By: Paul Joseph
The Big Apple is packed full of opportunities for autumn adventure. With the city’s notorious winter cold snap still a month or so away, and average temperatures hovering around the mid-40s or 50s, the weather should be no impediment to getting outdoors and experiencing the best New York has to offer – providing you wrap up warm – while indoor attractions are in rich supply too.
The absence of the usual tourist throngs is another reason why November is a great time to visit, not to mention the beautiful seasonal vistas that cast the city in an atmospheric, picture-postcard light. If you’re planning a November visit, here’s our pick of 7 of the best things to see and do while you’re here.
1.Book tickets for a Radio City Christmas Spectacular
Running from November through to January, this long-established New York holiday tradition sees locals and visitors alike flock to the iconic Radio City Music Hall for a carnival of lung-bursting singing, hip-twisting dancing, and family-friendly entertainment. Weekend programming has up to four shows a day, each one guaranteed to dazzle you with signature high kicks, precision choreography, and show-stopping numbers.
2.Take a stroll around Brooklyn Heights
The affluent, historic New York neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights has become hipster-central in recent times, yet has retained plenty of its distinctive character and charm. Dotted with elegant brownstones, landscaped walkways and a tree-lined promenade along the East River with unrivaled views of Manhattan, there are few better places to take a relaxed stroll on a crisp November day. You can find hotels in Brooklyn Heights here.
3. Soak up the stunning foliage in Central Park
Autumn in New York is incomparable when it comes to beautiful views of Central Park, so why not enjoy the stunning foliage, which peaks in early November, by heading to the iconic park? Some of the best spots include Conservatory Water, near the entrance at Fifth Avenue and 72nd Street, where you’ll find hawthorn trees covered in red berries, and the 38-acre Ramble in the middle of the park, home to a giant tupelo tree with its leaves that appear in various shades of red, yellow and purple throughout the season. You can even book private fall foliage tours led by experts in all things leafy.
4. Enjoy harvest season at a farmer’s market
The end of autumn represents harvest season in New York state, meaning a proliferation of cool-weather crops makes it an ideal time for lovers of fruit and veg to visit the city. The best place to head to pick up some of these seasonal treats is one of New York’s famous farmer’s markets. Here you’ll find everything needed for a healthy, farm-fresh meal and it’s also a great chance to teach kids about the value of food and how most of us are lucky to take it for granted in this day and age. Some of the best markets to head to include Union Square Greenmarket, Harvest Home Coney Island Market, and Chelsea Farmers Market
5. Laugh your socks off at the New York Comedy Festival
New York has always been home to a vibrant comedy scene and for five days in November, the city becomes the global epicenter of mirth. The high profile comedy festival attracts some of the best and most original comedians from New York, the US and beyond, with performances staged at locations across the city, from moody, atmospheric clubs to its grandest entertainment venues. For more New York events taking place in November, click here.
6. Attend Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Another time-honored holiday tradition, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on 23 November draws visitors from far and wide who come to take part in what is historically a time of thanks for the previous year’s harvest yield but is now marked with a musical outdoor extravaganza. Hosted by the famous Macy’s department store, it features eye-catching parades, huge balloons, and even the odd celebrity appearance, all helping make this an occasion no attendee will ever forget. Be sure to get there early to stake out a good spot in the crowd. Click here for all the info.
7. Pick up designer bargains at a New York sample sale
November is a huge month for sample sales in New York, with fantastic deals to be had on anything from vintage clothes to high-end designer labels such as Valentino, Armani, and Hugo Boss. We don’t want to over-excite you, but stores have been known to slash up to 90% off their usual prices at this time of year. If that’s done enough to pique your interest – and we suspect it has – a cursory glance online will provide a full breakdown of sample sales taking place across the city in November, and throughout the rest of the year.