Cape Cod is in the throes of what many locals regard as one of the best times of the year: the exhilarating shoulder season of autumn. November is a fantastic time to visit the Cape, as the crisp air brings bright colors to our landscape, and festive events bring people together for some old-fashioned fall fun.

The month kicks off with the return of the display to Dennis (November 10-12). If you’re not familiar with this burgeoning tradition, the patriotic tribute at Johnny Kelley Park in Dennis honors current military, veterans, and first responders. People are encouraged to walk among the sea of red, white and blue, or sponsor a flag to take home and bring back next year to continue the tradition.

Next up is the Trolley Tour Taste of Yarmouth (Saturday, November 11), the perfect choice for any foodie. Travel by trolley to restaurants along Route 28 from 1 to 5 p.m., sampling a wide array of tasty appetizers and small plates. The tour concludes at the Loft at the Cove, with dessert being served from 5 to 7 p.m., while the Grab Brothers Band performs live.

If you haven’t ventured to the Outer Cape in search of the world-famous Eastham turnip, your Thanksgiving dinner table has probably suffered for it. Eastham turnips are truly one of a kind, and they are celebrated in all their glory at the Eastham Turnip Festival at Nauset Regional High School (Saturday, November 18). Highlights include a cook-off, tastings, contests, entertainment, arts & crafts, and the one-stop Thanksgiving Marketplace.

Pilgrim Monument’s Annual Lighting (November 22) serves as the unofficial kick off to the holiday season on Cape Cod. Enjoy hot cider and cookies from 5 to 7 p.m., with the 6 p.m. lighting ceremony illuminating all of Provincetown in a sea in light that will not fade for the entire holiday season. The lighting marks the arrival of the Pilgrims in Provincetown Harbor in 1620, and commemorates the six weeks they spent in Provincetown before moving on to Plymouth. Donations are essential to the spirit of the event, and visitors can donate a bulb on one of the many strings (or an entire string) descending from the tower, in honor or memory of loved ones.

The Chatham Turkey Trot is the best way to make room for Thanksgiving dinner. Participants meet on Thanksgiving morning (November 23) in the parking lot behind the Chatham Orpheum Theater on the corner of Main St and Stage Harbor Rd. (register in advance at The walk/run begins at 8 a.m. In the true spirit of holiday giving, the registration cost includes a small donation of cash and grocery items, to be given to the Lower Cape Outreach Council (the 2016 event raised over $40,000 and 1,200! bags of groceries for the organization).

One of the largest and most exciting holiday season traditions is Gardens Aglow at Heritage Museum and Gardens in Sandwich. Stroll through the gardens and grounds admiring 12 miles of twinkling lights. Roast marshmallows on the fire, visit Santa in a 1913 Ford Model T, enjoy a carousel ride and partake in the Reindeer scavenger hunt. Gardens Aglow is open Fridays-Sundays from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. November 24 – December 17, as well as December 22, 29 and 30.

Another Sandwich holiday classic is the Sandwich Glass Museum’s 8th Annual Glassblowers’ Christmas (November 13-December 30). Free to all visitors, the Glassblowers’ Christmas displays beautiful blown glass from local and nationally renowned glass artists. Their work is hung from festively lit Christmas trees inside the museum, transporting visitors to a world of magical color and childhood memories.