Boston's Event Calendar for February 2021 kicks off with the festive Chinese New Year parade in Chinatown, and also includes the Boston Beanpot hockey tournament, a stellar lineup of shows in Boston's Theatre District, the ever-popular annual return of Disney on Ice during school vacation week, and the huge New England Boat Show.
Please note: many of the usual activities this year are canceled or modified due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic - so please check for updates.
Here's a summary of what normally happens, in case you're planning ahead for next year:
On the concert stage, look for shows from top national and international stars.
February 2021 holidays in Boston:
Valentine's Day - February 14 (not an official holiday)
President's Day - Monday, February 18 (official holiday; most government offices will be closed)
Winter Vacation Week - Starting on President's Day, students at public schools in Boston and the rest of Massachusetts will be enjoying winter vacation for the entire week
Weather during February can be a mix of snow and sunny, cold and warm days.
Embrace the wintry weather by ice skating on Frog Pond, skiing or snowboarding on a nearby slope, or walking around the city when freshly fallen snow turns it white and sparkling. On the warmer days, look for buds forming on trees in Boston's parks.
Indoors, the theater season continues in full swing, concerts take place almost every night, and the Boston Bruins and Celtics attract crowds of fans to TD Garden. And even though the New England Patriots won't return to the Super Bowl again this year, you can still watch the game and celebrate in Boston's many sports bars.
Boston hotels continue to give you their cheapest discount rates of the year during February. This the perfect time to enjoy the city's world-class museums, restaurants, and concerts.
More to look forward to during February: the Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival.
Northern Lights Sunset Cruise - Unwind on this popular after-work cruise as the sky changes brilliant colors and light music plays in the background. Stop by the bar for a drink, watch the sights go by, and hear the USS Constitution's traditional sunset salute - Through Dec 4
Holiday Brunch Cruise - See historic sights and panoramic views around Boston Harbor with friends and family as you enjoy this relaxing cruise with brunch, hot chocolate, and holiday cheer - Book now
An Irish Christmas Carol Cruise - Get into the holiday spirit on the Northern Lights as you raise your glass and toast the holidays with festive holiday music playing in the background on this popular Harbor cruise - Book now
Adirondack III Day Sail - Enjoy cool breezes and the afternoon sun on this relaxing sightseeing sail around Boston Harbor and the Inner Harbor Islands - Starts May 7, 2021
Adirondack III Sunset Sail - Relax as the setting sun turns the sky brilliant colors during this calming sunset sailing experience - Starts May 7, 2021
City Lights Champagne Cruise on Northern Lights - Unwind with a glass of champagne as you gaze at Boston's sparkling skyline as relaxing music plays softly in the background on this affordably-priced night cruise around the Harbor - Starts Feb 19
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 - Starts March 12
Where to stay and dine in Boston's Theatre District
Featured Hotel for February: The Moxy in Boston's Theatre District
Marriott's new Moxy Hotel offers a fun vibe, a welcome cocktail, and a photo booth tucked away in a food truck in its lobby. Located in Boston's Theatre District next to the Wilbur and just a few steps away from the Wang, Shubert, and Colonial Theatres, the 340 "micro" hotel (translation: small rooms, affordable rates) is just one block away from Boston Common. Bonus: a guest-only rooftop lounge with fantastic views of the Common and the Massachusetts State House.
The famous Sully's hot dog stand (2080 Day Boulevard, South Boston) opens on Castle Island on Saturday, February 28 - a sure sign that spring is on its way. Hours through the end of March are 9am - 5pm - so line up for ice cream, fried clam strips, or a lobster roll. It's too early and the ground is too cold for a picnic - but stroll around and enjoy the fantastic views of the harbor.
Disney on Ice February 2021 Show in Boston: Mickey's Road Trip Adventures (To be confirmed)
Get ready to hit the road with Mickey Mouse and all his friends as Disney on Ice presents Road Trip Adventures at premier Boston arena TD Garden. You'll set off with Moana to beautiful sunny Motunui, join a safari with Simba to the Pride Lands, and see a whole new world through Aladdin's magical parade.
