10 things to do in Boston this weekend

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

Octoberfest at Harpoon Brewery.
Octoberfest at Harpoon Brewery. –Courtesy Harpoon

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 boston.com/events. You can also learn even more about awesome events around Boston by joining the BosTen Facebook group.

“Disney’s The Lion King”

If you didn’t make it to the theaters for the CGI remake of “The Lion King” this summer, Hakuna Matata (no worries) — the live-action stage version returns to the Opera House starting this Friday. Directed by Tony Award-winner and Newton native Julie Taymor, the highest-grossing stage production in history will be in Boston for a fourth time. (Thursday, Oct. 3 through Sunday, Oct. 27 at various times; Boston Opera House, Boston; $40 and up; all ages)

GlobeDocs Film Festival


One highlight of the fall movie festival scene in Boston is GlobeDocs, a five-day documentary film fest designed to “engage, promote, and celebrate film and production talent.” Highlights of this year’s slate include “Made in Boise,” a look at why hundreds of women in Idaho’s capital city have chosen to become surrogate mothers, and the closing film of the festival, “Six Locked Doors,” which reexamines the deadly 1942 Cocoanut Grove nightclub fire in Boston that left almost 500 people dead. (Thursday, Oct. 3 through Sunday, Oct. 6 at various times and locations; $15 per film)

Steve Lacy

If you enjoyed Vampire Weekend’s recent album “Father of the Bride,” you may want to consider seeing one of its biggest collaborators, songwriter Steve Lacy. When he’s not featuring songs like Vampire Weekend’s “Sunflower,” the former member of trip-hop group The Internet is busy with a solo career, which will take him to Boston for a Thursday night show at the House of Blues. (Thursday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m.; House of Blues, Boston; $30; all ages)

Topsfield Fair

A quintessential local fall staple reopens this week, as the Topsfield Fair celebrates its 201st anniversary starting this Friday. Witness feats of horticulture at the giant pumpkin competition, catch music from acts like Nitty Gritty Dirt Band or Tommy James and the Shondells, or simply enjoy typical fair trappings like amusement rides, monster trucks, pig races, and an apple pie contest. (Friday, Oct. 4 through Tuesday, Oct. 15; Topsfield Fairgrounds, Topsfield; $12 GA, free for kids 8 and under accompanied by adult; all ages)

Harpoon Octoberfest


One of the biggest and longest-running Oktoberfests in the area is at Harpoon, where you can find German cake eating, three stages of live music, brewery tours, chicken dance contests, food from local vendors like The Bacon Truck and Moyzilla, and plenty of Harpoon and UFO beer all weekend. Plus, you can come back on Sunday to check out Dogtoberfest, a canine-filled fun run and brewery celebration. (Friday, Oct. 4 from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 5 from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Harpoon Brewery, Boston; $25-42; 21+)

“The Cell”

Jennifer Lopez is earning Oscar buzz for her role as a stripper turned crime queenpin in “Hustlers,” a performance that some say is her best since “Out of Sight.” While the singer/actress certainly holds her own in both films, arguably the bravest career choice was starring in “The Cell,” Tarsem Singh’s sci-fit/horror movie that hit theaters to a mixed response from critics and audiences in 2000. Starring Lopez as a detective who enters the mind of a comatose serial killer (Vincent D’Onofrio), “The Cell” is one of the most visually stunning films of its time, which makes it a perfect fit for the Museum of Fine Arts, where the movie will screen on Friday. (Friday, Oct. 4 at 8 p.m.; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; $13; rated R)

Hello Kitty Cafe Truck

Fans of the adorable Japanese feline Hello Kitty should stop by Assembly Row this weekend to visit the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck, which will distribute exclusive goodies and limited-edition collectibles on Saturday. Among the coveted prizes to nab are two enamel pin sets, Hello Kitty Cafe canvas totes, Hello Kitty Cafe cushions, and madeleine cookie sets. (Saturday, Oct. 5 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Assembly Row, Somerville; free; all ages)

“The Departed”


The Somerville Theatre will present a 35 mm film print of “The Departed” this Saturday, just one night shy of the beloved Boston crime movie’s anniversary. The screening is part of the theater’s “Jack Attack Rep Series,” a retrospective dedicated to the works of Jack Nicholson. Along with “The Departed,” you can see 2002’s “About Schmidt” and 2003’s “Something’s Gotta Give” on Saturday, while 2007’s “The Bucket List” and Nicholson’s final role to date, 2010’s “How Do You Know?,” will screen on Sunday, Oct. 6. (Saturday, Oct. 5 at 7:15 p.m.; Somerville Theatre, Somerville; $8 – $11; rated R)

Smoke This Rib Fest

Who has the best ribs in Cambridge? That question will be answered this Sunday at the Smoke This Rib Fest, with around 20 restaurants pitting pit master against pit master for rib supremacy. A ticket entitles you to 10 samples from the restaurants of your choice, while full portions will also be available for lower-than-normal prices. To top it all off, there will be musical performances from local acts like Monday Night Bluegrass featuring Sean Staples and Sugar Blood Jinx. (Sunday, Oct. 6 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.; 622 E. Cambridge St., Cambridge; $27.50; all ages)


October is the perfect time to go see thrash metal group Gwar, whose live shows are as much about the band’s monstrous costumes and gory stage presence as they are the music. Jump in the mosh pit to get covered in fake blood, stay for the head-banging riffs. (Sunday, Oct. 6 at 6:30 p.m.; Paradise Rock Club, Boston; $25; 18+)