Top Boston Events for September 2020 normally include open art studios, outdoor markets, Harbor cruises, and two huge bicycle events. The city buzzes with energy as college and university students return.
But September events will be somewhat different this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Fewer students will return this year as classes at a number of our universities such as Harvard will be online only or partially, with significantly fewer students on campus, and the Boston Marathon, rescheduled from April to September 14, has now been cancelled. Several of the biggest concerts have been cancelled or postponed, although on the good-news front, the My Chemical Romance concert at TD Garden is still a "go."
September holidays: Labor Day, Monday, September 7
New England Patriots fans rejoice as the team kicks off the first regular season game at Gillette Stadium. Red Sox fans will be watching the end of the shortest MLB season ever.
Toward the end of the month, you may begin to start seeing glimpses of fall foliage color - every year is different!
Top photo: Mellow September afternoon in Boston's historic Beacon Hill neighborhood
Labor Day Boston Events - 2020
Labor Day takes place on Monday, September 7.
Wondering what to do in Boston on Labor Day Weekend?
Most Boston locals jump on the fast ferry to Provincetown for the weekend, make a day trip to the Vineyard, or head to the mountains - so if you're planning a Labor Day, you'll find it easier than usual to make reservations in local restaurants for outdoor tables, cruise around Boston Harbor, go shopping for Labor Day sales - and even find some Boston hotel bargains.
Fun Events & Activities on the Rose Kennedy Greenway - 2020
Greenway events continue through early-mid fall:
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; 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.
City Winery on the Greenway - Wednesday through Sunday, near Dewey Square. Masks and distancing required; guests may order at the bar but otherwise, you must remain at your (distanced) table - so no standing/socializing in groups
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 with Slainte, the Northern Lights' house Irish band. Raise your glass and toast the holidays as you join in singing some merry Irish holiday ballads on this popular Harbor cruise - Book now
Fall Foliage Boston Harbor Cruise on the Northern Lights
These scenic sightseeing cruises around Boston Harbor during October shows you colorful fall foliage as you cruise aroung the Boston Harbor Islands.
You'll see Long Island Head Light, Boston Light (America's oldest light house), Fort Warren on Georges Islands, Fort Independence, and the brightly colored foliage on Peadock's Island and Thompson's Island.
This New England Coastal All-Day Tour gives you spectacular views of the beautiful New England coastline along Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. Toward the end of September, you'll probably begin to see brilliant foliage as you go north.
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 (after Labor Day, you may just drive by Hampton Beach and visit Stonewall Kitchen instead), and see all the charming villages along the rocky coastline as you cruise along in a luxury climate-controlled coach.
Pickup and dropoff from select Boston hotels is included.
Boston Marathon Registration for April 2021 Race - POSTPONED
Registration for the Boston Marathon was scheduled to begin on Monday, September 14 at 10am ET for the race to be held in April, 2021 - but has now been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Boston Athletic Association officials are said to be consulting with a team to make a decision about registration and the marathon next spring, scheduled for April 19, 2021.
Registration 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 31,500 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!
New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium - September 2020
Two New England Patriots home games take place at Gillette Stadium during September, plus one pre-season game at Gillette in early 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!
TicketNetwork Discount Code - Enter TNTIX to get $10 off orders of $300+
The free annual Revels RiverSing welcomes fall with a family-friendly Autumn Equinox celebrationat their new riverfront location at Herter Park Amphitheater in Allston on Saturday, September 21, 5pm-7:30pm (rain or shine).
Family activities begin at 5pm. Singing begins at 6pm.
This free theatrical event features over 100 performers of music and song, along with poetry readings, acrobats, circus performers, puppets, and a folk band. Best of all, you get to join in!
Even though the holiday season still seems far away, don't forget to also put Christmas Revels, a beloved Boston tradition, on your calendar for December.
Location: 1175 Soldiers Field Road, in Boston's Allston neighborhood Getting there by T: Take the 70 bus from Central Square or 86 bus from Harvard Square; get off at Western Avenue and Everett Street, walk north one block on Everett Street, cross Soldiers Field Road to Herter Park Admission: Free Parking: Free in the large adjacent parking lot
Fun Ways to See Boston in September
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 an excuse to squeeze in one more beach day? Stop by the Revere Beach Art Festival where local artists and Revere High School students display their work near the Markey Pedestrian Bridge, which connects the Wonderland T station with the beach. Watch as artists create masterpieces before your eyes for the festival's live art competition, and then stop by Kelly's for a fried clam platter.
When: Saturday, September 14
Where: Revere Beach Nearest T station: Blue Line/Wonderland - the beach is just 2 blocks away Cost: Free
Experience another world when you visit Martha's Vineyard, a small island south of Cape Cod with beautiful beaches and scenery, quaint cottages (and huge mansions), and chic clothing boutiques and art galleries.
After pickup from downtown hotels, a comfortable coach ride to Cape Cod, and a short ferry ride to the Vineyard, you'll have the day to explore all the local sights including the iconic lighthouse, cliffs, and whaling captains' homes.
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!
Enter your dates to see available hotels and rates:
What exactly is "Allston Christmas"? When the Boston area's roughly 250,000 college students return to campus in September, a significant number move into apartments, just as others move out at the end of August and dump unwanted furniture including queen-sized beds and massive couches, household items, and clothes on the sidewalks and into the streets, up for grabs.
