Five Reasons to Leave the House This Weekend

The Outside the Box Arts Festival, Drink Craft Beer Summerfest, Open Streets on the Avenue of the Arts, and more.

weekend events boston


Outside the Box Arts Festival

Watch out, Boston Calling. There’s a new festival in town—and it’s free. Starting this Saturday, more than 200 performers—musicians, actors, dancers, and spectacle artists—from all over the world will grace the stages at Boston Common and City Hall Plaza for nine days. Sing along with well-known acts like Boys Like Girls and Augustana (yes, we’re counting on them to sing “Boston” at some point) and local up-and-comers like Gentlemen Hall (their catchy tune “Sail Into the Sun” was featured in a Target commercial). Step inside the Spiegeltent—a tent of mirrors that’s been a featured attraction at several international festivals—and enjoy refreshments from the beer and wine garden at City Hall Plaza. And hey—food is art, too, so keep your calendar and your belly empty for Food Fest next week—the festival within a festival dedicated to showcasing Boston’s best cuisine.

Free, Saturday, July 13, to Sunday, July 21,

Drink Craft Beer Summerfest

Summertime is the perfect time for beer, and a farmhouse ale is the perfect beer for summer. This Friday or Saturday, you can try unlimited samples of more than 70 farmhouse ales and saisons at the Drink Craft Beer Summerfest. When you need a break from drinking, take some time to enjoy food from Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, Chicken & Rice Guys, Grillo’s Pickles, Q’s Nuts, and Union Square Donuts. More than 25 New England craft brewers will attend, many of whom have made brews specifically for this event, so don’t miss out!

$50, Friday, July 12, 6-9:30 p.m., Saturday, July 13, 1-4:30 p.m. and 6-9:30 p.m., Space 57 at the Revere Hotel, 200 Stuart St.,

Open Streets on the Avenue of the Arts

This Sunday, the westbound side of Huntington Avenue—or the Avenue of the Arts—will be closed for a celebration of arts and culture. Fenway Studio Artists will paint en plein air, the Mary Baker Eddy Library will offer free admission to the Mapparium, and the front lawn of the MFA will serve as a venue for art-making and a performance by Brite Lite Brite, an electro-pop duo from Berklee. There will also be performances by Boston Percussion Group and the BSO’s Symphony Hall Stompers, who will roam down the street. And as a special tribute to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings, you can join Still Running: An Art Marathon for Boston, an effort to create artwork to be given to those affected by the attack.

Free, Sunday, July 14, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Huntington Avenue, outbound side only, between Belvidere Street and Brigham Circle,

Free Friday Flick
Despicable Me at the Hatch Shell

Many of us escaped to the nearest cineplex last week to take advantage of its air conditioning, but now that the heat wave is behind us, why not enjoy a movie outdoors? Free Friday Flicks at the Hatch Shell kicks off this weekend with Despicable Me. What better way to spend a relaxing evening with the kids—or with friends who are young at heart—than with Steve Carell and those irresistibly cute minions?

Free, Friday, July 12, sunset (8:21 p.m.), DCR Hatch Shell on the Esplanade,

Bastille Day Party 2013

Whether you’re a francophone or simply a francophile, you won’t want to miss out on the French Cultural Center’s 38th Bastille Day Party this Friday. Come out to the Back Bay to savor French food and drinks from local restaurants and dance in the street to the funky sounds of francophone acts Atlas Soul and Madame Moustache. Vive la France!

$25 in advance, $30 day of show, free for children under 10, Friday, July 12, 7 p.m., Marlborough Street, between Berkeley and Clarendon Streets,