Everything You Absolutely Must Do in Boston This Summer

Updated On 06/13/2018 at 05:41PM EST Updated On 06/13/2018 at 05:41PM EST
Friday - Friday
Jun 1-Aug 31
Dewey Square Green
The annual music fest has come and gone, but the experience is far from over. On Thursdays, throughout the summer, local musicians take the stage (well, grass) for a free al fresco concert. There’s beer, there’s wine, there are lawn games, and there are no cover charges.
Cost: Free.
Friday - Friday
Jun 1-Aug 31
Boston Harbor Hotel
OK, so you’re not squatting in a hotel room, but you’ll sure be camped out outside as Boston Harbor Hotel puts on free music three nights a week (Tuesday-Thursday) and then kicks off your weekend with classic movies at dusk. (We’ll definitely be there for The Karate Kid.)
Cost: Free.
Friday - Friday
Jun 1-Aug 31
Spectacle Island
You may have to roll into Monday a little rounder. Last year Barbara Lynch staged a beer garden on Spectacle Island; this summer she’s switching it up with a weekly Sunday evening luau. Your ticket includes round-trip ferry transportation and a hearty spread of charcoal roasted whole pig, lomi lomi tomatoes, and for desert, silky coconut pudding cups. (Drinks are also available for purchase.)
Cost: $75.
Tuesday - Tuesday
Jun 12-Sep 11
Colonnade Hotel
You didn’t need another excuse to hit up this elevated pool party, but here’s one anyway: every other Tuesday throughout the summer, local chefs (Mary Dumont, Will Gilson) pop in for poolside pop-ups, creating elevated cookout fare. (All proceeds go to No Kid Hungry.) Return to the roof the next day for a little counteractive morning yoga, or hold off until Thursday for the new kickbox-inspired workout class.
Cost: $30.
Wednesday - Wednesday
Jun 13-Aug 29
Committee Ouzeri + Bar patio
Wine director Lauren Friel will shortly raise her profile when she opens the wine bar Rebel Rebel at Bow Market in Union Square. But in the meantime, she’ll spend her Wednesday evenings spotlighting hard-to-find Greek wines that are a) made without chemical or technological intervention and b) come in at a much lower price point. Savor the rotating selections on the patio with complementary mezze.
Cost: A la carte.
Thursday - Sunday
Jun 14-Jul 15
Various Locations
After four long years of waiting, the 2018 FIFA World Cup is finally here! The US may not be in the competition this year, but that doesn't mean that the games in Russia won't be a blast to watch. We've rounded up all the best bars in Boston to watch the fĂştbol magic play out.
Cost: Varies by location.

Jun 14
City Hall Plaza
It’s the nerdiest block party ever, and we mean that in the best way. Eat, drink, and be merry with local entrepreneurs, developers, and local tech founders while enjoying live music and interactive art. The time to pitch your million-dollar new internet idea is now.   
Cost: $20 ($10 for students).
Eataly Boston
Thursday - Thursday
Jun 14-Sep 13
Boylston Street (outside Eataly Boston)
Just further proof that Europeans do it right. This new monthly party takes its inspiration from sagre -- or Italian food festivals. Think grilled entrees, gelato and cannolis, and all the spritzes you can handle (and afford).
Cost: Free entry; purchase food and drink tickets at door.
Jun 16
Lawn on D
The Lawn of Champions is an event where you can hang with Wally The Green Monster, bid on paraphernalia from the Celtics and Sox, play some mini golf, practice your slap shot, run an obstacle course, try out the next big thing in workout equipment, and otherwise pay tribute to Boston and the city’s glorious athletic moment.
Cost: Free.
Wednesday - Saturday
Jun 20-30
Museum of Fine Arts
The largest New England–based festival spotlighting filmmakers of color is now in its 20th year -- and even better, it kicks off with a free outdoor screening of Black Panther. From there it’s features, experimental shorts, and documentaries as well as talks beforehand with some of the filmmakers.
Cost: $11 per screening.
seaport hotel
Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center
Jun 22
The Seaport Hotel
Do they even all wear shorts? We can’t say, but the annual Seaport cookoff, now in its 21st year, continues to endure as one of the city’s unofficial kickoffs to summer. A single ticket gains you beer and wine plus your choice of dozens of small plates from more than 40 local restaurants, with proceeds once again benefitting Future Chefs.
Cost: $90.
Jun 22
City Hall Plaza
Our late local disco legend once more gets her due during a joyous outdoor skate-around. The annual roller-skating party is free to attend, and the City of Boston will provide free skate rentals available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Cost: Free.
