Five Reasons to Leave the House This Weekend

Events in Boston on Columbus Day weekend include Patti Smith reading from new book M Train, Margaret Cho at the Wilbur, Harvard Square's Oktoberfest, and more.

Honk! Festival by Liza via Flickr.

Honk! Festival by Liza via Flickr.

Harvard Square Oktoberfest featuring Honk!

On the same day as Boston’s annual Columbus Day Parade, over on the other side of the river, activism meets Drum Corp meets Beerfest this weekend at Harvard Square. Lederhosen, beer, and schnitzel abound for Cambridge’s take on Oktoberfest. Meanwhile, at the 10th annual Honk! festival activist band members toot their horns, beat their drums, and twirl their batons for the cause (take your pick). So hoist a stein and lend an ear to the social justice of a melancholy trombone wail.

Free, Sunday, October 11, 12-6 p.m., Harvard Square, Cambridge,;

Patti Smith

Coinciding with the 40th anniversary of her ground-breaking album Horses, America’s unrivaled punk poet laureate Patti Smith comes to Boston to celebrate the release of her latest memoir M Train. In her first memoir, the National Book Award-winner Just Kids, Smith reminisced on her life in New York City with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Now, she chronicles her travels to the grave of Sylvia Plath, photographing the chessboard Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky played on, and watching Hurricane Sandy sweep away the homes of her dear friends. Hear her read her coffee-infused reflections in person at the Back Bay Events Center.   

$30, Saturday, October 10, 7 p.m., Back Bay Events Center, 180 Berkeley St., Boston. For more info and tickets, call 617-661-1515 or go to

A pint of one of Jack's Abby's lagers. Photo by MediaBoss TV, Provided

A pint of one of Jack’s Abby’s lagers. Photo by MediaBoss TV, Provided

WZLX Craft Beer Experience

Fans of drinking local will have the opportunity to try the wares of New England 40 breweries and cideries this weekend. Sample over 120 different brands of beer and cider at the WZLX Craft Beer Experience at the Cyclorama. Chuck Nowlin and Kenny Young will air their radio show live while you savor brews from Jack’s Abby, Pretty Things, Bantam Cider, and others. Whether you’re a major beer connoisseur or a simple pint enthusiast, the Craft Beer Experience will have something for everyone.

$45-$50, Friday and Saturday, October 9-10, Cyclorama, 551 Tremont St., Boston. For more info and to buy tickets, go to

Bob Marley and Margaret Cho at the Wilbur

You may know him as Detective Greenly from The Boondock Saints, or you may know him as a comedian who frequents late-night shows, or you may still confuse him with every stoner’s favorite singer. But what you must know is that Bob Marley is coming to the Wilbur to perform in a solo standup appearance on Saturday (he’s also appearing as part of the Wilbur’s “Men from Maine” showcase on Friday). The Bangor-born comedian mines endless material off marriage, fatherhood, and New England weather. But if that’s not your cup of tea, you can always catch Margaret Cho later in the night. Cho, the self-proclaimed “unideal lesbian,” won’t be pulling any punches. But would we have her any other way?  

$37-$92, Saturday, October 10, 7 p.m. and 9:45 p.m., Wilbur Theatre, 246 Tremont St., Boston, 617-248-9700,

Little Wonders by Joel Robison on display at Peabody Essex Museum / Courtesy of Joel Robison

Little Wonders by Joel Robison on display at the Peabody Essex Museum / Courtesy of Joel Robison

The Big Draw and ‘Sizing It Up’ Festival

The Peabody Essex Museum ushers in their latest exhibit with hands-on fun at The Big Draw and ‘Sizing It Up’ Festival. Curator Janey Winchell describes the event as “exploring the wonder of nature and its connection to creative expression.” Get a look at Marilu Swett’s giant abstract heart formed from the husk of a yurt and add your own heartbeat to the inner chamber. Sport the macro art of fingernail artist Nina Park and talk with scientists and artists on the beauty of magnified marine microbes fresh from the coast of Maine. Cap off your investigation into the art of the big and small with the documentary Mysteries of the Unseen World, an examination of the minuscule and fleeting images of everyday life.

Free, Saturday, October 10, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Peabody Essex Museum, 161 Essex St., Salem, 978-745-9500,