As fall colors fade, this month presents a lot of opportunities to walk a popular trail, stroll an empty beach, and enjoy the quiet moments before the skiers and snowmobilers come out in throngs. Fun awaits at our 12 things to do in Michigan in November.
Nov 1-5 Eight Nights – Detroit
This is an important time to try to understand one another better, and this play is an excellent start. It follows the journey of Rebecca Blum, a Holocaust survivor who arrives in the United States in December of 1949. Set during the eight nights of Hanukkah, audiences travel with her as she builds a family and a diverse community of loved ones—always moving forward—daring only to touch the past for those she loves the most. Jennifer Maisel’s award-winning, lyrical play illuminates brutal cycles of oppression and erasure across time amongst Jewish, African American, Japanese American, and recent Middle Eastern refugee communities. Her powerful story simultaneously celebrates the resilience of the human spirit—continually striving for connection and seeking the very best of humanity even in the worst of times.
Nov 1-5 Dow Tennis Classic – Midland
Since its inception in 1989, the Dow Tennis Classic is the longest-run professional women’s tennis tournament in Michigan. In fact, it’s the only professional tennis tournament in the state. Head to the Greater Midland Tennis Center to catch the action as 60 female athletes try to make it big on the world tour. Who knows, you may just see the next Serena Williams. She was born in Saginaw after all.
Nov 3-11 Restaurant Week GR – Grand Rapids
WalletHub recently named Grand Rapids one of America’s best foodie cities. If you’ve ever been, then you’ll understand why. If not, then this is the perfect week for some culinary exploration. This year, participating restaurants will offer a choice between two savory options: a standard menu with two or more courses for $25 or a chef’s choice with two or more courses for a higher price-to-be-determined by the restaurant. Many eateries will offer additional dessert or drink pairings. Before you go, it only takes a couple minutes to sign up online for the Restaurant Week GR Digital Pass, and an opportunity to earn prizes as you check into various participating venues.
Nov 3-26 The Christmas Schooner – Marine City
Get an early start on the holiday season with a trip to the unique Riverbank Theatre, repurposed in the old Marine Savings Bank. With its bank vaults and early 1900s architecture still intact, theatre-goers already feel as though they are stepping back in time with every visit, and even more with this show. Sure to put you in the holiday spirit, this musical tells a heartwarming and true Great Lakes story. Venture back to the 1800s and revel in the legendary Christmas tree ships. Daring Captain Schuenemann and his brave crew, used to battle the deadly winter to bring Christmas trees to Chicago for homesick German-American families. The epic tale is brought to life with a wonderful score and some traditional holiday favorites.
Nov 5 All Things Detroit: Holiday Experience – Detroit
With the scent of Christmas pines in the air, Eastern Market is a fun destination even as cold temps set in. Warm up inside and do some serious shopping at this annual marketplace featuring more than 200 small businesses. It’s the perfect opportunity to find something locally-made for everyone on your list. Then pop on over to Detroit City Distillery to celebrate your success with a hot toddy.
Nov 9-16 East Lansing Film Festival – East Lansing
It’s hard to believe, but this annual fest of flicks has been a part of the Lansing community for more than a quarter of a century. It provides an excellent opportunity to go back into the theater and enjoy independent films alongside other movie buffs. Cinema fans ill will find a well-curated selection of features, documentaries, and short films from which to choose. Opening night features a documentary called The Stan Project, which follows Stan Zuray, star of Discovery Channel’s Yukon Men, showcasing a beautiful yet brutal relationship with nature and a struggle to gain control of his life. Director Ryan Walsh and protagonist Stan Zuray are both scheduled to attend the event.
Nov 10-12 Motor City Comic Con – Novi
Fans of pop culture will be delighted to know that Motor City Comic Con is returning to the Suburban Collection Showplace for the second time this year. There will be plenty of photo ops, games to play, and people to meet. Join in on the cosplay contest. Test your skills in the escape room. Discover amazing new creations. Attend a panel discussion. Get a celebrity autograph. Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, Billy Dee Williams, Scott Patterson, Nadji Jeter, Lorraine Bracco, Tom Cavanaugh, Danielle Panabaker, and many more, are currently slated to appear.
Nov 10-17 Traverse City Beer Week – Traverse City
During the calm that is the month between color tours and holiday extravaganzas, Traverse City is a key destination for beer lovers. Gather some friends and go on a self-guided brew tour from November 10-17. Sign up online for the Beer Week pass to get the details and even discounts, as you check into participating breweries and other venues. Throughout Beer Week, if you check into five or more participating TCBW businesses on the passport, you will be rewarded with a beer week t-shirt.
Nov 11 Flapjack and Flannel Festival – Traverse City
If you plan to experience TC Restaurant Week, then we recommend including Saturday, November 11 into your plans so you can stop by this Jacobs Farm between Noon and 6pm for this fun fest. Wear your flannel. Drink delicious beers, wines, and cocktails paired with flapjacks. Plus, you can see World Champion Lumberjacks in head to head competition as seen on ESPN. They’ll be chopping, sawing, axe-throwing, log-rolling and speed-climbing. It’s a great combination of action-packed fun and comedy. The event also includes live music from Austin Benzing and Hatchwing Rider. Tickets are $35 in advance or $45 at the door. Your ticket includes admission, 2 drink tokens good for 2-8oz pours, and a pancake. Kid tickets are $15 for admission, 1 non-alcoholic drink token and a pancake.
Nov 16-18 International Wine, Beer, and Food Festival – Grand Rapids
Named a Best Fall Wine Festival Not to Miss by Forbes.com, this fest has really established itself as Michigan’s annual tasting event for drinking aficionados. More than 1,200 wines, beers, ciders and spirits from around the world, including many local options we love, are featured. They are complemented by creations from the area’s finest restaurants. Whether you’re a connoisseur or just a novice, this a fun event to explore. Single day admission is $20.
Nov 17 Houdini Autumnal Eve Ball – Detroit
Legendary magician, Harry Houdini, regularly performed in Detroit’s many theaters for nearly three decades, and even met his demise in the city on Halloween in 1926. Now the Detroit History Club wants to help you relive those fascinating times. Guests are invited to don period costumes and gather at the historic Jam Handy Building in Detroit, for an interactive glimpse into the roaring twenties. Attendees will witness daring escape artists, illusionists, acrobats, snake-charmers, fire-breathers, and dance to the sensational sounds of the jazz era. Infamous local magician, Anthony Grupido, will headline the event.
Nov 23 America’s Thanksgiving Parade – Detroit
Some of us go every year, while others have only seen it on TV. This is an event that every Michigander should experience in person at least once. Pick your spot on Woodward Avenue and marvel at the creativity of the floats and size of those inflatables. Watch each team work hard to keep their colorful helium-filled balloons from catching a breeze and drifting off to Canada. Cheer on those high school marching bands. Get charmed by the Distinguished Clown Corps, and have fun trying to identify each of the famous Big Heads. It’s a tremendous way to start your Thanksgiving holiday. If you can’t make it down this year, then look for the broadcast on WDIV.
Join us on social media for ongoing discussions about fun events and Michigan travel destinations. Tweet @BuyMichiganNow and let us know when you make it to one of our 12 things to do in Michigan in November. For next month’s event highlights, or to get ideas for your local bucket list, be sure to visit our Michigan Tourism page.