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The best things to do in every Boston neighborhood this summer

Neighborhoods The best things to do in every Boston neighborhood this summer From Allston to West Roxbury, all neighborhoods are represented on this list of the best things to do in Boston this summer. Attendees watching Shakespeare on the Common. Tamir Kalifa for The Boston Globe
Boston’s iconic attractions such Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston Common, and the Freedom Trail are, of course, well worth visiting this summer. But Boston’s vibrant neighborhoods are all bursting with fun and interesting things to do. So why not explore a part of the city that’s perhaps less familiar?
Ahead, check out the best things to do in Boston during the next three months, with at least one pick for every neighborhood. Whether you’re looking for live music, farmers markets, fitness classes, or family-friendly fun, we’ve got you covered. Many of our picks are also wallet-friendly, as they are free.
Events key:
🆓 = Free events
👪 = Family-friendly events
🍲 = Food events
🍺 = Beer events
🆓 👪Tap into your imagination during LEGO club
Stop by the Boston Public Library’s Honan-Allston branch and build, build, build during LEGO club, which meets monthly over the summer. LEGO and Duplo bricks are provided. (June 1 & 29, July 27, Aug. 24 from 10 to 11:30 a.m.; 300 North Harvard St., Allston; free)
Fireworks shoot from the Hatch Shell as confetti falls during the annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular on the Esplanade in Boston. – AP Photo/Michael Dwyer
Back Bay-Bay Village
🆓 👪Watch the 2024 Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular
Boston’s iconic Fourth of July celebration returns to the Charles River Esplanade for its 50th anniversary. Tony-winning actress Kelli O’Hara will headline the event at the Hatch Shell, joining Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops. Other performers include Americana group The Mavericks, soul singer Darlene Love, and the Singing Sergeants from the United States Air Force Band. (July 4 from 8 to 11 p.m.; 47 David G. Mugar Way, Boston; free)
Beacon Hill
🆓 Tour the Massachusetts State House
Learn more about the home of the State Senate, House of Representatives, and Governor’s Office by taking a guided tour of the Massachusetts State House, constructed in 1798. Tours are conducted by staff who are well-versed in the history and architectural background of the building. Self-guided tours are available as well. (10 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays; 24 Beacon St., Boston; free)
🆓 Join an author talk with Myra Sack at the Boston Public Library
Myra Sack discusses her book “Fifty-Seven Fridays,” about her 1-year-old daughter Havi who was diagnosed with Tay-Sachs, a fatal neurodegenerative disease, and given only a year to live. “My story, and this conversation, will gently lead us to reimagine grief so it makes room for life,” said the author about the event. (July 30 at 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.; 419 Faneuil St., Brighton; free)
👪 🆓 Listen to free music in the park
Catch a performance of the Jesse Liam Band on the Brighton Common as part of the Boston Parks and Recreation Department’s 2024 ParkARTS Citywide Neighborhood Concert Series. (July 9 at 7 p.m.; 30 Chestnut Hill Ave., Brighton; free)
🆓 Kick up your heels at Saborcito at The Anchor
Take a free outdoor salsa and Bachata class on the waterfront at The Anchor, courtesy of Sabor Latino Boston, Salsa y Control, and DJ Hernan. A dance party follows the 6 p.m. class, and guests can sip cocktails on the courtyard patio with views of Boston from the Charlestown Navy Yard. (Monday nights from 6 to 9 p.m.; 1 Shipyard Park, Charlestown; free)
Chinatown / Leather District
🆓 👪 Play with the family at the Greenway PlayCubes
On Thursdays between June and September families can enjoy books, games, and more outside by the Greenway PlayCubes at Auntie Kay and Uncle Frank Chin Park. (Thursdays from 4 to 6 p.m.; John F. Fitzgerald Surface Road; free)
🆓 👪 Enjoy live music in the park
Calling all Bon Jovi fans: Living On A Bad Name, a Bon Jovi tribute band, will belt out the rock band’s hits in McConnell Park. This is part of the Boston Parks and Recreation Department’s 2024 ParkARTS Citywide Neighborhood Concert Series. (July 8 at 7 p.m.; 30 Denny St., Boston; free)
👪Visit the animals at Franklin Park Zoo
Bring the whole family for quality time with lions, gorillas, giraffes, and more at the Franklin Park Zoo. The 72-acre zoo spans Boston’s Dorchester, Roxbury, and Jamaica Plain neighborhoods. (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends; 1 Franklin Park Road, Boston; prices vary by day)
A beer at Trillium Brewing Co.
