Maybe you know it as stick season, or as the calm before the storm of December events and parties. But November on the North Shore is full of cultural happenings all month long and shouldn’t be overlooked. We’ve rounded up ten of the best things to do this November north of Boston, featuring shows, art events, fundraisers, artisan markets, and the beginning of the holiday fun with events like Newburyport’s Santa Parade and Stone Zoo’s ZooLights. Read on for more inspiration on November happenings in the area.
Elvis: A Musical Revolution at NSMT
Through Nov. 12
See “Elvis: A Musical Revolution” at North Shore Music Theatre (NSMT) in Beverly now through Nov. 12. The musical follows the life and career of the rock ’n’ roll icon and features dozens of Elvis Presley’s hits like “Jailhouse Rock,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” and “Hound Dog.” NSMT performs the show every day except Monday for the first two weeks of November. The show runs for about two hours and twenty minutes, including intermission, and tickets start at $68.
Crane Estate Art Sale
The 20th Crane Estate Art Sale returns to Castle Hill on the first weekend in November. Titled “Celebrating the Past, Present, and Future,” the event kicks off with a soiree on Friday night from 7 to 10 p.m., where guests can browse the art, chat with artists, and enjoy hors d’oeuvres, an open bar, and live music. Note that if you buy art from the soiree, they’ll refund the price of your soiree ticket. The art show continues through the weekend, with free admission on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Appleton Farms Harvest Market
The Appleton Farms Harvest Market returns on Saturday, Nov. 4, bringing with it the bounty of the harvest season. Visitors can expect tons of the farm’s own organic produce for sale along with specialty foods and gifts from local artisans, crafters, and makers, like artwork, ceramics, local honey, and locally roasted coffee. Admission is free, and Appleton will also sell a variety of treats to keep you full while you shop.
Lifting the Sky fundraiser PEM
The Peabody Essex Museum’s annual fundraising dinner and party, on Saturday, Nov. 4, this year honors Robert N. Shapiro, trustee emeritus and former president of PEM’s board of trustees, and Marie Watt (Seneca and German-Scots), artist and PEM Prize recipient. The evening features dinner, a live auction, and raffles from 6 to 8:30 p.m., and then a dance party from 8:30 to midnight, complete with immersive art experiences, cocktails, and live music. Note that you can choose to buy tickets for the dance party only.
2023 NEOSEC Ocean Literacy Summit at the Beauport Hotel
The NEOSEC (New England Ocean Science Education Collaborative) brings its annual Ocean Literacy Summit to the Beauport Hotel in Gloucester from Nov. 15 through 17. This will be its ninth biennial event, and this year’s theme is “Connecting Climate, Communities, and Coasts.” The conference kicks off with an evening reception on Wednesday, Nov. 15, followed by the main conference on Nov. 16 and field trips and workshops on Nov. 17. The summit specifically addresses coastal issues caused by climate change in New England, and provides an opportunity for scientists, educators, and community leaders to share knowledge and to network.
Rock the Spectrum Foundation Disco Gala in Danvers
Rock the Spectrum Foundation, which raises money for the Northeast Arc Autism Support Center, holds its annual fundraiser this Nov. 17 at Danversport in Danvers. This year’s theme is “disco,” and the night will feature live music and a DJ, a silent auction, a dinner buffet, a cash bar, and a photo booth. Individual tickets go for $110 and are available online.
ZooLights at Stone Zoo
Nov. 17–Jan. 7
ZooLights returns to Stone Zoo in Stoneham this holiday season, bringing thousands of twinkling lights to twenty-six of the zoo’s acres. Visitors can expect tons of light-up displays featuring coldclimate Yukon fauna like black bears, a bald eagle, Canada lynx, reindeer, and arctic foxes. The event runs nightly from Friday, Nov. 17, through Sunday, Jan. 7; closed only on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Sea Festival of Trees at Salisbury Beach
Nov. 18–Dec. 3
The Sea Festival of Trees fundraiser returns to Salisbury Beach for the 11th year this holiday season. Held at Blue Ocean Event Center, the event features dozens of beautifully decorated trees donated by local businesses, indoor ice skating, visits from Santa and other characters, and a toy testing station. Open to the public on weekends from Nov. 18 through Dec. 3, the yearly festival raises fund to support the Salisbury Beach Partnership and the Salisbury Beach Historic Carousel.
Girl Gang Craft Fair in Salem
Girl Gang Craft once again brings its craft fair to Old Town Hall in Salem for a holiday market on Sunday, Nov. 26, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.—get ahead on your holiday shopping while supporting small, women-owned businesses. At the fair you’ll find handmade goods like ceramics, jewelry, candles, apparel, art, and more, along with a raffle and a live DJ. Tickets are $5 in advance or $10 at the door, and the ticket fee includes two raffle tickets. Plus, the first 200 attendees receive a tote bag full of goodies.
Newburyport’s Santa Parade and tree-lighting ceremony
For more than three decades, Newburyport has rung in the start of the holiday season by welcoming Santa and Mrs. Claus as they arrive by U.S. Coast Guard boat.
Traditionally held on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, Santa’s arrival is followed by a parade through Newburyport that ends at Market Square, where Santa and community leaders host a tree-lighting ceremony. The day is filled with Christmas carols, hot cocoa, and plenty of family fun.