36 things to do in Boston this fall

Make the most of the season by heading to one of these events around the city.

Yayoi Kusama's "LOVE IS CALLING" at the ICA. Lane Turner / The Boston Globe

The City of Boston has an indoor mask mandate in effect, and many venues require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for entry. As always, be sure to check with organizers and venues for additional COVID protocols before heading out.


Bask in the light of “LOVE IS CALLING”

Boston called. It wants Yayoi Kusama’s joyful polka dot installation back. Closed since March 2020, The Institute of Contemporary Art answered that call and will once again open Kusama’s “LOVE IS CALLING” to the public on October 16. One of the most beloved and popular works in the ICA’s collection, this is among the largest, most immersive, and most kaleidoscopic of the Japanese artist’s popular Infinity Mirror Rooms. Tentacle-like, inflatable sculptures covered with her signature polka dots are encased in a dark mirrored room to create an illusion of infinite space (as well as captivating photo opps). As you walk through, you’ll hear a recording of Kusama reciting her love poem Residing in a Castle of Shed Tears in Japanese, expressing her hope to spread the universal message of love through her art. Based on a timed ticket, up to four visitors may enter the exhibit simultaneously. But don’t get too comfortable. You have only one minute inside these mirrored walls. After that, you’ll have to call back anytime through December 31, 2022. — Cheryl Fenton


Gaze at “Tattoos in Japanese Prints” at the MFA

A colorful dragon thrashing, a field of bright peonies, a sneaky snake. Think of this modern ink, and you’re actually giving props to a long-ago artform that began on wood, not skin. Translation: 19th-century Japanese woodblock prints (ukiyo-e) are credited for today’s pictorial tats. “Tattoos in Japanese Prints” features nearly 80 works by Utagawa Kuniyoshi, a great ukiyo-e master, and his contemporaries. Running November 20 through February 20, 2022, and drawn from The Museum of Fine Arts’ renowned Japanese art collection, the exhibit explains the path this body art took, from the streets of early 19th century Japan into 21st century tattoo shops around the globe. Find your own ink inspiration among prints from Kuniyoshi’s Chinese tale One Hundred and Eight Heroes of the Popular Water Margin, with heroic outlaws covered in body art (think fearsome lions, supernatural beings, peonies, dragons). — Cheryl Fenton

Invite a troupe of acrobats into your home 

What do you do when the world is “out of order?” If you’re Montreal’s world-famous rebel circus, you take to the stage – sort of. When Montreal became a red zone of COVID-19 cases and the troupe lost its opportunity to meet its audience, The 7 Fingers’ talented bendy and bouncy acrobats (think Cirque du Soleil) pivoted in true show-must-go-on fashion and transformed its newest show into a film. As part of ArtsEmerson’s Digital Venue, Out of Order is an on-demand virtual event available for streaming starting 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 5, through 10 p.m. on Sunday, October 17. Full of emotion that speaks to the pandemic’s effect on the cultural community and arts venues, the 52-minute prerecorded acrobatic show is shot in a simple darkened tent sans spectators. Viewers are transported to a dystopian near future plagued with social distancing and physical contact restrictions (cue the déjà vu). Through props, French narrative with English subtitles, and inconceivable physical feats, the dark undercurrent surfaces bright moments of empathy and humanity, and you’re left understanding the impact art has on our world. Want to get in on the creative thought process? Virtually attend the unique production’s premiere show and stay logged in for a live Q&A. Out of Order’s pick-your-price ticket makes this programming accessible to all.  — Cheryl Fenton


Watch films at the Boston Palestine Film Festival

It’s been 15 years since the BPFF launched, and the festival, taking place this year Oct. 9-17, has blossomed into a venue for indie work by cutting-edge Palestinian filmmakers and artists from around the world. Their work shares how life with a Palestinian identity overlaps with complex experiences of being refugees, migrants, Arabs, and normal people caught up in history. A bold sense of momentousness, nostalgia, and acute determination seems to run in the background of these films, even in funny moments. The 2021 event will be mostly online, but Coolidge Corner Theater will host a 3 p.m. screening on Oct. 17 for the closing film “Gaza Mon Amour,” and there will be an after-party at Hops N Scotch in Brookline. — Victoria Zhuang

