60+ Free Things to Do With Kids in NYC All November Long

girl standing in Central Park in NYC on fall day iStock

We searched every borough to bring you the complete list of family-friendly events and exhibits happening this month, and they have one key thing in common: they’re all free!

November might mean cooler temps and fewer outdoor activities, but that doesn’t mean the adventures have to stop. In this list, you’ll find dozens of free and low-cost events in November 2022 for families and kids throughout the five boroughs of NYC.

Join NYC as it transitions from fall into winter with beloved seasonal events and fun one-off activities: Visit the yearly winter markets, most of which are returning in November, see the lighting of the famous Rockefeller Christmas tree, celebrate Thanksgiving by giving to the community, and much more. Plus, check out fun and free events for kids and families in November that will educate, engage, and entertain everyone in the fam. And as always, discover all the museums in New York City that offer free admission to visitors, whether it’s all the time or on special days.


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Related: Fall Activities You Won’t Want to Miss in NYC

Free, Kid-Friendly Events around NYC in November

Bronx

Drag Story Hour for Neurodiverse Kids at Bronx Library Center
Nov. 5: Drag artists read to kids in an extra-special readalong designed specifically for kids with autism and other disabilities. The event aims to introduce kids to the idea of gender fluidity, and generally put on a fun and bright performance they’re sure to enjoy. Event details.

Bronx Night Market at Fordham Plaza
Nov. 26: Good food and a friendly atmosphere make an evening at the Bronx Night Market a fun experience for the whole family. Purchase noms from local food vendors, or check out the kid zone, educational booths on food and nutrition, and a Instagram Wall-O-Fame. Event details.

Free Soccer Sessions at Williamsbridge Oval
Throughout Nov.: Head to the game room at the WBO for free soccer sessions for kids. The sessions are beginner-friendly and teach everything from footwork, passing, and basic drills to teamwork and a positive attitude. Event details.

Brooklyn

Bulb Planting on West Street
Nov. 5: Help beautify the new Greenway at West Street and Greenpoint Avenue in this volunteer event. Plant bulbs next to the new trees and bring even more green to the street. All tools and gloves will be provided—just bring yourself, some water, and layers in case of a chill. Event details.

FAD Market Fall Pop-up at Empire Stores in DUMBO
Nov 5 and 6: Over 30 artists and small businesses make the FAD Market a great place to browse for unique gifts—after all, it’s almost time for the holidays! While you’re there, you can explore the parks under the bridge, go for a spin in Jane’s Carousel, or stick around in Empire Stores for lunch at Time Out Market’s 20+ food vendors. Event details.

Thursgiving Holiday Giving Event at the Brooklyn Navy Yard
Nov. 17: Give back to the community by bringing coats and clothes, and wrapped, unopened gifts for kids this holiday season. The donation event is a whole party, complete with a DJ, snacks, and raffles. The more gifts you bring, the more the community gets, but there are also prizes given out for donations, including a private tour of the Yard for families, groups, or businesses that donate 25 items. Event details.

Weekend Nature Exploration at Prospect Park
Sat. and Sun. throughout Nov.: The Audubon Center is leading kids on weekend adventures through the wild side of Prospect Park. Every weekend in November, stop by 10-12 to borrow a discovery pack—a backpack filled with tools like binoculars and nature activity ideas, 11-12 for live animal encounters, and 12-1 for a volunteer cleanup session. Event details.

BAM Kids 2022
Throughout Nov.: Foster a love for movies, music, and the arts at the annual BAM Kids festival. Join the Brooklyn Academy of Music for kids concerts and animations. Featured this year are the music and performance of Fyütch, and the whimsical animated movies “Joyful Adventures” and “Follow Your Dreams.” While the BAM kids festival isn’t completely free, most tickets are either pay as you wish or very affordable. Event details.

