This is it; the reason we all hang around the city for the other six to nine months of the year: summer! It’s a season that’s basically a three-month panacea for all the other crap we deal with -- from snow, to traffic, to endless taunts from New York media outlets. And since those don’t-miss outdoor concerts we told you about can’t take up the whole season, it’s time to check out what else Boston has going on. So buff those boat shoes, because the city's only upped its game this summer.

Editor's Note: We'll be updating this throughout the season, so keep checking back to stay up-to-date on all the best summer happenings.

The Lawn On D

Date

Event

Location

Jun 2-Sep 30

Remind yourself why Boston’s actually kind of cool at The Lawn on D We’re not a town completely devoid of fun. Exhibit A: this South Boston games-and-drinks-and-swings-and-art alfresco summertime hangout that made its debut last summer. It’s like a communal backyard barbecue (except you don’t have to invite your party-pooping distant relatives). The Lawn on D happens Thursdays-Sundays all summer, so you'll have plenty of time to check it out.

The Lawn on D

Remind yourself why Boston’s actually kind of cool at The Lawn on D The Lawn on D We’re not a town completely devoid of fun. Exhibit A: this South Boston games-and-drinks-and-swings-and-art alfresco summertime hangout that made its debut last summer. It’s like a communal backyard barbecue (except you don’t have to invite your party-pooping distant relatives). The Lawn on D happens Thursdays-Sundays all summer, so you'll have plenty of time to check it out.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 4 Sat

Jump into the free fest fray with the Cambridge River Festival It’s one of the summer’s first free street fests, and it’s definitely a good one: tons of live jazz, folk, and blues from local and national acts; food choices galore; and both a poetry and a storytelling tent. But really, you’re there for the People’s Sculpture Racing: a wackadoodle juried race in which the city’s creative geniuses push, pull, or pedal a homemade art installation.

East Cambridge Waterfront

Jump into the free fest fray with the Cambridge River Festival East Cambridge Waterfront It’s one of the summer’s first free street fests, and it’s definitely a good one: tons of live jazz, folk, and blues from local and national acts; food choices galore; and both a poetry and a storytelling tent. But really, you’re there for the People’s Sculpture Racing: a wackadoodle juried race in which the city’s creative geniuses push, pull, or pedal a homemade art installation.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 5-Sep 30

Broaden your boating horizons with Karma Crew Yacht Charters You’ve probably done a couple Boston Harbor cruises here and there (or at the very least, vomited off of a whale-watching cruise as a kid). But have you ever played Brahmin on a restored yacht from 1948? The Full Moon offers intimate cruises throughout the summer, many food-themed. Our vote is for the Oysters and Craft Brews Cruise, which is self-explanatory and pretty damn great. It goes down every Sunday during the summer (between June-September) from 2:30-4:30pm and 6-8pm.

256 Marginal St

Broaden your boating horizons with Karma Crew Yacht Charters 256 Marginal St You’ve probably done a couple Boston Harbor cruises here and there (or at the very least, vomited off of a whale-watching cruise as a kid). But have you ever played Brahmin on a restored yacht from 1948? The Full Moon offers intimate cruises throughout the summer, many food-themed. Our vote is for the Oysters and Craft Brews Cruise, which is self-explanatory and pretty damn great. It goes down every Sunday during the summer (between June-September) from 2:30-4:30pm and 6-8pm.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 7 Tue

Get your first brain freeze of the season at Scooper Bowl If only every charity event demanded that you stuff yourself stupid with ice cream. The annual gluttony bowl lets you gorge on dozens of ice cream flavors (and frozen yogurt, if you’re one of those people) for just $10, with all proceeds going to the Jimmy Fund.

City Hall Plaza

Get your first brain freeze of the season at Scooper Bowl City Hall Plaza If only every charity event demanded that you stuff yourself stupid with ice cream. The annual gluttony bowl lets you gorge on dozens of ice cream flavors (and frozen yogurt, if you’re one of those people) for just $10, with all proceeds going to the Jimmy Fund.

Flickr/Martin Grondin

Date

Event

Location

Jun 11 Sat

Let your freak flag fly at Pride Parade It’s the feather in the cap of Pride Week (OK, Sunday’s block parties are pretty good, too), and it’s one of those events that makes you hella glad you live in Massachusetts and not, um, North Carolina. The crowd is massive and diverse, the floats are even more epic, and everyone’s travel mug is filled with booze. The afterparties are also legendary, so don’t burn yourself out on too much sun and prosecco.