Turn the page on 2021 with Boston Book Festival 

With 2020 being one for the books (the Boston Book Festival went mainly virtual thanks to COVID), the BBF happily returns bigger and better for its 13th year of celebrating the power of words. Although the festival remains mostly online for 2021, it’s expanding into a weeklong salute to the culture of reading and ideas from October 16-23. Literary lovers will enjoy a thought-provoking mix of virtual sessions for writers, BBF Unbound community-proposed programming, seminars, and more. If your reading list is light, grab a free version of this year’s One City One Story selection “Dumba Chora,” a short story by Waltham author Chandreyee Lahiri. Miss the in-person meet ups? There will also be several pop-up programs around Boston, including three Story Walks in East Boston, Chinatown, and Nubian Square, as well as programs sponsored by BBF partners. The festival is completely free, but donations are welcome. — Cheryl Fenton

Indigenous Perspectives: The Gardner Museum takes place Oct. 7.

Learn about Native people at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum


If you’re wondering how to learn about the experiences of Native people, ahead of Indigenous People’s Day on Oct. 11, this is a great way to get started. Book your free ticket in advance online for the Oct. 7 event taking place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Then in the evening, after dinner, head over to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum near Fenway, for a short documentary screening in Calderwald Hall followed by a stimulating panel discussion. The film and conversation explore how art and museums can be part of decolonizing culture. They feature three Indigenous women representing local tribes: Elizabeth Solomon (Massachusett at Ponkapoag), a public health expert at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, Erin Genia (Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota), an award-winning multimedia artist and community organizer, and Mar Parrilla (Afrotaíno Borikua), a choreographer and social justice dance company founder, in conversation. 

This visit can be a double treat if you have extra time in your day, because it’s on the Free First Thursday at the Gardner. Stroll around the beautiful collections in the rest of the museum, get a bite to eat at the Cafe G, or try your hand at some art-making in the Studio. — Victoria Zhuang

Breweries & Bars

Celebrate World Sake Day at Sake Day East

Sake has risen in popularity lately, so it makes perfect sense that Boston is hosting its first ever Sake Day event this year. On Oct. 1 — a date that coincides with the traditional beginning of a new sake brewing season in Japan — participants will be able to sample a wide variety of sake at The Charles River Speedway. Ticket prices include some light appetizers, though more substantial food will be available for purchase as well. Additionally, the Charles River Speedway will soon be home to the Koji Club, Boston’s only dedicated sake bar, so be on the lookout for its opening day in the near future. — Joel Ang


On tap at Harpoon: Fall’s biggest brew fest

Beer events abound around Boston each autumn, but Harpoon Octoberfest, happening across two sessions on Oct. 1 and Oct. 2 might just be the biggest of all. The Seaport’s Mass. Bay Brewing Co.—makers of Harpoon, UFO Beer, Arctic Chill Hard Seltzers, and more—welcomes thousands of fans to its open-air tents for a weekend of beer-fueled fun. Each day’s lineup ranges from traditional Bavarian-style hijinks like stein-hoisting and live oompah music, to memorable moments like pretzel-eating contests and group chicken dancing. Octoberfest is Harpoon’s largest celebration of the year, featuring fall favorites on tap like Flannel Friday Hoppy Amber Ale and Harpoon Octoberfest Marzen; plus plenty of non-beer beverages to boot. The Chubby Chickpea, Tenoch Food Truck, and more local favorites are pulling up with party food to be purchased on-site. Tickets are required and include one drink and a souvenir cup. Credit or debit cards are accepted at the festival bars (no cash). — Jacqueline Cain

Raise your stein at The Biltmore’s Annual Oktoberfest

Apparently, The Biltmore Bar & Grille opened way back in 1914 and originally had a four-lane bowling alley. It was then converted into a speakeasy during Prohibition, therefore making it the ideal venue for…Oktoberfest? Whatever the rationale, there will be seven breweries at The Biltmore Beer Garden on Oct. 2 this fall, with general admission tickets including unlimited samples and a stein to take home. Naturally, there’ll also be enough bratwurst to last you a year — but let’s be honest, you probably only eat bratwurst once a year anyway. — Joel Ang


Check out an 80’s-inspired cocktail class at Paris Creperie

Paris Creperie is a spot in Seaport that serves crêpes (obviously) and craft cocktails. For all those times that you’ve wanted an espresso martini with your Nutella crêpe, you now know where to go. On Oct. 21, Paris Creperie will host an 80’s cocktail revival class, with plenty of historical context on drinks like the Fuzzy Sex Crush and the Woo Woo! (please, don’t Google either at work). Tickets include two cocktails, snacks, a lesson in the fundamentals of cocktail making, some take-home recipe cards, and “other fun surprises.” A throwback Famous Amos crêpe, perhaps? — Joel Ang

