Everything You Absolutely Must Do in Boston This Spring

Published On 04/16/2018 Published On 04/16/2018
St Patrick's Day Parade
St Patrick's Day Parade | Liviu Toader/
National Golf Expo
National Golf Expo | National Golf Expo
Thursday - Saturday
Mar 1-17
TAMO Bistro + Bar
Anxious for St. Paddy’s Day to finally get here? Start flexing your Celtic pride now with 51 ounces of your favorite stout, served in a giant fishbowl. The one rule? The drink has to be split amongst at least two people (but yes, we know you could finish the whole thing yourself).
What it costs: $16.
Saturday - Monday
Mar 3-5
Seaport World Trade Center
Back-nine days aren’t here again, but they will be one day. The expo includes tons of demos and interactive exhibits, plus more than 100 exhibitors hawking their wares. Take it as further excuse to plan a springtime golf getaway.
Cost: $12.
Mar 4
The Wilbur
Because if there’s one musical artist who can offset the world’s current insanity, Weird Al is probably the guy. Which also probably explains why the original 8pm show is already sold out months in advance. Luckily, a second 3pm show has been added.
Cost: $59-$279.
Mar 6
The Sinclair
Who cares that you can’t get to many music fests this year? The featured artists at this annual event go on to rep Berklee at events like Lollapalooza and Outside Lands. This year’s chosen few include south-synth band luhx., pop singer Emilia Ali, and “folk-swamp” band Jacksonville Kid.
Cost: $10.
Thursday - Sunday
Mar 8-11
Various locations
It’s not actually true that everyone but you has been the Land of Fire and Ice. Still, your FOMO will only deepen after sampling the country’s food and drink, hearing some Reykjavik-born music, studying the country’s design and architectural scene, and taking in some of its cinematic outputs. Iceland remains one of the 18 best places to travel this year -- maybe this will finally convince you to snag a cheap WOW Air Flight.
Cost: Varies.
Thursday - Sunday
Mar 8-11
The annual suds fest has grown to four days, kicking off with the first-ever “Mac and Cheers” challenge and ending with the annual Harpoon Shamrock Splash at M Street Beach. In between it’s beer, Irish music, and more beer under heated tents.
Cost: $20-$40.
Mar 10
The Castle at Park Plaza
Isn’t it so maddening when all the city’s best food events sell out way in advance? But this year, you can get ahead of the madness. As for the event, the name speaks for itself: two of the greatest digestible items on the planet, together at last.  
Cost: $50-$100.
Mar 11
Overindulge for a feminist cause as you sample different punches and cocktails from elite female bartenders from around New England. The event also raises money for breast cancer research.
Cost: $25 in advance, $30 at door.
Mar 13
Boston Public Market
It’s time to remind yourself of Boston’s awesome purveyors scene, via free samples, food demos, and various pop-up vendors. A cash bar will feature local beer and wine; plus, the groceries might be on the BPM -- you’ll automatically be entered into a $100, on-the-spot shopping spree.
Cost: Free.
Sunday - Friday
Mar 18-30
Various locations
No more sad desk salads and woeful takeout date nights. This year we’re talking more than 140 participating restaurants, including newbies like Sumaio Hunan Kitchen and a special $25 to $50 lunch menu at the Relais & Chateaux Menton.
Cost: Lunch $15-$25, dinner $28-$38.
Mar 18
Who makes the city’s best Bloody Mary? More than 10 restaurants are getting into the bracketed fray as guests sip and decide. With all that tomato-tinged vodka, you bloody well should shore up your reserves with sliders, croque madames, and pork belly bao buns. Proceeds benefit Lovin’ Spoonfuls.
Cost: $30.
Mar 18
South Boston
A Saturday night St. Patrick’s Day? That’ll be a doozy. But save enough liver capacity for the parade on Sunday, where everyone sobers up at 11am and the baby strollers double as beer case carriers.
Cost: Brain cells. Many, many brain cells.
Wednesday - Sunday
Mar 21-25
Brattle Theatre
We don’t yet know the lineup, but we do know this: Our annual underground film fest, now in its 20th year, proves that the city’s creative class is woefully underestimated. Caveat: This year the fest needs our collective financial help to keep moving forward, so pledge your support now.
Cost: TBD.
