10 things to do in Boston this Fourth of July weekend

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

Boston, MA - 07/04/2016   People lie on confetti after the Independence Day celebrations neat the Hatch Shell along the Charles River Esplanade  in Boston, MA, July 4, 2016.
People lie on confetti after the Independence Day celebrations near the Hatch Shell along the Charles River Esplanade. –Keith Bedford/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. You can also learn even more about awesome events around Boston by joining the BosTen Facebook group.

Boston Harborfest

On Thursday morning, Mayor Marty Walsh will cut the ribbon (and the cake) to kick off Boston Harborfest, a six-day celebration of Boston’s colonial and maritime heritage. From Thursday through July 4, expect more than 100 activities and attractions, including historical reenactments, an oyster festival, and an art show. Plus, in case you’re out of town for the Fourth of July’s Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, the Harborfest’s fireworks own display on Saturday night at 9 p.m. will be viewable from shorelines in several Boston neighborhoods, including Charlestown, Downtown, East Boston, the North End, and the Seaport. (Thursday, June 28 through Wednesday, July 4; various locations; various prices; all ages)

Frog Pond Spray Pool Opening


Temperatures could reach the high 80s on Friday (and nearly 100 degrees next week), so it’s fortunate that Boston’s Park and Recreation Department will hold the Frog Pond Spray Pool’s grand opening that day. Whether you’re taking your kids or ditching your cubicle and rolling up your khakis during your lunch break, all are welcome to cool off on the pond edge or frolic under the 30-foot fountain flume. (Friday, June 29 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Boston Common Frog Pond, Boston; free; all ages)

Free Fun Fridays Kickoff

Starting this Friday, the Highland Street Foundation will offer free admission to a select number of museums and cultural institutions across Massachusetts every Friday through Aug. 31. This Friday’s lineup of museums includes the MIT Museum, the Lyric Stage Company of Boston, and the Concord Museum. (Friday, June 29 at various times; various locations; free; all ages)

“Jaws” on D

In what has quickly becoming an annual tradition, the Lawn on D will honor the anniversary of “Jaws” first swimming into theaters with a free outdoor screening this Friday. The film doesn’t start until 8 p.m., but before then you can enjoy live music from Ruby Force & The Weisstronauts and refreshments from Narragansett. No word on whether the Rhode Island brewery will hold a can-crushing competition like they did last year in honor of the film’s oddball boat captain, Quint. (Friday, June 29 from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Lawn on D, Boston; free; all ages)

Cambridge City Dance Party


This Friday evening, the city of Cambridge will close its main thoroughfare to traffic but open it to dancers. Thousands are expected to descend on City Hall for the city’s 21st annual dance party. A DJ will spin music, and after the sun sets, the city will launch bright, colorful lights to keep the party going. (Friday, June 29 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.; City Hall, Cambridge; free; all ages)

Woofstock Boston

If you’re looking for a nice place to sit (and stay) with some canine friends this Saturday, head to the Harvard Athletic Complex for Woofstock, a celebration of all things dog. Along with dog obstacle courses, dog stunt shows, and adoption opportunities from local shelters, you can sip on canine-inspired cocktails (Moscow Drool, anyone?) and snack on (human) treats from local food trucks. (Saturday, June 30 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Harvard Athletic Complex, Boston; $5; all ages)

Union Night Market

While it may change in the coming years with the impending arrival of the Green Line Extension, Union Square is unquestionably one of Somerville’s funkiest neighborhoods. Check out all it has to offer Saturday night with the Union Night Market, at which vendors will line Union Square’s plaza with food, art, and artisan crafts, and local bands will perform for five hours. Did we mention there will be a beer garden from Brass Union? (Saturday, June 30 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Union Square Plaza, Somerville; free; all ages)

David Blaine

If the magic of a majestic fireworks display isn’t enough for you, magician David Blaine will be at the Boch Center Wang Theatre on Sunday to bring all matter of tricks and illusions to Boston. Sure, he probably won’t have enough time to freeze himself in a block of ice for 63 hours or bury himself alive for a week, but he’ll still likely have some eye-popping stunts in store. (Sunday, July 1 at 8 p.m.; Boch Center Wang Theatre, Boston; $40-126; all ages)

Reading of the Declaration of Independence


On July 18, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was read to the people of Boston for the first time from the balcony of the Old State House. You can bear witness to this patriotic Independence Day tradition Wednesday morning, when a member of the Boston Ancient and the Honorable Artillery Company will recite the words that set the American Revolution in motion. (Wednesday, July 4 from 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.; Old State House, Boston; free; all ages)

Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular

Hundreds of thousands of spectators are expected to head to the Hatch Shell on Wednesday for the annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular. Along with the traditional performance from the Boston Pops under the direction of conductor Keith Lockhart, the all-female guest lineup will consist of headliner Rachel Platten, known for her hit “Fight Song”; Rhiannon Giddens, of the Carolina Chocolate Drops; Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, of the Indigo Girls; and EGOT-winner Rita Moreno, who played Anita in “West Side Story.” (Wednesday, July 4, music at 8:30, fireworks at 10:30; DCR Hatch Shell, Boston; free; all ages)