Get back to your favorite haunts with Trick or Drink’s Halloween bar crawl

Start planning your masked costume, because a three-day bar crawl called Trick or Drink is treating Boston on Halloween weekend. Participating bars around the city (TBA, though check-in is at Back Bay Social) will waive any cover charges and have drinks and food on special for Trick or Drink ticket holders. Trick or Drink is a traveling festival, hitting cities throughout the U.S. The Boston stop spans evening hours from Oct. 29 to Oct. 31. Nightcrawlers can pick up their wristbands during designated registration hours and visit the bars on their own time. Costumes are encouraged, of course. — Jacqueline Cain

Hit the streets around Fenway for a Fright Night Halloween Pub Crawl

If the idea of going out around Fenway this Halloweekend doesn’t scare you, and your ideal trick-or-treat route involves more colorful cocktails than king-size candy bars: Don your costume and hit the streets for a Fright Night Halloween Pub Crawl on Saturday, Oct. 30. This annual party haunts Lansdowne-area venues, with check-in options at Cheeky Monkey Brewing Co., Lucky Strike, and Cask ‘n Flagon. Participating bars will waive any cover charges and have drinks on special for Fright Night revelers. — Jacqueline Cain


A night to remember with The Jonas Brothers at Fenway Park


Who doesn’t love an outdoor show? Get back to the music when Kevin, Joe, and Nick bring their positive energy to America’s most beloved ballpark for the Remember This tour. The Grammy-nominated boy band takes the stage at Fenway Park on Friday, October 1, to celebrate the music that took them from Disney Channel heartthrobs to international pop-rock stars, including title track “Remember This,” first heard during the U.S. Track & Field Trials at the recent Olympics Games in Tokyo. Multi-platinum and Grammy-nominated country music superstar (and Kelly Clarkson’s sub on “The Voice”) Kelsea Ballerini will join the Brothers to kick the show off at 7 p.m. With all those catchy tunes and their cover-boy good looks, you won’t leave before you love them. — Cheryl Fenton

Catch Counting Crows on the water at Leader Bank Pavilion

You know the story: band books tour, band starts tour, band cancels shows because of COVID, band postpones remaining dates of tour. It’s been happening quite a bit this year, and it happened to Counting Crows back in August, when they were forced to cancel their Pavilion set just hours before taking the stage due to a positive COVID test in their touring crew. Thankfully, the band was able to get another date on the books, and that date has come around: on Saturday, Oct. 9, the Berkeley, CA alternative rock outfit will close down the 2021 season at Leader Bank Pavilion. — Adam Chapman

Catch contemporary folk at its best with Iris DeMent at City Winery


The youngest of 14 children, Iris DeMent’s foray into singing began in church – she and her family would sing during service, according to NPR in a 2015 interview. DeMent has come a long way since those days, securing two Grammy nominations – “My Life” for best contemporary folk album in 1994, and “The Way I Should” for best contemporary folk album in 1997. For her latest album, 2015’s “Trackless Woods,” DeMent turned poems by Anna Akhmatova, a Russian writer who had been named an enemy in Soviet Russia by Joseph Stalin, into songs, according to NPR. DeMent graces the stage of City Winery on Oct. 12. — Arianna MacNeill

Sing along with Lucy Dacus at the House of Blues

26-year-old singer-songwriter Lucy Dacus is becoming a bonafide indie rock star. Her third album, “Home Video,” released in June was met with widespread critical acclaim. Rolling Stone calls it “her greatest work yet” with an eye-catching, nearly perfect score. You may have heard of Dacus already: She stands among her fellow leading voices of the indie millennial singer-songwriter powerhouses, Julien Baker and Phoebe Bridgers, the ladder now navigating the accolades of a breakthrough solo album herself. But Dacus contains an angsty and shimmering energy all her own — one that is packed with the promising potential for praise for years to come. Catch her at the House of Blues on Oct. 12. — Christopher Gavin

