10 things to do in Boston this weekend

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

The 2015 Head of the Charles Regatta.
The 2015 Head of the Charles Regatta. –Dina Rudick/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 boston.com/events. You can also learn even more about awesome events around Boston by joining the BosTen Facebook group.

“The SpongeBob Musical”

Absorbent, yellow, buoyant, and… Tony Award-winning? All of these adjectives can be used to describe SpongeBob Squarepants, the irreverent children’s cartoon character who also serves as the protagonist of “The SpongeBob Musical,” which earned a dozen Tony nominations in 2018 and began a two-week engagement in Boston earlier this week. You can bring the whole family to see SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, and the rest of the Bikini Bottom gang at Boch Center Wang Theatre through Oct. 27. (Now through Sunday, Oct. 27 at various times; Boch Center Wang Theatre, Boston; $25 and up; all ages)

Frog Pond Pumpkin Float


Hundreds of pumpkins will hit the water Friday evening during the annual Fall Pumpkin Float at the Boston Common Frog Pond. While the city’s Parks and Recreation Department will provide some gourds for the event, it also asks for interested attendees to BYOP (Bring Your Own Pumpkin). Not only will it help add to the gourd total, it’s fun to keep track of your very own pumpkin as it floats around the pond. (Friday, Oct. 18 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Boston Common Frog Pond, Boston; free; all ages)

Head of the Charles Regatta

The largest two-day rowing competition in the world will once again draw thousands of rowers and spectators to the Charles River for a weekend of intense crew competition. Pick your favorite spot along the banks of the river — on the Cambridge side or the Boston one — and then enjoy the fall weather as you watch the boats speed by. (Saturday, Oct. 19 and Sunday, Oct. 20 from 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Charles River, Cambridge/Boston; free; all ages)

East BOOston Y 5K

Most Boston runners have taken at least a few waterside jogs along the Charles River or Boston Harbor, but fewer have experienced the Harbor from the shores of East Boston. Experience the waterfront from a whole new perspective at the East BOOston Y 5K, a family-friendly fun run put on by the East Boston YMCA. As the race name indicates, Halloween costumes are encouraged, and proceeds will benefit East Boston YMCA. (Saturday, Oct. 20 at 9 a.m.; East Boston YMCA, Boston; $25 for adults, $15 for ages 18 and under; all ages)

Boston Book Festival


Now in its eleventh year, the Boston Book Festival will bring together close to 350 presenters at readings and events in Roxbury and Back Bay this weekend. Most of the events take place on Saturday and Sunday, but the fun kicks off on Friday with a talk from Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Law School professor Samantha Power, who discusses her life as a former a war correspondent and US ambassador to the United Nations in her new memoir, “The Education of an Idealist.” Other highlights include UMass-Lowell professor Andre Dubus III (“House of Sand of Fog”) discussing his new memoir “Townie,” and former New York Times executive editor and current Harvard lecturer Jill Abramson, whose new book “Merchants of Truth” examines changes in media technology and journalistic standards. (Saturday, Oct. 19 in Copley Square and Sunday, Oct. 20 in Dudley Square, Boston, from 10:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; free; all ages)

Boston Veg Food Fest

Now in its 24th year, the Boston Veg Food Fest has expanded, adding a large amphitheater-style auditorium for speakers and two full floors for vegetarian and vegan food vendors and exhibitors. Whether you’re a hardcore vegan or simply want to try adding a few plants to your diet, you can peruse the fest’s free samples from dozens of local vendors, as well as vegetarian-friendly talks and cooking demonstrations. (Saturday, Oct. 19 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Reggie Lewis Center, Boston; free; all ages)

Brunch Battle

Enjoy brunch from nine different restaurants while helping a good cause at the fifth annual Brunch Battle. Eateries including Tuscan Kitchen, The Friendly Toast, and Gather will fight for the crown on Saturday at District Hall, with proceeds benefiting Community Servings, a nonprofit food and nutrition program dedicated to helping those living with critical conditions in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. (Saturday, Oct. 19 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.; District Hall, Boston; $25; 21+)

Cabin of Horror in the Rocky Woods II


A few weeks after holding screenings in Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Coolidge Corner Theatre is once again bringing movies to the great outdoors, this time partnering with the Trustees to pair camping and cinema. The theater will host two thematically appropriate screenings in Rocky Woods this Friday, starting with 1983 slasher film “Sleepaway Camp” at 8 p.m. followed by 1999’s found-footage horror hit “The Blair Witch Project.” If you want to get the full experience and rent a campsite for the weekend, visit the Coolidge website to learn how to make reservations. (Saturday, Oct. 19 from 8 p.m. to 11:59 p.m.; Rocky Woods, Medfield; $25; rated R)

Vivian Girls

Brooklyn dream pop trio Vivian Girls were leaders of a burgeoning DIY scene in NYC in the late aughts. After three records, the band parted ways in 2014, but reformed earlier this year and released a new album, “Memory,” in September. The group is currently on tour in support of the new release, and will play ONCE Ballroom this Sunday, along with Philly noise band Empath and indie-pop artist Young Guv. (Sunday, Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m.; ONCE Ballroom, Somerville; $20; all ages

Tank and the Bangas

New Orleans funk, soul, and hip-hop collective Tank and the Bangas first rose to prominence upon winning the NPR Tiny Desk Contest in 2017. More recently, the band wowed audiences at the 2019 edition of Boston Calling, playing a number of tracks off of their most recent album, “Green Balloon.” Two short years later, the band has released a new album and is touring the U.S., hitting Boston for a night at Royale. (Sunday, Oct. 20 at 8 p.m.; Royale, Boston; $25; 18+; with Pell; tickets available here)

Jump To Comments