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10 things to do in Boston this weekend

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

The giant ferris wheel at the Topsfield Fair.
The giant ferris wheel at the Topsfield Fair. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Welcome to BosTen, your weekly guide to the coolest events and best things to do in Boston this weekend. Sign up for our weekly email newsletter here. 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].

Sip cider cocktails with the Cocktail Club

Whether you’re out in the orchards or at your local farm stand, be sure to grab some local cider for this week’s edition of the Cocktail Club, which will teach you two great ways to spice up your fall mixology game. This Thursday at 7 p.m., join host Jackson Cannon (The Hawthorne, Eastern Standard) and guest bartender Megan MacLean (Artifact Cider Project) as they teach you how to make two cocktails made best with local cider — the Soft Landing and the Stone Fence. Attending the Zoom is free, and you can find a full list of necessary ingredients here. — Kevin Slane

Go apple picking at a local orchard

Fall is officially in full swing, which means it’s time to grab a light sweater, sip a pumpkin-spiced beverage, and slowly transform into a stereotypical autumnal Bostonian. Complete your fall immersion by grabbing a bag and heading to one of 46 pick-your-own apple orchards Massachusetts, where Galas, Honeycrisps, and McIntoshes galore hang enticingly, just begging to be picked. To help you choose which local orchard to visit,’s staff put together the ultimate guide to apple picking in Massachusetts, highlighting family-friendly farms, reader favorites, hard cider sellers, and some of the best cider doughnuts around. — Kevin Slane

Enjoy food, rides, music and more at the Topsfield Fair

Every fall since 1818, the North Shore has traded in summertime slushies and beach-side lounges for amusement rides, animals, agriculture, and loads of fried and sugary snacks. Such is a day at the Topsfield Fair, as this quintessential county fair returns in for the season starting Friday (through October 10). With everything from racing pigs and bike stunt shows to canine aquatics and the Flying Wallendas, you can’t swing a fried Twinkie without hitting something to see and do at this outdoor gathering. There will be demonstrations (ranging from beekeeping to miniature trains), New England’s Premier Flower Show, and local harvest displays including a giant pumpkin weigh-off. Musical guests will include Chubby Checker on Oct. 5, Kansas on Oct. 6, and Trace Atkins on Oct. 7. Animal lovers can get their fix of farm life by visiting barns occupied by award-winning cattle, goats, pigs, bunnies, poultry, and exotic foul, while thrill-seekers can hit up the Midway for amusement games and rides. Everyone’s favorite fair food will also return this year, from cotton candy to whoopie pies, baked potatoes to the Gobbler (a Thanksgiving Dinner in a sandwich). New foods on the scene will include Mediterranean dishes, smoothies, a taco truck, and acai bowls. — Cheryl Fenton

Go on a guided sake tour in Brighton

The Koji Club became Boston’s first sake bar in early 2022 when it debuted at the Charles River Speedway in Brighton, adding to the region’s burgeoning sake scene. Sake lovers, you can thank Marina Giordano, a certified sake educator, sommelier, and well-traveled pro. Giordano founded Sake Day East in celebration of World Sake Day, and it has grown into New England’s largest sake tasting. This year, Giordano’s Wine & Sake Experience hosts the event this Friday evening at the Charles River Speedway. The event is a walk-around experience, with the opportunity for guests to sample more than 50 styles and grades of sake from all over Japan. New this year, the event will also offer a VIP ticket including early entry at 5 p.m., a Japanese obento appetizer, and special sips of hard-to-find sakes. In between rounds, Firefly’s BBQ, Formaggio Kitchen, KOKO Utsuwa Japanese Pottery, and other vendors will be on-site with food and more for sale. — Jacqueline Cain

Don’t miss out on Lizzo at TD Garden

Three-time Grammy winner Lizzo will hold just one show in Massachusetts as part of her “Special Tour,” and it’s happening this Friday at 8 p.m. at TD Garden. The 25-stop tour runs through November, and comes on the heels of her new album “Special.” The new release is Lizzo’s fourth overall, and first since 2019. The funk-infused album’s lead single “About Damn Time,” hit No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 earlier this year, and was a serious contender for song of the summer. A handful of tickets for the show, which will also feature rapper Latto, are available via Ticketmaster. — Marta Hill

