November in Boston is packed with kid-friendly films, live performances, and museum programs. It's also the start of holiday season excitement. As we update our Holiday Fun Guide throughout the month with the scoop on tree lightings, Santa sightings, winter skiing, outdoor ice skating rinks, and other seasonal fun, there are many great events to add to your calendar right now. Many require advance registration or tickets, so go ahead and claim your seats!
Kids' Shows at the Coolidge Corner Theatre - Brookline
We always look forward to the terrific fall line-up of family entertainment at Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline. Live performances in November include Mike the Bubble Man, Magic by Bonaparté, and Vanessa Trien and the Jumping Monkeys.
Boston International Kids Film Festival - Arlington and Somerville
Thurs 11/5/17 - Sun 11/5/17
$10 and up
Created to empower kids to find their own unique voices as they discover the power of visual media, the Boston International Kids Film Festival is a 3-day celebration of films from around the globe. The festival features films by and about kids, inspirational presenters, and media-savvy workshops.
MFA Playdates - MFA, Boston
Mon 11/6/17 and Sat 11/18/2017
Free (with museum admission)
Bring your toddler to enjoy story time at the Museum of Fine Arts, looking activities in the galleries, and art making. This month's theme is "Shaping the World."
Approaching Georges Island with the view of Boston in the background. Photo by MaxVT/CC BY 2.0
Veterans Day Cruise to Georges Island - Boston Harbor Islands
$10 (free for veterans and active military)
Hop on the ferry to Georges Island for a guided tour of Fort Warren, family-friendly activities and a Civil War living history walk. What a great way to mark the holiday! Advance reservations are required.
Honor, Courage, Commitment - Charlestown
Sat 11/11/17 - Sun 11/12/17
By donation/Free for veterans and active military
How lucky we are to have history all around us in this city! Visit the USS Constitution Museum during Veterans Day weekend to learn about the daily struggles that crew members on board “Old Ironsides” faced during the War of 1812 and how their stories continue to inspire people today.
Blink! - Faneuil Hall, Boston
Sat 11/20/17 - Mon 1/01/18
Starting with Faneuil Hall's first tree lighting of the season and running through the first weekend in January, Blink! is a state-of-the-art light and sound show. Over 350,000 LED lights are choreographed to the music of the Holiday Pops. There are five shows a night, at the right price—free! Blink! is a nice diversion during holiday shopping in Faneuil Hall.
Family Trees: A Celebration of Children's Literature - Concord
Wed 11/22/2017 - Tues 1/02/18
Family Trees gives Concord's literary tradition a creative twist. The Concord Museum’s galleries are filled with over 30 fanciful trees of all shapes and sizes, decorated with original ornaments inspired by acclaimed children’s storybooks and contemporary picture book favorites. Best time to go: the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving, for Thanksgiving weekend crafts.
Celebrate! with Wampanoag Nation Singers and Dancers - Dorchester
It's Native American Heritage Month, and the JFK Museum and Library is inviting families to join the Wampanoag Nation Singers and Dancers as they share stories of both their history and modern culture in a performance that culminates with a full audience powwow. This free performance is part of the Celebrate! series at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, which highlights America's rich cultural diversity through the arts. The shows in the series are appropriate for ages 5 and up, and advance reservations are required.
MIT Museum's Friday After Thanksgiving (F.A.T.) Chain Reaction Event. Photo by Samara Vise
F.A.T. Chain Reaction - MIT, Cambridge
Spectators: Adults $12.50; Children (5-18), Students, Seniors $5. Includes same-day admission to the MIT Museum. Team registration is $12 in advance for up to 4 people; $5 for each additional team member (8 maximum).
For the F.A.T. (Friday After Thanksgiving) Chain Reaction, participants link their mini chain reactions together to form one mega chain reaction—it's like watching a giant domino demonstration. People can join the fun by registering a team or attending as spectators. Kinetic artists Arthur Ganson and Jeff Lieberman are on hand to help with connections and play master of ceremonies for the action.
Play Date: Collecting Nature - ICA, Boston
Free for families; up to 2 adults per family accompanied by children 12 and under
Step inside the experience of artist Mark Dion to see the natural world in new ways, enjoy gallery activities, and step into the Bank of America Art Lab for art-making investigations using materials collected from nature. There are also family performances in the theater. And it's all free! Bonus: the museum shop is a great spot to find unique holiday gifts.