10 things to do in Boston this Labor Day weekend

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

The Institute of Contemporary Art will offer free admission on Monday, Sept. 2. Handout photo

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.

Illuminate the Harbor Fireworks Celebration

The Fourth of July feels like ancient history at this point, but come Thursday, there will once again be fireworks in the sky in Boston. For the seventh consecutive year, Boston Harbor Now will put on a fireworks display in the harbor, launching from two barges located between the Seaport and the South End. Organizers will host a pre-fireworks party at Christopher Columbus Park complete with live music and lawn games, and also suggest Piers Park and Fan Pier as two great spots from which to watch the dazzling light show. (Thursday, Aug. 29 at 8:30 p.m.; Boston Harbor, Boston; free; all ages)

“Stuff You Should Know” Live 

Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant, two personalities from the infotainment website HowStuffWorks, are bringing a live taping of their award-winning podcast “Stuff You Should Know” to the Wilbur on Thursday. Over the course of 1,000+ episodes, the pair has done deep dives on everything from bioluminescence to “The Simpsons,” and will surely have something fascinating to discuss when they visit Boston. (Thursday, Aug. 29 at 8 p.m.; The Wilbur, Boston; $32 – $37; all ages)

The Final Free Fun Friday of 2019

The last of the Free Fun Friday events is here, with the Highland Street Foundation offering one final summer day of free admission to 10 Massachusetts museums and cultural institutions. The Museum of the First Corps of Cadets is the only participating Boston attraction this week, but elsewhere in the state, you can visit MASS MoCA in North Adams, Old Sturbridge Village, and the EcoTarium in Worcester, among other destinations. (Friday, Aug. 30 at various times and locations; free; all ages)

Huntington Theatre Company’s “The Purists” 

Even before its worldwide debut this Friday, “The Purists,” a new play directed by Tony Award-winner and “Pose” star Billy Porter, has already had its run extended by popular demand at the BCA’s Calderwood Pavilion. The play chronicles an unlikely friendship between a DJ, a rapper, and a telesales director who chat about music and life’s big questions on a stoop in Queens. (Friday, Aug. 30 at 8 p.m.; Calderwood Pavilion, South End; $20 – $75; all ages)

King Richard’s Faire Opening Day

Jousting, juggling, and jesters, oh my! This Saturday, King Richard’s Faire opens for its 38th year in Carver, bringing archery, Renaissance-style food and drink, and a slew of performers in period-appropriate attire to its 80-acre fairground. As an added bonus, Carver residents with valid ID get free admission on opening day. (Saturday, Aug. 31 from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m; King Richard’s Faire, Carver; $34 GA, $17 for kids ages 4-11; all ages)

Spectacle Summer Nights 

Boston Harbor Now, L.L. Bean, and Night Shift Brewing are teaming up for an after-hours evening of fun on Spectacle Island this Saturday. With a mix of activities including ranger-led hikes, fly fishing lessons, lawn games, and roasting marshmallows on the beach, the evening will offer a little something for everybody.  (Saturday, Aug. 31 from 4:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.; Spectacle Island, Boston; $35 – $57, free for children 3 and under; all ages)

Leslie Jones

News broke this week that Emmy-nominated “Saturday Night Live” star Leslie Jones would not be returning to the show this fall for its 45th season. Instead, Jones will be pursuing her movie career, hosting a reboot of “Supermarket Sweep,” and focusing on her stand-up comedy, which is what will bring her to Boston this Saturday for a show at the Wilbur. Attendees will have to wait and see if the brash comic has anything to say — joking or otherwise — about her time on the show coming to an end. (Saturday, Aug. 31 at 7 p.m.; The Wilbur, Boston; $41-61; all ages)

“Deep Blue Sea”

Though it only received mixed reviews from critics when it was released 20 years ago, “Deep Blue Sea” has gained fans over time who embraced its B-movie campiness and stopped comparing it to “Jaws.” The Coolidge will screen a 35mm print of the LL Cool J and Samuel L. Jackson film at midnight on Saturday. PS: If you’re looking for a “Jaws” screening during this shark-filled summer, the Coolidge will be playing it on Monday at 7 p.m. (Saturday, Aug. 31 at 11:59 p.m.; Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline; $13.25; rated R)

Mary J. Blige and Nas

Two titans of hip-hop and R&B will share the stage at the Xfinity Center this weekend. Mary J. Blige, responsible for over 80 million records sold, and Nas, who has released eight consecutive platinum records, will share the bill in Mansfield Sunday night. The pair both have extensive discographies to choose from, but count on their 2019 collaboration, “Thriving,” to make the setlist. (Sunday, Sept. 1 at 8 p.m.; Xfinity Center, Mansfield; $30-$250; all ages)

Free Admission to the ICA

Labor Day means that many local establishments will be closed or have shorter hours, but not the Institute of Contemporary Art, which will offer free admission this Monday. Monday also marks the final day of the season for the ICA Watershed, the museum’s East Boston outpost. (Monday, Sept. 2 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; ICA, Boston; free; all ages)