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Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2015
Photograph: Filip Wolak

NYC events in November 2021

Plan your month with the best NYC events in November 2021 including Thanksgiving festivities, NYC Marathon and more

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver
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Give thanks for our list of NYC events in November 2021, which will help you make plans for things to do on Thanksgiving and the rest of the month, from the TSC NYC Marathon to Broadway show openings. Our guide will help you find the best holiday events, including the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and amazing holiday markets. But that’s not all! 

RECOMMENDED: Full NYC events calendar for 2021

Featured NYC events in November 2021

  • Things to do
  • Markets and fairs
Halloween won't even be over this year when New Yorkers' favorite winter festivity begins. The Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park returns on October 29 with its holiday festivities, shopping and food. Its 17,000-square-foot ice-skating rink that's free to use (if you bring your own skates) is the highlight, while more than 60 shopping and food kiosks are there to peruse—all at one of the best NYC parks. T
  • Things to do

The 2021 TCS New York City Marathon is back in person this year to the relief and excitement of the world's runners. The world-famous race was virtual last year due to the pandemic, so it's fair to assume that runners will be even more excited to run this year.

 

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  • Comedy
  • Comedy

The week-long festival will take place from November 8-14, and is set to feature some of the most exciting voices in comedy right now. Some top names from this year’s lineup includes Vir Das, Tim Dillon, Colin Quinn, Michelle Wolf, Norm MacDonald, Megan Stalter, Ronny Chieng, Jon Lovett’s Lovett or Leave It, Smart Funny & Black Live, Nick Kroll, Alok, Marc Maron, Brian Regan, Gary Gulman, Bill Maher, Michelle Buteau, Andrew Santino and more. The lineup was introduced in a video posted to social media featuring various essential workers, including firefighters, food cart workers, and medical staff, from across New York City. More than 200 comedians will take part in the celebration of comedy, which was canceled last year due to Covid-19, and features over 100 shows taking place across the five boroughs, including shows at the Apollo Theatre, Beacon Theatre, Carnegie Hall, and Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. 

  • Things to do
  • City Life

Tickets to skate at The Rink at Rockefeller Center are already available, with the famous skating rink's opening date slated for Saturday, November 6. The Rink will be open daily from 9am until midnight, and if you've never closed down the rink for that last late night skate, 2021 should be your year. Admission prices range from $20-$54 per person depending on the date and time of day. Skate rentals are available for $10. Local skaters can also purchase a membership to have access to the rink and unlimited skating throughout the season. 

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  • Art
  • Art

Although most of Hilma af Klint's work is held by the artist's official foundation and isn't currently on view anywhere, New Yorkers will get to browse through a rare set of her watercolors through December 18 at the David Zwirner gallery on 69th Street. Dubbed "Tree of Knowledge," the exhibit focuses on the artist's 1913-1915 series of works, which were recently discovered by the art world. If the success of the Guggenheim's 2018 exhibition "Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future" is of any indication, we expect many people to flock to the Upper East Side gallery in the next few months. 

 

  • Nightlife
  • Nightlife

If you're eager to embrace the raging '20s we were promised (and not the pandemic '20s we were given), an enormous new nightclub has your back. Nebula will bring a multi-level 11,000-square-foot club to 135 W. 41st Street on Friday, November 5. With a capacity for 700 guests, Nebula will be the largest club to open in Manhattan in years. A 5,500-square-foot dance floor offers plenty of space to show off your moves, plus a mezzanine level and lower level with three private club rooms dedicated to private groups (complete with their own dedicated bathrooms) lets you customize your going out experience. Think: Over-the-top karaoke nights, a seated dinner for twenty or a small dance party with your closest friends. A movable ceiling, composed of six massive video panels, which are able to move and tilt individually or come together to form a venue-spanning screen, allow Nebula to change themes nightly. A cosmic night sky or hypnotic, rhythmic pulsing lights can change the vibe for an ever-new nightly clubbing experience.  

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

The NYC Winter Lantern Festival is returning for the 2021 season with three major events that will help illuminate the cold season! The first will kick off on October 22, with a drive-through experience at the Nassau County Museum of Art. Dubbed "A Bug’s Night," this experience will let you navigate across over 20 acres of vivid lanterns and holiday lights. Festive holiday lights, projection mapping and handmade lanterns in the shape of flowers, bugs, animals, and more will create this bright experience. Like all three Lantern Festival installations, this will run nightly through Sunday, January 9. Adding to that first festival, will be an escape at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center on Staten Island. The botanic garden will be illuminated for over eight acres. In addition to the lantern display, a live DJ, projection mapping, food vendors, and more will keep the party going. 