You'll love the high-spirited adventures, unexpected surprises, and fast action on the ice as you get to see and know your favorite Disney characters all over again.
Disney on Ice Tickets for Boston Shows - February 2021
TicketNetwork Discount Code - Enter TNTIX to get $10 off orders of $300+
These fun trolley tours, bus tours, and indoor destinations will let you enjoy the best of the Boston even when February weather is chilly!
Winter Break Week Activities in Boston
Public schools throughout Massachusetts and much of the rest of New England close for a week's holiday during the week that includes President's Day - so look for lots of fun family-friendly activities in Boston all week. Find out more
Valentine's Day Weekend
Valentine's Day is big in Boston, with lots of different ways and places to celebrate all weekend.
Here's a quick cheat sheet for planning a celebration to remember:
Galentine's Brunch Cruise - Celebrate friendship by inviting your BFFs on this mouth-watering 3-course brunch cruise for sightseeing around the Harbor, where you may even see porpoises and seals - adult beverages - February 15, 16
$10 Weekend Ticket Special - Boston's Commuter Rail
Ride Boston's Commuter Rail trains as much as you want for just $10 each weekend. Take it into Boston, or use it for a day (or overnight) trip to Salem, Rockport, Wachusett (take an uber to Wachusett Mountain for skiing or snowboarding), Concord, and other destinations.
When public schools through New England close for a week's holiday in February, Boston is the most popular destination.
The annual Children's Winter Festival will take place on Boston Common on Wednesday, February 19 from 10am to 3pm (to be confirmed). Look for snow slides, toboggans, a snow maze, snowshoeing lessons, music, snacks, games, and arts and crafts.
The Highland Foundation will sponsor free ice skating at Frog Pond on the Common throughout the week as part of their Winter Camp. (to be confirmed) You can find more details on their website: www.highlandstreet.org/programs/community-events/winter-camp
Faneuil Marketplace is hosting a free movie series at 6:30pm from Monday to Thursday. More details here
Hotels offer their lowest rates for the year during the winter months, you'll find plenty of winter outdoor activities, lots of shows and performances, museums, shopping, and more. Find our recommendations for what to do in Boston during winter break week.
The legendary Boston Beanpot rivalry pits teams from Boston's 4 major hockey schools against each other in a battle on the ice at TD Garden during the first two Monday nights in February. The winner gets ... (drumroll) ... the Beanpot trophy.
Here's how it works: Week 1 features 2 games, as the teams pair off against each other. In Week 2, winners battle each other for the championship and #2 slot, while the losers play each other to see who will be in 3rd place.
Beanpot Schedule & Tickets:
How do the schools stack up? Here are the number of Boston Beanpot Hockey Championships won by each team since the tournament began in 1952:
Boston University - 30 Championships
Boston College - 20 Championships
Harvard - 11 Championships
Northeastern University - 7 Championships (with 2 wins in the last 2 years, this is the team to watch!)
Boston Insider Tip: More Winter Activities in Boston
When: February 7 - 17 ("The 'Thon" runs from noon on the 7th through noon on the 17th) Where: Somerville Theatre, Davis Square, Somerville Closest T (subway) station: Red Line/Davis Parking: Forget parking around Davis Square. If you must drive, park at the Alewife parking garage in Cambridge, only 1 T stop away from Davis Square Cost: Single ticket prices TBD ($8 last year); $65 for fanatics attending the "24-hour 'Thon'"; $130 for 11-day Festival More information: www.bostonsci-fi.com
The 45th annual Boston Sci-Fi Festival features 11 days of features and shorts from all over the world, plus a 24-hour marathon, "The 'Thon," that separates mere fans from committed fanatics on the fest's final day. Can you sit through 1,440 minutes of sci-fi classics, premiers, cartoons, and more? The 'Thon tests your courage and stamina!
If you're coming to the Sci-Fi Film Festival from out of town, you'll find the most convenient hotel options close to the Red Line of Boston's subway in Cambridge.
