Get ready to enjoy Boston Events for November 2018!
Soak up the last few weeks of gorgeous fall foliage in Boston while enjoying the Boston Comedy Festival, opening days of ice skating on Boston Common's Frog Pond, Black Friday sales, Veterans Day parades, and the season's first performances of The Nutcracker at our stunning Opera House.
Sports fans love Boston during November because we have three top teams to watch and cheer: the Celtics, the Bruins, and New England Patriots, with plenty of local games scheduled throughout the month.
By the second half of the month, you'll see holiday tree lighting ceremonies taking place all over the city, lighting up the night.
If your Boston plans put you here at the end of November, be sure to make restaurant reservations for a special Thanksgiving dinner.
Nutcracker performances begin on the Friday after Thanksgiving - so get your tickets now because the best seats go fast.
Attending a performance of The Nutcracker is a holiday tradition in Boston, and for good reason.
There's nothing more magical than watching Clara, the Sugar Plum Fairy, and all the other dancers twirl around the stage as Tchaikovsky's beautiful music soars, and then walking out of Boston's Opera House after the show ends and perhaps seeing snowflakes softly falling.
Ticket Discount Codes:
TicketLiquidator - Enter TLFALL to get $10 off orders of $250+ TicketNetwork - Enter TNTIX to get $10
off orders of $300+
Celebrate the holidays while relaxing and sightseeing on the elegant yacht Northern Lights, lavishly decorated for the holidays, on these special cruises around Boston Harbor:
Holiday Brunch Cruise - See historic sights and panoramic views around Boston Harbor as you enjoy this 2.5 hour narrated cruise including hot chocolate and brunch (Mimosas, Bloody Marys, and spiked hot chocolate available at the bar) - Find out more
Cocoa & Carols Holiday Cruise - Join in singing your favorite Christmas holiday songs led by Northern Lights' house band and singer from Berklee School of Music on this cozy 90 minute Harbor Cruise with drinks and snacks available for purchase at the yacht's Main Deck Bar. - Find out more
An Irish Christmas Carol Cruise - Get into the holiday spirit with Slainte, the Northern Lights' house Irish band. Raise your glass as you join in singing some merry Irish holiday ballads on this 90 minute Harbor cruise - Find out more
Holiday Sunset Cruise - As the ship's captain points out highlights of passing landmarks and soft music plays in the background, watch the ever-changing sunset colors as the sun sets behind Boston's city skyline on this relaxing 90 minute cruise around the Harbor. Find out more
Holiday Jazz Cruise - Relax to the sounds of the Benjamin Young Jazz Trio as they play jazzy Christmas tunes on this romantic evening cruise past iconic attractions along the Boston waterfront - Find out more
City Winery - Concert Venue with Onsite Winery & Restaurant
City Winery brings music, wine, and dining to Boston with an eclectic mix of renowned musicians.
City Winery is located on the first floor of 1 Canal Street near TD Garden and Faneuil Marketplace in Boston's West End neighborhood, and is the city's newest live music venue, with seating capacity for about 400. In addition to the music, you can enjoy a restaurant focused on local products and international flavors as well as the unique membership-based wine-making program and free wine events..
Schedules & Tickets:
Ticket Discount Codes:
TicketLiquidator - Enter TLFALL to get $10 off orders of $250+ TicketNetwork - Enter TNTIX to get $10
off orders of $300+
Fenway Park Tour - Get a behind-the-scenes look at the famous ballpark, and hear "insider" stories about famous players and more from the knowledgeable tour guides. Find out more
Hop On Hop Off Trolley - Explore at your own pace, get off and on the fun trolley as often as you'd like, and take advantage of the winter special, which gives you a second consecutive day on the trolley free, plus free admission to the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum. Find out more
Boston 1-Day Sightseeing Tour - You get to experience all the best historic sites of Boston, Cambridge, Lexington, and Concord during this special 1-day sightseeing tour - Paul Revere's route, Beacon Hill, the Boston Massacre Site, Lexington Battle Green, Harvard Square, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, and more! Find out more
Boston Wine Tasting & Walking Tour - During this small-group tour limited to only 12 people, you'll stroll around a historic Boston neighborhood and sample up to 6 different wines (paired with food) at up to 3 top venues, while your guide entertains you with infomration about wine and Boston's exciting restaurant scene. Find out more
A very special Christmas tree will arrive at Boston Common on Tuesday, November 20 - probably at about 11am. (Time and date are always subject to last-minute changes based on weather, travel time, etc. - Date and time to be confirmed for 2018)
Look for this special tree near the Visitors Information Center at 139 Tremont Street. By tradition, it is always the first tree on the Common to be lit, and is the star of the Boston Common Holiday Lighting Ceremony.
Although Boston fills up with displays of beautiful Christmas trees throughout November and December, this is most special tree of all because it symbolizes the close friendship between Nova Scotia and Boston.
