10 things to do in Boston this Veterans Day weekend

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

A pork belly tray at Sweet Cheeks. Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

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].

Celebrate Sweet Cheeks Q’s 10th birthday with buckets of biscuits

Happy birthday, Sweet Cheeks! The Fenway barbecue destination turns 10 on Thursday, and is throwing a party with $10 specials through Saturday. What kind of specials? Order $10 buckets of Sweet Cheeks Q’s buttermilk biscuits with honey butter, or $10 buckets of Miller High Life ponies. Big Heart Hospitality’s pastry chef, Dee Steffen Chinn, has made a 10th anniversary birthday cake (there are sprinkles!), and you can even enter the restaurant’s birthday raffle to win a lifetime of buttermilk biscuits. A winner will be drawn Nov. 13 — will it be you?

Visit a National Park Service site for free

This Thursday, the government will honor our nation’s veterans by offering free entry into any National Park Service site. Some of the 15 national historic parks and sites in Massachusetts are already free on a regular basis, but many of both the paid and free sites across New England will be holding special in-person and virtual events to commemorate the occasion. For a full listing of participating sites, check out the NPS search tool, and use the NPS calendar to find events of interest.

Restaurants are honoring veterans with Veterans Day specials

November 11 is Veterans Day, and to honor those who served, a selection of local restaurants are showing their appreciation with specials. At A&B Kitchen Bar in the West End, veterans (plus three guests) will receive 20 percent off their meal; choose from dishes like barbecue pork nachos, shrimp po’boys, and the restaurant’s award-winning burgers. Tuscan Brands Restaurants — which includes Tuscan Kitchen, Tuscan Sea Grill & Bar, and Toscana Italian Chop House & Wine Bar — has crafted a special family-style meal for veterans and their families, available on Thursday from 11 am. to 4 p.m. The honored guests can enjoy penne bolognese, roast pork tenderloin with mashed potatoes and carrots, and a freshly baked cookie paired with Italian coffee. Show your military ID at The Smoke Shop on Nov. 11 and you’ll receive a complimentary sandwich and side, available for dine-in or takeout. And at Anna’s Taqueria, veterans and active military can receive a free meal (a salad, Mexican bowl, burrito, quesadilla, or two tacos) at all Anna’s locations throughout Greater Boston. 

Glide into winter fun at Patriot Place

With daylight vanishing at a rapid rate, the impending arrival of winter is at hand. Rather than shy away from the long nights and chilly temperatures, embrace the change of the seasons by heading to Patriot Place for the grand opening of its winter skating rink this Thursday. Pat the Patriot and Slyde (the Revolution’s mascot) will be on hand for festivities that will feature a live DJ, retail giveaways, free skating opportunities, and the chance to win tickets to a Patriots game. In addition, veterans, active military, and their families will enjoy free admission throughout the weekend. The rink will be open through February, with complete hours available on the Patriot Place website.

Sip mezcal drinks with the Cocktail Club

Is mezcal ready to have a moment? Typically dwarfed in consumption by its agave-derived cousin, tequila, industry experts believe mezcal is poised for a widespread jump in consumption in the U.S. This Thursday at 7 p.m.,’s virtual cocktail club is heading south of the border (virtually) as host Jackson Cannon (The Hawthorne, Eastern Standard) and guest bartender Misty Kalkofen (Green Street, Drink) mix up a pair of drinks using Del Maguey mezcal, an artisanal brand from Oaxaca for which Kalkofen serves as a cultural liaison. The duo will start with the Naked and Famous and finish up with Cloud People, a drink with mezcal, dry vermouth, yellow chartreuse, and bitters. Attending the Zoom is free, and you can find a full list of necessary ingredients here.

Raise a glass to International Sherry Week at Barcelona Wine Bar

If you’ve always felt a little intimidated by sherry, now’s the time to learn more about the fortified wine. It’s International Sherry Week, after all, and Barcelona Wine Bar is celebrating with a special curated pairing menu featuring two tapas and Bodega Lustau sherry pairings. Stop by either of the wine bar’s locations (Brookline or the South End) for items like a foie gras biscuit paired with Lustau Palo Cortado Península; lobster salad montadito paired with Lustau Fino Jarana; or roasted delicata squash with sheep’s cheese, truffle honey, and pepitas, paired with Lustau Amontillado Los Arcos.

Grab a Christmas gift (and a bite to eat) at the New England Craft & Specialty Food Fair

With ongoing supply chain issues, there’s never been a better year to shop locally for your holiday gifts. One such opportunity for early Christmas shopping is this weekend’s New England Craft & Specialty Food Fair, which will take over the indoor arena at the Topsfield Fairgrounds from Friday through Sunday. More than 200 local artisans will be on hand to sell giftable items like paintings, floral arrangements, pet accessories, and custom signs. Attendees will also be able to enjoy a “food sampling extravaganza,” with items like chocolates, jerky, jams, soups, and pastries all made by local bakers and chefs.

Sample hard kombucha at the grand opening of Flying Embers

Dorchester’s Flying Embers soft opened over the summer, but the California-founded brewery is celebrating its grand opening on Saturday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. with specials, live music and DJs, and food trucks. Stop by to sample some of the brewery’s signature hard kombuchas and hard seltzers, or choose from a special release beer, like the Horchata Porter or Lion’s Mane Lager. The Bon Me food truck will be parked outside to keep everyone well-fed, and guests can enjoy lawn games, brewery tours, and sports games on the big screen.

Sing along to Sylvan Esso at the House of Blues

Spend a minute listening to Sylvan Esso, and you’ll immediately be taken by the electropop duo’s infectious, irrepressible energy. Their foot-tapping blend of singer Amelia Meath’s indie melodies and producer Nick Sanborn’s electronic soundscape traditionally makes their live shows a blast, which means their show at the House of Blues this weekend is the perfect way to stave off the Sunday Scaries. For new listeners, give songs like “Radio,” “Ferris Wheel,” and “Coffee” a listen to see if Sylvan Esso is your cup of tea.

Bring the whole family to ‘Peter and the Wolf’

Introducing children to classical music is easy enough — just throw on some Beethoven or Mozart in the background while they amuse themselves. But getting children to engage with classical music is another story. For that, head to the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra’s presentation of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf at Symphony Hall this Sunday. The 1936 work seamlessly blends the fairy tale story of Peter and his animal friends and enemies with playful classical tunes that will be engaging for all ages. For tickets and info on the noon show, visit the BSO website.


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