Five Reasons to Leave the House This Weekend
(ähts): The Boston Arts Festival
Spend your Labor Day Weekend celebrating Boston’s best visual and performing arts. The Boston Harbor will serve as a backdrop for live performances by Dwight and Nicole, Jesse Dee, Tribe called Red, Boston Bhangra, and more. Over 50 stands will showcase work by visual and craft artists, such as Carolina Fused Glass, Lauren Passenti Jewelry, and Jen Matson Photography. You can even try your own hand at creating art—learn about glass blowing from Diablo Glass, paper-making with Melinda Cross, and family-friendly projects with the Museum of Fine Arts. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a true celebration without fireworks. Boston Harbor Cruises has it covered, providing a firework display at 9 p.m. on Saturday.
Free, Saturday, August 31, to Sunday, September 1, noon-8 p.m., Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park, cityofboston.gov
Boston Tattoo Convention
If you’ve been giving some thought to getting inked, chances are this weekend will push you over the edge. Starting tomorrow, hundreds of local and international artists will gather at Hynes Convention Center for a weekend-long celebration of their art—the 12th Annual Boston Tattoo Convention. On Saturday and Sunday, they will compete in a variety of contests, with themes ranging from traditional to realistic to cover-up (before photo required) to Boston pride (to be judged by Scruffy from the Dropkick Murphys and Lucas Carr). A few seminars will be offered, providing the latest in tattoo techniques and even woundcare, as well as performances by Black Cat Burlesque, Bryan McPherson, Mark Lind, OC45, and others. And if you’ve made up your mind, you can get tattooed by the artist of your choice—just make sure to book your time in advance!
$25-75, single day, weekend, and VIP passes available, Friday, August 30, to Monday, September 2, Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston Street, bostontattooconvention.com
Fourth Annual Mass Brewers Fest
Earlier this month, a dozen brewers from the Mass Brewers Guild assembled at the Mayflower Brewing Company and worked together on a first-of-its-kind collaboration beer. This Friday, at the Mass Brewers Fest, you can taste variations on their creation—a limited release cask English Mild—as each brewer took the base beer home to add on a favorite hop, signature ingredient, or other special touch. The limited release collaboration beer won’t be the only brew present—over 30 breweries represented by the Mass Brewers Guild will offer over 80 styles of local beers that you can sample. Before you come out, make sure your phone apps are up to date—you can use BrewGene, a beer recommendation app, to view a list of beers and brewers and keep notes about each beer you try, and Uber, which is offering free rides up to $20 for first time users, to take you there or back.
$40, Friday, August 30, 6-9:30 p.m., World Trade Center Headhouse Concourse, 200 Seaport Blvd., massbrewersguild.org
Labor Day Family Fun
Frank Hatch Free Day at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Whether you missed out on last week’s Free Fun Friday or just couldn’t get enough of the art, you have another chance to visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum for free. The museum usually hosts its Frank Hatch Free Day—held annually in honor of Francis “Frank” Hatch, who served on its Board of Directors for over 30 years and was heavily involved in Boston’s arts and culture, as well as politics—on New Year’s Day. But as of this year, it’s officially been moved to Labor Day to allow visitors to enjoy the museum’s courtyard and gardens. You can pick up free tickets, timed every 30 minutes beginning at 11 a.m. That includes access to the entire museum—both the historic mansion and the new wing designed by Renzo Piano.
Free, timed tickets available on-site, Monday, September 2, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 280 Fenway, gardnermuseum.org
Ben & Jerry’s Fair Trade Music Festival
On Saturday afternoon, come out to the Prudential Center to treat your taste buds and your ears at Ben & Jerry’s Fair Trade Music Festival. Enjoy performances by the Ryan Montbleau Band, Green Line Inbound, and Cara Brindisi & The Feather Merchants, as well as samples of Ben & Jerry’s Fair Trade flavors all afternoon. As a bonus, learn about where you can find more Fair Trade products in Boston.
Free, Sunday, August 31, 2-7 p.m., Prudential Center North Terrace, 800 Boylston Street, facebook.com