Yum! Today, March 4, is National Pancake Day! Consider celebrating by visiting an IHOP near you, where you can nab a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes (Note: there’s a limit of one short stack of pancakes per guest). All that’s asked is that you consider providing a donation to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, or another designated local charity. IHOP’s goal is to raise $3 million for charity this year.
This special offer is only available at participating restaurants, and you must be dining in.
Poetry Out Loud proves that real time spoken word still has the power to move, educate, and inspire young people.
David MarshallFULL ENTRY
We don't know about you, but our priorities include good art and good food. Boston-based mixed media artist Adrienne Schlow knows about both.FULL ENTRY
Last fall, theater buddies Anneke Reich and Will Jobs launched Artists' Theater of Boston to produce low-cost, accessible, quality theater for area audiences.
Andrew Brilliant/Brilliant PicturesFULL ENTRY
After losing her husband and a job on Wall Street, Susan Cabana transformed her life through the study of yoga and nutrition, and opened Nourish Your Soul.
Raise a glass of organic juice with her to celebrate the juice bar's new location in South Boston. There'll be sampling of smoothies, juices, coffee, and other healthful offerings, and a chance to win club passes, a one-day cleanse, and other goodies. Feb. 1, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Nourish Your Soul at The Club, 15 Channel Center St., Boston. www.nourishyoursoul.com
Copley Square will be a book lover's paradise this weekend.FULL ENTRY
They're loud, they're proud, and they're coming to Somerville.
Leonardo MarchFULL ENTRY
Celebrate with free coffee and other special offers Sunday.FULL ENTRY
Yogurtland and CBS are teaming up to celebrate eight of the network's comedy series. For the month of September, the Harvard Square location has been taken over with CBS branding and special flavors inspired by shows including "The Millers," "Mom," "The Big Bang Theory," and "How I Met Your Mother."FULL ENTRY
It's National Cheeseburger Day, and local eateries are celebrating with special offers.FULL ENTRY
In 2010, members of the Jamaica Plain community asked, "Cambridge has one; Somerville has one. Why don't we?" They were talking about a music festival, and now they do.FULL ENTRY
Starting this week, frozen yogurt aficionados can indulge at yet another location. Pinkberry is opening in Somerville's Davis Square, and the shop is partnering with the Somerville Homeless Coalition to help raise funds for the non-profit. The grand opening features free frozen yogurt and toppings, giveaways, and a DJ. Grand opening celebration Sept. 5, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Shop officially opens for business Sept. 6 at 10 a.m. Pinkberry, 263 Elm St., Somerville. 617-623-3338, www.pinkberry.com
Fro-yo on a hot day -- we've been doing that a lot this summer. There'll be another place to indulge when a new Pinkberry opens its doors in Boston's North End. Before the official opening on Friday, you're invited to come on in Thursday for free swirls and toppings. Aug. 1, 4-7 p.m. Pinkberry, 285 Hanover St., Boston. 617-248-0110, www.pinkberry.com
Citizens Bank, The Boston Globe, and WGBH team up to make summer in the city even hotter with the 2nd annual Summer Arts Weekend. This year, in addition to bringing in local and national acts, the festivities celebrate Boston's resilience in the face of tragedy. In the words of the organizers: "The term Boston Strong is not just a slogan. It represents the spirit and strength of a community that reaches out, neighbor to neighbor. We have never been prouder to call ourselves Bostonians."
All are invited to the following free performances in Copley Square, Boston:
Friday, July 26:
7 p.m., Italian blues artist Noe Socha
7:20 p.m., all-female bluegrass quintet Della Mae
8:20 p.m., Grammy winner Dr. John and the Nite Trippers
9:20 p.m., from New Orleans, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Saturday, July 27:
11 a.m., music for families with Vanessa Trien and the Jumping Monkeys
12:30 p.m., family entertainment with the Airborne Comedians
2 p.m., award-winning family entertainer Ben Rudnick & Friends
3:30 p.m., ukulele wunderkind Jake Shimabukuro
5 p.m., piper Carlos Nunez and friends
6:15 p.m., world music with Red Baraat
8 p.m., Boston's own Session Americana and guests
9:30 p.m., Grammy-winning vocalist Angelique Kidjo
Sunday, July 28:
1 p.m., New England Conservatory Jewish Music Ensemble
1:40 p.m., Boston Conservatory Broadway Revue
2:45 p.m., Boston Landmarks Orchestra
4:30 p.m., 27-time Grammy-winning bluegrass/country singer-songwriter Alison Krauss
The weekend also features ticketed events which offer the opportunity to see the artists in a more intimate setting.
Friday After Dark features the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Dr. John and the Nite Trippers and Della Mae. July 26, 10:30 p.m. $65. Fairmont Copley, Grand Ballroom, 138 St. James Ave., Boston. Purchase tickets here.
Saturday After Dark features Angelique Kidjo, Red Baraat, Carlos Nunez, Session Americana, Ryan Montbleau, and others. July 27, 10:30 p.m. $65. Westin Copley Ballroom, 10 Huntington Ave., Boston. Purchase tickets here.
Baroque Brunch features the Handel and Haydn Society, harpsichordist Ian Watson, soprano Teresa Wakim, and Baroque in Boston host Laura Carlo. July 28, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. $75. Fairmont Copley, Grand Ballroom, 138 St. James Ave., Boston. Purchase tickets here.
See James Reed's preview on Alison Krauss.
See James Reed's preview on Jake Shimabukuro.
See James Reed's picks on The best of the Summer Arts Weekend.
Fred Greissing for Boston.com
Outside the Box, a free music, food, and performing arts festival, kicked off this Saturday. The nine-day outdoor festival features over 200 events at venues like City Hall Plaza and the Boston Common. Events range from live music performances, dance, theater, and a food festival. FULL ENTRY
Bill Brett for The Boston Globe
The 40th annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular will take place along the Esplanade on Thursday, July 4. The concert is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m., followed by the fireworks, which are scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m.
The Boston Pops concert will be held at the Hatch Shell. The performance will be led by Keith Lockhart, and guest performers include Susan Tedeschi, Ellis Hall, Howie Day, and Ayla Brown. WBZ News Radio 1030 and WCRB-FM Classical 99.5 will begin their local programming at 6 p.m. WGBH Boston Public Radio will begin at 7 p.m. The event will be broadcast live on television on WBZ-TV at 7 p.m.
JULY 4 SCHEDULE
9 a.m. Oval opens
6 p.m. WBZ News Radio 1030 simulcast begins
7 p.m. Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular broadcast begins on WBZ-TV Boston
7:30 p.m. Concert begins
9:30 p.m. Fireworks begin
10 p.m. Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular ends
Visitors desiring access to "the oval" — the restricted area in front of the Hatch Shell — should plan to arrive early. The checkpoints will open at 9 a.m. Access to the checkpoint can best be accomplished by accessing the DCR Esplanade from Berkeley Street. Those who arrive early will receive wrist bands.
- Firearms, weapons, sharp objects, and fireworks
- glass containers and cans
- Pre-mixed beverages
- Liquids in sealed clear plastic containers should not exceed 2 liters
- No grilling, propane tanks, or open flames
- Coolers on wheels
- Pop up tents, canopies with no sides
- Blankets or tarps less than 10x12 feet
- Folding, beach chairs only
- After inspection, small clutches and purses will be allowed.
Note: On Thursday, July 4, all allowed items must be checked and carried through security checkpoints by 4 p.m. After 4 p.m., only chairs, tarps, or blankets less than 10x12 feet will be allowed. Security measures are extremely tight this year. Make sure to read the restrictions in full.
TRAFFIC AND PARKING
The Massachusetts Avenue bridge, the Longfellow bridge, parts of Storrow Drive, and parts of Memorial Drive will be closed to traffic during the fireworks display and will be expected to reopen by the morning of July 5. For more detailed road closings and parking restrictions, check out the official press release here.
In anticipation of large crowds and road closures, using public transportation is highly advisable. Use the MBTA website to plan your trip. For those who drive, parking garages will be available. Local company LAZ Parking is letting patrons reserve spots in advance. Handicap parking is available July 4 at at the Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary. In Cambridge, there will be a reserved handicapped parking area on the Cambridge Parkway.
Somerville, get ready. The squeezeboxes are coming. The second annual Squeezebox Slam celebrates accordions, button boxes, and other free standing reed instruments. If you have one of your own, you're welcome to join the Accordion Stroll, taking place around Somerville and winding up in Davis Square, where festivities include accordion themed crafts, Redbones eats, and a gala concert (line-up below) with music from Greek, Cajun, Ethiopian, Argentine, Turkish, and jazz traditions. The event is sponsored by The Nave Gallery and the Somerville Arts Council.
