< Back to Refinery Hotel New York

What’s Happening in NYC in November

Don your best wool jacket and don’t let the late autumn winds deter you — November is one of the most exciting times to visit New York City. In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving and the holidays, the city takes on a special, festive magic, with decorated storefronts and seasonal festivities. The art scene is especially lively in November, with more than a few film festivals, an avant garde theater series at Lincoln Center and a comedy fest 15 years in the making. And here at Refinery, we’re hosting one of our favorite parties of the year! Whether you need a belly laugh or a breath of fresh air, consider these fun things to do in New York City during your November trip to the Big Apple.

White Light Festival — Oct. 16 to Nov. 18

The city’s annual White Light Festival, which started in mid-October, continues until Nov. 18, offering guests a number of opportunities to experience the artworks exploring this year’s theme of community at Lincoln Center. Highlights include dance premieres — Blak Whyte Gray and Borderline — and beloved theater classic Waiting for Godot. Opt for one of the select performances followed by the free White Light Lounge, where guests can mix with performers (and each other) while sipping a glass of wine. Framing Time (Nov. 2), The Distant Light (Nov. 13) The Creation (Nov. 15) and Only the Sound Remains (Nov. 17 and 18) are all followed by lounges.

Fall Forest Weekends — Nov. 3 to 4 and Nov. 10 to 11

Who says you have to leave the city to go leaf-peeping? Travelers can see the Northeast’s famous fall foliage during Fall Forest Weekends at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. Here, guests can enjoy the kaleidoscopic colors of the Thain Family Forest, the largest tract of old-growth forest remaining in the Big Apple. Your $28 ticket includes guided hikes and canoe trips (seriously!) down the Bronx River. There are even birds of prey demos for visitors interested in something more intense than hickory and sweet gum trees.

New York City Marathon — Nov. 4

Join the thousands of fans cheering on more than 50,000 racers in the New York City Marathon, which runs through every borough in the city. Starting in Staten Island, runners will pass through Brooklyn, Queens  and the Bronx before entering Manhattan, where they’ll head through Central Park before finishing near the park’s southwest corner.

New York Comedy Festival — Nov. 5 to Nov. 11

Now in its 15th year, the New York Comedy Festival promises to deliver another round of side-splitting (and much-needed) laughs. See the industry’s greatest talents during more than 100 shows spread across the week at venues all around the city, including iconic clubs like Caroline’s on Broadway and the New York Comedy Club in the East Village. In addition to promising new comedians, there are also headliners like Yvonne Orji, Tracy Morgan and Bill Burr on the schedule.

Movember Ball at Refinery — Nov. 6


For the third year in a row, Refinery is hosting our Movember Ball, raising money for men’s health issues. This year, Michael Chernow of Nolita hotspot Seamore’s is hosting our meatball competition, in which some of the city’s best restaurants are vying for the title of Manhattan’s best meatball. Sample (and vote on) meatballs from The Meatball Shop, Red Rooster, Tavern on the Green, and others while enjoying cocktails and epic views at Refinery  Rooftop. Grub Street staff writer Nikita Richardson and Gotham Burger Social Club founder Mike Puma will be on hand to announce their top picks as well.

The Other Art Fair — Nov. 8 to Nov. 11

Mike Perry's 2018 print photo courtesy of The Other Art Fair.

An excellent reason to cross the East River and visit Brooklyn, The Other Art Fair is a bi-annual art fair celebrating emerging artists from around the world, including New York’s own King Yan Fina Yeung, M. Clark and Alta Berri. The four-day affair is held in the jewel box-like Brooklyn Expo Center in bustling Greenpoint. Admire contemporary and cutting edge works in every imaginable medium and maybe even come home with a completely one-of-a-kind souvenir. General admission tickets start at $15 when purchased in advance. Photo of Mike Perry artwork courtesy of The Other Art Fair.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade — Nov. 22


Work up an appetite for your Thanksgiving feast by attending the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Join thousands of other spectators on Central Park West or Sixth Avenue to enjoy a morning of performances, including the Fred Astaire dance company, clowns, a dozen marching bands and stunning balloons and floats. Along with the iconic Charlie Brown blockhead balloon and the friendly Apatosaurus are Fleck, Bjorn, Jojo and Hugg — a quartet of Christmas elves representing Netflix’s new “The Christmas Chronicles” film.

Related Articles

Refinery New York Book A Room