10 things to do in Boston this marathon weekend

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

Swan boats made their debut at Boston's Public Garden in April 2013.
Swan boats make their debut in the Boston Public Garden in April 2013. –Wendy Maeda/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 International Film Festival

Not to be confused with the upcoming Independent Film Festival Boston (IFFB), the Boston International Film Festival (BIFF) kicked off its six-day slate of programming Wednesday evening. Filmmakers from around the world will be on hand to discuss their films. At least one movie, the horror-thriller “Chimera,” was filmed in Massachusetts. (Through Monday, April 18 at various times and locations; $12 per session, $75 for all screenings; all ages)

Volunteer Expo


Want to do good work for a local nonprofit but unsure of where to start? With National Volunteer Week beginning next week, the Volunteer Expo will help interested volunteers connect with dozens of local organizations looking for assistance. (Thursday, April 12 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Prudential Center, Boston; free; all ages)

Half Half Half Half Half Marathon

Not quite ready to run a marathon yet? Or even a half marathon? Or even a half half — well, you get the idea. For those of you who want to participate in marathon weekend without getting winded, there’s the Half Half Half Half Half Marathon, in which participants walk, jog, or run 0.826 miles around the Boston Common. The event benefits 826 Boston, a nonprofit writing and publishing organization that seeks to empower underprivileged students. (Thursday, April 12 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Boston Common, Boston; donations encouraged; all ages)

“Heathers: The Musical”

“Heathers,” the black comedy starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater as two high schoolers plotting the demise of a clique of popular girls, turns 30 this year. The Berklee Musical Theatre Club’s production of the film’s musical adaptation will run from Thursday through Saturday. (Thursday, April 12 through Saturday, April 14 at various times; Calderwood Pavilion, Boston; $15; all ages)

Beat the T

“Attention, passengers: The next Green Line train may get you to your destination slower than if you had jogged there. We apologize for any inconvenience.” You’ll never hear that announcement from the MBTA, but a group of runners plans to see if it’s possible regardless. A control group will board at Copley, leaving at the same time as a group of runners racing the three miles to Marathon Sports in Brookline. The store will have a marathon-themed sale, and runners can “rehydrate” at the nearby Publick House. (Friday, April 13 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Copley Station, Boston; free; all ages)

The Continuing Education of Eugene Mirman


Comedian Eugene Mirman (“Bob’s Burgers”) was, by his own account, a terrible student while growing up in Lexington. Mirman will try to make up for it by learning about cognitive neuroscience (a topic he knows nothing about) from MIT professor Rebecca Saxe in a comedic event moderated by journalist Anna Rothschild. The stage production will serve as the kickoff event for the Cambridge Science Festival, a multi-day celebration of science, technology, engineering, art, and math that runs through Sunday, April 22. (Friday, April 13 from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Harvard Science Center, Cambridge; $15; all ages)

John Hancock Sports and Fitness Expo

The John Hancock Sports and Fitness Expo serves a dual purpose on marathon weekend. Not only is it the official registration and bib pickup location for the marathon, it also hosts more than 200 exhibitors showcasing the newest products and innovations in the running world. (Friday, April 13 through Sunday, April 15 at various times; Seaport World Trade Center, Boston; free; all ages)

Swan Boat Opening

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While the weather hasn’t exactly been temperate so far, one surefire sign that spring is here is the reopening of the Swan Boats. Mayor Marty Walsh will host the first ride of the year this Saturday at 10 a.m., with more rides following soon after. (Saturday, April 14 at 10 a.m.; Boston Public Garden; $2.50-4; all ages)

243rd Lantern Ceremony

On Sunday, the Old North Church and Historic Site will commemorate one of the most famous moments of the colonial era in Massachusetts, when two lanterns were hung in the Old North Church steeple, signaling to Paul Revere that the British were coming by sea, and kickstarting the Revolutionary War. Reenactors and historians will show visitors an authentic look at how the evening occurred almost 250 years ago, reading Revere’s personal account and the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem “Paul Revere’s Ride.” (Sunday, April 15 at 8 p.m.; Old North Church & Historic Site, Boston; $40; all ages)

Boston Midnight Marathon Bike Ride 2018


If you’re more of a cycler than a runner but still have marathon fever, you can join a group of rebellious riders who plan to ride the route from Southborough to Boston the night before the Boston Marathon for the 10th straight year. The midnight ride is slightly longer than the 26.2-mile road race, but also mostly downhill. While many riders will carpool or take the 10:40 p.m. commuter rail from South Station, it should be noted that bikes aren’t allowed on the train, so you’ll have to make your own arrangements in that department. (Sunday, April 15 at 11:59 p.m.; Southborough Station, Southborough; free; all ages)