  • Things to do
  • Exhibitions
  • The Bronx

The beloved New York holiday train tradition at the New York Botanical Garden is back for its 30th year!

The garden will become a mini-train depot with its collection of 25 G-scale model trains that'll chug along a nearly half-mile track (which is also overhead) by 175 miniature NYC landmarks like the Empire State Building, Radio City Music Hall, the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge and Rockefeller Center—all made of natural materials such as leaves, cinnamon sticks, twigs, bark and berries. 

Tickets are on sale now for the show, which begins November 20.

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  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Midtown West

Uneasy lies the head that wears a tiara in this new biomusical about Diana, Princess of Wales, whose marriage to Prince Charles came undone in a sea of tabloid ugliness. Reprising the roles they played at La Jolla last year, Jeanna de Waal and Roe Hartrampf play the royal couple, flanked once again by Judy Kaye as Queen Elizabeth II and Erin Davie as Camilla Parker-Bowles. Christopher Ashley (Come from Away) directs; Joe DiPietro and David Bryan, who wrote the 2010 Tony winner Memphis, are the writers.

  • Things to do

Out of all the yuletide razzle-dazzle NYC has to offer, the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights 2018 display is by far the most spectacular. (Sorry, Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree). Each year, over 100,000 people flock to the Brooklyn nabe to witness some of the most over-the-top Christmas lights we’ve ever seen­—think huge inflatable Santas and snowmen, and houses that blast Christmas carols from loundspeakers. There is a lot of ground to cover, as many houses in the area participate over multiple blocks and avenues. (We’re talking tens of thousands of lights).

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  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

Miracle has announced that they'll be returning to New York City, for pop-up bars bursting with decor, themed drinks and holiday cheer. Both Miracle and their sibling concept Sippin' Santa, will partner with new bars and feature new drink menus this November. For 2021, Miracle will also add a Brooklyn location, at the new Williamsburg bar Thief, which will pause its Friesling service and go full-on North Pole as it's festively transformed to Miracle on Union. East Village bar The Cabinet will be Miracle on 9th Street and Boilermaker will be Sippin' Santa. Expect to be swept into a whole new festive world with each bar decked out from floor to ceiling in holiday everything.

  • Art
  • Art

Inside Chelsea Market's old boiler room, there's an art show opening today that explores New York City’s past and potential future with trippy digital art that unfolds all around you. "Machine Hallucination: NYC" by Refik Anadol was originally on view at ARTECHOUSE two years ago when the venue first opened, but for the first time, NFTs will be available to visitors who want to purchase pieces of Anadol's art. "Machine Hallucination: NYC" is NYC's latest immersive experience that uses artificial intelligence and the latest technology to map a massive dataset (more than 100 million publicly available photographs of New York’s iconic architecture and urban landscapes without people) and shows AI re-imaginings of NYC set to "awe-inspiring" sound design by Berlin-based composer Kerim Karaoglu who used New York’s sound archives with machine intelligence. 

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  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Midtown West

If theater is your religion and the Broadway musical your sect, you've been woefully faith-challenged of late. Venturesome, boundary-pushing works such as Spring Awakening, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and Next to Normal closed too soon. American Idiot was shamefully ignored at the Tonys and will be gone in three weeks. Meanwhile, that airborne infection Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark dominates headlines and rakes in millions, without even opening. Celebrities and corporate brands sell poor material, innovation gets shown the door, and crap floats to the top. It's enough to turn you heretic, to sing along with The Book of Mormon's Ugandan villagers.

  • Theater
  • Interactive
  • Bushwick

No show in town offers as intimate an experience as this interactive experience in Bushwick that has been created to be performed for just five audience members at a time. A surreal look at the nature of ritual and ceremony, Bottom of the Ocean is the third production from Andrew Hoepfner’s company Houseworld Immersive, and draws on techniques that Hoepfner explored previously in Houseworld and Whisperlodge. It is staged at Gymnopedie, a multiroom space that has been created by restoring 5,500 square feet of the 19th-century basement at Bushwick United Methodist Church. 

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  • Art
  • Art

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel at the Vatican is one of the must-see artworks of a lifetime, and for a limited time, its likeness will be right here in New York City. SEE Global Entertainment is bringing its "Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition" to a (currently unannounced) location in NYC this fall, allowing New Yorkers and tourists to get up close and personal with the fresco that draws about 5 million people each year. While seeing it in person is incredible, seeing the details and Michelangelo brushstrokes is not really possible since it decorates the chapel's ceiling and wall while hundreds of other tourists crowd around it. And while this exhibit isn't the real thing, it does give you a chance to spend time you wouldn't normally have with the art.

