10 things to do in Boston this weekend


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BosTen is your weekly guide to the best events and coolest things to do in Boston.

The Roaring Twenties Lawn Party at Castle Hill at the Crane Estate.
The Roaring Twenties Lawn Party at Castle Hill at the Crane Estate. John Jovens

Welcome to BosTen, your weekly guide to the coolest events and best things to do in Boston this weekend. Sign up for our weekly email newsletter here. Have an idea about what we should cover? Leave us a comment on this article or in the BosTen Facebook group, or email us at [email protected].

Catch a free outdoor movie (or two)

Assuming you don’t melt from the summer heat, this weekend’s forecast calls for another round of free outdoor movies in the Boston area. On Thursday, you can catch “Back to the Future” at Revere Beach or “Top Gun: Maverick” at Seven Hills Park in Somerville. Then on Saturday, the Prudential Center will open up its lawn for a showing of “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” (one of our recent top streaming recommendations) at dusk. Finally, on Sunday you can see “Ghost” at Christopher Columbus Park. — Kevin Slane

Mangia at the St. Agrippina di Mineo feast

During more than a dozen summer weekends, various Italian societies honor the patron saints of ancestor towns with masses, processions, food and music in Boston’s historic North End. The streets are adorned with lights, the air is rich with the smell of sausages, and traditional song has every toe tapping. August is probably the peak of feast season, kicking off with St. Agrippina di Mineo this Thursday through Sunday. The revelry begins with a procession Thursday night, and wraps up Sunday, with plenty of free music, delicious food, and other entertainment in between. — Cheryl Fenton

Enjoy free National Park Service admission

The National Park Service is waiving entrance fees nationwide for a total of five days in 2023, including this Friday in honor of the anniversary of the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act. We’re pretty lucky in New England in that most of our NPS-run attractions are already free, so if you want to get the most bang for your buck, you can make a trip up to Acadia National Park in Maine. But if you want to stay local, Massachusetts is full of National Historic Sites, National Seashores, and National Historic Parks. One attraction that does normally charge admission is Lowell National Historic Park. You can visit the The Boott Mills Museum, which has a working 1920s era weave room, and interactive exhibits about the Industrial Revolution and how it shaped the city. — Kevin Slane

Enjoy seafood with a twist in Lynn

You may be excited to hear that Nightshade Clam Shack, a seasonal weekend pop-up from Rachel Miller of the acclaimed Nightshade Noodle Bar, is back for the summer from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. You’ll be able to order takeout from their menu, which includes dishes such as clam, rock shrimp, and lobster rolls on brioche, fried seafood boxes, and banh mi. Craving something sweet? For dessert, dig into mango chili doughnuts, prepared fresh every weekend. To drink, you could sip on Thai iced tea, Vietnamese iced coffee, or canned cocktails and beer. The coconut margarita, featuring smoked vanilla bean infused coconut lime, is the perfect pairing with your meal. – Shira Laucharoen

Bask in the glow of Franklin Park Zoo

Everything is illuminated at the Franklin Park Zoo for the next couple of months thanks to the return of its seasonal exhibit, “Boston Lights: A Lantern Experience” starting this Friday. Stroll through the zoo’s 72 acres to witness the full range of new and returning light displays, including an 80-foot dragon tunnel, an ancient Egypt exhibit anchored by a 33-foot sphinx, and a coral reef adventure featuring glowing marine wildlife. Timed entrances to the zoo grounds are available daily every half hour from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., and can be booked on Zoo New England’s website. — Kevin Slane

Chow down at Charlestown Seafood Festival

No New England summer would be complete without a celebration of seafood, and this Rhode Island event, which runs from Friday to Sunday, has you covered. You’ll be able to dig into lobster rolls, fish and chips, chowders, clam cakes, corn on the cob, and items from a raw bar. Participate in amusement rides, listen to live bands, watch fireworks, score in raffles for prizes like kayaks, and enjoy even more entertainment. Before you leave, make sure you get a scoop of ice cream or an order of mini doughnuts, and it’ll be the end cap to a perfect day. — Shira Laucharoen

Head to Castle Hill for the Roaring ’20s Lawn Party

Grab your pearls and bowlers for a 1920s-style picnic as the Roaring Twenties Lawn Party returns for its 10th year to Castle Hill on Crane Estate in Ipswich. With the theme of “Reimagine the Jazz Age,” this two-day lawn party, held this Saturday and Sunday, is a celebration of all things vintage. Attracting thousands in Gatsby-esque apparel, this retro picnic features live music and dancing, performances, lawn games, a vintage faire, a poetry brothel, Vintage Girl Photography, a Charleston contest, Dances by Isadora, Florence’s Fashion Stroll, and more — all set on the lavish, swoon-worthy grounds of the Crane Estate. Explore the formal gardens with 1920s jazz in the air, stroll the antique auto show, march in a suffragette parade, take a dance lesson, and enjoy a drink at the Bootlegger’s Garden featuring Mill River Winery, 1634 Meadery, and True North Ales. Tickets must be purchased in advance, and are available now through the Trustees website. — Cheryl Fenton

Get Extreme at Roadrunner

Gary Cherone has traveled a long and winding road since his days as a record store clerk at the Meadow Glen Mall in Medford. He and his compatriots in the Boston-based Extreme — guitarist Nuno Bettencourt, bassist Pat Badger, and percussionist Paul Geary — shot to the top of the charts with “More Than Words” off their album “Pornograffiti” back in 1990, and followed that record up with the well-received “III Sides to Every Story.” Things got rockier after that, and after the band crumbled Cherone found himself in the unlikely position of being the third vocalist for Van Halen, an arrangement that sadly only lasted for one album (the under-appreciated “Van Halen III”). And now, the band (minus Geary, whose slot is now filled by Kevin Figueiredo) is back with a new album, “Six,” that’s a return to their hard-rocking roots — “musically, it’s aggressive,” declares Cherone — and a new tour, which brings them to Roadrunner this Saturday at 8 p.m. — Peter Chianca 

Stay with Sam Smith at TD Garden

English singer/songwriter Sam Smith has earned some incredibly impressive accolades in their musical career—and they’re only 31. Smith rose to fame in 2014 with their debut studio album “The Lonely Hour,” which featured the hit “Stay With Me,” and won four Grammys plus a Guinness World Record for the most consecutive weeks in the U.K. Top 10 Album Chart. They won a Golden Globe and an Oscar for “Writing’s on the Wall,” the theme for the 2015 James Bond film, “Spectre.” And recently, they departed from their typical power ballad sound and released “Unholy,” featuring musician Kim Petras, which Rolling Stone called one of the best songs of 2022. Smith is joined on “GLORIA: The Tour,” by Jessie Reyez, and will play from their recent Grammy-winning album “GLORIA” along with older hits like “Dancing with a Stranger” and “I’m Not the Only One” when they visit TD Garden this Saturday at 8 p.m. — Natalie Gale 

Visit the Seaport for a pig roast

The Seaport’s Mediterranean inspired restaurant Chickadee is turning 5, and to celebrate, they’ll be hosting a birthday bash on Sunday starting at 4 p.m. They’ll be honoring the occasion with a pig roast, complete with delicious bites and drinks. Guest bartenders include Britt McMahon, Evan Harrison, Will Thompson and John Gertsen, and Jason Cool will man the spritz bar. The party wouldn’t be complete without cornhole games and music from DJ TJ Connelly. Tickets, for just food and fun, are $50, while they cost $80 with two drinks added and $100 for food, drinks, and a gift from Project Paulie. – Shira Laucharoen

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