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The best things to do in every Boston neighborhood in September

From Allston to West Roxbury, all neighborhoods are represented on this list of the best things to do in Boston for the month of September.

Boston Seafood Festival lobster rolls
Lobster rolls at the Boston Seafood Festival. Boston Seafood Festival

When searching for things to do in Boston, it’s easy to fall into the trap of focusing on bustling hubs of activity like Downtown and the Back Bay.

There’s nothing wrong with a visit to Boston Common or a stroll on the Freedom Trail, of course. But the fact is that every single Boston neighborhood has its own vibrant culture, and on any given day you can build a fun-filled itinerary of activities, whether you’re in Beacon Hill or Brighton; the West End or West Roxbury.

With that in mind, here is a list of the best things to do in Boston for the month of September, with at least one pick for every neighborhood. Whether you’re looking for a food festival, live music, family-friendly fun, or free activities, we’ve got you covered.


Events key:

🆓 = Free events

👪 = Family-friendly events

🍲 = Food events

🍺 = Beer events


🆓 👪 Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month at the Boston Public Library

Tap your toes at the library’s Honan-Allston branch with Rockabye Beats, which will perform a bilingual concert geared for children age 5 and under featuring music and fun in English and Spanish. (Sept. 18 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.; 300 North Harvard St.; free)

Back Bay-Bay Village

Laugh until it hurts at Back Bay Social

This neighborhood restaurant hosts live comedy every Thursday night, as well as live music on Friday and Saturday nights. (Sept. 7, 14, 21, 28 at 7 p.m.; 867 Boylston St.; $10)

🆓 👪 Enjoy a car-free Newbury Street during Open Newbury Street

Get your shopping done during Open Newbury Street when the iconic Boston street full of retail stores, restaurants, and galleries is closed to vehicle traffic between Massachusetts Avenue and Berkley Street. (Sept. 3, 10, 17, 24 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Newbury Street; free)

The Boston Athenaeum Open House. – Lovely Valentine Photo + Film

Beacon Hill

🆓 👪 Explore the Boston Athenaeum during a Community Day Open House

Guests can wander the Boston Athenaeum, a library, museum, and cultural center founded in 1807, and view special exhibitions, take selfies, hear live music and curator talks, meet artist Ekua Holmes, participate in family-friendly activities, and more. Those interested must register for a timed entry. (Sept. 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; 10 1/2 Beacon St.; free)


🆓 👪 Splash and play at the Artesani Playground Wading Pool and Spray Deck


Hang onto summer by bringing the kids to the Artesani Playground Wading Pool and Spray deck for some water fun. The pool is open through Sept. 4, and there is a picnic area and restrooms. (Sept. 1-4 from 10:15 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.; 1255 Soldiers Field Road; free)

🆓 👪 Watch a movie under the stars at Boston Landing

Bring a chair or blanket and settle in for “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory” outdoors at Athletes Park, the open-air social hub of Boston Landing. What’s more, folks can enjoy a pre-party with a live DJ and free cotton candy at 6 p.m. (Sept. 13 at 7 p.m.; Guest Street; free)


Be fashionable at New England Fashion Week

With fashion shows, red carpets, vendors, and more, there’s plenty happening during the ninth annual New England Fashion Week, a three-day fashion extravaganza at Blackmoor Bar + Kitchen. (Sept. 21-23; 1 Chelsea St.; $30)

A Lion Dance in Chinatown. – Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Chinatown / Leather District

🆓 👪 Witness a traditional lion dance

The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway has collaborated with Chinatown Main Street to bring lion dances all summer long to the Chinatown Gate in Auntie Kay & Uncle Frank Chin Park on The Greenway. This is the final event. (Sept. 2 at noon; John F. Fitzgerald Surface Road; free)


🆓 👪 Explore the streets by foot with Open Streets Boston


The area between Ashmont Street and Freeport Street is closed to cars so pedestrians can walk, bike, stroll, and connect with neighbors and local businesses in a family-friendly open space. (Sept. 17 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; Ashmont Street and Freeport Street; free)

Downtown Boston

🆓 👪 Enjoy an outdoor movie in America’s oldest public park

Settle in for “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” under the stars on Boston Common during the final installment of Mayor’s Movie Nights, part of the Boston Parks and Recreation Department’s ParkARTS program. The movie begins at dusk. (Sept. 1 at dusk; 38 Beacon St.; free)

🆓 Meditate in the Public Garden

Find your inner calm during a Friday evening of guided meditation in the Public Garden with Gen Khedrub, the resident teacher at Kadampa Meditation Center Boston. (Sept. 12 from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m.; Boylston side of the Lagoon Edge; free)

🆓 Shop the Greenway Artisan Market

This open-air market on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway is where dozens of local artisans and craftspeople sell art, jewelry, and more. Hungry guests can frequent the lineup of food trucks and kids can splash in the Rings Fountain. (Sept. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; High Street and Atlantic Avenue; free)

East Boston

🆓 Feel the music at the East Boston Latin Music & Dance Festival

Celebrate Latin American music and dance while enjoying food, local arts and crafts vendors, and family-friendly activities. Musicians performing this year include Samba Viva, VROCC Youth Dancers, and La Chusma. Stay for an after party at The Tall Ship. (Sept. 9 from 1 to 7 p.m.; East Boston Memorial Park; free)

Pickleball -- FILE - The Baltimore Orioles play against the Boston Red Sox during the eighth inning of the first baseball game of a doubleheader May 28, 2022, in Boston.
Fenway Park in Boston. – AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File


Watch the Red Sox take on the New York Yankees at Fenway Park


Root for the Red Sox at historic Fenway Park, America’s oldest active Major League Baseball park and the home of the Boston Red Sox since 1912. (Sept. 11-14; 4 Jersey St.; various prices)