Starts at Copley Square, Back Bay

Let your freak flag fly at Pride Parade Starts at Copley Square, Back Bay It’s the feather in the cap of Pride Week (OK, Sunday’s block parties are pretty good, too), and it’s one of those events that makes you hella glad you live in Massachusetts and not, um, North Carolina. The crowd is massive and diverse, the floats are even more epic, and everyone’s travel mug is filled with booze. The afterparties are also legendary, so don’t burn yourself out on too much sun and prosecco.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 11 Sat

Forget about Head of the Charles at the Boston Dragon Boat Festival You know what sucks about the Head of the Charles? All the boats look the same (as do the people). But this festival hosts dozens of gorgeously different vessels, plus drumming, dance, art demos, and lots of Asian food.

Various locations

Forget about Head of the Charles at the Boston Dragon Boat Festival Various locations You know what sucks about the Head of the Charles? All the boats look the same (as do the people). But this festival hosts dozens of gorgeously different vessels, plus drumming, dance, art demos, and lots of Asian food.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 18 Sat

Finally give yoga a shot... on an island If you feel like the sole yoga neophyte in a sea of Bikrams, it might be time to just give it a shot already. Here’s a summery way to ease in: a free, gentle yoga class on Spectacle Island in the Boston Harbor, with a view of the city skyline. You’ll pay for the boat fare, but otherwise it’s a low-cost, high-reward exercise jaunt.

Spectacle Island

Finally give yoga a shot... on an island Spectacle Island If you feel like the sole yoga neophyte in a sea of Bikrams, it might be time to just give it a shot already. Here’s a summery way to ease in: a free, gentle yoga class on Spectacle Island in the Boston Harbor, with a view of the city skyline. You’ll pay for the boat fare, but otherwise it’s a low-cost, high-reward exercise jaunt.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 24 Fri

Compare the calves of all your favorite Boston restaurateurs at Chefs in Shorts OK, so it’s not even clear if they all have to wear shorts, but this annual Seaport cook-off is one of the unofficial kickoffs to the summer. A single ticket gains you access to dozens of small plates from your favorite restaurants.

The Seaport Hotel

Compare the calves of all your favorite Boston restaurateurs at Chefs in Shorts The Seaport Hotel OK, so it’s not even clear if they all have to wear shorts, but this annual Seaport cook-off is one of the unofficial kickoffs to the summer. A single ticket gains you access to dozens of small plates from your favorite restaurants.

Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular

Date

Event

Location

Jul 1 Fri

Show the tourists how it’s done at Harborfest It’s not just about the Pops and fireworks. In the days leading up to the Fourth, it’s a whole thing. We’re talking literally hundreds of events, from free movies, to boat tours, to Chowderfest, to pre-firework fireworks. Use this as an excuse to not take your city for granted.

Various locations

Show the tourists how it’s done at Harborfest Various locations It’s not just about the Pops and fireworks. In the days leading up to the Fourth, it’s a whole thing. We’re talking literally hundreds of events, from free movies, to boat tours, to Chowderfest, to pre-firework fireworks. Use this as an excuse to not take your city for granted.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 4 Mon

Wish America a happy birthday with some fireworks Do we even need to sell you on it? You’re either in or you’re out.

The Hatch Shell

Wish America a happy birthday with some fireworks The Hatch Shell Do we even need to sell you on it? You’re either in or you’re out.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 12 Tue

Break out of your IKEA rut at Brimfield Every time we go to Brimfield, we’re like, "Wait, ALL these people care about interior design?" It’s as legendary an antiques show as they come, to the point where regulars show up with moving trucks. Also, Diane Keaton has been known to make an appearance (so it can't be all that bad). The July installment of this thrice-annual affair can get especially hot and crowded, so bring sunscreen... and Xanax.

Brimfield, MA

Break out of your IKEA rut at Brimfield Brimfield, MA Every time we go to Brimfield, we’re like, "Wait, ALL these people care about interior design?" It’s as legendary an antiques show as they come, to the point where regulars show up with moving trucks. Also, Diane Keaton has been known to make an appearance (so it can't be all that bad). The July installment of this thrice-annual affair can get especially hot and crowded, so bring sunscreen... and Xanax.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 15 Fri

Pull out your beret for Bastille Day Party We don't know how they do it in Paris, but we know how the French Cultural Center does it in the Back Bay: French food, beer & wine, Parisian bands, and street dancing galore. This city should have more Francophile block parties, don't you think?

