10 things to do in Boston this Juneteenth weekend

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

The Museum of Fine Arts will offer free admission and an outdoor celebration on Juneteenth. Museum of Fine Arts

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].

Celebrate the return of Roxbury International Film Festival

New England’s preeminent film festival celebrating people of color from around the globe is back for its 23rd edition, starting this Thursday and running through June 26. The festival lineup features more than 80 titles, many of which will be available to stream online, and some of which are free. Speaking of free, the fest opens with “How it Feels to Be Free,” a documentary by Yoruba Richen that chronicles how six Black women artists/entertainers — including Nina Simone, Cicely Tyson, and Pam Grier — influenced American culture with their work. Individual tickets and all-access festival passes are available now on the Rox Film Fest website.

Check out a new beer garden in Hingham

Yes, there’s another new beer garden on the scene. This time, you’ll need to head to Hingham, where South Shore microbrewery Untold Brewing will open a beer garden at the Derby Street Shops. Dubbed “The Green,” the beer garden and al fresco community space will launch on Friday at 6 p.m., with later service running Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 9 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 7 p.m. Choose from a rotating selection of beer, white and rosé wine by the glass, and non-alcoholic seltzers, then post up at one of The Green’s Adirondack chairs or get a lawn game started. Bonus: Dogs are welcome.

Raise a glass to Juneteenth

Chef Douglass Williams may have recently opened a second MIDA location in Newton, but it’s the South End location you’ll want to frequent this weekend for a blueberry whiskey smash. In honor of Juneteenth, Williams partnered with Uncle Nearest Distillery to create the smash, made with Uncle Nearest 1884 small batch whiskey; proceeds from the cocktail will be donated at the end of the week to Rosie’s Place. At Ula Cafe in Jamaica Plain, a strawberry basil limeade special is available through Sunday, with a portion of sales going to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. And at Night Shift Brewing’s Everett, Lovejoy Wharf, and Owl’s Nest locations, you can pick up the brewery’s new Juneteenth release, a New England IPA called Black Star, made in collaboration with local artist Cedric Douglas. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Mass Action Against Police Brutality

Experience Tribeca Film Festival from your couch

The Roxbury Film Festival isn’t the only way to catch the latest and greatest independent movie this weekend. In New York City, the largely in-person Tribeca Film Festival will make 35 of its films available to stream online. Highlights of the narrative features lineup include “Creation Stories,” a new film about the life of music mogul Alan McGee; “They’re Trying to Kill Us,” a documentary about the structural racism inherent in America’s food and medical industries; and “Dating and New York,” a rom-com featuring “SNL” cast member Alex Moffat and comedian Jaboukie Young-White, among others. The full list of streaming films can be found on the Tribeca website.

Enjoy Juneteenth with “One Night in Boston”

This Friday, King Boston and multiple community partners will launch “One Night in Boston,” an inaugural event kicking off a weekend of Juneteenth celebrations in the city. Beginning at 6:30 p.m., this community celebration unites multiple cultural organizations in Roxbury’s Nubian Square for a tribute to Black Music Month. The event will feature live music and the premiere of the short film “One Night in Boston,” which features seven performances highlighting local black artists and musical groups. Those who can’t make it to Roxbury can also catch “One Night in Boston” on TV on June 19, airing on NBC10 Boston at 8:30 a.m. and NECN at 7:30 p.m.

Tune in to the Destination Cuisine Series with chef Kwasi Kwaa

The Urban Farming Institute will kick off its inaugural Destination Cuisine Series on Juneteenth, highlighting a local chef and food from different regions and countries. On Saturday at 3 p.m., guests are invited to virtually join Comfort Kitchen chef Kwasi Kwaa for a cooking demo and Q&A, where he’ll share recipes of the African Diaspora. RSVP here

Celebrate Juneteenth at Bow Market

The Somerville marketplace has a handful of events planned for Saturday, starting at 11 a.m. with the Black Owned Bos. retail bazaar featuring House of Art & Craft, Adorn Me Africa, Ankhara by Luciana, and B. Royal Boutique. Stick around for evening shindigs at wine bar/book store/event space Wild Child, which will host a vinyl spin party (6 p.m. to 7 p.m.) honoring the legacy of Black music, and a Steam Power Hour (7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.) featuring readings of romance novels, stories, and poems centered around Black love. Wine will be poured. 

Enjoy a free outdoor Juneteenth celebration at the MFA

The Museum of Fine Arts will be celebrating Juneteenth with free admission to its indoor attractions and an all-day festival on its outdoor grounds, running from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday. Enjoy conversations with local artists, art-making projects, live music, and an evening screening of “Summer of Soul,” the new documentary from Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson presented in partnership with the Roxbury International Film Festival. Tickets for the MFA’s two special exhibits — “Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation” and “Monet and Boston: Legacy Illuminated” — are sold out, but free timed entry general admissions tickets are still up for grabs at the MFA website.

Book a free outdoor brunch bootcamp at Tuscan Kitchen

Maybe your dad’s ideal Father’s Day involves minimal movement, save for a few swings of a golf club. Or maybe your dad is a fitness freak who would jump at the chance for a free fitness class in the Seaport. For the latter group, MoveStudios will be offering a 45-minute session of its signature workout class at Tuscan Kitchen’s outdoor Il Giardino. Stick around for a complimentary brunch beverage after the class.

Work up a Sweat with the Summer Fitness Challenge

Has it been a little while since you took on one of those fitness challenges that were all the rage at the beginning of the pandemic? If you break a sweat for a good cause with the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Fall Fitness Challenge powered by, you could win cool prizes like a Peleton bike, a WHOOP fitness tracker, a free year-long BlueBikes membership, or gift cards from various local restaurants. Teams will compete to engage in physical activity over the course of one week while also raising money for Eastie Farm, a local organization that prioritizes “climate justice, improving food access, and fostering community resilience through the development of interactive urban agricultural spaces.” Team registration for the challenge, which runs from June 21-27, is now open via RaceMenu.


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