Free Things to Do in Boston, February 2016
8th Annual ‘Some Like it Hot’ Chili Cookoff
If chili is your go-to winter comfort food, you’re in luck. As part of Harvard Square’s Winter Carnival, the finest chefs in the area will be whipping up their take on the recipes for all in attendance to sample. Head to Brattle Plaza for a satisfying lunch on a blistery February day.
Free, February 6, 1-2:30 p.m., 27 Brattle St., Cambridge, harvardsquare.com.
Chinese New Year Open House at A Friendly Inn at Harvard
A Friendly Inn at Harvard is indeed friendly, as everyone is invited to engage in their Chinese New Year festivities. From 5-7 pm, enjoy chinese vegetarian finger food, green tea, and wine.
Free, February 8, 5-7 p.m., A Friendly Inn at Harvard, 1673 Cambridge St., harvardsquare.com.
Chinese New Year in Harvard Square
Kick off the year of the Monkey at the Chinese New Year celebration in Harvard Square. In conjunction with the Hong Kong restaurant, which is celebrating its 61st anniversary, there will be both a procession and a cultural open house for attendees to enjoy.
Free, February 28, full schedule TBD, harvardsquare.com.
Berklee High School Jazz Festival
Concerts are always great, but free ones are even better. Jazz fans can treat themselves to a show this month at Berklee’s annual High School Jazz Festival. It’s the largest of its kind, and hosts a variety of performances from big bands to vocal jazz ensembles. Also enjoy performances from Berklee’s faculty and groove to open jam sessions.
Free, February 6, berkleejazz.org.
Cupid’s Undie Run
If you want to marvel at near-naked runners as you remain bundled in puffer coats and beanies, meander the Fenway area on Feb 20. Sure, undies aren’t usually on public display, but everyone can appreciate a good cause—the Cupid’s Undie run is a worldwide event to raise money for the Children’s Tumor Foundation. Show your support for these brave and charitable souls as they run by–then slip inside somewhere heated before you vicariously freeze!
Ticket required to run, but free to watch. February 20, 2 p.m., House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St., Boston, cupidsundierun.com.
Hasty Pudding Man of the Year
Catch a glimpse of talented star Joseph Gordon Levitt, who is being awarded Man of the Year by Hasting Pudding Theatricals, the oldest group of its kind in the United States. Each year the group awards a man and woman the title, so head to the location of the Hasty Pudding Clubhouse (Winthrop Street) for a public event featuring the lovable celeb, who wins on the 50th anniversary of the award.
Free, February 5, 3:45 p.m., Hasty Pudding Clubhouse, 96 Winthrop St., hastypudding.org.
Barre and Soul Open House
Calling all fitness fans—If you’re looking to mix up your routine and try a new type of class, this is the perfect opportunity. Barre and Soul in Harvard Square is offering complimentary classes starting at 8:30 am. It’s the perfect time to give vinyasa yoga or Lotte Burk-based Barre classes a whirl without the often steep single class fee. Plus, if you find you love it, new clients get $10 off their first month.
Free, February 6, begins at 8:30 a.m., 36 JFK St., Cambridge, barresoul.com.
Spy Hub: Catholicism, Anti-Semitism, and Secret Intelligence in Wartime Boston
Everyone loves a good spy tale, and it’s all that more riveting when it occurred in our own backyard. Boston College professor Charles R. Gallagher will give a speech at the Boston Public library about British and Nazi spy operations that went down in Boston in the late 1930s.
Free, February 10, 6-7:30 p.m., Commonwealth Salon, Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston St., Boston, bpl.org.
MassArt 2016 Exhibition & Family Day
All throughout this month, MassArt’s gallery will feature the work of the school’s professors, particularly new hires or those returning from sabbatical. All kinds of forms will be represented, from site-specific installation, photography, sculpture, and more. February 27th in particular will have a family day, in which guests of all ages can stop in for interactive activities guided by students and faculty. Materials and refreshments will be provided, so just bring yourself and some artistic flair!
Free, February 27, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Bakalar and Paine Galleries, 621 Huntington Ave., Boston, massart.edu.
BSO 101: Are You Listening? Beethoven Revisited
Dabble in some high culture at the Boston Symphony Orchestra and expand your understanding of music and composition with another free session. Led by BSO Director of Program Publications Marc Mandel and accompanied by cellist Owen Young, Beethoven will be the musician in focus.
Free, February 10, 5:30-6:45 p.m., Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, bso.org.
Town Hall: A Free Show At Zuzu with Sam and Nadeem
As the presidential race heats up, get in some laughs with Cambridge city councilman Nadeem Mazen and his cohort and self proclaimed “underachiever” Sam. It’s a night of free comedy, music, and discussion, and features four other comedians.
Free, February 14, 10 p.m., zuzu, 474 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, thebostoncalendar.com.
Free Brewery Tour at Somerville Brewing Co.
Regardless of where you fall on the beer-drinker’s spectrum–whether you enjoy a Bud Light or can school all your friends on craft beer knowledge, you’ll likely enjoy a free brewery tour at Somerville Brewing Co. The tour will give you a behind-the-scenes look at the process that goes into creating your booze of choice.
Free, February 6, 13, 20, 27, Hourly from 2-5 p.m., Somerville Brewing Co., 15 Ward St., Somerville, slumbrew.com.
South Station Chess Simultaneous Exhibition
Grand master and 3-time American chess champion Larry Christiansen will be at South Station to show off his skills–and play you, if you dare. He will play 25 games simultaneously, and if you’re lucky, maybe you’ll stand a chance against him. Or, you know, just watch a master at work.
Free, February 9, 12-2 p.m., South Station, 700 Atlantic Ave., Boston, south-station.net.