10 things to do in Boston this weekend

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

Harpoon Brewery Octoberfest.

With more and more Massachusetts businesses and cultural institutions reinstating COVID-19 restrictions in the face of a resurgent coronavirus pandemic, residents may be torn on whether to venture out of their homes this weekend. With that in mind, this week’s BosTen offers a mix of in-person and virtual things to do in Boston 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].

Stock up on sweets during the annual Bakes for Breast Cancer Massachusetts

Now in its 22nd year, this annual bake-a-thon runs from Oct. 1 through Oct. 7 and features restaurants and bakeries across Massachusetts. Each venue offers either one designated dessert where 100 percent of the proceeds go toward Bakes for Breast Cancer or an entire dessert lineup where 50 percent of the proceeds is donated to the organization. Order a crème brûlée at Aquitaine, a cookie sandwich at Cafe Beatrice, a tres leches cake at El Pelón Taqueria, and more. Find a full list of participating restaurants here

Rock out with the Jonas Brothers at Fenway Park

Fenway Park’s summer concert series wraps up this Friday with a set from the Jonas Brothers and opening act Kelsea Ballerini. The sibling trio will be at the home of the Red Sox as part of their “Remember This” tour, and tickets are still available for as low as $40 plus fees on the Fenway Park website.

Experience fall farm freshness at Topsfield Fair

After taking a year off due to the pandemic, America’s oldest agricultural fair (which began in 1818) will return starting this Friday. Visitors can enjoy fall favorites like the giant pumpkin display, an apple pie contest, animal shows, concerts, parades, and much more through Oct. 11 at the Topsfield Fairgrounds.

Sip on plenty of sake at Sake Day East

Join sake expert Marina Giordano and The Koji Club founder Alyssa DiPasquale at the Charles River Speedway on Friday for Sake Day East. The event, held from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., celebrates nihonshu-no-hi, or “the Day of Sake,” which signals the beginning of sake brewing season. Purchase tickets ($65) to enjoy sake tastings, light appetizers, food trucks, and more, with a chance to learn from some of Boston’s best sake aficionados.

Go on a barbecue crawl at the ‘Smoke This’ Rib Fest 

The East Cambridge Business Association’s “Smoke This” Rib Fest is switching things up this year, turning the event into a two-week-long barbecue crawl that wraps up on Oct. 10. Your goal between now and then? To try as many rib and barbecue specials that you can at participating restaurants. Order slow roasted pork coppa with a spicy molasses glaze from Loyal Nine, tempura pork ribs with a jalapeño and maple glaze at Puritan & Co., five spice pork ribs served with fries at Shy Bird, and more. 

Stream the new Ken Burns PBS docuseries on Muhammad Ali

As one of the biggest names in documentary filmmaking, New Hampshire resident Ken Burns pioneered techniques that are now synonymous with the medium. The pioneering director is back with a four-part series on Muhammad Ali. After exploring every facet of the late boxer in order to make the series, Burns told the Wall Street Journal that he believes Ali’s life “intersects with almost all of the major themes of the late part of the 20th century.” If you missed the docmentary when it aired earlier this month, PBS has all four parts available for free streaming on its website.

Enjoy neighborhood tunes at Somerville PorchFest

Once a year during PorchFest, Somerville transforms into one huge concert, with hundreds of musicians performing on porches across the city. While the festival’s original May date was delayed, the show will go on this Saturday. Things will look a bit different this year. Artists on West Somerville porches will play throughout a noon to 2 p.m. window, while those in Central Somerville will perform from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and those in East Somerville will take to their instruments from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. To see a full map of participating porches and the list of the 100+ artists, check out the PorchFest website.

Hoist a stein at Harpoon Octoberfest

One of the biggest annual events at the Seaport brewery is back for another year of beer, food, and fun. Harpoon will host competitions in stein hoisting, chicken dancing, and pretzel-eating, plus live music and tours of the brewery. Saturday’s tickets have already sold out, but tickets for Friday are still available via Eventbrite.

Become a doughnut judge at Rise & Rumble 2021

It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it: This Saturday, the annual Rise & Rumble doughnut competition will ask attendees to vote for their favorite doughnuts after trying seven varieties from some of the city’s best pastry chefs. Spread across the patios at Sweet Cheek Q, Fool’s Errand, and Orfano in the Fenway, doughnuts from Alyxandria Abreu (The Banks), Tess Cunningham (Sarma), Nicole Harrington (Catalyst), Kate Holowchik  (Lionheart Confections), Hannah Krowne (Sofra), Josh Livsey (Harvest), and Michelle LeBlanc (Ostra) will be available to guests, alongside a light brunch buffet and a coffee bar (two brunch cocktails can be added on for an additional $16). Tickets ($35) may be purchased here.

Get geeky at the Robo Boston Block Party

After a yearlong hiatus, the fourth annual Robo Boston Block Party will be back in the Seaport this Saturday at Seaport Common. More than 30 organizations will be on hand from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. showing off demonstrations of everything from the latest in drone technology to innovations in autonomous vehicles.


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