10 things to do in Boston this weekend

BosTen is your weekly guide to the best events and coolest happenings in and around Boston.

Performers take part in "The Slutcracker" at Somerville Theatre. Handout

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].

Enjoy the holiday season with festive tree-lighting ceremonies

Seekers of yuletide cheer will be able to check out tree-lighting ceremonies in Boston on two consecutive days this week. On Thursday, the Nova Scotia tree will be lit up at 6 p.m. at the Boston Common Tree Lighting Ceremony, which will include musical performances from Nova Scotian musicians Beòlach and Keonté Beals. Then on Friday, head to the Seaport for Light Up Seaport, where the neighborhood’s 54-foot Norway spruce and its 10,000 white lights will be illuminated at 7:15 p.m.

Ring in the last few nights of Hanukkah at Maccabee Bar

Hanukkah came early this year, kicking off on Nov. 28, and will wrap up on Dec. 4. That means there’s still some time to visit Naomi Levy’s Hanukkah pop-up, Maccabee Bar, which has set up shop at Variety Bar in Bow Market. The annual tradition, now in its fourth year, has a string of holiday appropriate cocktails on its drink menu, including the Everything Bagel Martini made with everything-spiced gin, the Latke Sour featuring apple brandy and potato, and the Jewish Christmas, which uses sesame-infused rye. Can’t make up your mind? Spin a dreidel to choose your drink! A handful of Bow Market vendors are also getting in on the action, with latkes from Saus, spicy chimichurri latke empanadas from Buenas, and brisket grilled cheese from Shirley. For something sweet, Lionheart Confections is providing the sufganiyot, a sort-of jelly doughnut-beignet hybrid.  

Listen to seasonal tunes with the Holiday Pops

After a year of virtual performances, one of Boston’s favorite holiday traditions will return to Symphony Hall. Starting this Thursday, the Holiday Pops — led by veteran conductor Keith Lockhart — will perform hours of holiday classics through Dec. 24. 

Get yourself on the naughty list at “The Slutcracker

If the Boston Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker” is too traditional for your tastes, its raunchier, more affordable sibling “The Slutcracker” will bow at the Somerville Theatre starting this Friday through Dec. 31. The burlesque parody created by Vanessa White in 2008 is not a family-friendly affair, but for those who prefer their ballet with a heavy dose of the risqué, “The Slutcracker” is just the ticket.

Do your grocery shopping at the Somerville Winter Farmers Market

On Saturday, the Center for Arts at the Armory will kick off its annual Somerville Winter Farmers Market, which is scheduled to run every Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. through April 16. This is the 12th year the market has popped up in Somerville, featuring over 35 vendors offering produce, bread, tamales, pastries, and more. Stock up on your weekly groceries, then head over to the adjacent cafe, where you can enjoy live music while sipping on freshly brewed coffee. 

Help spread holiday cheer at Harpoon Brewery

‘Tis the season for giving, and Harpoon has embraced the sentiment with its annual event, Harpoon Helps Spread Holiday Cheer. On Saturday from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., the Seaport brewery invites guests in for an afternoon of making decorations for organizations around Boston (ticket proceeds will also be spread among these locations). Each $30 ticket includes two beverage tickets, a four-pack of Harpoon Big League to go, sugar cookies and holiday ornaments for decorating, and access to a make-your-own-hot-cocoa bar and wreath making station. Spend an additional $40 to make a take-home holiday wreath. 

Shop local at the SoWa Winter Festival

Get your holiday shopping done locally this weekend at the SoWa Power Station, which will play host to the 6th Annual SoWa Winter Festival. Along with 100+ vendors showcasing handmade gifts, visitors can enjoy artisan foods and sip cocktails, wine, and craft beer while they browse the festival. The festival will be open from Friday, Dec. 3 through Sunday, Dec. 12. For info about tickets and hours, check out the SoWa website.

Enjoy a modern take on Shakespeare at the Huntington Theatre

As movies like “The Lion King” and “10 Things I Hate About You” have show, modern retellings of Shakespeare’s plays can be successful in introducing the bard to new audiences. This weekend, another contemporary take on Shakespeare bows at the Huntington Theatre this Friday with “Teenage Dick,” a riff on “Richard III” about a boy who runs for student body president to stave off cruel bullies. Tickets for the show, which runs through Jan. 2, are available on the theatre’s website.

Strip down for the Santa Speedo Run

Since 2000, a group of brave runners have gathered annually in the Back Bay to run the streets of Boston in their seasonal skivvies for the Santa Speedo Run, all while raising around $2 million for various charities. Due to the pandemic. this year’s Santa Speedo Run will be more spread out than the usual swarm of scantily clad Santas on Boylston Street, with runners invited to participate throughout the Greater Boston area anytime from Dec. 4-12.

Feast on Filipino food at Tanám’s Piyesta Pinoy celebration

Filipino restaurant Tanám is throwing its Piyesta Pinoy party on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and you’re going to want to come with an empty stomach. VIP tickets ($64) include a plate of Tanám’s Lechon liempo (pork filled with ginger garlic root vegetables), sotanghon, lumpia, rice, and a cocktail, as well as a handful of other Filipinx-inspired specials made in partnership with Bow Market businesses. The restaurant has also teamed up with Tiny Turns Paperie to offer a Paról Filipinx Christmas lantern kit, which you can make at home or inside Remnant Brewing for a make-a-long from noon to 3 p.m. (the paról kit is included in each $10 ticket).


This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on