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 - but that's just the beginning of the month's fun events!
Other top July attractions include Bastille Day celebrations, Free Friday Flicks, and Shakespeare on the Common.
The weather is usually gorgeous, and plenty of events take advantage of it. You can go enjoy a concert at Blue Hills Pavilion on the South Boston Waterfront, soak up some sun at a Red Sox game in Fenway Park, and enjoy music and fun during Summer Arts Weekend.
Or just relax on the swings at Lawn at D, or have a picnic on the Greenway.
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!
Boston Events Each 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 fireworks at the end). Pops Conductor Keith Lockhart leads the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra during both concerts.
- Sunday, July 3 - Oval opens at 5pm; concert begins at 8:30pm and ends at 10:00pm
- Monday, July 4 - Oval opens at 9am; concert begins at 8:30pm and ends at 9:30pm, followed by fireworks from 10:30pm-11pm
Where: Hatch Shell, Boston Esplanade
More information: Boston Pops and Fireworks
4th of July Fireworks - 2016
When: Monday, July 4 at 10:30pm, immediately following the Boston Pops Concert - ends at about 11pm
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: After 9:30pm, MBTA service will be free.
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.
Lawn on D - Concerts, Art, Games
Lawn on D, an adult playground behind the Convention Center in the South Boston Waterfront, is the site of Berklee College of Music summer concerts (Fridays, 12 noon-2pm), beanbag and other games, and art installations throughout the summer, along with a rotating series of food trucks.
For example, Intrude will transform the Lawn with an installation of giant inflatable rabbits from July 9 - 12. More temporarary exhibits and performance projects will unfold throughout the summer. PorchfestFEST on August 8 (3pm-9pm) will bring together Boston-based musicians for an afternoon of eclectic music and an evening of dancing under the Lawn's giant party tent.
But even if no special event is underway, the Lawn gives you a perfect place to just chill under the summer sun.
Event schedule and information: website
A visit to Lawn on D provides the perfect excuse to sample one of the many new restaurants in the Seaport and Fort Point areas of the South Boston Waterfront.
For Boston Harbor views while you dine, visit a Seaport restaurant.
To try the creative cuisine of some of Boston's most innovative chefs, head to a Fort Point restaurant.
Half-Price & Discount Tickets for Boston Events in July 2016
- Water Country Water Park @ Portsmouth, NH -
Full price $42; Goldstar $29
- Whale Watch Cruise @ Boston Harbor Cruises - Full price $35-$51; Goldstar $26 - $39
- If/Then @ Boston Opera House - Full price $104; Goldstar $57
- Boston Cupcake Crawl in Back Bay, South End, Boston Common
- Salem Witchcraft Walk in Salem MA - Full price $10; Goldstar $5
- Blue Man Group @ Charles Playhouse - Full price $58-$103; Goldstar $31-$72
- Shear Madness at the Charles Playhouse
- Nick's Comedy Stop - Boston Theatre District - Full price $20, Goldstar $0 - $10
Return to top - Boston Event Calendar for July
Tall Ship Sagres in Boston
The Portuguese Navy Tall Ship Sagres will arrive at 9am Fan Pier Marina in Boston on Friday, July 10 after making a stop in New Bedford.
Sagres will offer free tours to the public from 10:30am-10:30pm on July 11 and 12, and from 10:30am to 4:30pm on July 13.
For more information (and to confirm tour times, in case of any changes: www.sailboston.com/event/visiting-ship-sagres; photo at the left is courtesy of Sail Boston.
Plan Ahead: More Tall Ships in Boston in 2017
Mark your calendar now - the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta is coming to Boston on June 17-22, 2017 as the finish point from a race from Bermuda. A number of ships from European host ports will be part of the fleet. Stay tuned for more details as they become available closer to the event date!
More Harbor & River Cruises - Discount & Half-Price Tickets for July 2016
The best way to tour Boston! Save with Goldstar's listings for discount and half-price Boston Harbor & Charles River cruises - why pay more?
Discount cruise tickets for 2016 are just now becoming available - so check back soon to see even more!
- Boston Harbor Lighthouse Brunch Cruise @ Departs from Boston Harbor -
Full price $64; Goldstar $45
- Provincetown Fast Ferry to Cape Cod - Full price $65-$88; Goldstar $46-$62
- Whale Watch Cruise @ Boston Harbor Cruises - Full price $35-$51; Goldstar $26 - $39
- Codzilla Boat Ride @ Boston Harbor - Full price $26-$30; Goldstar $18-$23
- Boston to Salem Fast Ferry - Full price $35-$45; Goldstar $25-$32
- Charles River & Locks Cruise - Full price $24-$28; Goldstar $16-$19
- Boston Harbor Sunset Cruise - Full price $25-$29; Goldstar $12-$17
Most of these cruises are available through early fall, and may have black-out dates around July 4th and Labor Day. Some (especially those involving food) require advance reservations, so check details carefully.
