15 Free Things to Do in Boston, March 2014

Breathe in the upcoming spring and enjoy these free events happening around town in March.

Somerville Builds: A Hands-On Kids Maker Event

Unplug your kid’s computer for the day and help them learn more about the electronics behind their favorite games. Kids of all ages can make comics, LED pop-up books, stop-animation movies, and more, as well as learn from guided workshops and play with Legos. There will also be several hands-on engineering activities hosted by the Museum of Science, Parts and Crafts, and Maker State. The event is sponsored by the Arts Union and while it is free, be sure to register so they can accommodate all kids.

Sunday, March 2, 12-4 p.m., Fringe, 9 Olive Square, Somerville, 617-625-6600, somervilleartscouncil.org.

Skill Share Somerville

Miss learning at school? The Center for Arts at the Armory will offer 40 free classes this weekend from 40 different teachers for you to learn new skills. Feel free to drop in and out during the day to take as many classes as your heart desires. Along with free learning, you’ll also get some free stuff from local sponsors like Flatbread Pizza, Taza Chocolate, Slumbrew, and Q’s Nuts. Some of the classes planned include Brew Like a Barista, CPR and First Aid, Origami 101, Intro to Salsa Dancing, Parkour (!), and way more. You definitely won’t want to cut class here. RSVP on Eventbrite.

Sunday, March 2, 12-6 p.m., The Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville, 617-718-2191, somervilleskillshare.org.

National Pancake Day

Free pancakes—need we say more? Well, yes. Fun fact: since the beginning of National Pancake Day in 2006, IHOP has raised $13 million to support charities in the communities in which they operate. Enjoy a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes on March 4, and know that if you leave a donation, your money will go to charity. Breakfast has never felt so good.

Tuesday, March 4, find an IHOP near you: ihop.com/ihop-locations.

Free Film Fridays at the Museum of Science

Explore Jerusalem, conquer the wilderness in Canada, or swim with the largest sharks in the South Pacific, all for free at the Museum of Science. Thanks to generous support from MathWorks, all IMAX films in the Mugar Omni Theater each Friday in March are free. Pick up the tickets at the Museum box office on the day of the show (first come, first served). IMAX tickets are usually kind of pricey—$10 for adults and $8 for children—so definitely take advantage of this great adventure.

Fridays in March, Museum of Science, 1 Science Park, 617-723-2500, mos.org.

New England Aquarium Open House at the BPL

If your little ones love the ocean, or if their favorite movie is the The Little Mermaid, then you don’t want to miss this opportunity for them to learn more about our underwater friends. Instead of paying money to see the your sea creature buddies at the New England Aquarium, the BPL will host  the aquarium early this month for free. The whole family can participate in learning activities at this special open house. You’ve got no troubles; life is the bubbles, under the sea, everything’s free!

Saturday, March 8, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Boston Room, Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St., Boston, bpl.org.

Boston Massacre Reenactment

For all you history nerds, this year marks the 244th anniversary of the infamous massacre in 1770. Before the action of the reenactment unfolds, patriots, loyalists, and moderates will talk about the events that led to that fateful night. The Boston Massacre began as a street fight between a patriot mob, throwing snowballs, stones, and sticks at a squad of British soldiers. The soldiers fired into the mob, killing  three patriots and wounding eight, two of whom died later. The Boston Massacre was a signal event leading to the Revolutionary War and our future independence.

Saturday, March 8, 7 p.m., in front of the Old State House Museum, 206 Washington St., Boston, 617-720-1713, bostonhistory.org

Marc Brown Lecture

The creator of the beloved Arthur series (you remember that “little aardvark with a big agenda”) will speak at the 2014 Lowell Lecture Series: Gateway to Reading this month. More than 66 million Arthur books are now in print, and the PBS show is the network’s most-watched program. The show has won six Emmy Awards and is enjoyed by children in more than 100 countries. The 2014 Lowell Series explores the importance of children’s literature and the challenges authors face with today’s generation.

Sunday, March 9, 2 p.m., Rabb Lecture Hall, Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St., 617-536-5400, bpl.org.