Manhattan

Jazz at One at Trinity Church
Nov. 1, 8, 15, and 22: Catch the final three jazz performances of the season at Trinity this month. Featuring performers The Coleman Hughes Sextet, Samara Joy, Theo Walentiny Trio, and Edmar Castañeda Quartet. Visit the space in person at 1 p.m., or watch for free online on the website. Event details.

Image from 2021 Mexico Week courtesy of Tishman Speyer and Rockefeller Center.

Mexico Week: Día De Muertos at Rockefeller Center
Leaving Nov. 2: Rockefeller comes alive with the colors and artwork of Mexican culture during Mexico Week for this year’s Day of the Dead. The event, which is leaving on November 2, will feature sculptures by Cesar Menchaca, including a huge jaguar and Quetzalcoatl, as well as some very well-dressed (and familiar!) skeletons. For more Day of the Dead fun, check out our list of Día De Muertos events in NYC this year. Event details.

Concert at One: ChamberQUEER at Trinity Church
Nov. 2: Part of their “Performances at One” series, this extra-special performance features ChamberQUEER. The artists will highlight queer figures from the history of classical music. As with their other performances, this one can be watched in person or online. Event details.

Image courtesy of  Chris Lee and Carnegie Hall.

Carnegie Hall Family Day: String Fling
Nov. 5:
Kids ages 3-10 are invited to get up close and personal with string instruments. Billed as a “musical adventure,” this hands-on event lets participants create a small performance, relax to peaceful music, jam along with an Afro-Brazilian capoeira band, learn about West African stringed instruments, and more. Event details.

The Rink at Rockefeller
Nov. 5:
The rink at Rockefeller is reopening on November 5, officially ringing in the winter season. While a spin on the rink isn’t free (tickets start at $11), watching the skaters on the ice is a cozy winter activity for the family. Explore the area—make sure to stop by the family-favorite Nintendo Store—or get a hot chocolate from La Maison du Chocolat and sit by the rink and people-watch. Event details.

Wellness in Harlem
Nov. 5: Sample free food at this party, held at La Placita (at 116th and Park). The event will feature music, giveaways, drinks, and free food from beloved restaurants and brands, including vegan donuts from Planet Back, a Caribbean version of Caesar Salad from  YAYB, and much more. Event details.

Breakaway Hoops Trial Class in Harlem
Nov. 5: Breakaway Hoops is offering a free trial class for kids ages 8-12. Get a sneak peek at what you can expect from the program, and have some fun with drills and fundamental skill development. All participants must bring their own basketball. Event details.

Seaport Kids: Pumpkin Decorating and Pumpkin Arch
Nov. 5 and 6: Drop in and decorate some pumpkins for Thanksgiving. Led by Private Picassos, this free crafty workshop will have foam pumpkins, markers, and plenty of pom-poms for kids to get creative with their pumpkin creations. While you’re there, check out the Pumpkin Arch on Pier 17, which is leaving on November 7, for a seasonal photo-op. Event details.

Sensory-friendly Mornings and Evenings at the Intrepid
Nov. 5 and Nov. 18: The Intrepid is opening its doors early for young kids on November 5, and closing them late for teens and adults on November 18. These special openings are designed specifically with people with autism in mind, and feature sensory-friendly activities led by experts. This month, the children’s program will introduce them to airplane design, while the teen and adult program will focus on the museums’ exhibit, “Women Astronauts of the Space Shuttle Era.” Event details.

Garden Volunteer Session at Jefferson Garden and Mad Fun Farm
Nov. 5 and 19: Join other volunteers from Concrete Safaris in making the gardens and parks around the city even more beautiful. Activities vary, but some things you may find yourself partaking in include weeding, planting flowers, fruits, herbs, or veggies, shoveling topsoil, spreading mulch, picking up trash, and more. Event details.

Closing Day at Hester Street Fair
Nov. 6: Hester Street Fair is leaving until next year, and they’re going out in style: with a shopping party! The event will have a live DJ, and will be your last chance to check out local vendors, delicious food, and more fair fun. Event details.