  • Art
  • Midtown West

The Shed's galleries are being transformed daily with multi-sensory installations that immerse the viewer to inspire reconnection to nature.

Presented by The Shed and Superblue, "Fragile Future" by Amsterdam-based artists DRIFT takes its audiences on a journey through multiple installations that encourage exploring the universal search for origin, destination, and connection, as well as the power to be found in relinquishing control when embracing change.

Set to a soundtrack by ANOHNI, the journey begins with the shimmering lights of  "Coded Coincidence" that follow the flight pattern that elm seeds take each spring so that viewers can see the "necessity and beauty of coincidence and its essential role in our natural processes and evolution." As they fall to the ground and fade, "Ego," a large block made of hair-thin illuminated threads is suspended and morphs in mid-air. Another installation, "Fragile Future," brings nature and technology together to evoke a utopian vision of the future of our planet, "wherein two seemingly opposite evolutions have made a pact to survive."

As the final installation, "Drifters" uses a series of projected films to represent a portal to another world with a group of concrete blocks that float through environments in NYC and other locations and pass through lush nature and dystopian urban settings in search for their origin and destination. On select dates, "Drifters" will become a surreal immersive performance that spans The Shed’s four-story-high, 17,000-square-foot McCourt space.

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  • Things to do
  • The Bronx

Let it GLOW at the New York Botanical Garden this year at its second annual NYBG Glow! The outdoor light experience will brighten up the grounds with thousands of energy-efficient LED lights and festive installations. After dark, you can walk this expanded 1.5-mile colorful experience with even more illuminated displays than last year, including plant stories, and whimsical, picture-perfect installations reflecting the surrounding gardens and collections with the Haupt Conservatory and Mertz Library Building as glowing centerpieces. It's all an ideal backdrop for a family holiday photo op. Plus, there will be dance performances, ice carving demonstrations and other seasonal activities (and snacks) to enjoy. Tickets, which can be paired with Holiday Train Show tickets for a little bit more money, are on sale now. Learn more about the new safety measures online. All ages. 

  • Art
  • Chelsea

The recent eruption of the Fagradalsfjall volcano in Iceland inspired interdisciplinary artist and musician Jo虂nsi (of Sigur Ro虂s) to create two new sound installations and sculptural works that infuse the senses, including ambient sounds, mechanically generated frequencies, samples from nature,  his own voice as well as earthy, atmospheric fragrances that help to transport viewers. On the ground floor, visitors enter a darkened room that has a central plinth surrounded by about two hundred speakers that'll play a choral hymn in four parts added to soundscapes of gritty rocks and searing lava. It'll be layered over with smoky, tar-like aromas of fossilized amber to further transport his audience into the belly of a volcano. 

In the upstairs galleries, resin and obsidian glass sculptures sit at each end of one room while crackling sounds play over visuals of burnt walnut trees, showing how destructive volcanic forces are. Another sound installation affixed with flower-shaped metallic discs and LEDs, pulsates with light in short bursts, blinking slowly at first before swelling into rapid-fire successions—a nod to Brion Gysin’s 1960s "Dream Machine."

All of this launches in tandem with the release of Jo虂nsi’s third solo musical album that is also inspired by the volcano.

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  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Midtown West

Who doesn’t enjoy a royal wedding? The zingy Broadway musical Six celebrates, in boisterous fashion, the union of English dynastic history and modern pop music. On a mock concert stage, backed by an all-female band, the six wives of the 16th-century monarch Henry VIII air their grievances in song, and most of them have plenty to complain about: two were beheaded, two were divorced, one died soon after childbirth. In this self-described “histo-remix,” members of the long-suffering sextet spin their pain into bops; the queens sing their heads off and the audience loses its mind. 

  • Things to do
  • Hell's Kitchen

Photoville is back in its 10th year and the second to bring photography to every borough of New York City. You won't want to miss this year's Photoville because it is packed with 75 exhibits outside and free online programming for photo lovers between September 18 and December 1, including panel discussions, interactive workshops, one-on-one safety clinics,  professional development opportunities with Diversify Photo and Leica Camera, Photo Wings and the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.

