The 31 best things to do around Boston this October

Including plenty of events to get you in the Halloween mood — from costume contests to crypt tours.

A previous Pumpkin Float at Frog Pond.
A previous Pumpkin Float at Frog Pond. –Boston Parks & Recreation Dept.

Fall has officially landed in New England, meaning crisping leaves, apple picking outings, and pumpkin-flavored treats in spades. Read on to see what the city has in store, from a grand Harry Potter-themed dinner to a costumed pet parade.

Tuesday, Oct. 1
Be Well & Good Speaker Series: Unplugging. Take a break from your smartphone and spend some time talking to experts on meditation, stress management, and work-life balance at this Q&A panel. (5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.; Boston Landing, Brighton; $10; all ages)

Wednesday, Oct. 2
Locked up at Loews. This hotel celebrates its history as the former home of the Boston Police Department with themed food, drinks inspired by the Prohibition era, and a doughnut wall. (4 p.m. – 8 p.m.; Loews Boston Hotel, Back Bay; $20; all ages, 21+ to drink)


Thursday, Oct. 3
DOToberfest at South Bay. Immerse yourself in autumn at this month-long event by wandering through a pumpkin patch, picking up some eats at the farmers market or a food truck, and more. (Thursdays through Sundays from Oct, 3 – Oct. 27, various times; South Bay Center, Dorchester; free; all ages)

Friday, Oct. 4
Oktoberfest Stein-Hoisting Party. Start lifting those weights now — the winners of this competition will bring home a private Sam Adams brewery tour and a prize bucket. (6 p.m. – 8 p.m.; Back Bay Social, Back Bay; free; 21+)

Saturday, Oct. 5
Boston Food Truck Festival. You’ll probably want to arrive to this event, which hosts 25 local trucks, on an empty stomach. (11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Rose Kennedy Greenway Wharf District Park, Boston; free; all ages)

Sunday, Oct. 6
Harpoon Dogtoberfest. Grab a beer for you, and a “Bow Wow Brew” for your four-legged friend. (10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Harpoon Brewery, Seaport District; $15 – $30, free for volunteers; all ages, must be 21+ to drink)

Monday, Oct. 7
Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey present “She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement”. Head to Cambridge to hear these Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists in conversation with actress and activist Ashley Judd. (7 p.m.; First Parish Church, Cambridge; $29.75, includes a copy of the book; all ages)


Tuesday, Oct. 8
The Moth Story Slam: Fraud. If you’ve got a story of cons, hustlers, fakes, or phonies, this is your chance to share it with the world (or at least the crowd at WBUR CitySpace). (7:30 p.m.; WBUR CitySpace, Brookline; tickets TBA; all ages)

The audience at a StorySLAM event presented by The Moth at Oberon in Cambridge. —YOON S. BYUN/GLOBE STAFF

Wednesday, Oct. 9
Sound Education: An Educational Audio Conference. Soak in all thing educational audio, from live podcast episode tapings to interactive workshops. (Wednesday, Oct. 9 – Saturday, Oct. 12 at various times; multiple locations; $20 – $149, some workshops are free; all ages)

Thursday, Oct. 10
Catch the Game with Tedy Bruschi. Who better to analyze a Patriots game with than a three-time Super Bowl champion and NFL Hall of Famer? (7:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.; The Lenox Hotel, Back Bay; $75; all ages)

Friday, Oct. 11
Harbor Islands Fall Foliage Lunch Cruise. Hop aboard this midday jaunt to catch a glimpse of foliage, America’s oldest lighthouse, and the Boston Harbor Islands.. (Select dates from Friday, Oct. 11 – Thursday, Oct. 31 from 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m..; Meet at 60 Rowes Wharf, Downtown; $57 for adults, $45 for children ages 3 – 14; all ages)

Saturday, Oct. 12
New England Chocolate Festival Chocolate Pavilion. Amid more than 40 vendors, make time to visit the sensorium, a hands-on exhibit dedicated to the chocolate- and cacao-making process. (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Cyclorama, South End; $22.50 for adults, $9 for children ages 9 – 12; all ages)

Sunday, Oct. 13
Wizards & Witches Dinner. House robes and colors are encouraged at this Harry Potter-themed event, which includes potion cocktails, pumpkin juice, and activities for the whole family. (5 p.m. – 8 p.m.; Fairmont Copley Plaza, Back Bay; $45 – $1,000; all ages)


Monday, Oct. 14
Opening Our Doors Celebration. For one day, more than 20 Fenway organizations will welcome the public to experience what they have to offer for free. (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; multiple locations; Fenway-Kenmore; free; all ages)