Host: Lady Keilbasia
3 p.m.: Sandy Theodorou
3:30 p.m.: Ralph Tufo
4 p.m.: Marié Abe Sextet
4:30 p.m.: International accordion champion Cory Pesaturo
5 p.m.: Grand Fatilla with Roberto Cassan
June 15, Accordion Stroll 1-3 p.m. in Somerville neighborhoods. Concert begins 3 p.m. at Seven Hills Park, Davis Square, Somerville. Free. Rain date June 29. www.somervilleartscouncil.org
The weather forecast looks great for PorchFest, featuring more than 100 musical acts picking, strumming, and singing on porches all over Somerville. The third annual event is intended to be informal, neighborly, and fun. The Somerville Arts Council describes it as "a community event where Somervillians share their love of playing and listening to music." During three time slots in three different quadrants of the city, you can hear Americana, blues, Afrobeat, acid folk, Moroccan, Balkan, gospel, and other genres of music. Veteran area musicians like Matt Glaser, Tim Gearan, and Sean Staples are included in the line-up, as well as bands like the Second Line Social Aid and Pleasure Society, Cat Sounds, Dirty Water Brass Band, and The Rolling Who. There's also a Porch-ioke site if you want to belt out a number yourself. The event gets underway Saturday, May 18 from noon-2 p.m. in East Somerville, moves to central Somerville from 2-4 p.m., and finishes in West Somerville from 4-6 p.m. Download the map for details. See somervilleartscouncil.org for complete info.
The annual fest in honor of Planet Earth celebrates its 20th anniversary with a line-up that includes Vertical Horizon, Cracker, Gentlemen Hall, Fastball, and Camper Van Beethoven. Radio 92.9 EarthFest presented by Whole Foods Market also features exhibits and environmental displays, samples of earth-friendly products, and an interactive Kids' Planet area. In the spirit of the festival and in light of the fact that it's expected to draw more than 100,000 people, take the T or use pedal power to get there (free bike valet service will be provided courtesy of MassBike). May 18. Free, donations will be accepted for The One Fund Boston. Event begins at 10 a.m. DCR Hatch Memorial Shell, Boston. www.earthfest.com
The Museum of Fine Arts will display love for Boston during three free days in late May. The Memorial Day weekend events are being held in support for the city after the bombings at the Boston Marathon.
The museum will hold an exhibition called "Boston I Love," which will provide art lent by New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Met's art director and CEO, Thomas Campbell, reached out to the MFA and chose three paintings to be displayed in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings.
Visitors will also have the chance to contribute to a collage called "Boston I Love," featuring art made during those three days.
In addition, quilt makers from Brazil to Japan created quilt squares with messages of love and support for Boston. The quilt squares will be linked together and on display at the museum. Have a quilt of your own you'd like to share? Follow the directions here.
Will you attend the MFA's commemorative exhibitions? Have you been to events to support The One Fund? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
Michele McDonald for The Boston Globe
Art can bring healing, and after the events of this week the Boston Conservatory invites area residents to Reflections: Love, Loss, and Living. The show, featuring works from the school's dance, music, and theater divisions, touches on themes of loss, grief, resilience, hope, and community, and showcases a commissioned work by choreographer Peter DiMuro. According to conservatory president Richard Ortner, "We believe that this show in particular can help people in the Boston community begin to process the tremendous loss we've all felt for the past couple of days."
Thurs-Sat, 8 p.m. Sat, 2 p.m. Free, call for reservations. 617-912-9222. Boston Conservatory Theater, 31 Hemenway St., Boston. www.bostonconservatory.edu
David L. Ryan, Globe Staff
THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED. NEW DATE TBA
One and and all are invited to step through the gates of Boston's beloved ballpark for the Annual Fenway Park Open House. Check out the home and away clubhouses, get autographs of Red Sox alumni, see the dugouts and batting cages, take a stroll around the warning track, look inside the Green Monster scoreboard, and meet Wally the Green Monster. Don't forget to have a hot dog -- discounted concessions will be available at this family event. April 17, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Rain or shine. Fenway Park, Boston. www.redsox.com/openhouse
This post is part of a daily series giving you tips and recommendations on what to do in the Boston area.
FREE ICE CREAM
Wait. 70 degree weather? FREE ice cream? Are we dreaming?
From noon-8 p.m. today, Ben and Jerry's will offer up a free scoop during their annual Free Cone Day, a tradition the brand has upheld since 1979. Indulge in this free treat at the Harvard Square, Park Plaza, Newbury Street, and Prudential Center locations.
Which flavor will you choose from the Vermont-based company? My vote goes with Liz Lemon Greek frozen yogurt.
Looking for other free things to do this month? Here are more suggestions.
Take advantage of one of the warmest days this year (so far) by enjoying some sun in one of Boston's many parks. We recommend Olmsted Park in Jamaica Plain. After some sun bathing, go for a bike ride on one of the park's paved paths. If you want other choices, check out our round up.
Did we say it may be 70 degrees? Yup, and we think that's a cause for celebration. Grab a cool margarita and pretend you're on vacation, just like Don and Megan (obviously, we're still thinking about "Mad Men"). Our pick is the hibiscus margarita at Zocalo in the Back Bay.
35 Stanhope St., Boston.
Here's a sweet way to end your Thursday -- stop by the new Pinkberry location in Chestnut Hill for some free frozen yogurt. The evening before the store officially opens for business, you can get a creamy treat, groove to tunes spun by a DJ, and try your luck at winning a year's supply of free Pinkberry and other goodies. April 4, 6-9 p.m., free swirls. Opening day April 5. Store hours: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sun-Thurs, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Fri-Sat. Pinkberry at The Street, 49 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill. www.pinkberry.com
John Tlumacki / Globe Staff
As Bostonians eagerly await the warm weather, here is yet another thing to look forward to this summer: the Boston Arts Summer Institute is organizing "Outside the Box"-- a free eight day festival in July that will bring outdoor performances, live music, comedy, and more.
The outdoor festival, which will take place from July 13-20, will be spread throughout the city and will take advantage of Boston's most popular destinations, including the Hatch Shell, Boston Common, City Hall Plaza, and Copley Square.
Some event highlights include a performance of Shakespeare's "Two Gentlemen of Verona," a showcase of the New England Music Awards winners, and a performance by Boston's Mighty Mighty Bosstones.
According to their website, the point of the festival is to promote local artists and showcase New England culture.
Stay tuned for a complete schedule and a new website next month.
Wendy Maeda, Globe Staff
UBurger? Free burger! The Boston-based burger chain has opened its fifth location in Faneuil Hall, and to celebrate, the burger joint will be giving away free cheeseburgers, fries, and a drink today.
Head to the new location at 16 North St. and help mark the grand opening on Wednesday, from 4-7 p.m. Local designer Venni Caprice and live music from DJ Mario will join the festivities. The 60-seat restaurant opened its doors on Feb. 12.
The burger joint first opened shop in Kenmore Square in 2006 and catered to both Red Sox fans and students alike. Other locations include Park Street, the Boston University campus, and the Northeastern campus.
So bundle up, venture to Faneuil Hall and score some free grub. If you're in the mood, we recommend grabbing a pint at a nearby Irish pub, such as Green Dragon Tavern or Clarke's. Bon appetit!
UBurger offers several burgers on their menu, as well as fries, chicken sandwiches, salads, and frappes. Burgers are made daily and fries made to order, according to the website.
As temperatures approach below freezing levels this week, here's a delicious and fun way to stay in the winter weeks to come: free s'mores!
Kendall Square's Belly Wine Bar keeps an open top fireplace burning outside the restaurant daily and customers often hover around the flames with their libations on cold winter nights. But on Sunday and Monday evenings, a plate of ingredients to make s'mores make a guest appearance in the mix.
These aren't your standard s'mores: the marshmallows and graham crackers are custom-made by the chef, and the chocolate varies from chocolate shavings to chips to bars.
Nick Zappia, one of the owners of the wine bar, recommended Amaro Montenegro, a digestif, as the ideal liquor to pair with the dessert, stating that the bitterness of the alcohol combined with the sweetness of the treat make for an ideal combination.
But why s'mores? Zappia's answer was simple: It's a "fun thing for us to do and fun for the guests that are here."
What activities do you take part in to keep you warm during the harsh winter months? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
Check out Belly Wine Bar at One Kendall Square in Cambridge.
Aram Boghosian, Globe Staff
Be there for the oohs and ahs when the light switch is flipped for Boston's official holiday tree, a 45-foot white spruce from Nova Scotia. The tree won't be the only source of light at the annual festivities. After a show featuring "The Voice" contestant James Massone, Nova Scotia band The Squid, the Boston Arts Academy, and a visit from the Grinch, Pyrospectaculars Inc. will make things bright with a special pyrotechnic display.
Nov. 29, 6-8 p.m. Free. Boston Common. www.cityofboston.gov
Making plans? Short on ideas? No worries. See Milva DiDomizio and June Wulff's picks for the top things to do around the Hub this weekend.