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  • Theater
  • Theater & Performance

Jukebox musicals come and go, but Britney's music is forever. And surprisingly, the "…Baby One More Time" artist has never had a Broadway musical inspired by her discography. That's about to change as the Washington D.C.–based Shakespeare Theatre Company produces the Broadway-bound musical Once Upon a One More Time, based on Britney's iconic hits.  Playing from November 30 through January 2 at Sidney Harman Hall, Once Upon a One More Time tells an original story by Jon Hartmere (bare, The Upside) through the music of Grammy Award winner and pop icon Britney Spears. The plot is not quite out of a 1990s music video, but it promises to be engaging.

 

  • Theater
  • Drama
  • Midtown West

Broadway review by Adam Feldman

[Note: This is a review of the 2019 Broadway premiere of Slave Play. The production will return to Broadway for an eight-week encore run at the August Wilson Theatre on November, 2021, with Antoinette Crowe-Legacy taking over as Kaneisha.]

 23Jeremy O. Harris’s lacerating play, a sold-out succès de scandale Off Broadway last season, has now moved north to Broadway, and it feels wonderfully incongruous on the mostly staid Great White Way. Brash, smart and gleefully confrontational, this is the kind of show that starts arguments. It begins on a perverse antebellum plantation, but as it moves forward, in three very different acts that successively reframe what we have seen before them, it keeps you off balance; even afterward, you may feel staggered. As I wrote of its incarnation at New York Theatre Workshop, “Slave Play is funny, perceptive, probing and, at times, disturbingly sexy. It snaps like a whip, and its aim is often outward.” Whatever you think it is, it's almost certainly not what you think. (Click here to read the entire Off Broadway review.)

Director Robert O’Hara has reassembled the play’s original cast, with one exception: Joaquina Kalukango now plays the pivotal role of Kaneisha. The Broadway production is, perforce, a bit broader than the one at NYTW—especially in the bravura comedic performances of Annie McNamara, whose molestation of a four-poster bed is horny physical comedy for the ages, and James Cusati-Moyer, whose character throws a spectacular diva tantrum when asked to confront his own whiteness. For most of the night, in the four interracial relationships that Harris depicts, the nonblack characters dominate: They really, really want to make sure they’re being heard. But the final stretch belongs to Kaneisha, and Kalukango navigates it with openness and strength. Surprising and transgressive though it often is, Slave Play is not after shock for shock’s sake. What it administers, with thrilling success, is shock treatment. 

John Golden Theatre (Broadway). By Jeremy O. Harris. Directed by Robert O’Hara. With ensemble cast. Running time: 2hrs 5mins. No intermission. 

Follow Adam Feldman on Twitter: @FeldmanAdam
Follow Time Out Theater on Twitter: @TimeOutTheater
Keep up with the latest news and reviews on our Time Out Theater Facebook page
 

RECOMMENDED: An interview with Slave Play writer Jeremy O. Harris

 

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  • Art
  • Washington Heights

Get a rare glimpse of one of the major art forms of the Hispanic World from 1500 to 1800—polychrome sculpture. The Hispanic Museum & Library is hosting the first exhibit in New York to feature this kind of art in two decades. Over 20 sculptures, including major works by women artists such as Luisa Roldán and Andrea de Mena, show how the stylistic conventions of Spain were adapted in the New World. Among the works on view, visitors will see a monumental relief of the Resurrection attributed to Gil de Siloe, 16th-century reliquary busts by Juan de Juni and "St. Acisclus" by Pedro de Mena. A section of gilded figures will showcase sculptures from Latin America characterized by an impressive range of scale and emotion, including a 16th-century relief of Santiago Matamoros (St. James the moorslayer) from Mexico and the "Virgin of Quito" or "St. Michael" as well as Caspicara’s "Four Fates of Man." Expect to see works by El Greco, Velázquez, Goya, and Sorolla; sculpture by Pedro de Mena and Luisa Roldán; Latin American paintings and sculpture by Vázquez, Luis Juárez, López de Arteaga, Rodríguez Juárez, Caspicara, Campeche, and Arrieta.

  • Attractions
  • The Bronx

The Bronx Zoo’s sparkling seasonal celebration featuring animated lights and LED displays of animals from around the world is back this year. Expect the zoo to have close to 260 animal lanterns across five geographically representative lantern safaris from various corners of the world. This year are 79 new lanterns representing 30 new animal species, including an all-new walrus and guanacos! Not only that, but there will be a Forest of Color with 21 all-new larger-than-life lanterns representing toads, frogs, snails, sunbirds, turtles, moths, butterflies, and more. Entertainment will include holiday-themed music, ice carvings, costumed characters, stilt walkers, a holiday train, a wildlife theater, souvenirs and seasonal treats like hot chocolate and s’mores. 

