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Boston skyline
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Stefano Montagner

The best things to do in Boston this weekend

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

In normal times, the Hubs cultural calendar is relentless, with plenty of noteworthy shows and events taking place across the city. Still, there's plenty of cool things to do around the Hub. If nothing on our list here strikes your fancy, take a look at our guides to the best cheap things to do and best free things to do in Boston. If you’re looking to get out of the elements, consult our guide to where to see art in Boston, including the best art galleries and best museums in Boston.

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

29,000 sq ft of fantastic cuisine, cocktails and culture

Philin Phlash
Photograph: Courtesy Philin Phlash

Check out the action at Time Out Market Boston

Restaurants Fenway/Kenmore

Boston’s coolest destination for all things food and drink offers 29,000 sq ft of socially distanced fun at 401 Park in the Fenway. This weekend, get your tickets in advance for the Negroni Flight or Fright Night (Oct 30, 5-6pm), or stop by for Halloween fun on Oct 31.

And now through the end of November, stop by to check out 60 killer images from local legend Phillin Phlash; the Market's first-ever art show is free to visit.

Keep an eye on the @timeoutmarketboston IG handle for specific events and offerings. Saturdays and Sundays feature a make your own Bloody Mary Bar, letting you chose your spirit and customize to your heart's content. (Think pepperoni from Michael Schlow's and donut holes from Union Square Donuts.)

Things to do in Boston this weekend

New England Aquarium, Sights and attractions, Boston
Photograph: Elan Fleisher

2. Aquarium After Dark at the New England Aquarium

Attractions Zoo and aquariums Waterfront

If you've never been to the aquarium at night—with the lights adjusted lights dimmed to mirror the sea creatures’ natural nighttime environment—here's your chance. Every Friday night at 8 p.m., come visit for a themed Aquarium After Dark night: Haunted Aquarium (Oct. 30).

Haunted house
Photograph: Courtesy Unsplash/Ján Jakub Naništa

3. Scare the 2020 out of you at a haunted house

Things to do

It’s the spookiest time of the year, and if you’re looking for more than just a basic “boo!” you’ll want to hit up one of these scream-inducing haunted houses near Boston. These experiences are no walk in the park—don’t say we didn’t warn you if you find yourself fully immersed in terrifying, blood-curdling situations that are sure to leave you thoroughly freaked out for a while.

Pumpkin Picking
Photograph: Pixabay

4. Go pumpkin picking near Boston

Things to do

As the temps and the leaves start to change, hayrides and hot apple cider are what’s up, and it’s time to go picking to find the perfect pumpkin to demonstrate your carving skills. Skip the store bought pumpkins and head to one of these farms near Boston where you can pick your own from a patch surrounded by idyllic farmland. Some farms offer hayrides, hot cider, fresh donuts, activities for kids, and even farm animal petting areas.

Photograph: Courtesy ICA Boston

5. Kusama’s LOVE IS CALLING at the ICA

Museums Art and design Seaport District

Come and experience the anchor of the ICA’s collection. LOVE IS CALLING (2013) is the largest and most immersive of the iconic Japanese contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms, which have thrilled museumgoers across the globe. Visitors enter a darkened, mirrored room illuminated by inflatable, tentacle-like forms—covered in the artist’s signature polka dots—that extend from the floor and ceiling, gradually changing colors. The installation is accompanied by a continuous recording of Kusama reciting a love poem in Japanese.

Museum of Fine Arts
Photograph: Roger Metcalf

6. 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.

Arnold Arboretum, Boston, park
Photograph: Shutterstock

7. 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.

Concord Bridge
Photograph: Courtesy GBCVB

8. Go on a challenging hike 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.

Boston whale watching cruise
Photograph: Shutterstock

9. Bundle up and go see whales

Things to do Walks and tours

Just east of Boston—between Cape Ann and Cape Cod—is Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, one of the best spots on the planet for whale watching. Each summer, around 50 humpbacks return to this hotbed of biological activity. If you've been putting off going on a whale watch, now is the time—prime whale watching season runs through November. There are plenty of whale watching cruises departing from Boston and surrounding harbors, and all make a beeline for Stellwagen Bank.


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