Five Reasons to Leave the House This Weekend

This weekend, see free author events galore at the Boston Book Festival, wander an Urban Pumpkin Patch, and more.

Boston Book Festival

The Boston Book Festival is the most fun you can have without actually buying a book—literally. In addition to keynote speakers Margaret Atwood, Amanda Palmer, and Neil Gaiman, some 150 literary luminaries are converging on Copley. See YA author Libba Bray, National Book Award-winner Colum McCann, and New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff, and many more talk their books and craft. But BBF isn’t just about getting to know the authors. It’s also about getting to know your favorite characters, pop culture, and crimes. Take a new look at Sherlock, at the legacy of Star Wars and Dungeons & Dragons, and inside Boston’s infamous Isabella Stewart Gardner art heist.

Free, Friday and Saturday, October 23-24, Copley Square, Boston,

1,020 lb Pumpkin / Courtesy of Boston Public Market

1,020 lb Pumpkin / Courtesy of Boston Public Market

Pumpkin Festivities at Boston Public Market

Even if you were always a skeptical of Linus and his Great Pumpkin, you better believe in Appleton Farms’ 1,020-pound orange gourd that’s coming to the Boston Public Market this week. See the giant pumpkin on display, then peruse the Urban Pumpkin Patch, featuring hundreds of pumpkins from local farmers. Once you’ve picked out your own pumpkin, head inside for the Pumpkinpalooza, where you can carve your pumpkin and turn the guts into puree, roasted pumpkin seeds, and more. Oh, brother.

Free, Sunday, October 25, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Boston Public Market, 100 Hanover St., Boston,

GoreFest: The Thirteenth at ImprovBoston

Break out the poncho and prepare to get splashed at GoreFest: The Thirteenth, which has been heaving fake blood and guts on its audiences every Halloween season for over a decade. Starting this weekend, ImprovBoston blends humor, music, and murder for an all-new 75-minute thrill show about a classic slasher-movie theme: summer camp. According to associate producer Mac Gostow, “This year’s show takes place at a summer theater camp where counselor and camper alike find themselves drenched in blood and steeped in dismemberment.” All laughing, screaming, and gagging welcome.

$25, runs through October 31, ImprovBoston’s Studio Theater, 40 Prospect St., Cambridge, go to

Stephanie Recio as Amy / Photo by Liza Voll

Stephanie Recio as Amy in Dry Land / Photo by Liza Voll

Dry Land at Boston Center for the Arts

This New York play has been shaking up the world of stage. Why? Dry Land by Ruby Rae Spiegel, winner of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, presents the topic of abortion and a young woman’s decision to have one in a way that no other play has: up-close, unflinching, and devastatingly personal. Put on by Company One Theatre, the play draws the audience into a time that every teenager well remembers—the time when nobody really understands what you’re going through. While the play runs through October 30, this Saturday, the cast will offer a special post-show discussion with the audience, so that you can dive deep into Dry Land.

$25-$38, runs through October 30, Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont St., Boston. For more info call 617-933-8600 or go to

Boston Vegetarian Food Festival

Who says it’s not easy eating green? At the 20th Annual Boston Vegetarian Food Festival, discuss and nosh upon all things meatless. Vendors will be offering free sample of their vegan and vegetarian fare while speakers like Kristin Lajeunesse, author of Will Travel for Vegan Food, and Jane Velez-Mitchell (iWant) talk about the choices you can make to lead a healthier, meat-free life. But it’s not all shop talk. Vegan athlete Rich Roll and his wife, chef Julie Piatt, will be performing a cooking demo of three recipes from their cookbook The Plantpower Way.

Free, Saturday, October 24, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday, October 25, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Reggie Lewis Athletic Center, 1350 Tremont St., Boston, 617-424-8846,