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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].
Ever tried Armenian wine? On Thursday at 6:30 p.m., Anoush’ella’s South End location will team up with the Armenian Assembly of America to host a wine tasting, featuring Armenian wines from Storica. Get a lesson on the ins and outs of these wines from Storica co-founder Zack Armen and certified wine educator Ara Sarkissian, all while enjoying mezze from Anoush’ella. Tickets can be purchased here.
With fall festival season in full swing, some of the year’s awards season favorites have already been anointed in Venice and Toronto. If you want to see some of 2021’s best films weeks or months before they open nationwide, Independent Film Festival Boston (IFFBoston) will be screening some 11 buzz-worthy movies at the Brattle Theatre through Oct. 24 as part of its Fall Focus showcase. Among the highlights are “Red Rocket,” director Sean Baker’s (“The Florida Project”) newest film about a narcissistic porn star (Simon Rex, “Scary Movie 3”) down on his luck, Kenneth Branagh’s “Belfast,” about a young boy’s childhood growing up in the cultural and political tumult of 1960s Great Britain, and Pablo Larrain’s (“Jackie”) “Spencer,” a Princess Diana biopic starring Kristen Stewart (“Twilight”) as the late Diana Spencer. For a full list of films, check out the IFF Boston website.
Over the years, the Boston Asian American Film Festival (BAAFF) has brought hundreds of films that focus on the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community to Boston’s Chinatown. For its 13th edition (Oct. 20-24), the festival will be fully virtual, but will still feature plenty of films from talented Asian American directors. Highlights include “Sky Blossom,” a documentary about young caregivers taking care of disabled military veterans, and “American.ish,” which bills itself as the first Muslim romantic comedy directed by a Muslim-American woman. Ticketing information and a full list of films can be found on the BAAFF website.
As Kentucky is to bourbon, Tennessee is to whiskey, a standard-bearer that distilleries in other states can only hope to emulate. This Thursday at 7 p.m., Boston.com’s virtual cocktail club is heading down south (virtually) as host Jackson Cannon (The Hawthorne, Eastern Standard) and guest bartender Oscar Simoza (Silvertone) mix up a pair of drinks made with Gentleman Jack, a smooth Tennessee whiskey from Jack Daniel’s. The duo will start with traditional Whiskey Sour, then move to a highly inventive riff off that classic, the Mala Vidas Advice. Attending the Zoom is free, and you can find a full list of necessary ingredients here.
Halloween is arriving at the Boston Common Frog Pond nine days early this year thanks to the first annual Fall-o-Ween Children’s Festival. This Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., join Acting Mayor Kim Janey for a variety of free festive family activities, including a haunted house, a Lego pumpkin patch, performances from the Boston Circus Guild, and more.
Stop by either Artifact Cider Project taprooms this weekend (The Station in Cambridge or The Cellar in Florence), and you’ll be treated to a match made in heaven: cider and cheese. The cidery is partnering with Provisions at The Cellar and Formaggio at The Station to create a curated cheese and cider flight, featuring four ciders, four cheeses, and a pairing guide. Try to hit up the cidery early — the pairings are available until they run out.
After taking 2020 off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual Head of the Charles Regatta will return to the Charles River from Oct. 22-24 with an additional two hours of racing on Friday. Visitors will be able to find great viewing spots along both sides of the river, and can enjoy food and drink at multiple venues including FALS Bar, a new spot with a viewing area, and beer garden located near the awards tent. For a complete regatta schedule, more information about food and drink locations, or COVID-19 safety regulations, check out the HOCR website.
Hub Hall made its debut in mid-September, and if you haven’t been to the West End food hall yet, it’s worth a trip for the sheer variety of vendors alone. Among those vendors is Greco, the fast casual Greek chain that has grown to four locations across Boston. To celebrate its newest location, Greco will host a breakfast gryo pop-up on Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Start your morning off by choosing one of Greco’s hefty breakfast gyros, from the Truly Greek Breakfast Gyro with eggs, pork, and tzatziki, to the Greek American Gyro with eggs, bacon or sausage, and honey mustard (both are stuffed with French fries). The limited-time breakfast menu also features a very Greek version of a pumpkin spice frappe.
Lily’s opened in the former Battery Park space last year, serving a casual menu of signature pizzas, spring rolls, and sandwiches, plus beer, wine, and cocktails. On Friday, the restaurant and bar kicks off its new ’90s karaoke night program, a full-on throwback with ’90s jams and themed appetizers and cocktails. Belt out your best Britney Spears impression, snack on ham and cheese hot pockets and pizza bagel bites, and order Pop Rocks cosmos and Yoohoo chocolate martinis. Wearing ’90s-themed attire is encouraged, of course — don’t forget those slap bracelets, kids.
Get the costumed celebrations started early this Saturday and Sunday at Stone Zoo’s annual Boo at the Zoo, which promises spooky, family-friendly activities galore. Explore a trick-or-treat trail with animals and creepy surprises, enjoy fall refreshments at the Yukon Cafe, watch zoo animals play with their pet pumpkins, and more. To grab timed-entry tickets to the celebration, check out the Zoo New England website.
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