Fireworks, Harborfest, Concerts, Red Sox - Biggest July Events!
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!
Exciting concerts this month include Phish, Brad Paisley, Florida Georgia Line, plus lots more.
Other top July attractions include Bastille Day celebrations, Free Friday Flicks on the Esplanade, Shakespeare on the Common, and even a Pizza Festival on City Hall Plaza.
The weather is usually gorgeous, and events move outdoors. Cheer the Red Sox at Fenway Park, head to a nearby Boston beach, take a whale watching cruise from the downtown waterfront, and enjoy some of the many free concerts, art festivals, and other outdoor July events.
Top photo: Confetti rains down at the Boston Pops July 4th concert at the end of the 1812 Overture - photo courtesy of U.S. Navy
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 are expected to be announced soon!
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.
When: - Wednesday, July 3 - Oval opens at 5pm; concert begins at 8pm and ends at 10:00pm
- Thursday, July 4 - Oval opens at 9am; concert begins at 8pm, followed by fireworks from 10:30pm-11pm Where: Hatch Shell, Boston Esplanade More information: Boston Pops and Fireworks
4th of July Fireworks - 2019
When: Thursday, 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. Cost: 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.
Join one of the exciting 3-hour Whale Watching Cruises departing from the convenient Downtown Boston Waterfront, and experience the thrill of spotting whales off the coast of Boston.
You'll see these magnificent creatures close-up from the deck of your ship, probably spot Humpback and Finback whales, and see White Sided Dolphins frolicking in the waters.
These cruises sell out quickly, especially during the most popular months, but booking online is easy through GetYourGuide. Don't miss this iconic Boston experience!
Mashpee Wampanoag Powwow - 2019
The 98th annual Mashpee Wampanoag Powwow takes place on traditional tribal lands on Cape Cod just an hour south of Boston. Dancers, drummers, and other participants celebrate Mashpee Wampanoag culture during this 3-day historical festival with dancing, drumming, games, food, art, jewelry, and crafts. Special events include a Fireball spiritual healing ceremony on Saturday evening at sundown, and a traditional Clambake and crowning of the Mashpee Wampanoag Powwow Princess on Sunday afternoon.
When: July 6, 7, 8 (to be confirmed for 2019) Where: Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Powwow Grounds, 483 Great Neck Road South, Mashpee, MA Tickets: $12; Elders $10, free for children 4 and under More information: 774-413-0520
The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe is part of the Wampanoag Nation of people living in Southeastern Massachusetts and Eastern Rhode Island for more than 12,000 years.
Find out more about the Wampanoags from the Stone Age to the present by visiting the Mashpee Wampanoag Museum (414 Main Street, Mashpee, MA; website).
Harborfest is Boston's 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.
When: June 28-July 4 Where: Main events take place at Faneuil Marketplace and along the Freedom Trail, but with 200+ events, you'll also find plenty of other events happening along the Waterfront and other locations Cost: Free to pricy - depends on the event! Some venues request donations.
One of the most popular summer Boston events, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company presents Richard III, one of the Bard's darkest tragedies about a stunningly flawed king, 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 18 - August 5 at 8pm on Tuesdays through Saturdays, 7pm on Sundays, plus a 3pm matinee on August 4 (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.
Find Special Deals on Boston Hotels & Apartments
Boston Red Sox Schedule - Home Games at Fenway - July - 2019
Location:Fenway Park Nearest T stations: Green Line B or C/Kenmore; Commuter Rail Worcester Line/Yawkey
Indulge your passion for baseball by going to see the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Ticket Discount Codes
TicketLiquidator - Enter TLSPRING to get $10 off orders of $250+
- NHL Playoffs Offer: Enter PONHL35 to get $35 Off Orders $350+
TicketNetwork - Enter TNTIX to get $10 off orders of $300+
Visiting Boston in July? You'll find lots of fun ways to see the city - hop on hop off trolleys, duck tours, lots of themed sightseeing cruises around the Harbor.
Or, if you want to have a sightseeing adventure beyond Boston, head out to the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary on a special 3-hour whale watching 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!
