The award-winning semiannual festival ArtWeek, which kicks off in Boston on Friday, is set to feature more than 180 events—its most ever—this time around. Through Sunday, October 9, participants can engage in art, culture, entertainment, and music, and attend interactive presentations and one-of-a-kind performances.
ArtWeek, founded in 2013, has a website with a full calendar of events and even a personality quiz to help Bostonians make individualized game plans. But whether you’re an art student, a parent, or just someone who loves a good dance party, check out the list below for 10 events you should definitely not overlook.
To kick off ArtWeek and to celebrate the creative community of Greater Boston, the Rose Kennedy Greenway will host a “block party meets nighttime arts festival,” featuring food trucks, games, a visual arts event, and a “silent disco party.” All you need to do to participate in that last item is grab a pair of headphones, tune in, and start jamming. To passersby, it will just look like everyone’s swaying in silence. (Thursday, September 29 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.; The Rose Kennedy Greenway; free; all ages)
This production will blend different styles of dance from all over the world, using a variety of props, costumes, and a diverse selection of dancers to create something one-of-a-kind. The performance will include a preshow reception and a postshow Q&A session. (Friday, September 30 from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Puppet Showplace Theater; $15; ages 5+)
Start to get in the spooky October spirit at Western Avenue Studios, where local artists will take ordinary pumpkins and transform them into dramatic works of art. From the playful to the frightful, every pumpkin piece will vie for your attention—and your vote, for the “People’s Preferred Pumpkin” prize. (Saturday, October 1 and Sunday, October 2 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Western Avenue Studios; free; all ages)
Once you’ve finished browsing for Jack-O-Lantern inspiration, head over to The Onyx Room at Western Avenue to honor another seasonal tradition: Oktoberfest. Indulge in some microbrews and German-inspired cuisine as you browse the works of local artists. As another bonus, the artists will be in attendance to answer questions and sip beer alongside you. (Saturday, October 1 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.; The Onyx Room at Western Avenue Studios; free; 21+)
Join a cofounder of the world-famous Blue Man Group, Phil Stanton, and local cast members for a special presentation in honor of the show’s 25th anniversary. Hear stories and behind-the-scenes secrets from the Blue Men themselves, and receive a free copy of the organization’s first book, Blue Man World. (Wednesday, October 5 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Charles Playhouse; $39; all ages)
This creative take on the classic Duck Tour was created especially for ArtWeek, designed for residents and visitors alike. You’ll learn about classic statues, street art, and covert pieces scattered throughout Boston’s churches and historical buildings. Make sure you arrive a half-hour early, and buy your tickets in advance. (Sunday, October 2 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.; Prudential Center Duck Stop; $40; all ages)
The combination of the Charles Hayden Planetarium’s stunning visuals and Prince’s essential album Purple Rain promises to be a match made in heaven (or space). This special ArtWeek show will celebrate the genius of the genre-defying musician, as well as feature a behind-the scenes discussion with Planetarium producers and animators. (Sunday, October 2 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Museum of Science; $12; all ages)
Nicely timed for election season, this event aims to inspire political engagement and ignite leadership qualities in people of all ages through the power of creativity. Materials will be provided for visitors to create their own campaign posters and express the values that matter most to them. The posters will be displayed for the Edward M. Kennedy Institute’s event “Kid Convention” on October 29. (Saturday, October 1 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.; The Edward M. Kennedy Institute; free with EMK Institute admission; all ages)
The Boston Children’s Museum is celebrating Hispanic Culture throughout the long holiday weekend (Friday, October 7 to Monday, October 10) with a variety of attractions and events. For ArtWeek, the museum will host workshops lasting 45 minutes each on Sunday, October 9, during which instructors will teach kids and adults how to make Hojalata, little objects inspired by traditional Mexican tin work. (Sunday, October 9 from 11 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.; Boston Children’s Museum; $16; all ages)
Future engineers and Star Wars-enthusiasts will thrive in this introductory course on engineering principles, construction, and architectural design. Participants will even learn how to build their own moving, motorized creations—all in the name of the Force. (Sunday, October 9 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.; Wenham Museum; $35; ages 5+)