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  • Things to do
  • Walks and tours
  • Greenwood

Learn about the lives of Green-Wood Cemetery’s permanent residents on this trek, which rotates among three routes (so check the schedule ahead of time if you’re set on seeing a specific tombstone). All tours include a look at the cemetery’s historic chapel and Battle Hill, where George Washington led the Continental Army in the Battle of Brooklyn in 1776.

  • Museums
  • Fashion and costume
  • Prospect Park

The Brooklyn Museum is giving The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute a run for its money this year with its high fashion exhibit featuring the House of Dior. The major exhibit — co-curated by Dior scholar Florence Müller of the Avenir Foundation Curator of Textile Art and Fashion at the Denver Art Museum — thoroughly explores the high fashion history of The House of Dior, which dates back to the turn of the 20th century, when the brand's namesake Christian Dior founded the label. The multi-gallery exhibit brings many of Dior's sources of inspiration to life, including flowers, nature, classical and contemporary art, featuring artwork from the Brooklyn Museum's collections. Objects on display will be primarily from the extensive Dior archives and some 200 haute couture garments as well as photographs, archival videos, sketches, vintage perfume elements, and accessories.

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Fall getaways from NYC

Woodstock, NY
Photograph: Shutterstock

Woodstock, NY

Though the name conjures a crowd splashed in tie-dye and the faint scent of marijuana, Woodstock isn’t actually where the 1969 festival was held. (That was in Bethel, about two hours away.) Even so, the town is a mix of retired hippies—a street there is named after the late great Band member Levon Helm—artists and city dwellers who feel the need to flee the metropolis on weekends. 

What to do:
A hiking trail on Overlook Mountain leads to the Instagram-worthy remnants of an unfinished luxury hotel and views of Echo Lake. The General Store of Catskill (356 Main St, Catskill; 518-653-9188, thegeneralstoreofcatskill.com) is another draw, located on the town’s historic Main Street and offering an array of locally-made bath, body and wellness products. Besides all the camping? If you’ve grown tired of that smoky campfire smell and yearn for a real table and chairs, pop into Oriole 9 (17 Tinker St; 845-OR9-5763, oriole9.com) in town. This local favorite is a café-cum-art-gallery that serves fantastic all-day breakfast and lunch. (Go for the curried coconut tofu hash.)

Where to stay: Stay at Woodstock Way, a comfortable and contemporary retreat near the center of town right next to the Tannery Brook Waterfall. Or, trade in four walls and a ceiling for something a little more portable. Tentrr.com is a campsite service available in Woodstock and elsewhere upstate. The idea is simple: Book a tent and arrive to a set-up campsite stocked with food and drink. It’s basically Airbnb for campers, touting fully-equipped campsites on private properties all across the Catskills. And don’t worry: Tentrr provides queen-size cots, because you’re too pretty to actually sleep on the ground.

Beacon, NY
Photograph: Bill Sforza

Beacon, NY

This quaint city in Dutchess County boasts exceptionally good eating, drinking and art scenes for its size.

What to do: Walk five minutes from the train station to Dia:Beacon, a modern art museum housed in a former Nabisco box factory. It houses the Dia Foundation’s permanent collection of works from the ‘60s on, including minimalist sculptures by Anne Truitt and Dan Flavin’s work with fluorescent lights. If you’d rather spend the day sampling some booze, Dennings Point Distillery on Main Street also offers tours and tastings of their bourbon, whiskey, gin and vodka every Friday and Saturday. Before you board the train back to the city, spend a few quiet minutes watching the sunset over the Hudson at Long Dock Park. On your way out, head to Storm King Art Center, a bucket-list site that has striking contemporary sculptures amid 500 acres of resplendent green, yellow and brown foliage. 

Where to stay: The Roundhouse, a 23-room hotel right on Fishkill Creek, is an old industrial mill building that has been preserved and reworked to include original windows, wood beams, original bricks, and other reclaimed materials found on the site. It boasts a modern American cuisine with views overlooking the creek and waterfall and airy bedrooms, including two penthouse suites with a round bathtub overlooking the water.

 

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Ithaca, NY
Photograph: Shutterstock

Ithaca, NY

Ithaca, on the southern tip of Cayuga Lake, is a college town through and through, but it's also got that rustic, upstate vibe and gorgeous fall foliage you're looking for with quaint Victorian homes to gaze at. It's a great getaway for those who want to go leaf-peeping and pumpkin picking but also want to check out the local town nightlife and its plethora of restaurants. The best part? It's near to some of New York's most incredible gorges and waterfalls. They don't say "Ithaca is gorges" for nothin'!