Boston's expansive City Hall Plaza turns into a giant picnic ground when the Boston Pizza Festival returns on July 7-8, bringing all-you-can-eat pizza, entertainment such as pizza tossing shows and live music, adult and other beverages, and games to this family-friendly celebration of summer.
Fans devoured over 27,000 pizzas by top local pizza makers such as Pizzeria Regino, Bricco, Antico Forno, Babbo, and Serafina at last year's event.
Tickets: $35 in advance, or $45 day of event.
More info: https://www.bostonpizzafestival.com/
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 includes:
- July 6 - No Free Friday Flicks
July 13 - Emoji Movie
- July 20 - Elf
- July 27 - Cars 3
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
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 July 4th fireworks on the following night, 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.
Summer in the City - July Events
Boston Harbor Hotel's popular "Summer in the City" series lets you kick back and enjoy free music and movies overlooking the waterfront throughout the summer from June 7 until August 31.
Listen to music between 6pm - 10pm as musicians perform on the Blues Barge on Tuesday (Pop-Soul), Wednesday (Rat Pack), and Thursday (Blues Barge).
On Fridays, enjoy music (starts at 4:30) and Movies By Moonlight - your favorite classics projected on a large screen over the Harbor- starts 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.
July 6 - Field of Dreams
July 13 - The Lion King
July 20 - Splash
July 27 - Wizard of Oz
Figment brings an explosion of creative energy to the Greenway each summer for one weekend of participatory art and culture on July 28 (11am-11pm) and July 29 (12 noon - 6pm).
This free event transforms the entire length of the Greenway from the North End Parks to Dewey Square (across from South Station) into a massive collaborative artwork. Expect to see performances, sculptures, activities, art, photographs, dance, and more.
Bring sunscreen and a water bottle, and come have fun!
You'll get to visit historic Nubble Lighthouse in York, Maine, enjoy lunch, shopping, and leisure time in quaint Kennebunkport, admire the well-preserved 18th and 19th century architecture in quaint Kenebunk Village, visit Hampton Beach, and see all the charming villages along the rocky coastline as you cruise along in a luxury climate-controlled coach.
Pickup and dropoff from selected Boston hotels is included.
Summer BBQ & Beer Cruises - Starts May 25 (Memorial Day weekend) & features a tasty rotation of BBQ styles throughout the summer: Texan BBQ with cornbread, Argentinian gaucho BBE with chimichurri, North Carolina BBQ, Jamaican jerk BBQ & greens, Spanish seafood BBQ with paella, Hawaiian BBQ with roast pork and pineapple. Pair it with beer!
Live Irish Music Cruise - Enjoy the gorgeous Boston skyline while you cruise around Boston Harbor and listen to lively Irish traditional music from the visiting Irish band Curragh - with fiddles, banjos, uilleann pipes, concertinas, and bouzoukis, you'll think you're in a cozy pub in the Emerald Isle - especially when you see all the Irish libations at the bar
ICA Boston Art Show - July
ICA Boston presents We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-85 (June 27 thru September 30). This show focuses on the work of black women artists, and examines the political, social, cultural, and aesthetic priorities of women of color by highlighting their foices and experience. You'll see a wide variety of genres, including performance, film, video art, painting, photography, and more.
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.
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 Ben l'Oncle Soul and Dabe Touré will provide plenty of high-energy music for dancing in the streets. Complimentary French hors d'oeuvres and desserts are offered. Delicious French food from the city's top French restaurants drinks including wine will be available for you to purchase. Come celebrate with 2,000 other revelers, sing "La Marseillaise," and raise your glass to Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité in support of people throughout the world. When: Friday July 14 from 6pm - 11pm (music ends at 10pm) - rain or shine Where: Marlborough Street, between Berkeley and Clarendon Nearest T station: Green Line/Arlington Cost: $33 in advance, $40 at the door; free for children under 10 (warning: tickets normally sell out in advance) Tickets: 617-912-0400, WorldMusic.org
From Stagecoach to Subway: The West End Street Railway at the West End Museum
Visit The West End Museum, one of Boston's small and fascinating history museums dedicated to preserving the history of this neighborhood prior to demolition/reconstruction in the 1950s, to see a fascinating exhibit about how public transportation has shaped life in Boston since the first English settlers arrived in the early 17th century.