Berklee in the Round

Check out free acoustic performances showcasing Berklee students, faculty, alumni, and special guests. Performers sit close to the audience in this intimate event, akin to watching a close friend performing in your living room. The March 11 event’s special guest is Anna Nalick, a southern California native whose debut album Wreck of the Day went platinum. Her song “Breathe (2AM)” was the anthem for plenty of angsty teenage girls in 2006 and has been played in Grey’s Anatomy, Charmed, Smallville, and the Ashton Kutcher/Amanda Peet movie A Lot Like Love. You know the lyrics: Life is like an hourglass glued to the table, so don’t let time slip you by.

Tuesday, March 11, 7 p.m., Café 939, 939 Boylston St., Boston, 617-266-1400, berklee.edu.

Family Gym Time

If your kids aren’t getting enough exercise, it probably means you aren’t either. This play program is an easy, fun way to be active with your kids for free. No pre-registration is required, but adult participation is, so don’t expect to be cheering on your kid from the sidelines—you’ll be running right next to them in whatever game you play.

Saturdays, March 15, 22, and 29, 10-11:30 a.m., BCYF Recreation Center at Madison Park, 55 Malcolm X Blvd., Roxbury, or BCYF Blackstone Community Center, 50 W Brookline St., Boston, 617-373-7615, northeastern.edu/healthykids.

Figure Skating

Sad the Winter Olympics are over? Don’t despair, MIT’s Figure Skating Club is hosting their annual skating exhibition. Skaters from the MIT community as well as featured guest skaters from Boston will perform freestyle, ice dances, and group numbers. While the skaters might not be Olympians, we bet they’re just as pretty…with crazy spandex too.

Saturday, March 15, 6-8 p.m., Johnson Athletic Center, 77 Massachusetts Ave., 617-253-1000, web.mit.edu/skatingclub.

A Taste of Iceland

Reykjavik Calling returns to Boston to celebrate the vibrant music of Iceland and Boston. Icelandic artists will be paired with Boston-based musicians for an exciting night of unique musical collaborations. The artists from Iceland include Retro Stefson, Sin Fang, and Hermigervill, and the artists from Boston include The Love Experiment and Skinny Bones. Past performers at this concert include popular indie-folk pop band Of Monsters and Men. Who knows, you could be watching the next Bjork on stage.

Saturday, March 15, 8-11 p.m., Middle East Club, 472 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-864-3278, icelandnaturally.com.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Whether or not you’re actually from Ireland, you’re practically Irish just by being in Boston for St. Patrick’s Day. Come out in your best green Boston gear (unless you want to get pinched) and show your Celtic spirit on the three-mile route through Southie.

Sunday, March 16, 1 p.m., South Boston, 781-436-3377, southbostonparade.org

Bach Birthday Bash

Music at First Lutheran is giddy to celebrate the maestro’s birthday with you and the Boston Chapter of the American Organists. There’s free admission throughout the day, but if you’re extra eager to celebrate Bach too, you can pay for balcony seating and lunch. Artists performing include: Exsultemus Period Vocal Ensemble, Emmanuel Music, Boston Schola Cantorum, and members of the Harvard Organ society. Dr. Robin Leaver, former president of the American Bach Society is the keynote speaker for the event.

Saturday, March 22, 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m., First Lutheran Church of Boston, 299 Berkeley St., Boston, 617-536-8851, flc-bostonmusic.org.

Inside Fashion

In celebration of the School of Fashion Design’s 80th anniversary, as well as the first annual Boston Design Week, guests are invited to the school for a look into the world of fashion design. Jay Calderin, founder of Boston Fashion Week, author, and instructor at the School of Fashion Design, will be joined by a team of students and graduates to share their appreciation of fashion. There are hourly presentations, so if you can’t make one of them, take fashion expert Tim Gunn’s advice and “make it work.”

Wednesday, March 26, hourly sessions 2-5 p.m., School of Fashion Design, 136 Newbury St., Boston, 617-536-9343, eventbrite.com.

Cairo 678

Cairo 678 is about three Egyptians who join forces, regardless of their different social backgrounds, to fight against sexual harassment in Egypt. It is one of several free movies selected from the 8th annual Boston Muslim Film Festival, the purpose of which is to offer a fresh perspective into the complexity of the Muslim community and to open dialogue into unspoken issues and stereotypes surrounding the community.Other movies featured address issues such as American Muslim identity, sexual harassment, genocide, censorship, and more.

Friday, March 28, 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., UMass Boston, Campus Center, 3rd Floor, 100 Morrissey Blvd., Boston, eventbrite.com.