The Boston Events Calendar for July gets off to a rousing start with Harborfest, the big annual July 4th Boston Pops concert at the Hatch Shell, and spectacular fireworks over the Charles River.
Boston Harborfest, the Boston Pops Concert, and the July 4th holiday fireworks get the month off to a great start - but that's just the beginning of the month's fun events!
Other top July attractions include Bastille Day celebrations, free outdoor concerts, and Shakespeare on the Common. Finally, at the end of the month, the Eagle, America's tallest Tall Ship visits Boston and offers free on-board tours.
July brings beach weather - so plan a visit to nearby Boston beaches, cruise out to the Boston Harbor Islands, or see fascinating marine life by joining a whale watching cruise departing from our convenient downtown waterfront. You'll find lots of terrific things to do in Boston this month.
Celebrate America's birthday on July 3rd and 4th with the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, America's premier Independence Day celebration.
From the opening notes of the National Anthem to the closing bursts of real cannon fire as part of the 1812 Overture, the July 4th Boston Pops concert at the Hatch Shell celebrates Independence Day in spectacular fashion, followed by dazzling fireworks over the Charles River. Special guests this year include Grammy-winner Susan Tedeschi from Norwell, MA and Ayla Brown from Wrentham, MA.
The concert on the day before, July 3rd, gives music lovers a chance to enjoy familar favorites (but no firewords at the end). Pops Conductor Keith Lockhart leads the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra during both concerts.
Tuesday, July 3 - Oval opens at 4pm; concert begins at 7:30pm and ends at 9pm
Wednesday, July 4 - Oval opens at 9am; concert begins at 7:30pm and ends at 9:30pm, followed by fireworks from 9:30pm-10pm
Where: Hatch Shell, Boston Esplanade
More information: Boston Pops and Fireworks
When: July 4 at 9:30pm, immediately following the Boston Pops Concert - ends at about 10pm
Where: Charles River, between the Longfellow and Mass Ave Bridges
Nearest T stations: Depends on where you plan to sit - use Red Line/Harvard Square if you plan to be on the Cambridge side, and Green Line/Arlington or Red Line/Charles-MGH for the Boston side.
Free public transportation on the T: Starting at 10pm on July 4th only - but remember, depending on location, the T stops running between 12:30am and 1am
More information: Boston Fireworks
Boston's most spectacular firework display of the year follows the Pops Concert on the 4th. Watch from tall buildings (Top of the Hub view is spectacular - but reserve early!), rooftops, or the banks of the Charles River.
When: July 2 - July 7, 2014
Where: Main events take place at City Hall Plaza and Faneuil Marketplace, but with 200+ daily events, you'll also find plenty of other events happening in Downtown, Beacon Hill, the Waterfront, and other locations
Cost: Free to pricey - depends on the event! Some request donations.
More information: Boston Harborfest
2013 marks the 31st anniversary of Harborfest, Boston's 6-day long gala celebration of American Independence, July 4th, and the joy of summer in Boston. So many events take place during the festival that you'll have trouble deciding what to do. Highlights of the 2013 lineup:
Come tour America's Tall Ship, the Eagle, the tallest tall ship in U.S.Coast Guard's fleet on Saturday and Sunday, July 27 and 28, at the Charlestown Navy Yard next to the USS Constitution. Built in 1936, the Eagle is a 295-foot long cutter and the only square-rigger currently in U.S. government service.
The free tours take place 10am-6pm on Saturday and 11:30am-6pm on Sunday.
One of the most popular Boston events in July, Shakespeare on the Common usually takes place during the last 3 weeks of the month.
Both the play and dates are still TBD for 2014 - so check back for updates later.
Bring a blanket or low folding chair, perhaps a picnic basket, and get ready to enjoy a magical evening of free theater under the stars.
CSC's annual free Shakespeare on the Common production is one of the highpoints of mid-summer entertainment in Boston - don't miss it!
More information: Shakespeare on the Common
Enjoy free outdoor concerts at the Hatch Shell on Boston's Esplanade throughout July and August.