Check rates at these hotels near Cambridge T stations:
Black History Month in Boston: Events, Tours, Concerts, Celebrations
Events celebrating Black History Month and commemorating the important contributions of African Americans to Boston (and America) take place throughout the month of February. Here are several you should not miss:
African American Patriots Tour - Conducted by costumed guides, the Freedom Trail Foundation offers these special tours at 12:45 on Saturdays and Sundays throughout February. You'll hear stories about famous Revolutionary Crispus Atticus (that's a reenactor portraying him in the photo at the left), writer Phillis Wheatley, and many more. Tours depart from the Visitor Information Center on Boston Common; see the Freedom Trail Foundation's website for details and ticket information.
African American History Month: Special Talks & Tours - Boston's Museum of African American History in Beacon Hill is planning special talks and tours focusing on the pioneering activists, entrepreneurs, journalists, educators, artists, and authors who organized campaigns to advance the cause of freedom. See their website for details.
Black Heritage Trail - Explore the heart of Abolitionist Boston in this self-guided tour of 14 sites in Beacon Hill, then home to Boston's Free Black community and numerous stops along the Underground Railroad. Pick up a map at the Museum of African American History, and head over to the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial on Beacon Street to begin your tour. Park Service Rangers conduct free tours of the Black Heritage Trail from early May through Labor Day. You can find more information about the tours and download the tour map from the National Park Service website - here is the direct url: http://www.nps.gov/boaf/planyourvisit/things2do.htm
Boston Black - This permanent exhibit at the Children's Museum highlights contemporary Boston's diverse African heritage and Black communities and culture.
What to See in Boston's Museums - February 2021
- Current & Up-Coming Shows
Monet & Boston: Lasting Impression - Through February 28, 2021
Cezanne: In and Out of Time - Through February 28, 2021
Women Take the Floor - Female artists' visions & voices - Through May 3, 2021
Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation - See the transition from urban street art to museum walls - Through May 16, 2021
Black Histories, Black Futures - Teen curators take over - Through June 20, 2021
Collecting Stories: The Invention of Folk Art - February 6 - January 9, 2022
Paper Stories, Layered Dreams: The Art of Ekua Holmes - Distinctive vision and commitment to Black imagery by a Roxbury artist/book illustrator - February 27 - Oct 17, 2021
Museum (and show) admission: $25 adults; free entrance with Boston Discount Cards (GoBoston card and Boston CityPASS). Free admission on Wednesdays after 4pm, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Lunar New Year Celebration Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, & Indigenous Peoples' Day.
Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston - Current & Future Shows
i'm yours: Encounters with Art in Our Times - New acquisitions and iconic works - Through May 23, 2021
Beyond Infinity: Contemporary Art after Kusama - Her pioneering ideas and artistic vision - Through July 18, 2021
Eva LeWitt - Huge colorful hanging wall sculpture made from coated mesh fabric - Jan 16, 2021 - Oct 23, 2022
Admission: $15 adults; free entrance with GoBoston card and Boston CityPASS. Closed on Mondays. Free admission on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents' Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, & Indigenous Peoples' Day.
College Nights at Frog Pond - 2021 - Closed
Due to the pandemic, the rink is closed for the season.
In normal years without a pandemic, you can head over to Frog Pond every Tuesday Night (except for major holidays, and school breaks / vacations) from 6pm - 9pm for College Nights. Show your current college ID and get half-price admission (bring your own skates or rent them at the rink) - it's the best Cheap Date in Boston!
When: Mid-November through mid-March (but not during school breaks or vacations), depending on the weather Where: Frog Pond, Boston Common Closest T station: Red & Green Line/Park St
Romantic Classics & the Bugs Bunny Film Festival - 2021 - Streaming
Due to the ongoing Covid pandemic, the theater is closed for onside viewing but is featuring streaming movies from various sources for you to watch at home. See their website (link below) for details and weekly schedules.
Here's what happens in normal years, in case you're planning ahead: Just in time for Valentine's Day and school vacation week (in case you need an excuse), Brattle Theatre in Cambridge will show Casablanca on February 13, 14, and 15, followed by their Annual Bugs Bunny Film Festival on February 15 - 23, with multiple viewing times.
