Top Boston Events for September 2016 include Boston Calling, open art studios, outdoor markets, Harbor cruises, and two huge bicycle events. The city buzzes with energy as college and university students return.
September holidays: Labor Day, Monday, September 5
Labor Day Weekend events plus the final days of Boston Harbor Hotel's Blues Barge Jazz Concerts and Summer in the City movies down by the waterfront get September off to an exciting start.
Of course, New England Patriots fans rejoice as the team kicks off the first game of the regular season down at Gillette Stadium. Red Sox fans contemplate the American League playoffs - will this be another World Series win?
Toward the end of the month, you may begin to start seeing glimpses of fall foliage color - every year is different!
Enjoy September's balmy weather by dining outdoors, tossing a frisbee on Boston Common, and joining a whale-watching cruise.
Boston Events Each Month
Boston Calling, the 3-day music festival that attracts sell-out crowds, returns to City Hall Plaza on September 25, 26, and 27, 2015.
National headliners include The Avett Brothers, Alabama Shakes, and Of Monsters and Men, plus approximately 20 additional groups will bring non-stop live performances to the heart of Boston from 6pm-11pm on Friday, and noon-11pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Look for 2 stages, 2 beer gardens, lots of food trucks, and loads of fun! This is a family-friendly event with all ages welcome; kids under 10 attend free. September can be hot and sunny - so bring a sunscreen, comfortable shoes, hat, and sealed plastic water bottles (no glass).
Tickets: Get a 3 day pass
Nearest T Stations: Orange Line/Haymarket or State; Green Line: Haymarket; Blue Line: State; Red Line/Park
Boston Calling also takes place in May, usually around Memorial Day - check the May events calendar for details.
Where to stay for Boston Calling near City Hall Plaza
Half-Price & Discount Tickets for Boston Events in September
- Boston Bruins - Preseason games at TD Garden - Deep discounts!
- Water Country Water Park @ Portsmouth, NH - Full price $42; Goldstar $29
- Whale Watch Cruise @ Boston Harbor Cruises - Full price $35-$51; Goldstar $26 - $39
- The Donkey Show @ The Oberon
- Blue Man Group @ Charles Playhouse - Full price $58-$103; Goldstar $31-$72
- Shear Madness at the Charles Playhouse
Fun Boston Tours for September
Boston Marathon Registration for April 2016 Race
Registration for the Boston Marathon begins on Monday, September 12 (date to be confirmed) at 10am for the race to be held on April 17, 2017. It takes place on a rolling basis over the course of 2 weeks, with runners with times 20 minutes or more below the Marathon qualifying times for their age/gender going first.
Registration is not guaranteed, even if you meet the qualifying standard for your bracket, as the number of people who want to run always exceeds the race's capacity, which is usually about 27,000 competitors. You can find more details at www.baa.org.
Hotels fill up early for Marathon weekend, and rates increase the longer you wait to make reservations - so check out Boston Marathon hotels now!
Harbor & River Cruises - Discount & Half-Price Tickets for September 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 (thru September 25) -
Full price $64; Goldstar $45
- Whale Watch Cruise @ Boston Harbor Cruises - Full price $35-$51; Goldstar $26 - $39 (thru Sept 5)
- Codzilla Boat Ride @ Boston Harbor - Full price $26-$30; Goldstar $18-$23
- Provincetown Fast Ferry to Cape Cod - Full price $65-$88; Goldstar $46-$62
- 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
Pop Art Exhibit at the Rose Art Museum
LA/MA, a new show at the Rose Art Museum, contrasts 1960s Pop Art masterpieces by East Coast artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, and Robert Indiana with work by their West Coast counterparts such as Judy Chicago, Lly Foulkes, and Billy Al Bengston.
LA/MA opens on September 13 and runs through December 13.
Rose Art Museum is part of Brandeis University. Check the museum's website before going for days/hours because the museum follows the school calendar and is closed on holidays, during the summer, and at other times. Additionally, the museum is closed on Mondays and open only to Brandeis classes on Tuesday. Admission is free.
