Movies By Moonlight, the summertime ritual of outdoor film screenings at the Boston Harbor Hotel, kicked off last week with a showing of "The Way We Were." The movies, which often include classics or new favorites -- like "Dirty Dancing" above -- are always free and begin each Friday night at sunset. (We recommend getting there early to stake out a seat.) Check out the complete schedule below.
- June 22: "Johnny Dangerously"
- June 29: "The Magnificent Seven"
- July 6: "Yankee Doodle Dandy"
- July 13: "An American in Paris"
- July 20: "On the Waterfront"
- July 27: "Jaws"
- Aug. 3: "The Princess Bride"
- Aug. 10: "Moonstruck"
- Aug. 17: "Planes, Trains, & Automobiles"
- Aug. 24: "Dirty Dancing"
- Aug. 31: "Roxanne"
Here are some free events coming up....on the arts & culture tip:
Sunday, February 15
- The Bedford Center for the Arts will give you a chance to go behind the scenes and see how two artists make their art. At 2 p.m., Emily Lombardo will reveal the techniques she uses to create her unique glass artwork, and then Mary Taylor will demonstrate how monoprints are made, using block printing inks and gelatin. Their presentations will be followed by an artists' reception from 5 - 6 p.m. at the Bedford Free Public Library, where some of their work is on display.
Sunday, February 22
- The following Sunday, The Beehive will host a free screening of the film Rebirth of a Nation by Paul Miller (a.k.a. DJ Spooky), which is a remix of D.W. Griffith's controversial and racially-charged 1915 movie Birth of a Nation. It features an original score by Miller, performed by the Kronos Quartet. The screening will start at 7 p.m...
Monday, February 23
- WGBH Studios will host a free screening of Perspectives: The Negro and the American Promise, which features interviews with Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and James Baldwin. A discussion will follow with Marita Rivero, WGBH vice president and general manager for radio and television, program producer Henry Morgenthau III, director Fred Barzyk, and Dr. Peniel Joseph, associate professor of African and Afro-American Studies at Brandeis University. It starts at 6:30 p.m., and RSVPs are required. To reserve your seat, visit www.wgbh.org/openvaultscreening.
Tuesday, December 2
- "Recording the Beatles" lecture @ the Boston Public Library: You may know who the Martha* in the Paul McCartney-penned ditty "Martha My Dear" was, but do you know which equipment the Fab Four used to create the "White Album"? Authors and audiophiles Brian Kehew and Kevin Ryan painstakingly researched the Beatles' recording sessions and interviewed the band's technicians and engineers for their new book, "Recording the Beatles." They'll be on hand to answer your questions and get all geeky about John, Paul, George, and Ringo. 6 p.m.
* Martha was Paul's sheepdog. Duh.
Wednesday, December 3
- MFA for the Holidays @ the Museum of Fine Arts: The MFA is certainly in the holiday spirit. Not only is museum admission free on Wednesday, but the Boston Children's Choir will also perform at 5:30. (We request "White Christmas.") You should probably eat before you go, lest you're tempted to snack on the big gingerbread museum created by North Shore Community College culinary students displayed in the Sharf Visitor Center. 4-9:45 p.m.
Sunday, December 7
- UK Funky @ the Enormous Room: If you're up on the latest dance and club trends, you probably already know what UK Funky music is. If not, DJs G Notorious and Vice T are ready to school you in this blend of house music, Afrobeat, and Soca at the Enormous Room Sunday night. SoulChampion.com is sponsoring the event and purportedly introducing Boston to this dance music, which the site calls: "the most innovative and exciting new sound to come out of the UK since Dubstep." 21+. 9:30 p.m.-1 a.m.
[Come together right now, over me, and learn about the Beatles' recordings / Credit: Slide scan]
Wednesday, November 26
- Soul Touch @ Middlesex Lounge: You could spend tomorrow night mingling with all the kids from high school at your hometown Chili's — warning: you will feel old — or you could put off the drive home until Thanksgiving day and dance tomorrow night away at this Cambridge hotspot. The special pre-Thanksgiving Soul Touch features DJs Claude Money, Gray, Justin T, and Jantine B. According to the event's website, soul music "is good for you" — as opposed to the three tons of mashed potatoes and stuffing you'll be shoveling down your throat come Thursday. 9 p.m.
Saturday, November 29
- Free-For-All Saturday @ RISD Museum: By Saturday, you might just need a road trip to escape your inlaws, just saying. Admission to the RISD Museum is free on the last Saturday of each month — a $10 savings. Catch the stunning glasswork of Dale Chihuly and Beth Lipman before both exhibits are disassembled in early January. 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
- "Black and Gold" book signing @ Brookline Booksmith: Got any Bruins diehards on your Christmas gift list? This might be the best present for them. Ever. Hockey writer Steve Babineau teamed up with Bruins shutterbug Rob Simpson on "Black and Gold: Four Decades of the Boston Bruins in Photographs," and the pair — along with hockey alumni Andy Brickley and Bob Beers — will sign the book this weekend at Brookline Booksmith. Game on. 3 p.m.
[Credit: Stew Milne/AP Photo]
Wednesday-Sunday, November 19-23
- InsideOut: The Museum School Sale @ the School of the Museum of Fine Arts: Sure, there are scores of craft and gift festivals and sales around the area come December. But if you're looking to give your loved ones unique artwork this year by established artists and emerging artists (read: art by students who could be famous one day, thereby tripling your investment — rad!), make a beeline for InsideOut. There'll be 4,000 original works for you to browse, including jewelry, paintings, sculpture, ceramics, and photographs. Stop by the opening party on Wednesday from 5-8 p.m. and think outside the box store. Noon-8 p.m. Wed. and Thurs.; Noon-6 p.m. Fri.-Sun.