A night with Manchester Orchestra at the House of Blues


For those not in the know, Manchester Orchestra isn’t actually an orchestra. You probably have them confused with the Manchester Symphony Orchestra, based in bucolic Manchester, Indiana. We’re not talking about them. We’re talking about the Atlanta indie rock quartet that’s been steadily building their fanbase, album by album, since 2004. Their 2017 release, A Black Mile to the Surface, was their biggest to date. It debuted in the Top 10 of three of Billboard’s album charts, and the band toured the hell out of it for close to two years. See, that’s how Manchester Orchestra builds that base: on the road. So this whole “global pandemic” thing has put a bit of a crimp in their live style. No matter; before the shutdown, the band had already started work on their latest album, The Million Masks of God. They used quarantine time to mix it, and released it back in April. Sonic comparisons have ranged all over, from Mumford & Sons and Band of Horses to Silversun Pickups to My Morning Jacket and Muse. So if any of those acts are up your alley, catch Manchester Orchestra at the House of Blues on Oct. 18. — Adam Chapman

Simrit Kaur. – Courtesy Photo

Groove to a world beat with Simrit at City Winery

“Melody and vision were always a thing for me,” Simrit singer and songwriter, Simrit Kaur, told Psychology Today in a 2019 interview. “When I close my eyes and I’m singing I can go into another world.” When Simrit the band takes the City Winery stage on Oct. 19, attendees will hear the unique blend of West African kora, guitar, electric cello, drums and percussion, moog synthesizer, and bass. Kaur herself typically dresses in a unique headdress. Their music has been dubbed “neo psychedelic world beat and ethereal wave,” according to City Winery. — Arianna MacNeill


Laugh it up with Kyle Kinane

Growing up outside of Chicago, Kyle Kinane hadn’t given any thought to a career in standup comedy. He played in bands and delivered pizzas and drove forklifts to get by. It wasn’t until he was attending Chicago’s Columbia College, studying fiction writing, reading his pieces aloud in class, and often getting laughs, that he decided to try local open mic nights. A move to Los Angeles in 2003 led to more open mic nights, tours on comedy stages around the country, a few Comedy Central specials, and five comedy albums. Having dropped all day jobs 15 years ago – his final one was writing closed captions for television – to concentrate on his act, the 44-year-old gruff-voiced, excitable Kinane is back on the road after a year-and-a-half pandemic pause, coming to the Wilbur Theatre on Oct. 23 for a 7 p.m. show mixing new material with some dusted-off gems. His most recent album, 2020’s “Trampoline in a Ditch,” features routines crafted around events (that might be) from his own life: too much drinking as a younger man, breaking the rules by petting a blind person’s service dog, sitting next to a man on a plane who starts eating pancakes out of a Footlocker bag … without syrup! Past topics he’s discussed include his inability to understand the competitive aspects of team sports, as well as the repercussions of being interviewed in Hustler, and his mother finding out about it. Kinane will sometimes touch on politics, but most of his routines, though far from wholesome, and often scattered with a few curses, look at life from a positive, self-deprecating, and quite absurd point of view. — Ed Symkus

Festivals, Fairs & Expos

Go bar-hopping with doughnuts at the Boston Hard Cider & Doughnut Fest


Biologists haven’t quite figured out why cider doughnut cravings correlate with temperatures in the 60s, but some West End bars aren’t waiting around to cash in on the phenomenon. On Oct. 2, in an admittedly cheeky twist on tradition, six bars and restaurants will serve Downeast Hard Cider paired with a variety of doughnut flavors such as Cannoli Cream, Oreo Madness, and Apple Fritter (naturally). While you probably won’t get to pick apples during this event, feel free to do your best Matt Damon impersonation outside the window of every spot you visit. — Joel Ang

A previous Pumpkin Float at Frog Pond.

Bring your jack-o’-lanterns to Pumpkin Float at Frog Pond

Run by the City of Boston and the Skating Club of Boston, the Pumpkin Float at Frog Pond taking place Oct. 18 from 5 to 8 p.m. offers a low-key way to enjoy Halloween as a community. Children and families can bring their carved pumpkins from home to the Frog Pond in Boston Common. There, event staff will turn them into jack-o’-lanterns, releasing them to float on the pond’s surface so the entire pond will light up. Pumpkins must be eight inches or less in diameter, or they won’t be able to float. Local businesses and organizations are welcome to submit a pumpkin for the float as well. Event-goers are encouraged to dress up in costumes and invited to partake of a variety of activities, from games to eating snacks, to making crafts and listening to music. — Victoria Zhuang

