Top photo: Boston Common on an August afternoon, with golden dome of the Massachusetts State House in the background
Summer Dine Out Boston
When: August 18-23 and 25-30 Where: Best restaurants in Boston, Cambridge, and suburbs - hundreds of choices!
Twice each year, Boston foodies look forward to the best restaurants in the city being on sale. You will too, as you sample the affordable fixed price lunch and dinner menus concocted by the city's best chefs. You can start making your Dine Out Boston reservations about 3 weeks ahead of time. Don't wait, because tables fill up fast!
Tour Boston by boat - the best way to see the city! Check out these fun sightseeing, music, and entertainment Boston Harbor cruises on the Yacht Northern Lights and Schooner Adirondack III:
Fun Boston Harbor Cruises To Do Right Now:
Northern Lights Sunset Cruise - Grab a cocktail and apps from the bar and then relax as you watch the sun set on this sail around the Harbor, just in time to catch the USS Constitution fire its cannons as the sun dips down past the horizon
Boston Harbor Cruise on Northern Lights - Soak up Boston's unique sites and rich history on this comfortable sightseeing cruise around the Harbor - perfect friends and family experience! Drinks and small bites are available for purchase at the bar
Brunch Cruise - Savor a delicious 3-course brunch on this relaxing sightseeing cruise around Boston Harbor
Gift Card - Looking for a special gift? Purchase a Classic Harbor Line gift card with a value of your choosing!
Fun Events & Activities on the Rose Kennedy Greenway
Exciting news - some Greenway events and things to do this summer will be happening:
Greenway Food Trucks: Generally Monday - Sunday (but not on holidays) in Dewey Square, Carousel, Rings Fountain (Milk Street), State Street, and Rowes Wharf areas of the Greenway - reduced schedule, with only 2-3 locations and only a few trucks per day.
Farmers Market in Dewey Square run by Boston Public Market offering fresh produce, meat, cheese, breads and pastries, ice cream, and more - opens on June 2; Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:30am - 6:30pm through November 21.
Public Art - See new installations by Mexican-American folk artist Catalina Delgado-Trunk and British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare, plus other revolving art installations thoughout the Greenway, and especially in the Fort Point Channel Park
Fountains - All 7 will be on.
Greenway PlayCubes - Chinatown Park; children must be with a supervising adult.
Greenway Open Market - Each Saturday and the first and third Sundays of each month, 11am-5pm in the Wharf District Parks.
Carousel - Will follow a limited Friday, Saturday, Sunday schedule, 11am-6pm. You can expect lots of cleaning and physical distancing.
Not Now but Maybe Later:
Boston Calling Block Parties held at Dewey Square (between Pearl and Oliver Streets) across from the InterContinental Hotel; different local band each week, plus a cash bar for 21+
Trillium Beer Garden in the Wharf District Parks (High Street and Atlantic Ave) featuring draft beers by Trillium Brewing Company and barrels of Westpoint Rivers Winery.
City Winery Open Air Wine Garden on Dewey Square, with beer and cider by Harpoon Brewery.
On hold for now:
Greenway Fitness Programs: Free fitness classes from local gyms and instructors
The Boston Landmarks Orchestra's weekly free summer Esplanade concerts attract large crowds to the Hatch Shell each July and August with its mix of classical, traditional, modern, and contemporary music. Concerts start at 7pm and run about 2 hours. Bring and blanket or low folding chairs to sit on, and a picnic dinner.
Landmarks Concert schedule for August:
August 18, 7pm-8pm - Livestream of "She's the First" - a musical celebration of the centennial of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote - a link to the livestream will be posted on Landmark Orchestra's website.
Weather alerts and alternate locations in case of rain: 617-987-2000; orchestra website Cost: Free
August is the perfect month to enjoy Faneuil Marketplace'soutdoor seating, as well as a variety of special free events going on this month:
Storytelling on Tuesdays in the South Market Building - 10:30-ll:30am
Art on Wednesdays in the South Market Building - Kids Art 10:30-12:30, Collaborative Art (all ages) 1pm-2pm, Open Studio 3pm-5pm, Apres Work Painting (ages 12 & up) 5:30pm-7pm
Movie Musicals on Thursdays - Preshow activities begin at 7:30 and films start at dusk. Lineup includes: Mamma Mia 2 (8/1), Hairspray (8/8), A Star is Born (8/15), and Bohemian Rhapsody (8/22).