Wednesday, November 19
- Frog Pond Opening @ the Boston Common: Let's face it. Winter's officially here. There is no more obvious beacon of the frigid weather to come than the official opening of the Boston Common Frog Pond. Hobnob with Mayor Menino and Wally the Green Monster and see the United States National Champion Ice Mates in action. Strap on your skates and make your way around the iconic rink. We're set to dazzle the crowds with our own perfect triple lutzes. (Yea, right.) 5:30 p.m.
Thursday, November 20
- Kenneth Cole @ well, Kenneth Cole: The designer has always mixed his fashion with politics, so it's no surprise that Cole recently launched a flashy tome on people who've made a difference: "Awearness: Inspiring Stories About How to Make a Difference." (Extra points for the play on words, KC.) He'll speak to fans at his Copley Place store and sign copies of the book, which includes tales and quotes from Ludacris, Bill Clinton, and more. City Year cofounder Alan Khazei will also be in the house to (hopefully) inspire the masses. 6-8 p.m.
[We love Nicole Kita's colorful portrait of paranoia. Check it at InsideOut / Credit: Handout photo]
- 'Made in America' @ the International Poster Gallery: This is the last week to check out Chicago-based printer Charles Mather's motivational work posters from the Roaring Twenties at the International Poster Gallery. The prints, which were designed to inspire factory workers and warn them against laziness and practical jokes, are vivid, graphic, and interesting social commentary against the backdrop of today's economic downturn. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. through Saturday.
Wednesday, November 12
- 'Innovation in Hollywood' @ the Museum of Science: Can you imagine the sexy, trippy "Moulin Rouge" in black and white? What would "The Darjeeling Limited" be without the flowery, vivid colors of India? Author and Globe columnist Scott Kirsner stops by the Museum of Science tonight to talk about Technicolor, VCRs, and other technology that changed the movie industry. Film buffs and tech geeks should mark their calendars. Kirsner will be signing copies of his book — "Inventing the Movies" — after the discussion. Seating is limited. 7 p.m.
Sunday, November 16
- elodieO @ the Beehive: How can you not love a singer whose name sounds like a refrain in "Old McDonald's Farm"? The French electronic artist and chanteuse breathes Nico-like vocals over down-tempo beats. elodieO will perform songs from her new album "Stubborn," which features collaborations with Brazilian Girls Jesse Murphy and Aaron Johnston. Get ready to chill out. 8 p.m.
["Gee, Dorthy, I'm so glad this movie's in Technicolor. Otherwise we'd never find the Emerald City." / Credit: Handout photo]
More? Search all free events happening this week.
Wednesday, November 5
- Benjamin Zander and the NEC Philharmonia @ Jordan Hall: Don't let the economic downturn rob you of all culture! Turn to the New England Conservatory for all your free, classical music needs. On Wednesday, inspirational speaker and conductor of the Boston Philharmonic and NEC Youth Philharmonic Orchestra Benjamin Zander will lead college-level orchestral students through Brahms's 'Symphony No. 1,' Strauss's 'Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks,' and more. You have no excuse for watching TV, OK? (Need more inspiration? Here are more ways to save money for the arts from the Globe's Geoff Edgers.)
Thursday, November 6
- Shake 'em Down @ the Milky Way: This monthly dance and disco night is bringing up-and-coming DJ team Philadelphyinz to Jamaica Plain. The duo — Skinny Friedman and Apt One — recently put out a synth-heavy remix of Ready for the World's "Oh Sheila" and was featured in the August issue of "Spin." According to the guys' website, Philadelphyinz combines the Pennsylvania city name and the Pittsburgh-area slang contraction for "you ones": "yinz." (Sort of a like a steel town version of "y'all.") And yes, the poster for the event features a cracked Liberty Bell. 10 p.m.
Saturday, November 8
- FAO Schwarz opens @ Macy's: Ever since the bronze FAO Schwarz bear statue said sayonara to its Boylston Street corner, there has been a serious lack of toy store options in the city. Now, the toy giant is opening a new local branch in Macy's Downtown Crossing location — just in time for the holidays, obviously. Bring the family for arts & crafts, storytelling, and entertainment. We hear that the Needham High School band will be playing outside on Summer Street — may we suggest mittens? 2 p.m.
[A recent Shake 'em Down night at the Milky Way. C'mon, hipsters! Let's put another crack in that Liberty Bell! Credit: Erik Jacobs for the Boston Globe]
Wednesday, October 29
- Red Bull Witch Hunt @ Boston Common: Looking to work off all the Halloween candy calories you've already consumed? (Nice job, slick. Those candy bars were for the kids.) Dress like a witch and fly on your
broomstick bike to Boston Common. From there, legions of spirited riders will pedal all the way to Salem for an all-night party. Obviously, there'll be transportation back to the city for all witches and bikes. RSVP to email@example.com. 6:30 p.m.-2 a.m.
