Aside from the obvious.
As November creeps closer and closer, those living in swing states will become all the more familiar with the two Presidential candidates via non-stop advertising and canvassing. Don’t get us wrong: these swing states and votes are incredibly important, but sometimes it can all be a little…overwhelming.
For those who spent their October preparing for the November 3 election—civic engagement isn’t always a walk in the park—we think you (and your brain) deserve a break. From art festivals to a beer week to a bike race, we found something for every swing-state resident to do this November, after the obvious.
Top Picks for You
El Tour de Tucson
WHERE: Tucson, Arizona
Is there a better way to blow off steam than a good, long bike ride? If by November 21, you find yourself still in that election-cycle rut, look no further than Arizona’s El Tour de Tucson to get your mind off the presidency and onto how your legs feel like Jell-O. Riders can choose from a variety of different races, ranging from an easy one mile to a lengthy 100-mile ride. This Tuscon tradition that dates back to 1983, is for charity, and, this year specifically, very therapeutic
Denver Arts Week(end)
WHERE: Denver, Colorado
After this election cycle, you could use a change of pace–fewer politics, more art. Dever Arts Week(end) is here to help. From November 6-8, you can attend the Mile High City’s premier art event. 2020’s Arts Weekend looks a little different, but there are still plenty of in-person components to attend and see, including museums, musical performances, and visual art. And for those wanting to participate in the city’s 43rd annual Film Festival, it’s gone virtual, giving ticketholders the chance to access official selections, Q&As with filmmakers, and more exclusive content (all from home).
The Downtown Festival & Art Show
WHERE: Gainesville, Florida
If the November 3rd election leaves you looking to blow off a little steam, there’s no better way to do it than a nice long day of shopping (or at least so we’ve heard). On the weekend of November 7th and 8th, Gainesville will be hosting its annual Downtown Festival & Art Show, and this year, it just happens to be virtual. Featuring local and national artists, this festival will have art for everyone to enjoy. Not only can you browse paintings, ceramics, and photography online, but there are also live musical performances for those less interested in shopping and more interested in dancing.
North Georgia Wildlife Park & Zoo Pumpkin Smashin Fun
WHERE: Cleveland, Georgia
If you’re looking for something to do with your leftover fall decor, look no further than the North Georgia Wildlife Park & Zoo–humans aren’t the only ones who love the season. During the first two weekends of November, guests are invited to help the zoo discard their Halloween jack-o-lantern displays by feeding them to the animals as part of their Pumpkin Smashin Fun event. Families can learn about animal enrichments through hands-on experience, plus doesn’t it sound cute to watch a lemur enjoy a pumpkin larger than its body?
Holiday Arts Festival at the Waterloo Center for the Arts
WHERE: Waterloo, Iowa
And if the election didn’t stress you out enough, here comes the holiday season. Waterloo Center for the Arts isn’t letting the pressure of the holidays get the better of you though–it’s helping you prepare early with their annual Holiday Arts Festival. From November 14-15, you can peruse and purchase the work of some of the Midwest’s best artists. This Holiday Art’s Festival is perfect for those looking to buy or get some gift inspiration.
WHERE: Boothbay, Maine
For those looking for an event to get them in the holiday spirit, The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is transforming itself into a winter wonderland. Drive through the gardens during their Gardens Aglow event, which is taking place November 21 through January 1, to see how this coastal town celebrates the holiday season. Aside from the obvious wonder of the lights display, we’re seriously excited that we get to see them from the comfort of our own car—warm and COVID safe!
Traverse City Beer Week
WHERE: Traverse City, Michigan
Beer Week is something for the people of Traverse City and surrounding Northern Michigan neighborhoods to love. It’s a time to explore local breweries and drink–it warms up a chilly November with everything from a pale ale to a lager. This year’s Traverse City Beer Walk will take place November 13-20 and will include a series of restaurants, gastropubs, breweries, and more. Updating the festival to be compliant with COVID safety guidelines, this year you can track your tour on an app designed specifically for Traverse City Beer Walk–a little less person-to-person contact with still the same amount of delicious drinks.
