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Beacon Hill
Photograph: Courtesy GBCVB/Kyle Klein Photography Beacon Hill

The best things to do in Boston this week

Find the very best things to do in Boston this weekend including cool events, lively cultural offerings and much more

By Eric Grossman and Time Out Boston Staff

Despite the current climate, there are still plenty of cool things to do in Boston. And while The Hub might not be the biggest city around, its cultural calendar is one of America’s strongest. In normal times, there are plenty of noteworthy shows and events taking place on any given night across the metro area. If nothing on this list strikes your fancy, take a peek at our guide to the best free things to do in Boston. If you’re looking to get out of the elements, consult our guides to where to see art in Boston, including the best art galleries and the best museums in Boston.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Boston

Best things to do in Boston this week

Franklin Park Zoo
Photograph: Courtesy Franklin Park Zoo

1. ZooLights at Stone Zoo

ZooLights, presented by National Grid, offers a winter wonderland in which visitors take a socially distanced, one-way stroll along tree-lined paths lit by twinkling lights. Spanning the Zoo's 26 acres, walk through the beautifully lit Yukon Creek and see black bears, a bald eagle, Canada lynx, arctic foxes and reindeer. (Through Jan 17; 4pm-9:30pm)

Museum of Fine Arts
Photograph: Roger Metcalf

2. Special exhibits at the Museum of Fine Arts

Museums Art and design Fenway/Kenmore

Head to the MFA to check out a pair of particularly timely exhibits. “Women Take the Floor” challenges the dominant history of 20th century American art by focusing on the overlooked and underrepresented work and stories of women artists, while “Black Histories, Black Futures,” which was curated by young scholars as part of the MFA’s new partnership with local youth empowerment organizations, focuses on works by 20th century artists of color.

Symphony Hall
© Michael Ascanio Peguero

3. Boston Pops: 2020 Holiday Celebration

Music Music venues Fenway/Kenmore

From Dec 10-Jan 21, stream your way into the holiday spirit as Keith Lockhart leads the Boston Pops Orchestra in holiday classics old and new. Portions of this Holiday Pops program were filmed at Fenway Park, where team mascot Wally participated in the recording festivities.

SoWa Artists Guild, Museums and galleries, Boston
Photograph: Courtesy SoWa Artists Guild

4. SoWa Vintage Market

Art Galleries South End

As the city's premier artistic hub, the 450 Harrison building is a veritable hive of artistic activity in the back of the South End. Stop by Sundays from 11am-4pm for the city's coolest vintage market, featuring a rotating roster of vendors specializing in curated collections of fashion, jewelry, art, furnishings and more.

Museum of Science, Museums and galleries, Boston
Photograph: Daderot

5. All Aboard! Trains at the Museum of Science

Museums Science and technology West End

Through Jan 10, all train lovers can head to the Museum of Science for this fun-for-all-ages temporary exhibit featuring classic winter landscapes and nostalgia. Miniature trains, snow-covered peaks, engaging activities, and even a few surprises await.

Concord Bridge
Photograph: Courtesy GBCVB

7. Challenge yourself at the best hiking spots near Boston


If you're jonesing for some fresh air, check out one of these top local hiking spots. Serious local hikers may head farther afield to the White Mountains or the Appalachian Trail, but when you just need a little bit of nature, there are plenty of quality hikes near Boston that are easy to get to.

Photograph: Shutterstock

8. Take a stroll through one of the best parks in Boston

Things to do

There's no better place to practice social distancing than the city's best parks. Boston may have notoriously fickle weather, but when the time is right to get outside, the city has plenty of beautiful green space to enjoy some fresh air and nature. The so-called Emerald Necklace—the nation’s oldest linear park system—links several of Boston's best parks, including The Fens, Boston Common, and the Public Garden. Other options include the celebrated Arnold Arboretum and the multi-use Rose Kennedy Fitzgerald Greenway.

More things to do around Boston

Photograph: Courtesy Unsplash/Alex Lange

Boston’s beloved winter highlights

Things to do

It’s beginning to look and feel a lot like winter. And now, more than ever, you'll be looking to get outside and really enjoy the best of the city and its surroundings.

The 50 best things to do in Boston

Things to do

No matter where your interests lie, you can always find something to get excited about in the Hub. The best things to do in Boston run the gamut—from seriously fun to awesomely educational.


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