FROM CELTICS TO COMEDY When they retire, some athletes hawk products, land a TV gig, coach, count their money, or a a combination of the above. For 40-year-old retired NBA star, Shaquille Rashaun O'Neal, the retirement road includes humor. Shaq's All Star Comedy Jam stars host Gary Owen, Tony Roberts, Michael Blackson, and DJ Spinderella. Nov. 16, 7 & 9:45 p.m. $29-$39. The Wilbur Theatre, 246 Tremont St., Boston. 800-745-3000, www.thewilbur.com
HIT THE BOOK FAIR The wire-tapping equipment the FBI used to gather evidence against Whitey Bulger isn't necessarily what we'd expect to see at the International Antiquarian Book Fair. Nevertheless, it will be there, along with President Kennedy's personalized humidor (that's a cigar holder). Did we mention the books? More than 120 dealers from several countries exhibit rare books, illuminated manuscripts, maps, atlases, and other literary ephemera. Highlights include first editions by Faulkner, Austen, Wharton, and others; an 1848 engraving of the Declaration of Independence; and an autographed portrait of Charlie Chaplin. If you're wondering about the value of your own literary treasures, bring books for appraisal from 1-3 p.m. Sunday. Nov. 16, 5-9 p.m. Nov. 17, noon-7 p.m. Nov. 18, noon-5 p.m. $15 opening night, includes weekend admission. Sat-Sun admission $8 per day. Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston St., Boston. 617-266-6540, www.bostonbookfair.com
NINE LIVES The Fox TV show is on the road with the ninth season's Top 10 finalists. On the So You Think You Can Dance Tour, Audrey, Chehon, Cole, Cyrus, Eliana, George, Lindsay, Tiffany, Will, and Witney perform routines from the shows plus dances choreographed for the tour. Nov. 16, 7:30 p.m. $32.50-$68.50. Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theatre, 270 Tremont St., Boston. 866-348-9738, www.dance.aeglive.com
A GOOD FOUNDATION The Museum of Fine Arts shows off its new Arts of Korea gallery at Korea Foundation Day. There will be tours in Korean and English, performances by percussion group Gong Myoung, artist demonstrations by Kang Ik-Joong, and "Divine Depictions: Korean Buddhist Paintings." Nov. 16, 3-9:45 p.m. Free with museum admission of $25, $23 students and seniors, free under 18. Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. 617-267-9300, www.mfa.org
PARADISE OF CRAFTS Whether it's one of James Borden's inventive clocks, a bright flower pin by Susan Dyer, or a checkerboard quilt by Rachel Derstine, any gift you buy at the Paradise City Arts Festival is sure to be unique. The event features work by 175 American craft designers and artists from 23 states, and a Sculpture Cafe where you can sip coffee and listen to live jazz. Nov. 16, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 17, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Nov. 18, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. $12, $10 seniors, $8 students, 12 and under free, $15 weekend pass. Royal Plaza Trade Center, 181 Boston Post Road West, Marlborough. 800-511-9725, www.paradisecityarts.com
Note: The Frog Pond was originally scheduled to open Friday. The opening has been delayed. Read more here.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION Holiday stuff is all over store shelves, so stress is just around the corner. Before it gets to you, revel in the lights and sounds of the season at "Blink!" This kick-off at America's first open marketplace starts with pilates bootcamp and continues with music (Holiday Pops and others), stories, comedy, and more than 350,000 LED lights. Nov. 17 from 9:15 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Free. Faneuil Hall Marketplace, 4 South Market St., Boston. 617-523-1300, www.faneuilhallmarketplace.com
ENCHANTMENT AWAITS Once upon a time, excited children flocked to Jordan Marsh at Downtown Crossing to see the animated figurines and charming yuletide scenes of the Enchanted Village, a Victorian-era holiday display created by Bavarian toymakers. In 2009, the vintage display got a new home, which means today's kids can get the same enchanted thrill. Nov. 17 through December. Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. Jordan’s Furniture, 100 Stockwell Dr., Avon. www.jordans.com
FOREVER YOUNG It's been 50 years since Bob Dylan released his self-titled debut album which was not very successful. The two original songs were "Song For Woody" and "Talking New York," and if we fast forward to now, the troubadour's new release, "Tempest," has 10 Dylan songs. Mark Knopfler is the special guest when Bob Dylan and His Band play the TD Garden. Nov. 18 at 7:30 p.m. $39.50-$125. TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston. 800-745-3000. www.livenation.com
PSYCHO STRINGS Now that the finback whale has gone to lower ground, Rockportians can focus on what's going on at the beautiful Shalin Liu Performance Center. One event is Berklee World Strings, an ensemble of soloists, chamber players, and fiddlers from the Berklee College of Music. The program features Bernard Herrmann's "Psycho—A Narrative for String Orchestra" and Bruce Thomas's "East River Mountain Suite." Nov. 18 at 3 p.m. $10, free under 19. Shalin Liu Performance Center, 37 Main St., Rockport. 978-546-7391, www.rockportmusic.org
Two years ago I wrote a story about Jason Baker, a daring photographer who enjoys taking pictures of old insane asylums, hospital wards, and other spooky institutions. We put together a slideshow of his photos here.
Some of Jason's most haunting images are now being shown at Gallery X in New Bedford. They're part of the "Decayed Beauty" exhibit that runs from Sept. 19 to 30, and two opening receptions will be held this weekend: Saturday, Sept. 22 from 6 to 10 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 23 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
If you want to see what abandoned buildings look like on the inside (without getting arrested), Jason's photos are worth checking out.
-- Emily Sweeney
Cherry Garcia, Chunky Monkey, and Phish Food are great all by themselves. Ben & Jerry's with free music on a summer Saturday -- even better. The Boston Fair Trade Music Festival brings you Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers, Gentlemen Hall, and Cara Brindisi, along with the Ben & Jerry's Scoop Truck dishing out Fair Trade flavors all day including their new line of Greek frozen yogurt. Aug. 11, 2-7 p.m. Free. Prudential Center North Terrace, 800 Boylston St., Boston. www.facebook.com/events/332297330191472/?ref=nf
Michael Justin Young / Emerald Lounge
MONDO: The Revere Hotel’s new nightlife hot spot the Emerald Lounge plays host to a weekly night of groovy tunes every Wednesday, called Mondo, with entertainment by resident DJs the Whiskey Barons and DJ Kon. There will also be monthly guest DJs starting on July 25. Aug. 1, 8 p.m. Free. 21+. Emerald Lounge at the Revere Hotel, Boston. 617-457-2626, www.emeraldultralounge.com
For the second consecutive year, this venerable community celebration happens the same weekend as Newport Folk Festival, which is already sold out. Lowell’s folk fest, which is free, is revered for covering a broad swath of roots music, and this year’s lineup runs from Chicago blues (Magic Slim & the Teardrops) to Dominican bachata (Joan Soriano). -- James Reed, Globe Staff
Lowell Folk Festival July 27, 6:40-10 p.m. July 28, noon-10 p.m. July 29, noon-6 p.m. Free. Downtown Lowell. www.lowellfolkfestival.org
John Tluacki / Globe Staff
BOSTON COMMON FROG POND While your ice skates wait for winter, the bathing suits get a workout at the Frog Pond. Kids 12 and under are invited to wade in the spray poolunder the watchful eyes of lifeguards. Daily from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. until Labor Day. Free. Boston Common Frog Pond, 84 Beacon St., Boston. 617-635-2120. www.bostonfrogpond.com [June Wulff]
If you haven't yet been able to attend a performance of the American Repertory Theater's "The Donkey Show" at the OBERON in Cambridge (or you just want a second thrill), then this might get your glitter-loving heart racing: The W Boston will host two exclusive performances of the psychedelic, hip-shaking interpretation of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in their W Lounge on Aug. 9 ... for free.
The performances are part of the hotel's Midsummer Night's Masquerade evening that features a five-course Jean-Georges gourmet dinner at Market followed by the pop-up rendition of the show. Tickets for the dinner are $150, with a portion of the proceeds going back to supporting the American Repertory Theater. The performances are gratis on a first come, first served basis. Aug. 9, performances at 8:30 and 10 p.m. Dinner tickets are available at MarketByJGBoston.com for $150 each. W Boston, 100 Stuart St., Boston. www.marketbyjgboston.com
REUTERS/The Weinstein Company/Handout
A series of free outdoor movies kicks off this weekend at Christopher Columbus Park with a showing of "Airplane!" (The series is sponsored by Joe Bono of Al Dente, Benevento's, and Boston Pushcart.) All movies start around 8 p.m. after the sun has gone down. Check out the complete schedule below and search all free events happening here.
- July 15: "Airplane!"
- July 22: "The Sandlot"
- July 29: "Galaxy Quest"
- Aug. 5: "The Sting"
- Aug. 12: "Hugo"
- Aug. 19: "The King's Speech"
Travis Dove for The Boston Globe
The 39th annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular will take place Wednesday, July 4, along the Esplanade. The pops will perform at the Hatch Shell, led by conductor Keith Lockhart and joined by special guest Jennifer Hudson.
The fireworks are scheduled to begin at 10:35 p.m., and visitors can watch along the Charles River in Boston and Cambridge. The music from the Hatch Shell performances will be piped in via sound towers located throughout the area. Visitors can also listen in by tuning to WBZ News Radio 1030 and WGBH-FM Classical 99.5. The event will be broadcast live on television on WBZ-TV from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. The nation-wide telecast begins at 10 p.m. on CBS.