Winter in Bloom Lights Display
WHERE: Chaska, Minnesota
Starting November 19, the University of Minnesota will be turning its arboretum into a picture straight out of the North Pole. Their Winter in Bloom Lights Display features incredible light displays throughout the park, perfect for those looking to get out of the election mindset and into the holiday cheer. Winter in Bloom is open Saturdays and Sundays, giving you time to pick the perfect day and weekend for you and your schedule.
Opening Day: Heavenly Mountain Resort
WHERE: Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Heavenly Mountain Resort sits on the border between Nevada (a swing state) and California (not a swing state), offering incredible ski slopes to the warm-weather dwellers who are looking to trade sand for snow. This ski resort in the popular town of Lake Tahoe is reopening on November 20 and is perfect for those looking for a socially-distanced activity to get out of both their house and head. And even for those who can barely balance on their two feet, let alone a pair of skis, the resort offers more than just slopes: there’s warm drinks, tubing, and crisp cold air (a nice change from the usual heat).
Fall Family Farm Day
WHERE: Troy, New Hampshire
Sorry adults but this one is a little more for the kids (though isn’t any moment spent not teaching or entertaining them also a moment for you?). The Inn at East Hill Farm hosts a yearly Fall Family Farm Day, and 2020’s is happening November 11. This day at the farm lets kids get hands-on, helping milk cows, go pony riding, churn butter, and more—let’s call this a quarantine field trip. On top of that, there’s a lunch included with the tickets as well as paddle and rowboats that can be used all day long. Kids deserve a break, too!
WHERE: Mebane, North Carolina
Offering a unique way to celebrate one of our favorite parts of fall (pumpkin), Animal Park at the Conservation Center is once again hosting their annual Pumpkin Prowl. On November 14, you can head to Mebane–with masks, of course–to see the center’s animals while enjoying your favorite seasonal treats, like pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin pies.
WHERE: Wooster, Ohio
If you’re looking to dive into the Christmas spirit post-election, Downtown Wooster is once again inviting Buckeyes to enjoy the season with their Window Wonderland. On November 20, the downtown area will turn into the picture of winter, as shops and restaurants transform their windows to reflect the Christmas season. Not only is the site something to behold, but there are also things like hot chocolate, reindeer, and plenty of food to enjoy as you site-see.
PA Bacon Fest
WHERE: Easton, Pennsylvania
In case your cholesterol wasn’t through the roof following fall feasting, allow us to introduce you to your new favorite fall festival: Pennsylvania’s Bacon Fest. This year, the event has been reimagined to ensure the safety of bacon lovers. Guests can choose between the Bacon Experience, a ticketed event with live music and bacon vendors, or the PA Bacon Fest Restaurant Week, where local favorites will be serving up special bacon menus.
Blue Genie Art Bazaar
WHERE: Austin, Texas
During that post-election, pre-holiday window there are some incredible seasonal art fairs out there to help you get in the holiday spirit–through gift-buying of course! In Austin, there’s the Blue Genie Art Bazaar, which welcomes locals and tourists alike to come and check out the art and artists that keep the city weird. This year’s Art Bazaar offers a plethora of different ways to browse and buy, ensuring each shopper has a safe and pleasant experience. And even if you’re not located in Texas, you can get in on the fun by shopping the event online and having your unique pieces delivered right to your door.
NASCAR Cup Series Xfinity 500
WHERE: Ridgeway, Virginia
Spend the first Sunday of November unplugging from election coverage to enjoy something so far from the political sphere you’ll forget it’s November entirely. In Ridgeway, Virginia, feel free to crack open a beer as you enjoy the NASCAR Cup Series Xfinity 500. Your favorite drivers will be competing at Martinsville Speedway short-track for the Grandfather Clock Trophy, and you can watch as they do it. Get your tickets and drown out the stress of the month with good old fashioned, and incredibly loud, NASCAR racing.
WHERE: West Bend, Wisconsin
If the election left you feeling a little more than dreary, we have the perfect event to brighten your November. West Bend’s Museum of Wisconsin Art is inviting you to their “floral sanctuary” from November 6-8, where you can take a break from the noise of the outside world to just enjoy the beauty that is flora. There will also be hand-crafted treasures in the gift shop for those looking to get a headstart on their holiday shopping.