Quincy Market History Hours on Saturdays - Find out about the fascinating history of Faneuil Marketplace's architecture, politics, and geography. 11am-12 noon. Meet your guide by the Directory sign near Anthem restaurant.
Boston Hotel Map
Enter your dates to see available hotels and rates:
Boston Fermentation Festival
Fermented drink and food tastings, speakers, microbiologists, demos, and a chance to make your own sauerkraut under the guidance of local "Kraut Mobsters" make the free Boston Fermentation Festival one of the summer's most unique events.
Where & When: Boston Public Market's Demonstration Kitchen (100 Hanover St) on Sunday, August 15, 10am-4pm (to be confirmed) Don't Miss: The Makers Marketplace showcasing local New England fermentation businesses, and the Libations Lounge featuring New England's most creative brewers and cider makers.
Shakespeare on the Common - 2021
One of the most popular summer Boston events, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company presents The Tempest, one of the Bard's romantic comedies, in this year's 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.
When: July and August (Exact dates TBD) at 8pm on Tuesdays through Saturdays, 7pm on Sundays, plus a 3pm matinee (note - no performances on Mondays); performances run about 2.5 hours; heavy rain and lightening storms can cause cancelations for safety reasons, so if in doubt, call the weather line at 617-426-0863.
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: pick up a discount coupon at one of the event tents (you'll spot them easily) - you'll save a bit on parking, and the garage donates the proceeds to CSC Cost: Free admission; chairs in a small special priority section near the stage are available in return for a donation of $75 or more, with proceeds to benefit CSC.
Four of the biggest and most famous North End Italian Feasts and Festivals take place in August, 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.
August Feasts and Festivals schedule (to be updated for 2021):
St. Agrippina di Mineo Feast and Procession - August 1-4 - Feast starts at 7pm on Thursday and 12 noon on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and continues to about 11pm - Procession on Sunday only, starting at Hanover and Battery Streets
Madonna Della Cava Feast - August 9-11, Battery and Hanover Streets - Procession at 1pm on Sunday; feast opens at 7pm on Friday and 12 noon on Saturday and Sunday, and continues to about 11pm
Fisherman's Feast of the Madonna del Soccorso di Sciacca - August 15-18, - Blessing of the Fishing Waters at Christopher Columbus Park on Thursday at 6pm. Feast opens at 6pm on Friday and 12 noon on Saturday and Sunday. Grand Procession at 1pm on Sunday, on Fleet, Louis, and North Streets, with Flight of the Angel at 8pm
St. Lucy's Feast - August 22, Thatcher and Endicott Streets, procession and feast at 5pm on Monday
St. Anthony's Feast - The largest Italian religious festival in New England, August 23-25, Endicott, Thatcher, and North Margin Streets. Grand Procession starts at 12 noon on Sunday - parades, strolling singers, entertainment, and 100 pushcarts offering mouth-watering Italian food in this "Feast of All Feasts"; feast opens at 7pm on Friday, 12 noon on Saturday and Sunday - St Anthony website
Nearest T station to North End: Commuter Rail or Orange & Green Lines/North Station Cost: Free (although you'll find temptations to spend money on food, drink, and commemorative items)
Berklee Summer in the City: Free Summer Concerts in Boston
Free outdoor concerts take place all over the city during the summer - and Berklee College of Music students, faculty, and alumni give over 400 of them between early June and early October. Music ranges from jazz to classical, Latin to funk, folk to world, and are free.
