Every single month in New York City can be a magical one, but there’s just something about November, when the holiday season begins unofficially. Autumn’s not over yet, but the weather forecast will have changed: crisp and cold with a chance of snow. November in New York is chockfull of events and activities, especially ones related to the holidays. Here are some of the things you should be able to enjoy during the month.
1. Ice Skating in New York City
Some rinks will have been open since late October, but November is when ice skating mania really takes off. Rockefeller Center’s famous Rink, Bank of America’s Winter Village at Bryant Park (behind the Public Library) and the Trump Rink in Central Park are three exceptional rinks you should absolutely hit for some spectacular atmospheres. Additionally, most rinks will offer various classes if you’re looking to learn some figure skating or ice hockey.
2. The New York Marathon
On November 4th, New York City holds the largest and most famous marathon in the world, attracting thousands of runners and visitors annually. A demanding course, the TCS NYC Marathon is every runner’s goal. Starting in Staten Island, it runs through Brooklyn to Manhattan. If you’re in New York during this time, do check out this intense event!
3. Macy’s Parade
The highlight of Thanksgiving in New York City has to be the gigantic Macy’s Day Parade. The parade begins at 9 am on November 28, starting from 77th St and Central Park West and heading down to 34th Street to Macy’s Herald Square. The yearly procession of giant floats, balloons, clowns, cheerleaders, marching bands, Broadway in New York performances, clowns, theater and celebs is probably one of the greatest NYC events in November, or ever. You could watch the parade on NBC from the comfort of your home, sure, but we don’t recommend that if you’re actually in New York. Because there is absolutely nothing like witnessing the Macy’s Day Parade in person. Watch out for your favorite cartoon characters taking over 5th Avenue!
4. Black Friday
Right after Thanksgiving comes Black Friday, a near religious experience for all those shopping fanatics out there. With huge bargains and discounts everywhere you see, you’ll be able to buy items that have been marked down by as much as 80%! Yes, it’s true that the lines in front of large stores will be exhaustingly long, and the stores themselves will be absolutely crowded, but all of that pales at the prospect of getting significantly inexpensive items. Plus, given that we’re talking about New York City here, you’ll be absolutely spoiled for choice when it comes to shopping options.
5. Tree Lighting Ceremony at Rockefeller Plaza
On November 28th, Rockefeller Plaza has a Tree Lighting Ceremony, with 45,000 LED bulbs and innumerable Swarovski crystals. This highly publicized event is when Rockefeller Center’s legendary Christmas Tree is lit up, officially heralding Christmas.
There are also several musical performances that truly contribute to make the entire atmosphere that much more festive.