Tuesday, July 3, concert
6 p.m. Oval opens
8:20 p.m. Concert begins
9:30 p.m. "1812 Overture" is played
10 p.m. Concert ends
(There is no fireworks display on July 3)
Wednesday, July 4, concert and fireworks
9 a.m. Oval opens
noon Recorded music begins in Boston
6 p.m. Recorded music begins in Cambridge
7 p.m. WBZ News Radio 1030 simulcast begins
8 p.m. Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular broadcast begins on WBZ-TV Boston
8:20 p.m. Boston Pops concert begins with the National Anthem and flyover
9:30 p.m. "1812 Overture" is played
10 p.m. CBS Network national broadcast begins
10:35 p.m. Fireworks begin
11 p.m. Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular ends
Visitors desiring access to "the oval" — the restricted area in front of the Hatch Shell — should plan to arrive early. Those who arrive early will receive wrist bands, which typically run out by 2 p.m. The wrist bands will allow visitors access in and out of the oval until 6 p.m.; after this time re-admittance will not be allowed. Alcoholic beverages, sharp objects, glass containers, and tarps larger than 8 feet x 10 feet will not be allowed.
There will be more than 350 portable restrooms located along the Charles River in Boston and Cambridge, including handicap accessible options at all restroom locations.
TRAFFIC & PARKING
The Massachusetts Avenue bridge, the Longfellow bridge, parts of Storrow Drive, and parts of Memorial Drive will be closed to traffic during the fireworks display and will be expected to reopen by the morning of July 5. For more detailed road closings and parking restrictions, check out the official press release here. To check traffic advisories, click here.
The use of public transportation is highly recommended for the event, due to the large amount of people and the scarcity of parking. Visit www.mbta.com to plan your trip. If driving is absolutely necessary, visitors are urged to use nearby parking garages. Handicap parking is available July 4 at at the Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary. In Cambridge, there will be a reserved handicapped parking area on the Cambridge Parkway.
Today is the first day of summer and the heat is officially here. The mercury is rising and temperatures could soar well into the 90 degree mark today. In an effort to help people keep cool, the folks from Mix 104.1 will be at Downtown Crossing today at noon handing out free Turkey Hill ice cream. Happy first day of summer, indeed!
Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff
Movies By Moonlight, the summertime ritual of outdoor film screenings at the Boston Harbor Hotel, kicked off last week with a showing of "The Way We Were." The movies, which often include classics or new favorites -- like "Dirty Dancing" above -- are always free and begin each Friday night at sunset. (We recommend getting there early to stake out a seat.) Check out the complete schedule below.
- June 22: "Johnny Dangerously"
- June 29: "The Magnificent Seven"
- July 6: "Yankee Doodle Dandy"
- July 13: "An American in Paris"
- July 20: "On the Waterfront"
- July 27: "Jaws"
- Aug. 3: "The Princess Bride"
- Aug. 10: "Moonstruck"
- Aug. 17: "Planes, Trains, & Automobiles"
- Aug. 24: "Dirty Dancing"
- Aug. 31: "Roxanne"
Here are some free events coming up....on the arts & culture tip:
Sunday, February 15
- The Bedford Center for the Arts will give you a chance to go behind the scenes and see how two artists make their art. At 2 p.m., Emily Lombardo will reveal the techniques she uses to create her unique glass artwork, and then Mary Taylor will demonstrate how monoprints are made, using block printing inks and gelatin. Their presentations will be followed by an artists' reception from 5 - 6 p.m. at the Bedford Free Public Library, where some of their work is on display.
Sunday, February 22
- The following Sunday, The Beehive will host a free screening of the film Rebirth of a Nation by Paul Miller (a.k.a. DJ Spooky), which is a remix of D.W. Griffith's controversial and racially-charged 1915 movie Birth of a Nation. It features an original score by Miller, performed by the Kronos Quartet. The screening will start at 7 p.m...
Monday, February 23
- WGBH Studios will host a free screening of Perspectives: The Negro and the American Promise, which features interviews with Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and James Baldwin. A discussion will follow with Marita Rivero, WGBH vice president and general manager for radio and television, program producer Henry Morgenthau III, director Fred Barzyk, and Dr. Peniel Joseph, associate professor of African and Afro-American Studies at Brandeis University. It starts at 6:30 p.m., and RSVPs are required. To reserve your seat, visit www.wgbh.org/openvaultscreening.
Tuesday, December 2
- "Recording the Beatles" lecture @ the Boston Public Library: You may know who the Martha* in the Paul McCartney-penned ditty "Martha My Dear" was, but do you know which equipment the Fab Four used to create the "White Album"? Authors and audiophiles Brian Kehew and Kevin Ryan painstakingly researched the Beatles' recording sessions and interviewed the band's technicians and engineers for their new book, "Recording the Beatles." They'll be on hand to answer your questions and get all geeky about John, Paul, George, and Ringo. 6 p.m.
* Martha was Paul's sheepdog. Duh.
Wednesday, December 3
- MFA for the Holidays @ the Museum of Fine Arts: The MFA is certainly in the holiday spirit. Not only is museum admission free on Wednesday, but the Boston Children's Choir will also perform at 5:30. (We request "White Christmas.") You should probably eat before you go, lest you're tempted to snack on the big gingerbread museum created by North Shore Community College culinary students displayed in the Sharf Visitor Center. 4-9:45 p.m.
Sunday, December 7
- UK Funky @ the Enormous Room: If you're up on the latest dance and club trends, you probably already know what UK Funky music is. If not, DJs G Notorious and Vice T are ready to school you in this blend of house music, Afrobeat, and Soca at the Enormous Room Sunday night. SoulChampion.com is sponsoring the event and purportedly introducing Boston to this dance music, which the site calls: "the most innovative and exciting new sound to come out of the UK since Dubstep." 21+. 9:30 p.m.-1 a.m.
[Come together right now, over me, and learn about the Beatles' recordings / Credit: Slide scan]
Wednesday, November 26
- Soul Touch @ Middlesex Lounge: You could spend tomorrow night mingling with all the kids from high school at your hometown Chili's — warning: you will feel old — or you could put off the drive home until Thanksgiving day and dance tomorrow night away at this Cambridge hotspot. The special pre-Thanksgiving Soul Touch features DJs Claude Money, Gray, Justin T, and Jantine B. According to the event's website, soul music "is good for you" — as opposed to the three tons of mashed potatoes and stuffing you'll be shoveling down your throat come Thursday. 9 p.m.
Saturday, November 29
- Free-For-All Saturday @ RISD Museum: By Saturday, you might just need a road trip to escape your inlaws, just saying. Admission to the RISD Museum is free on the last Saturday of each month — a $10 savings. Catch the stunning glasswork of Dale Chihuly and Beth Lipman before both exhibits are disassembled in early January. 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
- "Black and Gold" book signing @ Brookline Booksmith: Got any Bruins diehards on your Christmas gift list? This might be the best present for them. Ever. Hockey writer Steve Babineau teamed up with Bruins shutterbug Rob Simpson on "Black and Gold: Four Decades of the Boston Bruins in Photographs," and the pair — along with hockey alumni Andy Brickley and Bob Beers — will sign the book this weekend at Brookline Booksmith. Game on. 3 p.m.
[Credit: Stew Milne/AP Photo]
Wednesday-Sunday, November 19-23
- InsideOut: The Museum School Sale @ the School of the Museum of Fine Arts: Sure, there are scores of craft and gift festivals and sales around the area come December. But if you're looking to give your loved ones unique artwork this year by established artists and emerging artists (read: art by students who could be famous one day, thereby tripling your investment — rad!), make a beeline for InsideOut. There'll be 4,000 original works for you to browse, including jewelry, paintings, sculpture, ceramics, and photographs. Stop by the opening party on Wednesday from 5-8 p.m. and think outside the box store. Noon-8 p.m. Wed. and Thurs.; Noon-6 p.m. Fri.-Sun.
Wednesday, November 19
- Frog Pond Opening @ the Boston Common: Let's face it. Winter's officially here. There is no more obvious beacon of the frigid weather to come than the official opening of the Boston Common Frog Pond. Hobnob with Mayor Menino and Wally the Green Monster and see the United States National Champion Ice Mates in action. Strap on your skates and make your way around the iconic rink. We're set to dazzle the crowds with our own perfect triple lutzes. (Yea, right.) 5:30 p.m.
Thursday, November 20
- Kenneth Cole @ well, Kenneth Cole: The designer has always mixed his fashion with politics, so it's no surprise that Cole recently launched a flashy tome on people who've made a difference: "Awearness: Inspiring Stories About How to Make a Difference." (Extra points for the play on words, KC.) He'll speak to fans at his Copley Place store and sign copies of the book, which includes tales and quotes from Ludacris, Bill Clinton, and more. City Year cofounder Alan Khazei will also be in the house to (hopefully) inspire the masses. 6-8 p.m.
[We love Nicole Kita's colorful portrait of paranoia. Check it at InsideOut / Credit: Handout photo]
- 'Made in America' @ the International Poster Gallery: This is the last week to check out Chicago-based printer Charles Mather's motivational work posters from the Roaring Twenties at the International Poster Gallery. The prints, which were designed to inspire factory workers and warn them against laziness and practical jokes, are vivid, graphic, and interesting social commentary against the backdrop of today's economic downturn. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. through Saturday.
