYC Insider Guide November Events Calendar

NYC Insider Guide November Events Calendar

Check out all our cool NYC events in November: The New York City Marathon, Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Rockettes at Radio City, Disney on Ice, Veterans Day, NIT Season Tip Off and Championship Game, Nutcracker Ballet at Lincoln Center, Holiday Train Show and so much more.

There is never a shortage of things to do in New York in November!!!!

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Where to Stay during November in New York City

November is the perfect time to check into one of our hotels near Rockefeller Center (Rockettes at Radio City, Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, Ice Skating) or on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Route or near Central Park for more iconic Ice Skating.

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Make Thanksgiving Reservations

Where to eat on Thanksgiving in New York City

With hundreds of delicious choices for Thanksgiving Dinner in New York City, it may be hard for you to choose just one place. There are 100’s of Thanksgiving Dinner options, ranging from innovative menus to spectacular boat cruises with amazing skyline views around Manhattan. Most of the cruises sell out EARLY, so make your reservations soon.

Daytime Parade Views: There are also dozens of great breakfast spots along the parade route, or you can reserve a private restaurant table, hotel room or a spot on a rooftop. See more:

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Pre-Thanksgiving Parade Balloon Inflation

Thanksgiving Day Parade Inflation 77th Street

Though it may be crowded, it’s worth showing up on parade-eve to watch the world famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Balloons get inflated. They’ll arrive in boxes on Wednesday morning and get lined up on 77th and 81st Streets (the streets below and above the museum) between Central Park West and Columbus Avenues. Though most websites will tell you to go after 3pm, a lot of the prep work and inflating takes place earlier.

Come early, stake out a spot by your favorite balloon, or for whichever one you can get a good spot, and watch it go from flat to full.  Once the balloons are inflated, they remain up all night for viewing.  The best times to go to avoid the biggest crowds are either very early – we’re talking breakfast and balloons – or very late – perhaps balloons and a midnight snack!

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Catch a New York City Sports Team

New York City is home to some of the most exciting sports teams in the world. Go for the fans, go for the food, go for the game.

New York Football Game Jets

MetLife Stadium (formerly the Meadowlands) hosts both the Jets and the Giants; and in the heart of midtown Manhattan, watch the Knicks rock the backboards or the Rangers slash the ice at Madison Square Garden. You can also check out some of our newer teams, the Brooklyn Nets and the NY Islanders, both at Barclay’s Center, and the NYCFC at Yankee Stadium.

Whether your NYC sports adventure takes you on a subway to Queens, Brooklyn or the Bronx, on the bus to New Jersey or just down the street to MSG, fall sports are definitely one of the best things to do in New York in November. 

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Ice Skating in NYC

Do you like to see? Or be seen? Ice skating at Rockefeller Center is a chance to be in the spotlight; or perhaps, spot a figure skating star. There’s also lots to do around Rockefeller Center, from fabulous shopping to television studio tours, this can be a great way to spend an afternoon in NYC.

Ice Skating in New York City

Other great skating spots, for those who want a little more ice time and a little less glitz, Lasker and Wollman rinks in Central Park and Citi Pond in Bryant Park are great bets. Read more insider tips at our guide to Ice Skating in New York City

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Fashion Designer Sample Sales

NYC Sample Sales November

November is a HUGE MONTH FOR SAMPLE SALES in New York City. Manolo Blahnik, Valentino, Armani, Hugo Boss, Joseph Abboud and lots more.

Check our New York City sample sale calendar for updates on details, dates and sample sale locations.

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The Best Museum Deals in NYC

Check out our guide to New York City’s Museums, including multi-museum passes and information on which museums are free and when.

Guide to New York City Museums

Whatever your interests, New York City has a museum worth checking out. There are over a hundred museums in New York City, from the biggest and most famous to the smallest and most obscure.

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Christmas Spectacular Starring the Rockettes 2021

Radio City Christmas with Rockettes

On Sale Now: November 5, 2021 - January 2, 2022
Cancelled - Nov 6, 2020 – January 3, 2021
Daily @ 11am, 2pm, 5pm, 8pm (some variations)

With up to 5 shows per day on weekends, the Rockettes are a tradition during the NYC Holiday Season for more than 75 years. Don’t miss the signature eye-high kicks, precision choreography and exciting, show-stopping numbers – including one with Santa.

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BB Kings

In the heart of midtown Manhattan, BB Kings Blues Club & Grill offers world class performances for modest prices; November boasts a great lineup including Dionne Warwick, Paul Mooney and more (you can even spend an evening with Joan Collins).

BB Kings also hosts some of the best tribute bands in the business – Saturday’s BEATLES Brunches, Louis Armstrong and Bruce Springsteen tributes are just a few of the great tributes you can catch at BB Kings – and every night, there is free live music at Lucille’s; a separate venue within BB Kings. To top off the list, if you’re looking for an amazing Thanksgiving Dinner in New York City idea, here’s a thought: STRAWBERRY FIELDS, The Ultimate Beatles Tribute, and a prix fixe menu ($Adults $49.00, Children $25.00).