More Fun Boston Tours for July
Queen Mary II in Boston -
Queen Mary 2, the largest and most expensive passenger ship in the world and crown jewel of the Cunard shipping line, will sail into Boston's CruisePort at noon on July 4th as part of a cruise originating in New York.
The Queen Mary 2 will stay in Boston overnight for the fireworks over Boston Harbor on the night of the 4th, and depart on the 5th.
Planning to stop by to see the Queen Mary 2? Treat yourself to a meal or drink at one of the nearby Seaport restaurants and bars overlooking Boston Harbor.
Shakespeare on the Common - 2016
One of the most popular summer Boston events, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company presents Love's Labour's Lost, one of the Bard's funniest early comedies, for Shakespeare on the Common.
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. You can also rent a chair for $5, plus a $5 deposit that you will get back when you return the chair.
Bring your own food, or purchase something tasty from the vendors who will be onsite for the occasion. Toilets are available at the nearby tennis courts.
Shakespeare on the Common is a highlight of mid-summer entertainment in Boston - don't miss it!
More information: Shakespeare on the Common
When: July 20 - August 7 at 8pm on Tuesdays through Saturdays, 7pm on Sundays, plus a 3pm matinee on August 6 (note - no performances on Mondays); performances run about 2.5 hours
Where: Boston Common, near the Parkman Bandstand
Getting there: By subway: Green/Red line to Park Street Station, or Green Line to Boylston; By car: Park under the Common in the Boston Common Parking Garage
Cost: Free admission; chairs in a small special section near the stage are available in return for a donation of $50 or more, with proceeds to benefit CSC.
Hotels near Boston Common
Free Friday Flicks at the Hatch Shell
Enjoy free outdoor concerts at the Hatch Shell on Boston's Esplanade throughout July and August.
This series of family movies sponsored by WBZ NewsRadio 1030 and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) 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 for 2016 includes:
- July 15 - Cinderella
- July 22 - Inside Out
- July 29 - Star Wars: The Force Awakens
When: Movie starts at sundown (about 8:15 in July)
More information, including the movie schedule and weather cancellations: Call the Free Friday Flicks Hotline at 617-787-7200
Summer Arts Weekend in Boston - 2015
Celebrate summer and Boston's vibrant arts community at a 2-day festival from July 25-26 centered around Copley Square in Back Bay.
Free concerts throughout the days feature jazz, classical, folk, and Americana music - look for a star-studded mix of performers ranging from Emmylou Harris to the Dirty Dozen Brass Band to the Handel and Haydn Society.
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!
For even more free music, head over to City Hall Plaza where Caliente! will perform Latin American music on the 25th and 26 as part of Figment Boston.
Over on the Greenway, Figment Boston will host an interactive arts event with music, art, theater, and improv.
Boston Hotels near Copley Square***y-hotels-copley-charlesmark-mandarin-fairmontcopleysq-lenox.shtml***
Whale-Watching Cruise + New England Aquarium
What's better than sightseeing in Boston?
Heading out to the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary on a special 3-hour cruise to get close-up views of humpback whales, Atlantic dolphins, sea birds, and friendly porpoises from the three outdoor decks. It's a different world!
After your cruise brings you back to Boston's Central Wharf, spend time at the New England Aquarium exploring fascinating exhibits and watching sharks, stingrays, penguins, and more.
Your ticket includes both the whale watch cruise and the Aquarium at a special discounted combo price. Find out more
Fun Sightseeing Tours of Boston
July 2016 Boston Red Sox Schedule - Home Games at Fenway
Indulge your passion for baseball by going to see the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Hotels near Fenway Park
Boston Theater & Shows for July 2016TicketLiquidator | AceTicket | Goldstar - Discount Tickets
Top Hotels near Boston's Theatre DistrictFind more Boston Theatre District hotels
Boston Concerts & Shows - July 2016 - Tickets
- Josh Groban & Sarah McLachlan - Blue Hills Bank Pavilion - July 30
Tickets:TicketLiquidator | AceTicket | Goldstar - Discount Tickets
Chinatown Main Street Festival - 2016
Enjoy colorful Chinese folk dances, Lion dances, martial arts performances, Chinese Opera, and vendor booths in this mid-summer festival in Chinatown. This year will also mark the first annual Karaoke Contest. Enjoy dim sum at a nearby restaurant.