Downtown Boston
🍺 Toast your friends at Trillium Garden on The Greenway
The beer garden returns for its eighth season at the corner of High Street and Atlantic Avenue, across from Rowes Wharf. Guests can enjoy beers and food from rotating food trucks. The garden is open Tuesday through Sunday. (High Street and Atlantic Avenue)
🆓 Work out in America’s oldest public park
The Boston Parks Fitness Series brings free workout classes to Boston parks this summer, including yoga by the Boston Common Frog Pond. The classes, which are led by certified fitness instructors, are free but registration is required. (Thursdays, 115 Boylston St., Boston; free)
👪 🆓 Watch Shakespeare on Boston Common
Bring a chair or blanket and settle in at the Boston Common Stage at the Parkman Bandstand for a free outdoor production of William Shakespeare’s “The Winter’s Tale” by the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company. (July 16-Aug. 4 at 8 p.m.; 139 Tremont St.; free)
East Boston
🆓 👪 🍲 Shop the East Boston Summer Farmers Market
This market, which opens July 10 and runs through Oct. 30, is open Wednesdays and is organized by the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center. The market features sustainably grown produce, meat, and eggs and features art, music, and fun and wellness activities for the whole family. Look for it in Eastie’s Central Square Park. (Wednesdays from 3 to 6:30 p.m.; Across from the Liberty Shopping Center at 200 Border St.; free)
Take a trip by boat to the ICA Watershed
Any summertime visit to the ICA isn’t complete without taking the free water shuttle across Boston Harbor to the ICA Watershed, a seasonal exhibition space that is currently hosting the North American debut of “The Procession,” an ambitious installation by Hew Locke featuring 140+ objects. (Daily through September 2 from 10-5 p.m.; free with admission)
👪 Watch a Red Sox game
Catch a game at Fenway Park, America’s oldest major league baseball stadium. Settle in with a Fenway Frank and root root root for the home team. Here’s the complete 2024 home game line up. (Various dates; 4 Jersey St.; various prices)
See thought-provoking movies at Roxbury Film Fest
The 26th Annual Roxbury Film Festival will bring eight days of thought-provoking films to the Museum of Fine Arts (among other locations), including a screening of “Sing Sing,” a film based on the real-life arts rehabilitation program at Sing Sing Correctional Facility starring several formerly incarcerated actors alongside Oscar nominee Colman Domingo (“Rustin”). (June 20-28; 465 Huntington Ave.; $0-12 per film)
Hyde Park
🆓 Join a book club
Get reading with the Hyde Park Book Club, which meets the last Thursday of the month at the Boston Public Library’s Hyde Park branch. The June book is “All This Could Be Different” by Sarah Thankam Mathews; the July book is “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” by Maria Semple; and the August book is “Simon the Fiddler” by Paulette Jiles. (June 27, July 25, Aug. 29 from 1 to 2:30 p.m.; 35 Harvard Ave., Boston; free)
Jamaica Plain
🆓 👪 Stroll the open streets
Enjoy the Boston Open Streets program in Jamaica Plain on July 21, which means cars are banned from the streets and pedestrian-friendly events and activities take place on Centre Street between Lamartine St. and South St. (July 21; Centre Street; 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; free)
🍺 Order a flight at Birds and Brew
Visit with birds of prey, enjoy live music, and taste local beers and ciders at Mass Audubon’s evening fundraiser held at its Boston Nature Center and Wildlife Sanctuary. (June 14 from 7-10 p.m; 500 Walk Hill St.; $45)
Mission Hill
🆓 Enjoy free admission to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum will offer free admission on the first Thursday of every month as well as Juneteenth to visitors who register in advance online. (June 19, July 11, August 1 from 11-9 p.m.; 25 Evans Way; free)
People pass through the packed streets at St. Anthony’s Feast in the North End of Boston on August 28, 2022. – Carlin Stiehl for The Boston Globe