Schedule and shows for 2014 are still TBD - so check back later. The shows listed below are from last year, to give you an idea of what to expect this year.
This series of family movies provides the perfect excuse to grab a blanket, pack a picnic, and head for an evening of entertainment under the stars.
The July movie lineup includes:
- July 12 - Despicable Me
- July 19 - Wreck It Ralph
- July 26 - Here Comes the Boom
When: Movie starts at sundown (between 8:10 and 8:21 in July)
More information, including the movie schedule and weather cancellations: Call the Free Friday Flicks Hotline at 617-787-7200
Enjoy free outdoor movies during a 6-week series in Christopher Columbus Park, the entrance to Boston's North End, sponsored by the Boston Push Cart Association. Movies include a number of favories from the past 40 years, and start at 7:30 pm.
Here's the lineup for July, 2013:
July 14 - Edward Sissorhands (Johnny Depp!)
July 21 - Singing in the Rain
July 28 - Romancing the Stone
Celebrate summer and Boston's vibrant arts community at a 3-day festival from July 27-29 centered around Copley Square in Back Bay.
Free concerts throughout the days feature jazz, classical, bluegrass, folk, and Celtic music - look for a star-studded mix of performers ranging from Suzanne Vega to Soul Rebels to the Handel and Hayden Society to children's group Flooky and the Beans.
At night, musicians move indoors to restaurants and bars, which will offer specials and deals. Add in theater performances, local artists, street performers, food trucks, and food vendor in and around the square - Copley Square is where you'll want to be this weekend!
Winner of 17 Grammy's, top star Beyonce will perform one of Boston's top concerts of the summer at TD Garden in July. Don't miss this chance to see and hear this legendary performer right here in Boston! Tickets are going to be hard to get - so don't wait!
What's better than touring a tall ship? These tall ships lunch and dinner cruises on Boston's famous Spirit of Boston cruise ship! These special cruises take place only between July 1-5, and space is limited.
Or on July 4th, go on the most special tall ships viewing cruises of all - a 4-hour lunch cruise where you'll see the famed Blue Angels Air Show overhead, or the 4-hour dinner viewing cruise where you can gaze at the tall ships with Boston's spectacular July 4th fireworks display in the background! Get your July 4th cruise tickets now!
You'll hear about tavern life, Native Americans, Slaves, mariners, scandals, politics, privilege, and the birth of American Freedom on this carefully-researched 90 minute walking tour along the Freedom Trail in Charlestown.
When: Saturday nights at 7pm in Charlestown
More about this tour: Spirits of Charlestown Historic Ghost Tours
Tuesday, July 2 vs Padres - 7:10pm
Wednesday, July 3 vs Padres - 7:10pm
Thursday, July 4 vs Padres - 7:10pm
Friday, July 19 vs Yankees - 7:10pm
Saturday, July 20 vs Yankees - 7:15pm
Sunday, July 21 vs Yankees - 1:35pm
Monday, July 22 vs Rays - 1:35pm
Tuesday, July 23 vs Rays - 7:10pm
Wednesday, July 24 vs Rays - 7:10pm
Thursday, July 25 vs Rays - 7:10pm
Tuesday, July 30 vs Mariners - 7:10pm
Wednesday, July 31 vs Mariners - 7:10pm
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Sullivan & Son Comedy Tour: Steve Byrne - Wilbur Theatre - July 10
Shakespeare on the Common - July 25 - Aug 12
Paula Poundstone - Wilbur Theatre - July 27
Blue Man Group - Charles Playhouse - Schedule & discounted tickets - ongoing
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Steve Locke: There is No One Left to Blame
July 31 - October 27- First major museum show of work by Boston-based artist Steve Locke.
Bastille Day, the French national holiday celebrating the storming of the Bastille prison, the beginning of the French Revolution against the tyranny of the monarchy in 1789, and the birth of modern France occurs on July 14. Boston's French Cultural Center celebrates it on the preceding Friday by blocking off Marlborough between Berkeley and Claredon for a huge street party.
