Give thanks for our list of NYC events in November 2019, which will help you make plans for things to do on Thanksgiving and the rest of the month. Our guide will help you find the best holiday events, including the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the inflation of Macy’s parade balloons 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 2019
Featured NYC events in November 2019
For its the 92nd year, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will usher in the holiday season with familiar sights like giant balloons, high-kicking Rockettes and Santa’s sleigh, plus celebrity appearances.
There are many types of apples (Honeycrisp, McIntosh, Granny Smith), but the best variation of everyone’s favorite autumnal fruit is clearly the fermented kind. And for seven glorious days, you can guzzle barrels of the good stuff at more than 30 bars and restaurants in NYC and indulge in free tastings, events and workshops at popular drinking dens.
Thanksgiving in NYC is tough. 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.
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).
All of the lights! This winter, there’s a brand new must-see experience to add to your usual holiday rotation, a massive immersive lights festival on Randalls Island called LuminoCity. LuminoCity Festival, which runs from November 23 to January 5, will be a holiday-obsessed folk's paradise. Picture 12-acres covered with glorious (and massive) LED art installations. While adventuring around the festival, you’ll want to have your camera ready for things like a giant glowing donut tunnel. You'll also be able to climb to the top of an illuminated castle in the sky and then glide back down via its tall slide. Magical Winter Lights If you’re a fan of the board game Candy Land or anything Willy Wonka-related, then the sweets forest in the festival is most definitely your scene. There you'll find both a 22-foot-tall technicolor tree and a candy mountain with a surrounding rainbow field of candies, covered in lights and set to change color. You can also expect to pass things like a glowing unicorn, a fluorescent mushroom forest and a rainforest with animal light sculptures on the grounds. Magical Winter Lights While on a lights break, you can snack on goodies from the festival's food stalls including fried ice cream, festive rainbow cookies and of course, hot wint
Are you excited for the Renegade Craft Fair? Once the cold weather sweeps in, Gotham transforms into a shopping bonanza where you can find great holiday markets chock-full of unique goods and delicious grub. New Yorkers should get psyched for the mother lode of craft fairs—Renegade Craft Fair—as it enters Manhattan in November. Only the most serious artists, tchotchke-making fiends and creative types are invited to gather and display their hand-made or bespoke goods at the Metropolitan Pavilion this season. And this bazaar is undoubtedly one of the most exciting NYC events in November, not to mention the best place to get your hands on the kitschiest and downright coolest garb, artwork and accessories just in time for the holidays. (It’s truly a “best in show” ordeal.) Check out loot from more than 200 vendors as well as live entertainment from DJs, DIY opportunities and perhaps some delicious summer drinks at this free and highly-anticipated event.
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 killer acts. NYC comedy fans are serious, so don’t wait to reserve your seats.
The Radio City Christmas Spectacular 2018 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.
Music events in November 2019
The goth-leaning singer-songwriter offers an improbable mix of scrappy outsider folk and black metal that has garnered substantial underground acclaim despite long odds. Despite what the title might imply, Wolfe aims her sights on the folk-ier end of those inspirations with her latest album, Birth of Violence.
On her captivating Warp Records debut Ultraviolet, composer Moran conjures alien timbres from prepared piano, which she weaves into gorgeous, kaleidoscopic sonic tapestries. Introduce yourself to her ethereal sound as she performs with Montreal composer Coverdale in a stately setting: a historical Brooklyn church complete with immersive architecturally mapped A/V projections.
This Connecticut ensemble plays textured, moody emo music that reaches moving peaks of post-rock heights—a unique poignancy derived from heart-on-the-sleeve lyrics and Odyssian song structures that occasionally match the band name for length.
The only certainty about Chazwick Bundick is his penchant for change—from his initial synth-swathed chillwave output, to the full-on smooth-funk goodness of Anything in Return, to the hip-hop-inspired club beats of his side project Les Sins. Here he plays behind Outer Peace, a new album that lands somewhere between pumping house beats and woozy Drake-style R&B.
Call us nitpickers if you must, but it's hard for us to think of this heavy metal institution the same way in light of guitarist Jeff Hanneman's tragic passing and the formal sacking of drum titan Dave Lombardo in recent years. That said, this is your last chance to catch Slayer's bone-chilling warp-speed thrash, as the band touches down in support of the last leg of its farewell tour, "The Last Campaign," alongside funk-metal freaks Primus. Since even the thirteenth studio album promised to be released before the oncoming disbandment looks to be dead in the water—slain, if you will—cue up 2015's Repentless, throw up the horns, and come out to say au revoir to the dark gods of metal.
Prolific singer-songwriter (Sandy) Alex G, formerly known simply as Alex G, has built a dedicated following over the past few years through a steady output of washed-out indie odes, gently demented psych musings and, most recently, twangy roots rock. The lead track "Gretel" off new release, House of Sugar, starts off with the Philly native's vocals pitched up into a disintegrated Chipmunk-register, all set over yearning strings—indicating that the new songs are sure to be every bit as grainy and touchingly earnest as 2017's excellent Rocket.
Fifty songs written on 50 instruments celebrating 50 years of life—what more would you expect from the guy whose musical project centers on taking mundane concepts to the extreme? In what feels like the spiritual successor to the monumental 69 Love Songs, Stephin Merritt's recent 50 Song Memoir is another vast conceptual collection of charming yet cuttingly sardonic diddies. Performers behind that project join him here alongside the full original band lineup to play music from across the past thirty years in addition to new material.
What hasn’t Clarke played over the course of his four-decade career? He’s proficient in mainstream jazz, of course, but he has also taken on chamber-scaled projects of genuine delicacy and electric fusion of arena-rock proportions. He turns up here with a combo that includes young drumming prodigy Mike Mitchell, whose furious chops never fail to inspire awe.
The ambling soundscapes from this local quintet traverse the sonic plains (and perhaps, mesas and oases) of the Southwest with an ambient bent. Pedal steel guitars, harmonica and mandolin all whirl together into a wistful, dreamlike haze that feels simultaneously universal and geographically specific. Here the band celebrates the release of High Line, the followup to last year's acclaimed debut. Also on the bill is Brooklyn composer Rachika S, whose live performances feature a spellbinding installation of neon lights and video projections.
As Wild Nothing, Jack Tatum has mined '80s sounds to create airy nostalgic indie pop that puts us in a daydream state of mind. He heads to Elsewhere to play tunes off his fourth album, Indigo, plus (we hope) his latest stand-alone single, "Blue Wings," which reminds us not to spiral out when self-doubt creeps in.