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 Meat Loaf, Ming-Na Wen, Karl Urban, Stan Lee, Drew Struzan, 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.
Berklee Summer in the City: Free Summer Concerts in Boston
Outdoor concerts take place all over the city during the summer - and Berklee College of Music gives over 400 of them between June 7 and August 31. Music ranges from jazz to classical, Latin to funk, folk to world, and are free.
Here's a rundown of where and when to look for them:
Atlantic Wharf (South Boston Waterfront) - Thursdays @ 12 noon Boston Public Library (Copley Square, Back Bay) - Wednesdays @ 6pm (not July 4 or 17) Brewer Fountain Plaza (Boston Common) -
Most weekdays @ 12 noon Charlestown Navy Yard (1 Constitution Road) - Thursdays @ 6pm, June 28-August 2 Harvard Square near Club Passim (Cambridge) - Thursdays @ 5:30, June 21-Sept 6 (not July 12 or 26, or Aug 16) Harvard Longwood Campus, Medical School Quad (Fenway's Longwood Area) - outdoors Wednesdays @ 12:30pm - July 11-Aug 29 Institute of Contemporary Art (South Boston Waterfront) - Thursdays @ 6pm - July 5-Aug 30 (not Aug 9 or 16) Kendall Plaza (Cambridge, between Boston Marriott Cambridge Hotel and Kendall T station) - Thursdays @ 5pm (not Aug 14) Kendall Square (300 Athenaeum Street, Cambridge) - Thursdays @ 12 noon Prudential Center Courtyard (Back Bay) - Thursdays @ 5pm
Half-Price & Discount Tickets for Boston Events in July
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Concerts in the Courtyard:Boston Public Library in the McKim Courtyard (700 Boylston Street, Copley Square in Back Bay), Wednesdays 6-7pm and Fridays 12:30-1:30pm, June 1-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: www.bpl.org/programs/concerts.htm
Boston Calling Weekly Block Parties: Live performances by a different group every week from 5-8pm on Thursdays at Dewey Square on the Rose Kennedy Greenway from May 10 through August 30. 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
Landmarks Orchestra Concerts at the Hatch Shell
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.
The Landmarks Concert schedule for July:
July 11 - 6-8pm - NEW this year: "Musical Playground" - Come try out real orchestral instruments, hear recordings, get your face painted, and enjoy exhibits from local museums
July 18 - The Planets - Selections from Edward Elgar, Claude Debussy, Gonzalo Grau, and Gustav Holst
July 25 - Boston University Tanglewood Institute - Selections from Leonard Bernstein and Igor Stravinsky
Boston's Museum of Science thrills kids and adults alike with its mix of more than 700 interactive permanent exhibits, visiting exhibits, special events, live presentations, planetarium shows, and Imax feature films in New England's most digitally-advanced theater.
Here's just a few of the special things you can do at MOS in June: Visit the butterfly garden, think like an engineer when you do a daily hands-on design/build/test challenge, learn something cool at an investigation station, and watch Cuba, Great Barrier Reef, or Volcanoes: The Fires of Creation in the Imax theater. Catch "Music Under the Dome" in the Planetarium: shows set to the music of Radiohead. Or watch one of the Planetarium's special shows such as Destination Mars, Magic Tree House: Space Mission, and Wonders of the Night Sky.
Where: Boston's Museum of Science Admission: $28 general museum admission ($23 for kids). Get free museum admission when you have a GoBoston Discount card or Boston CityPASS card. Some visiting exhibits and special events, planetarium shows, and Imax require add-on tickets for an additional fee.
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.