Silent Clowns Film Series: Charlie Chaplin at NYPL  for the Performing Arts
Nov. 12: The New York Public Library pays tribute to the great star, Charlie Chaplin. Catch a screening of Chaplin’s movies from 1915, with a live piano accompaniment by Ben Model from MoMA and an intro and Q&A by film historians Model and Steve Massa. This event is free, but seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis so show up early if you want to sit. Event details.

ConEd Family Day at the Morris-Jumel Mansion
Nov. 12: Visit Manhattan’s oldest house-turned-museum for their monthly family day. This month, visitors will make their own colorful suncatcher ornaments. Note that masks are still required for attendees ages 2 and over. Event details.

Renegade Craft Fair at Chelsea
Nov. 12-13: Shop for unique items made by passionate small business owners and artisans at the Renegade Craft Fair. Event details.

Adventures from The Shed at 14th Street Y
Nov. 12 and 19: Kids 2-5 years old are invited to Liondown’s Birthday—but first, they’ll need to help Mary-Jo and her friends come up with a present for him in time for the party. This puppet adventures feature singing, dancing, and storytelling that’ll have kids singing along and participating in the experience. Event details.

Poster Kids: Junior Fashionistas at the Poster House
Nov. 13: The Poster Kids is taking on Air-India’s Maharaja mascot, and this time the focus is his wonderful fashion sense. Kids ages 5-11 are invited to learn about the Maharaja’s style, and make their own art that they can wear using recycled textiles. Event details.

Architecture for Animals at The Skyscraper Museum
Nov. 19: The city might be home to humans, but it’s also home for many animals. In this family program from The Skyscraper Museum, participants will learn about architecture in the animal world, like beehives, dens, and bird nests. Then, kids will design an apartment with one animal’s needs in mind. This program is recommended for ages 4-8 and RSVP is required. Event details.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade
Nov. 24: Whether you plan on attending or you prefer to watch it from the comfort of your own home, no list of free events in NYC in November would be complete without the world-renown Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Joining the lineup for the first time this year will be the Baby Shark family (don’t get the song stuck in your head!), Bluey the dog, and Geoffrey the Giraffe, in celebration of the return of Toys”R”Us in Macy’s stores. Plus, walk by the area in the days leading up to the parade to see the floats being inflated. Event details.

Eldridge Arts & Learning: Stained Glass at the Museum At Eldridge Street
Nov. 27: Learn about the beautiful stained glass windows at the museum, as well as the history and purpose of stained glass windows. Then, make your own design for a window by creating a collage. This event is free for holders of a Cool Culture Pass or a SNAP benefits card. Event details.

Tree Lighting at the Rockefeller Center
Nov. 30: The spectacular Christmas Tree is making a comeback to Rockefeller Center Plaza. Standing at close to 100 feet tall and topped by a nine-foot Swarovski Star, the lighting of the tree is a huge event every year. Visit to watch over 50,000 lights light up in a spectacular display. Event details.

Canstruction NY at Brookfield Place
Nov. tbd: The annual Canstruction exhibit is coming back to Brookfield Place this year. The event features spectacular structures made from cans, as well as a chance for visitors to donate canned goods for charity. Stay tuned to the website for dates and more details as they become available. Event details.

Queens

Making Music With Friends at Church in the Gardens
Nov. 19: Learn how friends make music together and join in the fun with this 45-minute interactive concert for kids. Kids of all ages are invited to hear chamber music and engage with the performers. If you want to attend the paid concert after this event, you can present your free ticket to get 50% off the ticket price. Event details.

Hands on History: Queens Hip-Hop at King Manor
Nov. 19: Celebrate national Hip-Hop Month at this month’s free family day at King Manor. Learn about some key 90s rap and hip-hop legends, with a special emphasis on those who come from Queens. Then, make your own trading cards and microphone for your future performances. Event details.

Staten Island

Weekend Wonders: Red Storm Drum and Dance Troupe at the SI Children’s Museum
Nov. 5: To celebrate Native American Heritage Month, the Staten Island Children’s Museum will be hosting a performance by the Red Storm Drum and Dance Troupe. Watch the Troupe share their heritage through music, dance, and storytelling meant for all ages. Event details.

