Looking for fun things to do in Boston in November? 

Winter fun begins this month as the weather grows colder, the days become shorter, and holiday lights begin to sparkle all over the city.  

Weather this month can be changeable - so pack a warm jacket, a couple of sweaters to layer, and a warm scarf and gloves.  An umbrellas is also a good idea.

With fall foliage, ice skating, Thanksgiving, Veterans Day, and holiday shopping, you can take advantage of crisp fall days and cozy evenings, and perhaps even experience the first real snowfall before the month is over.

Need more suggestions about what to do in Boston in November?  Check the November Events Calendar.

11 Top Things to Do in Boston in November

1.  Enjoy the Last Bits of Gorgeous Fall Foliage

Fall foliage on Boston's Esplanade

Outside of the city, fall foliage is way beyond peak.  But fortunately for foliage lovers, Boston's somewhat warmer microclimate means you'll usually still find plenty of color within the city during the first couple of weeks during November - sometimes even longer. 

So stroll through some of Boston's parks and enjoy the last sight of crimson, gold, and even green while leaves still linger on the trees.  My recommendations: 

  • The Esplanade (shown above) - The contrast of golden and crimson leaves with blue water and sky can't be beat!
  • Boston Public Garden - Bring your camera and take spectacular photos of colorful leaves reflecting in the Lagoon; if your children are with you, bring a frisbee.
  • Back Bay Fens between the Back Bay and Fenway neighborhoods - You'll still find autumn blooms in the Rose Garden and the Victory Gardens, and this is also a top spot for Boston fall foliage.

2.  Be the First on the Ice at Frog Pond

Ice skating on Boston's Frog Pond

One of the coolest - literally - things to do in Boston in November is to go ice skating as the city's rinks reopen for the season while golden foliage lingers overhead. 

Boston Common's Frog Pond traditionally opens for skating mid-month (although please note - if the weather is too warm, the rink's opening will take place later in the month - or even early December)  and other rinks soon follow. 

If you're visiting Boston, don't worry about packing your skates - you can rent them at the rinks.    Details for ice skating in Boston

Hotels near the Ice Rink at Frog Pond

3.  Watch Exciting Action on the Ice ... Or on the Court ... Or on the Turf

TD Garden, where Boston Bruins and Boston Celtics play home games over Thanksgiving weekend

Get tickets for a Boston Bruins game at TD Garden and watch the real pros spin around the ice for an exciting evening.  Or take in a Celtics game and watch them dazzle you on the court.  Or head down to Gillette Stadium to see the Patriots play on their home turf.  Because for Boston sports fans, November is a fantastic month and with three teams playing, there's no such thing as a night off.

Use this discount code for savings on Bruins, Patriots, and Celtics tickets: 

Enter DISCOVERY10 to save 10% on TicketLiquidator & TicketNetwork tickets.  Good for purchases made through 12/31/24.

Boston Bruins TD Garden Schedule & Tickets for November

Boston Bruins schedule for November

Boston Bruins schedule for all months

New England Patriots Gillette Stadium Schedule & Tickets for November

New England Patriots schedule for all months

Boston Celtics TD Garden Schedule & Tickets for November

Boston Celtics schedule for November

Boston Celtics schedule for all months

4.    Explore the Freedom Trail

Crisp fall days of November are an ideal time to explore the red brick Freedom Trail, Boston's walk through history.  Pick a spot along the way to linger for a meal, such as historic Union Oyster House or the tempting Food Hall at Quincy Market / Faneuil Hall Marketplace. 

Or, buy something delicious at the Boston Public Market next to Haymarket, and take it over to the Greenway, where the plentiful tables make impromptu picnics a snap.

5.  Weather Not Great?  Head to the Aquarium or a Museum

Boston weather during November can sometimes be tricky - so in case of frigid temperatures, freezing rain, or unpleasantly strong wind, you always need a Plan B. 

Fortunately, Boston is filled with world-famous museums - so don't let bad weather ruin your plans for fun.  

Watch the seals frolic at the New England Aquarium, check out the fabulous Art of the Americas wing at the Museum of Fine Arts, or take in the current exhibits at Boston Institute of Contemporary Art and then sample some of the great dining along the South Boston Waterfront.

You can get free museum admission when you have a Boston discount card - a sweet deal!

Save BIG with Go Boston discount card
CityPASS Boston discount card at www.boston-discovery-guide.com

In addition to museums, these Boston discount passes also give you admission to lots of other Boston attractions, tours, cruises, and day trips - compare the savings!

