slides: 28 Best November Events In New England: Fairs, Festivals + More
Saturday, November 02, 2013
Make this your go-to November list and get the most out of the sweep toward Thanksgiving, Hannukah, and Christmas. Most of all, enjoy the season!
28 Best November Events In New England
Get ready for Thanksgiving, Hannukah and Christmas with these hand-picked best holiday events in November.
Harvest Dinner in MA
Saturdays in November
Plimoth Plantation – Plymouth, Massachusetts
Step back into the year 1627 for an evening of entertainment and hospitality with the residents of the English Village. Sit down to a “groaning board” filled with the finest food that this season of plenty has to offer. Discover the table manners that traveled across the Atlantic with the “Pilgrims,” (remember not to wipe your mouth with the tablecloth!) and find out about what really happened at the harvest celebration of 1621. During dinner, you will be entertained with psalms and songs and perhaps you will be convinced to join in singing a round or two.
Brew Festival in ME
November 2-3, 2013
The Portland Expo – Portland, Maine
This festival celebrates the quality and community of Maine’s craft brewers and their tasty celebrated brews. Great food, door prizes, interesting vendors, and fantastic music round out the experience. On Friday evening the Brewers VIP Session will kick off the event, and the festival will begin on Saturday afternoon with two high-energy sessions. Festival attendees will receive a complimentary tasting glass (real glass!) with tickets to enjoy 12, 4-oz pours of Maine craft beer. You must be over 21 years of age to attend.
Historic Cooking in RI
November 2nd, 9th & 16th, 2013
Bristol, Rhode Island
Participants in this workshop will spend an evening at Coggeshall Farm Museum exploring what it meant to “eat local” in 1790s Rhode Island. Working from Amelia Simmons’ American Cookery, the first American cookbook, originally published in 1796, guests will prepare several receipts at the hearth using meat and produce raised on the farm before setting the parlor table in the fashion of 18th century New England. Space for this workshop is limited and is intended for ages 16 and up. Reservations are required. 4:00pm-7:00pm. $60.00 per person, $50.00 for museum members.
Crafts + More in NH
November 2-3, 2013
Experience the creativity and timeless traditions of New Hampshire during NH Open Doors when local artists, craftspeople, cultural organizations, retail shops, wineries, restaurants, lodging establishments and businesses will open their doors to the public, showcasing the best that New Hampshire has to offer. To help visitors plan their self-guided tour, the NH Open Doors website will feature an interactive map listing participants by region. Participants will be hosting special events, including craft demonstrations and workshops, hayrides, food samplings, special menus featuring local foods, musical performances, special lodging packages, and more.
Cider in MA
November 2-3, 2013
Sites throughout Franklin County, Massachusetts
CiderDays is a community event celebrating all things apples in Franklin County, Massachusetts. Come join the fun with two days of orchard tours, cidermaking and tastings, workshops and much more. This is for all who love apples, fresh or hard cider, apple cuisine, apple orchards or just being in New England in the fall. There is a charge for some of the activities but there is no admission for many of the activities at local orchards or for the workshops or Marketplace at the Shelburne Buckland Community Center in Shelburne
Gingerbread Houses in MA
November 8-10, 2013
Seaport World Trade Center – Boston, Massachusetts
This annual Christmas Festival features the distinctive work of over 300 master American craftsmen. Bargain hunters as well as those with extravagant tastes will find an endless array of gorgeous home accessories, designer fashions, artisan jewelry, handcrafted holiday décor, gourmet specialty foods and one-of-a-kind handcrafted gifts unavailable elsewhere. Don’t miss the popular Gingerbread House Competition, a crowd favorite showcasing the amazing talent of Boston’s top chefs. Go online for a discount coupon.
Fine Crafts in VT
November 13-29, 2013
Sheraton Conference Center – South Burlington, Vermont
This premier, once-a-year show features the high quality work of Vermont artisans, members of the state’s oldest and largest juried crafts organization.
Gourmet Week in NH
November – dates TBD
Portstmouth, New Hampshire
Restaurant Week Portsmouth and the Seacoast is a bi-annual culinary event which spotlights Greater Portsmouth as a culinary and cultural destination. Featuring special 3-course prix fixe menus: lunch $16.95 per person, dinner $29.95 per person (does not include taxes or gratuity) at participating restaurants throughout Portsmouth and the Seacoast. Wine & dine, shop & gallery hop, visit the theatre, and make it a getaway!
Lights + Music in MA
November 23 through December 31, 2013
Faneuil Hall Marketplace
BLINK!, featuring the programmed music of the Holiday Pops, is a fun new feature at Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Each night an LED light & sound production fills the marketplace with sounds and scenes of the holiday season. There will be 12 events each night starting at 4:00pm and running every half an hour through 10pm. Daily performances will launch on November 17th and run through New Year’s Eve. This event is free to the public.
