10 Things to Do in Boston in November

The month of November in Boston is packed with an amazing array of activities and events as the fall season gives way to the holiday season.

Verónica Álvarez

Verónica Álvarez

11 min read

10 Things to Do in Boston in November

Boston | ©kmf164

Winter arrives in the city of Boston and its colors change. The white of the snow is joined by the colors of the American flag to celebrate Veterans Day and also hundreds of bright colors from the Christmas lights that begin to be seen throughout the city.

During November there are many things to see and do in Boston, from fairs and parades to tree lighting to Thanksgiving Day events.

1. Attend the Veteran's Day Parade

Veterans Day| ©Tim Pierce
Veterans Day| ©Tim Pierce

Get your flags ready and dress in red, white and blue to participate in Boston's annual Veterans Day Parade, which takes place on the date commemorating the anniversary of the historic signing of the Armistice Agreement on November 11, 1918, which ended the fighting during World War I.

The United States has been throughout its history fighting in different wars across the globe. The veterans who fought for their country in the different armed conflicts are highly respected by the vast majority of the country's population, regardless of political ideologies.

Veterans Day celebrations are not limited to the Veterans Parade Boston. Many events are organized annually around this date that you can attend, from traditional barbecues to evening parties.

Also special shows can be found in Boston honoring veterans. Every year the events change, so keep an eye out for official announcements about the activities that will take place in the city in November on the occasion of Veterans Day.

Practical information

  • Where: The parade takes place downtown, leaving from Charles Street. The rest of the activities are distributed in several different areas.
  • When: Most often takes place on one of the first Saturdays of the month.
  • Price: free

2. Be surprised at the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair

Hynes Convention Center, Boston| ©Ed Uthman
Hynes Convention Center, Boston| ©Ed Uthman

If you love books and antiques, this is definitely the event for you. The Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair is one of the largest rare book fairs in the country and the world.

The Book Fair hosts more than 120 booksellers from around the world who gather annually in November at the Hynes Convention Center, located in Boston's Back Bay, to showcase their latest acquisitions to collectors and make their sales.

This is a rare event, so if you happen to be in Boston during its run, take the opportunity to visit. You can view the details of the Boston Antiquarian Book Fair and plan your visit.

The calendar of events is made public around the month of September, you should keep an eye on the official website of the event to know all the details.

Practical information

  • Where: Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston St., Boston, MA
  • When: usually in the second week of November.

3. Attend a Boston Celtics game

Boston Celtics| ©Rene Schwietzke
Boston Celtics| ©Rene Schwietzke

One of the most important basketball teams in the country is based in Boston. The Boston Celtics are a team that brings together sports fans not only from Boston, but also from the rest of the United States and around the world.

The month of November is one of the best months to watch the Boston Celtics because the season is already underway, but usually it is not yet defined and the teams leave everything on the court to achieve the triumph.

Sports fans will want to catch a game of one of the greatest teams in NBA history. To get to see the team in action, you're going to have to book well in advance because tickets are flying.

Buy your Boston Celtics tickets

4. Experience something different: a Boston Christmas Tuba Concert

Christmas Tubas at Quincy Market| ©Mike Ball
Christmas Tubas at Quincy Market| ©Mike Ball

Some time ago if I was invited to go to a tuba concert I would have answered with a resounding "no", but after seeing the Boston Christmas Tuba Concert, I changed my mind about it.

The Boston Christmas Tuba Concert is a lively event that is sure to get you in the holiday spirit that is already starting to be felt all over the United States in November. You'll enjoy the enchanting sound of over 150 tubas as they serenade you with a selection of holiday classics.

This concert is held annually at Quincy Market. You can check dates and times for the Boston Christmas Tuba Concert and add this colorful event to your itinerary.

Practical Information

  • Where: Quincy Market. 4 S Market St,
  • When: at the end of the month.
  • Price: about $10

5. Attend the Christmas Tree Lighting in the City of Boston

Faneuil Hall Marketplace Tree| ©Masayuki (Yuki) Kawagish
Faneuil Hall Marketplace Tree| ©Masayuki (Yuki) Kawagish

After Thanksgiving, the United States begins to prepare its Christmas festivities and they really celebrate in a big way. IF you've traveled to Boston in the fall, you'll be able to enjoy the start of the holiday season.

