Sweet November – not only a sensational Keanu Reeves rom-com, but also the time of year when New York is in its most lovely transition. The local’s summer is gradually fading away but the holiday season has not completely engulfed us just yet. It’s an unusually calm month that generally gifts us with a few free weekends and temperatures mild enough to still enjoy them.
While this past Sunday’s NYC Marathon is already behind us and today’s Dalai Lama speech at Beacon Theatre may be too late of a notice, there are still plenty of worthwhile activities to fill your precious weekend time with this month. Here are my top five:
1. Take a Fall Foliage Trip
This blog is generally about things to do in the city, but sometimes it’s just as important to venture out of it a bit, too. Find a friend with a car and propose a day trip out along the Palisades Parkway into the land of New Jersey (I promise, it’s not so bad) for some late-season pumpkin or apple picking. Then, spend the rest of the afternoon warming up amongst friends, making craft cocktails and baking homemade pies with your collected goodies. It’s fun, affordable and refreshing. If you’re looking for something a bit more upscale and want to avoid any potential run-in with traffic, opt for one of the city’s many Fall Foliage cruises along the Hudson River. Tours are usually three hours along the Hudson River and you’ll be surrounded by a mirage of heartwarming-colored leaves as you indulge in a long, lazy brunch. Sounds just about perfect, doesn’t it?
2. Attend the First Annual NY Festival of Light - Nov. 6,7,8
Head over to Brooklyn this weekend to cruise about the first annual New York Festival of Light. Taking place in DUMBO ( which stands for down-under-manhattan-bridge-overpass, for all you newbs) this 3-day series of light installations even comes complete with a la carte food trucks. Additionally, DJs will be spinning beneath the Brooklyn Bridge for the duration of each night’s festivities.
3. Check Out the New York Comedy Festival Nov 5-9
New York is known for many things, and comedy is one of them. On any given night in any given neighborhood, you can likely get a sneak peak at a hilarious up-and-comer or see A Great perform. Bottom line: this city, while constantly addressed as fast and serious, is never ever without its laughs. During the New York Comedy Festival, you can see over 200 comedians in 60 shows in a span of 4 days. Including Bill Cosby. Just sayin’. Click here for all details.
4. Volunteer… but not on Thanksgiving
Thoughts of November are generally synonymous with thoughts of Thanksgiving which ring out feelings of gratitude and an earnest sense of wanting to help. While this is wonderful, it’s also important to note that Thanksgiving itself happens to be the biggest volunteer day of the year. So, why not try another day? Or even, another “way”? Cleaning out your closet and donating older clothes (especially jackets and gloves at this time of year) is an easy and free way to lend a helping hand. Ramp it up a notch and request a clothing dropbox IN your building to make a lasting impact. I also encourage finding a volunteer position or opportunity that you really resonate with and making it a habit, even if it’s just once a season. Volunteer opportunities in New York are abundant. Carve out some time and pay it forward.
5. Wine a little bit – Nov. 8
Put on by Second Glass, the same masterminds behind Wine Riot, Night of Bubbles is a 1-day/1-night event taking place this Saturday at downtown revelry hotspot Webster Hall. You can taste up to 100 sparkling wines from around the world, including some from our very own Fingerlakes, New York region. Beyond the sparkling wine 101 classes and trusty food trucks is also a DJ spinning beats, a pop-up Champagne Bar and all-gold tattoo stations and Instagram booths. Who said bubbles were for the elite only?