Patio at Baramor
Patio at Baramor. – Brian Samuels Photography

Dress up your dog for Barktoberfest at Baramor


Your Halloween costume may be ready to go, but how about your dog’s? Make sure your pup has something stylish to wear for Jr’s Barktoberfest, a dog-friendly fair happening Oct. 21 on the patio at Baramor in Newton. Hosted by Jr’s Paws For a Cause, the dog-friendly fest offers a prize for best dog costume, among other raffles; plus tastings of Carlson Orchards hard cider and Bully Boy booze for humans. Look for special cocktails sold to support two animal-centered charities, veterinary outreach organization Project Samana and pet cancer support foundation Kyle’s Legacy Inc. Your dog will trick out over the complimentary treat decorating station. Barktoberfest is a photo-worthy way to step out with your good boy or girl, enjoy fun food and drink, and learn about local pet vendors. — Jacqueline Cain

The 2018 Boston Veg Food Fest. – Randall Collura

Learn about plant-based foods and fashion at the Boston Veg Food Fest

The Boston Vegetarian Society will host its annual Veg Food Fest on Oct. 23, with an impressive lineup of physicians, athletes, and chefs who will speak about topics ranging from nutrition to animal-friendly living. If you’re looking to purchase products as well — Thai curry nuggets and vegan luggage, for instance — the festival will also feature a Virtual Vegan Marketplace. The event’s live stream begins at 10 a.m., and can be accessed from the festival’s homepage. — Joel Ang

Shop rare books at the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair

Feel like shopping rare books at 2 a.m.? There’s a fair for that. Forgoing its in-person location at the Hynes Convention Center for the second straight year, the 45th Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair will instead be a three-day virtual marketplace hosted by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America. Typically an annual gathering where bibliophiles and seasoned collectors flock each year to shop an alluring treasure trove, 2021’s showing allows attendees to peruse 150-plus exhibitors’ significant pieces through easy-to-navigate online booths — illuminated manuscripts, autographed first editions, children’s books, historic documents, maps, photographs, decorative prints, and much more. Don’t see what you want? Dealers will restock with fresh items throughout the weekend. The fair launches with a $50 ticketed Patron Preview on November 18 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. that gains you a first look. The Fair opens online, free to the public, at 11 a.m. on November 19 and will run through 7 p.m. on November 20. — Cheryl Fenton


Find your sparkle at the Wicked Wine & Seltzer Fest

Picture this: You and your bestie, pinkies up, posing with your new fave rosé in front of an eye-catching backdrop that’s sparkling almost as much as your momentarily-maskless smiles. This vivacious scene is playing out at Wicked Wine & Seltzer Fest, coming up over four sessions on Nov. 13 at Revere Hotel Boston Common. Each session of this fizzy extravaganza features a lineup of tasty wines and the latest hard seltzers, with a photobooth and photo backdrops for you to remember it by. Among other fun will be live DJ sets, door prizes, corn hole and yard games, a tattoo and bead station, and a silent auction to benefit Project Smile. — Jacqueline Cain

Drink to your health at the Boston Wine Expo

Raise your glass if one of your pandemic hobbies has been perfecting your palate and brushing up on wine tasting notes. You’ll want to stay tuned for details on the Boston Wine Expo, slated to return on the first Sunday in November. The wonderland of wine, New England’s largest wine tasting experience, is considering city guidelines to plan a pandemic-safe event to be announced this fall. — Jacqueline Cain


Travel to Roxbury for a taste of Portugal at Haley.Henry’s Sardine Festival

Haley.henry — the downtown natural wine bar with a stellar selection of tinned fish — is celebrating its fifth birthday on Oct. 9, and the restaurant team is inviting you to the party. Hosted by Bully Boy Distillers, tickets include an all-you-can-eat experience with sardines, sausages, ceviche, birthday cake, some vegetables for good measure, and two alcoholic beverages of your choice. A live band will also be on hand to help with the festive atmosphere, with event-goers heavily encouraged to bring their dancing shoes. Don’t you wish every fifth birthday party looked like this? — Joel Ang

The Way of Kueh - Kueh Bengka Ubi Kayu
The Way of Kueh – Kueh Bengka Ubi Kayu. – Christopher Tan

