Free Things to Do in Boston, June 2015

Enjoy free events around Boston this month including Boston Calling Block Parties, World Oceans Day at the New England Aquarium, and the Dragon Boat Festival on the Charles.

Photo by Olga Khvan

Photo by Olga Khvan

Dragon Boat Festival

An event full of culture, excitement and food, the Dragon Boat Festival features teams from around North America who compete in a dragon boat race across the Charles River. The event doesn’t stop there, though. The weekend is full of traditional dances, fighting demonstrations, and food. Come watch an exciting race with about 40,000 other spectators, and learn about another culture from the other side of the globe.

Free, Saturday, June 13-Sunday, June 14, times and locations vary,​.

Astronomy After Hours

Star gazing can be difficult in the city, but the Museum of Science has the solution. The Gilliland Observatory gives you an out-of-this-world view of stars, planets, and the moon. Learn more about astrology from some of the museum’s experts, sit back, and enjoy the view.

Free, Fridays, 8:30 p.m.-10 p.m., Museum of Science, Boston,

Free Night at the Museum of Fine Arts

Join Degas’ dancers, get lost in Kanagawa’s ocean, and explore the gardens of Georgia O’Keeffe. The Museum of Fine Arts has centuries-old masterpieces from around the world. Open until June 14 is the Leonardo Da Vinci and the Idea of Beauty exhibit and the Over There! Posters from World War I exhibit. Walk through halls full of historic artwork this summer.

Free, Wednesdays, 4 p.m.-9:45 p.m., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston,

Free Night at the ICA

Enjoy contemporary art for free at the ICA every Thursday night. Check out Matthe Ritchie’s Remanence, a painting that evokes motion and stretches across the room’s wall, and Meleko Mokgosi’s Democratic Intuition, a series of paintings that bring life in Southern Africa right to the museum.

Free, Thursdays, 5 p.m.-9 p.m., Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston,

Passim Presents: Free Summer Concert Series

Get into the groove of summer with a concert series full of eclectic musicians. Passim’s free summer shows kick off on June 2 with a performance from Chelsea Berry. Other artists in this month’s lineup include Jim Trick, Brooke Annibale, Jenna Moynihan & Mairi Chambeul, and Katie McNally. The series will run through to September.

Free, Tuesdays, 12 p.m.-1 p.m., Kendall Center, Cambridge,

Berklee Lunch Sessions at the Prudential

On your lunch break, aspiring musicians from Berklee will play in the South Garden at the Prudential Center every Tuesday. The performances include music from Birchfire, Low Key, Dear June, and more. With genres like jazz and pop, the eclectic bunch have an array of styles to bring to your afternoon.

Free, Tuesdays starting June 2, 12 p.m.-1:30 p.m., South Garden,

Boston Calling Block Parties

If you have a case of post-Boston Calling blues, don’t worry, the fun continues with Boston Calling Block Parties. Relax after your work day in Dewey Square on Thursdays, and another show in Downtown Crossing on Wednesday, June 3. Check out tunes from musicians such as Dirty Bangs, and Grey Season, and while you’re at Dewey, see Janet Echelman’s new bright and floating sculpture on the Greenway. It’s free to attend the parties, but for those 21+ folks, remember to bring cash for drinks.

Free, Thursdays starting June 4, 5 p.m.-8 p.m., Dewey Square Park; Wednesday, June 3, 5 p.m.-8 p.m., Summer Street Park, Downtown Crossing,

Concerts in the Courtyard

Ranging from jazz to hip hop, the Courtyard at the Boston Public Library—one of the city’s most charming spots—will host a variety of up-and-coming musicians for hour-long shows. The lineup for June includes artists like Neha, Patrick Coman, ChoroBop, Properly Unprepared, and more.

Free, Wednesdays at 6 p.m., Fridays at 12:30 p.m., Copley Square,

Bette Davis Film Festival

Known for her performances in All About Eve and Now, Voyager, Bette Davis is an icon of the 20th century. Classic film aficionados, join the Boston Public Library as they screen four films starring the Academy Award-nominated actress: Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte, Little Foxes, All About Eve, and Now, Voyager.

