10 things to do in Boston this weekend

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

Oktoberfest at Harpoon Brewery.
Octoberfest at Harpoon Brewery. –Courtesy Harpoon

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.

Bruno Mars

Take a spin around the radio dial, and chances are you’ll hit a Bruno Mars song within 20 minutes. The pop star has been an absolute force for the better part of a decade, daring you not to dance to songs like “Uptown Funk” (his inescapable tune with Mark Ronson) and “24K Magic.” Mars will be in town for shows this Thursday and Friday night at TD Garden as part of his XXIVK Magic World Tour, along with Ciara, who stepped in for a series of shows after Cardi B left the tour earlier this summer. (Thursday, Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. and Friday, Sept. 28 at 8 p.m.; TD Garden, Boston; $59.50-$175; all ages)

Boston Women’s Film Festival


Starting Thursday night, the Boston Women’s Film Festival will present a slate of movies celebrating the diversity and power of women’s cinema at the Brattle and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. The festival will kick off with the New England premiere of “Family,” which stars Boston native Taylor Schilling (“Orange Is the New Black”) as a workaholic named Kate whose life is thrown into chaos when she’s tasked with taking care of her preteen niece, Maddie (Bryn Vale). Things are further complicated when Maddie runs away to join the Juggalos. (Thursday, Sept. 27 through Sunday, Sept. 30 at various times; Brattle Theatre, Cambridge and MFA, Boston; $10-13 per film; all ages)

Boston Latino International Film Festival

The Boston Latino International Film Festival is bringing films dealing with issues important to the Latino community to the Emerson Paramount Center and other area theaters, and putting a special emphasis on showing an accurate representation of Latinos in the U.S. and Latin America. Most screenings cost $10 to $12 per ticket, but some are offered free of charge, so be sure to check the BLIFF website for a full list of films and pricing. (Thursday, Sept. 27 through Sunday, Sept. 30 at various times; Emerson Paramount Center, Boston, and other area theaters; $10-12 for most films; all ages)

Harpoon Octoberfest


Fall is officially here, which means many Boston-area breweries will celebrate Oktoberfest in the coming weekends. One of the biggest and longest-running ‘fests in the area is at Harpoon’s, where you’ll find German cake eating, three stages of live music, brewery tours, chicken dance contests, and plenty of Harpoon and UFO beer all weekend. There even will be a separate Harpoon Dogtoberfest for $15 on Saturday — humans can enjoy beer while their canine companions can enjoy treats from Wellness Natural Pet Food, along with a host of other pup-friendly activities. (Friday, Sept. 28 from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 29 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Harpoon Brewery, Boston; $25; 21+)

Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival

The South End will be alive with the sounds of jazz, Latin, blues, and funk music this Saturday at the Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival, an annual free outdoor concert in the trendy Boston neighborhood. The free music festival will span three stages set along six blocks of Columbus Avenue, and will also feature food vendors, arts and crafts, and a family-friendly KidsJam. (Saturday, Sept. 29 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Columbus Avenue, Boston; free; all ages)

National Alpaca Farm Days

Alpacas are big, adorable fluff balls, which helps explain why the Harvard Alpaca Ranch experienced such an overwhelming response to its open house last year. So that as many people as possible can enjoy the majestic creatures this year, the Ranch will keep a more rigid schedule for its tours, holding one every half hour. Not only will you be able to learn about the business of alpaca ranching, you’ll be able to buy alpaca products, check out fiber arts demonstrations, and set your kids up with some family-friendly activities. While the open house and tour are free, the ranch will gladly accept donations. (Saturday, Sept. 29 and Sunday, Sept. 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Harvard Alpaca Ranch, Harvard; free; all ages)

Ghost Ship Harbor


It’s not even October yet, but if convenience stores can sell Halloween candy, you can definitely enjoy a haunted attraction. New England has plenty to choose from, including Quincy’s Ghost Ship Harbor, a spooky experience on the USS Salem that started in 2016 and will open for the season on Saturday. Guests can visit up to four different haunting experiences that GSH founder Matt DiRoberto promises will “scare the ship out of you” through Nov. 3. (Saturday, Sept. 29 through Saturday, Nov. 3 at various times; 549 South St., Quincy; $35-50; not recommended for children under age 12)

Jodi Picoult in Conversation with Celeste Ng

Author Jodi Picoult (“My Sister’s Keeper”) will be at First Parish in Cambridge as a guest of Harvard Book Store. The New Hampshire resident will speak with fellow New England author Celeste Ng (“Little Fires Everywhere”) about Picoult’s new book, “A Spark of Light.” (Saturday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m.; First Parish, Cambridge; $31, which includes a pre-signed book; all ages)

BKBX at Lawn on D

Brooklyn Boulders will be at Lawn on D on Sunday hosting a preview event for BKBX, the rock climbing gym’s new adventure training venture, which is slated to open in Allston this fall. Promising a workout reminiscent of an “American Ninja Warrior” course, the BKBX obstacle course will send runners through sprinting, jumping, crawling, rowing, weight carrying, swinging, and climbing activities. (Sunday, Sept. 30 from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.; The Lawn on D, Boston; free; all ages)

Smoke This Rib Fest 2018

Who has the best ribs in Cambridge? The East Cambridge Business Association will attempt to answer that question on Sunday at the Smoke This Rib Fest, with around 20 restaurants putting their best rib forward, including A4, ArtBar, Atwood’s Tavern, and The Automatic. A ticket entitles you to 10 samples from the restaurants of your choice, while full portions will also be available for lower-than-normal prices. (Sunday, Sept. 30 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.; 622 E. Cambridge St., Cambridge; $25; all ages)