Thursday, October 30
- Juliana Hatfield @ Barnes & Noble: Check out this two-for-one special from Juliana "Spin the Bottle" Hatfield: She'll read from her newish memoir, "When I Grow Up," and perform songs from her newish CD, "How to Walk Away," at Boston University's Barnes & Noble Thursday night. Fun fact: Wikipedia tells us that Hatfield was voted "Most Individualistic" when she graduated from Duxbury High School. Very fitting. 7-8:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 1
- Boston Vegetarian Food Festival @ the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center: It's almost time for New Year's resolutions, right? Why not make a pact to eat healthier and greener in 2009? Even the most dedicated carnivores should find something interesting or tasty at the Boston Vegetarian Food Festival on Saturday. There'll be free samples, cooking demonstrations, activities for kids, and plenty of chefs and local farmers on hand to answer questions. Bonus: There's a free parking lot and free street parking. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
[Get your green on at the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center this Saturday / Credit: Joanne Rathe/Globe Staff]
Thursday, October 23
- So Dope! @ dbar: Need another excuse to dance this Thursday night? Dorchester's hip hotspot dbar hosts So Dope!, a night of indie electronica, house, and dance party classics. (The party's neon Myspace page is literally bumping with LA Riots' remixes — hot.) Liquid leggings and Ray-Ban glasses are obviously welcome. 10 p.m.
Saturday, October 25
- Free hours @ the Currier Museum: If you've been meaning to check out the Andy Warhol exhibit at the Currier Museum in Manchester, NH — it's only an hour away, people — this should help motivate you. For two hours on Saturdays, admission to the recently renovated galleries is free. Get your fill of Jackie O., Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Mao, and more as your browse Warhol's political paintings and drawings and think about the upcoming election. 10 a.m. to noon.
- Monster Mash-up @ TBA location: Sorry to be vague, but Boston's favorite fun-starters Banditos Misteriosos prefer it that way. These merry pranksters have a Monster Mash-up group dance planned for somewhere in the city on Saturday. Are you game? Cut eye-holes in you best sheet (preferably paisley or spattered with superheroes) and wait for a location to be posted on the Banditos Misteriosos' site Friday. There's an instructional dance video posted there now to tell you which visual cues will prompt various dance moves come this weekend (do-si-do when you see a picture of a witch, for example). And obviously, a bat should motivate you to wave your hands in the air in a "hey, ho" fashion. 2 p.m.
[Halloween's going make you jump! Jump! / Credit: istockphoto.com]
Wednesday, October 15
- Kung Fu Kitchen @ Pho Republique: Feeling kicky? Head to Pho Republique Wednesday for a night of free dim sum, creative, thematic cocktails (a "Saigon Kick," anyone?), a lion dance performance, and kung fu demos. Mmm, dim sum. Bored with your date? There'll be classic kung fu movies playing on screens around the restaurant. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. 8:30 p.m.-1 a.m.
- Country Music Series @ The Beehive: Go country with the second installment of the Country Music Series at the South End hotspot Beehive. (The poster for the event lists Knob Creek, Baker's, Booker's, and Basil Hayden's bourbons as sponsors, so you know it's legit.) The Sacred Shakers and The Coachmen are both on the bill, courtesy of Boston-based indie roots-and-honky-tonk record label Cow Island. Flannel shirts and cowboy boots optional. 8:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m.
Saturday, October 18:
- Fitchburg Forge-In Blacksmith Festival @ Riverfront Park: Talk about a heated competition. See blacksmiths and metal workers compete against each other in various events Saturday at Fitchburg's Riverfront Park. Someone's going to get burned. Can you smoke out the competition? Can't stand the heat? (OK, I'm done.) Also on tap at the fest: a pumpkin carving competition, live music, artists and crafts vendors, and more. 10 a.m.-dusk.
[Something tells me the moves at Kung Fu Kitchen at Pho Republique will be a little more advanced / Credit: DreamWorks Animation LLC, Patrick Ecclesine]
Thursday, October 9
- "Shake Your Booty" Bash @ Leokadia: Whether you love or hate ankle booties — I'm a recent convert — you can't escape these trendy shoes on the runways, red carpets, or in stores this season. The Hello Stiletto Shoe Club celebrates booties this Thursday night at South End shoe hotspot Leokadia. There'll be free champagne cocktails and a competition for "best booty" (we're talking shoes here). DJ Joe Mama will provide the soundtrack for all this preening and shoe-gazing. Space is limited, so be sure to sign up for the club and RSVP. 6-9 p.m.
Saturday, October 11
- October Fest @ Whole Foods: Grocery shopping is essentially a grown-up chore — something that you should do on the weekend when you'd rather be hiking, tailgating, sleeping, whatever. Thankfully, Whole Foods in Cambridge understands. This Saturday, the store will grill sausages outside and offer free samples of seasonal beer. We'll drink to that. 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
- Honk! Festival @ Davis Square: Honk if you like gleeful musicians playing drums and horns. This Saturday, 25 big bands will shake, rattle, and roll in Somerville's Davis Square as they reclaim public space for the community. You'll hear everything from funk to klezmer. Warning: A hangover might reduce your enjoyment of the cymbals and cheerful cacophony at this event. Just saying. 11:30 a.m. - 9 p.m.
[I am swooning over Rachel Bilson's studded Christian Louboutin's booties. She has the "best booty," all the way. / AP Photo]
Wednesday, October 1
- Stone Gossard @ the Wilbur Theatre: If you have some free time on Wednesday head to the Mass Audubon Boston Nature Center in Mattapan between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to get your hands dirty for a good cause. (Maybe your boss will OK some office-wide community service? But please, do not bring Michael Scott.) Join Earthkeepers to plant 375 trees and remove some pesky Japanese knotweed at the center. Your reward — other than that warm, gushy feeling inside? A ticket to see Pearl Jam's Stone Gossard for free at the Wilbur Theatre that night. Register here. 6 p.m.
