Five Reasons to Leave the House This Weekend

Featuring free historic boat tours, the Fisherman's Feast, and more.

boston weekend events

Photo courtesy of World Ocean School aboard Roseway

Roseway’s 90th Birthday Weekend Celebrations

The Roseway, a historic fishing schooner currently operated by World Ocean School, turns 90 this year, and to celebrate, its sister vessel Adventure will sail from Gloucester to dock at Rowes Wharf. A “Dockside Birthday Bash” will take aboard both boats on Friday evening, featuring funk band Take Out. On Saturday, the schooners will offer free tours, giving visitors a chance to learn about their history, chat with the captains, and partake in other fun activities. The celebration will culminate in a parade on the water, when Roseway, Adventure, and a fleet of local sailboats, including Adirondack III and Liberty Star, head to Castle Island on Sunday before Adventure returns to Gloucester.

$45 per person for the “Dockside Birthday Bash” on Friday, August 14, 5:30-7:30 p.m., tickets available at Tours on Saturday, August 15, 10 a.m.-4  p.m., are free. Tickets for the “Parade of Sail” aboard the Adirondack III are $45, available here (book the 10 a.m. sail on Sunday, August 16). Tickets for the parade aboard Liberty Star are $30-35 for adults, $19-24 for children, available here (book the 10:30 a.m. sail on Sunday, August 16).

Fisherman’s Feast

The North End’s oldest continuously running Italian festival returns to the neighborhood for the 105th time this weekend. Festivities officially kick off on Thursday, when the statue of Madonna del Soccorso (Our Lady of Help) is taken from her permanent chapel inside the Fisherman’s Club on Lewis Street to the Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park for an annual blessing of the waters. A weekend full of Italian culinary delights and live entertainment will follow. On Saturday afternoon, feast-goers can join an attempt to put together one of the biggest ALS Ice Bucket Challenges in Boston (yes, people are still doing those). On Sunday, don’t miss the grand finale—following tradition, a young girl from the neighborhood will perform the “Flight of the Angel,” “flying” out of a third-story window to greet the Madonna statue on its return home.

Free, Thursday, August 13, through Sunday, August 16, North, Fleet, and Lewis streets in the North End,

West End Children’s Festival

What began as a neighborhood block party is now a full-blown festival celebrating its 10th anniversary this weekend. Hosted by the West End Community Center, the summer tradition returns with food, games, face painting, and other kid-friendly activities. Vendors this year include Boston Duck Tours, Ben & Jerry’s, Museum of Science, and more. The best part? It’s all free.

Free, Saturday, August 15, 12-3 p.m., Thoreau Path,

Quidditch at the Beach

Quidditch Club Boston is partnering with nonprofit Save the Harbor/Save the Bay to host an inaugural beach Quidditch tournament this Sunday. All players must register and be at least 18 years old, although those who don’t meet the age requirement are welcome to show up and play a scheduled game during the tournament’s midway break. All tournament participants will receive a free team shirt, and those needing to brush up on rules can attend a short teaching workshop right before the event.

Free, Sunday, August 16, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Carson Beach, registration required at

Wharf Festival

The New England Aquarium and Boston Harbor Cruises are teaming up to host a day full of outdoor family fun. The second annual Wharf Festival will feature music from Magic 106.7, entertainment from Faneuil Hall Marketplace, carnival games, face painting, and more. The event is both fun and educational—kids can learn all about ocean animals, touch real whale bones, and chat up 18th-century-costumed guides from the Freedom Trail Foundation to learn about local history.

Free, Saturday, August 15, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Long Wharf,