Visit Elmendorf Baking Supplies for Kueh with Tse, a one-day pop-up


“Kueh” is a catch-all word in Singapore for a variety of snacks and treats, typically ordered from street vendors nowadays but traditionally recipes that were handed down within families. In the new book The Way of Kueh: Savoring & Saving Singapore’s Heritage Desserts, culinary scholar Christopher Tan not only shares techniques to recreate savory and sweet snacks, but he also explores the history and significance of this diverse food genre. The Way of Kueh is a current favorite of Cambridge cookbook shop Elmendorf Baking Supplies, as well as acclaimed chef Tse Wei Lim, a Singapore native and former chef-owner of Journeyman in Somerville. The local fans are teaming up for a one-day pop-up, Kueh with Tse, on Oct. 17. Beginning at 10:30 a.m., head to Elmendorf to purchase snacks by chef Tse, no pre-order required. Feeling inspired by the array of kueh? Elmendorf stocks a curated selection of kitchen tools, house-milled flours, and cookbooks, and is also offering the chance to preorder a signed copy of The Way of Kueh. — Jacqueline Cain

Eat tacos for a cause at Cósmica

On Oct. 21, Cósmica will host renowned chef Wes Avila (of Los Angeles’s Guerilla Taco fame) for a six-course meal, with all proceeds going towards The Latino Equity Fund at The Boston Foundation. Both chef Avila and Cósmica chef Colton Coburn-Wood will dish out their unique approaches to Mexican food, though there’s no word yet on exactly what is going to be served. Go ahead and make a reservation anyway — it’s about time for a good surprise in your life. — Joel Ang

Alton Brown
Alton Brown. – Provided

Strap in for an evening of food, fascination, and fun with Alton Brown


Alton Brown has graced our television screens for more than two decades with his kitchen tool hacks, zany explainers, and science-driven recipes. Now the excitable Food Network star is back on stage at Boston’s Wang Theatre with an all-new culinary variety show, Alton Brown Live: Beyond the Eats. A multimedia mix of standup comedy, unusual cooking demos, music, and “potentially dangerous sciencey stuff,” the audience is in for a deliciously entertaining evening. Strange devices may make appearances, there might be a game show segment, and fans will certainly be encouraged to participate. Get tickets now for an evening of food, fascination, and fun on Oct. 22. — Jacqueline Cain

Learn to make pasta with Lucia Ristorante and stay cozy all fall

The leaves may just be starting to turn, but the snow will be falling before we know it. Be ready for the dark, cold months ahead by perfecting some cozy new recipes: Join Lucia Ristorante in Winchester on Oct. 24 for Tour d’Italia: Pasta Making Class, Emilia Romagna, a hands-on cooking lesson celebrating a region of Italy renowned for its rich and indulgent cuisine. Learn to make the rustic pasta called làgane, while Lucia’s chef prepares you with new skills and insights into crafting pasta, sauce, and pairings. At the end of the class, you’ll enjoy a family-style feast of your creations. Ticket cost also includes an apron, notebook, and recipes to bring home. Pair the class with a concurrent Tour d’Italia Wine Dinner happening on Thursday, Oct. 28, at Lucia North End, also celebrating Emilia Romagna. — Jacqueline Cain

Lucia Ristorante
Lucia Ristorante. – Brian Samuels Photography

Taste through a tour of Emilia Romagna without leaving the North End


Since November 2018, the culinary team at Lucia Ristorante has invited guests on an armchair-culinary tour of Italy, with in-tandem cooking classes and wine dinners celebrating specific regions. Following the latest pasta-making class at Lucia Winchester on Oct. 24, the North End location’s Tour d’Italia Five Course Wine Dinner, Emilia Romagna, happens Oct. 28. Food lovers have this storied region to thank for Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto di Parma, balsamic vinegar, and more prized ingredients — and all are on the table for this decadent dinner. From appetizers to dolce, each course will also be paired with a unique wine from the area. — Jacqueline Cain


Catch thought-provoking films at GlobeDocs Film Festival

Top of your head … name a great documentary. The possible answers are endless. Top of my head? “Crumb,” “Woodstock,” “Koyaanisqatsi,” “March of the Penguins,” “They Shall Not Grow Old.” The seventh annual GlobeDocs Film Festival – running from Oct. 13-17, at the Brattle Theatre, the Coolidge Corner Theater and, through virtual technology, in the comfort of your home — is an opportunity for viewers to catch new documentaries — both full-length and short form, any of which could be a future classic.

