NYC events in November 2018

Plan your month with the best NYC events in November 2018 including Thanksgiving festivities holiday markets and more
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2015
Photograph: Filip Wolak
By Jennifer Picht and Time Out New York contributors |
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Give thanks for our list of NYC events in November 2018, 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 2018

Featured NYC events in November 2018

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Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2014
Photograph: Filip Wolak
Things to do

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

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. 

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Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Things to do

Thanksgiving in NYC

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.

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Photograph: Teddy Wolff
Things to do

The Dyker Heights Christmas Lights

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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NYC Marathon Main
Things to do

The NYC Marathon

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.

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Tracy Morgan
Photograph: Paul Mobley
Comedy, Stand-up

The New York Comedy Festival

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.

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Radio City Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall
Credit: Photograph: MSG Entertainment
Things to do

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular

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.

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Photograph: Courtesy Picasa/Central Par
Things to do

Central Park Holiday Lighting

icon-location-pin Lenox Hill
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It just wouldn’t be the holidays if the city weren’t using up enough electricity in a month to power a small country for a decade. For more than 20 years, the Central Park Conservancy has been draping the Charles A. Dana Center in holiday lights and ringing in the season alongside a hot-cocoa-bearing Santa. Families can listen or open a songbook to join in with the Mistletones for some holiday carols. Ice carvers from Okamoto Studios will be carving a nutcracker and a polar bear on site and everyone can watch while they much on some cookies and cocoa.

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Photograph: Courtesy the American Museum Of Natural History
Things to do, Exhibitions

"Unseen Oceans"

icon-location-pin Upper West Side
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Check out models of biofluorescent marine animals, visit an immersive gallery with a 180-degree screen, learn about little underwater robots that scientists release in swarms to study ocean life, look at tiny organisms under a microscope and discover pretty much everything there is to know about plankton (it's actually pretty cool) in this exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History.

Music events in November 2018

Christine and the Queens
Photograph: Courtesy Jamie Morgan
Music, Pop

Christine and the Queens

icon-location-pin Williamsburg
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French singer Héloïse Letissier’s approach to futuristic synth-pop will be familiar to fans of Robyn and St. Vincent. Here, she brings her sophomore album, Chris (out September 21), a fully funked-out effort with exhausting choreography to boot.

8468782q, Mandatory Credit: Photo by Amy Harris/REX/Shutterstock (8468782q)George ClintonOkeechobee Music Festival, Day 2, Okeechobee, Florida, USA  - 04 Mar 2017
Photograph: Amy Harris/REX/Shutterstock
Music, Funk, soul and disco

George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic

icon-location-pin Midtown West
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George Clinton—the one and only Uncle Jam, the godfather of interplanetary funk—is on a farewell tour. As of 2019 he'll no longer be bringing the mothership to the masses (though the collective will still go on without him). A P-Funk show is always an hours-long exploration of funk past, presents, and future, and this should be no exception. Check in with the band's excellent new album Medicaid Fraud Dogg, if you have any doubts about the outfit's funky prowess.

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The Orb
Photograph: Courtesy the artist
Clubs, House, disco and techno

The Orb

icon-location-pin Bushwick
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The ambient house crew, which has been making sample-heavy, club-ready chill-out beats since the late ’80s, hasn’t lost a step since its acid-soaked heyday. The Orb continues its avant-electronic exploration this year with the appropriately titled No Sounds Are Out of Bounds.

Shannon and the Clams
Photograph: Courtesy Lily Chou/Wild About You Photogr
Music

Shannon and the Clams + Combo Chimbita + High Waisted

icon-location-pin Williamsburg
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The Oakland, CA, band’s shimmy-friendly, girl-group-gone-garage fare mixes all the sweet innocence of rockabilly with a sense of psychedelic weirdness and DIY punk ethos and energy. Here the crew visits Brooklyn behind its latest LP, Onion. (Be sure to check out singer Shannon Shaw's solo effort from last year, Shannon in Nashville, as well.)

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Fucked Up
Photograph: Courtesy John Londono
Music, Rock and indie

Fucked Up

icon-location-pin Bushwick
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Fucked Up has a remarkable knack for inciting indie-rock types to care about hardcore, probably because the Toronto outfit brings an operatic complexity to an often monochrome genre. The band returns to town to celebrate its latest ambitious album, Dose Your Dreams.

Yaeji
Photograph: Courtesy Lydo Le
Clubs, House, disco and techno

Yaeji

icon-location-pin Queens
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This local producer melds house and hip-hop elements into a distinctive mix that's indisputably alluring—her singles "Drink I'm Sippin On" and "Raingurl" have upwards of two-million plays at this point. However, the singer is not one to hoard the spotlight. Previous shows have featured her collaborating with a Korean restaurant to make curry for the crowds, in attempt to recreate the familial, communal atmosphere of gathering for a home-cooked meal. This should also feel like a family affair, as the show is bill as an intimate "in the round."

See more NYC concerts in November
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