Getting there: Brandeis is in Waltham, MA (415 South Street), about 10 miles west of Boston. Drive and park on campus, or take the Commuter Rail (Fitchburg/South Acton) line from North Station in Boston to the Brandeis/Roberts Station on the campus border, and walk about 5-10 minutes to reach the museum.
For more mid-century art: Don't miss the Institute of Contemporary Art's exhibit of mid-century art opening on October 10th.
New England Coastal Tour
These special 1-day New England Lighthouse Tours on a luxury bus show you spectacular beaches, wetlands, harbors, and lighthouses along the North Shore, New Hampshire, and Maine.
Depending on when you go, you may also see the first displays of brilliant fall foliage along the New England coast.
You'll visit Hampton Beach and have plenty of time to photograph 19th century Nubble Light in York, Maine.
Don't miss this chance to see New England's glorious coast at its best!
South End Open Studios - September 2016
When: September 24-25, 11am-6pm
Where: Boston's South End; Information booths at Tremont and Milford Streets, Albany and Plimpton; and Harrison and Waltham
Nearest T station: Orange Line/Back Bay
South End Open Studios provide a glimpse into more than 200 studios and galleries of some of the city's top artists - and a chance to buy directly from the creators of the pieces on display.
What to look for: Everything from fine arts to hand-built bicycles, from home decor to installation art. Be sure to check out the in-studio demonstrations involving photography, quilts, and letterpress printing.
This is the biggest art event in the South End, with all the major studios and art buildings will be open. See even more on Sunday at SoWa Open Market.
Free Museum Day - Free Admission
Visit Boston museums for free on Saturday, September 24 (date to be confirmed) as part of Smithsonian Magazine's nationwide Free Museum Day celebration.
Participating Boston and Cambridge museums include the Longfellow House, Old South Meeting House, Mary Baker Eddy Library (Mapparium), and Nichols House Museum.
Free tickets: Go to this special Smithsonian Magazine website page, fill in your name and address, and download your tickets: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/museumday/?no-ist
If you need to enter a zip code for a search, use 02108 for Boston; it will also pull up museums in Cambridge and other surrounding areas.
Tickets will be available for download starting on August 1 this year.
Mass Brewers Fest - 2015
When: Friday, September 4, 6pm-9:30pm
Where: World Trade Center Head House Concourse, 200 Seaport Blvd, South Boston Waterfront
Closest T station: Walk from Red Line/South Station or take the Silver Line to World Trade Center
Stay: Hotels in South Boston Waterfront
More information and tickets: Mass Brewers website
Sample 100+ beers from over 30 Massachusetts breweries, enjoy live music, and savor treats such as lobster roll, curry coconut shrimp, Italian sausage, and hot dogs steamed in Harpoon beer. Cost of food is extra, but prices are reasonable. 21+ event.
Save Big $$$s on Museums and More Top Attractions
If you're not going to be in Boston on Free Museum Day, don't forget that a Boston Discount Card gives you free entrance to museums and lots of other attractions every day while your card is valid - plus you get to go straight to the head of the line.
Mayor's Cup Race & Hub on Wheels - 2015
Bikers take over Boston during the Mayor's Cup Race and Hub on Wheels, a 2-day event showcasing two key attractions.
On Saturday, the Mayor's Cup races attract hundreds of pro bikers including Olympians and National Champions complete for a $30,000 purse, along with a kids race for future stars.
Races take place from 11:30 - 5:45pm, and are designed to be spectator friendly. Best places to watch: Congress Street and Cambridge Street under the main banners. Volunteers will be on hand to help you find a good spot.
If you want to participate, bring your own bike (or rent one at a bike shop or Hubway) to City Hall Plaza for Hub on Wheels on Sunday. Choose the 10-, 30-, or 50-mile loop and enjoy a car-free ride on Storrow Drive, along Boston Harbor, and around city neighborhoods. Explore the city without dodging cars! Registration begins at 6:30am, the fee is $50, and the ride takes place between 8:00am and 1:30pm. City Hall Plaza turns into a block party with music, vendors, food trucks, gift bag, snacks, and Harpoon's famous Beer Garden.
