Free Things to Do in Boston, February 2017

Celebrate the Lunar New Year, Valentine's Day, and more.

Boston Winter lights up City Hall Plaza.

Photo by Madeline Bilis

Boston Winter

Keep the spirit of the holidays jingling on with Boston Winter at City Hall Plaza. Take a lap around the custom-designed skating path, warm up in the Urban Lodge beer hall, or pose for a photo-op next to the illuminated “Boston” sign.

Open through February 26, hours vary by day, City Hall Plaza, Boston,

The MFA celebrates Lunar New Year with lion dance demonstrations.

Photo Provided by MFA

Lunar New Year at the MFA

In celebration of the Lunar New Year, the MFA will offer a day of free admission and cultural activities, welcoming visitors to join in some of the world’s oldest traditions. Explore the history of China, Vietnam, and Korea with guided gallery tours, interactive exhibits, lion dances, and more.

Saturday, February 4, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston,

“Some Like it Hot” Chili Tasting Contest

It may be chilly outside, but Brattle Plaza will heat things up with its annual chili-tasting contest. Just in time for Super Bowl Sunday, Cambridge chefs will serve their best takes on the game day classic. Sample, then vote for your favorite. Grab a spoon and get ready to get spicy.

Saturday, February 4, 1-2:30 p.m., Brattle Plaza, 27 Brattle St., Cambridge,

Silent Disco Snow Day

Put on your dancing shoes, or maybe your dancing snow boots, and hit the streets of Cambridge for a mobile take on the classic silent disco. Join hundreds of other movers and shakers in a mile-long dance walk, ending with food and drinks at a cozy after party. Don’t forget your headphones to keep it silent on the outside, and groovy on the inside.

Saturday, February 4, 2:30-6 p.m., Harvard Square, 1 Brattle St., Cambridge,

Berklee High School Jazz Festival

Berklee College will play host to some of the rising stars of jazz at this year’s High School Jazz Festival. Open to young musicians across the country, the festival will showcase a range of styles including big bands, combos, and vocal ensembles as well as performances by Berklee faculty and jam sessions.

Saturday, February 11, Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston St., Boston,

Maybe, This Time? Show

Calling all Valentine’s Day cynics: cabaret musical group Tongue in Cheek is holding its annual performance of “songs for the romantically delusional.” Including classics like “Why Do Fools Fall in Love?” as well as parodies (“Old Cape Cod” becomes “Cold Straight Girl”), the songs “all have a sense of humor and a bit of an ironic wink,” says group member Gail Leondar-Wright. “And they’re woman-affirming.”

Saturday, February 11, 7:30 p.m., Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville,

Chinese New Year Cultural Village and Parade

Ring in the Year of the Rooster with Chinatown’s annual Lion Parade and Cultural Village. Start the day by watching lion dance teams make their way down Harrison Avenue, and then head over to the China Trade Center for traditional arts and crafts, calligraphy demonstrations, taiko drum performances, and more.

Sunday, February 12, 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m., China Trade Center, 2 Boylston St., Boston,

Valentines Makers Market

Valentine’s Day is just two days away and you still haven’t found a perfect gift for the loves in your life? Never fear! The Valentines Makers Market is sure to fulfill your shopping list with dozens of local artists showcasing everything from home décor to jewelry to flower arrangements. Or just come browse for yourself. We won’t tell.

Sunday, February 12, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., The Eddy, 10 New St., Boston,

Merrimack River Eagle Festival

Grab your binoculars and guidebooks—it’s bald eagle season. Head over to the Merrimack River where Mass Audubon guides will be onsite answering questions and pointing out eagle-sighting hotspots. You’ll also have the chance to get a closer look at local birds of prey with raptor, owl, and hawk showings as well as guided eagle tours.

Saturday, February 18, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Merrimack River and Newburyport City Hall, 60 Pleasant St., Newburyport,

Cupid's Undie Run participants take over Fenway Park.

Photo by Sarah Fisher

Cupid’s Undie Run

Back for its fourth year, this fun-run benefitting the Children’s Tumor Foundation has runners stripping down and braving the cold as they sprint down Yawkey Way in their undies. Come cheer them on and be extra grateful for your many layers. Or if you want to join in the madness yourself, online registration is available for $35.

Saturday, February 18, 12-4 p.m., House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St., Boston,

Family Science Days

Trade your winter coat for a lab coat at this expo for all things science. Bring the whole family for a chance to explore interactive science exhibits, discuss current topics in the field with scientists, and learn about career pathways. Curious minds welcome!

February 18-19, 11 a.m.-4 p.m, Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston St., Boston,

Marketplace Movie Nights

Faneuil Hall is a must-see spot for visitors to Boston, but now there’s even more reason to head over to the historic venue. Marketplace Movie Nights will hit the Quincy Market building, offering nightly screenings of kid-friendly movies like Finding Dory and The Secret Life of Pets. And with all the tasty food stands to try, clam chowder might just be the new popcorn.

February 20-23, 6-9 p.m., Quincy Market, 206 S. Market St., Boston,

Winter Camp

School’s out for the week and Boston’s Winter Camp has the city center converted into a playground for its youngest residents (and its young at heart). Check out free ice skating at the Frog Pond, a festival on the Common complete with snow slides, a snow maze, and a toboggan tunnel, a scavenger hunt through the Boston Public Market, and family-friendly performances at various venues.

February 20-24, 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Boston Common and various locations, 139 Tremont St., Boston,