Francophone acts Atlas Soul and Madame Moustache will provide plenty of high-energy music for dancing in the streets. Several of the top French restaurants in Boston will sell French food and drinks for 2,000 revelers. Come join in the fun, sing "La Marseillaise," and raise your glass to Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité in support of people throughout the world seeking liberty.
When: Friday July 12, 2013 from 6pm - 11pm
Where: Marlborough Street, between Berkeley and Clarendon
Nearest T station: Green Line/Arlington
Cost: $25 in advance, $30 on day of event (warning: they always sell out early; free for children under 10)
Tickets: 617-912-0400, www.WorldMusic.org
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- Boston Harbor Cruise
- Bye Bye Liver at Hennessey's
- Lunch, Brunch, and Dinner Cruises on The Odyssey in Boston Harbor
- IndepenDANCE Party Cruise aboard the Provincetown II in Boston Harbor
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Stop by Made in Fort Point (300 Summer Street, South Boston Waterfront neighborhood) to catch their series of free summer concerts this summer every Thursday from 7:30-9:30pm.
The eclectic lineup of musicians brings you a new experience each week - plus the concerts give you the perfect excuse for dinner at one of the terrific nearby restaurants: try the lamb sausage flatbread at Trade (540 Atlantic Ave), grilled Island Creek oysters with jalapeno-chorizo butter at Papagayo (283 Summer St), or tagliatelle with Bolognese sauce at Barbara Lynch's Sportello (348 Congress St).
Made in Fort Point exhibits and sells the creations of 75+ Fort Point artists. More information: www.fortpointarts.org
When: July 11-28, 2013
Where: Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave, Fenway neighborhood
Nearest T station: Green Line/Museum
Cost: Most are $10
More information: MFA website
Over the course of 2+ weeks, this annual film festival celebrating contemporary French films showcases some of the best actors and directors, as well as lesser-known talents. Great way to practice your French - or just read the English subtitles. Festival sponsors include the Cultural Services Office of the French Embassy, the French Library Alliance Française of Boston, and TV5 Monde.
Check Boston movie theaters for other local films.
Fans of Boston's gourmet food trucks will welcome the Boston Food Truck Festival back to the Boston area for 2 more festivals during July. Don't miss this chance to sample tasty specialties from 20-30 of New England's top sellers of mobile cuisine.
The New England Food Truck Festivals come to Elm Park in Worcester on July 14, and waterfront Artesani Herter Park in Brighton (near BU) on July 28.
When: Thursdays in July and August, starting July 11 through August 29, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Where: ICA Boston, on Fan Pier in the South Boston Waterfront
Cost: Free - and admission to ICA is always free on Thursday nights
Musicians from all around the world perform free concerts featuring jazz, world music, reggae, Latin, and more on Harborwalk next to ICA Boston. Relax and enjoy great music and gorgeous views.
Boston's North End Italian Feasts and Festivals draw huge crowds to this historic neighborhood. You can smell the wonderful food, hear the music, and sense the excitement as you walk across the Greenway to Hanover Street, where many of the celebrations take place.
These festivals take place almost every weekend throughout the summer.
Here are two of the biggest North End Festivals scheduled for July:
Madonna della Grazie's Procession - July 14, 2pm - St Leonard's Church (Hanover and Prince Streets)
St Joseph's Feast - July 26-28 - Hanover and Battery Streets
Enjoy this free fun family activity - movies under the stars in Prudential Center's lovely South Garden (go up the escalators from Huntington Ave, and it's to your right; from Boylston, it's to your left).
When: Every Saturday from July 6 - August 24; entertainment starts at 6pm, and movie starts at sundown
Where: Prudential Center, South Garden
Nearest T station: Green Line/Prudential
Nearest parking garage: Prudential Center Garage - get discounted parking with a $10 purchase
Here are the 2013 movie dates (list of films coming soon!)
Saturday, July 6
Saturday, July 13
Saturday, July 20
Saturday, July 27
Saturday, August 3
Saturday, August 10
Saturday, August 17
Saturday, August 24
Park Rangers don vintage uniforms and demonstrate how baseball was played during the Civil War Era using original rules - you can watch, or join the game.
