Free Things to Do in Boston, April 2015

Check out free events happening around Boston this month, including the marathon, Cambridge Science Fair events, and more.


If you do one thing this month, it should probably be to go watch the Boston Marathon. / 2014 photo by Olga Khvan

Opera Night at the Boston Public Library

The Boston Lyric Opera, in partnership with the New England Foundation of Psychoanalysis, will perform a rendition of one of Mozart’s most revered dramas, Feminine Vengeance, at the BPL. The story follows Don Giovanni, a man whose life is ruled by his obsession with women, on a route that leads him from the bedroom to the gates of hell. Following the performance, there will be a discussion about the psychodynamics behind the various female characters that play a role in the opera.

Free, Wednesday, April 1, 6-7 p.m., Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St., Boston,

Free Wednesdays at the MFA

If you’re looking forward to taking advantage of the MFA’s weekly free night, this month offers four new exhibits. The museum will highlight work by the iconic Katsushika Hokusai, master drawings by Leonard da Vinci and Michelangelo, School of the Museum of Fine Arts graduate Gonzalo Fuenmayor’s work comprising unexpected combinations and “magical realism,” as well as a collection of Japanese photographers’ work responding to the 2011 earthquake’s havoc on towns in the northeastern region of the country.

Free, Wednesdays nights after 4 p.m., exhibits start on various dates, Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston,

Harvard Ballet Company Performs The Jungle Book

Catch one of a few select performances of the the Harvard Ballet Company’s rendition of The Jungle Book. Taking on Rudyard Kipling’s beloved classic story collection, original choreography from ballet students and professionals reimagines the story through both contemporary and classical dance.

Free, Friday, April 3-Saturday, April 11, showtimes vary, Loeb Experimental Theater, 64 Brattle St., Cambridge, reserve tickets.

Easter Egg Hunt at Faneuil Hall 

Pick up an Easter basket and a sheet of clues to begin your hunt around Faneuil Hall. The clues will lead to hiding places in businesses around the marketplace, where participants can find eggs filled with candy or coupons that you can exchange for surprise items. Plus, check out our roundups of other fun Easter events and brunch and dinner specials.

Free, Saturday, April 4, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston, registration required

Protecting the Ocean’s Giants: The Future of Manta Ray Conservation Lecture 

Manta rays, some of the ocean’s most massive and mysterious creatures, are increasingly threatened by fisheries. Join the New England Aquarium for a lecture by John Stewart, the associate director of Manta Trust, as he shares his findings regarding the threats human activity poses to manta rays and the research and conservation efforts currently in place to preserve the species.

Free, Wednesday, April 15, 7 p.m., New England Aquarium’s Simons IMAX Theatre, Central Wharf, Boston,

Peter Slevin Discusses Michelle Obama: A Life

Want to get to know the United States’ leading lady close up? At Harvard Book Store, former Washington Post journalist Peter Slevin will discuss and sign copies of his new biography, Michelle Obama: A Life. Follow along as he tells the story of the First Lady’s life, from growing up in Chicago’s segregated South Side, to studying at Harvard, all the way to the White House. Learn about Michelle Obama as an individual, a professional, a mother, and the wife of the president of the United States.

Free, Friday, April 17, 7 p.m., Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge,

John Hancock Sports and Fitness Expo

Get ready for the Boston Marathon with this weekend-long expo, featuring 200 exhibitors from the running industry’s top companies. The largest fitness expo in the nation, the event also serves as the official spot for runners to pick up their numbers prior to Marathon Monday. Stop by and get in the spirit for the 2015 Boston Marathon.

Free, Friday, April 17, through Sunday, April 19, times vary, Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston St., Boston,

Cambridge Science Fair

If you want to get experimental, check out Cambridge’s Science Fair, boasting over a week’s worth of events. This interactive festival aims to make science accessible and fun through events for all ages. Check out the robot zoo, take a walking tour to learn about the many bridges connecting Cambridge and Boston, investigate your family’s DNA, or build your own lava lamp.

Select events are free, Friday, April 17, through Sunday, April 26, various locations, schedule.

Boston Conservatory Chorale

During the final chorale of the season, see winners of the 2015 Boston Conservatory Chorale Ensembles Composer’s Competition. Music will be drawn from Igor Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress as well as Palestrina, Schütz, Victoria, Fauré, and Paulus.

Free, Saturday, April 18, 8-9:30 p.m., Seully Hall at the Boston Conservatory, 8 The Fenway, Boston.

8th Annual Bookish Ball & Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebration 

The Harvard Square Business Association will celebrate what would have been William Shakespeare’s 451st birthday with a traveling performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, taking each scene to a different iconic Harvard Square bookstore. Throughout the day, there will also be a sonnet-a-thon, a poetry slam, and of course, celebratory birthday cake.

Free, Saturday, April 18, Harvard Square, Cambridge.

Patriot’s Day Reenactment

Calling all history buffs: relive the beginnings of the revolution right where the shot heard ’round the world was fired in Lexington. For the annual Patriot’s Day celebration, the Lexington Minutemen will host a variety of events, including memorials at the Battle Green, before leading the Patriot’s Day parade.

Some events free, Monday, April 20, activities all day, parade at 2 p.m., Lexington,

Watch the 2015 Boston Marathon 

Celebrate Patriot’s Day with perhaps Boston’s most beloved tradition, the Boston Marathon. Stake out a good viewing spot along the route to cheer on runners in various heats as they race the route from Hopkinton to Boylston Street.

Free, Monday, April 20.

The Hidden Forest at the Arnold Arboretum

If you’re looking to get up close and personal with nature this Earth Day, join biologist Susan Goldhor at the Arnold Arboretum for a lecture about the numerous life forms dwelling in JP. Learn about the dynamics of the plant fungal connection, and understand the earth in a way you’ve never known before.

Free, Wednesday, April 22, 6 p.m., Hunwell Building at the Arnold Arboretum, registration required.

33rd Annual Run of the Charles Canoe & Kayak Race

Kick off the spring season with New England’s largest flat-bottomed boat race, featuring approximately 1,500 racers. From a six-mile stint to the 26-mile professional marathon, this event draws a variety of competitors throughout the day. Take a stroll along the Charles to check out some of the vendors and performers participating along the sidelines.

Free, Sunday, April 26, various starting points from Dedham to Brighton,