Dates: September 19 - 20
More information: http://bostoncyclingcelebration.com
More about touring Boston by bike
More Tours & Cruises to see Fall Foliage in Boston . . . and Beyond
Fall Foliage Tours
Leaves may still be green in Boston in September, so if you want to see gorgeous foliage, you need to go outside of the city where you'll start to see lots of spectacular colors by mid-month.
Luxury 1-day fall foliage tours take you to the best viewing locations in New Hampshire, Maine, and even the Cape (although you'll see more color in the Cape in October). Sit back and relax while someone else drives and you get to enjoy all the scenery!
September 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 September 2015
Book of Mormon - Colonial Theatre - Tickets -September 1 - October 11
A Little Night Music - Huntington Theatre - September 11 - October 11
The Boys in the Band - Boston Center for the Arts - September 11 - Oct 3
Bethel Music Worship Nights - Orpheum Theatre - Tickets - September 12
Diana Ross - Wang Center - Tickets - September 19
The Wiggles - Orpheum Theatre - Tickets - September 20
Josh Groban - Wang Center - September 25
Madonna: Rebel Heart Tour - TD Garden - September 26
Cinderella: The Musical by Rodgers & Hammerstein's - Boston Opera House - Sept 29 - Oct 11
Top Hotels near Boston's Theatre DistrictFind more Boston Theatre District hotels
Boston Concerts & Shows - September 2016 Tickets
- Jackson Browne - Blue Hills Bank Pavilion - Sept 18
- Robert Plant & the Sensational Space Shifters - Blue Hills Bank Pavilion - Sept 20
- The Decemberists - Blue Hills Bank Pavilion - Sept 23
- Boston Calling Music Festival - City Hall Plaza - 3 Day Pass - Sept 25-27
- Rita Rudner - Wilbur Theatre - September 25
- Josh Groban - Wang Theatre - Sept 25
- Madonna - TD Garden - Sept 26
- Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Paradise Rock Club - Sept 27
- Ghost B.C. - House of Blues - Sept 28
- The Jesus & Mary Chain - House of Blues- Sept 29
Boston Concert Tickets:
TicketLiquidator Discount Code - Enter TLSNOW to get $10 off orders of $350+
North End Feasts and Festivals - 2015
Boston's North End Italian Feasts and Festivals take place throughout the summer and early, as they have for 100 years or more - almost as long as Italians have lived in this neighborhood.
Most of the North End feasts celebrate a saint with food, music, religious ceremonies, parades, strolling singers, celebrations, and more - they're like giant street parties.
In general, opening ceremonies take place on Friday evenings, with other events starting around 1pm on Saturday and Sunday and continuing until about 11pm. High Mass usually takes place on Sunday morning.
Santa Rosalia di Palermo - September 13, North Square, procession at 1pm
Nearest T station: Commuter Rail or Orange & Green Lines/North Station
Hotels in Boston's North End
Boston Bruins Preseason Games
The Boston Bruins launch their 2016 season with two preseason games at the Garden in September. Come join the excitement on the ice!
New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium - September 2016
Two New England Patriots home games take place at Gillette Stadium during September - so don't miss this chance to welcome the Pats back for the new season!
Get your tickets now, and get ready to join in the fun! TicketLiquidator Discount Code - Enter TLSNOW to get $10 off orders of $350+
Where: Gillette Stadium Getting there: The Patriot Train - plus more ways to get to Gillette from Boston
Where to stay: Hotels near Gillette Stadium
Tickets: Check for great prices, great seats, and sometimes discounts
TicketLiquidator Discount Code - Enter TLSNOW to get $10 off orders of $350+
Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival - 2015
Jazz will fill the air at free and ticketed concerts during the annual Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival on Saturday, September 26, with local musicians, Berklee College students, and faculty joining superstars in stellar performances of jazz, Latin, blues, and groove acts.
The festival takes place on three stages along a 6-block stretch of Columbus Ave in Boston's historic South End.
