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6 ways to celebrate Memorial Day weekend in Boston

Visit the Memorial Day Flag Garden, Boston Calling, museums, and more.

Flags planted on Boston Common for Memorial Day. Jean Nagy/Boston.com Staff

Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer. Here are a few ways to get out and enjoy the much anticipated mild weather this long weekend, along with a few special Memorial Day activities to honor those who have served in the military. The Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund once again sets up their Memorial Day Flag Garden on Boston Common, and Boston museums offer free admission for Massachusetts residents on Memorial Day.

Ahead, discover all the other exciting Memorial Day weekend happenings, like Boston Calling, special performances, and more.

May 25-29: Head to the Memorial Day Flag Garden on Boston Common

Each Memorial Day Weekend for the past 13 years, the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund (MMHF) and its volunteers have created a garden of flags on Boston Common near the Soldiers and Sailors monument. They plant more than 37,000 flags, one for every service member from Massachusetts who has fallen in the line of duty from the Revolutionary war until now. The result is a breathtaking display of red, white, and blue that takes over part of the Common, paying tribute to veterans on Memorial Day.

May 25-June 4: See Boston Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty

The ballet “Sleeping Beauty,” scored by Tchaikovsky and choreographed by Marius Petipa, heads to the Citizens Bank Opera House this spring, performed by Boston Ballet. Follow the familiar tail of woodland fairies, a valiant prince, a wicked sorcerer, and Princess Aurora and her sleeping spell, all set to Tchaikovsky’s iconic score performed by the Boston Ballet Orchestra. Tickets are on sale now, starting at $39.

May 26-28: Catch live music at Boston Calling

The area’s largest music festival returns this Memorial Day weekend, bringing a jam-packed three-day lineup of artists like the Foo Fighters, the Lumineers, Paramore, Alanis Morrisette, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Queens of the Stone Age, Bleachers, The National, and many more. Boston Calling takes over the Harvard Athletic Complex from Friday, May 26 through Sunday, May 28, and features local food trucks and a VIP Reserve Lounge. Tickets are currently on sale on Boston Calling’s website.

May 27-28: Visit an outdoor artisan market

Outdoor artisan markets return throughout the city this summer, officially ushered in by May’s warming weather. The Greenway Artisan Market returns on Saturdays and Sundays from May through October, featuring food trucks and a central downtown location. SoWa’s Open Markets return on Sundays starting May 7, bringing a joint artisan/farmers’ market and beer gardens to the South End.

May 29: Visit a Boston museum for free on Memorial Day

On Monday, May 29, both the MFA and the ICA offer free admission to all Massachusetts residents. Free admission tickets to the MFA will be available on a first come, first served basis, and exhibits on view include “Hokusai: Inspiration and Influence,” “Making Past Present: Cy Twombly,” and “Hear Me Now: The Black Potters of Old Edgefield, South Carolina.” Exhibits to check out at the ICA include “María Berrío: The Children’s Crusade,” and “Taylor Davis Selects: Invisible Grounds of Sympathy.”

Check out family-friendly activities all weekend long

Get the whole family involved with these 10 springtime family-friendly activities in Boston. Get out on the water with a Swan Boat ride or a duck tour, learn a thing or two at the Museum of Science or the Franklin Park Zoo, or simply enjoy the weather with a trip to Castle Island, a stroll along the Harborwalk, or a ride on the Greenway Carousel.

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