Featuring a rich diversity of subject matter, the festival’s program includes, among others: “Julia” – an intimate, joyous portrait of Julia Child; “The Rescue” – When 12 young members of a Thai soccer team, and their coach, are trapped in a huge cave, volunteers try to figure a way to save them; “Citizen Ashe” – a look at celebrated tennis star Arthur Ashe, as an athlete and at his activist work against apartheid and promoting awareness of AIDS after contracting the disease from a tainted blood transfusion; “Storm Lake” – Some time in the life of the folks running the award-winning but struggling smalltown Iowa newspaper the Storm Lake Times; “Becoming Cousteau” – French explorer Jacques Cousteau not only mesmerized the public with his underwater films, but is also credited as being an early member of the environmental movement; “Jagged” – Archival footage and current interviews paint a career picture of Canadian singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette, whose 1995 album “Jagged Little Pill” won a pile of Grammy Awards; “Bernstein’s Wall” – an examination of conductor-composer-television lecturer Leonard Bernstein, concentrating on his musical triumphs, but not shying away from his complex sexual life. For a complete list of titles, information on virtual and in-person screenings, and ticket prices, visit the GlobeDocs website. — Ed Symkus


Settle in for a movie during the Boston Asian American Film Festival

Whether you’re into animations or short docs, long docs or feature-length films, horror or rom-coms, the BAAFF (pronounced “bath”) lineup each year has a bit of everything on offer—sort of like a box office dim sum menu. Over the years BAAFF, New England’s largest film festival dedicated to the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, has brought dozens of well-known AAPI actors, producers, and directors, as well as talented newcomers to the film industry, to audiences at its home base in Boston’s Chinatown. Visitors have delighted in the many high-quality films that tell fascinating experiences of the global Asian diaspora, though BAAFF is also known for supporting filmmakers from the Boston area. This year’s festival, taking place Oct. 20-24, marks the event’s 13th anniversary, and like last year, it will continue to be online-only for COVID-19 safety reasons. — Victoria Zhuang

The Boston Asian American Film Festival takes place virtually Oct. 20-24. – BAAFF

Enjoy movies from home with the NIGHTSTREAM film festival

Looking for some adventure and frights on your next movie night? Get ready for a scary good time with NIGHTSTREAM’s second annual edition, taking place Oct. 7-13, a virtual weeklong collaboration between the Boston Underground, Brooklyn Horror, North Bend and The Overlook film festivals. During the pandemic, these regional genre festivals came together to offer a collection of high-caliber genre films ranging across international horror, fantasy, sci-fi, vanguard, and dark comedy. The Boston Underground Film Festival (BUFF) artistic director, Kevin Monahan, says that “We had so much fun working with the other festivals involved…. it’s even more of a collaborative effort than it was last year.” BUFF plans to return to in-person at the Brattle Theater in March. “While we hope the COVID situation is more under control by then, we’re thrilled we have something to offer people in the meantime who might not feel comfortable returning to cinemas just yet,” Monahan says. “And just in time for spooky season!”


Proceeds from the event will go to each nonprofit festival, the artists and filmmakers, the National Alliance To End Homelessness, and climate justice group the Sunrise Movement. Watch from anywhere within the U.S. — Victoria Zhuang

The Boston Palestine Film Festival takes place Oct. 9-17.


Rowers take to the river in preparation for the Head of the Charles Regatta in Cambridge. – Craig F. Walker / Globe Staff

Watch the Head of the Charles Regatta

The Head of the Charles Regatta returns to the Charles River Oct. 22-24 with an additional two hours of racing on the first day. Since 1965, athletes and spectators have filled the banks of the river for the traditional three-mile upstream race, which begins at DeWolfe Boathouse and extends through seven bridges.

Looking for a place to watch the action? Visitors can view the basin and start line from Boston University Bridge, watch athletes navigate the infamously difficult 90-degree turn from the popular Weeks Footbridge, and witness the finish line at Herter Park. Visitors will find food, beverages, and vendors at the Weld Exhibition as well as FALS Bar, a new venue with a viewing area and beer garden. Reunion Village will serve food from Boston Burger and alcoholic beverages for those 21 and over from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Guests can also shop more than 40 retailers at Attager Row: Rowing & Fitness Expo, located near the finish line.  

Spectators do not have to wear masks outdoors, but must wear masks while indoors, according to the Head of the Charles Regatta’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols. View the regatta schedule. — Camille Bruni


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