Wednesday, November 12
- 'Innovation in Hollywood' @ the Museum of Science: Can you imagine the sexy, trippy "Moulin Rouge" in black and white? What would "The Darjeeling Limited" be without the flowery, vivid colors of India? Author and Globe columnist Scott Kirsner stops by the Museum of Science tonight to talk about Technicolor, VCRs, and other technology that changed the movie industry. Film buffs and tech geeks should mark their calendars. Kirsner will be signing copies of his book — "Inventing the Movies" — after the discussion. Seating is limited. 7 p.m.
Sunday, November 16
- elodieO @ the Beehive: How can you not love a singer whose name sounds like a refrain in "Old McDonald's Farm"? The French electronic artist and chanteuse breathes Nico-like vocals over down-tempo beats. elodieO will perform songs from her new album "Stubborn," which features collaborations with Brazilian Girls Jesse Murphy and Aaron Johnston. Get ready to chill out. 8 p.m.
["Gee, Dorthy, I'm so glad this movie's in Technicolor. Otherwise we'd never find the Emerald City." / Credit: Handout photo]
More? Search all free events happening this week.
Wednesday, November 5
- Benjamin Zander and the NEC Philharmonia @ Jordan Hall: Don't let the economic downturn rob you of all culture! Turn to the New England Conservatory for all your free, classical music needs. On Wednesday, inspirational speaker and conductor of the Boston Philharmonic and NEC Youth Philharmonic Orchestra Benjamin Zander will lead college-level orchestral students through Brahms's 'Symphony No. 1,' Strauss's 'Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks,' and more. You have no excuse for watching TV, OK? (Need more inspiration? Here are more ways to save money for the arts from the Globe's Geoff Edgers.)
Thursday, November 6
- Shake 'em Down @ the Milky Way: This monthly dance and disco night is bringing up-and-coming DJ team Philadelphyinz to Jamaica Plain. The duo — Skinny Friedman and Apt One — recently put out a synth-heavy remix of Ready for the World's "Oh Sheila" and was featured in the August issue of "Spin." According to the guys' website, Philadelphyinz combines the Pennsylvania city name and the Pittsburgh-area slang contraction for "you ones": "yinz." (Sort of a like a steel town version of "y'all.") And yes, the poster for the event features a cracked Liberty Bell. 10 p.m.
Saturday, November 8
- FAO Schwarz opens @ Macy's: Ever since the bronze FAO Schwarz bear statue said sayonara to its Boylston Street corner, there has been a serious lack of toy store options in the city. Now, the toy giant is opening a new local branch in Macy's Downtown Crossing location — just in time for the holidays, obviously. Bring the family for arts & crafts, storytelling, and entertainment. We hear that the Needham High School band will be playing outside on Summer Street — may we suggest mittens? 2 p.m.
[A recent Shake 'em Down night at the Milky Way. C'mon, hipsters! Let's put another crack in that Liberty Bell! Credit: Erik Jacobs for the Boston Globe]
Wednesday, October 29
- Red Bull Witch Hunt @ Boston Common: Looking to work off all the Halloween candy calories you've already consumed? (Nice job, slick. Those candy bars were for the kids.) Dress like a witch and fly on your
broomstick bike to Boston Common. From there, legions of spirited riders will pedal all the way to Salem for an all-night party. Obviously, there'll be transportation back to the city for all witches and bikes. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. 6:30 p.m.-2 a.m.
Thursday, October 30
- Juliana Hatfield @ Barnes & Noble: Check out this two-for-one special from Juliana "Spin the Bottle" Hatfield: She'll read from her newish memoir, "When I Grow Up," and perform songs from her newish CD, "How to Walk Away," at Boston University's Barnes & Noble Thursday night. Fun fact: Wikipedia tells us that Hatfield was voted "Most Individualistic" when she graduated from Duxbury High School. Very fitting. 7-8:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 1
- Boston Vegetarian Food Festival @ the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center: It's almost time for New Year's resolutions, right? Why not make a pact to eat healthier and greener in 2009? Even the most dedicated carnivores should find something interesting or tasty at the Boston Vegetarian Food Festival on Saturday. There'll be free samples, cooking demonstrations, activities for kids, and plenty of chefs and local farmers on hand to answer questions. Bonus: There's a free parking lot and free street parking. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
[Get your green on at the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center this Saturday / Credit: Joanne Rathe/Globe Staff]
Thursday, October 23
- So Dope! @ dbar: Need another excuse to dance this Thursday night? Dorchester's hip hotspot dbar hosts So Dope!, a night of indie electronica, house, and dance party classics. (The party's neon Myspace page is literally bumping with LA Riots' remixes — hot.) Liquid leggings and Ray-Ban glasses are obviously welcome. 10 p.m.
Saturday, October 25
- Free hours @ the Currier Museum: If you've been meaning to check out the Andy Warhol exhibit at the Currier Museum in Manchester, NH — it's only an hour away, people — this should help motivate you. For two hours on Saturdays, admission to the recently renovated galleries is free. Get your fill of Jackie O., Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Mao, and more as your browse Warhol's political paintings and drawings and think about the upcoming election. 10 a.m. to noon.
- Monster Mash-up @ TBA location: Sorry to be vague, but Boston's favorite fun-starters Banditos Misteriosos prefer it that way. These merry pranksters have a Monster Mash-up group dance planned for somewhere in the city on Saturday. Are you game? Cut eye-holes in you best sheet (preferably paisley or spattered with superheroes) and wait for a location to be posted on the Banditos Misteriosos' site Friday. There's an instructional dance video posted there now to tell you which visual cues will prompt various dance moves come this weekend (do-si-do when you see a picture of a witch, for example). And obviously, a bat should motivate you to wave your hands in the air in a "hey, ho" fashion. 2 p.m.
[Halloween's going make you jump! Jump! / Credit: istockphoto.com]
Wednesday, October 15
- Kung Fu Kitchen @ Pho Republique: Feeling kicky? Head to Pho Republique Wednesday for a night of free dim sum, creative, thematic cocktails (a "Saigon Kick," anyone?), a lion dance performance, and kung fu demos. Mmm, dim sum. Bored with your date? There'll be classic kung fu movies playing on screens around the restaurant. RSVP to email@example.com. 8:30 p.m.-1 a.m.
- Country Music Series @ The Beehive: Go country with the second installment of the Country Music Series at the South End hotspot Beehive. (The poster for the event lists Knob Creek, Baker's, Booker's, and Basil Hayden's bourbons as sponsors, so you know it's legit.) The Sacred Shakers and The Coachmen are both on the bill, courtesy of Boston-based indie roots-and-honky-tonk record label Cow Island. Flannel shirts and cowboy boots optional. 8:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m.
Saturday, October 18:
- Fitchburg Forge-In Blacksmith Festival @ Riverfront Park: Talk about a heated competition. See blacksmiths and metal workers compete against each other in various events Saturday at Fitchburg's Riverfront Park. Someone's going to get burned. Can you smoke out the competition? Can't stand the heat? (OK, I'm done.) Also on tap at the fest: a pumpkin carving competition, live music, artists and crafts vendors, and more. 10 a.m.-dusk.
[Something tells me the moves at Kung Fu Kitchen at Pho Republique will be a little more advanced / Credit: DreamWorks Animation LLC, Patrick Ecclesine]
Thursday, October 9
- "Shake Your Booty" Bash @ Leokadia: Whether you love or hate ankle booties — I'm a recent convert — you can't escape these trendy shoes on the runways, red carpets, or in stores this season. The Hello Stiletto Shoe Club celebrates booties this Thursday night at South End shoe hotspot Leokadia. There'll be free champagne cocktails and a competition for "best booty" (we're talking shoes here). DJ Joe Mama will provide the soundtrack for all this preening and shoe-gazing. Space is limited, so be sure to sign up for the club and RSVP. 6-9 p.m.
Saturday, October 11
- October Fest @ Whole Foods: Grocery shopping is essentially a grown-up chore — something that you should do on the weekend when you'd rather be hiking, tailgating, sleeping, whatever. Thankfully, Whole Foods in Cambridge understands. This Saturday, the store will grill sausages outside and offer free samples of seasonal beer. We'll drink to that. 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
- Honk! Festival @ Davis Square: Honk if you like gleeful musicians playing drums and horns. This Saturday, 25 big bands will shake, rattle, and roll in Somerville's Davis Square as they reclaim public space for the community. You'll hear everything from funk to klezmer. Warning: A hangover might reduce your enjoyment of the cymbals and cheerful cacophony at this event. Just saying. 11:30 a.m. - 9 p.m.
[I am swooning over Rachel Bilson's studded Christian Louboutin's booties. She has the "best booty," all the way. / AP Photo]
Wednesday, October 1
- Stone Gossard @ the Wilbur Theatre: If you have some free time on Wednesday head to the Mass Audubon Boston Nature Center in Mattapan between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to get your hands dirty for a good cause. (Maybe your boss will OK some office-wide community service? But please, do not bring Michael Scott.) Join Earthkeepers to plant 375 trees and remove some pesky Japanese knotweed at the center. Your reward — other than that warm, gushy feeling inside? A ticket to see Pearl Jam's Stone Gossard for free at the Wilbur Theatre that night. Register here. 6 p.m.
