10 things to do in Boston this weekend

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

The SoWa Open Market in the South End.
The SoWa Open Market in the South End. –Dina Rudick/Globe Staff

Skip Netflix this weekend—here are 10 ways to get out of your home and not be bored in the city. If you’d like BosTen delivered to your inbox every Thursday, click here. Want more things to do? Check out our events calendar at boston.com/events.

Independent Film Festival Boston

The Independent Film Festival Boston is back for its 15th run, featuring films, documentaries, and panels that delve into the theme “It Stays With You.” Stumped, a documentary about a man who lost both of his legs and arms and follows his historic double arm transplant at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, opened the festival Wednesday night. More than 100 features will be screened through May 3 at venues including the Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brattle Theatre, and Somerville Theatre. Previous films that have screened at the festival include the Oscar-winning films Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea. See the full list of 2017 films and buy tickets for individual screenings on the festival’s website(Wednesday, April 26 to Wednesday, May 3 at various times; theaters throughout Boston; tickets from $10 per screening; all ages)

Ice Cream Petting Zoo at Continuum


Spend a night with baby goats and comfort food. The luxury apartment building Continuum Allston is hosting an event with a petting zoo, Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, Gracie’s Ice Cream, and a pop-up beer bar from Revolution Catering. The best part? It’s all free on a first-come, first-served basis. (Thursday, April 27 from 6 to 9 p.m.; Continuum Allston, Allston; free; 21+)

ICA After 5: Beers and Bedazzling

Calling all ’90s kids: As part of their ICA After 5 series, the Institute of Contemporary Art is hosting a night of beer sampling and bedazzling. Sip on a flight of brews from Harpoon Brewery and add some sparkle to your life by bringing your own sunglasses, shoes, or clothes to embellish. (Friday, April 28 from 5 to 8 p.m.; ICA, Boston; free with $15 museum admission, 21+)

Art in Bloom at the MFA

The Museum of Fine Arts is ushering in spring with Art in Bloom, their annual flower and art festival. The museum pairs gardeners with artworks, asking them to create floral arrangements inspired by Frida Kahlo, Jackson Pollock, and others. Visitors can see the floral arrangements just after New England garden clubs have freshly installed them during Friday’s special preview night, or Saturday through Monday. Additionally, visitors can check out a showcasing of Japanese floral design on Saturday and the family-oriented Art in Bloom Community Day on Sunday. (Friday, April 28 from 5 to 10 p.m. for the Friday evening preview; Saturday, April 29 to Monday, May 1 during museum hours, check website for special event times; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; free with museum admission, which is $25 for adults, free for children; all ages)



ArtWeek is returning to Boston for its biggest festival ever, bringing more than 250 art-inspired events—a 40 percent increase from the spring and fall 2016 ArtWeeks. The festival will kick off this Friday and run through Sunday, May 7, with daily happenings, including the return of the popular “Before I Die..” wall, a race through a mural-filled mile, and a public art duck boat tour. Check the official calendar for a full list of events—60 percent of them are completely free. (Friday, April 28 to Sunday, May 7 at various times; venues throughout Boston and Eastern Massachusetts; check specific events for pricing; all ages)

Thirst Boston

Attention, all aspiring bartenders (professional and recreational): A cocktail festival is coming to Boston this weekend. Thirst Boston is an annual three-day event that combines educational, cocktail-based classes with nightly parties that celebrate New England bartenders and beverages. By day, take courses like The Daiquiri: Building Block of a Cocktail Master, and Tequila: Mexico’s Ambassador to the World. At night, join local bartenders at the State Lines event to sample spirits from New England’s distillers, brewers, and winemakers, and head to the Gender Bender Blender Bender, where 12 bartenders will face off to create the best blended cocktail. One-day passes are available for purchase, as are single event tickets. But hurry: The festival’s events, which are all listed here, are selling out quickly. (Friday, April 28 to Sunday, April 30 at various times; various locations but most events held at BCAE; one-day passes and single event tickets available; 21+)

SoWa Open Market Kickoff Weekend

On Saturday, Boston’s largest outdoor market will reopen for for its 14th season to host local artisans, farmers, and food vendors every weekend through October. Plus, for the first time, the market will be held on both Saturdays and Sundays, giving Bostonians more opportunities to sip on craft beers and listen to live music while they shop for local goods. To celebrate the market opening, the SoWa Power Station will hold a Power Beer Fest on Saturday, where attendees can enjoy unlimited beer samples from 60 Massachusetts brewers during one of two sampling sessions, which each cost $55(Saturday, April 29 to Sunday, April 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; SoWa Open Market, Boston; free; all ages)

Brookline Open Studios Weekend


Give it up for local art at the Brookline Open Studios Weekend, back for its 31st year. On Saturday and Sunday, more than 60 artists will either open their home studios or gather at group exhibition sites and invite the public to see their work. View the interactive map of exhibitions and preview the work of the exhibiting artists on the event’s website(Saturday, April 29 to Sunday, April 30 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; various locations in Brookline; free; all ages)

Japanese Festival Boston

An outdoor “Matsuri,” or Japanese festival, will invade the Boston Common this weekend. The festival will feature more than 100 booths selling Japanese jewelry, candy, homeware, and food, along with live performances, including dancers, cosplayers, and musicians. (Sunday, April 30 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Boston Common, Boston; free; all ages)

Crane Beach Color Blast

Crane Beach in Ipswich is hosting Color Blast, a free event inspired by the Holi celebrations of spring held in India. At Color Blast, attendees can toss and frolic in colorful pigments that will rain neon on the beach, and experience a beach bonfire, live drums, hula hoops, kites, and balloons. Color Blast is part of Ipswich’s first-ever, weekend-long Local Color festival, which will celebrate “local flavor, color, and culture” with a Jackson Pollock-themed paint party, a make and name your own paint color event, and a giant paper chain-making station. (Sunday, April 30 from 1 to 3 p.m., colors released at 2 p.m.; Crane Beach, Ipswich; free; all ages)


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