Venus is very bright in the southwest these days from 5 p.m. but can be seen at 4:30, when the sky is not yet dark. It's even brighter when it comes around as a morning star, as it did early this year, but lot of people don't get up early enough to notice. But 5 p.m. is a convenient time to step outside and take a peek, weather permitting. And when I'm out at that time with Venus easy to see and point it out to any neighbors that happen to be out and about or people passing by walking their dogs, most say they had never noticed.
And here's a brief guide to viewing Venus and others this month:
EarthSky: Nov. 2012 Guide to Viewing the five visible planets