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What’s Happening in NYC in November

Don your best wool jacket and don’t let the dropping temperatures (or 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 an unmistakable, 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. 23 to Nov. 24

The city’s annual White Light Festival — now in its 10th year — starts at the end of October and continues until late November, offering guests a number of opportunities to experience the artworks that explore the theme of love and “divine devotion” at Lincoln Center. Highlights include U.S. production premieres — bunraku puppet theater and Shakespeare’s Richard III — and classics such as Tristan and Isolde. 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. In November, Stabat Mater (Nov. 7), The Manganiyar (Nov. 8) Unifying Voices (Nov. 13), Words and Music (Nov. 14), Gloria (Nov. 21) and The Abyssinian Mass (Nov. 22) are all followed by lounges.

Fall Forest Weekends — Nov. 2 to 43 and Nov. 9 to 10

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 tours, and there’s even an interactive chorus and soundscape designed by Angélica Negrón designed to give the trees of the forest their own unforgettable voice. At noon and 2 p.m. on Nov. 9 and 10, visitors can experience highlights from Shakespeare’s A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream. Just follow Puck to see every moment that afternoon.

New York City Marathon — Nov. 3

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. Rather not brave the blustery November weather to watch in person? See it from the comfort of your hotel room on the local station, WABC-TV, or stream it from the ABC app.

New York Comedy Festival — Nov. 4 to Nov. 10

Now in its 16th year, the New York Comedy Festival promises to deliver another round of side-splitting (and needed-more-than-ever) laughs. See the industry’s greatest talents (more than 200 comics) during more than 100 shows spread across the week at venues all around the city, including iconic clubs like Caroline’s on Broadway, Comedy Cellar and the New York Comedy Club in the East Village. In addition to promising new comedians, there are also headliners like Cara Connors, Bill Maher and Stephen Colbert on the schedule.

Movember Ball — Nov. 4


On November 4th, IGC Hospitality is hosting it’s fourth annual Movember Ball at The Wilson NYC. This is a meatball tasting competition between eleven restaurants; proceeds from the event go to the Movember Foundation. Restaurants include Woodpecker by David Burke, Trademark Taste + Grind, The Wilson, Boulton & Watt, Tavern on the Green, Greenpoint Fish & Lobster, The Elgin, Lupa Osteria Romana, Gemma and The Meatball Shop! If you like meatballs, boozing, and donating to a worthy cause, this event is for you!

The Other Art Fair — Nov. 7 to Nov. 10

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 biannual art fair celebrating emerging artists from around the world, including New York’s own Nell Breyer, Negar Jahanbakhsh and Greg Griffith. 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, and students and seniors can get discounted tickets.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade — Nov. 28


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 Alvin Ailey dancers, Big Apple Circus performers, nearly a dozen marching bands and plenty of balloons and floats. Along with the iconic Apatosaurus and a 46-foot-tall Elf on the Shelf, New Yorkers and travelers alike can watch out for Smokey Bear (joining the parade for the first time in more than a quarter century); Snoopy donning a spacesuit for the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing; and a downright presidential model of Mount Rushmore in float format.

Celebrating Thanksgiving with us? We’re excited to invite our guests to join us for our first-ever Thanksgiving Block Party happening from 9am-12pm. Kids will enjoy the entertainment of balloon animal-making, circus clowns, stilt walkers, face painting and more. While adults can sip a boozy hot chocolate and cider.

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