Everything Fun You Can Do in Boston This Weekend

World Cup watch parties, festive pop-up bars, and Small Business Saturday deals.

Sippin’ Santa pop-up bar at Shore Leave
Sippin’ Santa pop-up bar at Shore Leave | Photo by Reagan Byrne
Sippin’ Santa pop-up bar at Shore Leave | Photo by Reagan Byrne

This is the weekend when it truly all begins: the shopping, the celebrating, the ugly-sweater carousing. And have we mentioned it’s the perfect weekend to support local small businesses? Basically, it’s a weekend filled with beloved favorites: the SoWa Holiday Market, the Miracle Pop Up Bar, Record Store Black Friday, the Holiday CrEATor Market. Plus, the World Cup just so happens to be going on during the holiday season. There’s plenty to add to the calendar, so here is everything you must do in Boston this weekend.

Friday, November 25 – Sunday, November 27
SoWa Power Station
It really is like entering an alternate dimension. Beneath hundreds of sparkling lights in the Power Station, you can shop regionally made wares from more than 100 local makers. After the shopping is done, it’s you time: enjoy a cocktail and live music upstairs (for the first time, there’s a rotating group of local bartenders dishing out the drinks), then head down the street to the food truck bazaar for more eats and drinks (there’s a fire pit!). You can end the evening at Thayer Street to explore the studios and galleries—yup, more glorious local shopping.
Cost: $10 at door

Saturday, November 26 – Sunday, November 27
Time Out Market Boston
It’s officially not too early to be thinking about holiday gifting. So get a head start by heading to the best kind of holiday market. At our local Time Out Market, you can shop both vintage and new artisan wares (jewelry, art, homewares), then hit the newly reopened ice rink and enjoy seasonal vittles.
Cost: Free

Friday, November 25 – Sunday, November 27
Eataly Boston
This is the perfect excuse to eat while you buy. Eataly’s holiday pop-up includes themed gift boxes, panettone, a build-your-own-box offering, and a special wine and cocktail cart on the weekends, all the easier to sip and shop. And while you’re there, might as well check out the holiday feasts that you can pre-order ahead of Christmas.
Cost: Free to enter

Friday, November 25 – Sunday, November 27
Boston Public Market
How often do you get to do your holiday shopping while also grocery shopping? On top of all the regular stall offerings, there are now gift options from dozens of local makers scattered throughout the store, many of which will rotate throughout the holiday season.
Cost: Free to attend

Friday, November 25 – Sunday, November 27
Kimpton Marlowe
We have years of seasonal fun to catch up on. The halls of the hotel’s Lobby Bar are once more overflowing with holiday spirit, with seasonal music, decor galore, crackling fireplace, and drink and food menus that play off the holiday theme—even the chai tea is spiked. Bonus points for the over-the-top glassware.
Cost: A la carte

Friday, November 25 – Sunday, November 27
Shore Leave
It’s schlocky in the best sense: Gaudiness abounds in the subterranean halls, along with over-the-top cocktails like the Kris Kringle Colada (Dark Jamaican rum, Cynar, allspice, lime juice, pineapple juice, Cream of Coconut), and the Island of Misfit Toys (aged Jamaican rum, chai tea, cream, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, lemon). Add in cheeky holiday music, a new sushi menu, and the multitude of ugly sweaters, and you’ve found the place where you can let your seasonal freak flag fly.
Cost: A la carte

Friday, November 25 – Saturday, November 26
High Street Place
If you’re going to watch the matches, might as well do it on a 28-foot video wall. This downtown food hall will be showing all the tournament matchups live, which means you have your choice of food and drink before settling in to catch, say, the USA vs. England match this Friday. There will also be photo ops, soccer drills (ostensibly for kids), and even a few live appearances from local soccer players.
Cost: Free to attend; large groups can reserve tables in advance

Friday, November 25
Tres Gatos
Your vinyl buds will thank you. Our favorite clandestine record store is opening up bright and early on Friday morning for a sale featuring the elusive, the unreleased, and the otherwise coveted. And the shopping doesn’t stop there: You can peruse CDs and cassettes, too—surely they’ll make a comeback soon.
Cost: Free to attend

Saturday, November 26
Warehouse XI
Listen, there’s no reason you can’t shop entirely local this season. Case in point: Another locavore market featuring handmade jewelry, candles, artwork, pottery, and more from more than 30 vendors from around New England. Plus, you can wrap your gifts at the wrapping station and bring your pup along for the afternoon.
Cost: Free to attend

Friday, November 25 – Sunday, November 27
Stone Zoo
Is it kid-oriented? Absolutely. Is it kid-exclusive? Hell no. Thousands of LED lights will brighten up exhibits across the zoo’s 26 acres this weekend. This year marks the return of large-scale animal lantern displays that further light your way. You can also take a whirl on the carousel or the Jungle Fun ride (OK, fine, maybe that’s just for the kids).
Cost: $14.95

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Meaghan Agnew is glad the dish-washing period of the season is over. Follow her gratitude by following her on Instagram.