Summer in Boston has arrived and that means an exciting season of festivals, concerts, al fresco movies and music, and of course lots of fun on the water! From Fenway Park concerts to Free Fun Fridays and famous feasts in the North End, Boston is dynamic this summer and a perfect destination for all tastes and ages. Come hit up the Hub for a big festival!
The 35th annual Boston Harborfest, the nation’s biggest and best Fourth of July celebration, happens July 1-4 while Outside the Box returns to Boston Common July 13-17. And as Outside the Box concludes, Shakespeare on the Common commences with performances of Love’s Labour’s Lost from July 20 through August 7.
The Boston waterfront will be abuzz all summer long. Whale Watches depart on the hour from Long Wharf, while ferries shuttle visitors to the Boston Harbor Islands and beyond. Explore historic Fort Warren on Georges Island or go for a hike or swim on Spectacle Island. Boston Light on Brewster Island turns 300 this year and you can take a tour with a National Park Service Ranger. Want to stay over? Four of the islands offer campsites but they fill up quickly so reserve your spot soon! Back ashore, frolic through the fountains along the Rose Kennedy Greenway and view provocative public art. Ai Wei Wei’s Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads is on view near the Rings Fountain, and don’t miss the Greenway Open Market on Saturdays. Always an epicenter of creativity, the Greenway hosts the participatory art festival FIGMENT Boston over the weekend of July 30-31.
Speaking of weekend creativity, on July 23 the first Boston Mini Maker Faire takes place outside the Boston Children’s Museum. Inventors, innovators, artists and entrepreneurs will descend upon Fort Point Channel, creating an array of gadgets, gizmos, sculptures and art. A different sort of ingenuity, focused on flight, comes to the Charles River Esplanade on August 20 with Red Bull Flugtag Boston. Thirty teams of aspiring aeronautic engineers will launch homemade flying machines off a 28 foot overlooking the Charles River. Spectators will undoubtedly be entertained as some machines fly and others are epic fails that fall into the river. Rent a kayak or paddleboard from Charles River Canoe & Kayak in Kendall Square and find your perfect spot on the river to watch the event.
Further down the river, Fenway Park features more than just Red Sox games this summer as an all-star lineup of musicians play the historic ballpark. Dead & Company starts the season July 15 & 16 and Sir Paul McCartney returns to Fenway the very next night on Sunday, July 17. As summer rolls on James Taylor, Billy Joel, Pearl Jam, Zac Brown Band, and Jason Aldean will delight the Fenway crowds. Head across town to TD Garden for more star-studded performances from Drake, Pitbull, Kanye West and Adele. Not to be outdone, Gillette Stadium hosts spectacular arena shows with artists such as Luke Bryan, Guns N’ Roses, Coldplay, Kenny Chesney, and Bruce Springsteen.
There are free events galore to choose from this summer. Free Fun Fridays, the signature community program of the Highland Street Foundation, runs from June 24 through August 26 and will feature popular attractions such as the Boston Children’s Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, and the Franklin Park Zoo. Looking for more free events? Go to Revere Beach for the International Sand-Sculpting Festival July 22-24 and see magnificent sand sculptures crafted by artists from around the globe. Back in Boston, check out the fabulous feasts and festivals of the North End, the city’s “Little Italy,” including the famous Fisherman’s Feast August 18-21 and St. Anthony’s Feast August 26-28. How about some free tunes? The Boston Public Library has Concerts in the Courtyard on Wednesdays and Fridays, and also on Wednesdays, the Boston Landmarks Orchestra performs concerts on the Esplanade. On Rowes Wharf, behind the Boston Harbor Hotel, an eclectic mix of pop, blues, and brass band music is performed Tuesday-Thursday and outdoor movies are shown on Friday. If you enjoy free flicks al fresco check out screenings at the Hatch Shell, Prudential Center, and Assembly Row.
Foodies will have plenty to discover this summer, starting with the Boston Public Market’s expanded hours; beginning July 18 visitors can stop by the Market daily to find the best of locally-sourced produce, dairy, seafood and more! Across the river in Cambridge, a phenomenal culinary event called Taste of Cambridge takes place July 12 at University Park in Central Square. And for those looking to dine at new spots (or old favorites) with premium menus, don’t miss Dine Out Boston from August 14-19 & 21-26.
It’s Boston. It’s summer. It’s time to come visit. Book your Boston vacation today!