Thursday, October 2
- Karaoke contest @ Kings: Do you spend hours rehearsing the dance to Britney Spears' "I'm a Slave 4U"? (It's OK, we won't tell.) Do you have an Axl Rose impression that can't be beat? Take it out of the shower and into the streets, er, bowling alley. Kings is hosting a karaoke contest with cash prizes Thursday night. May the best Cher strut win — extra points for the backless pants she wore in the "If I Could Turn Back Time" video. Oh, and get a free cheese pizza coupon here. 9 p.m.
Sunday, October 5
- Blessing of the Animals @ Old North Church: If Fido needs a little faith, bring him to be blessed at the Old North Church on Sunday. Dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, and owners of all faiths are invited for the blessing. Also, the Animal Rescue League of Boston will host a "meet and greet" with adoptable animals in the courtyard. Fluffy has been praying for a new furry sibling; she might just get her wish. 3 p.m.
[Ten bucks says this pup is thinking about food. Or the Red Sox.]
Thursday, September 25
- Blue Moon Art Project @ the Moakley Courthouse: Beer can inspire people to do strange things — propose, sing karaoke to "Careless Whisper," or even sell real estate. Blue Moon, however, is betting on its beer to bring out your more creative side. Check out the finalists in the Blue Moon Art Project (artists were challenged to use various media to create a tribute to the sudsy stuff) and sip free samples at the Moakley Courthouse. Be sure to vote for your favorite piece; the winner will take home $2,500. 7-10 p.m.
- Alec Baldwin @ Boston Borders: This is a judgment-free zone so we won't mention the irony in Alec "I leave threatening messages on my daughter's phone" Baldwin writing a book on divorce advice. We won't question his qualifications. We might even be willing to put all this drama behind us, if and only if he signs our copy of "Promise to Ourselves," with a "Love, Jack Donaghy." Catch him Thursday at the downtown Borders. 6 p.m.
Saturday, September 27
- Missy Higgins @ Revere Beach: Instead of sleeping in Saturday, you could help mankind (and seagull-kind) by cleaning up Revere Beach. Starting at 9 a.m., volunteers will work to beautify the area. And at noon, Australian chanteuse Missy Higgins will reward do-gooders with her sweet, lyric-driven pop. Bonus: There will be free Clif bars. Obviously, you'll want to pack some protein before picking up trash. 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
[Miss Missy / Credit: Handout photo]
Wednesday, September 17
- Shoe Diva event @ Macy's: If you like shoes and martinis — and honestly, who doesn't? — hoof it to Downtown Crossing for a true heel-worshipers soirée on Wednesday. There will be free appetizers from Ivy Restaurant for noshing, "divatinis" for sipping, and a fashion show of fall's footwear for coveting. You may want to dust off your best Jimmy Choos or those sparkly vintage Halstons for the walk-off down the runway — one lucky fashionista will be voted "Best in Shoe." Get your pedicures perfected, stat. Register by Tuesday, Sept. 16, to save your spot. 6 p.m.
Saturday, September 20
- Urban Country Fair @ Union Square Plaza: Somerville will definitely be a little bit country this weekend. Don't be alarmed if you see cowboy hats, line-dancing, and fiddles amongst the construction and traffic in Union Square — it's just the Urban Country Fair. Drop by for workshops and skill-sharing and stay for the square dancing and deep-fried country music from Three Day Threshold and Lucky 57. 3-7 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday, September 20-21
- The Boston Zine Fair @ Art Institute Boston: I want to publish 'zines and rage against machines. You too? Let's go to the Boston Zine Fair this weekend. The Art Institute is hosting this celebration of all things published and independent. Check out zines about vegan cooking, gender issues, politics, and more, and participate in workshops on everything from anarchist publishing to binding techniques. 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. on both days.
[Watch "Zoolander" for some walk-off techniques. "Best in Shoe," here we come / Credit: Melinda Sue Gordon]
Wednesday, September 10
Meet Leon Powe @ Modell's: We have a recurring dream in which we're always invited to all the Boston Celtics' VIP parties and personally hobnob with Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. But here in reality, we'll take any chance we can get to meet members of the championship team. Stop by the new Modell's in Cambridge to see Celts forward Leon Powe (#0, himself) and get his John Hancock. Autographs are guaranteed for the first 200 fans in line. Set an alarm or something, OK? 6-8 p.m.
Friday, September 12
Silent Rave @ Copley Square: Make a rave-worthy playlist, grab your iPod, and head to Copley Square Friday to move to the beat of your own drum. Literally. True, this is a group dancing event, but everyone will be dancing to the music coming through his or her own headphones. Seems like a good time to strike up a conversation about personal vs. public space, right? Or you could just rock out to your Technotronic and Daft Punk mix and leave deep thoughts for a rainy day. 7-7:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 13
Indiepalooza @ East Park: Have an affinity for moody music, will travel. If that's your mantra, hoof it to Worcester on Saturday to hear indie music from around New England. All genres will be represented, from rock to rap. And, obviously, Marky Mark's old backup band — the Funk B's née the Funky Bunch — will be there to spread some good vibrations. Feel it? 12-9 p.m.
[This could be you. / Barry Chin, Globe Staff]
Wednesday, September 3
- Let's Soul Touch @ Middlesex Lounge: Or, let's not, and say we did. Whether you know Isaac Hayes best from his so-smooth "Shaft" days or as the Chef on "South Park," this funky soul night is a fitting tribute to the late legend's life and work. Get down with your bad self. 9 p.m.
Saturday, September 6
- Banjo & Fiddle Contest @ Boarding House Park: Talk about a pickin' party. You'll hear dixie, ragtime, and bluegrass music streaming from Lowell's Boarding House Park all day as musicians of all ages from as far away as Quebec and North Carolina compete for prizes. Do-si-doing is highly encouraged. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sunday, September 7
- Swiss Beach Day @ Weeks Footbridge: When a coworker mentioned this event, we thought she said Swizz Beats, as in the producer integral to Beyonce's "Check On It." Why exactly had the New York hip-hop heavyweight chosen the Charles River bank as a stage? Moving on. This event is actually sponsored by Boston's Consulate of Switzerland and Charles River Conservancy, and asks attendees to imagine a swimmable Charles River. The Swiss love their urban swimming holes and want to spread the word via free refreshments, exhibits, and games. 2-5 p.m.
["I came from Alabama, with a banjo on my knee" — something tells me we wouldn't win the contest with that song / Credit: Scott Dorrance]
Wednesday, August 27
- Vinyl Skyway @ Kendall Square: Like pop? Well, what are you waiting for? This is the last chance to see an al fresco show in Kendall Square's Summer Folk Concert Series. The Boston Globe has compared Cambridge-based Vinyl Skyway's jangly, summery pop to "Lindsey Buckingham-era Fleetwood Mac." Local band does good, indeed. 12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
- Digital Book Mobile @ City Hall Plaza: Let's get digital. Digital. Did you know that you download audiobooks, eBooks, and music online from the Boston Public Library to your iPod or Black Berry? If you're looking to get over your fear of the non-printed world or just want to find out more about the 24/7 library, head to City Hall Plaza for tutorials and instructional videos. Or, as the flier for the event says, learn how to "pimp your library." 8 a.m.- 3 p.m.
Friday, August 29
- Wormhole: The Films of Bill Domonkos @ Space 242: This San Francisco-based artist — a former video-game designer — splices together Cold War-era footage, found photos, and computer animation in his seductive short films. And if sublime shorts set to Tchaichovsky or The Residents make you hungry, you're in luck. There will be free food and drink at this retrospective. Reservations required. 6-8 p.m.
["And... dance by the light of the moon." / Photo courtesy of Bill Domonkos]
Tuesday, August 19
- "Best Hikes With Dogs" Discussion @ REI Boston: Oh, how the summer days are dwindling. It'll never be warm again. Shape up, Debbie Downer! Author Jenna Ringelheim will highlight the best places for hiking with your dog in the Boston area. Estabrook Woods or Mount Watatic, perhaps? She's done the research for you — just grab a leash, Rover, and some water and hit the trails. 7 p.m.
Saturday, August 23
- Beer Mess @ the Wine Gallery: Calling all craft brew fans: Clear your calendars this weekend and get thee to the Wine Gallery in Brookline for a free tasting of more than 50 local brews. Smuttynose, Cisco, Allagash, Opa Opa — the gang's all here. Yes, the store might have a misleading name, but the Wine Gallery also sells a variety of indie and unique beers. Consider yourself schooled. 3-6 p.m.
