10 things to do in Boston this weekend

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

Red Panda at Franklin Park Zoo
A red panda at Franklin Park Zoo. Lane Turner/Globe Staff

While more and more Massachusetts businesses and cultural institutions are reopening as COVID-19 vaccination efforts continue, many residents are still staying home due to the coronavirus pandemic. With that in mind, this week’s BosTen offers a mix of in-person and virtual 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].

Get a personalized book recommendation from a bibliotherapist

Laughter may be the best medicine, but books aren’t far behind, according to Ella Berthoud. During this online event from the Boston Book Festival on Thursday at 5:30, the bibliotherapist will use her unique ability to “prescribe” books to attendees based on their life situations or questions.

Get your taco fix at UNI’s new taco truck

Yes, that UNI, the high-end sushi bar in the Back Bay, the one that recently rolled out a new taco truck at 150 Forsyth St. at Northeastern University. The truck operates Mondays through Fridays from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and serves tacos filled with chicken mole, carnitas, carne asada, and jackfruit (two tacos per order). Tack on a side of street corn or chips and guacamole, find a set of stairs or a patch of grass to claim as your own, then tuck into your meal.


Go green with the Irish Film Festival

For its 20th anniversary, the Irish Film Festival hosted a drive-in festival at the Irish Cultural Center. For its 21st edition, the five-night festival (March 17-21) is all-virtual, with more than 40 films ranging from hard-hitting documentaries to laugh-out-loud comedies. Each title will be available to unlock for 72 hours after it premieres, and audiences will have 48 hours to finish watching a movie once they hit play. For a full list of films and ticketing info, visit the Irish Film Festival website.

Order some soft serve at Broadway Dairy Maid

Is it going to snow on Friday? Looks like it. Should you still order ice cream from Broadway Dairy Maid when it reopens on March 19? All signs point to yes. The soft serve haven will reemerge from its winter slumber with a stellar lineup of flavors and toppings — and, as is custom, the first customer of the year in line gets a free sundae. 


Run for fun with the virtual St. Patrick’s Day Road Race

St. Patrick’s Day has already come and gone, and the annual St. Patrick’s Day Road Race did not take place on its usual Southie route. Instead, runners will be logging a 5k at their own pace in their own neighborhoods until March 21 to benefit the South Boston Boys & Girls Club’s youth development and teen programs. You can register and nab a race T-shirt from the Boys & Girls Club website.

Dive into international documentaries with the Salem Film Fest

Based on reputation alone, you might expect the Salem Film Fest to be full of frights. In reality, since 2007 the fest has brought the world’s best documentaries to the North Shore. The fest will be held online, and include 22 features and 20 shorts, available to stream starting Friday until March 28. There is at least one title on the festival slate that is very on-brand for Salem: “The Letter,” a documentary about a 94-year-old Kenyan grandmother accused of witchcraft.


Rise and dine with the animals of Zoo New England

Both the Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo have reopened for guests, but both Zoo New England attractions are continuing a robust offering of virtual programming as well, including its Breakfast With the Animals series. Each Saturday and Sunday morning at 9 a.m., families are invited to enjoy some breakfast as some of the zoo’s animals receive their first meals of the day. If you’re looking for a furry friend, Saturday’s breakfast with Franklin Park Zoo’s red panda is the one to target. If you’d prefer a prickly pal, Sunday’s meal buddy is the Stone Zoo’s porcupine. Tickets and more info are available on the Zoo New England website.


Enjoy the last remnants of winter with Frozen Fruitlands

For the final time in 2021, the Trustees and the Fruitlands Museum will host its Frozen Fruitlands weekend, giving visitors a chance to enjoy sledding, snowing, cross-country skiing, and more winter activities on the picturesque Harvard property. Pick a time slot on Saturday or Sunday on the Trustees website, and you’ll be able to check out museum exhibits during your visit as well. Based on the upcoming snowy weather forecast, this might be the ideal way to embrace winter’s last hurrah.

Visit the Chez Henri pop up at Noir 

Remember Chez Henri? The French-Cuban bistro on Shepard Street in Cambridge that shuttered in 2013? One of its signature dishes makes a return on Saturday, as Chez Henri chef Paul O’Connell pops up at Noir with his famed Cubano sandwich. Chez Henri’s opening bartender, Joe McGuirk, will also be making an appearance, mixing up Cuban-inspired cocktails both inside and on Noir’s outdoor patio. E-mail [email protected] to make a reservation.


Watch 3 local singers strive for stardom on “American Idol”

The Boston area is well represented on this season of “American Idol,” with no less than five contestants making it through the audition process to land a spot on the singing competition. This Sunday’s episode, which airs on ABC at 8 p.m., features three of them: Amanda Mena, an 18-year-old Lynn resident who has been on “America’s Got Talent” and sung at both Fenway Park and Boston’s July 4th celebration; Beane, a 23-year-old Berklee grad living in Brighton described by judge Lionel Richie as “a modern-day Mr. Rogers”; and Colin Jamieson, a 22-year-old Boxford resident who wowed the judges with his take on Billie Eilish’s “Six Feet Under.”


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