Jun 23
Innovation and Design Building
What’s the dill-io? Basically it’s the city’s second annual celebration of all things brined, with a few surprises thrown in (pickle ice cream is a real thing and not just some pregnancy urban legend). Plus there’s a new and improved beer garden from Down the Road Beer Co in Everett.
Cost: $10.
Thursday - Wednesday
Jun 28-Jul 4
Various locations
Boston truly does right by our country’s birthday, with the largest Fourth of July festival in the country. This year the city goes overboard with a full seven days of boat cruises, walking tours, colonial reenactments, the annual Chowderfest, and a pre-Fourth of July fireworks shows over the harbor (to whet your appetites for the big Boston Pops-enhanced show, of course).  
Cost: Varies.
Boston Pizza Festival
Saturday - Sunday
Jul 7-8
City Hall Plaza
Unlimited pizza means you should skip all meals before our city’s second annual pizza festival, now with more cooking demos, live music, and pizza-tossing acrobatics. This on top of beer, wine, and all manner of Neapolitan-, Sicilian-, New York-, and Greek-style slices. Maybe you’ll skip breakfast the next day, too.
Cost: $35 (does not include drinks).
Sunday - Sunday
Jul 8-Sep 9
Newbury Street
It never gets old. Once again, Newbury Street will shut down to traffic for three summer Sundays (July 8, August 12, September 9), which means you’ll suddenly find yourself playing ping-pong in the middle of the normally clogged thoroughfare. Expect even more sales, specials, and patio space from local businesses.
Cost: Free.
Tuesday - Sunday
Jul 10-15
Brimfield, Massachusetts
Did you know there’s an app? Download Brimfield Flea Finder to make your annual homewares search just a little easier. Otherwise, it’s the usual madness at the world’s greatest antiques show. The July installment can get especially hot, dusty, and crowded, so bring sunscreen and a lot of patience -- plus some extra cash for the wine garden once your search is exhausted.
Cost: Free (mostly).
Jul 14
French Cultural Center
This is what all block parties should be: French food from local bistros (Bar Boulud, La Voile), plentiful beer and wine, and dancing to Francophile tunes, all against the backdrop of the Parisian Marlborough Street. There’s a reason this one always sells out early.
Cost: $33.
Commonwealth Shakespeare Company
Wednesday - Sunday
Jul 18-Aug 5
Boston Common
This year’s production is Richard III, starring Star Trek’s Faran Tahir. Depending on your politics, the kingly subject matter might feel topical (it's about a destructive power monger etc); either way, we suggest you make those Thermos cocktails extra strong.
Cost: Free.
Friday - Sunday
Jul 27-29
CIty Hall Plaza
Now more than ever, it’s time to show love and appreciation for our fellow Americans at a three-day celebration that also includes a parade and a pageant that chooses its winner on the basis on community involvement rather than beauty -- years before the Miss America Pageant declared it would do the same.
Cost: Free.
Friday - Sunday
Aug 3-5
City Hall Plaza
Because you really do have to be the change you want to see. Now in its 11th year, Greenfest introduces you to all the latest and greatest earth-friendly innovations; you also get to listen to live music, shop the EcoBazaar, and enjoy a beer and wine garden at this no-waste event.
Cost: Free.
Saturday - Sunday
Aug 4-5
Castle Hill on the Crane Estate
Reread The Great Gatsby, rewatch a little Downton Abbey, and then don your best boater hat for an afternoon of al fresco dancing, swing, and Charleston lessons, and picnicking on a half-mile long manicured lawn. Beer and wine are also available on site; just don’t bring your own.
Cost: $45.
Aug 5
Boston Fish Pier
Lobster bakes, a beer garden packed with games and Harpoon, and fish cutting competitions, all at a waterside locale -- who needs a getaway to the Cape? Seafood fest is why we live in New England after all, and it's already seven years old.
Cost: Free to enter.
Aug 19
Fenway Park
As if the inevitable pennant race isn’t exciting enough. For one night only attendees can make their way to the field after the game for barbecue, autographs, and free giveaways (check back in for additional details later this summer).
Cost: TBA.
Aug 25
Boston Maritime Park
Before you depart for your final long weekend somewhere else, spend an afternoon lolling on the grass as you listen to award-winning local jazz performers. As of now the lineup hasn't been announced yet, but this is always a blast, and you can't argue with free.
Cost: Free.