Locations include Atlantic Wharf, the Boston Public Library, Brewer Fountain Plaza on Boston Common, the Charlestown Navy Yard, Chin Park and City Winery on the Greenway, selected Boston Harbor Cruises, the Arnold Arboretum, Christopher Columbus Park on the waterfront, Downtown Boston, the Longwood Medical Campus, multiple locations in Cambridge, Dorchester Heights, Institute of Contemporary Art, Prudential Center, Fenway locations, and more - so check the schedule at https://www.berklee.edu/events/summer
More Free Summer Concerts in Boston
Concerts in the Courtyard:Boston Public Library in the McKim Courtyard (700 Boylston Street, Copley Square in Back Bay), most Wednesdays 6-7pm and Fridays 12:30-1:30pm from early June through the end of August. Music ranges from jazz to classical, folk to world, and are free. Concerts move indoor to Rabb Hall in case of bad weather. More info: https://www.bpl.org/concerts-in-the-courtyard/
Boston Calling Weekly Block Parties: Live performances by popular banks such as East Coast Soul, Bourbon Chasers, and The Almighty Buck take place every week from 5-8pm on Thursdays at Dewey Square on the Rose Kennedy Greenway from early May through the end of August. Cash bar for 21+ with beer and wine, plus food to purchase. Check out the weekly lineup on their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/bostoncallingblockparties
Enjoy free outdoor concerts at the Hatch Shell on Boston's Esplanade throughout 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 or lawn chair, pack a picnic, and head for an evening of entertainment under the stars.
The August movie lineup includes:
- August 7 - The Lion King
- August 14 - Onward
- August 21 - Spider-Man: Far from Home
- August 28 - Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
When: Movie starts at sundown (about 8pm in August)
More information, including the movie schedule and weather cancellations: Call the Free Friday Flicks Hotline at 617-787-7200
These special 1-day New England Coastal All-Day Tours on a luxury bus show you spectacular beaches, wetlands, quaint seaside villages, harbors, and lighthouses along the North Shore of Massachusetts, 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!
PGA Tour's first event in the FedExCup playoffs, The Northern Trust returns on August 19-23 to TPC Boston, named by Golf Digest as one of the "Top 10 Best New Private Clubs in the U.S.," located 38 miles south of Boston in Norton, MA.
Golfers will compete in The Northern Trust for an $8.5 million purse to benefit New England charities as the defending champion takes on past champions.
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, plus about 50,000 fans. Celebrity guests and artists include Pamela Anderson, Ke Huy Quan, Mike Colter, Sean Astin, Stephen Amell, and many more!
Plenty of dealers will be present also, so indulge in this opportunity to see your own graphic/comic heroes and add to your collection.
Enjoy free outdoor movies, croquet, and celebrations at Christopher Columbus Park in Boston's North End.
Here's the summer lineup:
Croquet - Wednesdays, June 5-Aug 28, 5:30-7:30pm - Play croquet on the West Lawn. Don't know how? A member of the sponsoring organization (Friends of Christopher Columbus Park) will be on hand to teach you Lawn Games - Saturdays July 20-September 14, noon - 4pm - Corn hole, giant jenga, ladder golf, & more! Independence Day Celebration & Fireworks -
Children's parade, cartoon charachters, jugglers, magicians, face painting, and more kids activities from noon-4pm on Saturday, June 29 Movies in the Park - Sundays July 21 through August 26, 7pm - Bring a blanket or low folding chairs and watch family favorites starting at sundown. Find out what's showing: https://www.foccp.org/foccpevents
Boston GreenFest - Free!
Boston GreenFest offers a huge assortment of exhibits, performances, and presentations about sustainable living. EcoThemes include water, energy, green cities, transportation, health, nutrition, and EcoFashion.
GreenFest highlights include:
200+ exhibitors, plus robots, Eco cars to see & drive, Eco Fashion show, and lots of innovation
Green Film Fest - huge lineup of films from around the world
Non-stop live performances
Lots of international cuisines and local food trucks plus a Wine & Beer Garden
EcoForums with top experts discussing critical topics in Faneuil Hall
Free fitness classes (bring your old running shoes and donate them)
Speakers, workshops, art, music, dance, and much more!
When: August 3-5, noon - 10pm on Friday and Saturday, noon - 6pm on Sunday Where: Boston City Hall Plaza and Faneuil Hall Nearest T station: Government Cost: Free admission - all ages welcome More information: www.bostongreenfest.org
Boston Seafood Festival
The Annual Boston Seafood Festival celebrates our city's marine heritage, love of seafood, and commitment to sustainable harvest.
This family-friendly event brings together seafood tastings, chef demos, educational events, all day lobster bake, Battle of the Shuckers, a fish cutting contest, Harpoon Garden, and the traditional Blessing of the Fleet.