Mar 24
Boston Common
Demand action from lawmakers in this march to end gun violence and mass shootings in schools. Children and families will be out en masse across the country, so if you feel strongly about this particular issue, show your support. The march in Boston starts at Boston Common at noon. Also keep in mind that HeadCount is registering voters there and at several of the events around the country. 
Cost: Free
boston marathon
boston marathon | Byelikova Oksana/
Wednesday - Sunday
Apr 4-15
various locations
We all need a spring refresh, so why not rethink your aesthetic life from top to bottom? The nine-day fest is a celebration of technology, architecture, interior design, urban planning, and more. (Events TBA.)
Cost: Varies by event.
Apr 5
Fenway Park
Let the Cora Era begin as we all crowd around to see what J.D. Martinez will do with the Green Monster. Afternoon game on a Thursday? We’re betting on a raft of sick days on Friday.   
Cost: Your future firstborn (bar seats should come considerably cheaper).
Apr 16
Hopkinton to Back Bay
It’s as iconic a Boston day as they come. The runners, the fans, the resilience, the pride, the camaraderie, the 11:05am Sox game… it’s as vital as the Ted Williams Tunnel air we live and breathe.
Cost: Free.
Wednesday - Monday
Apr 25-May 7
Somerville Theatre
The world needs outside-the-box thought more than ever. So celebrate indie creative vision over eight days of features, shorts, documentaries, and attendant panel discussions that’ll restore your faith in the future of cinema.
Cost: TBD.
Friday - Sunday
Apr 27-29
Nantucket Island
Lovely yellow flowers, yes -- but you’re here to whet your summer islanding appetite: stores and restaurants reopen, people picnic on the beach, and Cisco Brewery is mobbed. Plus, there's the chance to gawk at those $4.75 million boat slips that probably won’t see any usage until August.
Cost: Free.
Friday - Sunday
Apr 27-May 6
various locations
The annual artistic celebration has spread its wings this year, with the entirety of the state taking part. So travel ‘round our burg to discover all the new participants staging interactive or behind-the-scenes creative experiences.
Cost: Varies (mostly free).
Saturday - Monday
Apr 28-30
Museum of Fine Arts
Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking. No, really -- the massive installations at this four-decade old annual event are truly revelatory. New this year are the Art in Bloom Market, featuring 12 local and national vendors in the Shapiro Courtyard, and a new pop-up flower truck parked outside so you can recreate the magic at home.
Cost: $25 general admission.
Saturday - Sunday
Apr 28-29
Simoni Skating Rink
There will be purebreds, there will be domestics, there will be kittens, there will be audience judging. But here is everything you really need to know about a cat show: If a cat gets out of its cage, the owner yells, “Cat out!” and then everyone freezes until said cat is recaptured.
Cost: $10.
SoWa Boston
SoWa Boston Open Market | SoWa Boston
May 6
South End
It’s pretty much the South End gathering place in summer, a Sunday spread of artists, farmers market stalls, food truck vendors, and musicians -- plus the beer barn. In other words: Summer begins now.
Cost: Free.
Tuesday - Sunday
May 8-13
Everyone knows that the spring segment is the one to hit: The weather isn’t yet oppressive, and the vendors have spent all winter restocking their reserves. One mile, one thousand dealers, one of Martha Stewart’s favorite places to shop -- start your engines.
Cost: Free (technically).
May 13
Arnold Arboretum
Spring will honestly, really, truly be here. We will know this because the lilacs will have bloomed, and because the arboretum will host ones of the largest collections of lilac bushes in the world, and because everyone therefore descends on the arboretum because the multiple sensual joys will pull you back from your winter ennui.
Cost: Free.
May 22
Symphony Hall
OK, yes, this one is technically indoors, but the Pops concert celebrates the original maestro of the Hatch Shell, who first conducted America’s Orchestra on the Esplanade in 1929. Think decades of musical classics, from Bernstein and Rodgers, to Ellington and Gershwin, to Queen, and to John Williams’ film scores.
Cost: $30-$96.
Friday - Sunday
May 25-27
Harvard Athletic Complex
Kidding about the noise. Promise. Ahem. Without further ado, the lineup: Eminem, The Killers, Jack White, Pussy Riot, Portugal the Man, Belly, The Decembrists, and many more. You can't miss it.
Cost: $105 for single-day general admission.