80+ Fenway cultural events will be free on Monday

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. –David L. Ryan / The Boston Globe

It will be an arts extravaganza in the Fenway on Monday.

Thousands are expected to visit the neighborhood for the Fenway Alliance’s 16th annual Opening Our Doors festival, billed as “Boston’s largest day of free arts and culture events.”

More than 20 cultural institutions — from the Museum of Fine Arts to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Berklee College of Music to the Boston Symphony Orchestra to Huntington Theatre Company — will offer 80-plus free activities.

The MFA, for example, is anticipating between 5,000 and 7,000 people for a Fall Open House, said Linda Apple, the museum’s director of volunteer and community engagement. The museum will provide tours, hands-on art activities, gallery art talks, and family art walks, plus live music and dance performances, including a concert celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.


“We have all kinds of things going on,” Apple said. “[Guests] can do guided activities, art-making activities. Or they can do things on their own, listen to music, and wander around.”

A family enjoying a previous MFA Fall Open House. —Museum of Fine Arts

Visitors can also check out live music at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s Opening Our Doors Day, plus play gallery and lawn games and participate in movement and voice workshops.

When they hop on over to the Mary Baker Eddy Library, guests will have a chance to redesign Mass. Ave. by creating small-scale buildings from donated materials.

Here’s a sampling of other Opening Our Doors festival events:

  • Student performances and activities at Northeastern University’s Krentzman Quadrangle
  • Behind-the-scenes tours at the Boston Symphony Orchestra
  • Lawn games at the Fenway Victory Gardens
  • Kite-making at the Huntington Avenue YMCA
  • Backstage tours at Huntington Theatre Company
  • A Japanese calligraphy demonstration at Kaji Aso Studio
  • An interactive art installation called “American Therapy Booth” by Julie Ann Otis in Evans Way Park
  • Performances by Zumix, Bostons Children’s Chorus, Berklee College of Music, and New England Conservatory students

The Fenway Alliance will provide a complimentary trolley for guests throughout the day.

Monday, Oct. 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; various locations throughout the Fenway; find the schedule of events here; free