When: Sunday, August 12, 10am - 5pm Where: Boston's Chinatown (Harrison Ave, and Beach, Tyler, Hudson, Essex, and Oxford Streets); Main Stage is at Phillips Square (corner of Harrison Ave and Essex Street) Cost: Free Closest T station: Orange Line / Chinatown If you drive: Easiest parking is at the Boston Common Garage; walk 2 blocks to Chinatown
Boston's Chinatown comes alive with lion dances, martial arts, folk dances, and lots of vendors for the annual Chinese Autumn MoonFestival.
What does the festival actually celebrate? Possibilities include the end of the annual rice and wheat harvest, the legend of Chang'e, the immortal Lady of the Moon, and the overthrow of the Mongol rulers in 1368 when a rebel leader distributed mooncakes (which Mongols didn't eat) with messages hidden inside saying "Kill the Mongols."
Mooncakes, a specialty of the festival, are round pastries filled with lotus seed paste - you can buy this delicious treat at all Chinatown bakeries.
Although this 3,000+ year old Chinese festival traditionally falls on the 15th day of the 8th Lunar month - in other words, late September/early October - Boston celebrates it in mid-August. It's the perfect excuse to spend an August Sunday in Chinatown. Start with dim sum or lunch at one of these fun contemporary and traditional Chinatown restaurants, and then enjoy the colorful festival.
Films at the Gate - Free Chinese Film Festival in Chinatown - TBD
The Chinatown Park Plaza on the Greenway morphs into an outdoor movie theater for this popular free event featuring Kung-Fu Classics (Mandarin or Cantonese, with English subtitles; one film this year will be in English with Chinese subtitles). A limited number (250) of folding chairs are available on a first-come, first-served basis - or bring your own, along with carryout from nearby restaurants (no alcohol, though). The festival begins at 5:30pm with games, martial arts, and other cultural performances followed by the feature film starting at 8pm, and runs from August 23 to August 25.
Location: Chinatown Park Plaza on the Rose Kennedy Greenway Closest T station: Red Line, South Station (nearest public restrooms are also here) Cost: Free - sponsored by Asian Community Development Corporation (ACDC), series curator Jean Lukitsh, founding producers Leslie and Sam Davol, and numerous other local organizations, businesses, and individuals More info: https://asiancdc.org/events?category=Movie
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 early July through end of August; 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 Cost: Free
August 3: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
August 10: Smallfoot
August 17: Alice in Wonderland (1951)
August 24: Hotel Transylvania 3
August 31: Dumbo
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, Museum of Fine Arts, Fenway Park Tour, and more. Compare to find out which one is best for you.
Free Drop-In Summer Yoga on Boston Common
Dropping in on free summer yoga sessions near the carousel on Boston Common is part of what makes Boston fun in the summer. Instructors will lead a vinyasa flow class focused on releasing stress and expanding energy and welcome participants of all levels.
When: Every Thursday, 6-7:15 - through September 26 (no class on July 4th) Where: Frog Pond at Boston Common Nearest T station: Green Line/Park Cost: Free Bring: Your own mat, blocks, towels, and belt Boston hotel where you'll find a yoga mat in your room: Nine Zero (and conveniently, it's just steps away from the Common
Fun Free Fridays in Boston in August
Fun Free Fridays give you free admission to top Massachusetts cultural venues throughout the summer, thanks to the generosity of Highland Street Foundation. A different selection of destinations offer no-cost access each Friday from the end of June through the end of August.
Here is the schedule for Boston area destinations during August:
- Franklin Park Zoo
Old State House
Concord Museum (Concord)
- Museum of Russian Icons (Clinton)
- Boston Harbor Islands National & State Park
- Greenway Carousel
- Museum of the National Center of Afro American Artists
- Hancock Shaker Village (Pittsfield)
- New Bedford Whaling Museum
- JFK Presidential Library and Museum
- The Discovery Museums (Acton)
- Fruitlands Museum (Harvard, MA)
- Harvard Museums of Science & Culture (Cambridge)
- Provincetown Art Association & Museum
- USS Constitution Museum
- Boston Athenaeum
- Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston
- Museum of African American History
- Mary Baker eddy Library and Mapparium
- Griffin Museum of Photography (Winchester)
Old Sturbridge Village (Sturbridge)
Lawn on D, a playground for adults located behind the Convention Center in the South Boston Waterfront, is the site of beanbag and other games plus art installations throughout the summer, along with a rotating series of food trucks.
But even when no special events are underway, the Lawn gives you a perfect place to just chill under the summer sun.