Buckets for Blue: Volunteer Cleanup
Sat. and Sun. throughout Nov.: Help clean part of the Raritan Bay’s shoreline by collecting the trash and plastics that litter the shore. Visitors can borrow buckets and grabbers from the park’s visitor’s center. Event details.

Toddler Time at Clay Pit Ponds

Tues. throughout Nov.: Bring your toddler (ages 0-4 are best suited for this activity) to the nature center at Clay Pit Ponds for a morning of fun and exploration. The The day begins indoors, as kids explore a different nature theme each week. Then, if the weather’s nice, the group moves outside for a short hike. Event details.

Various and Other Locations

Pumpkin Smash Events
Do you have leftover pumpkins from Halloween? Bring them to a pumpkin smash! This is chance to destroy your old pumpkins before they go bad in a fun way, but also recycle them for fertilizing! Check out all the places that are hosting pumpkin smash events.

Libraries Around the City
Throughout Nov.: Libraries all around the boroughs have something going on basically every day! Stop by your local library and enjoy their free programming. There’s something for everyone, from baby singalongs and toddler craft times to teen tech time, and more.

A few highlights for November include the Children’s Film Series at the NYPL for the Performing Arts on Nov. 10, where you can watch a classic children’s movie on a 16mm projector, and the Solar Race Cars workshop at Allerton Library, where kids will build their own solar-powered vehicles, then race them against each other (if there’s time):

Brooklyn Public Library
Queens Public Library
New York Public Library (also includes the Bronx and Staten Island)

Holiday Markets Opening in NYC in November

November might bring in the cold, but it’ll also bring in the welcoming warmth of the city’s holiday markets. These holidays feature vendors from the city and beyond as well as delicious and comforting food. Check out these seasonal markets arriving in NYC for the winter this month:

Bank of America Winter Village: Opened Oct. 28

The Grand Central Holiday Fair: Nov. 14

Union Square Holiday Market: Opening Nov. 17

Columbus Circle Holiday Market: Nov. 28

Brooklyn Borough Hall: Nov. 28

Free Art Exhibits around NYC in November

Opening:

None this month

Ending:

Seeds (Manhattan)
Leaving Nov. 1: Just one final day in November to see this massive roots transformed into a seed sculpture by artist Jaime Miranda-Bambaren. You can view this statement on humanity encroaching on nature at Thomas Paine Park.

The Great Debate (Manhattan)
Leaving Nov. 13: Standing at 16 feet tall, this fiberglass sculpture depicts artist Hebru Brantley’s character, Flyboy. The character is a take on the superhero genre by the artist, who drew inspiration from the Tuskegee Airmen—WWII’s first African-American military pilots—to create his vision of what a black superhero might look like. Flyboy stands proudly at The Battery.

The Giving Tree (Queens)
Leaving Nov. 23: The colorful Giving Tree by Haksul Lee, located at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, is more than just an art piece: It’s a functional piece of architecture. The installation uses wind power to generate electricity, which has powered some of the lights in the park and allowed visitors to charge their devices. It’s departing from the park in November, but hopefully its message stays on.

Going Back to The Meadows (Queens)
Leaving Nov. 23: This tribute to Queens native LL Cool J by Sherwin Banfield is fun and functional, as well: The speakers are solar powered. Visit the piece before it leaves at Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Faces of Harlem (Manhattan)
Leaving Nov. 30: This community-centric outdoor photo wall in Morningside Park takes a look at Harlem residents private indoor spaces, highlighting the themes of connections and isolation. There are over 100 photos to look at, taken by 10 modern artists as well as three youth photographers.

Good Neighbors (Manhattan)
Leaving Nov. 30: This photo wall commemorates community members from around the Anibal Aviles Playground, by displaying their images along with short interviews. Created by J Maya Luz, this installation shares a wall in the playground with a number of other artworks, inclkuding a memorial for the park’s namesake.