What to do:
 Grab breakfast at any one of its popular joints, from Ithaca Bakery to DeWitt Cafe, and head out for a day in the leaves at Robert S. Treman State Park nearby, which is home to Lucifer Falls and a Lord of the Rings-eque gorge you can hike into. And don't skip Taughannock Falls, which is 215 feet tall, and empties into its own gorge. When you're done communing with nature, make sure to go antique hunting at Found In Ithaca and Mimi's Attic, and hit up the Ithaca Farmers Market for homemade pies and apple cider doughnuts, hard cider from local cideries, fresh flowers and much more. And definitely have dinner at Mercato.

Where to stay:
The William Henry Miller Inn is located right in the heart of downtown Ithaca and within walking distance of as many as 50 restaurants. It's also an incredibly beautiful, historic building from 1878.

Lake Placid, NY
Photograph: Shutterstock

Lake Placid, NY

The beloved lake is just the beginning: This prime Adirondacks spot features shopping, hiking, swimming and one killer mountain. 

What to do: Beyond mountain biking and hiking, you can head to the lake for a vast array of watersports. The town of Lake Placid has a rich collection of art and shopping. 

Where to stay: The seven-acre, 131-unit Mirror Lake Inn (mirrorlakeinn.com) can't be beat. Every room looks over the lake, and the the cozy fireside accomodations (along with two restaurants and a spa) will keep you in your robe late into the day. 

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North Fork, LI
Photograph: Shutterstock

North Fork, LI

South Fork is so last season. Instead, skip it for Long Island’s North Fork this fall, where the bucolic coast is just warming up. Without traffic you can make it to this venerable stretch of farms and vineyards in a hour and a half. Bring your taste for Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio.

What to do:
Winery tour options abound here, so take your pick! Sample Merlot at One Woman Wines and Vineyards (5195 Old North Rd, Southold; 631-765-1200, onewomanwines.com), try Coffee Pot Cellars’ sauvignon blanc (31855 Main Rd, Cutchogue; 631-765-8929, coffeepotcellars.com), or sip on something bubbly at Sparkling Pointe (39750 Middle Rd, Southold; 631-765-0200, sparklingpointe.com). No judgment if you decide to hit up all three.

Where to stay:
North Fork is perfect for a day trip, but if you want to extend your stay, tap Arbor View House B&B (8900 Main Rd, East Marion; 631-477-8440, arborviewhouse.com), known for it’s plush garden and gourmet breakfast, as your relaxing home away from home.

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New Paltz, NY
Photograph: Courtesy Jim Smith

New Paltz, NY

If you’ve ever walked the six-mile perimeter of Central Park and felt wistful leaving the North Woods—which were designed to resemble a forest in the Adirondacks—then it might be worth heading to New Paltz, NY to tackle some serious hiking. A nature-filled weekend starts by booking a roundtrip ticket to Mohonk Mountain House via the Catskill Carriage, which is redefining the charter bus experience. During your trip, you are provided with every amenity you could possibly need. Wifi, outlets, snacks, candy and even homemade cookies? MTA, take notes. 

What to do: The best reason by far to visit Mohonk is to get outside and explore its extensive hiking trails, which are set in 2,200 acres of forests. One of the most popular hikes is a relatively easy trek up to Sky Top Tower, a stone structure that was built about 85 years ago in honor of one of the resort’s founders, and which offers fantastic views of the surrounding area. All of the hiking trails are well marked and maps are provided, offering hikers everything from a beginner path to some serious rock scrambles located along a network of paths situated on lakeside cliffs.

Where to stay: Situated at the top of the Shawangunk Ridge, Mohonk Mountain House (1000 Mountain Rest Rd; 845-765-3286, mohonk.comoverlooks the half-mile-long Lake Mohonk and is a National Historic Landmark that has been owned by the same family for almost 140 years. While staying at this 265-room Victorian castle with a full-service spa isn’t exactly roughing it, photos of long-gone relatives, fireplaces and the lack of TVs in each room add some rustic charm.

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Hudson, NY
Photograph: Courtesy Shannon Greer

Hudson, NY

This picture-perfect Hudson Valley town has all the charm of a rustic hamlet with the vibrant street life of a bustling downtown. You’re just a few miles from the Catskills, Berkshires and other popular vacation destinations, but you can have a full trip without leaving the quaint riverfront city at all.

