Winter fun begins this month as the weather grows colder, the days become shorter, and holiday lights start to sparkle all over the city.
So if you're wondering what to do in Boston in November, here are my recommendations for 10 fun activities that take advantage of crisp fall days, cozy evenings, and perhaps even the first real snowfall.
If you are planning a November visit to Boston, remember: weather this month can be changeable - so don't let the bright sunny days fool you. Pack a warm jacket, a couple of sweaters to layer, and a warm scarf and gloves.
Outside of the city, fall foliage is way beyond peak. But fortunately for foliage lovers, Boston's slightly warmer microclimate means that you'll usually still find plenty of color within the city during the 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:
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 opens for skating mid-month 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
Get tickets for a Boston Bruins game at TD Garden and watch the real pros spin around the ice for an exciting evening.
The Bruins usually have a couple of home games each week - and on nights when they're not playing in the Garden, the Boston Celtics may be.
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.
Boston is filled with world-famous museums. If you're visiting during November, plan a visit to see the new Art of the Americas wing at the Museum of Fine Arts, watch the seals frolic at the New England Aquarium, or spend the day exploring hands-on exhibits in the Museum of Science. You can even get free admission when you have a Boston discount card - a sweet deal!
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!
Celebrate this favorite American holiday the easy way - let someone else do the cooking! Boston restaurants put on gala feasts of traditional classics and contemporary favorites. Make reservations early in the month for a special Boston Thanksgiving meal.
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 my favorite spots for accomplishing 1-stop holiday shopping in Boston.
Boston theater productions and comedy clubs are in full swing by November. A popular Boston activity is having dinner in a Theatre District restaurant and then going to a show. For half-price theater and comedy club tickets, check Goldstar Events to see what's available - plus usually even more half-price tickets get released a week or 2 before showtime. This is the perfect way to spend a chilly Boston November evening!
Students are back in class, and with over 60 universities and colleges in Boston and nearby areas, campus tours are in full swing. One interesting choice is Harvard, which offers free student-led historical walking tours of the Cambridge campus. You'll see key campus buildings, hear stories about Colonial history and architecture, and get a glimpse of student life behind the ivy-covered walls. Call 617-495-1573 for the tour schedule.
Take the Red Line of the Boston subway to Harvard Square in Cambridge, and join your tour. Afterwards, enjoy lunch in a Harvard Square restaurant. Try Casablanca (40 Brattle Street) for sophisticated Mediterranean cuisine, student favorite Border Cafe (32 Church Street) for inexpensive Mexican and Cajun fare, or relaxed Grafton Street Pub (1230 Mass Ave) for a beer and burger.
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 Boston to 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!