Related: Fall Day Trips from NYC That You Still Have Time to Take

Free Museums and Park Events in NYC in November

Bronx

The Bronx Museum of the Arts
Located a stone’s throw away from Yankee Stadium, this museum displays modern art with a focus on urban experiences and culture. Explore what it means to be a part of the NYC community, and specifically the demographic in the museum’s neighborhood.

The museum is always free, and has a permanent collection as well as rotating special exhibits.

1040 Grand Concourse
Concourse Village
Online: bronxmuseum.org

Wave Hill
This gorgeous garden has 28 acres of carefully cultivated plants, flowers and woodland. Take a stroll through the indoor Alpine House, stop for a photo-op of the Hudson River and the Palisades at the Pergola, or sit and relax by the Aquatic and Monocot Gardens. The space frequently hosts family-friendly programs so be sure to check their calendar before you head out.

Wave Hill offers free admission on Thursdays.

4900 Independence Ave.
Riverdale
Online: wavehill.org

New York Botanical Garden
With over 250 acres to see, the New York Botanical Garden can definitely be a whole-day affair. The Garden is open rain or shine, and has a mix of indoor and outdoor gardens to explore. See seasonal flowers and native plants, a peaceful rock garden, an entire forest, and much more. The Garden also conducts research, hosts family and child-oriented events, and has online seminars — including one where experts will answer your questions about why your potted plant is looking a little droopy.

Free admission is available for NYC residents on Wednesdays.

2900 Southern Blvd.
Bronx
Online: nybg.org

Brooklyn

Brooklyn Children’s Museum
The Brooklyn Children’s Museum is like an educational playground for kids. Find exhibits created specifically for little ones to view and learn with, as well as many hands-on activities that teach through fun and play. Don’t miss the NEST, an organic playground located on the museum’s roof, the water-based play space, or the newly opened Jurassic Mini-golf.

The museum’s Amazon Free Hours grant free admission to all visitors on Thursdays from 2 to 5 p.m.

145 Brooklyn Ave.
Crown Heights
Online: brooklynkids.org

Manhattan

American Folk Art Museum
The American Folk Art Museum explores the joys of self-taught artists from the 1800s all the way through today. These artworks symbolize authentic American culture and experience through time and provide a snapshot of life in different time periods. Along with beautiful photographs and arts on canvas and board, the museum has some unique collections like weather-vanes. The museum has a number of coloring and activity pages that kids can enjoy from home, as well.

The American Folk Art Museum is always free.

2 Lincoln Square
Upper West Side
Online: folkartmuseum.org

National Museum of the American Indian
Part of the Smithsonian Institution family, this museum honors American Indians. It displays modern and classic art by people of American Indian heritage, and teaches visitors about their cultures and traditions. It also frequently has performances, educational programs, and more.

This museum is free year-round.

1 Bowling Green
Financial District
Online: americanindian.si.edu

The Skyscraper Museum
Look to the skies at the Skyscraper Museum where NYC’s iconic skyline is explored and celebrated. The museum’s exhibits look at the architecture of the city’s buildings, the literal rise of skyscrapers in NYC, and all other things related to the city’s buildings and their history. The museum also often hosts free family events both at the museum and in different locations around the city.

Admission to The Skyscraper Museum is free through December.

39 Battery Pl.
Financial District
Online: skyscraper.org

The Jewish Museum
View a celebration of Jewish culture, heritage and artwork at this museum. Exhibits highlight art and photography by Jewish artists, from modern artists working today to key historical figures who helped shape the way art and Jewish culture intersect. The museum also hosts free special events, from museum tours for people with memory loss, to art-making workshops for children and families.

The Jewish Museum is free on Saturdays.

1109 5th Ave at 92nd St.
Carnegie Hill
Online: thejewishmuseum.org

The Morgan Library and Museum
The Morgan Library, which was started by Pierpont Morgan and is now continuously growing, hosts a collection of rare and unique books. While the books in the library itself aren’t available for visitors to browse, you can marvel at the beauty of the library and visit the exhibits, which often show old books, newspaper clippings, and other historic artifacts.

