Five Reasons to Leave the House This Weekend

Five Reasons to Leave the House This WeekendFashion’s Night Out’s “Before I Die” wall at the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway. (Photo via Fashion’s Night Out/Facebook)

Fashion’s Night Out

Barneys, Michael Kors, Bebe, BCBG Max Azria: These retailers and many more are participating in this year’s Fashion’s Night Out in Boston. The global initiative, started by Vogue in 2009, aims to reinvigorate the retail industry by throwing a worldwide party celebrating fashion and style. Stores across Boston will serve drinks and snacks, hand out free gifts, and offer special sales. Even Menino’s joining in the fun; he’ll be at Center Court in Copley Place at 6 p.m. to help kick off the event. Over on Newbury Street, Herb Chambers will show off 80 of his most fashionable cars. And if you find yourself over by the Greenway, check out the Fashion’s Night Out “Before I Die” wall, where passersby have filled in their hopes and aspirations.

Free; Sept. 6 at 6 p.m.; various locations including Copley Place, The Shops at Prudential Center, Newbury Street, and Downtown Crossing, Boston;

MixFest 2012

Train, Gavin DeGraw, and Andy Grammer will perform at this year’s MixFest, hosted by Mix 104.1. The singers hit the Hatch Shell stage at 4 p.m., but show up early to get a good spot and browse through vendor booths. MixFest 2012 is free, but VIP tickets from Regina Pizzeria (only $200) will get you reserved spots at the show, admission to the VIP party, photos with the performers, and (drumroll, please) a MixFest VIP lanyard and T-shirt. Matchbox Twenty fans can also enter to win tickets to the MixFest Pre-Concert Party on Friday night at Revere Hotel, where Rob Thomas and Kyle Cook will perform and hang out.

Free; Sept. 8, vendor booths open at 1 p.m., performances begin at 4 p.m.; Hatch Shell, Boston;

Boston Arts Festival

More than 60 visual and performing artists will be featured at this year’s Boston Arts Festival at Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park. Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings will kick off three days of performances from about 20 groups and individuals including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Tap Company, Nick Hakim, and Jaime Wood. The visual arts will also be on display with paintings, photography, clothing, jewelry, sculptures, and more.

Free; Sept. 7-9; Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park, 105 Atlantic Ave., Boston; 617-635-3911;

Cambridge Carnival International

For 20 years, Cambridge Carnival International has celebrated diversity and culture with one big Caribbean-style masquerade party. Thousands of residents from Cambridge and beyond will gather to watch a colorful parade complete with upbeat music, dancing, and handmade costumes. Mardi Gras-similarities aside, this is a family-friendly event with face painting, stilt-walking, and arts and crafts. All day long, three stages will feature performances including calypso music, interactive drumming, and martial arts demos.

Free; Sept. 9, parade starts at 12:30 p.m.; Massachusetts Ave. at Main St., Cambridge; 617-863-0476;

Boston Comedy Arts Festival

ImprovBoston hosts its fourth annual Boston Comedy Arts Festival this weekend. With just under 100 acts from all across the country, this year’s festival promises hilarious surprise after surprise. Big-name groups like RISK! and Magnet TourCo from New York will perform at Brattle Theatre. And if you really want to impress your friends later on, take a comedy hip-hop workshop with North Coast and learn how to freestyle rap and beatbox.

Prices vary; Sept. 4-9; ImprovBoston, 40 Prospect St., Cambridge, and Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St., Cambridge; 617-576-1253;