Five Reasons to Leave the House This Weekend

Join pantsless commuters on the T, work out for free at Healthworks, and more.

weekend events in boston

Photo by Olga Khvan from the 2015 No Pants Subway Ride

No Pants Subway Ride

If you’re taking the MBTA this weekend, watch our for pantsless pranksters—or join in on the fun. The No Pants Subway Ride, a global event hosted locally by BostonSOS, the group that also organizes other spontaneous shenanigans like the First Class Subway Ride and the Midnight Marathon Bike Ride, is back in Boston for the ninth year in a row. To participate, head to Pemberton Square on Sunday afternoon, where umbrella-wielding guides will assign you to a small group and offer specific instructions before you board the T. As in years past, an after-party will take place at McGreevy’s on Boylston Street.

Free, Sunday, January 10, starts at 2 p.m. at Pemberton Square, Boston,

weekend events in boston

“Alchemy of the Soul, Elixir for the Spirits” (detail), 2015. Peabody Essex Museum. © 2016 Peabody Essex Museum. Photo by Peter Vanderwarker.

“Alchemy of the Soul” at Peabody Essex Museum

The experience begins in the museum’s freight elevator and then unfolds through the presentation of large-scale blown-glass sculptures and images, as well as the smell of rum. Multimedia and multi-sensory installation “Alchemy of the Soul,” which debuts at PEM this Saturday, is the largest commission to date for celebrated local artist Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, who drew inspiration from abandoned sugar mills and rum distilleries in her native Cuba for the work and enlisted her husband, musician and composer Neil Leonard, to create the accompanying soundscapes.

Opens Saturday, January 9, on view through April 3, Peabody Essex Museum, 161 Essex St., Salem,

weekend events in boston

Healthworks photo provided

Free Fitness at Healthworks and Republic Fitness

Here’s an extra incentive to help you stick to that “get fit” New Year’s resolution. All week, women-only fitness club chain Healthworks and its co-ed subsidiary Republic Fitness have been offering free classes to both members and non-members, and the special continues into the weekend. Offerings include yoga workshops, Zumba dance parties, themed cycling classes, and more.

Free with required pre-registration, Thursday, January 7, through Sunday, January 10, times vary, Healthworks locations in Back Bay, Cambridge, Chestnut Hill, and Coolidge Corner, and Republic Fitness at Two International Place, Boston. 

Winter Wellness Walk at Arnold Arboretum

If themed cycling classes and Zumba dance parties aren’t your thing, you can get a peaceful workout in instead at the Arnold Arboretum. A “Winter Wellness Walk” will kick off at the Hunnewell Building on Sunday afternoon, led by a trained guide who’ll offer insight into seasonal highlights.

Free, Sunday, January 10, 1-1:45 p.m., Hunnewell Building at the Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston, registration requested at


Photo courtesy of the Brookline Arts Center

Snowflake Festival

Get crafty at the Brookline Arts Center’s annual open house, where free drop-in workshops will offer primers on bangle-making and monoprinting, and visitors can take part in a community art project that will later be given to a local nonprofit. The annual student exhibition will also be on view in the center’s gallery, featuring metalworks, ceramics, jewelry, and more.

Free, Saturday, January 9, noon-4 p.m., Brookline Arts Center, 86 Monmouth St., Brookline,