French Cultural Center

Pull out your beret for Bastille Day Party French Cultural Center We don't know how they do it in Paris, but we know how the French Cultural Center does it in the Back Bay: French food, beer & wine, Parisian bands, and street dancing galore. This city should have more Francophile block parties, don't you think?

Date

Event

Location

Jul 20-Aug 7

Prove your culture cred at Shakespeare on the Common This year it’s Love’s Labour’s Lost, but are you really swayed by the particular play that’s put on each year? It’s about the whole experience: alfresco theatre, lawn chair skirmishes, surreptitious wine, and the reminder, yet again, that the city has done a damn fine job making Boston Common a safe and desirous place.

Boston Common

Prove your culture cred at Shakespeare on the Common Boston Common This year it’s Love’s Labour’s Lost, but are you really swayed by the particular play that’s put on each year? It’s about the whole experience: alfresco theatre, lawn chair skirmishes, surreptitious wine, and the reminder, yet again, that the city has done a damn fine job making Boston Common a safe and desirous place.

Revere Beach

Date

Event

Location

Jul 22 Fri

Revere Beach International Sand Sculpting Festival If there’s ever a time to make it to Revere Beach, it’s during this epic three-day sandbox fight. The sand sculptures are incredible, yes, but it’s the people-watching that brings it home.

Revere Beach

Revere Beach International Sand Sculpting Festival Revere Beach If there’s ever a time to make it to Revere Beach, it’s during this epic three-day sandbox fight. The sand sculptures are incredible, yes, but it’s the people-watching that brings it home.

Date

Event

Location

Aug 6 Sat

Find your Schwinn skills at Pan-Mass Bike Challenge You don’t have to be any sort of (non-juiced) Tour de France type to participate. This challenge, which raises money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, traces out different biking routes throughout the state that cater to all skill levels. And it just so happens that pretty much every route provides a picturesque tour of the state in all its late summer glory.

Various locations

Find your Schwinn skills at Pan-Mass Bike Challenge Various locations You don’t have to be any sort of (non-juiced) Tour de France type to participate. This challenge, which raises money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, traces out different biking routes throughout the state that cater to all skill levels. And it just so happens that pretty much every route provides a picturesque tour of the state in all its late summer glory.

Date

Event

Location

Aug 7 Sun

Eat your umpteenth lobster of the season at the Boston Seafood Festival No, seriously, you cannot eat too much seafood in the summer... not too many oysters, not too many Dixie Cups of chowder, and most certainly not too many lobsters. The seafood fest is one of the rare in-city events that lets you celebrate our fishing history and be an unrepentant glutton while doing it.

Boston Fish Pier

Eat your umpteenth lobster of the season at the Boston Seafood Festival Boston Fish Pier No, seriously, you cannot eat too much seafood in the summer... not too many oysters, not too many Dixie Cups of chowder, and most certainly not too many lobsters. The seafood fest is one of the rare in-city events that lets you celebrate our fishing history and be an unrepentant glutton while doing it.

Date

Event

Location

Aug 14 Sun

Get Fenway ants in your pants at Picnic in the Park Aw, those Sox are nice. They’ll make you pay for a game, sure, but then they’ll invite you down to the field to pay for some barbecue, too! It’s cool though: there’s an extended autograph session, tons of food & freebies, and perhaps even a movie screening (this year’s details are still being worked out).

Fenway Park

Get Fenway ants in your pants at Picnic in the Park Fenway Park Aw, those Sox are nice. They’ll make you pay for a game, sure, but then they’ll invite you down to the field to pay for some barbecue, too! It’s cool though: there’s an extended autograph session, tons of food & freebies, and perhaps even a movie screening (this year’s details are still being worked out).

Date

Event

Location

Aug 20 Sat

Drink with (not like) an animal at Brew at the Zoo Haven’t you always wanted to booze amongst the ocelots? This adults-only walk with the animals will have you sampling different regional beers as you wander among the different exhibits... which means that soon enough, you’ll be talking with the animals, too.

Franklin Park Zoo

Drink with (not like) an animal at Brew at the Zoo Franklin Park Zoo Haven’t you always wanted to booze amongst the ocelots? This adults-only walk with the animals will have you sampling different regional beers as you wander among the different exhibits... which means that soon enough, you’ll be talking with the animals, too.

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