Allston along with Brighton, Longwood, Mission Hill, Beacon Hill, Cambridge, and parts of Brookline and Somerville are the most-impacted Boston neighborhoods due to their large number of student residents. With countless UHauls blocking the streets and gridlocking traffic for a couple of days before and after September 1, you may want to avoid these areasif you're visiting the city during this period - unless you want to try your luck at finding the perfect mirror or nice pair of lamps among the debris.
South End Open Studios - 2020
When: September 19-20, 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.
Getting around: Pick up a free printed guide with maps at the information tables at Boston Center for the Arts (551 Tremont Street) and on the sidewalk in front of 560 Harrison Ave, and plot your route among the galleries (look for the free shuttle if you get tired of walking).
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.
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Hub on Wheels Citywide Ride - TBD
Bikers take over Boston during TD Hub on Wheels on Sunday, September 13.
Experience biking along a car-free (!) Storrow Drive and journey through Boston's Emerald Necklace of parkland and neighborhoods (most streets in these areas will not be closed) along a 40-mile loop, or do the family-friendly 10-mile loop. Both courses start and end at City Hall Plaza in Downtown Boston.
If you want to participate, bring your bike to City Hall Plaza for Hub on Wheels on Sunday.
Here's the Hub on Wheels schedule:
6:45-7:45am - Register and pick up your bib. Registration fee is $55 (free for youth 10-17 on the 10-mile loop); part of fee supports Boston Children's Hospital 8am - Proceed down Court Street and turn left onto Congress Street to get into the Start Line queue 10:30am - 2pm - Finish Line Festival at City Hall Plaza with music, vendors, beer garden, food, and more
Classics on the Common @ Frog Pond Movie Nights - TBD
Bring a blanket or a lawn chair, and enjoy the warm September Friday evening watching a classic film at Frog Pond on Boston Common. The movie starts at dusk (7pm).
Schedule: September 21 - Black Panther
Please note: The film will be cancelled in the case of bad weather. The Carousel will remain open until the film starts (carousel admission: $3). Popcorn and other refreshments will be available for purchase at the Pavilion. Location: Frog Pond, Boston Common Cost: Free Park: Boston Common Parking Garage Dine: Check out restaurants in nearby Chinatown and the Theatre District
More Fun Ways to See Boston in September
The Boston Cup - Classic Car Show on Boston Common - TBD
Get ready to drool when you see a vintage and a new Bugatti among the 100 exceptional cars on display at The Boston Cup classic car show on Boston Common. The show takes place on September 29, 9am - 2pm near the Parkman Bandstand.
Tickets are not cheap - $50 and $100, depending on the type of access you want - but the City gets reimbursed about $25,000 per year for this private use of the "People's Park."
Don't want to spring for a ticket? You can still get a look at the cars as they leave the Common around 2pm.
More about The Boston Cup: http://thebostoncup.com
You'll enjoy Boston Common to the fullest when you stay nearby - the hip and glamorous W Hotel, for example, is just 1 block away:
The free admission Local Food Festival, taking place on Sunday, September 13 from 11am - 5pm on the Rose Kennedy Greenway from the North End to South Station gives you the chance to sample the best fresh food from local farms and fishermen, plus local wines, beers, cider, and mead.
With lots of 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!
Boston Latino International Film Festival - TBD
When: September 27 - 30 Where: Tsai Auditorium, at Harvard University in Cambridge (1730 Cambridge Street), and the John O'Bryant African-American Institute at Northeastern University (West Village F, Room 20, Leon St, Boston) (locations to be confirmed for 2020) Tickets: Available through festival website More information: Website
Look for 4 exciting days of feature, documentary, and short films focused on issues of importance and interest to the Latino community in the US, Latin America, and Spain, plus receptions and other special events.
North End Feasts and Festivals - CANCELLED
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.
Santa Rosalia di Palermo - September 8, North Square, procession at 1pm (procession only; no feast)
CANCELLED for 2020: San Gennaro Feast - September 19, 20, 21 - Hanover & Battery Streets near Commercial Street - look for big-name entertainment and plenty of great food!
Nearest T station: Commuter Rail or Orange & Green Lines/North Station Cost: Free to attend; expect to spend some money on food and perhaps donations
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 20-23 Where: Multiple locations in Downtown Boston Cost: To be announced Closest T station: Green Line/Arlington More information: 617-523-8388; www.bostonfilmfestival.org
Free Drop-In Summer Yoga on Boston Common
Instructors will lead free drop-in vinyasa flow classes 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: Near the Carousel 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)
Labor Day Weekend Fireworks - Cruises & Hotels with Views - Cancelled
Fireworks launched from two barges anchored between the North End and Seaport will light up the sky over Boston Harbor to kick off Labor Day Weekend.
The specatacular show known as "Dueling Barges" begins at 8:30pm on Thursday, September 3.
Looking for the best place to watch Boston's Labor Day fireworks?
Get tickets for a fireworks cruise on the Harbor:
Adirondack III - A beautiful and spacious 80-foot schooner, designed for comfortable sailing; with sails down, you'll have ideal views of the fireworks - Book now
More places to view the fireworks: Columbus Park and Long Wharf in the North End, the South Boston Waterfront (especially around Fan Pier/Seaport), the Downtown Waterfront, and Piers Park in East Boston.