Pilgrim Fun in MA
November 22-24, 2013
The 15th Annual America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration is held at the birthplace of Thanksgiving, Plymouth, Massachusetts, on the weekend before Thanksgiving. The celebration of Thanksgiving becomes history-brought-to-life as Pilgrims, Native Americans, Soldiers, Patriots, and Pioneers proudly climb out of the history books and onto the streets of Plymouth. The festivities include historical reenactments, patriotic concerts, vintage cars, and a food festival with the area’s best chowders, soups and desserts. The unique Thanksgiving Day Parade offers spectacularly creative floats, individually produced by local craftsmen.
Holiday Mansions in RI
November 23 – January 1, 2014
Newport Mansions – Newport, Rhode Island
The Breakers, The Elms and Marble House will all be open daily for tours and decorated for the holidays. Make holiday memories with your family by visiting these magnificent historic houses dressed in their Yuletide finery. (All properties closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day). Also on offer this year: holiday evenings at the Breakers: Nov 24 and Dec 1, 8, 22 and 29, 2012.
Parade in CT
November 24, 2013
One of the largest helium balloon parades in the country, it features more than 22 gigantic balloons, plus more than 40 award-winning marching bands, spectacular floats, dance troupes, marching units and special guests.
Colonial Holidays in MA
November 28 – December 1, 2013
To mark one of just a handful of holidays on the early New England calendar, Old Sturbridge Village re-creates various activities from an early New England Thanksgiving Day, including cooking at the hearth, demonstrations of 19th-century table manners, a Thanksgiving sermon, and after-dinner entertainment.
As part of the celebration, the village will host a New England wedding on November 29, 2013. Thanksgiving was a favorite time for many early 19th-century marriages, as family gathered for the holiday. Visit with the bride as she prepares for the wedding and enjoy a dramatic presentation about the couple’s courtship and marriage, including their re-created wedding ceremony.
Holiday Lights in MA
November 27 – January 1, 2014 (closed December 2/3)
One of New England’s best Holiday lighting experiences with more than 600,000 lights along a 3-mile route. Follow the lit path through Santa’s Magical Forest to Santa’s Cottage. Enhance your Bright Nights experience with Dinner with Dickens at the Barney Carriage House. Guests will be greeted by carolers from the grand Victorian era, welcoming them to the historic Barney Carriage House. They will be served a sumptuous buffet dinner and hear Charles Dickens’ tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim.
Shopping Madness in MA
November 29 – December 1, 2013
Greater Boston Region
- Thanksgiving Nov. 28, 2013: Official beginning of Shopping Holiday Season.
- Friday, Nov 29, 2013: Most shops open early & close late daily until Christmas.
- Midnight Madness! Wrentham Village & other shops open at midnight Nov. 28, 2013 for the 2013-14 Shopping Season.
Outlet Madness in NE
Friday, November 29, 2013
Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont
The Madness at Midnight is back! Many New England shopping outlets open at midnight on Thanksgiving night and deep-discount sales continue throughout the weekend. Check the Discover New England outlet shopping page for specific locations
Holiday Mansion in MA
November 29 – New Year’s Eve
Come tour The Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum in Lenox, Massachusetts, for the holidays with its beautiful decorations, holiday events, Victoria teas, museum shop and more. Ventfort Hall is an imposing Jacobean Revival-style mansion built in 1893 for Sarah Morgan, the sister of American financier J. P. Morgan. This magnificent Berkshire “Cottage” was rescued from demolition and has undergone substantial restoration. It was even used in the Academy Award-winning film The Cider House Rules. Ventfort Hall is now the home of The Museum of the Gilded Age, which interprets the great changes that occurred in American life, industry, and society during the Nineteenth Century, a fascinating period of American history.
Winter Fest in CT
November 29-30, 2013 and select dates in December
East Windsor, Connecticut
Leave the hustle and bustle behind and enjoy the holidays as they were meant to be — take a memorable trolley ride during the holiday season. Ride a closed car or brave the cold to ride the open “electric sleigh.” Join your motormen in singing traditional Christmas carols as the trolley makes its way through the “Tunnel of Lights”. Returning to the Visitor Center: it’s always a race to get into the warmth and enjoy a nice steaming cup of hot cocoa as you listen to the entertainment and admire all the model trains and displays.
Country Holiday in VT
November 29-30 and December 1, 2013
The Billings Farm & Museum, celebrating its 25th Anniversary year, will open for Thanksgiving Weekend on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, November 25-27, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., featuring traditional cooking demonstrations in the farmhouse, horse-drawn wagon rides, farm tours, and hands-on Thanksgiving activities and programs for every age. You’ll be welcomed to Frederick Billings’ farmhouse, where farm manager George Aitken and his wife and four daughters lived and worked in 1890. Talk with costumed interpreters as they prepare a bountiful Thanksgiving meal featuring roast goose, oyster soup, turkey hash, mincemeat pie and, of course, turkey. Relax in the Victorian parlor as you learn how our American Thanksgiving tradition evolved. Enjoy a freshly baked treat before boarding the farm wagon pulled by Percheron horses for a ride around the farm.
