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What to Do in New York City in November 2022

By Brittany Leitner & Ashley ArtusOct 24 2022

Once November hits, we only have eight more weeks until 2023. It’s hard to believe, isn’t it? Seems like only yesterday that we cheered from the stands of August’s US Open Tennis Championship, and checked a few boxes off our end-of-summer bucket list. No matter what you plan to do with the last two months of the year, one thing’s for sure: New York City never slows down. There are plenty of NYC November events that will keep you busy as the city transitions from fall to winter festivities. At Rockefeller Center, we have The Rink opening as well as the lighting of the Christmas Tree at the end of the month.

Whether your favorite pastime is being outside, listening to live music, or simply getting into the holiday spirit, there are numerous activities to choose from. Bonus points if you plan on spending Thanksgiving in the city. Because many locals ship out to other destinations to enjoy their holiday meal, some neighborhoods are met with peaceful silence the week of November 20.

Before your own holiday schedule fills up, you’ll want to pencil in some classic NYC fall activities. Maybe you’ve spent the last year training for all 26.2 miles of this month’s New York City Marathon. Or, perhaps cheering from the sidelines of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is more your speed. To help you decide how to spend this festive time of year, we’ve rounded up our picks for the five best events happening around New York City in November.

Wondering what’s going on at Rockefeller Center in November? Scroll through our upcoming events, and sign up for The Center Newsletter to get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Photo courtesy of Fotografiska New York

1. In Concert: Leonard Cohen Celebration at Fotografiska New York

November 2

Nothing kicks off the excitement of the holidays quite like dressing up to see a show in the city. This November, Grammy-nominated band leader JC Hopkins will lead his Micro Orchestra through Leonard Cohen’s body of work at Fotografiska New York. The celebratory evening is hosted in honor of David LaChapelle, whose first major North American solo exhibition Make Believe is currently on view at the renowned museum. Whether you're a fan of photography, live performance, or the great Leonard Cohen, it’s an event you won’t want to miss, featuring the melodic voices of astonishing vocalists and a wide-ranging ensemble of instruments. Grab your tickets here before they’re gone.

November 6

It’s that time of year for the most ambitious runners among us: The New York City Marathon is back on Sunday, November 6. Neighborhoods throughout NYC have been preparing all October for the rush of 33,000 runners to cross through the boroughs and over the finish line. It’s truly a community event for the whole city. If you’re not running the race, you can still get in on the fun by cheering on the athletes from the sidelines. Many parts of the city completely shut down for this event, so it’s quite the spectacle to see if you’ve never caught it before.

The Black Dress by Alex Katz, 1960; Photo by Jean Louis Mazieres

Showing October 21- February 20

For lovers of contemporary art, might we suggest a visit to the Guggenheim? American figurative artist Alex Katz’s exhibition Gathering is currently on view through February of next year. Located in the museum’s Frank Lloyd Wright rotunda and a Tower Gallery next door, the compilation shows the development of Katz’s work over a period of eight decades. From paintings to collages, the wide breadth of pieces highlights portraits, social scenes, and landscapes found throughout his home city NYC and coastal Maine. Visitors can experience this remarkable retrospective for themselves on Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday through Friday from 11am to 6pm, and Saturday from 11am to 8pm.

Courtesy of the New York Botanical Gardens

November 19 - January 16

The New York Botanical Gardens are magical all year-round, but they truly come alive during the holidays — decorated to the nines to evoke nostalgia, coziness, and cheer. For over 30 years, the gardens have honored the tradition of the Holiday Train Show, when artists come together to create NYC-themed holiday displays around over 25 G-scale model trains and trolleys. It’s like stepping into a New York City that’s reimagined with trains soaring above and throughout the high-rise landmarks and buildings you’ve grown to love. If you’re a NYBG patron or member, tickets are free. Otherwise, children under 2 are free, tickets for children ages 2 to 12 are $15, and adult tickets are $30. If you’re looking for something fun, festive, and family-friendly this month, stop by the garden for the show’s opening days in November.

November 24

Everyone remembers watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as a kid. Maybe you snuck away from kitchen duties to catch a glimpse of the show, or the whole family gathered around the TV to watch. Now, imagine seeing the iconic parade in person. This year will mark New York City’s 96th Thanksgiving Day Parade and spectators can find the 2.5-mile route here. While performers have yet to be announced, an incredible lineup of floats, balloons, and invigorating marching bands are all scheduled to make an appearance. If you can’t watch in person, you can, of course, live stream the event from home.

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