Say what you will about November, but few months are more, well, American. Our national celebration of thanks bonds citizens from Manhasset to Montauk, and from Rockville Centre to Riverhead.
Long Islanders this month will vote in local elections, honor our veterans, eat some turkey, maybe watch some football, and perhaps even engage in that all-American sport of Black Friday shopping. Who needs Amazon when you’ve got Roosevelt Field, right?
November heralds the arrival of the holiday season, but before rushing into Christmas, New Year’s, and the dead of winter, why not take a few moments to contemplate the majesty of the calendar’s 11th month. Grab a sweater, go for a hike, bear witness to the foliage, compete in a turkey trot, and remember all that we love about our overcrowded, traffic-strewn piece of New York State. We at Mommy Poppins will be right there with you.
Here are our picks for the best in family entertainment in November. Our Long Island Events Calendar offers exciting family options as they develop throughout the month, and you can always sign up for our FREE newsletters to get posts like this delivered to your inbox.
Nature Explorers — East Islip
Saturdays, November 4, 11, 18, 25
South Shore Nature Center instructors lead this interactive workshop for kids of all ages. Dress for the weather.
Family Fun Day — Southampton
Saturday, November 4
Southampton Youth Services presents this outdoor celebration. Enjoy inflatables, games, prizes, face painting, treats, and more.
Frost Moon Hike — Bridgehampton
Saturday, November 4
Families are welcome to the South Fork Natural History Museum to celebrate the frost moon, a Native American autumn tradition. The hourlong hikes ends with conversation and refreshments at the museum.
I Love Chocolate Fest — Old Bethpage
Saturday, November 4-Sunday, November 5
Who doesn’t love chocolate? Head to Old Bethpage Village Restoration for a celebration of all things chocolate. Enjoy more than 50 chocolate exhibitors, old-time baseball, scavenger hunts, and more.
RELATED: Our guide to family fun on Long Island
Embrace South Korean culture at Heart and Seoul: Just Kickin' It. Photo courtesy of the exhibit
Heart and Seoul: Just Kickin’ It — Garden City
Sunday, November 5
Learn about South Korea at the Long Island Children’s Museum exhibit Heart and Seoul. Then create your own miniature soccer player in a tribute to the country’s beloved sport.
Parade of Flags — Mount Sinai
Saturday, November 11
Join Heritage Trust, weather permitting, in a parade of local, state, and national flags in a tribute to the nation’s veterans. FREE
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Disney on Ice delights at Nassau Coliseum. Photo courtesy of Disney
Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream — Nassau Coliseum
Wednesday, November 15-Sunday, November 26
Kids can watch their favorite characters, including Anna, Elsa, Cinderella, Moana, and Rapunzel, come alive on the ice. Note: No performances November 20-21.
Magic of Lights Drive-Through Show — Jones Beach State Park
This holiday lights spectacular returns to the state park after a year's absence. Enjoy a 2-plus mile drive amid seasonal music, hot cocoa, smores, and, of course, Santa.
Native American Games — Jones Beach State Park
Saturday, November 18
Test your skill in these traditional kids games at the Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center.
Turkey Trot — Massapequa Park
Saturday, November 18
This community event raises funds for drug prevention programs. The youth fun run begins at 8:30am with the 5K walk / run at 9. Families are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items.
Native American Feast — Glen Cove
Saturday, November 18-Sunday, November 19
Gather at Garvies Point Museum and Preserve for this celebration of Native American culture. Enjoy pottery making and fire building displays, too. Rain or shine.
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Thrill to daredevil acrobats from China at Tilles Center. Photo courtesy of Tilles Center
National Acrobats and Martial Artists of Tianjin — Brookville
Sunday, November 19
Tilles Center welcomes these high-flying acrobats from China, whose contortions, juggling, hoop diving, kung fu, and more leave kids mesmerized.
Turkey Trots — Islandwide
Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 23
These seasonal fundraisers are held in Garden City, Oyster Bay, Montauk, Shoreham, Blue Point, Huntington, and elsewhere.
Polar Express Trolley — Riverhead, Southampton
Friday, November 24-Saturday, December 23
All aboard beginning Thanksgiving weekend. Join the train at the North or South Fork stops and enjoy Liam Neeson’s reading of the Polar Express. Afterward, enjoy cocoa and cookies with Santa.
Barnaby Saves Christmas — Port Jefferson
Friday, November 24-Saturday, December 30
Back at Theatre Three for its 14th season, this holiday favorite tells the story of elf Barnaby, whose journey with his reindeer friend teaches them the meaning of the holidays. Note: Sensory-sensitive performance on Sunday, November 26.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer — Brookville
Saturday, November 25
Tilles Center hosts a stage presentation of this holiday TV classic at 2pm. Beginning at 1pm, kids can enjoy a holiday craft-making workshop in the theater atrium.
Colonial American Games — Oakdale
Sunday, November 26
Challenge yourself during this afternoon of early American fun and games at Connetquot River State Park and Preserve.