Sunday, August 24
- August Moon Festival @ Quincy Center: OK, so you missed the Boston Chinatown August Moon Festival last weekend (yep, we were at the beach too). Don't fret. You have a second chance to nibble on the dense, filled moon cakes, watch dancing performances, and bring the kids to experience Chinese culture in Quincy. And, bonus: There will be free parking. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
[Bet you can't eat more than one of these duck yolk-filled pastries. I couldn't. / Credit: Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff]
Wednesday, August 13
- 'Superdove' Book Talk @ Wellsley Booksmith: Where many of us see pigeons as an urban scourge, feeding on discarded fast food (ew) and annoying tourists on Boston Common, Courtney Humphries sees the birds as a fascinating study in evolution. How did these shy sea birds become city dwellers? How did they adapt to the urban environment? (And no, pigeons didn't wing it to the big city to further their acting careers.) 7 p.m.
Thursday, August 14
- 'Back to the Beaches' @ Spectacle Island: Sick of schlepping to the Cape or up to Maine for a beach day? The Boston Harbor Association wants you to experience Spectacle Island — a beach literally in our backyard. Cruise to the island, check out the visitor's center, and enjoy ice cream on the sand. Ah, summer. Reservations required. 1-4 p.m.
Saturday, August 16
- KC and the Sunshine Band @ the Hatch Shell: We wonder if Harry "KC" Wayne Casey ever thought his band would still be shaking booties 30 years after disco's heyday? No matter. Everybody needs a little sunshine, and KC and company will reward the leisure suit set with semi-cheesy hits "Thats the Way (I Like It)" and "Get Down Tonight" Saturday. Bring your dancing shoes. 7 p.m.
[Pigeons: Urban scourge or the ultimate city dwellers? Discuss amongst yourselves / Credit: Globe File photo]
Photo credit: Essdras M. Suarez / Globe Staff
Tuesday, August 5
- Bocce tournament @ Puopolo Park: Admit it. You've always wanted to join in the heated bocce games at this waterfront park, yet walked on by, intimidated by the elderly dons throwing near-perfect ball busters* at every turn. (*Someone's been to the official Bocce Standards Association's website...) Well, your chance has come. On Tuesday, there will be a friendly, after-work bocce tournament for young professionals sponsored by the Boston Harbor Association and followed by drinks at Joe's American Bar and Grill. Game on. Reservations required. 5:30 p.m.
Friday, August 6
- VidFest @ Union Square Plaza: Oh, those crazy Arts Union kids with their art installations, impromptu dances under highways, and modern music. This Friday, you can check out VidFest, a "one-night-only blitz of live music and video art," according to the cultural group's website. On tap? Baltimore indie rockers and multimedia artists Video Hippos and Providence comedy-pop duo Awesome Brothers. Sounds, well, awesome. 7:30 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday, August 9-10
- Bike Boston at Night @ Trinity Church: The only way to avoid traffic while touring Boston's historical and architectural sites by bike? Ride during the middle of the night, obviously. What a liberating feeling for all the city bikers out there who live in constant fear of car doors and subpar bike lanes! Wear reflective clothing, switch on your blinking lights, and bring a spare inner tube to fit your tires in case of a flat — these midnight ramblers aim to pedal 'til the sun comes up. 11:15 p.m.
[Bring it on, fellow yuppies! / Credit: Janet Knott, Globe Staff]
Tuesday, July 29
- Squabble @ Good Life: Sad to see the weekend go? Get thee to this financial district bar on Tuesday for a rollicking, funky time. Members from various local bands unite under the same groove — you'll hear some originals and rowdy covers of "Mustang Sally," "Use Me," and randomly, "Psycho Killer." Qu'est-ce que c'est? 8 p.m.-12 a.m.
Thursday, July 31
- Shopping Under the Influence @ the Achilles Project: Let's try a little experiment. Stop by this chic Fort Point boutique's sale/party and see whether multiple complimentary cocktails prompt you to plunk down plastic for designer duds. Fifty percent off some sale items should help ease the shopping hangover. There will also be a DJ and free food. 6 p.m.
Friday, August 1
- "Surf's Up" @ the Hatch Shell: Due to copyright issues, wbz.com can't list the movie titles in its family-friendly free movie series at the Hatch Shell. Instead, there are little clues on each date — you can then call the 617-787-7200 to check if your guess is right. We brought out our best sleuthing skills to determine that "When this surfing penguin enters a big competition he quickly learns some important life lessons" refers to 2007's "Surf's Up." Celebrate the little victories in life, people. 8 p.m.
[Surfing penguins Lani (Zooey Deschanel) and Cody Maverick (Shia LaBeouf). Please note: "The Beef" may not be the best role model for kids right now / Courtesy of Sony Pictures Animation]
Wednesday, July 23
- Berklee Jazz Workshop Concert @ Mothers Rest: Mothers Rest. Sounds like a perfectly pastoral place to enjoy a concert, right? Tote your picnic dinner (dancing shoes, optional) to this Back Bay Fens playground and hear some remarkable high school jazz players from around the world. Berklee professors Terri Lynne Carrington and Rick DiMuzio will direct. 6:30-8 p.m.
Thursday, July 24
- Wing Eating Contest @ The Chicken Bone: Looking for some hot stuff? Survive the Chicken Bone's varying wing-eating heats — Thermonuclear wings, anyone? — and you could win some Harpoon beer to wash it all down. Now, that's what we call summer. Not a spicy food fan? Stick to the 'Bone's "Sexy Fries." Hot. 8 p.m.
Saturday, July 26
- Technolust @ the Alchemist: "If there ever was a sexy soundtrack for a futuristic hot robot porno, they would be bumping and grinding to the themes of Technolust," according to this dance event's Facebook page. Well, then. I, for one, will be very disappointed if I don't hear the Underworld theme from Super Mario Brothers among the minimal techno and house beats. DJs Alan Manzi, Baldur, and Damien Paul are on tap. 10 p.m.
["Luke, please promise me you won't bust out the Robot again at Technolust. It's... well, it's downright embarrassing."/ Credit: AP Photo/Copyright 2004 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM]
Wednesday, July 16
- Tribute to Peggy Lee @ Boston Harbor Hotel's Summer Swing: Oh, Peggy. You give me fever. The late Miz Lee — best known for sultry hits like "Fever" and "Why Don't You Do Right?" — will be the guest of honor at this week's Summer Swing on Rowes Wharf. Jitterbug and twirl as Jodi Ebling and the White Heat Orchestra remember the crooner in song. (We stopped by Summer Swing a few weeks ago. See the fabulous photos here.) 6-10 p.m.
Thursday, July 17
- 'Mean Girls' @ Seven Hills Park in Somerville: Nothing says summer like Lindsay Lohan's dorky-to-popular transformation in this 2004 flick, right? Catch the movie as part of Somerville's Somermovie Fest and watch the delicious drama unfold. We'll bring the popcorn and the "oh no, she didn'ts." 8 p.m.
Friday, July 18
- 'As You Like It' @ the Boston Common: Feeling a little guilty about spending Thursday night watching La Lohan sabotage the Plastics? Redeem and culture thyself at Shakespeare on the Common, kicking off its 2008 season this weekend. Bring a blanket, snacks, and settle in under the stars (You may need to use your imagination here.) Steven Maler, the founding artistic director of Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, is directing the comedy, so you know it's legit. 8 p.m. (Running through August 3)
[Remember when we all wore stilettos and "Bling, Bling" tees in high school? / Credit: Michael Gibson, AP Photo]
Wednesday, July 9
- 'The Daily Candy Lexicon' reading @ Brookline Booksmith: Feeling hungover? Well, you did wash down your crapas (crappy tapas, obviously) with too much tart fuel (any girly drink that tastes like Kool-Aid) last night. The editors at trend setting website Dailycandy.com have a hilarious way with words, and they'll be in Brookline Wednesday to teach these phrases of the well-heeled and whip smart to the masses. 7 p.m.
- 'Silent Night' and 'Love Actually' @ the Boston Public Library: Bostonians who don't have air conditioning are already yearning for chilly fall days. Why not speed the seasons along? As part of its "Christmas in July & August" movie series, the Boston Public Library is screening a hall-decking double feature on Wednesday: "Silent Night: The Story of the Christmas Carol" and sweet "Love Actually" (starring Colin Firth and Hugh Grant, yummy). You'll be wassailing in no time. 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 12
- The Guess Who @ the Hatch Shell: Besides IMAX, Mike Myers, and Men Without Hats' "Safety Dance," the band Guess Who has to be my favorite Canadian export. The rockers have performed in various reformations since the mid-1960s and are responsible for the hits "No Time," "These Eyes," and "American Woman." However, none of Guess Who's members appear in the Milton Bradley game of the same name. Go figure. 7 p.m.
[Have you been naughty or nice this summer? / Credit: Peter Mountain]
Wednesday, July 2
Free walking tour @ Arnold Arboretum: Let the arboretum staff tell you about the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees on this hour-and-a-half walking tour of the gorgeous grounds. We're pretty sure you'll learn something new; after all, the AA spans 265 acres of land. (I am a big fan of tree trivia, as you probably know.) 12:15-1:45 p.m. (or 1-2:30 p.m. this Sunday).
Al Kooper @ Porter Square Books: Don't know who Al Kooper is? Well, you should. The songwriter and musician has played on records by the Rolling Stones and B.B. King and is more or less responsible for the famous organ riff on Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone." He'll be at Porter Square Books to discuss his new memoir, "Backstage Passes & Backstabbing Bastards: Memoirs of a Rock 'n Roll Survivor." Dig? 7 p.m.