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 14, 2pm - Starts at St Leonard's Church (Hanover and Prince Streets)
St. Rocco's Procession - July 21, 1:30pm - Starts at US Coast Guard Base, Commercial Street
St. Joseph Procession - July 28, 1pm - Procession starts at St Joseph Society Club (Hanover Street)
Enjoy colorful open-air market booths selling crafts, lucky bamboo, traditional silk clothing, and lots more, plus Chinese folk dances, Lion dances, and martial arts on stage on the Greenway in this mid-summer festival in Chinatown. A great excuse for a tasty meal in one of these fun Chinatown restaurants.
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 1 - August 26; 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
July 7: The Lion King
July 14: SING!
July 21: Coco
July 28: Wonder
Over 500,000 spectators gather at Revere Beach during the course of the big 4-day New England Sand Sculpting Festival to watch 15 renowned master sculptors from around the world work their magic with individual 12 ton allotments of sand imported from Hudson NH, plus water. Sculptors compete for $14,000 in prize money, and the sculptures they create will amaze you with their detail and artistry.
With music performances, a food truck festival, amusement rides, 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 26-28; sculptors work from 8am until 8pm - plus fireworks at 9pm on Sunday Where: Revere Beach, Revere (about 2 miles north of Boston, but easy to get to by subway) Nearest T station: Blue Line/Wonderland - the beach is just 2 blocks away Cost: Free
Enjoy free outdoor movies, croquet, and celebrations at Christopher Columbus Park in Boston's North End.
Here's the lineup for July:
Croquet - Wednesday, through Aug 29, 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 through August 25, noon - 4pm - Corn hole, giant jenga, ladder golf, & more! Movies in the Park - Sundays, July 22-August 26- Bring a blanket or low folding chairs and watch family favorites starting at sundown. July 22: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid; July 29: Roman Holiday
Lawn on D - Concerts, Art, Games
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.
Charlestown Navy Yard "Swinging Summer Nights" Concerts
Head over to the Commandant's House Lawn in historic Charlestown Navy Yard at 6pm on Thursday nights from June 28 - August 2 for free concerts given by musicians from Berklee College of Music. Each week features a different tradition: Brazilian, Alt Rock, Latin, and more.
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
Free Drop-In Summer Yoga on Boston Common
Dropping in on free summer yoga sessions at Frog Pond (next to the carousel) on Boston Common is part of what makes Boston fun in the summer. Instructors (an eclectic mix of writers, musicians, athletics, cyclists, runners, and more) welcome students of all levels.
When: Every Thursday, 6-7:15 - Through Aug 30 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 July
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 July:
- Boston Children's Museum
- Peabody Essex Museum (Salem)
- Cape Cod Maritime Museum (Hyannis)
- Gore Place (Waltham)
- New England Quilt Museum (Lowell)
- Pilgrim Hall Museum (Plymouth)
- Battleship Cove (Fall River)
- Edward M. Kennedy Institute
- Larz Anderson Auto Museum (Brookline)
- The Telephone Museum (Waltham)
- The Sports Museum (Boston)
- Museum of Fine Arts
- The Hall at Patriot Place (Foxboro)
- The Discovery Museum (Acton)
- Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
- Boston Athenaeum
- Commonwealth Shakespeare
- Arnold Arboretum
Outside the Box Free Performing Arts Festival in Boston
Please note: We are awaiting confirmation that this event will take place in 2019 - so stay tuned!
Outside the Box, Boston's largest performing arts festival, transforms the Common by erecting six stages and tents where over 100 local artists and groups stage theater, dance performances, and music for 5 days from July 13-17.
Most events take place on Thursday through Sunday from 12 noon - 9pm.
With so much going on at the festival, you can just walk around Boston Common and find the performances you like best. But if you want to plan ahead, check the festival's schedule on the Out of the Box website.
With so much going on and (usually) hot, sunny weather, July is the perfect time to visit Boston for a day, a weekend, or a longer vacation. These fun trolley tours, bus tours, and special destinations let you enjoy Boston at its best!
Check out all our tips on how to find discounts, deals, and promo codes for Boston hotels. Whether you're looking for bargain accommodations or want to pay less for luxury, we'll show you How to Save on Hotels in Boston.