Thursday, October 2
- Karaoke contest @ Kings: Do you spend hours rehearsing the dance to Britney Spears' "I'm a Slave 4U"? (It's OK, we won't tell.) Do you have an Axl Rose impression that can't be beat? Take it out of the shower and into the streets, er, bowling alley. Kings is hosting a karaoke contest with cash prizes Thursday night. May the best Cher strut win — extra points for the backless pants she wore in the "If I Could Turn Back Time" video. Oh, and get a free cheese pizza coupon here. 9 p.m.
Sunday, October 5
- Blessing of the Animals @ Old North Church: If Fido needs a little faith, bring him to be blessed at the Old North Church on Sunday. Dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, and owners of all faiths are invited for the blessing. Also, the Animal Rescue League of Boston will host a "meet and greet" with adoptable animals in the courtyard. Fluffy has been praying for a new furry sibling; she might just get her wish. 3 p.m.
[Ten bucks says this pup is thinking about food. Or the Red Sox.]
Thursday, September 25
- Blue Moon Art Project @ the Moakley Courthouse: Beer can inspire people to do strange things — propose, sing karaoke to "Careless Whisper," or even sell real estate. Blue Moon, however, is betting on its beer to bring out your more creative side. Check out the finalists in the Blue Moon Art Project (artists were challenged to use various media to create a tribute to the sudsy stuff) and sip free samples at the Moakley Courthouse. Be sure to vote for your favorite piece; the winner will take home $2,500. 7-10 p.m.
- Alec Baldwin @ Boston Borders: This is a judgment-free zone so we won't mention the irony in Alec "I leave threatening messages on my daughter's phone" Baldwin writing a book on divorce advice. We won't question his qualifications. We might even be willing to put all this drama behind us, if and only if he signs our copy of "Promise to Ourselves," with a "Love, Jack Donaghy." Catch him Thursday at the downtown Borders. 6 p.m.
Saturday, September 27
- Missy Higgins @ Revere Beach: Instead of sleeping in Saturday, you could help mankind (and seagull-kind) by cleaning up Revere Beach. Starting at 9 a.m., volunteers will work to beautify the area. And at noon, Australian chanteuse Missy Higgins will reward do-gooders with her sweet, lyric-driven pop. Bonus: There will be free Clif bars. Obviously, you'll want to pack some protein before picking up trash. 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
[Miss Missy / Credit: Handout photo]
Wednesday, September 17
- Shoe Diva event @ Macy's: If you like shoes and martinis — and honestly, who doesn't? — hoof it to Downtown Crossing for a true heel-worshipers soirée on Wednesday. There will be free appetizers from Ivy Restaurant for noshing, "divatinis" for sipping, and a fashion show of fall's footwear for coveting. You may want to dust off your best Jimmy Choos or those sparkly vintage Halstons for the walk-off down the runway — one lucky fashionista will be voted "Best in Shoe." Get your pedicures perfected, stat. Register by Tuesday, Sept. 16, to save your spot. 6 p.m.
Saturday, September 20
- Urban Country Fair @ Union Square Plaza: Somerville will definitely be a little bit country this weekend. Don't be alarmed if you see cowboy hats, line-dancing, and fiddles amongst the construction and traffic in Union Square — it's just the Urban Country Fair. Drop by for workshops and skill-sharing and stay for the square dancing and deep-fried country music from Three Day Threshold and Lucky 57. 3-7 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday, September 20-21
- The Boston Zine Fair @ Art Institute Boston: I want to publish 'zines and rage against machines. You too? Let's go to the Boston Zine Fair this weekend. The Art Institute is hosting this celebration of all things published and independent. Check out zines about vegan cooking, gender issues, politics, and more, and participate in workshops on everything from anarchist publishing to binding techniques. 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. on both days.
[Watch "Zoolander" for some walk-off techniques. "Best in Shoe," here we come / Credit: Melinda Sue Gordon]
Wednesday, September 10
Meet Leon Powe @ Modell's: We have a recurring dream in which we're always invited to all the Boston Celtics' VIP parties and personally hobnob with Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. But here in reality, we'll take any chance we can get to meet members of the championship team. Stop by the new Modell's in Cambridge to see Celts forward Leon Powe (#0, himself) and get his John Hancock. Autographs are guaranteed for the first 200 fans in line. Set an alarm or something, OK? 6-8 p.m.
Friday, September 12
Silent Rave @ Copley Square: Make a rave-worthy playlist, grab your iPod, and head to Copley Square Friday to move to the beat of your own drum. Literally. True, this is a group dancing event, but everyone will be dancing to the music coming through his or her own headphones. Seems like a good time to strike up a conversation about personal vs. public space, right? Or you could just rock out to your Technotronic and Daft Punk mix and leave deep thoughts for a rainy day. 7-7:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 13
Indiepalooza @ East Park: Have an affinity for moody music, will travel. If that's your mantra, hoof it to Worcester on Saturday to hear indie music from around New England. All genres will be represented, from rock to rap. And, obviously, Marky Mark's old backup band — the Funk B's née the Funky Bunch — will be there to spread some good vibrations. Feel it? 12-9 p.m.
[This could be you. / Barry Chin, Globe Staff]
Wednesday, September 3
- Let's Soul Touch @ Middlesex Lounge: Or, let's not, and say we did. Whether you know Isaac Hayes best from his so-smooth "Shaft" days or as the Chef on "South Park," this funky soul night is a fitting tribute to the late legend's life and work. Get down with your bad self. 9 p.m.
