Things to Do This Weekend in Boston

Plan the perfect weekend in Boston with our list of weekend events and activities.

Keep your weekend full with our roundup of fun events around Boston. And don’t miss our list of iconic things to do around Boston.

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Free Things to Do

Family-Friendly Events

picasso

Picasso image provided

MULTIPLE DAYS

MUSEUMS

States of Play: Prints from Rembrandt to Delsarte

The Harvard Art Museums kicks off its re-opening with this survey of the printmaking process over the last few centuries, with works from Rembrandt, van Dyk, Signac, Munch, Picasso, Lee Krasner, Sol LeWitt, and others. By showing the same print in multiple states of revision, the show highlights the decision paths of these great artists in a way that other media can’t allow—paths that turn out to be as different from each other as artists themselves.

$20, through January 2, Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy St., Cambridge

werner herzog aguirre wrath of god

Image via New Yorker Films

MOVIES

The Fictions of Werner Herzog

The Brattle presents some of the greatest hits of one of the kings of the arthouse: the grim, intense, and sometimes just straight-up weird German director Werner Herzog. This weekend’s offerings include Aguirre, the Wrath of God, Cobra Verde, Fitzcarraldo, Woyzeck, and The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser. Though he’s equally respected for his documentaries, this series, charting his dream-world, would be a great introduction for the uninitiated.

$12-$14, Friday through September 23, Brattle Theater, 40 Brattle St., Cambridge

jessica kirson

Image via Laugh Boston

COMEDY

Jessica Kirson

A proud veteran woman performer in the boys’ club of standup comedy, Jessica Kirson took some time off from telling jokes to make a documentary about women in comedy, Hysterical, that dropped this year. Kirson’s style has broad appeal—her bio declares her desire to create “an excuse for large groups of friends and families to spend a night out together.” At the same time, she never loses her edge in the pursuit—maybe because her personality is so big to start with.

$25, Friday and Saturday, Laugh Boston, 425 Summer St., Boston

THEATER

Smoked Oysters

Hibernian Hall presents this drama by local playwright Mary M. McCullough, about a troubled Black family whose patriarch, a former professor, doesn’t ever want to leave the house. His wife, meanwhile dreams of taking them both on a trip to Kenya. Their successful son urges her to get help for his father, but when things get worse, he may have to be the one to intervene.

$30, Friday through September 26, Hibernian Hall, 184 Dudley St., Roxbury

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Image provided

FRIDAY

MUSIC

Flogging Molly and the Violent Femmes

Flogging Molly, fronted by Irish immigrant Dave King, inherited the Pogues’ fusion of celtic folk and punk, helping spark a revival of the sound in the late 90s and early 00s, which included Boston legends the Dropkick Murphys. The Violent Femmes helped define the sound of 80’s college rock with their immortal “Blister in the Sun”, the riff to which is probably being sputtered out in some dorm room at this very moment.

$30-$150, 6:30 p.m., Leader Bank Pavilion, 290 Northern Ave., Boston

speedy ortiz

Photo by Shervin Lainez

Speedy Ortiz

Speedy Ortiz emerged from Western Massachusetts in the mid-’10s, becoming one of that college-infested region’s best-known indie rock exports. Over the years, frontwoman Sadie Dupuis has perfected her mix of the deceptively loose vibe of Pavement with the sharp lyrical edge of Liz Phair to create a heavy, articulate, dissonantly melodic sound that evokes the ’90s almost better than actual ’90s music. They haven’t released an album since 2018’s Twerp Verse, but fans will be happy just to see them again.

$20-$25, 7 p.m., ONCE at Boynton Yards, 0 Windsor Pl., Somerville

SATURDAY

FESTIVALS

Soulful Bliss: Arts and Music Festival

Take a break from the mainland at this party, part of the Fierce Urgency of Now Festival. There will be live music from JB and Friends and Shantel C Music, DJing from Ms. Amanda Shea, a beer garden from Night Shift Brewing, a cardio dance class from TRILLFIT, s’mores, and the fantastic views of the city you always have on a harbor island. Check the link above for info on catching the ferry.

$30, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Spectacle Island, Boston

FOOD AND DRINK

Caribbean Rum and Food Festival

This fest is exactly what it sounds like: a chance to sample rums from across the Caribbean. But it’s not just an epicurean smorgasbord—it’s also a fundraiser for the local nonprofit Authentic Caribbean Foundation, which helps Caribbean children with disabilities and/or HIV/AIDS and their caregivers.

$50-$85, 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., Roxbury Community College, 1234 Columbus Ave., Roxbury

Free Events

MUSIC

Claudio Ragazzi Quartet

Celebrity Series and Ágora Cultural Architects present Grammy and Emmy-winning Argentine composer and guitarist Claudio Ragazzi, a Berklee College of Music faculty member who’s provided music for film and TV, including episodes of the PBS series American Experience, Frontline, and Nova. His own style is rooted in Latin Jazz. He’ll be performing music from his upcoming album as well as some gems from his back catalog.

Saturday, 3 p.m., Arlington Street Church, 351 Boylston St., Boston

FOOD AND DRINK

Boston Local Food Festival

Shop for and sample some of the best New England-made food at this huge festival, which will take up five blocks of the Greenway. In addition to the wide range of vendors, there will be plenty of kids’ activities, chef demos, a beer garden, and something called the Seafood Throwdown. Check the website above for more precise directions.

Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston

THEATER

Asian American Collective Playfest

This annual showcase of local Asian-American and Pacific Islander playwrights returns for its fourth round this weekend. You’ll see fully-produced, new works from Michelle M. Aguillon (who also serves as director for all the plays), Christina R. Chan, Hortense Gerardo, Greg Lam, Michael Lin, Nico Pang, Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro, and others.

Friday and Saturday, Starlight Square, 84 Bishop Allen Dr., Cambridge

Family-Friendly Events

ACTIVITIES

Selfie WRLD Boston

This recently opened photographic playground in lets you take all kinds of elaborate selfies, which means it’ll fun for everyone, but insanely fun for teenagers. You can create up to 30 unique photos in a session, with backgrounds including a ball pit, phone booth, diner, candy shop, and lots more. It’ll be a permanent attraction at Assembly Row, unless people suddenly get tired of selfies, which, let’s face it—there’s no chance of that.

$15-$25, Selfie WRLD Boston, 660 Assembly Row, Somerville

riverfest

Image provided

FESTIVALS

Riverfest

Riverfest is back with music from Lily Black, Yesai, Grooversity, The Very, and Franklin Underground, plus family-friend activities and a fireworks display in the evening. Since this is Assembly Row, you can also go for some games of pickleball at PKL Boston or cornhole at Volo Boston, avail yourself of Night Shift’s Owl’s Nest beer garden, and take advantage of food specials at participating restaurants.

Free, Saturday, 4 p.m., Assembly Row, 355 Artisan Way, Somerville