Popular Christmas tree lighting ceremonies begin across the country, from small towns to megacities, everyone has a Christmas tree lighting ceremony. Boston is no exception.

The massive tree at Faneuil Hall Marketplace is the tallest decorated tree in the Northeast region and features more than 30,000 twinkling lights. The tree' s spectacular lights are illuminated during a traditional ceremony complete with live musical performances.

Dates and times for the tree lighting are made public in the fall, so be on the lookout as the holidays approach.

Check out the information about the Christmas lighting ceremony and list it among the things to do if you've traveled to Boston with children.

If you like this kind of event, you can't miss the annual Macy's Downtown Boston Christmas tree lighting either - there's plenty of fun to be had in addition to the tree lighting.

6. Go ice skating at one of Boston's ice skating rinks

Boston Common Frog Pond| ©Bill Damon
Boston Common Frog Pond| ©Bill Damon

Another winter activity that begins in November in Boston is ice skating. During the season , several temporary ice skating rinks are installed in addition to the permanent ones, to increase the offer to the fans of this winter sport.

One of the favorite ice skating spots for Bostonians is Frog Pond located in Boston Common, a rink equipped with its own ice making system.

One of the advantages of this place is that you don't need to have your own skates, as it offers skate and equipment rentals. After an evening of skating, there's nothing better to warm up than a hot chocolate at the Pond Cottage.

Price details

  • Ticket prices: from 5 euros per person approximately.
  • Skate rental price: adults from 10 euros and children from 5 euros approximately.
  • Skate sharpening: from about 8 euros.

7. Embark on a world of flavors, enjoy a gastronomic tour

Cooking| ©Rene Schwietzke
Cooking| ©Rene Schwietzke

A cosmopolitan city like Boston has a huge gastronomic offer to boast about. In Boston you can taste dishes from almost all over the world, from France to Thailand to Mexico or Brazil, the gastronomic styles of many regions are represented in Boston.

One of the activities you can do in November is a gastronomic tour of the city. Although you can do it throughout the year, I recommend doing it in November because the weather, which is becoming inhospitable, can alter your itinerary.

Doing a food tour of Boston is the perfect activity for a cold or rainy day, since you will be indoors most of the time.

At this time of the year, Boston's cosmopolitan culinary restaurants usually change the menu for more weather-appropriate options, offering more caloric dishes such as Cajun-style fried lobster tail, for example, or seasoned pork ribs.

There are a variety of food tours in Boston. Some offer a mix of gastronomy and history, others are more focused on pizzas, for example, others specialize in beers, in short, there is something for everyone's palate.

You can choose your favorite and don't worry if you gain a few extra pounds, the cold weather in Boston in November will help you burn off the extra calories.

Book a gastronomic tour of Boston

8. Tour the city of Boston on a trolley tour

Trolley, Boston| ©Yuki Shimazu
Trolley, Boston| ©Yuki Shimazu

It is true that Boston is a city that is best known on foot and does not justify renting a car, but during the first cold of winter that comes in the month of November, it is best to tour the city combining walking tours with other means of transportation to avoid being outdoors for so long.

I recommend taking a streetcar tour of the city. The tours last between 1 hour and a half to 2 hours, during which you can visit the main sites of the city, sitting comfortably and sheltered from the cold.

Another great advantage of these tours is that they have free stops, which gives greater flexibility to your ride and allows you to use it also as an alternative means of transportation. If you prefer, you also have at your disposal tour buses in Boston.

Book your Boston trolley tour

9. Vibrate like a local fan at a Red Sox game

Red Sox Stadium| ©Richard Eriksson
Red Sox Stadium| ©Richard Eriksson

If you are a sports lover, going to a Red Sox game in Boston in November is an excellent idea because the season will already be underway and the speculation is already underway forcing the players to work even harder to achieve the best results.

You will see baseball lovers crazy behind their team and supporting them in every game, for this reason it is difficult to get tickets if you don't buy them in advance.

When I was planning my first trip to Boston, I must admit that I was not very seduced by the idea of going to see a baseball game, I didn't understand the sport, after much insistence, my husband convinced me.

I bought the tickets to see the Red Sox and studied a little bit the rules of baseball. I went to the game without many expectations, but after a few minutes there, the energy of the Red Sox fans is so special that it infected me, now the team has one more fan from the other side of the ocean.