Saturday, September 6
- Banjo & Fiddle Contest @ Boarding House Park: Talk about a pickin' party. You'll hear dixie, ragtime, and bluegrass music streaming from Lowell's Boarding House Park all day as musicians of all ages from as far away as Quebec and North Carolina compete for prizes. Do-si-doing is highly encouraged. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sunday, September 7
- Swiss Beach Day @ Weeks Footbridge: When a coworker mentioned this event, we thought she said Swizz Beats, as in the producer integral to Beyonce's "Check On It." Why exactly had the New York hip-hop heavyweight chosen the Charles River bank as a stage? Moving on. This event is actually sponsored by Boston's Consulate of Switzerland and Charles River Conservancy, and asks attendees to imagine a swimmable Charles River. The Swiss love their urban swimming holes and want to spread the word via free refreshments, exhibits, and games. 2-5 p.m.
["I came from Alabama, with a banjo on my knee" — something tells me we wouldn't win the contest with that song / Credit: Scott Dorrance]
Wednesday, August 27
- Vinyl Skyway @ Kendall Square: Like pop? Well, what are you waiting for? This is the last chance to see an al fresco show in Kendall Square's Summer Folk Concert Series. The Boston Globe has compared Cambridge-based Vinyl Skyway's jangly, summery pop to "Lindsey Buckingham-era Fleetwood Mac." Local band does good, indeed. 12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
- Digital Book Mobile @ City Hall Plaza: Let's get digital. Digital. Did you know that you download audiobooks, eBooks, and music online from the Boston Public Library to your iPod or Black Berry? If you're looking to get over your fear of the non-printed world or just want to find out more about the 24/7 library, head to City Hall Plaza for tutorials and instructional videos. Or, as the flier for the event says, learn how to "pimp your library." 8 a.m.- 3 p.m.
Friday, August 29
- Wormhole: The Films of Bill Domonkos @ Space 242: This San Francisco-based artist — a former video-game designer — splices together Cold War-era footage, found photos, and computer animation in his seductive short films. And if sublime shorts set to Tchaichovsky or The Residents make you hungry, you're in luck. There will be free food and drink at this retrospective. Reservations required. 6-8 p.m.
["And... dance by the light of the moon." / Photo courtesy of Bill Domonkos]
Tuesday, August 19
- "Best Hikes With Dogs" Discussion @ REI Boston: Oh, how the summer days are dwindling. It'll never be warm again. Shape up, Debbie Downer! Author Jenna Ringelheim will highlight the best places for hiking with your dog in the Boston area. Estabrook Woods or Mount Watatic, perhaps? She's done the research for you — just grab a leash, Rover, and some water and hit the trails. 7 p.m.
Saturday, August 23
- Beer Mess @ the Wine Gallery: Calling all craft brew fans: Clear your calendars this weekend and get thee to the Wine Gallery in Brookline for a free tasting of more than 50 local brews. Smuttynose, Cisco, Allagash, Opa Opa — the gang's all here. Yes, the store might have a misleading name, but the Wine Gallery also sells a variety of indie and unique beers. Consider yourself schooled. 3-6 p.m.
Sunday, August 24
- August Moon Festival @ Quincy Center: OK, so you missed the Boston Chinatown August Moon Festival last weekend (yep, we were at the beach too). Don't fret. You have a second chance to nibble on the dense, filled moon cakes, watch dancing performances, and bring the kids to experience Chinese culture in Quincy. And, bonus: There will be free parking. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
[Bet you can't eat more than one of these duck yolk-filled pastries. I couldn't. / Credit: Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff]
Wednesday, August 13
- 'Superdove' Book Talk @ Wellsley Booksmith: Where many of us see pigeons as an urban scourge, feeding on discarded fast food (ew) and annoying tourists on Boston Common, Courtney Humphries sees the birds as a fascinating study in evolution. How did these shy sea birds become city dwellers? How did they adapt to the urban environment? (And no, pigeons didn't wing it to the big city to further their acting careers.) 7 p.m.
Thursday, August 14
- 'Back to the Beaches' @ Spectacle Island: Sick of schlepping to the Cape or up to Maine for a beach day? The Boston Harbor Association wants you to experience Spectacle Island — a beach literally in our backyard. Cruise to the island, check out the visitor's center, and enjoy ice cream on the sand. Ah, summer. Reservations required. 1-4 p.m.
Saturday, August 16
- KC and the Sunshine Band @ the Hatch Shell: We wonder if Harry "KC" Wayne Casey ever thought his band would still be shaking booties 30 years after disco's heyday? No matter. Everybody needs a little sunshine, and KC and company will reward the leisure suit set with semi-cheesy hits "Thats the Way (I Like It)" and "Get Down Tonight" Saturday. Bring your dancing shoes. 7 p.m.
[Pigeons: Urban scourge or the ultimate city dwellers? Discuss amongst yourselves / Credit: Globe File photo]
Photo credit: Essdras M. Suarez / Globe Staff
Tuesday, August 5
- Bocce tournament @ Puopolo Park: Admit it. You've always wanted to join in the heated bocce games at this waterfront park, yet walked on by, intimidated by the elderly dons throwing near-perfect ball busters* at every turn. (*Someone's been to the official Bocce Standards Association's website...) Well, your chance has come. On Tuesday, there will be a friendly, after-work bocce tournament for young professionals sponsored by the Boston Harbor Association and followed by drinks at Joe's American Bar and Grill. Game on. Reservations required. 5:30 p.m.