North End
🆓🍲 Chow down at the Fisherman’s Feast
North End festival season kicks into gear with Fisherman’s Feast of the Madonna Del Soccorso di Sciacca, an annual tradition in the North End since 1910 featuring street food, music, lights strung from the buildings, and a procession of the Madonna through the streets of the North End on Thursday evening. (August 15-18 at various North End locations; free)
🆓🍲 Embrace the Italian at St. Anthony’s Feast
More than 100 food vendors selling arancini, sausages with peppers and onion, quahogs, calamari, pizza, pasta, zeppole, cannoli, and gelato will fill the North End from Thursday through Sunday for St. Anthony’s Feast, a celebration started by immigrants who settled in the North End from Avellino, Italy in 1919. (August 22-25 at various North End locations; free)
🆓 Enjoy a free outdoor movie
The city of Boston’s Parks and Recreation Department brings its annual summer movie nights event to Roslindale’s Healy Playground for a free screening of Pixar’s “Elemental,” complete with free popcorn. (August 13 at dusk; 160 Florence St.; free)
🆓 Splash no cash at a free “Aquaman” screening
The city of Boston’s Parks and Recreation Department brings its annual summer movie nights event to Roxbury’s Malcolm X Park for a free screening of DC’s “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,” which will begin at dusk (approximately 7:45 p.m., based on estimates). (August 19 at dusk; Dale St. at Regent St.; free)
Orlando Duque of Colombia dives from the 27.5 metre platform during the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Boston. – Dean Treml/Red Bull
🆓 Flip out at the athletic displays of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series
Boston is the only U.S. stop for the annual Red Bull Cliff Diving exhibition, which sees two dozen of the world’s elite divers launch themselves through the air, twisting, turning, and flipping for an audience of thousands outside the ICA. (June 8 from 12-4 p.m.; 25 Harbor Shore Dr.; free)
South Boston
Laugh along with Megan Gailey
Deadpan comic Megan Gailey brings her unique takes on everyday life to Laugh Boston, with a particular focus on her experiences as a new mom. (June 12 from 8-9:30 p.m.; 425 Summer St.; $25)
South End
🆓🍲 Sip and shop at SoWa Open Market
You’ll find anything and everything at arguably the best seasonal market in Boston when you visit SoWa, where you can enjoy dozens of artisan vendors, food trucks, farm stands, artist studios, lawn games, beer gardens, and more every Sunday. (Sundays through October from 11-4 p.m.; 500 Harrison Ave.; free)
West End
Get political with Al Franken
Longtime “Saturday Night Live” writer/performer and former U.S. Senator Al Franken has left Capitol Hill and returned to his roots, offering witty takes on the current political and social climate for a series of shows at City Winery. (July 20-21 at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.; 80 Beverly St.; $45-$65)
Get together again with Janet Jackson
Janet Jackson has been entertaining audience since she was 7 years old, and will do so again when she brings an arena show commemorating her 1986 landmark album “Control” to TD Garden. (June 28 at 8 p.m.; 100 Legends Way, Boston, $49-$287)
West Roxbury
🆓 Enjoy Irish music at West Roxbury Public Library
No one will shush you at the West Roxbury branch of the Boston Public Library when a talented trio of musicians — Johnny Coe (guitar, vocals, and bodhran), Stuart Peak (banjo, mandolin, and whistles), and Wynter Pingel (fiddle and concertina) — perform a showcase of traditional Irish music. (June 17 from 6-7 p.m.; 1961 Centre St.; free)
Wharf District
🆓 Enjoy live music on the water at Summer in the City
For four nights a week this summer, the floating barge sitting just offshore from the Boston Harbor Hotel will host a rotating list of musical acts, providing a lovely atmosphere for outdoor dining or strolling on the Harborwalk. (Tuesday through Friday from June 6-August 29 starting at 6 p.m.; 70 Rowes Wharf; free)



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