Everything You Absolutely Must Do in Boston This Summer

Updated On 06/14/2017 at 02:38PM EST Updated On 06/14/2017 at 02:38PM EST
SoWa Boston
SoWa Boston
Thursday - Monday
Jun 15-Sep 4
Rose Kennedy Greenway
As if the Greenway wasn’t cool enough already, now you can fly down ziplines extending 220 feet, 30 feet above the ground. You’ve never seen harbor views like these before.
Thursday - Thursday
Jun 15-Oct 19
A good thing got better this summer, as the SoWa market now takes place both Saturdays and Sundays. Beyond the farmers market and food truck bazaar, be sure to check out the beer garden, now in its second season, which hosts regular food events as well as guest brewers. And don’t worry -- there’s always wine, too, in case your tippling tastes lean toward the grape.
Thursday - Tuesday
Jun 15-Sep 12
Colonnade Hotel
You didn’t need another excuse to hit up this elevated pool party, but here’s one anyway: Throughout the summer, local chefs pop in for poolside pop-ups, creating casual yet highfalutin cookout fare. All proceeds go to No Kid Hungry.
Jun 23
The Seaport Hotel
This annual Seaport cookoff is one of the unofficial kickoffs to the summer and, two decades in, it’s only gotten bigger and more gluttonous. A ticket gains you access to dozens of small plates from the city’s best restaurants and benefits the culinary nonprofit Future Chefs, which encourages high school and college students to get into the restaurant industry and give back to their communities.
Friday - Sunday
Jun 23-25
Mass MoCA
Looking for a roadtrip excuse? Wilco’s got your back. The band’s music and art fest includes dozens of music performances from the likes of Television and The Shaggs and a separate comedy stage with performances from Eugene Mirman and Nick Offerman. Yoga, live theater, and a pop-up record shop complete this quintessential Western Mass event.
Sunday - Sunday
Jun 25-Oct 15
Long Wharf
Barbara Lynch’s newest venture, The Spectacle Island Beer Garden, is a Sunday evening cookout that includes round-trip ferry transportation, two Harpoon drink tickets, and the award-winning chef’s take on German cookout fare (grilled brats, potato salad, etc.). With  beach games and a campfire, you might actually be ready to face the looming Monday.
Jun 30
Various locations
Boston truly does the Fourth right. For five days the city goes all in, with boat cruises, sunset clambakes, walking tours, colonial reenactments, and a reading of the Declaration of Independence.
fourth of july fireworks
Jon Bilous/Shutterstock
Saturday - Sunday
Jul 8-9
SoWa Beer Garden
Grab your bib: After a seven-year hiatus, the Boston Lobster Party is back. Shellfish-based plates from local restaurants complemented by a myriad of local craft brews? There’s no way it’s not going to be a mob scene.
Saturday - Sunday
Jul 8-9
City Hall Plaza
How has Boston never had a pizza festival before? Contemplate this while stuffing your craw with slices from all of the city’s best haunts, plus some international surprises. Beer, wine, and live music, plus a reasonable ticket price ($15) make this a can’t-miss event.
Jul 14
French Cultural Center
This is how all block parties should look: French food from local bistros, plentiful beer and wine, and dancing to Francophile music performances, all against the backdrop of the très chic Marlborough Street.
Friday - Saturday
Jul 14-15
Davis Square
It’s a twofer: On Friday night the Somerville Arts Council stages four hours of live music, and then on Saturday the entirety of Davis Square shuts down for arts vendors, dance performances, and more tunes.
Thursday - Monday
Jul 20-Aug 7
Boston Common
This year’s production is Romeo and Juliet, which means even Shakespearean neophytes will be in attendance. In other words, set up your lawn chair early and fill your thermos with a fortifying concoction, lest the crowds become overwhelming.
Friday - Sunday
Jul 21-23
Revere Beach
Never made your way to Revere Beach before? There’s no better time than now, when the renowned competition is as notable for the people-watching as it is for the amazing sand creations.
Jul 22
The au naturel ride sounds painful but promotes good causes: safer Boston streets for cyclists, body positivity, and a decrease in oil dependency.
Boston Seafood Festival
Boston Seafood Festival
Wednesday - Wednesday
Aug 2-30
Rowes Wharf Plaza
The Greenway Summer Workout Series’ free weekly training sessions on the lawn (Wednesdays at 5:30pm) are conducted by InnerCity Weightlifting, which works with Boston’s highest-risk youth to reduce street violence by instructing them to become personal trainers.
Friday - Sunday
Aug 11-13
City Hall Plaza
Now in its 10th year, Greenfest is here to both inspire and entertain. Learn about the latest in environment-friendly innovations, listen to live music, watch an eco-friendly fashion show, and enjoy a beer and wine garden at this no-waste event.
Aug 13
Boston Fish Pier
Oysters, chowder, lobster, mussels, cooking demos, and shucking competitions, all at a waterside locale -- what more do you need?
Saturday - Saturday
Aug 19-26
Boston Maritime Park
Before you depart for your final long weekend on the Cape, spend an afternoon with a bunch of award-winning local jazz performers, free of charge.