Five Reasons to Leave the House This Weekend

Including ArtBeat, Play Day on Lawn on D, Roxbury Rocks, and more.

Play Day at the Lawn on D / Courtesy photo

Play Day at the Lawn on D / Courtesy photo

Islands Night at Harvard Museum of Natural History

Transport yourself to a tropical night at the museum and encounter exotic animals from all over the world—Galapagos tortoises, hissing cockroaches, Malagasy lemurs, and even a Komodo dragon from the Indonesian islands—all while celebrating the HMNH’s latest exhibit, “Islands Evolving in Isolation.” At this 21+ event, guests can walk through all 16 of the museum’s exhibits while listening to live steel drum music and sipping cocktails and signature drinks. In addition to exclusive access to the museum, there will be food and a cash bar. “We’re going to have great appetizers with a Caribbean theme and a great rum punch as our signature drink,” says Diana Munn, the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture’s Director of Public Programs. “We’ll have things like coconut shrimp with orange marmalade, crab cakes with mango salsa, and mini Cuban sandwiches … I’m getting hungry just reading the menu.”

$25in advance or $30 at the door, Friday, July 17, 7-10 p.m., Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St., Cambridge, 617-495-3045,

AcousticaElectronica Dance Party

Party the night away with a blend of circus arts, dance, and electronic and classical music for a sensory nightclub experience you won’t forget. Watch as ballerinas dance to EDM beats, aerialists twirl and spin through the air while hanging from the ceiling, and phantasmic dancers wrapped in strands of neon light move through the dark when the lights go down. For $28, you can also purchase a unique Interactive Cocktail experience, made of three different drinks designed to drink at different parts of the show.

$25-55, Friday, July 17, 10:30 p.m.-2 a.m., Oberon, 2 Arrow St., Cambridge, 617-496-8004,

ArtBeat Somerville Arts Festival

At this year’s “Loops”-themed arts festival, enjoy interactive performances and works of art by bands, musical performers, and dance troupes for two days of creativity and inspiration. Discover how artists use looping and other repeated patterns, sounds, and ideas in their work as this year’s theme, whether it’s through a repeated dance movement or musical riff that echoes throughout a song. Artists like Lolli Hoop and Boston Hoop Troop are some of many that will be sharing their art with the public. Watch as this group performs tricks and invites audiences to try their hand at hula hooping. On Saturday, 75 craft vendors will also be on site, with plenty of activities to participate in.

Free, Friday, July 17 and Saturday, July 18, 6 p.m., Davis Square, 1 Davis Sq., Somerville, 617-625-6600 ext. 2985,

Play Day at the Lawn on D

After the success of the Pentalum and Intrude earlier this summer, the Lawn on D has yet another reason for you to come visit: This weekend, it’ll be transformed into a giant play space with plenty of play sculptures, games, and activities for visitors to explore. These interactive sculptures and art installations—courtesy of the Boston Children’s Museum, Museum of Science, and many up-and-coming designers—are aimed to inspire visitors to be more playful. Make your own crowns and hats out of cardboard, work with other guests to create a labyrinth made of tubes, cardboard boxes and duct tape, and sit on Bubbleware, an inflatable furniture system that visitors can stack and rearrange.

Free, Saturday, July 18, 12-5 p.m., Lawn on D, 420 D St., Boston,

Roxbury Rocks

Can’t get enough of the outdoors and live music? Roxbury Community College hosts its second annual outdoor festival, featuring music, dance, food trucks, and more! Enjoy performances by saxophone players, a reggae band, a spoken word artist, and Boston dance company OrigiNation, a Boston dance company, or take a break and get free ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s. Kids can also get their face painted or play with balloons, or make mini-accordion books with the rest of the family at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s table. After the festival, head inside for RCC’s “You Rock” awards, a ceremony to honor leaders who have given back to the Roxbury community and to RCC.

Free, Saturday, July 18, 1-6 p.m., Roxbury Community College, 1234 Columbus Ave., Roxbury Crossing, Boston,