10 things to do in Boston this weekend

Virtual events, reopened museums, and things to do to support Black lives in the Greater Boston area this weekend.

Lauren Smith hand-feeds a southern rockhopper penquin at the New England Aquarium on March 19, 2020. –David L Ryan/Globe Staff
Lauren Smith hand-feeds a southern rockhopper penquin at the New England Aquarium on March 19, 2020. –David L Ryan/Globe Staff

With protests against police brutality and vigils honoring George Floyd continuing this week, Massachusetts museums starting to reopen during Phase 3, and many residents continuing to stay home due to the coronavirus pandemic, this week’s BosTen offers a mix of things to do this weekend. Have an idea about what we should cover? Leave us a comment on this article or in the BosTen Facebook group, or email us at [email protected].

Visit the New England Aquarium

The New England Aquarium is one of several Boston museums that plans to open this week in Phase 3, offering timed admission starting Thursday for small groups of visitors that can be reserved online. While many things will be different — the cafe will be closed, masks are mandatory, and the touch tank will be view-only — the aquatic life will be largely the same. You can view a video going over the Aquarium’s reopening protocols on its website.

College Disrupted: How the Pandemic Will Shake Up Higher Education

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As we move toward the midpoint of summer, the question of what awaits students in the fall looms large for everyone from kindergarten to PhD. programs. The Boston Globe will host a Zoom discussion on Thursday at 1 p.m. that focuses on the big-picture questions being raised as colleges decide whether to welcome students back to campus this fall. Southern New Hampshire University President Paul LeBlanc, MIT professor of Economic Geography and Regional Planning Amy Glasmeier, and University of Chicago student Samantha Herrera will discuss what teaching and learning should look like in a digitized society, what college should cost when on-campus instruction proves impossible, and more difficult questions.

Free admission to the ICA

To celebrate its reopening on Thursday, the Institute of Contemporary Art will be offering free admission through Sunday, albeit with timed admission to allow for social distancing. You’ll be able to stay as long as you want once you’re inside, however, enjoying exhibits like Beyond Infinity, which examines contemporary artists inspired by Yayoi Kusama, and the largest exhibition and first-ever in Boston for artist Tschabalala Self.

Restaurant Without Walls at Juliet

We’re going to be upfront about this: There is very little we know about Juliet’s mysterious, new interactive and immersive dining experience. “We must reimagine our world and our place in it,” the Somerville restaurant declares before inviting guests to a socially-distanced “dinner menu as theater production” experience that combines take out, a cook-along meal kit, classes, puzzles, games, and other interactive activities. Dinners kick off on Thursday and Saturday this week; sign up for more information here.

Catch a screening of “Grease” at Suffolk Downs

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Suffolk Downs may have run its last horse race, but you can still see a show at the old grounds this summer. The former race track will host a socially distant drive-in every Thursday this summer beginning this week with “Grease” at 8:30 p.m. and continuing until Sept. 10. Tickets were running low for the inaugural show when we checked, but you can always check out one of the many other drive-in theaters in Massachusetts currently showing films. Or just wait until next Thursday, when Suffolk Downs will screen “Field of Dreams.”

The Lexington at the Picnic Grove opens

Need a new patio to frequent this weekend? The Lexington at the Picnic Grove in Cambridge Crossing debuts on Thursday, with lobster rolls, wine, and plenty of seating on a spacious outdoor patio in East Cambridge. As part of the neighborhood’s new Cambridge Crossing development, the summer pop-up restaurant from chefs Will Gilson and Brian Mercury is a preview to their three new concepts opening later this year, and features snackable items like bacon-wrapped scallops, hot dogs tacos, and sundae cups. Stop by Thursday and Friday from 4 p.m to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m.

Silent Vigil for Black Lives Matter

For those who would like to continue to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement, there are a number of vigils and demonstrations happening this weekend. In Boston, you can join a 10-minute silent vigil on Friday at 4:40 p.m. outside Brookside Community Health Center, while in Cambridge, you can join demonstrations on Saturday at 10 a.m. in Central Square and Sunday at 10 a.m. in Porter Square.

Travel back in time at Old North Church

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For Bostonians who work and live downtown, it will be a return to normalcy when you spot a costumed tour guide teaching visitors about one of the many historic landmarks in the neighborhood. That process begins this weekend, as the Old North Church reopens its doors. Like other institutions reopening under Phase 3, tickets must be purchased for a specific time window, and face coverings must be worn.

Festival Betances

Each year, more than 3,000 people flock to the South End for Festival Betances, one of the longest-running celebrations of New England’s Latino community. The family-friendly event will be virtual this year, so you can count out typical entertainment like the parade, Puerto Rican food, and greased pole competition. However, organizers Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA) have still put together some great virtual programming for the evening, including performances from Los Pleneros de Severo and Andrés Jiménez “El Jíbaro.” You can tune in live starting Saturday at 7 p.m. on Facebook or YouTube.

Try a few new flavors on National Ice Cream Day

Sunday is National Ice Cream Day — not that we needed an excuse to order a couple scoops. To celebrate, there’s a slew of new, creamy options to try around the city. Head to GreCo Seaport, where the casual Greek spot recently introduced Kaimaki ice cream, a gummy variation that combines flavors of mastiha and rose water. Oddfellows Ice Cream Co., which landed in Chestnut Hill last summer, has teamed up with West Elm to create the West Elm Citrus Summer Crush, available now through August 2 (try it if you’re a fan of orange creamsicles). And over at Deuxave in the Back Bay, pastry chef Giselle Miller just launched $10 pints of ice cream to go, in flavors like burnt honey, sweet garden mint, and mandarin sherbet. 

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