Five Reasons to Leave the House This Weekend

Nosh on some crawfish, check out a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, or wander the art-filled gardens of Beacon Hill.


Cambridge Arts River Festival 2014. / Photo by Olga Khvan

Cambridge Arts River Festival

Only at this local festival can you catch Pulitzer Prize winner Lloyd Schwartz spitting verses beneath the poetry tent, scope out artists racing their sculptures down the Cambridge Parkway, and jam to jazz singer Shelley Neill in a span of a few hours. The annual Cambridge Arts River Festival, going on its 37th year, is known for bringing together some of the best art in the Boston area. Browse the festival’s full schedule on the online to make sure you don’t miss any event that suits your fancy, whether it’s watching a fencing demo or storybook characters gracing the stage in Alice in Opera Land.

Free, Saturday, June 4, 11 a.m.–6 pm., East Cambridge waterfront along Cambridge Parkway between Edwin H. Land Boulevard and the Lechmere Canal, Cambridge, 617-349-4380,


Crawfish boil photo via Shutterstock

Crawfish for Cancer’s Boston Crawfish Boil

Crawfish for Cancer has raised more than $350,000 since 2009 toward research funding for multiple myeloma, a currently cureless form of cancer. Help them contribute even more to this cause on Saturday while enjoying hundreds of pounds of crawfish, live music, and an open bar with beer, wine, Firefly vodka, and sweet tea vodka. Originating as a tradition at Williams College, the founders of the organization brought the event to New York City and have since expanded it to eight more.

$80, Saturday, June 4, 2–7 p.m., 1 Constitution Plaza, Charlestown,


A Beacon Hill home. / Photo by Madeline Bilis

Beacon Hill Art Walk

In 1990, Judy Avery of West Cedar Street bought an oil painting at the Newburyport Art on The Mall and held a show in her home for friends and family to view the piece. It was this popular neighborhood gathering that inspired the Beacon Hill Art Walk. Residents offer up their gardens, sidewalks, alleys, and courtyards to about 75 artists displaying their work. Maps of the route, identifying the artists at each location, will be available at the event and online. Art Walk organizer Jen Matson says that a highlight of this year’s event will be an artist painting a mural of Beacon Hill onsite throughout the day.

Free, Sunday, June 5, 12–6 p.m., starts at 135 1/2 Charles Street and the corner of Cambridge and West Cedar Streets, Boston,


Photo via Bikes Not Bombs Facebook


Bikes Not Bombs is hosting its largest annual event this Sunday. Ride through a scenic 10, 30, 50, or 80-mile route to rally in support of social justice. Adult bikers must raise $150, while anyone ages 3-17 can raise $75 to participate. The money raised will go toward Bikes Not Bombs’ youth programs and international programs. These include an “Earn-a-Bike” program for kids, a girl empowerment program called “Girls in Action,” and projects in countries such as Kenya, Guatemala, and Uganda. Riders will be rewarded at the finish line with an after-party at Stony Brook Park with free food, a capture the flag game, and a raffle booth to win prizes.

$150, Sunday, June 5, 7 a.m.–5:30 p.m., routes start/finish at Stony Brook MBTA Station, 100 Boylston Street at 180 Lamartine Street, Jamaica Plain, 617-522-0222,


Photo via Irish Cultural Centre Facebook

Irish Fest Boston

This weekend, break out your St. Paddy’s Day shamrock shirt because Irish folk dancers and musicians will perform all day on the Irish Cultural Centre’s four stages. The lineup includes 31 acts, with folk legends The Wolfe Tones and world-famous tenor John McDermott visiting from Ireland. Vendors will sell everything from handcrafted fiddles to bronze Celtic artwork. The festival is free for children under 12.

$15–25, June 4–5, Irish Cultural Centre, 200 New Boston Drive, Canton, 781-821-8291,