What to do: Visit the one-of-a-kind Olana State Historic Site just outside the city and grab a meal at the LGBTQ-friendly Lil’ Deb’s Oasis.

Where to stay: There are a number of new hotels downtown Hudson that are worth looking into. Try The Wick, a boutique hotel with 55 guest rooms, or if you’re looking for a bit more of a nature experience, try the brand-new modern oasis Piaule Catskill. The Hudson Milliner Guesthouse is also a unique option with personality-filled guest rooms.

This Northeastern metropolis is just a short train ride away from NYC. Its cobblestone streets and quaint old townhomes make a perfect backdrop to a fall getaway with a heavy dose of historic Americana. (Though don’t worry, there’s a lot to do other than paying a visit to the liberty bell and the constitution center.)

What to do: After a trip to the must-hit Philadelphia Museum of Art, check out the recently relocated Barnes Foundation just a short walk. LGBTQ+ travelers should pay a visit to the gayborhood and art lovers can pop in galleries throughout Fishtown.

Where to stay: The gorgeous, recently opened Guild House Hotel provides luxuriously appointed rooms in a historic building just blocks from city hall. The “invisible operation” hotel also partners with women-owned businesses to provide food and amenities for rooms.

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Warwick, NY
Photograph: Richard Feliciano

Warwick, NY

A day at the orchard sounds nice, right? And just an hour and a half away from NYC? Even better.

What to do:
Warwick’s main attraction is Masker Fruit Farms (45 Ball Rd; 845-986-1058, maskers.com)—a 200-acre orchard open for apple picking seven days a week. Admission is free and and apples are roughly $30 per half bushel (about 20). Swing by the country store on your way out to pick up apple butter and a jug of cider.

Where to stay:
Warwick Valley Bed & Breakfast (24 Maple Ave; 845-987-7255, wvbedandbreakfast.com) kicks casually accommodations up a notch with on-call massage therapists and a vegetarian or vegan breakfast made at your request.

Saratoga Springs, NY
Photograph: Courtesy Daniel Cooper

Saratoga Springs, NY

Saratoga Springs has been a posh retreat from the big city for more than 200 years due to its natural mineral springs that spawned its name. The naturally carbonated wonders are some of the only ones in the country and attract throngs for their healing benefits, namely antacid properties to help upset stomachs and heartburn. But there’s plenty else to see and do in this upstate New York retreat in the fall, from apple picking and corn mazes to foliage hikes and autumnal farmers’ markets.

What to do: Zen out at Yaddo (312 Union Ave; 518-584-0746, yaddo.org), an artists’ hub that opened in 1900 and sits on a bucolic 400-acre estate. Its mission is to give artists the space to work without interruption. Today it’s a center for choreography, film, literature, music, painting, performance art, photography, sculpture and video installments, and aside from all the arty happenings, it’s worth a visit just for the pleasant walk around the gardens. You can experience more culture at The National Museum of Dance (99 S Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY; 518-584-2225, dancemuseum.org), at which you can view an ever-growing collection of photographs, videos, costumes, biographies and more artifacts that pay homage to the art of dance, of course. 

Where to stay: Right on bustling Broadway, Saratoga Arms (497 Broadway; 518-584-1775, saratogaarms.com) is a stone’s throw from boutique shops and restaurants. Breakfast is included daily at this country-style inn, where you can find wraparound porches, fireplaces and balconies. 

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The 50 best things to do in NYC

  • Attractions
  • Sightseeing
  • Midtown East

What is it? A heart-pounding immersive experience at Summit One Vanderbilt that sits atop the new 67-floor One Vanderbilt super-tall—a 1,401-foot-high—skyscraper.

Why go? It has a totally mirrored infinity room called "Air" that reflects the sky and city views over and over, making you feel like you're walking in the sky or on another plane of existence. Besides the absolutely breathtaking view of the city (where you can see all the major landmarks and bridges), is that it changes with the weather and time of day.

Don't miss: Two all-glass elevators called "Ascent" that travel up the outside of the building to 1,210 feet (and 120 feet off the observation deck, which is taller than Edge at Hudson Yards).

  • Comedy
  • Comedy

What is it? "Underground Overground Comedy," a comedy show that takes place in unexpected NYC shops and venues like a gym, a rooftop, a candy shop, a music studio and a barbershop in a train station.

Why go? Since it only lists shows on its Instagram and each show is pretty small, it feels exclusive when you're one of only a couple dozen being performed to.