Friday, August 6
- VidFest @ Union Square Plaza: Oh, those crazy Arts Union kids with their art installations, impromptu dances under highways, and modern music. This Friday, you can check out VidFest, a "one-night-only blitz of live music and video art," according to the cultural group's website. On tap? Baltimore indie rockers and multimedia artists Video Hippos and Providence comedy-pop duo Awesome Brothers. Sounds, well, awesome. 7:30 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday, August 9-10
- Bike Boston at Night @ Trinity Church: The only way to avoid traffic while touring Boston's historical and architectural sites by bike? Ride during the middle of the night, obviously. What a liberating feeling for all the city bikers out there who live in constant fear of car doors and subpar bike lanes! Wear reflective clothing, switch on your blinking lights, and bring a spare inner tube to fit your tires in case of a flat — these midnight ramblers aim to pedal 'til the sun comes up. 11:15 p.m.
[Bring it on, fellow yuppies! / Credit: Janet Knott, Globe Staff]
Tuesday, July 29
- Squabble @ Good Life: Sad to see the weekend go? Get thee to this financial district bar on Tuesday for a rollicking, funky time. Members from various local bands unite under the same groove — you'll hear some originals and rowdy covers of "Mustang Sally," "Use Me," and randomly, "Psycho Killer." Qu'est-ce que c'est? 8 p.m.-12 a.m.
Thursday, July 31
- Shopping Under the Influence @ the Achilles Project: Let's try a little experiment. Stop by this chic Fort Point boutique's sale/party and see whether multiple complimentary cocktails prompt you to plunk down plastic for designer duds. Fifty percent off some sale items should help ease the shopping hangover. There will also be a DJ and free food. 6 p.m.
Friday, August 1
- "Surf's Up" @ the Hatch Shell: Due to copyright issues, wbz.com can't list the movie titles in its family-friendly free movie series at the Hatch Shell. Instead, there are little clues on each date — you can then call the 617-787-7200 to check if your guess is right. We brought out our best sleuthing skills to determine that "When this surfing penguin enters a big competition he quickly learns some important life lessons" refers to 2007's "Surf's Up." Celebrate the little victories in life, people. 8 p.m.
[Surfing penguins Lani (Zooey Deschanel) and Cody Maverick (Shia LaBeouf). Please note: "The Beef" may not be the best role model for kids right now / Courtesy of Sony Pictures Animation]
Wednesday, July 23
- Berklee Jazz Workshop Concert @ Mothers Rest: Mothers Rest. Sounds like a perfectly pastoral place to enjoy a concert, right? Tote your picnic dinner (dancing shoes, optional) to this Back Bay Fens playground and hear some remarkable high school jazz players from around the world. Berklee professors Terri Lynne Carrington and Rick DiMuzio will direct. 6:30-8 p.m.
Thursday, July 24
- Wing Eating Contest @ The Chicken Bone: Looking for some hot stuff? Survive the Chicken Bone's varying wing-eating heats — Thermonuclear wings, anyone? — and you could win some Harpoon beer to wash it all down. Now, that's what we call summer. Not a spicy food fan? Stick to the 'Bone's "Sexy Fries." Hot. 8 p.m.
Saturday, July 26
- Technolust @ the Alchemist: "If there ever was a sexy soundtrack for a futuristic hot robot porno, they would be bumping and grinding to the themes of Technolust," according to this dance event's Facebook page. Well, then. I, for one, will be very disappointed if I don't hear the Underworld theme from Super Mario Brothers among the minimal techno and house beats. DJs Alan Manzi, Baldur, and Damien Paul are on tap. 10 p.m.
["Luke, please promise me you won't bust out the Robot again at Technolust. It's... well, it's downright embarrassing."/ Credit: AP Photo/Copyright 2004 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM]
Wednesday, July 16
- Tribute to Peggy Lee @ Boston Harbor Hotel's Summer Swing: Oh, Peggy. You give me fever. The late Miz Lee — best known for sultry hits like "Fever" and "Why Don't You Do Right?" — will be the guest of honor at this week's Summer Swing on Rowes Wharf. Jitterbug and twirl as Jodi Ebling and the White Heat Orchestra remember the crooner in song. (We stopped by Summer Swing a few weeks ago. See the fabulous photos here.) 6-10 p.m.
Thursday, July 17
- 'Mean Girls' @ Seven Hills Park in Somerville: Nothing says summer like Lindsay Lohan's dorky-to-popular transformation in this 2004 flick, right? Catch the movie as part of Somerville's Somermovie Fest and watch the delicious drama unfold. We'll bring the popcorn and the "oh no, she didn'ts." 8 p.m.
Friday, July 18
- 'As You Like It' @ the Boston Common: Feeling a little guilty about spending Thursday night watching La Lohan sabotage the Plastics? Redeem and culture thyself at Shakespeare on the Common, kicking off its 2008 season this weekend. Bring a blanket, snacks, and settle in under the stars (You may need to use your imagination here.) Steven Maler, the founding artistic director of Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, is directing the comedy, so you know it's legit. 8 p.m. (Running through August 3)
[Remember when we all wore stilettos and "Bling, Bling" tees in high school? / Credit: Michael Gibson, AP Photo]
Wednesday, July 9
- 'The Daily Candy Lexicon' reading @ Brookline Booksmith: Feeling hungover? Well, you did wash down your crapas (crappy tapas, obviously) with too much tart fuel (any girly drink that tastes like Kool-Aid) last night. The editors at trend setting website Dailycandy.com have a hilarious way with words, and they'll be in Brookline Wednesday to teach these phrases of the well-heeled and whip smart to the masses. 7 p.m.