When: Saturday, July 2, 10am - 5pm
Location: Harrison Ave and surrounding streets, Chinatown in Downtown Boston
Where to eat: Recommended Chinatown restaurants
Closest T station: Orange Line / Chinatown
If you drive: Parking garages near Theatre District and Chinatown
Berklee Navy Yard "Swinging Summer Nights" Concerts
Head over to the Commandant's House Lawn in historic Charlestown Navy Yard at 6pm on every Friday night in July for a free concert given by musicians from Berklee College of Music.
Bring a blanket or lawn chair and settle in for a relaxing concert under the stars. Food will be available to purchase nearby; no alcohol permitted.
Fun way to get there from the Downtown Boston Waterfront: Hop on the Inner Harbor Ferry (part of Boston's "T" system) at Long Wharf. But do note: the last ferry back departs shortly after 8pm, so if you miss it, be prepared to walk 10-15 minutes to get back to Boston - you can check the ferry schedule here: http://www.mbta.com
ICA Boston Art Show Opening in July
July through September 1- First major museum show of work by Boston-based artist Steve Locke.
A visit to the Institute of Contemporary Art to see this show gives you the perfect excuse for exploring the South Boston Waterfront and nearby Fort Point areas.
This is the city's fastest-developing (and possibly trendiest) neighborhood - and with several top museums, Harborwalk, the Blue Hills Pavilion, and more restaurants than you can count (with new places opening almost every month), there's plenty to do here.
Plan Your Visit: Popular South Boston Waterfront & Fort Point Hotels near ICA Boston
Tide Power in Colonial Boston at the West End Museum
The West End Museum, one of Boston's small and fascinating history museums dedicated to preserving the history of this neighborhood prior to demolation/reconstruction in the 1950s, is opening a new exhibit on the role of tides in Colonial Boston.
The exhibit shows how early Bostonians harnessed power from the tides to fuel mills producing flour, fabric, lumber, and chocolate - products that helped the colony grow and prosper prior to the industrial revolution - and how the lust for creating new land for the city's expansion eventually led to their downfall.
When: July 14-September 19, Tuesday-Friday 12 noon - 5pm and Saturday 11am - 4pm (opening reception on July 21 at 6pm)
Where: 150 Staniford Street, Boston's West End (near TD Garden)
Nearest T station: Orange Line/North Station
More information about West End Museum and other Boston Museums
Bastille Day in Boston
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 Paris Combo and The Hot Sardines 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 8 (date to be confirmed) from 6pm - 11pm (music ends at 10pm) - rain or shine
Where: Marlborough Street, between Berkeley and Clarendon
Nearest T station: Green Line/Arlington
Cost: $28 in advance, $35 at the door; free for children under 10 (warning: tickets always sell out early)
Tickets: 617-912-0400, WorldMusic.org
Boston Comic Con Expo - 2016
When: August 12 - 14
Where: Seaport World Trade Center, South Boston Waterfront
Cost: $20 for Friday or Sunday, $30 for Saturday, $65 all 3 days (last year's prices - will be updated for 2016 soon)
Stay nearby: South Boston Waterfront Hotels near the Seaport World Trade Center
More info: www.bostoncomiccon.com
Boston Comic Con gives you the chance to meet and chat with over 200 top graphic novelists, super hero artists, and developers of anime, movies, games, and toys. This year's top celebrity guest (Friday and Saturday only) will be William Shatner, aka Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise.
Plenty of dealers will be present also, so indulge in this opportunity to see your own graphic/comic heroes and add to your collection.
Fun Sightseeing Tours of Boston
Free Concerts in Fort Point
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 5:30-8:00pm.
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
Harborwalk Sounds at ICA Boston
When: Thursdays in July and August, starting July 9 through August 27, 6:00pm - 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, dance music, Latin, and more on Harborwalk next to ICA Boston. Relax and enjoy great music and gorgeous views.
Not Sure about Boston Neighborhood Locations?
This neighborhood map should help you get oriented. You can find a list of top attractions in each neighborhood here.
Need a more details? Here are our favorite free and low-cost Boston maps.
North End Feasts and Festivals - July
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.
North End Festivals scheduled for July:
Madonna della Grazie's Procession - July 12, 2pm - Starts at St Leonard's Church (Hanover and Prince Streets)
St. Rocco's Procession - July 19, 1pm - Starts at St Leonard's Church (Hanover and Prince Streets)
St. Agrippina di Mineo Feast and Procession - July 30-Aug 2 - Feast starts at 12 noon each day - procession at 12 noon on Sunday starting at Hanover and Battery Streets
Magic 106.7 Family Film Festival
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 the garden is to your right; from Boylston, it is on your left).