What to Wear – What to Bring – November in New York

The short answer? Everything! Average temperatures range from the mid-40s to mid-50s Fahrenheit, but can also shoot up into the high 70s. Millions of dedicated Thanksgiving parade-goers have watched in everything from umbrellas through rain, sleet and snow; to short-sleeved shirts.  It’s hard to advise on what to wear this time of year.

Before packing, consult with a weather website, but always include outfits with layers this time of year, along with basics like hat, scarf, gloves, waterproof boots/shoes and a small knapsack for dumping layers into while walking around.

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More Things to do in New York City

Sightsee from the Sky

Top of the Rock, Empire State Building, One World Observatory or Edge? Which is best and, if we have to choose, which should we visit? There is no easy answer, but here are some facts to help guide your choice.

New York City Tourist Attractions

  • Empire State Building - (86 and 102 floors) Best for patient movie and history buffs who need to check it off their bucket list. Recently redone indoor 102nd Floor Observatory
  • Top of the Rock - (67-70 floors) Best for sweeping 360° vista views, including of the Empire State Building and Central Park. Shorter lines and cheaper than the ESB.
  • One World Observatory - (100-102 floors) Best for homage to the Twin Towers. Modern and high tech, with phenomenal views
  • Edge - (100-101 floors) opening March 2020, highest outdoor observation deck, glass bottom floor, deck extends 80 feet away from building (photo)

See All: Top New York City Tourist Attractions

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Take in ALL the Tours, Landmarks and Attractions and SAVE

NY Sightseeing Pass, New York Pass, NY Explorer Pass, CityPASS Compared

New York City Passes Compared

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Skip the Line and Do NYC VIP Style

Do you know how many attractions and tours let you skip (most) of the lines and be treated like a VIP? Save HOURS on your NYC Vacation.

Empire State Building: Express Entry (86th Fl)

NYC Insider Pick
Price starting at US$60
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One World Observatory: Skip The Line (Priority Reserved)

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Empire State Building: Silver Access (86 & 102 for Fee)

Likely to sell out
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9/11 Memorial & Museum: Skip The Line

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Empire State Building: Day and Night Entry

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VIP: EmptyMet Tour Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum: Priority Entrance

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Skip the Line: The Metropolitan Museum of Art Flexible Date

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Skip The Line: Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

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Things to do in New York with Kids

One of the best parts of NYC is that what is fun for kids is usually just as much fun for adults. If you are joining us in NYC for a family vacation, then please read all about our local kid's favorites, along with special tips just for visitors.

Things to Do in New York With Kids

See All: Visiting New York with Kids.

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FREE Things to do in New York City

There are tons of free things to do in New York all day, every day! Tours, attractions, museums, events, shows, sports, movie and more. Kids, adults, outdoors, indoors, active, name it!

Free Things to Do in New York City

See All: Free Things to Do in NYC - weekly calendar of all free walking tours, free museum admissions, free things to do by season and more

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New York City Shopping Guides

New York City Shopping

New York City Nightlife

How do you make the most of your time in the city that never sleeps?? Some of the best 'only in NYC' nightlife experiences include skyline views, dinner cruises, Museums and attractions open late til 2am, rooftops, night tours, comedy clubs and more. Some of our top NYC Nightlife picks:

New York City Nightlife

See all our Top Picks: New York City Nightlife

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Save HUGE $$$$ in NYC

New York City Coupons

Romantic Things to Do in NYC

There are tons of things to do on your romantic New York City vacation. Attractions open late with skyline views, Central Park Tours, VIP Experiences, a helicopter ride. Some of the most popular romantic ways to see NYC include:

Romantic NYC Hotel Deals

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Romantic NYC Champagne & Skyline Cruises

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Private Central Park Walking Tour with a Personal Photographer

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New York City Private Helicopter Tour with Champagne Toast

Price starting at US$1,800
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Romantic Broadway Show Picks

Price starting at US$120
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Sunset Valentines Dinner Cruise in NYC

Price starting at US$145
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See more romantic things to do at: Romantic New York City Vacation and Valentine's Day in NYC

Explore and Indulge Like a Real NYC Foodie

There is no shortage of pizza, bagels, street vendors, cupcakes, craft beer and cocktails, rooftops and mini food parks to explore and so many more food choices in the five boroughs, along with wonderful guides who can't wait to show you them all!!!!

New York City Food Tours

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Spot Celebrities in NYC

Celebrities in NYC

Where to find celebrities in NYC or which celebrities are living in NYC today are common questions by all, but celebrity sightings in NYC are way easier than you may think and happen all the time. You will, of course, see them on the subway, in Central Park, at the gym, in restaurants, at all the current hotspots, at shows and more. But here are some unique ways to see celebrities all over the city.

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Get Out of NYC for a Day

NYC is within 3 hours of so many other cities and areas you can visit for just one day: Washington DC, Boston, Philadelphia, Niagara Falls, the Hamptons, Woodbury Common Shopping Outlets and more quite easily. Top choices for 1-day Out of Town:

See All: Day Trips Out of New York City

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    • Hi Alan – there’s plenty of free things to do in NYC, as you can see on this page. Most attractions and sightseeing passes offer Senior ticket rates and you can check with AARP for additional deals they sometimes make with the NYC Tourism Board.


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