Free, Fridays starting June 5, 2 p.m.-4:30 p.m., Boston Public Library, Boston,

Free Fishing Weekend

Get out of the house with the family and go fishing! On June 6 and June 7 only, you can fish in any public fresh-water pond, lake, reservoir, river, or stream without need of a license. Hook, line, and sink!

Free, Saturday, June 6, 12 a.m. to Sunday, June 7, 11:59 p.m.,

Coolidge Corner Arts Festival

With over 75 artists skilled in ceramics, fibers, glass, jewelry, and much more, the Coolidge Corner 37th Annual Arts Festival is an art lover’s dream. Enjoy the afternoon browsing works of art and chowing down on food from various food trucks such as The Cod Squad, Trolley Dogs, Tenoch, and Walloons.

Free, Saturday, June 6, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., 345 Harvard Street, Brookline,

Cambridge Arts River Festival

The Cambridge Arts River Festival has an array of art, entertainment, and family crafts. Interactive stations will demonstrate how to create your own works of art, poets from around the area will share their pieces in the poetry tent, and six different stages will host dancers, actors, and bands of varying genres.

Free, Saturday, June 6, 12 p.m.-6 p.m., Central Square Cultural District, Mass. Ave between Prospect Street and Sidney Street, Cambridge,

Salsa in the Park

Inspired by the Cuban dance, Monday salsa nights in the South End promotes healthy, active living while bringing the community together. Whether you know how to salsa or not, this zesty outdoor event will get you on your feet.

Free, Mondays starting June 8, 6 p.m.-9 p.m., BCYF Blackstone Community Center, Boston,

New England Aquarium

Photo provided by New England Aquarium

World Oceans Day at the New England Aquarium

Fish! Oysters! Seaweed! June 7 is World Oceans Day, and the New England Aquarium is teaching folks how to protect the oceans while having some family fun. Check out seafood cooking demonstrations from chefs around New England, tastings, lessons, activities, and more. They also will offer two free one-hour Boston Harbor Cruise tours—but make sure to get there early to secure tickets. Note that this event takes place outdoors, and does not include admission into the aquarium.

Free, Sunday, June 7, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Central Wharf, Boston,

Summer in the City

Take in the cool ocean breeze, hear the waves splash into the barge, and enjoy music and movies all summer long at the Boston Harbor Hotel. On Tuesdays, various soul artists will perform, while Wednesdays are of the “Rat Pack” variety, Thursdays are reserved for blues musicians, and movies are shown on Fridays.

Free, Tuesdays-Thursdays, Fridays at dusk starting June 11, 6 p.m.-10 p.m., Boston Harbor Hotel, Boston,

Bunker Hill Parade Day

The first major battle of the American Revolution was fought in Charlestown 240 years ago. Today, the battle is commemorated with the Bunker Hill Day Parade. The parade event first started in 1786 and still holds strong as a family event today. Starting at Vine and Bunkerhill Street, the parade ends on Winthrop Street, close to the Charelstown Militia Training Field. Ice cream, cotton candy, and slushies will add a 2015 touch to a centuries-old tradition.

Free, Sunday, June 14, 12:30 p.m., Bunkerhill Street, Charlestown,

Greenway Horticulture Tour

Connecting some of Boston’s most beloved and historical areas happens at the Rose Kennedy Greenway. From the North End to Chinatown, the path has a wide variety of shops, restaurants, vendors, and sites. Over a mile long, the tour will teach goers about the horticulture and history of the area.

Free,​ Thursday, June 18, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston,

Free Fun Fridays

70 free events! The Highland Street Foundation listed 70 museums, art centers, and festivals that will offer free admission on Fridays starting June 26. Don’t miss a visit to the Norman Rockwell Museum or a tour of the House of the Seven Gables. The ten week event has something for everyone. See more info on the events and venues here.

Free, Fridays starting June 26, times and locations vary,