Museum of Science Exhibits

Museum of Science Boston Exhibit
Museum of Science Butterfly Garden - Photo credit: Ted, cc by-sa 2.0

Special Exhibits

  • Changing Landscapes: An Immersive Journey - Visit 4 UNESCO World Heritage sites in this new immersive exhibit about adapting to climate change
  • Arctic Adventure: Exploring with Technology- Fly a virtual drone and become an Arctic explorer
  • Exploring AI Making the Invisible Visible: Discover how AI is already part of your life, and examine your choices about how and when you use it

With fascinating permanent exhibits for all ages, there's always something to see, do, and learn.  Here are just a few of the most popular: Engineering Design Workshop, Colossal Fossil: Triceratops Cliff, The Light House, Dinosaurs,Hall of Human Life, Animal Sculptures, Live Animal Care Center, a Rock Garden, Mathematica, New England Habitats, Garden Walk & Insect Zoo.

Where:   Boston's Museum of Science
When:   Daily, 9am-5pm; open until 9pm on Fridays
Admission:  $29 general museum admission ($24 for kids; children under 3 free; seniors 60+ $25).  Reserve your tickets, or get free museum admission when you have a GoBoston Discount card or CityPASS card. 

6.  Make Thanksgiving Dinner Reservations

Enjoy turkey dinner at a Boston restaurant

Celebrate this favorite American holiday the smart way - let someone else do the cooking! 

Boston restaurants put on gala feasts of traditional classics and contemporary favorites. 

Check out Thanksgiving Dinner options - and then make your reservations for a special holiday meal.

7.  Get a Head Start on your Holiday Shopping

If you enjoy shopping, one of the best things to do in Boston in November is to get a head start on finding just the right items for your holiday gift list.  Head to one of the convenient in-town Boston shopping malls, or check out our favorite spots for accomplishing 1-stop holiday shopping in Boston.

After Thanksgiving, stop by Boston's Winter Holiday Markets to shop for artisan products, holiday goodies, and more!

8. Get Theatre, Concert, or Comedy Show Tickets

November is a fantastic time to catch a show in Boston's Theatre District or a concert in one of the city's top music venues.  Toward the end of the month, you may even see special holiday performances on the schedule.  And don't forget comedy clubs!   Whether you prefer improv, open mike, or standup, you can find lots of choices at our top-notch comedy venues.

Enter DISCOVERY10 to save 10% on TicketLiquidator & TicketNetwork tickets.  Good for purchases made through 12/31/24.

Boston Theatre District Shows: 

Boston theater during November includes touring Broadway hit shows, kids shows, comedy, and toward the end of the month, holiday classics:

Find all November performances & shows

November Concerts in Boston: 

Top concerts in Boston in November 2024 include The Nutcracker Suite.  Get your tickets now:

More concerts for November

Boston Comedy Clubs:

Find November comedy shows in Boston

9.  Scoop Up Black Friday Travel Deals

Did you know that some of the best Black Friday deals on offer are for travel?  If you know where and when to look, you can find big savings on tours, flights, hotels, and tickets for shows, concerts, and sports events.  Here's our Black Friday deals roundup for travel to Boston - but of course you can use many of them for U.S. or international city. 

Best of all - you can get all these Black Friday deals online, so no need to fight crowds in the mall.

Planning a trip to Paris?  Find out about Black Friday deals for Paris travel on our sister website.

10.  Go for a Campus Tour at Harvard or MIT

Students are back in class, and with over 60 universities and colleges in Boston and nearby areas, campus tours are in full swing.  

In addition to traditional campus tours booked through each school, you can join one of the fun "unofficial" student-led tours at Harvard and MIT to get an insider's perspective of the campus and student life as your guide shows you the most important buildings, provides tips about the school's history and architecture, and gives you a glimpse behind the ivy-covered walls. 

Both schools are easy to get to:  just hop on the subway's Red Line and get off at Harvard Square or Kendall Square (MIT) in Cambridge. 

After your tour, you'll find plenty of casual spots to eat in both Harvard and Kendall Squares for a quick lunch and great people-watching.

Want suggestions?  In Harvard Square:  Felipe's Taqueria (21 Brattle Street), Saloniki Greek (24 Dunster Street), Flour Bakery (114 Mount Auburn Street).   In Kendall Square:  Shy Bird (390 Third Street), Cafe Luna (612 Main Street), Za Pizza (350 Third Street).

More Boston Tours

11.  Think Ahead to Colder Days ... and Book a Cruise

November's cool days and chilly nights are a not-so-subtle reminder of the colder months ahead. 

One of the most cheering things to do in Boston in November is to book a cruise from Bostonto warmer climes. 

Imagine island-hopping in the sunny Caribbean . . . floating down the Yangtze river amid spectacular scenery . . . lying on the famed pink sand beaches in Bermuda. 

Pre-planning in November leads to a very pleasant experience later in the winter!  And remember to check out Black Friday travel deals after Thanksgiving.

Questions & Answers about Visiting Boston in November

Visiting Boston in November - Travel Tips for a First-Time Boston Visitor
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