When: Every Saturday from July 11 - August 29; entertainment and children's activities start at 5pm, and movies start at sundown; rain dates will be held on the following Wednesday
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 is the 2015 schedule:
The Boxtrolls - Saturday, July 11
Frozen - Saturday, July 18
Big Hero 6- Hood vs Evil - Saturday, July 25
UP - Saturday, August 1
Paddington - Saturday, August 8
Ratatouille - Saturday, August 15
Toy Story- Saturday, August 22
Dispicable Me - Saturday, August 29
Boston Discount Cards for Attractions, Tours, Cruises
Best way to save in Boston. Save 50% or more when you take a Boston Harbor cruise or Duck Boat tour, visit Plimouth Plantation, the New England Aquarium, Museum of Science, Prudential Skywalk Observatory, Museum of Fine Arts, Fenway Park Tour, and more. Compare to find out which one is best for you.
Vintage Baseball at Georges Island
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!
New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium
Watch our local soccer team, the New England Revolution, bring men's soccer to a new level at Gillette Stadium.
Only 1 home game is scheduled for July:
- July 18 at 7:30pm vs NYCFC
Hotels near Gillette Stadium
Futures at Fenway
When: Saturday, July 12 (to be confirmed), 3:30pm (gates open at 2)
Where: Fenway Park
Closest T station: Green Line / Kenmore
If you drive: Best parking garages and lots near Fenway Park
Staying over: Hotels near Fenway Park
Tickets: From $15
The 9th annual Futures at Fenway event combines kid-friendly activities and affordable ticket prices and discounted concessions with an exciting game starring 2 top minor league teams, the Lowell Spinners (Red Sox AA Affiliate) vs the Mahoning Valley Scrappers (Indian A Affiliate).
To add to the excitement, for the first time ever, you can bring your dog and sit in special designated sections. (Yes, your dog will need a ticket too!) Ticket information
A special showing of the classic baseball movie, Field of Dreams, follows the game (starts about 30 minutes after the game ends).
Find out more about Boston discount cards, and how they give you big savings on top attractions.
Landmarks Orchestra Concerts at the Hatch Shell - 2015
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. Concerts start at 7pm and run about 2 hours.
The Landmarks Concert schedule for July includes:
July 15 - Rhapsody in Green - Selections from Debussy, Mendelssohn, Pulitzer Prize winning composer Kevin Puts, Alan Hovhaness, and hometime performer Jayne West performing Berklee professor Francine Trester's new setting of At the River (world premier)
July 22 - Fiesta Sinfonica - salsa meets symphony
July 29 - Longwood Symphony - A Night at the Ballet
Weather alerts and alternate locations in case of rain: 617-987-2000; orchestra website
Sand Sculpting Festival at Revere Beach - 2016
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 22-24; sculptors work from 8am until 8pm - fireworks at 9pm on Sunday (fireworks still being confirmed)
Where: Revere Beach, Revere (about 2 miles north of Boston)
Nearest T station: Blue Line/Wonderland - the beach is just 2 blocks away
Outside the Box Free Performing Arts Festival
When: July 14-19, with performances starting at 5pm on opening night and from 12 noon - 8pm on other days.
Where: Boston Common
Cost: Free (thanks to Outside the Box founder, philanthropist Ted Cutler)
Getting there: Take the "T" - Red & Green Line/Park Station (more about Boston's subway)
More information: otbboston.com
Over 100 talented artists and organizations from New England and beyond take part in this amazing 6-day performance arts festival, which also includes the Earth Day celebration. Boston Common gets transformed into a huge performance stage for the musicians, dancers, actors, and other performers who provide non-stop entertainment during the Outside the Box Festival. Hands-on activities for kids of all ages will also be available.
Bring a blanket, food (vendors will also be nearby), sunscreen, and water (no alcohol).
Free Sunday Night Movies in Christopher Columbus Park
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 favorites from the past 40 years, and start at dark.
Here's the lineup for July 2015:
July 12 - Driving Miss Daisy
July 19 - Toy Story
July 26 - Shrek 2
Top Hotels near July 4th Fireworks & Pops ConcertMore hotels close to Boston's July 4th fireworks
Boston Harborfest - 2015
When: July 1 - July 5
Where: Main events take place at Faneuil Marketplace and along the Freedom Trail, but with 200+ daily events, you'll also find plenty of other events happening along the Waterfront and other locations
Cost: Free to pricey - depends on the event! Some venues request donations.
More information: Boston Harborfest
Harborfest is Boston's 5-day long gala celebration of American Independence, July 4th, and the joy of summer in Boston. Revolutionary War reenactments, cruises, exhibits, walking tours, and more exciting events showcase Boston's colonial, Revolutionary War, and maritime history.