10 things to do in Boston this Fourth of July weekend

BosTen is your weekly guide to events and cool happenings in and around Boston.

People lie on confetti after the Independence Day celebrations near the Hatch Shell along the Charles River Esplanade. Keith Bedford/Globe Staff

Skip Netflix this weekend — here are 10 ways to get out of your home and not be bored in the city. If you’d like BosTen delivered to your inbox every Thursday, click here. Want more things to do? Check out our events calendar at You can also learn even more about awesome events around Boston by joining the BosTen Facebook group.

MFA Concerts in the Courtyard: ÌFÉ 

Looking for some live music on July 3, but want to avoid the crowds for the Boston Pops Fourth of July rehearsal concert? Pack a picnic and head to the MFA’s Calderwood Courtyard to enjoy the musical talents of ÌFÉ, the musical brainchild of Puerto Rico-based drummer, producer, and singer Otura Mun, who is performing as part of the museum’s Concerts in the Courtyard series. (Wednesday, July 3 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; $24-34; all ages)

Reading of the Declaration of Independence

On July 18, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was read to the people of Boston for the first time from the balcony of the Old State House. You can bear witness to this patriotic Independence Day tradition Thursday morning, when a member of the Boston Ancient and the Honorable Artillery Company will recite the words that set the American Revolution in motion. (Wednesday, July 4 from 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.; Old State House, Boston; free; all ages)


Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the theater, the Brattle is screening “Jaws” on 35mm this Fourth of July. It’s been a couple of weeks since the Steven Spielberg classic celebrated its 44th birthday, but the Harvard Square theater is counting on moviegoers still hungering for showings of the 1975 blockbuster filmed on Martha’s Vineyard. (Thursday, July 4 at 1 p.m., 4 p.m., and 7 p.m.; Brattle Theatre, Cambridge; $9-12; rated PG)

Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular

Hundreds of thousands of spectators are expected to head to the Esplanade on Thursday for the annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular to check out the fireworks and hear the traditional performance from the Boston Pops under the direction of conductor Keith Lockhart. Grammy-, Emmy-, and Golden Globe-winning singer, rapper, and actress Queen Latifah will be headlining the show, and will be joined by folk singer and Massachusetts resident Arlo Guthrie, as well as two acts who rose to fame on “America’s Got Talent”: 16-year-old Massachusetts singer Amanda Mena, who was a semifinalist on the reality competition in 2018, and the Texas Tenors, the highest-ranking group in the show’s 13-year history. (Thursday, July 4 at 8 p.m.; Charles River Esplanade, Boston; free; all ages)


Burlington, Vermont, quartet Phish is one of the most prolific jam bands around, inspiring legions of dedicated Phans to follow the group to wherever they play. The band hasn’t played Fenway since 2009, but returns for two nights at the home of the Red Sox on July 5 and 6. (Friday, July 5 at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, July 6 at 6:30 p.m.; Fenway Park, Boston; $45-85; tickets available here)

Boston JerkFest 

Spice up your weekend at the seventh annual Boston JerkFest, a two-day celebration of fiery Jamaican jerk barbecue and other Caribbean fare. The festival begins Friday with the Rum and Brew Tasting, a 21+ event featuring craft beer, wine, rum punch, and other cocktails, as well as 25 vendors selling Caribbean food. Visitors can try Caribbean food from more than 25 vendors, then cool their mouths with rum punch, craft beer, or wine. Those who want to exclusively enjoy Caribbean beverages can check out the 21-plus Rum and Brew Tasting on Friday night. (Friday, July 5 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. and Saturday, July 6 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Haley House; Roxbury; $15-75; 21+ on Friday, all ages on Saturday)

“The Parent Trap”

Fourth of July weekend always features a bit of good-natured ribbing at the expense of the British, and this year will probably feature more of the same thanks to U.S.A.’s victory over England Tuesday in the Women’s World Cup semifinals. For those who want to extend a conciliatory olive branch to our former overlords, an outdoor screening of 1998’s “The Parent Trap” outside the Boston Harbor Hotel is one idea. A movie about twins separated at birth — one raised in England and the other in America — who later bond at summer camp after discovering they’re mirror images of each other, save for their accents? Spot on, as our mates across the pond might say. (Friday, July 5 at dusk; Boston Harbor Hotel, Boston; free; rated PG)

The Lawn on D’s Summer Block Party 

The Lawn on D’s Summer Block Party, one of the venue’s most popular events in previous years, has now been split into two days of fun. Bubble soccer, rock climbing, salsa dancing, and a drum-off from the Blue Man Group are just a few of the attractions planned for the weekend. (Saturday, July 6 from noon to 11 p.m. and Sunday, July 7 from noon to 10 p.m.; The Lawn on D, Seaport District; free; all ages)

Dumpling Making Class at Mei Mei 

Learn how to pack and pinch your way to a perfect dumpling from an award-winning restaurant this Sunday. The staff at Mei Mei, an Asian fusion restaurant that has been honored for its dumpling prowess, will demonstrate multiple ways to fold the bite-sized treats, and will give you a recipe card to take home at the end of the two-hour class. (Sunday, July 7 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.; Mei Mei, Boston; $88; all ages)

The Rolling Stones

Classic rock fans should prepare for plenty of satisfaction when the Rolling Stones head to Gillette on July 7, this time stopping by as part of the group’s No Filter Tour. The band had originally been scheduled to perform on June 8, but announced on March 30 that the first leg of their tour would be postponed and rescheduled so that frontman Mick Jagger could receive medical treatment. Blues/soul rocker Gary Clark Jr. will also perform. (Sunday, July 7 at 7:30 p.m.; Gillette Stadium, Foxborough; $144-495; all ages