Go solo with Letters to Cleo’s Kay Hanley

Young fans of Miley Cyrus and and some of her 2000s teen-pop brethren might not realize that the artist formerly known as Hannah Montana may have been taking cues from Boston’s most engaging ’90s alt-rock band, Letters to Cleo. During the early 2000s, Letters to Cleo frontwoman Kay Hanley provided backing vocals for Cyrus on stage, songs for shows like “Generation O!,” and most iconically, the singing voice of Josie in 2001’s “Josie and the Pussycats” movie. Before Hanley’s move to kids entertainment, Letters to Cleo’s output, notably their breakout 1993 record “Aurora Gory Alice” and its wild and wooly 1995 follow-up, “Wholesale Meats and Fish,” was some of the best alt-rock of a decade chock full of it. The albums brilliantly combined elements of guitar grunge, new-wave melodies, and, thanks to Hanley’s expressive vocals and winking attitude, a sense of fun not always present among their generally downbeat contemporaries. It’s an attitude that carried over into Hanley’s also-excellent solo work, like 2002’s more pop-oriented but still spunky “Cherry Marmalade,” which will take center stage when Hanley brings its 20th anniversary tour to City Winery for two shows on Friday and Saturday. The hometown show is sure to feature a lively local crowd of friends, longtime Letters to Cleo followers, and probably more than a few latecomers. — Peter Chianca

Catch a moving artistic performance at the ICA

Art doesn’t always have to be still. It can include dynamic dance, music, theater, film, and everything in between. The Institute of Contemporary Art has announced its 2022/2023 lineup of exactly that — performances that promise to dazzle the minds and lift the soul. With shows scheduled all the way through May, the season kicks off this Friday at 8 p.m. with L’Rain — an introspective performance of keyboards, synths, and the hauntingly delicate vocals of multi-instrumentalist Taja Cheek aka L’Rain. — Cheryl Fenton

Catch a family-friendly weekend of games for the Bruins and Celtics

Last we checked, a ticket to sit in the upper rows of the balcony at the Bruins’ Oct. 15 home opener was selling on the secondary market for more than $100 apiece. Same for similar seats to the first real game of the Celtics season at TD Garden, which follows three days later. Both of those contests begin after 7 p.m., too. That combination could be prohibitive for a lot of families — no matter how hardcore the young hockey and hoop fans in their household. Just a couple weeks before those games start to affect the standings, though, TD Garden will offer a chance to see either the Bruins or Celtics at what is expected to be a discounted cost. And, even better, both games begin in the early afternoon. At 1 p.m. this Saturday, the Bruins are slated to host the Philadelphia Flyers, with resale tickets starting at around $30 apiece. On Sunday, the parquet will be in place for the Celtics to welcome the Charlotte Hornets, with tickets being resold for closer to $20. The action and intensity isn’t likely to be as exciting as it may be when winning or losing truly matters. But catching a game at TD Garden is still a worthwhile experience, especially for those looking to expose their young fans to the atmosphere of a pro arena before the cost, concerns about going out on a school night, and expected scarcity of tickets conspire to make that opportunity much harder to make happen. — Dave D’Onofrio

Celebrate Oktoberfest outside with German craft brews and food

This Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wachusett Mountain will host a pair of Oktoberfest celebrations with plenty of food, German music, and of course, beer. This event is open to all ages, so raise your steins, toss your kegs, and participate in the numerous contests, shows, and activities with the whole family. There will also be craft and farmers market vendors to browse. More details will be available on the venue’s website closer to the event date. Tickets are $9 for adults and $6 for children from ages 6 to 12. There is an optional skyride that can be purchased with a ticket. — Ria Goveas

Indulge your sweet tooth at the Boston Hard Cider and Doughnut Fest

For its 2022 edition, the Boston Hard Cider and Doughnut Fest will expand its celebration to six participating bars and restaurants in Boston this Saturday from 2-8 p.m. Attendees can devour doughnuts and pair them with beer, hard seltzer, or hard cider specials as they walk between venues. Tickets include drink specials and two doughnuts, with attendees can choose between eight varieties: Maple Bacon, Caramel Apple Bar, Zesty Orange Cinnamon Roll, Fresh Apple Fritter, Frosted Mint Chocolate Chip, Cranberry Cider, Peanut Butter Cookie, and Chocolicous Strawberry. Registration is open from 2-4 p.m. at The Greatest Bar, during which time all attendees with tickets must register to receive their wristbands. To see the bar crawl route and drink specials for every participating location, visit the Fest’s Facebook event page. — Ria Goveas

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