Where: Columbus Ave between Burke Street and Mass Ave in Boston's South End
More information and event schedule: http://www.beantownjazz.org/
More about Berklee College of Music
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.
Classics on the Common @ Frog Pond Movie Nights - 2016
Bring a blanket or a lawn chair, and enjoy the warm September Friday evening watching a classic film at Frog Pond on Boston Common. Movies start at dusk.
September 9 - Film TBD
September 16 - Film TBD
September 23 - Film TBD
Please note: The film will be canceled in the case of bad weather. The Carousel will remain open until the film stars (carousel admission: $3)
Location: Frog Pond, Boston Common
Cost: Free; you can buy popcorn at the Pavilion
2 Easy Ways to Save BIG in Boston on Tours, Cruises, Admissions
Best way to save in Boston. Save up to 50% 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.
Local Boston Food Festival on the Greenway - 2015
The Local Food Festival, taking place on Sunday, September 20 from 11am - 5pm on the Rose Kennedy Greenway across from the Boston Harbor Hotel, gives you the chance to sample the best fresh food from local farms and fishermen, plus local wines, beers, cider, and mead.
With music and art by local talent, chefs to prepare the food samples (mostly around $5 or less) from locally sourced food, a seafood throwdown competition, family activities, and exhibits about sustainably grown and produced food, you can have lots of fun enjoying some local flavors at this free festival!
31st Annual Boston Film Festival - 2015
Actors, filmmakers, and film enthusiasts look forward to the annual Boston Film Festival for a chance to view the stellar line up and world premiers.
The line up includes an exciting array of diverse features, documentaries, and shorts from emerging artists to world-famous award winners. Question and answer sessions, discussions, and evening receptions hosted by top restaurants provide plenty of opportunities to chat with directors and network.
When: September 17-21
Where: The glamorous Theatre 1 at the Revere Hotel (200 Stuart Street)
Cost: To be announced
Closest T station: Green Line/Arlington
More information: 617-523-8388; www.bostonfilmfestival.org
Labor Day Boston Events - 2016
Labor Day 2016 takes place on Monday, September 5.
Wondering what to do in Boston on Labor Day Weekend?
Most Boston locals head to the Cape, the Islands (Nantucket and the Vineyard), or the mountains - so if you're planning a Labor Day, you'll find it easier than usual to make reservations easily in local restaurants, get affordable tickets for a Red Sox game, see a show, cruise around Boston Harbor, go shopping for Labor Day sales - and even find some Boston hotel bargains.
Check out these Labor Day Weekent events from Friday, September 4 through Monday, September 7:
- First Friday at Museum of Fine Arts
- Blue Man Group at the Charles Playhouse - (check for half-price tickets)
- Deutsche Bank Championship New England PGA Tour in Norwood
- Mass Brewers Fest
- Summer in the City Friday film at Boston Harbor Hotel at sundown: The Quiet Man (more about the movie series)
Deutsche Bank Championship New England PGA Tour 2015
Top Labor Day Weekend event: PGA Tour golfers compete for an $8+ million purse in the Deutsche Bank Championship to benefit the Tiger Woods Foundation and New England-area charities. The defending champion will take on past champions. TPC Boston, named by Golf Digest as one of the "Top 10 Best New Private Clubs in the U.S." when it opened, is 38 miles south of Boston.
Photo: Courtesy of Deutsche Bank Championship New England PGA Tour
Summer in the City - One More Week!
Boston Harbor Hotel's popular "Summer in the City" series is wrapping up - but since Labor Day comes late this year, events continue through the first week of September and through Labor Day weekend.
Listen to music between 6pm - 10pm as musicians perform on the Blues Barge on Tuesday (Soul), Wednesday (Rat Pack), and Thursday (Blues).
On Friday, enjoy music (starts at 4:30) and a movie projected on a large screen over the Harbor starting at dusk.
Combine these events with a drink at the hotel's Rowes Wharf Sea Grill and dinner at Meritage for the perfect summer evening.
September movie: September 4, The Quiet Man
More about Boston Harbor Hotel