How to dazzle your out-of-town visitors: Arts and culture lovers

By Kara Baskin
July 18, 2010

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Friday Do Spend a languid twilight at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, northwest of Boston. Its 35-acre modern sculpture park is the ideal pastoral romp, and on July 23 and 30, museum admission is free from 5 to 9 p.m. This “Free Friday Nights” program includes outdoor concerts on the sculpture terrace, dance performances, and art exhibits. On other Fridays, the museum closes at 5 p.m., but the sculpture park always remains open until dusk. Park access is free after the museum closes.

deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, 51 Sandy Pond Road, Lincoln, 781-259-8355,

Dine Dazzle guests with a sophisticated supper at Lincoln’s AKA Bistro. (Note: Visitors to the deCordova receive a voucher at the museum for complimentary dessert at AKA with lunch or dinner.) The kitchen, which offers both sashimi and French dishes, is helmed by Chris Chung, formerly of Ken Oringer’s Uni. For a real splurge, opt for the new “Taste of AKA” menu featuring four sashimi courses, two French courses, and dessert for $90 per person.

AKA Bistro, 145 Lincoln Road, Lincoln, 781-259-9920,

Saturday Do Head to Fan Pier for Cirque du Soleil’s newest spectacle, OVO, under Cirque’s signature traveling blue-and-yellow big top. OVO is the visually stunning, acrobatically amazing tale of a fly and a ladybug in love. The show runs July 22 through August 15. There are two shows on Saturdays, at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Bonus: The galleries of Fort Point Channel and the Institute of Contemporary Art are within easy walking distance for pre-show exploration.

Cirque du Soleil, Fan Pier, 800-450-1480,

Dine Clothing store Louis (formerly Louis Boston) recently docked at Fan Pier complete with a redesign and a brand-new restaurant, Sam’s, a convenient spot for dinner before or after the show. Discriminating shoppers will appreciate the store’s upscale threads and covetable housewares and accessories; refined palates will relish Sam’s brasserie-style medley of mussels, roast chicken, and the like. Design is sleek and minimalist; the sparkly waterfront view and patio seating are luscious; prices are middle of the road.

Louis, 60 Northern Avenue, Boston, 617-262-6100,; Sam’s, 60 Northern Avenue, Boston, 617-295-0191,

Sunday Do Spend a mellow morning wandering the stalls and chatting with neighborly artisans at the South End Open Market. Browse paintings, jewelry, pottery, and more. Then stroll a few blocks to Aunt Sadie’s candle shop. Inhale deeply. Perhaps a Green Monster-scented candle for a souvenir?

South End Open Market, 460 Harrison Avenue, Boston,; Aunt Sadie’s, 18 Union Park Street, Boston, 617-357-7117,

Dine Have breakfast or lunch on the cheap at Mike & Patty’s in Bay Village. The restaurant is teensy; portions are not. A monstrous breakfast torta stuffed with poblanos, refritos, avocado, eggs, salsa, and cheese costs less than $10.

Mike & Patty’s, 12 Church Street, Boston, 617-423-3447,

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