1. Get Moving
New York Road Runners promise this of their annual TCS New York City Marathon (11/5): “It will move you.” And indeed, it’s hard not to be moved by the spectacle of the Marathon, whether as a casual spectator seeing footage of the 50,000+ runners beginning their trek across the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, a lively cheerleader alongside the route as it winds its way through the five boroughs, or as a runner, swept along by the momentum of this amazing gathering. Central Park near the finish line will be packed – all the better to feel the energy of the day.
2. Laugh Out Loud
The line-up for the New York Comedy Festival (11/7 – 11/12) would be laugh-inducing if it weren’t true: heavy hitters Nick Offerman, Bill Maher, Kevin Smith, Iliza Shlesinger, and more headline this days-long laugh-in. The festival spans a variety of venues, including the legendary Theater at Madison Square Garden, the Beacon Theatre, and Caroline’s on Broadway. Top acts sell out fast, so hop online now to secure your tickets and get ready to LOL. There’s also a Pop-Up Training Center hosted by the improv legends at The Second City, if you want to see whether you have what it takes to take the mic.
3. Kick Back
The light-up reindeer antlers. The rosy cheeks. The march of the toy soldiers. Oh – and those kicks! The Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring The Rockettes kicks off this month (11/10 – 1/1), and if there’s a more festive way to celebrate the holiday season in New York, well, we haven’t found it yet (and believe us, we’ve looked!) No matter how many times you’ve taken your seat in the storied auditorium, there’s no quieting the beating of your heart when each Rockette’s foot reaches for the ceiling in perfectly choreographed time. The show is timeless, magical, and utterly “New York.” (Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Sixth Ave. at W. 50th St.)
4. Eat Up
This veteran’s day, bring a big appetite (and your big heart, you big softie – we won’t tell!) to Dine Out for Heroes (11/11) presented by the Bob Woodruff Foundation. The fourth-annual fundraiser supports veterans’ programs via participating restaurants, which include the brightest stars and biggest names uptown and down, from ‘21’ Club to Beauty & Essex and Tao to Nobu. When you book and dine at a participating restaurant, they’ll donate $1 per diner to the Foundation – and your meal will taste that much better know- ing you contributed to supporting our nation’s heroes.
5. Run on Ice
Rangers fans and fitness enthusiasts alike will gather in deep Queens for the annual RangersTown 5K, a charitable road race benefiting the Garden of Dreams Foundation and Northwell Health Wellness Programs. Runners are encouraged to wear their Rangers blue – and can also swap out their duds for a RangersTown 5K t-shirt, which is included with registration, along with a Rangers drawstring bag, a racing bib with timing chip, and a medal for all finishers. Show your spirit and support a worthy cause. (Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens)
6. See Stars
“Rock and roll will never die,” sang Neil Young, and neither will famed Beatle Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band. Formed more than a decade ago, the All-Starrs rotate to allow maximum wattage at any given performance; this year, they will grace the stage at The Beacon Theatre (11/15) with Todd Rundgren, Gregg Rolie (Santana, Journey), Steve Lukather (Toto), Richard Page (Mr. Mister), Warren Ham (Bloodrock, Kansas), and Gregg Bissonette. And let’s not forget Ringo himself! The show starts at 8:00 p.m., and will feature hits from each artist’s band, as well as collaborative tunes. Rock on. (The Beacon Theatre, 2124 Broadway at W. 75th St.)
7. Take a Shot
As they say, it’s the most wonderful time of the year: WhiskeyFest New York is back on 11/16, with 3+ hours of whiskey-soaked deliciousness. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. (5:30 p.m. for VIPs), and tickets start at $275. What does all that get you? Well, admission includes a Glencairn crystal nosing glass, a tote bag for collected swag and tasting notes, a printed program and a pen for notes, a bottle of water – these are professionals, after all! – and seminars available on a first-come, first-served basis. There’s also a gourmet buffet throughout the event. So, y’know: heaven. (New York Marriott Marquis, 1535 Broadway at W. 46th St.)
Look, we agree: it’s criminal that we have to travel to New Jersey to see our football teams. But beginning this winter, we can get the full NFL Experience right in Times Square. The interactive exhibit takes us closer to the game than the best seats at MetLife Stadium, and tickets start at just $39 per person. No more waiting for game day, either; the exhibit is open from 9:00 a.m. to midnight daily. The “hero’s journey” of the NFL Experience will take you from fan to player to champion, all in an ultra-hands- on way. No true fan should miss this. (20 Times Square, Seventh Ave. at W. 47th St.)
9. Float On
Look, we’re not sure when a giant inflated cartoon character became synonymous with Thanksgiving in New York. But it did, and it is, and that’s why we’ll be lined up along the streets of Manhattan for the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (11/23). The actual march progresses down the West Side to the store’s flagship Herald Square location from 9 a.m. to noon, but we’re also quite partial to the night-before balloon inflation, which you can watch at the Museum of Natural History on Wednesday 11/22 from 3 p.m. until 10 p.m. (77th St. at Central Park West to 34th Street at Seventh Ave.)
10. Light It Up
Each year, an unsuspecting forest in the tri-state area gives up a prized evergreen to immortality, and that tree journeys to Manhattan to become the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. The annual Tree Lighting (11/29) is a high-water mark of the pre-Christmas season and is covered on national TV. But who needs a screen when you can see the real thing? Arrive early to secure a view as the ceremony takes place, with live performances and, of course, the illumination of one very big, very beautiful symbol of the holidays. (30 Rockefeller Plaza, Sixth Ave. at W. 49th St.)