10 things to do in Boston this weekend

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

Tagliatelle bolognese at Fox & the Knife. Brian Samuels

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.

Watch the 2020 Best Picture Oscar nominees

With a little more than a week until the 2020 Academy Awards, you might be rushing to catch up on all of the Best Picture nominees much like the Academy was scrambling to find a host last year. Luckily, two theater chains are making it easy to catch up on seven of the nine films vying for the Academy’s top prize. (Netflix’s pair of nominees, “The Irishman” and “Marriage Story,” are only available through the streaming service.) Local AMC theaters are hosting a two-weekend Best Picture Showcase, with a three-movie marathon of “Ford v Ferrari,” “Joker,” and “Little Women” on Saturday, Feb. 1, for $35, and a four-movie slate of “Jojo Rabbit,” “Once Upon A Time… in Hollywood,” “Parasite,” and “1917” on Saturday, Feb. 8, also for $35. For a bit more flexibility and value, Regal Cinemas is offering a $35 Best Picture Film Festival Pass, which lets you see all seven movies whenever you want and as many times as you want between Jan. 31 and Feb. 9. (Friday, Jan. 31 through Sunday, Feb. 9 at various times and locations; $35; films rated PG, PG-13, and R)

Zuma: The Last Stand

Faneuil Hall’s Zuma is not — they repeat, not — closing. The Tex-Mex restaurant is just changing its name, the result of a now-settled dispute after another Zuma, a Japanese izakaya concept, opened at Four Seasons Hotel One Dalton Street last year. Usher in the newly named Mezcala Tex Mex Grill (same menu, same owners, same location) with a party, where three separate tiers of tickets will offer guests everything from chips and dips and $5.50 margaritas to a $50 gift card and swag. (Friday, Jan. 31 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Mezcala Tex Mex Grill, Boston; $5–$100; 21+)

‘The Starving Artist’ dinner series

If you’re the type of diner who views a perfect plate of pasta as an artistic masterpiece, then may we direct your attention to Time Out Market’s new dinner series? The food hall has combined forces with So We Flew Inc., an experiential dining company, and artist Erica Femino to produce an event featuring a five-course meal with cocktails, live music, and an art installation, all centered around the theme “The Starving Artist.” (Friday, Jan. 31 and Saturday, Feb. 1 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m..; Time Out Market, Boston; $100; 21+)

Grace Potter

Even if you haven’t listened to Vermont singer-songwriter Grace Potter’s music before, there’s a good chance you’ve seen her somewhere. Between numerous appearances on TV shows, singing the National Anthem before the Patriots home opener in 2015, and joining Conan O’Brien and Michelle Obama visiting U.S. troops stationed overseas, Potter has been everywhere. The guitarist and Nocturnals frontwoman will visit House of Blues on Friday in support of her newest album, October 2019’s “Daylight.” (Friday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m.; House of Blues, Boston; $41-$55; all ages)

Respect: A Boston Arts Academy Tribute to Aretha Franklin

Boston Arts Academy vocalists, instrumentalists, dancers, actors, filmmakers, fashion designers, and visual artists will show their ultimate respect for the late singer Aretha Franklin with a series of performances at Roxbury Community College this weekend. The students will celebrate the late R&B, soul, and gospel singer for her music and social activism while putting a modern spin on their tribute to the Queen of Soul. (Friday, Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 1 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Roxbury Community College Media Arts Center, Boston; $15 for adults; $10 for students and seniors; all ages)

Roomful of Blues

For more than half a century, Providence collective Roomful of Blues has brought its swing revival sound across America, thanks to a rotating group of some of the best jazz and blues players of the last 50 years. Currently an eight-piece outfit, the group will play an intimate set at City Winery this Friday. (Friday, Jan. 31 at 8 p.m.; City Winery, Boston; $25-$35; all ages; tickets available here)

‘They Live’

While John Carpenter has come to be regarded as one of the great genre filmmakers of his era and a favorite among cult film fans, a number of his movies didn’t receive their due until years after being released. One example is the sci-fi/action thriller “They Live,” in which drifter John Nada (Roddy Piper) discovers that aliens disguised as humans are slowly gaining control of the planet through subliminal propaganda. Negatively reviewed upon its 1988 release, “They Live” has remained hugely influential more than three decades later — most notably through street art like Shepard Fairey’s “Obey Giant” and ubiquitous streetwear brand Supreme, but also thanks to one unforgettable line about kicking “butt” and chewing bubble gum. (Friday, Jan. 31 at 11:59 p.m.; Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline; $14; rated R)

Fox & the Knife turns 1

It’s won just about every award since opening in 2019, but the South Boston enoteca still has plenty of celebrating to do. On Saturday, Fox & the Knife will open early to celebrate its first birthday with an aperitivo party, including drinks, dancing, tunes from DJ Stella, and a whole lot of raucous cheers-ing. (Saturday, Feb. 1 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Fox & the Knife, Boston; no cover, all ages)

‘High School Quiz Show’

If you’ve still got trivia fever after watching Ken Jennings take home $1 million on “Jeopardy: The Greatest Of All Time” earlier this month, keep that geek streak alive and check out a free live taping of “High School Quiz Show,” the WGBH quiz competition show that pits local high schools against each other in a battle of wits. Join host Billy Costa during episode tapings on Saturday or Sunday and get a chance to see how a TV show gets made, all while supporting some smart kids as they fight for intellectual glory. (Saturday, Feb. 1 and Sunday, Feb. 2 from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m.; WGBH Studios, Boston; free; ages 7 and up)

15th Annual Great Chili Cook-Off

Do you make the best chili in Boston? Prove it. Olde Magoun’s Saloon’s annual chili cook-off is back for its 15th year, a bean-drenched competition where up to 30 contestants can submit their own gallon of chili for a public tasting. If you consider yourself more of a taster than a chef, come by for free samples and a chance to vote for your favorite, with prizes (and bragging rights) being awarded to those contestants with the top votes. (Sunday, Feb. 2 from noon to 3 p.m.; Olde Magoun’s Saloon, Somerville; free; all ages)

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