Rural Holidays in ME
Highlights of Bethel holiday activities include Local Craft & Wares Fair and horse-drawn wagon rides through historic Bethel village (both November 29th). Overall, a lovely holiday atmosphere in a northern New England community.
Train Magic in NH
November 29 – December 1, December 6-8, December 13-15, December 20-22, 2013
North Conway, New Hampshire
A magical Journey to the North Pole in the midst of New Hampshire’s White Mountains! This is the original Polar Express Event that includes a wonderful train ride, a sea of elves, and of course, Santa himself! With exclusive treats and gifts, your two-hour holiday journey will include a wonderful walk to the North Pole Theater, where the little boy in Chris Van Allsburg’s story has grown old, and will read the Polar Express book to explain his journey when he was young. This highly popular event is run by the local non-profit organization, Believe In Books Literacy Foundation. Tickets are available by lottery and through select lodging properties that include them in special lodging packages.
Craft Tour in VT
November 29-30 and December 1, 2013
The artisans of the 33rd annual Putney Area Craft Tour invite you to visit their studios and see firsthand where they create unique objects and fine art amidst the beauty of southeastern Vermont. With 26 studios, there is ample opportunity to spend just a couple of hours or up to a couple of days exploring the beautiful Vermont countryside. Each studio offers the visitor a reflection of the personality of its artist and the work created inside. Many artisans offer demonstrations and all are happy to talk about their work and the process of its creation.
Art Festival in MA
November 29-30, 2013
West Tisbury, Martha’s Vineyard
Head to the island of Martha’s Vineyard for a truly special Thanksgiving Weekend and join in the shopping extravaganza of the Vineyard Artisans Festivals. 10 am – 4 pm each day at the Agricultural Hall. Meet and buy hand-made art direct from local artists. Lots of holiday items, also hay rides, free admission, $2 parking fee for Scholarship Fund for the Arts.
Chocolate Tour in NH
November 30th, December 1st, 7th & 8th, 14th & 21st, 2013
Jackson, New Hampshire
Head to New Hampshire’s White Mountains for an event named as one of “five tasty tours in the Granite State” by The Concord Insider. Board an Austrian Drawn Sleigh at Nestlenook Estate where you will be greeted by Carolers and presented with your Jingle Bell and first Chocolate Treasure. You’ll be whisked away to Jackson Village stopping at various locations throughout where you will be greeted with especially prepared Chocolate Treasures. The sleigh will return you to the enchanting Nestlenook Estate. During the 2009 season every sleigh was sold out, so please book your Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour early. Cost: $20 per person (children sitting on mom or dad’s lap not taking chocolate treasures are free).
Holiday Train in CT
Select dates throughout November and December
All aboard the Santa Special for a one-of-a-kind holiday experience! Enjoy the spirit of the season as you relax with family and friends aboard festive rail cars adorned with vintage decorations. Bring your camera for that special moment. Santa promises to visit each child to review his or her Christmas list. Mrs. Claus, Rudolph and Pablo the Penguin will be on board to spread holiday cheer. Plus, each child will receive a small holiday gift from Santa’s Elves!
Holiday Train in RI
Select dates throughout November and December
Cumberland, Rhode Island
A 90-minute train ride on the Providence & Worcester Railroad. Enjoy story reading of the Polar Express; hot chocolate and cookies, special Christmas gift; coloring books and crayons, holiday sing-a-long. Visit the Holiday shop under the tent! Be sure to bring a camera for photos with Santa! Tickets start at $34.
Holiday Fun in ME
Dates to be determined
Rockland, Maine (mid-coast)
Celebrate the holidays in scenic mid-coast Maine. Santa arrives on Friday at noon via the Coast Guard boat to signal the beginning of the festivities and the world’s largest “Lobster Trap Christmas Tree” is lit at dusk. On Saturday, the downtown merchants put on “Eat, Drink and be Merry” all afternoon where they offer holiday sales and food and drink offerings to make your holiday shopping merry! There’s a Festival of Lights Craft & Gift Market at the Samoset Resort. The afternoon is complete with a Holiday House tour that benefits the Rockland Public Library and features all of the Historic Inns of Rockland decked in their holiday finery and other private homes in town. Saturday night brings the Light Parade, a bonfire and caroling at the Public Landing. Sunday, enjoy Breakfast with Santa at the Tradewind’s Red Jacket Restaurant.
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