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What’s Happening in New York in November 2019

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|by Mark Robinson |


From the start of the holiday season to new shows and more

November is here and the city is getting ready for the holidays. Lights and decorations are decking the city’s halls and the window displays are coming to life as Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s Day creep ever closer. New York City is always overflowing with ways to entertain yourself, but this time of year is particularly rife with possibilities. Here are some exciting suggestions for how to enjoy yourself in Manhattan this November:

It’s beginning to look a lot like the holidays around New York City this month (Photo: iStock)

It’s beginning to look a lot like the holidays around New York City this month (Photo: iStock)

Garment Center Insider Shopping Tour
Who doesn’t love to shop, especially with the holidays quickly approaching? Who wouldn’t like to shop with special access to fashion by designers that the general public doesn’t have access to? With the Garment Center Insider Shopping Tour, not only do you get a behind-the-scenes adventure through the private, by-appointment-only showrooms of New York’s fashion district, but you will also enjoy access to purchasing items by world-renowned designers at wholesale prices. Along the way, you will also learn about the exciting world of fashion and get a glimpse of the latest looks before they hit the runway. The Garment Center Inside Shopping Tour is a perfect outing for friends to share and tickets for the excursion (depending on the date) sell for as low as $59 a person.

Winter Village in Bryant Park
Starting November 1, Bryant Park will play host to a winter wonderland with the “Winter Village at Bryant Park.” 125 shopping kiosks establish the perfect outdoor mall where you can begin your shopping for the holidays. The park also provides the city’s only free admission skating rink, so bundle up and take the family for a glide across the ice. Feeling hungry or thirsty? No problem. Urbanspace is on hand with a bar and food hall called The Lodge, selling bites and beverages suited to this magical outdoor experience. Once you have eaten, climb to the second story of the skating pavilion to view the festivities from the Overlook observation deck. It all adds up to an enchanting day in the park. Winter Village in Bryant Park is presented by Bank of America.

National Geographic Encounter Ocean Odyssey
Who would have thought that one could stroll through waters of the Pacific Ocean amidst the hustle and bustle of time square? The National Geographic Encounter Ocean Odyssey takes visitors to fathoms below the surface with a hypnotically beautiful, thrillingly immersive experience that will both delight and educate. The 90-minute walkthrough exhibit features 60,000 square feet of projection screens, photo-real animation, holograms and interactive games that bring audiences face-to-face with humpback whales, sharks, squids and other curious creatures of the deep. Tickets for this one-of-a-kind experience start at $22 for children and $28 for adults.  

A Night at the Museum
We’ve all seen the movie of the same name set inside New York City’s legendary American Museum of Natural History. Now you can experience your own overnight stay in this historic institution, with A Night at the Museum. Spending a night with the lights off and flashlights in hand, guests wander the halls of the museum, exploring leisurely and at your own pace. From dinosaur exhibits to giant whales, there is so much to see. The experience is catered to kids ages 6 to 12 who must be accompanied by at least one adult. Cots are provided for those who might want to take a nap along the way, and a snack and light breakfast are served for those who can pry themselves away from the adventure long enough to eat. Tickets start at $123.

Catch a Broadway Show
With many new offerings such as Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, The Lighting Thief, Moulin Rouge! and Jagged Little Pill having just opened or poised to open this fall, catching a Broadway show is great holiday tradition for the family to enjoy together. Early November is a great time to get tickets (before the holiday rush) and there are many productions perfect for the whole family to enjoy, from Aladdin to Frozen, from Beetlejuice to Wicked. The exhilaration of experiencing great talent, vibrant music, startling spectacle and the magic of Broadway are how special, lasting memories are made.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
It has been an annual holiday tradition since 1924, when the world-famous department store began ushering in the Christmas shopping season with a big parade held on Thanksgiving. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which always concludes with the arrival of Santa Claus in Herald Square, features a bevy of floats, marching bands, balloons, entertainers, celebrities, holiday sparkle and an annual appearance by the Radio City Rockettes (stars of that other holiday must-see, the Radio City Christmas Spectacularsave over 30% on seats now). To view the parade, line up along its route that stretches from Central Park to 34th Street. It is a magical experience that everyone should have at least once in a lifetime.

Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals, The Disney Song Encyclopedia and The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. His latest book, Sitcommentary: The Television Comedies That Changed America, was released on Oct. 15. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.

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