Tuesday, Oct. 15
The SpongeBob Musical Opening Night. The story of a beloved cartoon sponge gets the Broadway treatment at the Boch Center through Oct. 27. (7:30 p.m.; The Boch Center Wang Theater, Downtown; $25 – $125; all ages)

Wednesday, Oct. 16
Census Block Party at City Winery on the Greenway. Celebrate the 2020 census being less than one year away with food truck eats, lawn games, raffles, and giveaways. (5 p.m. – 8 p.m.; City Winery on the Greenway, Downtown; free; all ages, must be 21+ to drink)

Thursday, Oct. 17
The Great Pumpkin Roadshow. Let your inner emo out at this night featuring pumpkin beers, a makeup station, and photobooth. (7 p.m. – 2 a.m.; Paradise Rock Club, Boston; free; 21+)

Friday, Oct. 18
Fall Pumpkin Float. Don’t forget to bring a jack-o-lantern to this event so you can send it sailing across the Frog Pond with hundreds of others. (5 p.m. – 8 p.m.; Boston Common Frog Pond, Boston; free; all ages)

Saturday, Oct. 19
Boston Book Festival. Bibliophiles flock to this annual celebration to hear from authors on Oct. 19 and 20. (10:15 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 19 in Copley Square and Sunday, Oct. 20 in Dudley Square, Boston; free; all ages)

The Boston Book Festival. —Boston Book Festival

Sunday, Oct. 20
East BOOston Y 5K. Donning your favorite Halloween costume is optional — but encouraged! — on this family-friendly run. (Check-in/Registration begins at 7:30 a.m., race begins at 9 a.m.; meet at East Boston YMCA, East Boston; $25 for adults, $15 for youth; all ages)

Monday, Oct. 21
Map Making 101. Cultivate your cartographic chops at this class, which only requires experience with web browsers and spreadsheets. (3 p.m. – 5 p.m.; technology classroom at the Boston Public Library Central Branch, Boston; free; all ages)

Tuesday, Oct. 22
Copley Square Farmers Market. Stock up on produce and other edible goodies from more than two dozen local farmers. (11 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Boylston Street & Dartmouth Street, Boston; free; all ages)

Wednesday, Oct. 23
Boston Music Showcase & Wine Night. Each performance at this showing is paired with a wine, and offers the public a chance to enter the Athenaeum. (6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.; Boston Athenaeum, Boston; $20 for members, $30 for non-members; all ages, must be 21+ to drink)

Thursday, Oct. 24
America’s Test Kitchen Boston Eats Fest. Enjoy a variety of eats and see TV hosts and test cooks in action at this three-day event. (Thursday, Oct. 24 – Saturday, Oct. 26, various times; 21 Drydock Ave., Boston; $100 – $350; 21+)

A cooking demonstration at the 2017 America’s Test Kitchen Boston Eats Festival. —Steve Klise/America's Test Kitchen

Friday, Oct. 25
MFA Late Nites.
Between DJ-spun tracks and an outdoor beer garden, this isn’t your run-of-the-mill trip to the museum. (8 p.m. – 2 a.m.; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; $12 – $20; all ages, 21+ to drink)

Saturday, Oct. 26
Halloween Pet Parade & Costume Contest
Even if you don’t have a pet to enter the “Best Owner & Pet Combo” costume contest with, you can still hang around to see a bunch of primped animals take over the West End. (Noon – 2 p.m.; Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston; free; all ages)

Sunday, Oct. 27
Brunch of Queens
This edition of The Bell in Hand’s drag queen brunch adds a costume contest to the experience. (11 a.m. – 4 p.m.; The Bell in Hand Tavern, Boston; $25; 21+)

Monday, Oct. 28
Tales from the Crypt: Candelit Halloween Crypt Tours. Take a peek under the hood of King’s Chapel, where you’ll learn about burial customs and whose remains occupy the 18th-century crypt. (5:30 p.m. – 6:10 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. – 7:10 p.m.; King’s Chapel, Boston; $15; all ages)

Tuesday, Oct. 29
RuPaul’s Werq the World Tour
Watch as “RuPaul’s Drag Race” alum Asia O’Hara leads this new production, bolstered by a cast of fellow queens. (8 p.m.; Boch Center Wang Theatre, Boston; $66; all ages)

Wednesday, Oct. 30
Movies Under the Dome: “The Blair Witch Project.” 
Watch this 1999 horror flick like you never have before — under an engulfing planetarium screen. (7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.; Museum of Science, Cambridge; $10; 18+)

Thursday, Oct. 31
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Send off your Halloween with a round of the Time Warp. (9:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.; AMC Boston Common 19, Boston; tickets not yet released; film rated R)

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