10 things to do in Boston this weekend

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

ZooLights at Stone Zoo in Stoneham. The Stone Zoo

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.

“Friends” 25th Anniversary Pop-Up

In honor of the beloved sitcom’s 25th anniversary this fall, a “Friends” pop-up opens in Boston on Thursday, complete with Instagram-worthy photo-ops and more than 50 original props from the show. Stick a turkey on your head, peek through Rachel and Monica’s purple door, play a round of foosball, get comfy on Chandler and Joey’s recliners, or help Ross get his sofa up the stairs (don’t forget to pivot). (Thursday, Nov. 21 through Sunday, Jan. 5 from 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; 401 Park at the corner of Brookline Ave. and Fullerton St., Boston; $33 and up; all ages)


Carlisle native Clairo has made giant strides this year, moving from self-releasing singles to playing stages like Boston Calling and TD Garden while opening for Khalid in August. Headlining her biggest local stage to date, Clairo plays The Paradise on Thursday, with beabadoobee and Hello Yello serving as openers. (Thursday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m.; Paradise Rock Club, Boston; $25; all ages)


Along with holiday-themed additions to many animal enclosures like lights and holly wreaths, each year the Stone Zoo puts together ZooLights, a dazzling holiday display that illuminates the zoo when darkness falls. This year, the holiday festivities start on Friday at 5 p.m. (Friday, Nov. 22 through Saturday, Jan. 4 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Stone Zoo, Stoneham; $8-15; all ages)

The Whisky Extravaganza

Whiskey enthusiasts should head to The Castle at Park Plaza this weekend for the annual Whisky Extravaganza, where you’ll be able to sample some of the most prestigious single malt, premium Scotch, and other unique whiskies from around the world. Experts will be on hand to provide guidance and tasty culinary pairings, and visitors can also sign up for educational masterclasses, which delve deeper into the subtleties of the spirits, and grants ticketholders access to a lounge with additional high-end drinks. (Friday, Nov. 22 from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.; The Castle at Park Plaza, Boston; $95-195; 21+)

Letters to Cleo

Formed by Kay Hanley and Greg McKenna in Boston in 1990, Letters to Cleo gained national recognition for tracks like “Here and Now” more than two decades ago. After a lengthy hiatus, the group now performs a small number of shows each year, including a pair of return visits to the Paradise this weekend along with local rock group Speedy Ortiz. (Friday, Nov. 22 and Saturday, November 23 at 8 p.m.; Paradise Rock Club, Boston; $30; 18+)

Rick Ross

Florida rapper Rick Ross has been a ubiquitous presence since the early 2000s, releasing ten solo albums, doing guest verses on countless hits with the likes of Jay-Z and Kanye West, and even partying it up with the Patriots after their Super Bowl victory in 2015. This weekend, the Teflon Don swings by Big Night Live for what promises to be an evening of bombastic hip-hop. (Friday, Nov. 22 at 9 p.m.; Big Night Live, Boston; $40-$75; 21+)

Found Footage Festival

A retro training video for church ushers called “Blessed Usherance.” Footage of a 1980s Wisconsin teen beauty pageant. Home movies shot at a Canadian hose factory. These are some of the delightfully oddball videos dug up by VHS aficionados Joe Pickett (The Onion) and Nick Prueher (“The Colbert Report”), who obsessively collect and curate the type of home movies too weird for “America’s Funniest Home Videos” to air. They’ll bring highlights of their collection to the Brattle on Friday for all to enjoy. (Friday, Nov. 22 at 9:45 p.m.; Brattle Theatre, Cambridge; $15; all ages)

“Reefer Madness”

One year after the first retail marijuana shops opened in Massachusetts, residents are still grappling with how to treat weed, with many towns across the commonwealth finding ways to keep legal pot out of their backyards. That’s why the deeply satirical “Reefer Madness,” which plays at the Coolidge on Friday, still rings true today. Admittedly, present-day parents are less frightened of the “red-hot jazz music” that gets the teens of “Reefer Madness” hot and bothered. (Friday, Nov. 22 at 11:59 p.m.; Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline; $13.25; rated PG)

Brickbottom Open Studios

With more than three decades under its belt, the Brickbottom Artists Association in Somerville is one of the oldest continuously running artists communities in the nation. To celebrate, the association will hold its open studios, showcasing the contemporary art housed in the building’s 150 condos, which serve as both homes and workspaces for artists. Also holding open studios just up the street this weekend is the nearby Joy Street studios. (Saturday, November 23 and Sunday, November 24 from 12 p.m to 6 p.m.; 80 Joy St. and 1 Fitchburg St. Somerville; free; all ages)

Boston Bhangra Competition 2019

Now in its 16th year, the Boston Bhangra Competition will once again draw dance teams from all over North America to perform a lively blend of Punjabi and western moves in the hopes of taking the top prize. If you’ve never seen a Bhangra performance in your life, this is one to check out. (Saturday, Nov. 23 at 6 p.m.; John Hancock Hall, Boston; $25 and up; all ages)

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