Thursday, July 3
Jamaica Plain First Thursdays: It's the first Thursday in July, so you know what that means: art exhibits and concerts at the businesses lining Centre and South Streets in the jumpin' J.P. There will also be an artisan fair at the Curtis Hall Community Center and poetry readings at the M.C. First Baptist Church. Polish your slamming skills! 6-8 p.m.
[Al Kooper: "He's a survivor (what) / He's not gonna give up (what)" / Photo by Nick Balkin]
Thursday, June 26
- Wine Tasting @ Envi: Get your drink on and your green on in one feel swoop. Pop by gorgeous Newbury eco-boutique Envi Thursday for a free wine tasting and to save 10% on all store merchandise (except sale items). On the menu? French wines from Chamarré (which means "bursting with colors" — le sigh, right?). The tasting is only open to the first 100 people who RSVP at thevineboston.com. 7-9 p.m.
Friday, June 27
- City Dance Party @ Cambridge City Hall: Yay for public dance parties under the stars. DJ Joey Demers is taking his summery soundtrack to the streets — literally, as the portion of Massachusetts Ave. between Inman and Bigelow Streets will be closed for swinging, skanking, breaking, and boogieing down. 7-11 p.m.
Saturday, June 28
- Scavenger Hunt @ the Boston Common: Banditos Misteriosos, the city's urban (fun) planners who are responsible for public pillow fights, silent dance parties, and other participatory shenanigans, are at it again. This Saturday, gumshoes (remember to sign up at misteriosos.org) can simply show up at the Boston Common for the hunt. A map and shoes are recommended. Those are all the details we have, folks. And, this message will self-destruct in two minutes. 12:30 p.m.
[Envi: Dress your family in organic corduroy and denim / Dominic Chavez, Globe Staff]
Editor's note: Sorry for the late suggestions this week. I just got back from a far-from-free trip to Japan!
Thursday, June 19
- 'Abandoned in the Arctic" Screening @ the Harvard Museum of Natural History: Could you eat a fellow hiker to survive? This new 90-minute film traces the 1881 Adolphus Greely polar research expedition to build an arctic research station on Ellesmere Island. His party started 24 men strong; after three years of starvation and mutiny, only six men lived to tell the tale. Stick around post-screening for a Q&A panel with director Gino Del Guercio and Greely's great, great, grandson, James Shedd, among others. Might not be a great date movie. Just a hunch. 7 p.m.
Saturday, June 21
- Dance Party Massacre Release Party @ LAB Boston: Alex Dakoulas' t-shirts mix horror and lightness, fear and fun. To wit: His "Blood on the Dancefloor" design features an 80s high-top punctured with a butcher knife. Celebrate the launch of his local Dance Party Massacre line at LAB in Allston if you dare. DJ Nato will provide the soundtrack. 7-9:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 22
- Chinatown Main Street Festival: C-Town is a pretty cool place. Enjoy lion and folk dancing, Asian arts and crafts, martial arts demonstrations, and of course, dim sum at this colorful celebration. We have neighborhood envy just thinking about it. 11 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
[Dim sum, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways / Credit: Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff]
Pinching pennies? Chic but cheap? We understand. Here are three free events this week for your going out pleasure.
Wednesday, May 14 & Thursday, May 15
- Mario Kart Driving School: I'm pretty psyched about Mario Kart for Wii. Don't judge. This event's perfect for my fellow thirteen-year-olds-in-twenty-something-clothing out there — basically, Nintendo will park its Driving School truck at City Hall Plaza on Wednesday and Downtown crossing on Thursday and school kids, parents, and anyone else on this new game. Video games during lunch break? Wiiiiiii! 10 a.m.-8 p.m on Wed., 9 a.m.-7 p.m. on Thurs.
Saturday, May 17
- Craft Brew and Cheese Tasting @ the Wine Gallery: Sips of dubbels and IPAs? Yum. Delicious goat cheese from Westfield Farm in Hubbardston? Yum. Beer and cheese for free? Yes, please. I've already blogged about the event, but just wanted to hammer this one home. You can thank me later. 3-6 p.m.
Saturday, May 17 & Sunday, May 18
- SOWA Market Opening Weekend: With warm weather comes the annual opening of this hip market in the South End. It's free to enter, free to park (!), and free to browse the farm stands, food booths, and vendor tables. But — consider yourself warned — you'll be hard pressed to keep your wallet closed in the face of all the quirky jewelry, photography, pet sundries, and baked goods. I know, I've so been there. 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. on both days.
[Alright, Peaches. You. Me. Noon at the Nintendo Driving School truck. It's on! / Credit: Nintendo]
Pinching pennies? Chic but cheap? We understand. Here are three free events this week for your going out pleasure.
Wednesday, May 7
- 'Storm Over Everest' Screening @ WGBH: Whether you're an avid climber or an armchair travel enthusiast (hello, National Geographic Channel), this breathtaking, harrowing film by mountaineer and filmmaker David Breashears should interest you. He survived the greatest tragedy on Mt. Everest, when a storm trapped three climbing teams on the beastly peak in 1996. Be sure to RSVP online. 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 8
- Yoga on the Square @ Copley Square Park: Planning outdoor yoga in New England in May is a risky proposition — it may be hard to anchor mats in gale force winds — fortunately, the forecast is calling for sun and temps in the low-70s. If you need a mini wellness break, head to Copley Square for this complimentary lunchtime yoga class, hosted by Glaceau Smartwater. Bonus: The first 100 people to show up will get a free mat. Namaste. 12-1 p.m. or 1-2 p.m.
Friday, May 9
- Seed in the City @ Good Life: Hey, Soul Man (or Woman): Need a little smooth to start your weekend? Check out the soulful sounds of DJ Cruzz, Bradford James, and Deknology at this downtown hotspot. 9 p.m.
[Wonder if Smartwater spokesman Tom Brady will tote his yoga mat to Copley Thursday? We can only hope.]
Pinching pennies? Chic but cheap? We understand. Here are three free events this week for your going out pleasure.
Tuesday, April 29
- Free Cone Day @ Ben & Jerry's shops: Oh, Cherry Garcia, how I love your cherry chocolate goodness. Most ice cream aficionados already have April 29 circled on their calendars (it's a national holiday, as far as the Go To It crew is concerned), but casual fans should also be sure to stop by Ben & Jerry's locations in Cambridge, Boston, Natick, and Salem tomorrow for a free scoop. Check individual store hours.
- Pat McGee Band @ Bill's Bar: Sure there's a Red Sox game tomorrow, but it's worth pushing through the throngs of Manny maniacs on Lansdowne Street to hear these pleasing pop rockers for free. Be sure to RSVP at Going.com for free admission, and get there early: there are already 338 people interested in attending. 8 p.m.
Friday, May 2
- Augusten Burroughs @ the Boston Public Library: You think you have family issues? Come hear western Mass. native Augusten Burroughs, whose turbulent childhood has directly inspired his writing, discuss his new book "A Wolf at the Table: A Memoir of My Father." Heavy stuff. 6 p.m.
[Hey, Ben and Jerry: Thanks for the ice cream, guys. Now where can I get a pair of those glasses? / Globe File photo]
Pinching pennies? Chic but cheap? We understand. Here are three free events this week for your going out pleasure.
Monday, April 21
- Taza Chocolate tasting @ Harvard Book Store: Whether you're interested in environmentally sustainable business practices, or just really like dark chocolate and wine, be sure to stop by Harvard Book Store for a demo and tasting with the makers of Somerville's stone-ground Taza Chocolate. Support local commerce and get your chocolate fix.Win-win. 7 p.m.
Thursday, April 24
- Cokie Roberts at the Massachusetts Historical Society: Crawl out of your cacao coma and head downtown to hear political commentator Roberts discuss her newest book, "Ladies of Liberty." Abigail Adams, are your ears burning? And in case you ever need to know for trivia purposes, Cokie's real name is: Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Boggs. (That is, according to Wikipedia.) Noon.
Saturday, April 26 & Sunday, April 27
- Free sailboat trips @ the Boston Sailing Center: Lace up your topsiders for a weekend of free guided sails in the Hah-bah with Boston Sailing Center staffers. Ask all your burning questions about boating and terminology and snack on complimentary refreshments. How yar! 1-5 p.m. both days.
[We heart free Taza chocolate / Photo: Wendy Maeda, Globe Staff]
Stephanie Callahan is a native Bostonian who loves cooking, traveling, spa treatments, and being on the ocean.
Meghan Colloton is a Bostonian who loves traveling, channeling her inner Julia Child, and trying weird things -- from food to bungee jumping.
Milva DiDomizio is a New England native who's fond of cooking, singing, and Boston's arts and culture scene.
Rachel Raczka is a Bostonian who enjoys buttercream frosting, gin cocktails, and conquering cobblestone streets in high heels.
Emily Sweeney is a Boston native who goes out all over, from Irish pubs in Southie to the roller rink in Dorchester.
Emily Wright is a native Cape Codder who enjoys exercising, baking, and the occasional guilty pleasure action movie.