Entry into the Library is free on Tuesdays and Sundays from 3 to 5 p.m., no reservation required. Free Friday programs take place every Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. and these do need a ticket, which are released for reservation a week in advance.

225 Madison Ave.
Midtown
Online: themorgan.org

Museum of Jewish Heritage
This museum examines the history of Jewish people, the hardships they’ve overcome, and the hope for a brighter present and future. The museum has exhibits that discuss the history of the Holocaust through artifacts and accounts of the time, as well as artwork and sculptures by Holocaust survivors.

You can visit this museum for free on Thursdays between 4 and 8 p.m. A ticket is required, which you can get by choosing the Thursday 4 p.m. slot on the museum website.

Edmond J. Safra Plaza
36 Battery Place
Financial District
Online: mjhnyc.org

Museum of Modern Art
The MoMA is an iconic institute, displaying modern artworks, sculptures, and media / performance pieces created from the 1880s and beyond. The art here will make you feel and think — and, although most exhibits aren’t interactive, the many bright and striking colors and interesting shapes make a great entry point for kids to talk about and explore art.

Thanks to a sponsorship by UNIQLO, the MoMA grants NYC residents free admission on the first Friday of every month, from 4 to 8 p.m.

11 West 53 St.
Midtown

Admission to the MoMA PS1 is always free to New Yorkers, thanks to The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation.

22-25 Jackson Ave.
Long Island City

Online: moma.org

9/11 Memorial Museum
This museum is a tribute to the lives lost in the September 11, 2001 (as well as the February 26, 1993) attacks on the World Trade Center. Visit to learn about the horrific event through media, personal narratives, and a collection of artifacts telling the many stories of that day.

Free admission is offered on Mondays from 3 to 5 p.m.

180 Greenwich St.
Financial District
Online: 911memorial.org

Children’s Museum of Manhattan
This museum encourages exploration and learning through hands-on exhibits. These often mix fun movement and bright colors with conversations about serious topics like women’s voting rights. Kids can also go on quests featuring their favorite characters like Dora, use their imagination by pretending to be superheroes, discover new cultures through interactive experiences, and much more. Exhibits change often, so stop by at various times of year to see what’s new.

The Children’s Museum of Manhattan is free to enter on Fridays from 5 to 8 p.m.

212 West 83rd St.
Upper West Side
Online: cmom.org

Queens

Queens County Farm Museum
Get away from the city for a farm visit! Meet and greet farm animals (and even get to pet some at the petting zoo), engage with the sensory wonders of the children’s garden, embark on a cute scavenger hunt for the smallest tots, and more. For a small fee, visitors can go on a hayride, and parents can browse the Farm Store for farm-fresh produce, eggs, teas, wool, and other goods created and harvested right on the farm.

The Farm Museum is free to enter every day, except on special ticketed days.

73-50 Little Neck Parkway
Bellrose Manor
Online: queensfarm.org

Socrates Sculpture Park
Founded in 1986, this park is a place where visitors can have a picnic among incredible sculptures. The artwork on display is always changing, so this is a place you’ll find yourself coming back to. Currently on viewing are sculptures like “Steel Bodies” by Maren Hassinger and “Broadway Billboard” by the park’s teen group, Socrateens.

The Socrates Sculpture Park is a public park and admission is free.

32-01 Vernon Blvd.
Long Island City
Online: socratessculpturepark.org

Staten Island

Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden
Snug Harbor is a must-see if you’ve never been. It’s a beautiful, sprawling grounds have a collection of gardens and plants, while special locations like the Chinese Scholar’s Garden and the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art have their own atmosphere (as well as hours and admission prices).

The Scholar’s Garden is free for Staten Island residents, and the main outdoor grounds and gardens are always free to the public from dawn to dusk.

1000 Richmond Terrace
Staten Island
Online: snug-harbor.org

 

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