Nine Free Things To Do in Boston, May 2014

Check out free events happening in Boston this month, including PorchFest, EarthFest, and a dance flash mob in Copley Square.

Get your smartphones ready, 125 people have been practicing since January for a set of dance flash mobs in Copley Square later this month. (More info below.)

Harvard Arts First Festival

Come to the Harvard Arts First Festival to view the artistic talents of Harvard students and faculty. This event is four days of non-stop art. With more than 225 music, theater, dance, film, and visual arts experiences, there will be something for every type of art lover.

Thursday, May 1, through Sunday, May 4, Harvard Square, Cambridge, 617-495-3434,

Film Screening: Carbon Nation

Join Appalachian Mountain Club for a free screening of Carbon Nation, which has been described as “a surprisingly fun movie about climate change.” The film is informative while optimistic and non-partisan, and will demonstrate how helping the environment can also help the economy, national security, and overall health.

Friday, May 9, 7:30 p.m., Church of the Good Shepard, 164 Newtown Road, Acton,

Create Your Own Superhero

We all have our favorite superheroes—and our choice superhero power. Is yours the power of flight, super strength, or maybe X-ray vision? You and your family will have the chance to figure it out as your bring your own superhero to life with teaching artists from Company One Theatre. The event is split into two sections for 2- to 4-year-olds and for ages five and up.

Saturday, May 10, 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m. (see website for age ranges), Artist Studio Building at the BCA, 551 Tremont St., Boston,

Boston Bike Week

The beginning of spring means it’s finally warm enough to break out that bike that’s been patiently hibernating all winter. This week long event will kick off with nine group rides from different surrounding areas all the way to Boston City Hall, and riders will enjoy free breakfast and refreshments.

Saturday, May 10, through Sunday, May 18, ends at Boston City Hall, 617-635-4000,

Mother’s Day
Lilac Day

There are thousands of flowers at the Arnold Arboretum, but lilacs are the ones that get a whole day of honor and celebration this month. Head over to Jamaica Pain on Mother’s Day for family-friendly activities, picnics, food vendors, and more than 370 stunning, colorful lilac plants.

Sunday, May 11, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Jamaica Plain, 617-524-1718,

Henna Tattoo and Oyster Party

Maybe you’ve been to a few 20th birthday parties, but you’ve never been to one like this. Shake the Tree, one of the North End’s trendiest boutiques, is celebrating 20 years of business with a free henna tattoo and oyster party. So come and enjoy henna, oysters, and sangria while shopping and sampling local skin elixirs. You’ll be sure to leave with a full stomach and happy skin.

Thursday, May 15, 6-8 p.m., Shake the Tree, 67 Salem St., Boston, 617-742-0484,

Le Grand Continental Dance Party

Put on your dancing shoes and get ready for this free public dance party. The event was created by Montreal-based choreographer Sylvain Émard, and it’s been staged in Montreal, Mexico, New York City, Philadelphia, and Portland. Now it’s coming to Boston, and 125 Boston residents will perform in three dance shows with choreography that they’ve been rehearsing since January.

Friday, May 16, through Sunday, May 18, Copley Square, Boston,

Radio 92.9 Earthfest

What do Neon Trees, The Wailers, Morning Parade, and Smallpools have in common? They’ll all be rocking at Earthfest, a free outdoor concert presented by Radio 92.9 and Whole Foods. The event will be held rain or shine, and there will also be “Kid’s Planet,” a whole different stage with children’s bands performing music just for kids.

Saturday, May 17, 11:30 a.m., DCR Hatch Shell, Boston, 617-263-1184,

Somerville PorchFest

Somerville is throwing a party, and they’re inviting musicians who play everything from Bollywood funk to killer blues to gospel and clawhammer banjo. The event is an annual favorite that embodies the essence of the neighborhood. In other words, that’s so Somerville—and we love it.

Saturday, May 17, 12-6 p.m., Somerville,