Buy your Red Sox ticket

10. Have fun at Plymouth Thanksgiving Day Parade

Plymouth Thanksgiving Day Parade| ©Larry Lamsa
Plymouth Thanksgiving Day Parade| ©Larry Lamsa

Thanksgiving is one of the times of the year when families gather to celebrate together. In addition to the classic family meals, different events are held to celebrate the day.

One of these special events is called America's Hometown Thanksgiving Parade, a parade that mobilizes thousands of people in the city of Plymouth, Massachusetts, near Boston.

The Plymouth Thanksgiving Parade is ranked as the best Thanksgiving parade in the United States by AOL.

You will see beautifully decorated floats, nationally recognized drum and bugle bands, historical reenactment groups from all periods of American history as well as military units during this complete parade.

How to get from Boston to Plymouth

  • Bus: it takes about an hour to get there and the price ranges between 10 and 17 euros approximately.
  • Train: it also takes about an hour and the price is around 11 euros.
  • Car: this is the best option, it only takes about 45 minutes and the price is much lower, as you will spend about 3 to 6 euros in fuel.

What is the weather and temperature like in Boston in November?

Boston| ©Chris Rycroft
Boston| ©Chris Rycroft

November weather in Boston is very cold. Daytime temperatures are around 8 degrees Celsius and can drop to 6 degrees Celsius at night. The average temperature is 7 degrees and can reach a maximum of 11 degrees and a minimum of three degrees.

As for rain, the month of November has historical rainfall with an average of 13 rainy days during the month. When you are preparing your trip, take into account the weather at the time to organize your itinerary.

You can check Boston weather data in real time when planning your activities.

Are there many tourists in Boston in November?

Tourists in Boston| ©Bart E
Tourists in Boston| ©Bart E

The number of tourists in Boston is lower during the month of November due to inclement weather. However, there is quite a bit of domestic tourism at certain times of the month such as the days before and after Thanksgiving when families gather.

You will find that for one-off events during the month of November there are quite a few crowds such as the Christmas lighting shows.

In the case of sports, no matter the weather or the cold, fans still attend the games, so don't get complacent and if you plan to go to a game, buy your ticket in advance.

Take advantage of Black Friday prices in November in Boston

Boston| ©Brandon Olafsson
Boston| ©Brandon Olafsson

One of the great things about traveling to the United States in November is that you can take advantage of the incredible Black Friday discounts and Boston has excellent stores in all areas to do your Christmas shopping.

You will save a lot if you travel to Boston in November because the sales are often extended a few days before and after Black Friday. Don't miss the opportunity to buy all your Christmas gifts at ridiculously low prices on almost every item.

Keep in mind that people go a little crazy that day, so go easy and don't try to get into the stores first. There are people queuing out in the open since the early hours of the morning, in the rain and cold to make sure they get in first and get the best discounts.

In addition to Black Friday there is Cyber Monday, where you can buy the latest technology also at clearance prices.

What you can't miss in your suitcase when you visit Boston in November

Preparing your luggage| ©Marissa Grootes
Preparing your luggage| ©Marissa Grootes

The most important thing in your suitcase is warm clothes and shoes. It gets quite cold in Boston in November and you should be prepared for it. You should also be prepared for rain.

But there is something you should keep in mind, you are going to be in Boston during the month when there are the biggest discounts in all stores. You have to take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

I recommend that you take your bags as empty as possible and take advantage of them to buy what you need in Boston. Many times it pays off if you travel to the United States in November, to pay for excess baggage or extra luggage on your return to your country.

Tips to be able to shop safely on Black Friday

Boston| ©Carlos Pacheco
Boston| ©Carlos Pacheco

When I tell you that people go crazy during Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States, I'm not exaggerating. So I recommend you follow these simple tips if you're going to take advantage of the November discounts in Boston: - Don't try to compete with the locals to get into any store first. There are people who wait for that day all year long and will do anything to get in first, they may even get aggressive.

  • Try to know the prices of the items you want to buy before Black Friday, many times the discounts are not such.
  • The deals are often unbelievable and you may be tempted to spend more than you can afford, control yourself.
  • Enjoy your shopping day and have fun, shopping on Black Friday in Boston or any city in the United States can be an adventure.