Citizens of Nova Scotia send a huge, beautiful tree to the people of Boston every year in remembrance of Boston's help after a horrific explosion of a munitions ship in Halifax Harbor on December 6, 1917 killed almost 2,000 people and injured another 9,000. Within 24 hours of the disaster, a train loaded with supplies and emergency personnel from Boston arrived in Nova Scotia - the first outside help to reach the disaster scene, and the last to leave.
2018 marks the 101-year anniversary of this tragic event.
This special tree typically stands about 50 feet tall, and sports almost 7,000 multi-colored lights. The LED star at the top measures four feet in height, and is hoisted in place by a crane.
This year's tree comes from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and is a 53-foot white spruce donated by Bob and Marion Campbell from Blue Mills in Inverness Country.
Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremonies in Boston in November
Christmas tree lighting ceremonies in Boston during November and December signal the "official" start of the holiday season.
These festive occasions are fun to attend and the lights are spectacular!
Holiday Tree Lighting & Blink! at Faneuil Hall - 2018
Faneuil Hall Marketplace puts up its giant Christmas tree and turns on the lights for Blink! in late November each year.
Blink! features a spectacular new light show this year with over 350,000 (yes, that's a third of a MILLION) low-energy LED lights and recorded Boston Symphony Orchestra's Holiday Pops music.
Blink!'s 7-minute sound and light show takes place daily from 4:30pm-10 pm between November 28 and January 1. The Marketplace also features carolers, local musicians, dancers, bell ringers, touring Broadway show companies, and other performers throughout the holiday season.
Over 4,000 art fans, collectors, and shoppers attend the School of the Museum of Fine Arts' annual sale each year to snap up the fabulous creations by faculty, students, and alums. Thousands of paintings, photographs, prints, sculpture, new media, and more! Sales benefit the artists as well as student scholarships at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts.
When: Thursday through Saturday, November 15 - 17, 11am-7pm; and Sunday, Nov 18, 11am-5pm Where: School of the Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue Closest T station: Green Line E/Museum For more information: 617-369-3622 Admission: Free
Save Big $$$s on Boston Museums and More Top Attractions
Find out how a Boston Discount Card gives you free entrance to museums and lots of other attractions every day while your card is valid - plus you get to go straight to the head of the line.
Boston's Downtown Holiday Arts Market
Look for Boston's festive pop-up Downtown Holiday Arts Market in Downtown Crossing across from Macy's at 467 Washington Street - a 2-minute walk down Winter Street from Boston Common. A Santa or two as well as frequent musical performances make it easy to spot. Look for special creations such as one-of-a-kind jewelry, handcrafted gifts and decorative items, and delicious homemade and organic gourmet treats - plus plenty of Christmas trees on display.
Downtown Holiday Arts Market launches this year on November 23rd and remains open until January 6th. It's open 7 days/week from 11am to 7pm Monday through Saturday, and 11am - 5pm on Sundays.
Please Note: Boston's pop-up Winter Holiday Market and ice skating venue will not take place in 2018 due to ongoing construction on City Hall Plaza.
Ice Skating Begins at Frog Pond
Frog Pond in Boston Common opens for ice skating on November 13 at 10am, with free admission through 4pm (all other fees such as for skate rental apply). (Date and time to be confirmed for 2018)
Be sure to stop by the Lily Pad Cafe snack bar, overseen by the talented chefs from 75 Chestnut and Hampshire House, where you'll enjoy some of the best hot chocolate, Belgium waffles, and cookies in the city.
For more information or weather-related updates, call 617-635-2120.
Check out these attractive November specials at top Boston hotels. Click on Check Rates to find best rates - we also give you the hotel's phone number in case you need to call to get the package.
Suite Savings at the Bostonian (617-523-3600) - Save 25% off suite accommodations, a $25 food and beverage credit, and a VIP welcome amenity ; special terms may apply. Check reviews and book
Retail Therapy Shopping Package at the Colonnade (1-800-962-3030) - Just in time for holiday shopping - Includes discount booklet for over 500 stores in the Shops at Prudential Center and Copley Place Mall, overnight accommodations for 2, and overnight parking. Check rates and book
Pay rates equal to your birthday year at Boston Sheraton Hotel (886-716-8134) - Stay the first night at the regular rate starting at $199 and pay a 2nd and 3rd night rate equal to your birth year. Born in 1958? Pay $58 for those nights. Use promo code NBR when you book. Check reviews and book now
Black Friday - Shopping Bargains, Sales, Discounts!
When: Friday, November 23 - as early as midnight in some places In preparation: Take a nap right after Thanksgiving dinner, pack a turkey sandwich, start early, and keep your sense of humor!
If you're visiting Boston during the Thanksgiving holidays, indulge in "Black Friday" bargain-hunting - if you dare! The mad scramble to scoop up huge bargains is not for the faint of heart.
