Give thanks for our NYC events in November 2016, which will help you make plans for things to do on Thanksgiving and the rest of the month. Use our guide to find the best holiday events, including the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (check out last year’s incredible photos from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade) and amazing holiday markets. But that’s not all! There’s also Veterans Day activities and the beloved Radio City Christmas Spectacular. And for those who just want to rock out, November has a ton of great concerts on deck, too.
RECOMMENDED: Full NYC events calendar for 2016
Featured NYC events in November 2016
Experience the colors of the season in the New York Botanical Garden’s Thain Family Forest, a 50-acre thicket that boasts sweet gums, whose star-shaped leaves turn red and purple as autumn progresses, and tulip trees and hickories that display vivid golden yellows. During this annual series, gratis guided tours will point out seasonal foliage and birds, as well as offer free canoe trips, courtesy of the Bronx River Alliance. While you’ll also see arborists demonstrating how to scale trunks, sign up in advance for a Recreational Tree Climbing class ($135, members $122) to try it yourself.
More than 40,000 marathoners hotfoot it (or puff, pant and stagger) through all five boroughs over a 26.2-mile course. Stake out a lively spot—we recommend along Fourth Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn; First Avenue between 60th and 96th Streets in Manhattan; or Central Park South near the finish line—to cheer on the passing throngs.
Comedy Central is shutting it down this year with a slate of household names in comedy performing and speaking throughout the city. See stand-up from the likes of Tracy Morgan, Bridget Everett and Dane Cook, catch the Daily Show’s Trevor Noah do an original set at the Beacon Theatre, and much more. NYC comedy fans are serious, so don’t wait to reserve your seats.
The Radio City Christmas Spectacular 2016 literally kicks off the holiday season in NYC. Since 1933, the tap dancers, flying Santa and of course the Rockettes have put on one of the city’s most classic Christmas spectacles. If The Nutcracker from New York City Ballet is too stuffy and doesn’t have enough camels onstage for you, this show is the one to see.
Thanksgiving in NYC is tough, pilgrim. It’s even tougher when you’re ill-prepared. If you’re staying in New York, there are plenty of ways to celebrate not being stuck in traffic or sitting on a runway. Gather some friends for dinner with a variety of Thanksgiving pies, make a reservation at restaurants serving Thanksgiving dinner or head to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. With everyone visiting relatives or in a tryptophan coma, the city is yours to enjoy.
Music events in November 2016
Along with their fellow U.K. denizens in the PC Music crew, Kero Kero Bonito exemplify a certain strain of giddy, hyper-digital pop that evokes a Tumblr page coming to life. With vocalist Sarah Perry rapping in both Japanese and English, their dizzying upcoming debut LP, Bonito Generation, plays like a cheerful update on Cibo Matto for an era of songs about selfies (like the band’s own “Picture This”). Perry brought out props including a stuffed crocodile during Kero Kero Bonito’s U.S. debut at SXSW last year, so while you might want to bring your dancing shoes, also keep those smartphones at the ready.
Neck-snapping Swedish extreme-metal juggernaut Meshuggah, which recently celebrated 25 years of "musical deviance," plays in support of its eighth full-length, The Violent Sleep of Reason. Unlike previous super-polished, post-processed albums, this release was recorded live, so expect the new songs' full-throttle energy to translate well to the stage. Support comes from one of the most acclaimed metal bands of the past decade-plus, High on Fire. There’s nothing particularly surprising about the trio’s meat-and-potatoes doom-thrash, but nevertheless, it remains a headbanger’s dream.
Canadian twins Tegan and Sara descend on the the Theater at MSG with their winning brand of indie pop—all layered vocals and tempered angst. The duo has skewed a bit more mainstream recently, but it's difficult to stay mad when we're having so much fun dancing to "Boyfriend."
Considered a one-hit wonder by some, thanks to its briefly inescapable 1992 jazz-rap smash, “Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat),” this trio’s commercially underperforming 1994 follow-up, Blowout Comb, has belatedly but deservedly become part of the canon of rap’s golden age.
A Thee Oh Sees show is a sure bet for anyone who likes their riffs big, bad, meaty and pogoworthy. The garage-rock group debuted a new four-member format, behind frontman John Dwyer, earlier last year and play behind their summer release, A Weird Exits. At the rate Dwyer churns out material, odds are good they have another in the hopper.
Mitski Miyawaki's come far since self-releasing her first two albums and playing DIY gigs—that much is obvious considering she's sold out this Webster Hall concert, Music Hall of Williamsburg, Bowery Ballroom and basically every single other show on her national tour months in advance. Her new collection of heartrending songs, Puberty 2, continues where 2014's breathtaking Bury Me at Makeout Creek left off: veering from her previous orchestral avant-pop leanings into dreamily yearning indie rock, a successful transformation that highlights her talents for complex, emotive melody and pointed lyricism.
Alt-jazz phenomenon the Bad Plus made its name—and earned itself a few haters—interpreting favorites by Blondie, Nirvana, Black Sabbath and other rock icons, alongside its striking, inventive postbop-gone-pop originals, the latest collection of which, It's Hard, features Johnny Cash's "I Walk the Line" and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' "Maps" among others.
Singer, songwriter, bandleader and label chief Conor Oberst (of Bright Eyes, Monsters of Folk and sundry others) plays a a special intimate gig at Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium. As usual, Oberst isn’t pushing any limits with his quavery-voiced indie folk, but he’s got that plainspoken-troubadour thing on lockdown.
Indie extraordinaire and Dinosaur Jr. frontman J Mascis augmented his trademark Jazzmaster-scuzz with acoustic Martin strumming on his last three solo records. While the combo works wonders, we miss the straightforward indie riffage characteristic of Dinosaur Jr’s early days. Fortunately, the band’s new album, Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not, features his pivotal crew in classic form.