Five Reasons to Leave the House This Weekend

See two new exhibits at the ICA, catch the Strandbeests downtown, bid farewell to summer at a Verb Hotel pool party, and more.

boston weekend events

Erin Shirreff, Monograph (no. 3), 2012, five archival pigment prints, each 34 x 46 inches. Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York. Edmund Hayes and Sarah Norton Goodyear Funds, 2014. Courtesy Sikkema Jenkins & Co. © Erin Shirreff

Erin Shirreff and Mona Hatoum at the ICA

The ICA is serving up a double dose of contemporary female artists. Open now through November, two new exhibitions feature works by Canadian-born, New York-based artist Erin Shirreff and Lebanese-born Palestinian artist Mona Hatoum. Shirreff explores the relationship between the camera and sculpture—both her own and other artists’—to highlight the differences between experiencing art firsthand and through reproduced images. Hatoum, meanwhile, explores the relationship between the familiar and the uncanny by juxtaposing contrasting materials, introducing a surprising change in scale, or infusing commonplace objects with elements of danger. The Mona Hatoum exhibition is drawn entirely from a gift—the largest in ICA’s history—from philanthropist Barbara Lee of 43 works by 25 female artists.

Free every Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m., general admission prices apply all other days, open through November 29 at the Institute of Contemporary Art, 100 Northern Ave,

Massachusetts Independent Film Festival

This year’s Massachusetts Independent Film Festival is taking over the screens at the Somerville Theater and the Brattle Theater with more than 40 films on the lineup. They range from short films to features to documentaries, exploring a wide variety of topics, including the American Dream, Italian wine-making, Boston’s rock ‘n’ roll scene, and a debate about life and art featuring none other than James Franco. The festival officially kicked off on Wednesday, but runs through Saturday, so there are plenty of screenings left—and if that’s not enough, you and your fellow film junkies can convene at Tasty Burger in Cambridge on Saturday night for burgers, beer, and wine at the after-party and awards ceremony.

$12 at the door, $10 in advance for each film block, day passes available, Thursday, August 27 at the Somerville Theater, 55 Davis Square, Somerville; Friday, August 28, and Saturday, August 29, at the Brattle Theater, 40 Brattle St., Cambridge,

Strandbeests Come to Boston

They’re finally here, in Boston proper. If you couldn’t make it to Ipswich last weekend to see Theo Jansen’s wind-powered mechanical beasts take a stroll on Crane Beach, you can catch them on Friday at City Hall Plaza and the Rose Kennedy Greenway. Note: Due to space limitations, staff from the Peabody Essex Museum, where an exhibit focused on the beasts will open in September, will pull and push the strandbeests rather than letting them roam free.

Free, Friday, August 28, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at City Hall Plaza, 4:30-7 p.m. on the Rose Kennedy Greenway at Dewey Square,

Verb Hotel Pool Party

With students starting to move back in, we’re on the brink of fall here in Boston, so to help you cope, The Verb Hotel and Vanyaland are co-hosting a final summer pool party on Saturday. Complimentary drinks from Downeast Cider House and Notch Brewing Company, as well as snacks from Tim and Nancy Cushman’s long-awaited, recently-opened Hojoko will be provided. Registration is required, but doesn’t guarantee entry, so get there early—and thankfully, the Red Sox will be away, making it easier to navigate your way into the neighborhood.

Free, Saturday, August 29, noon to 4 p.m., The Verb Hotel, 1271 Boylston St., registration required at

Saint Anthony’s Feast

Once proclaimed the “feast of all feasts” by National Geographic, Saint Anthony’s Feast takes over the North End starting on Friday, featuring entertainment, tastings, demonstrations, contests, and other activities all weekend long.

Free, Friday, August 28, through Sunday, August 30, Endicott, Thacher, and North Margin streets in the North End, for daily schedules and vendors, see