Best Things to Do With Kids in November - 510 Families

Best Things to Do With Kids in November

There are so many things to do with kids in the East Bay in November. What month starts off with a candy hangover and ends up on Santa’s lap? Yes, November is here already, and it is bursting with family fun! We’ll be celebrating Veterans Day, Diwali, and Thanksgiving while getting in the spirit of the end-of-year holiday season.

Kids get into the spirit of Diwali by using sparklers. | Photo: Parul Patel

Save the Date for These Exciting Community Events

Plan Ahead & Reserve Your Spot

Reserve Tickets to Shows & Performances

A few of our favorite picks: See the aptly named Amazing Bubble Man show in Alameda, enjoy a spellbinding performance of Cinderella Enchanted in Berkeley, celebrate Dia de los Muertos at Luna Mexicana, be inspired during The Lion King in San Francisco, or find out if Spidey and his Amazing Friends help save the Disney Junior Costume Palooza.

Find more upcoming ticketed performances and events >

(Psst, live performances made great holiday gifts for the kids and families in your life).


I love Thanksgiving. It’s a day that’s full of tradition and each family celebrates in their own way. Whether your family likes to break a sweat in a local Turkey Trot race, prepare a home-cooked meal, or let someone else handle cooking and opt for a local dinner-to-go option, it’s a wonderful day to spend time with family and express gratitude.

With school out that means more 1-1 time with kids. If you’re looking for activity inspiration, try one of 50 ideas for no school day. Explore some of the East Bay’s secret paths and staircases. Or head into the city: Cal Academy is open 356 days a year, or SF Botanical Garden offers free admission on Thanksgiving.

glowfari cheetah scene chinese lanterns
All over the Oakland Zoo are glowing fields of giant nature scenes at Glowfari | Photo: Annie Reid

Plan Ahead for Holiday Magic

The holiday season is here–ready or not. Get a jump start on booking special moments and experiences for your family. Mark your calendar for when tickets become available to the dazzling Garden of D’Lights in Walnut Creek and the ever-popular Glowfari at Oakland Zoo. Don’t forget about reserving ice skating time slots, seats on a Christmas train, spots on Santa’s lap, time for high tea, or tickets to Holiday ballets and shows like The Nutcracker or Peter and The Wolf.

Spend a Day at the Museum

There are many exhibits, attractions and features at Bay Area museums that are worth checking out this month (especially on a day off of school!). We can’t wait to visit the Oakland Zoo to see Kendi, a baby giraffe that was born in October. We hear the best time to see her in the main giraffe area is in the morning. Remember to book tickets in advance. If your kids love animals, head to the Animal Discovery Zone at The Lawrence, open Wednesday to Sundays from 11 am to 4 pm. Meet critters and learn about their habits and habitats. Seek out some color at the Asian Art Museum’s new exhibit — Murakami: Monsterized. The paintings are bursting with color and imagination. Children and adults may enjoy finding the fun in the creatures.

Favorite Free & Cheap Happenings

Need some planning inspiration? We’ve got you covered! Our favorite free and inexpensive activities in the East Bay can serve as a go-to itinerary when you’re in a pinch. Find more free & cheap events this month >

Plan an outing to one of the world-class museums in the Bay Area; take advantage of free admission on certain days. Learn more about ways to get into museums for free >

  • Nov. 1: GLBT Historical Society Museum in San Francisco
  • Nov. 2 BAMPFA in Berkeley & SFMOMA in San Francisco
  • Nov. 3: Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco
  • Nov. 4-5: Bank of America Free Museum Days
  • Nov. 5: Asian Art Museum in San Francisco and First Sunday at OMCA (nearly free!)
  • Nov. 7 plus every Saturday: de Young Museum in San Francisco
  • Nov 7: Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco
  • Nov. 11: Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco
  • Nov. 14: San Francisco Botanical Garden
Play at SF Botanic Garden’s children’s garden. Admission is free on Thanksgiving | Photo: Maureen Burke

Veterans Day

Thank a veteran during your free visit to the USS Hornet (RSVP). National Parks offer free admission on Veterans Day (pre-registration is often required).

Find more activities on our East Bay Families Events Calendar every day of the month. 

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