If home remodeling or building is in your future, the New England Home Show is where you can see hundreds of products and services exhibited in one convenient space, talk to the experts, and collect business cards and brochures for follow-up.
Throughout the show, you can expect to find everything from green energy options to outdoor furniture to fixtures, cabinets, appliances, flooring, windows, and more.
New England's biggest boating event has something for everyone, and is bigger than ever this year. Check out all 250+ exhibits, attend free hands-on docking and line-handling demos, and find out everything you need to know about owning and enjoying a boat.
Stay in nearby hotels, and enjoy Boston Harbor views from the top floors:
When: February 4 - and every Tuesday throughout the year at 12:15pm Where: King's Chapel on Boston's Freedom Trail Closest T station: Red and Green Lines/Park Street Cost: Suggested donation of $3 at the door; your donations are given to the performers More information: 617-227-2155
If you're touring the Freedom Trail on a Tuesday, drop by King's Chapel at noon to hear a 35-minute concert. Performers vary each week, and perform a wide variety of music ranging from jazz to folk, medieval to modern. Particularly special are those featuring King's Chapel's renowned C.B. Fisk organ.
King's Chapel's music programs date back to 1713 when it became the first church in New England to get an organ. The current C.B. Fisk organ is its sixth.
To make your Valentine's Day celebration extra-special by staying over in the city, check out the super savings packages offered by many of Boston's top hotels.
Opt for the "All You Need is Love" Valentine's Day package at Verb Hotel, "Romance on the Harbor" at the Battery Wharf Hotel, the "Romance Getaway" special at Boston Harbor Hotel, or the "Romance on the Hill" package at the Fifteen Beacon Hotel - plus many more!
The Boston Wine Festival, underway from January through early April at the Boston Harbor Hotel, offers a special Valentine's Dinner Dance on February 16 featuring live music, dancing, and incredible food matches with memorable Champagnes from Moët & Chandon.
Alternately, opt for Champagne, a lavish brunch buffet, a New Orleans jazz band, and great Boston Harbor views at the Valentine/Jazz Brunch on Sunday, February 17.
Hear the World's Finest & Oldest String Instruments
Boston orchestra A Far Cry performs its signature work, Tchaikovsky's romantic Serenade for Strings, on 18 of the world's finest violins, violas, cellos, and double basses by crafted over 300 years ago by Stradivari, Guarneri, Amati, and other masters at 8pm on February 15 at Jordan Hall. Find details and ticket information on A Far Cry's website.
Chinese New Year Events - Lion Dance Parade & Chinese Cultural Villages
Boston's huge Chinese New Year Parade in Chinatown features lion dances, drums, martial arts, and firecrackers, and when the weather cooperates, dragon dances (the dragon dancers somewhat fragile costumes don't hold up well in snow, rain, or strong wind).
Chinese New Year 2021 officially starts on February 12 to welcome the Year of the Ox.
The parade kicks off at the main stage in Philips Square (corner of Harrison Ave and Beach Street), continues on Essex Street, winds its way other nearby Chinatown streets, and then each of the dozen or so groups of performers spread out through the neighborhood to continue their performances for the rest of the afternoon.
Chinese New Year Parade date in Boston: Sunday, February 21 (to be confirmed), 10am- 4pm
Closest T station: Orange Line/Chinatown (or walk over from any Downtown Boston T station Cost: Free
- Celebrate the Year of the Rat with free admission and plenty of fun family activities all day to mark the Lunar New Year.
Explore Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese traditions, and enjoy music and dance performances including a Lion and Dragon Dance.
Can't come on the 1st? You can get free admission on other days if you have a valid Boston Discount Card.
Super Bowl Parties & Celebrations in Boston
Super Bowl may be more fun when the Patriots play, but there are plenty of welcoming Boston sports bars with big screens, tasty brew, and even parties where you can watch the game and have some fun even when the Pats aren't involved.
Kickoff happens at 6:30pm EST on Sunday, February 2. Here are tips about where to watch, plus other things to do.