Keep in mind there's lots more to do on Georges Island - hike, explore, swim, picnic, bird watch. You're in a different world - but only 20 minutes by ferry from Boston!
Watch the New England Revolution bring men's soccer to a new level at Gillette Stadium, with two home games scheduled for July 2012:
- July 8 at 7pm vs New York Red Bulls
- July 14 at 7:30pm vs Toronto FC
When: July 25, 6pm - 9pm (boards at 5:30pm)
Where: Provincetown II cruise ship, departing from World Trade Center Pier (200 Seaport Blvd, South Boston Waterfront)
Nearest T station: Red Line/South Station (about a 10 minute walk - or take the Silver Line from South Station)
Cost: Tickets are $30, with net proceeds going to the Boston Bruins Foundation bike team
More information: Bruins website
Join Boston Bruins alumni for a fun-filled Boston Harbor Sunset Cruise to raise funds for the Bruins Foundation Bike Team riding in the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge from Sturbridge to Provincetown in August. With music by Jim Plunkett, dancing, and of course, spectacular harbor views, this 21+ event is the perfect way to spend a balmy July evening.
Don't forget to check out Boston Bruins Stanley Cup Apparel for hats, shirts, and other commemorative gifts.
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The Prado (also known as Paul Revere Mall, the lovely shaded park off Hanover Street where you'll also find Cyrus Dallin's famous statue of the Revolutionary War hero) provides the perfect setting for family activities and free concerts on Thursday nights during July and August.
Family activities start at 5:30pm and concerts begin at 7pm.
Concerts for July 2013 include:
Songs and Secrets of the North End - July 18
The American Songbook with special guests, Opera on Tap - July 25
The Boston Landmarks Orchestra's weekly free summer Esplanade concerts attract larger crowds to the Hatch Shell each year with its mix of classical, traditional, modern, and contemporary music.
This year's first concert of the season will be part of the Outside the Box Festival.
The Landmarks Concert schedule for July 2013 includes:
July 17 - Rhapsody in Green - Selections include At the River (De Ritis), The Lark Ascending (V. WIlliams), Tales from the Vienna Woods (Strauss), and Beethoven's Pastorale Symphony
July 24 - A Family Guide to the Orchestra - Music includes Lord of the Rings, the Queen and the Conjurer, and selections by Strauss, Britten, and Brahms
July 31 - Fiesta sinfonica: A Night in the Tropics - Latin-America song and dance music, featuring local salsa musicians
Over 500,000 spectators gather at Revere Beach during the course of the 4-day New England Sand Sculpting Festival to watch renowned master sculptors from across the U.S. and Canada work their magic with individual 12 ton allotments of sand imported from Hudson NH, plus water. The sculptors compete for $14,000 in prize money, and the sculptures they create will amaze you with their detail and artistry.
With music performances, food trucks, and crafts activities on site as well, you'll find plenty of family entertainment - and don't forget to bring your swimsuits, sunscreen, and towels for the beach!
Fireworks provide the grand finale for the sand sculpting festival.
When: July 19 - 21; sculptors work from 8am until 5pm - fireworks at 9pm on Sunday
Where: Revere Beach, Revere (about 2 miles north of Boston)
Nearest T station: Blue Line/Wonderland - the beach is just 2 blocks away
Photo credit: Meiky Nguyen
From July 13-21, Boston's new and fabulous arts festival, "Outside the Box," brings dance, theater, magic, circus acts, culinary arts (yes, some of Boston's best chefs will be showing their skills!), acrobats, clowns, mural painting, street art, and music to neighborhoods all over the city.
Look for events in Boston Common, City Hall Plaza, Christopher Columbus Park Waterfront Park, Copley Square, and more - as the organizers say, "expect transformative experiences in unexpected places!
Photo courtesy of Strange Fruit
SoWa in Boston's South End
Cirque du Soleil
Noon Concerts at King's Chapel on the Freedom Trail
First Fridays at Museum of Fine Arts
Free Friday Flicks at the Esplanade
Free Art and Architecture Tours at BPL
Spray Pool for kids to enjoy on Boston Common
Free Concerts at the Esplanade
Free Victory Garden Tour
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