Where should you go? Try these Black Friday suggestions:
Two rival Veterans Day Parades marching through downtown Boston, even larger Veterans Day sales, a military history Harbor Island cruise to Fort Warren, and special restaurant deals for veterans are just a few of the special events happening in Boston on Veterans Day -
Boston Tuba Christmas Concert at Faneuil Hall - 2018
To enjoy one of Boston's most unique holiday concerts, head over to Faneuil Marketplace on Saturday, November 24 at 2pm, when 150-200 tuba players will delight the crowd when they perform their annual free holiday concert of Christmas classics. (Date and time to be confirmed for 2018)
Never heard almost 200 tubas in concert before? Then you should definitely attend - this is an awesome concert!
2 Easy Ways to Save BIG in Boston on Tours, Cruises, Admissions
Best way to save in Boston. Save up to 50% when you take a Boston Harbor cruise or Duck Boat tour, visit Plimouth Plantation, the New England Aquarium, Museum of Science, Prudential Skywalk Observatory, Museum of Fine Arts, Fenway Park Tour, and more. Compare to find out which one is best for you.
Holiday Decoration Displays in Boston
Festive holiday events take place throughout the last 3 weeks of November as dazzling holiday decorations get put into place, such as these giant golden balls, part of an expansive display in Prudential's South Garden.
In addition to Prudential Center, other good places in Boston to see Christmas decorations go up - or see the festive effects once they're in place include:
- Faneuil Hall Marketplace (be sure to check out the spectacular holiday tree and Blink!)
- Boston Common when the special Christmas tree arrives from Nova Scotia
- Christopher Columbus Park Trellis in the North End
- Macy's Holiday Tree Lighting on Summer Street in Downtown Crossing
- Charles Street in Beacon Hill
- Copley Square in Back Bay
- Boston Common, after the Holiday Lighting Ceremony
Plimouth Plantation Tours
Visit the site of the first Thanksgiving by making a day trip to where the Pilgrims first landed and settled back in 1620: Plymouth MA, just south of Boston, where you can see the Pilgrim Monument, go on board a reproduction of the Mayflower ship that brought the Pilgrims to the New World, and explore Plimouth Plantation, an amazingly authentic re-creation of the Pilgrim's first settlement where you can interact with actors playing the role of each of the 17th century settlers and members of the Wampanoag Nation who helped them survive.
Most convenient way to visit: Join this special Plimouth Plantation tour - you'll be picked up at your Boston hotel, and will get to visit Plimouth Plantation, Mayflower II, and explore the waterfront. Includes pick-up, transportation, admission.
Thanksgiving Parade and Celebration in Plymouth - 2018
One of the top Boston events in November is Thanksgiving, and to get a full flavor, head south of the city to Plymouth to join this huge 3-day Thanksgiving Celebration along the harbor and waterfront.
The centerpiece is the Thanksgiving Day Parade, kicking off at 11am on Saturday, November 17, and ranked #1 in the Nation by AOL. (Date and time to be confirmed for 2018)
The parade begins at the historic waterfront. Costumed reenactors playing the roles of Pilgrims bring this period in our history to life during a food festival, music festival, and entertainment.
What makes this parade special are the beautifully decorated floats, drum and bugle corps, vintage cars, and reenactments from all periods of American history, beginning with the Pilgrim era in the 17th century and continuing through the 21st.
Photo courtesy of USA Thanksgiving, the event planner
Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair - 2018
When: November 9-11, 2018 (Date to be confirmed for 2018) Where: Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston, Back Bay, Boston Closest T station: Green Line / Hynes For more information: 617-369-3204; website Entrance fee: $20 for Friday night preview; free on Saturday and Sunday
Whether you're a serious collector of old books, want to shop for a few holiday gifts, or just like to read, the huge Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair is a must-visit. With over 130 dealers from the U.S. and Europe, the fair attracts visitors from around the world. In addition to the rare, collectible, and antiquarian books on exhibit and for sale, you'll also find manuscripts, autographs, maps, atlases, modern first editions, and fine and decorative prints. Do you think you already own a treasure? Bring your own books, maps, and ephemera and get a free appraisal.
When: November 7-19 Where: Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, West Newton Cinema, Somerville Theatre, Museum of Fine Arts, Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline, and other theaters throughout the Greater Boston metro area Tickets: Most films are $16, with discounts for students, seniors, members, and groups More information: Website
Enjoy the best new international and American independent films exploring the Jewish experience and presenting films with themes about Jewish culture, heritage, and history. Traditional, experimental, documentaries, and animated formats.
Downtown Crossing Holiday Market
Holiday Market brings local crafts, original art and jewelry, and artisinal foods to Downtown Crossing. Look for appearances from Santa, singers and other entertainment, plus an excellent supply of Christmas trees and holiday decorations.
This free event usually takes place in Downtown Crossing across from Macy's (Summer Street, off Washington) from late November until Christmas. No official announcements about it yet for this year ... so stay tuned! More
Check out all our tips on how to find discounts, deals, and promo codes for Boston hotels. Whether you're looking for bargain accommodations or want to pay less for luxury, we'll show you How to Save on Hotels in Boston.