- 'Silent Night' and 'Love Actually' @ the Boston Public Library: Bostonians who don't have air conditioning are already yearning for chilly fall days. Why not speed the seasons along? As part of its "Christmas in July & August" movie series, the Boston Public Library is screening a hall-decking double feature on Wednesday: "Silent Night: The Story of the Christmas Carol" and sweet "Love Actually" (starring Colin Firth and Hugh Grant, yummy). You'll be wassailing in no time. 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 12
- The Guess Who @ the Hatch Shell: Besides IMAX, Mike Myers, and Men Without Hats' "Safety Dance," the band Guess Who has to be my favorite Canadian export. The rockers have performed in various reformations since the mid-1960s and are responsible for the hits "No Time," "These Eyes," and "American Woman." However, none of Guess Who's members appear in the Milton Bradley game of the same name. Go figure. 7 p.m.
[Have you been naughty or nice this summer? / Credit: Peter Mountain]
Wednesday, July 2
Free walking tour @ Arnold Arboretum: Let the arboretum staff tell you about the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees on this hour-and-a-half walking tour of the gorgeous grounds. We're pretty sure you'll learn something new; after all, the AA spans 265 acres of land. (I am a big fan of tree trivia, as you probably know.) 12:15-1:45 p.m. (or 1-2:30 p.m. this Sunday).
Al Kooper @ Porter Square Books: Don't know who Al Kooper is? Well, you should. The songwriter and musician has played on records by the Rolling Stones and B.B. King and is more or less responsible for the famous organ riff on Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone." He'll be at Porter Square Books to discuss his new memoir, "Backstage Passes & Backstabbing Bastards: Memoirs of a Rock 'n Roll Survivor." Dig? 7 p.m.
Thursday, July 3
Jamaica Plain First Thursdays: It's the first Thursday in July, so you know what that means: art exhibits and concerts at the businesses lining Centre and South Streets in the jumpin' J.P. There will also be an artisan fair at the Curtis Hall Community Center and poetry readings at the M.C. First Baptist Church. Polish your slamming skills! 6-8 p.m.
[Al Kooper: "He's a survivor (what) / He's not gonna give up (what)" / Photo by Nick Balkin]
Thursday, June 26
- Wine Tasting @ Envi: Get your drink on and your green on in one feel swoop. Pop by gorgeous Newbury eco-boutique Envi Thursday for a free wine tasting and to save 10% on all store merchandise (except sale items). On the menu? French wines from Chamarré (which means "bursting with colors" — le sigh, right?). The tasting is only open to the first 100 people who RSVP at thevineboston.com. 7-9 p.m.
Friday, June 27
- City Dance Party @ Cambridge City Hall: Yay for public dance parties under the stars. DJ Joey Demers is taking his summery soundtrack to the streets — literally, as the portion of Massachusetts Ave. between Inman and Bigelow Streets will be closed for swinging, skanking, breaking, and boogieing down. 7-11 p.m.
Saturday, June 28
- Scavenger Hunt @ the Boston Common: Banditos Misteriosos, the city's urban (fun) planners who are responsible for public pillow fights, silent dance parties, and other participatory shenanigans, are at it again. This Saturday, gumshoes (remember to sign up at misteriosos.org) can simply show up at the Boston Common for the hunt. A map and shoes are recommended. Those are all the details we have, folks. And, this message will self-destruct in two minutes. 12:30 p.m.
[Envi: Dress your family in organic corduroy and denim / Dominic Chavez, Globe Staff]
Editor's note: Sorry for the late suggestions this week. I just got back from a far-from-free trip to Japan!
Thursday, June 19
- 'Abandoned in the Arctic" Screening @ the Harvard Museum of Natural History: Could you eat a fellow hiker to survive? This new 90-minute film traces the 1881 Adolphus Greely polar research expedition to build an arctic research station on Ellesmere Island. His party started 24 men strong; after three years of starvation and mutiny, only six men lived to tell the tale. Stick around post-screening for a Q&A panel with director Gino Del Guercio and Greely's great, great, grandson, James Shedd, among others. Might not be a great date movie. Just a hunch. 7 p.m.
Saturday, June 21
- Dance Party Massacre Release Party @ LAB Boston: Alex Dakoulas' t-shirts mix horror and lightness, fear and fun. To wit: His "Blood on the Dancefloor" design features an 80s high-top punctured with a butcher knife. Celebrate the launch of his local Dance Party Massacre line at LAB in Allston if you dare. DJ Nato will provide the soundtrack. 7-9:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 22
- Chinatown Main Street Festival: C-Town is a pretty cool place. Enjoy lion and folk dancing, Asian arts and crafts, martial arts demonstrations, and of course, dim sum at this colorful celebration. We have neighborhood envy just thinking about it. 11 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
[Dim sum, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways / Credit: Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff]
Pinching pennies? Chic but cheap? We understand. Here are three free events this week for your going out pleasure.
Wednesday, May 14 & Thursday, May 15
- Mario Kart Driving School: I'm pretty psyched about Mario Kart for Wii. Don't judge. This event's perfect for my fellow thirteen-year-olds-in-twenty-something-clothing out there — basically, Nintendo will park its Driving School truck at City Hall Plaza on Wednesday and Downtown crossing on Thursday and school kids, parents, and anyone else on this new game. Video games during lunch break? Wiiiiiii! 10 a.m.-8 p.m on Wed., 9 a.m.-7 p.m. on Thurs.