 

 

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  • Restaurants
  • Midtown West

What is it? A hidden restaurant that serves exquisite sushi.

Why go? Two of its owners worked at NYC’s very top sushi restaurants before the pandemic, before finding this sparse space. When you’re good, you're going to shine in any setting, and these two are great. They’re serving their beautiful, meticulously sourced fish, sliced à la minute, to people ordering mostly take out and delivery. It’s like those stories you hear about retirees finding Warhols at a yard sales. 

  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Midtown West

What is it? A zingy Broadway musical that unites English dynastic history and modern pop music. On a mock concert stage, backed by an all-female band, the six wives of the 16th-century monarch Henry VIII air their grievances in song, and most of them have plenty to complain about.

Why go? In this self-described “histo-remix,” members of the long-suffering sextet spin their pain into bops; the queens sing their heads off and the audience loses its mind. 

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  • Things to do
  • Markets and fairs

What is it? Bryant Park comes alive with holiday festivities, ice skating and shopping and food.

Why go? Its 17,000-square-foot ice-skating rink is free to use and there will be year more than 170 kiosks to shop from for your holiday shopping list.

Don't miss: The Small Business Spotlight that gives four New York City-based minority-owned small businesses, with annual revenues of $1 million or less, an opportunity to showcase their products in a free booth at the Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park. And don't miss The Lodge by Prime Video, a covered, outdoor après-themed area where visitors can grab a festive cocktail, enjoy delicious food, watch the ice skaters or admire the tree.

  • Shopping
  • Shopping & Style

What is it? The Museum at FIT's "Ravishing: The Rose in Fashion," explores "how the rose has influenced the way we look, dress, feel, and fantasize" with over 130 rose-centric garments, accessories and more. 

Why go? You'll see luxurious, hand-woven and embroidered 18th-century silks, 1960s-era stilettos, 1980s Halston gowns, contemporary gender-neutral catwalk trends and more.

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  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Governors Island

What is it? Thanks to its strategic position in the middle of New York Harbor, Governors Island was a military outpost and off-limits to the public for 200 years. It finally opened to summer visitors in 2006. The verdant, 172-acre isle still retains a significant chunk of its military-era architecture, including Fort Jay, started in 1776, and Castle Williams, which was completed in 1812 and used as a prison. The 22-acre area containing the forts and historical officers’ residences is now a national landmark.

Why go? It's open year-round! The island is jointly run by the city, the state and the National Park Service, and it provides a peaceful setting for cycling (bring a bike on the ferry, or rent from Bike and Roll once there). The island hosts a program of events, such as concert series and art exhibitions (see website for schedule), and where else can you have a picnic directly across from the Statue of Liberty? 

  • Attractions
  • The Bronx

What is it? The Bronx Zoo’s sparkling seasonal celebration featuring animated lights and LED displays of animals from around the world is back this year.

Why go? There will be 260 animal lanterns across five geographically representative lantern safaris from various corners of the world. This year are 79 new lanterns representing 30 new animal species.

Don't miss: The all-new walrus and guanacos! Not only that, but there will be a Forest of Color with 21 all-new larger-than-life lanterns representing toads, frogs, snails, sunbirds, turtles, moths, butterflies, and more. Entertainment will include holiday-themed music, ice carvings, costumed characters, stilt walkers, a holiday train, a wildlife theater, souvenirs and seasonal treats like hot chocolate and s’mores. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Midtown West

What is it? Sushi Lab has expanded with a new intimate space with a 13-course omakase for $100 and laboratory touches across the experience.

Why go? The opening menu includes Wagyu beef, a tuna flight and a smokey miso soup presented in a beaker to pull the whole laboratory theme into focus. Sake, wine and beer are available, along with signature cocktails. The Mr. Chiri includes tequila, yuzu, red chili peppers and cilantro. The Morning Glory mixes gin, basil, grapefruit syrup and egg white. And the punny Pearfection is made with soju, pear puree, lemon juice and pea flower syrup.



  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

What is it? Both Miracle and their sibling concept Sippin' Santa, are partnering with bars to feature new drink menus this holiday season.

Why go? Miracle is adding a Brooklyn location, at the new Williamsburg bar Thief, which will pause its Friesling service and go full-on North Pole as it's festively transformed to Miracle on Union. East Village bar The Cabinet will be Miracle on 9th Street and Boilermaker will be Sippin' Santa. Expect to be swept into a whole new festive world with each bar decked out from floor to ceiling in holiday everything. 

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