Summer in Boston is a great time to explore the city. Whether movies, music, or ziplining (yes, there’s urban ziplining) is your thing, Boston gives you plenty of reasons to stay in town.
Events & Activities
Boston Pops 4th of July Show
Be sure to get to the Hatch Shell early to grab a spot to see the Boston Pops and fireworks show, along with guests Melissa Etheridge, Andy Grammer, and Leslie Odom, Jr. If you want just the show and fewer crowds, the dress rehearsal on Monday is open to the public.
Dress rehearsal: July 3, 8 pm
Concert: July 4, 8 pm
Fireworks: July 4, 10:30 pm
Hatch Shell, Esplanade
Also broadcasted on radio and TV
July Fourth Fireworks, Kyle Klein Photography
This decades-long tradition celebrates Boston’s harbor with scavenger hunts, boat tours, historical reenactments, and demonstrations, such as 18th century printing.
June 30–July 4
Various locations (download PDF map)
This Somerville-based art festival takes over Davis Square with music on two stages, craft vendors, and performance artists. This year’s theme is “Voice”—in the literal and figurative sense.
Saturday, July 15
Davis Square, Somerville
Shakespeare on the Common
Grab a [low-back] lawn chair, picnic, and your crew and enjoy the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s performance of Romeo and Juliet under the stars.
July 19–August 6
Parkman Bandstand, Boston Common
International Sand Sculpting Contest
This is truly an international affair with contestants from across the globe creating large sculptures made of nothing more than sand and water. While you’re there, enjoy amusement rides, live music, and fireworks.
The 10th annual and zero waste Boston GreenFest aims to educate and empower people to create a more sustainable, healthier world featuring live music, dance, films, art, robots, an EcoKids Center and more.
Boston City Hall Plaza & Faneuil Hall
This free event brings a day of jazz to Boston and workshops leading up to the event.
Boston Maritime Park in the Seaport
Rose Kennedy Greenway
Sure, the Rose Kennedy Greenway is open all year round, but summer brings special fun, like ziplining and rides around the carousel.
If you love live music, Boston is a great place to catch it during the summer, night or day, and in unique locations like the courtyard of Boston Public Library’s main branch in Copley.
Berklee Summer in the City
Over 400 free concerts throughout the city, including Boston’s Friday Afternoon Concert Series.
Boston Public Library Concerts in the Courtyard
Boston Harbor Islands Music Series
Island hop to hear all three on different islands!
Harborwalk Sounds at the ICA
Lettuce Turnip the Beet
(Get it? Let us turn up the beat?)
Thursdays in June and July; Wright-Locke Farm
Lowell Summer Music Series
From old black and white movies to animations, enjoy movies on the big screen under the stars throughout the city. Even the Mayor’s office is in on the act: the city offers free movies in neighborhood parks.
Outdoor Movies at Boston Harbor Hotel, photo Nicole Hennig
Sunset Cinema at the Museum of Fine Arts
One Thursday/month, through September
Family Film Festival at the Prudential
Saturdays, July and August
Free Friday Flicks at the Hatch Shell
Summer Movie Series at Assembly Row
Saturdays in July and August
Summer in the City at Boston Harbor Hotel [PDF]
Fridays, July through September
Cinema Somerville Outdoor Summer Movie Series
Thursdays, July and August
Mayor Walsh’s Movie Nights
Various nights, through August
All images CC BY-SA 2.0 or CC BY-ND 2.0.