Free Things to Do in Boston, June 2017

The Make Music Festival, the 39th annual Coolidge Corner Arts Festival, painting for Pride, and more.

Make Music Festival

Photo of Make Music Festival by Meghan Marin

Coolidge Corner Arts Festival

Nothing puts the cool in Coolidge Corner more than its 39th annual arts festival. Head over to Babcock Street in Brookline to view and shop the works of 100 nationally acclaimed and local artists and curators. From wood working to photography and ceramics to painting, explore a plethora of art mediums while the sounds of live acoustic performances echo around you. In addition, the festival will have five food trucks set up, including some beer and wine vendors.

Saturday, June 3, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.,

BU’s Intro to Rowing

Have you ever seen Boston’s college athletes rowing down the Charles and thought about how you’ve always wanted to do that? Now’s your chance. Kick off your first few days of June with some physical activity and join BU for a free rowing session. No experience is necessary— just sign up online and show up to the DeWolfe Boathouse on June 3 at your reserved time. You’ll have the chance to tour the boathouse, get some practice rows in, and head down the river.

Saturday, June 3, various times,

Common Boston

Courtesy of the BSA Foundation and Common Boston Festival

Common Boston

The Boston Society of Architects wants you to embrace Boston’s hidden architectural gems this month, so they’re offering free tours to over 50 sights throughout the greater Boston area. The Common Boston Festival will showcase centuries-old buildings, rooftop gardens, and a local woodshop.

Saturday-Sunday, June 3-4, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.,

Photo provided by Beacon Hill Art Staff

Beacon Hill Art Walk 

The Beacon Hill Art Walk has been around since the ’90s. At this event, residents open up their private gardens and courtyards for artists to present and sell their work. You’ll have the chance to view the work of roughly 100 artists while classic, folky music weaves its way through those 19th century brick homes.

Sunday, June 4, noon-6 p.m.,

Paint for Peace

The city is celebrating pride all this month and the Paint For Peace organization is working with Boston’s Liquid Art House to put on a body painting event. Paint for Peace is an international body art event where body painters from all over use art to represent peace and love by painting art on bodies. This year, there will be around 20 local artists painting their interpretation of peace on models with a special tribute to Pulse Orlando to commemorate the tragic shooting that took place at the night club in June, 2016. LAH will also be featuring live body art, dancers, and singers.

Friday, June 9, 7-11 p.m.,


Photo provided

Brookline’s Porchfest

Support local musicians and head to Brookline’s Porchfest. Generous Brookline residents will offer up their porches as stages for 80 local musicians in genres ranging from classical and jazz to rock and country. You can hop around or stay seated, but the musicians will be set up all over town.

Saturday June 10 12-6 p.m.,

Dragon Boat Festival

On June 10, you can watch Dragon Boats speed down the Charles River as the preliminary race before the finals the following day. The 2017 Boston Dragon Boat Festival will be a weekend packed with Asian cultural performances and activities. The Dragon Boats will be racing to the finish line all day on Sunday and all afternoon you can find Asian cuisine along Memorial Drive, enjoy arts and crafts, and watch live dance performances.

Saturday-Sunday, June 10-11, 7 a.m.-5 p.m.,


Photo by Sabra Stratton

SoWa Open Market

Celebrate Dad this Father’s Day with the SoWa open market. The weekly festival, which features plenty of art to browse and food trucks if you get hungry, is planning something special for the holiday: One dad will have the chance to win a $200 gift card to Boston Chops.

Saturday-Sunday, June 16-17, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.,

Summer Solstice Celebration

A night at the museum may not seem right without Ben Stiller, but the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture is here to offer you an exciting evening filled with circus performances, music and dance, food trucks and all-inclusive hands-on activities. There will also be free admission to the Harvard Museum of Natural History, the Harvard Semitic Museum, the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, and the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments.

Wednesday, June 21, 5-9 p.m.,

Make Music Boston 

What’s a better way to spend the longest day of the year than listening to live music along the streets of Boston? On this year’s summer solstice, Make Music Boston is making the city a stage, and all your favorite spots are the venues. You can find musicians of all genres playing tunes at places including the Boston Common, Lawn on D, the MFA, Faneuil Hall, and many others.

Wednesday, June 21, all day,

Berklee After Five

Kendall Plaza is the hub for outdoor events all summer long. Every Thursday, catch live performances from Berklee College of music musicians for their summer series, Berklee After Five. Pop by on your way home from work or grab a drink for happy hour and catch some jazzy blues.

Thursday, June 8, 15, and 22, 5 p.m.,

Pride Film Festival 

Every Wednesday this month, join the Boston Public Library for a film series to celebrate LGBTQ Pride. Each film is set in different time periods and takes you through the complicated systems and relationships that exist around LGBTQ relationships. The 2010 film The Kids Are Alright starring Julianne Moore, Annette Bening, and Mark Ruffalo will kick off the series. The following weeks will include A Single Man with Collin Firth, set in the ’60s featuring a gay man mourning the death of his lover and trying to find peace again, The Children’s Hour, about a lesbian scandal at a small private girls’ school in the early ’60s starring Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine, and lastly the 2005 Oscar-winning Brokeback Mountain, starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal as cowboys in a secret love affair.

Wednesdays, June 7, 14, 21, and 28, 3 p.m.,

Concert in the Courtyard 

The Boston Public Library is hosting the Aliya Cycon Project for their concert in the courtyard series this month. Aliya Cycon became the first female ‘oud player to graduate from Berklee College of Music. If you’re unfamiliar with the ‘oud instrument, it’s similar to guitar, but has a pear-shaped body and 11 strings, and is commonly used in the Middle East. The ACP consists of seven musicians from all over the world and blends modern pop sounds with traditional Arabic compositions.

Wednesday, June 28 6-7 p.m.,

Lawn on D

Photo provided by the Lawn on D

Jaws on D

Join the Lawn On D and Narragansett Brewing Company and end the month with a screening of the summer classic, Jaws—just in time for July’s peak beach weather. It’s BYOLC (bring your own lawn chair), so grab some friends and a blanket and watch the film on the big screen.

Friday, June 30, 5-11 p.m. (show starts at 8:30 p.m.),