Five Reasons to Leave the House This Weekend

Hop on a neon masquerade bike ride or go casual at the BSO.

weekend events in boston

Photo by Amy L. / courtesy of Boston Bike Party

Boston Bike Party’s Neon Masquerade

Last week, pantsless commuters took over the MBTA, and this week, masked bicyclists will take over the streets. Boston Bike Party, which organizes free monthly events, is hosting its first group ride of the year this Friday. Costumed participants—bright, homemade getups are encouraged—will converge at Copley Square at 7 p.m. and take off on a short route through the city. An after-party will take place at POP Allston, with refreshments provided by Harpoon and dance tunes from a collaborative playlist that’s currently open to suggestions.

Free, Friday, January 15, 7 p.m., Copley Square, Boston,

weekend events in boston

Symphony Hall photo by Alex Lau

“Casual Fridays” at the BSO

The BSO is going casual—and digital. This Friday, the city’s premier orchestra launches a new concert series that will hand out 110 iPads to guests seated in a section at the back of the orchestra floor, providing access to exclusive content such as video interviews with the evening’s featured soloists, scores of the featured pieces, and more. The audience is encouraged to dress casual and mingle with fellow concert-goers at two receptions, before and after the performance, featuring snacks, a cash bar, and more live music. Two more “Casual Fridays” will take place this season on February 12 and March 18, and admission to all three events will be offered at a reduced price, with orchestra seats going for just $45.

$25, Friday, January 15, 8 p.m., Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Ave., Boston,

weekend events in boston

Photo by Olga Khvan from the 2015 New England International Auto Show

New England International Auto Show

The annual car show rolls into town this weekend, bringing 500 vehicles—with a combined value of $22 million!—to the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. This year, the five-day showcase offers meet-and-greet opportunities with two special guests: IndyCar driver Simon Pagenaud and New England Patriots cornerback Tarell Brown. As always, visitors will be able to take a few of the latest car models out for a spin around the venue.

$15 for adults, $6 for children, free for children under six, Thursday through Monday, January 14-18, times vary, Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, 415 Summer St., Boston,

weekend events in boston

Linde Family Wing facade / courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Open House at the MFA

An annual tradition at the Museum of Fine Arts, the open house celebrates Dr. King’s legacy by inviting visitors in for a full day of culture, free of charge. The museum’s Teen Arts Council will lead the creation of a large-scale mural, driven by questions regarding equality, dreams, and changing the world. Other art-making activities, family art walks, gallery tours, and musical performances will take place throughout the day. The open house also marks visitors’ last chance to catch “Class Distinctions,” a major exhibition of Dutch paintings.

Free, Monday, January 18, 10 a.m.-4:45 p.m., Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston,

gardner courtyard

Photo by Olga Khvan

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service at the Gardner Museum

The ever-blooming courtyard at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum makes for a welcome refuge from winter, and this coming Monday, admission is free all day. The museum is hosting its own open house in honor of Dr. King, encouraging visitors to ruminate on his—and Mrs. Gardner’s—legacy of inspiring change in a community. Activities will be offered throughout the day, including studio workshops with local artist Ifé Franklin, seed packing in the greenhouse, gallery talks with the Gardner’s high school interns, and more.

Free, Monday, January 18, timed entry begins at 11 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m., Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 25 Evans Way, Boston,