Saturday, May 17
- Craft Brew and Cheese Tasting @ the Wine Gallery: Sips of dubbels and IPAs? Yum. Delicious goat cheese from Westfield Farm in Hubbardston? Yum. Beer and cheese for free? Yes, please. I've already blogged about the event, but just wanted to hammer this one home. You can thank me later. 3-6 p.m.
Saturday, May 17 & Sunday, May 18
- SOWA Market Opening Weekend: With warm weather comes the annual opening of this hip market in the South End. It's free to enter, free to park (!), and free to browse the farm stands, food booths, and vendor tables. But — consider yourself warned — you'll be hard pressed to keep your wallet closed in the face of all the quirky jewelry, photography, pet sundries, and baked goods. I know, I've so been there. 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. on both days.
[Alright, Peaches. You. Me. Noon at the Nintendo Driving School truck. It's on! / Credit: Nintendo]
Pinching pennies? Chic but cheap? We understand. Here are three free events this week for your going out pleasure.
Wednesday, May 7
- 'Storm Over Everest' Screening @ WGBH: Whether you're an avid climber or an armchair travel enthusiast (hello, National Geographic Channel), this breathtaking, harrowing film by mountaineer and filmmaker David Breashears should interest you. He survived the greatest tragedy on Mt. Everest, when a storm trapped three climbing teams on the beastly peak in 1996. Be sure to RSVP online. 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 8
- Yoga on the Square @ Copley Square Park: Planning outdoor yoga in New England in May is a risky proposition — it may be hard to anchor mats in gale force winds — fortunately, the forecast is calling for sun and temps in the low-70s. If you need a mini wellness break, head to Copley Square for this complimentary lunchtime yoga class, hosted by Glaceau Smartwater. Bonus: The first 100 people to show up will get a free mat. Namaste. 12-1 p.m. or 1-2 p.m.
Friday, May 9
- Seed in the City @ Good Life: Hey, Soul Man (or Woman): Need a little smooth to start your weekend? Check out the soulful sounds of DJ Cruzz, Bradford James, and Deknology at this downtown hotspot. 9 p.m.
[Wonder if Smartwater spokesman Tom Brady will tote his yoga mat to Copley Thursday? We can only hope.]
Pinching pennies? Chic but cheap? We understand. Here are three free events this week for your going out pleasure.
Tuesday, April 29
- Free Cone Day @ Ben & Jerry's shops: Oh, Cherry Garcia, how I love your cherry chocolate goodness. Most ice cream aficionados already have April 29 circled on their calendars (it's a national holiday, as far as the Go To It crew is concerned), but casual fans should also be sure to stop by Ben & Jerry's locations in Cambridge, Boston, Natick, and Salem tomorrow for a free scoop. Check individual store hours.
- Pat McGee Band @ Bill's Bar: Sure there's a Red Sox game tomorrow, but it's worth pushing through the throngs of Manny maniacs on Lansdowne Street to hear these pleasing pop rockers for free. Be sure to RSVP at Going.com for free admission, and get there early: there are already 338 people interested in attending. 8 p.m.
Friday, May 2
- Augusten Burroughs @ the Boston Public Library: You think you have family issues? Come hear western Mass. native Augusten Burroughs, whose turbulent childhood has directly inspired his writing, discuss his new book "A Wolf at the Table: A Memoir of My Father." Heavy stuff. 6 p.m.
[Hey, Ben and Jerry: Thanks for the ice cream, guys. Now where can I get a pair of those glasses? / Globe File photo]
Pinching pennies? Chic but cheap? We understand. Here are three free events this week for your going out pleasure.
Monday, April 21
- Taza Chocolate tasting @ Harvard Book Store: Whether you're interested in environmentally sustainable business practices, or just really like dark chocolate and wine, be sure to stop by Harvard Book Store for a demo and tasting with the makers of Somerville's stone-ground Taza Chocolate. Support local commerce and get your chocolate fix.Win-win. 7 p.m.
Thursday, April 24
- Cokie Roberts at the Massachusetts Historical Society: Crawl out of your cacao coma and head downtown to hear political commentator Roberts discuss her newest book, "Ladies of Liberty." Abigail Adams, are your ears burning? And in case you ever need to know for trivia purposes, Cokie's real name is: Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Boggs. (That is, according to Wikipedia.) Noon.
Saturday, April 26 & Sunday, April 27
- Free sailboat trips @ the Boston Sailing Center: Lace up your topsiders for a weekend of free guided sails in the Hah-bah with Boston Sailing Center staffers. Ask all your burning questions about boating and terminology and snack on complimentary refreshments. How yar! 1-5 p.m. both days.
[We heart free Taza chocolate / Photo: Wendy Maeda, Globe Staff]
Stephanie Callahan is a native Bostonian who loves cooking, traveling, spa treatments, and being on the ocean.
Meghan Colloton is a Bostonian who loves traveling, channeling her inner Julia Child, and trying weird things -- from food to bungee jumping.
Milva DiDomizio is a New England native who's fond of cooking, singing, and Boston's arts and culture scene.
Rachel Raczka is a Bostonian who enjoys buttercream frosting, gin cocktails, and conquering cobblestone streets in high heels.
Emily Sweeney is a Boston native who goes out all over, from Irish pubs in Southie to the roller rink in Dorchester.
Emily Wright is a native Cape Codder who enjoys exercising, baking, and the occasional guilty pleasure action movie.