🍲 🍺 Nibble and sip at Taste of the Fenway

Join an outdoor street festival celebrating this lively city neighborhood, featuring food and drink tastings from area restaurants, live music, and art. (Sept. 20 from 5 to 7 p.m.; Van Ness Street; $50)

Hyde Park

🆓 Sweat it out in the park with Boston’s Parks Fitness Series

Bring a friend to an all-levels Boot Camp Class with Anthony at Ross Playground as part of the city’s Parks Fitness Series, which offers free workout classes in parks citywide with certified fitness instructors. (Sept. 2 at 9-10 a.m.; 145 Westminster St.; free)

Jamaica Plain

🆓 👪 Kick back at JP Music Fest

The 11th edition of the annual music festival will bring 20 artists to multiple stages at Pine Bank Field, along with food trucks and family-friendly activities. (Sept. 9 from 12-7 p.m.; Pine Bank Field; free)

🍲 🍺 Hoist a stein at Sam Adams Oktoberfest VIP Beer Dinner

Before Samuel Adams kicks off a weekend of Oktoberfest celebrations at both its Faneuil Hall and Jamaica Plain locations, enjoy a VIP beer dinner, which will pair three courses of barbecue from No Joke Smoke with specialty Sam Adams beers. (Sept. 21 from 6-8 p.m.; Samuel Adams Brewery; $75; 21+)

🆓 Stroll through the artwork of JP Open Studios

More than 100 artists at 50 studios will open their doors to visitors, with the biggest concentration of creatives at the First Unitarian Universalist Church on Elliot Street. (Sept. 23 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sept. 24 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; various locations; free)


🆓 👪 Learn about birds, bees, and nature at Mass Audubon’s Raptor Festival


Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center and Wildlife Conservancy will get you up close and personal with fierce birds of prey, hard-working honeybees, and a nature-themed puppet show at this family-friendly festival. (Sept. 30 from 12-3 p.m.; Boston Nature Center and Wildlife Conservancy; free)

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
The courtyard at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. – Globe Staff/David L Ryan

Mission Hill

🆓 Enjoy free admission to Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Be sure to catch musician Soobin Ha as he performs on Antoine’s Garden, a work of art that features a piano embedded in a sculpture hidden in a jungle of plants. (Sept. 7 from 3-9 p.m.; Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; free)

North End

🆓 Witness the procession of Santa Rosalia di Palermo

Feast season may be mostly over in the North End, but you can still get a taste of Italian culture during this annual parade, which kicks off at 1 p.m. in North Square. (Sept. 10 at 1 p.m.; North Square; free)


🆓 Shop local at Roslindale Farmers Market

This award-winning seasonal fixture is more than just a market, bringing children’s activities, live music, and wellness activities to Adams Park and Birch Street Plaza every Saturday through early November. (Saturdays from 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; 4225 Washington St.; free)

🆓 Feel the rhythm at Roslindale Porchfest

Porches across Rozzie will be abuzz with music all afternoon, with dozens of performers spanning every genre imaginable. (Sept. 23 from 1-6 p.m.; various locations; free)


🆓 Enjoy a free jazz concert from The Makanda Project

Not long after the passing of jazz composer Makanda Ken McIntyre, the 13-piece jazz ensemble The Makanda Project began performing unrecorded works of the Boston-born musician, including a free concert at First Church in Roxbury. (Sept. 9 from 1-4 p.m.; First Church in Roxbury; free)


🍲 Sip cocktails at the Caribbean Rum and Food Festival

Rum punch, jerk chicken, and more hallmarks of Caribbean cuisine will be in plentiful supply at this annual festival, now celebrating its sixth year. (Sept. 16 from 12-8 p.m.; Roxbury Community College; $25-65)

🆓 👪 Head to the Big Head Community Festival

Named for John Wilson’s sculpture Eternal Presence, the annual festival celebrates the Black culture of the neighborhood with art, performance, and education. (Sept. 23 from 1-7 p.m.; National Center of Afro-American Artists; free)

The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. – Institute of Contemporary Art


🆓 Enjoy free admission to the ICA

Typically closed on Mondays, the ICA will offer free admission for Labor Day, which is also the final day of the year to take a ferry across the harbor and visit the seasonal ICA Watershed museum. (Sept. 4 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; free)

🍲 Sample the sea at the Boston Seafood Festival

Fish Pier is a fitting home for all the lobster baking, oyster shucking, and seafood eating you can handle, courtesy 15+ local restaurants. (Sept. 10 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Fish Pier; $20-65)

🆓 👪 Do the robot at the annual Robot Block Party

Following a robot parade at 10:45 a.m., MassRobotics will kick off five hours of robot demonstrations, hands-on robot interactions, and family-friendly robot games, among other android-involved activities. (Sept. 30 from 10:45 a.m.-4 p.m.; 88 Seaport Blvd.; free)

South Boston

🆓 Stroll Southie at South Boston Street Fest

Now in its 23rd year, the annual block party brings together more than 100 local artists, merchants, and community organizations to a stretch of East Broadway between I and L Streets. (Sept. 16 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; 646 E Broadway; free)

South End

🆓 Gaze at the creative expression of South End Open Studios


United South End Artists, a collective representing more than 100 artists at numerous galleries in the neighborhood, will showcase their works at six different artist spaces, the largest of which is at the SoWa Art + Design District at 450 Harrison Ave. (Sept. 23 and 24 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; various locations; free)

West End

Look good on the dance floor with Arctic Monkeys

The English rockers will bring their 2000s post-punk revival act to TD Garden for a show that will appeal to everyone — from the ritz to the rubble. (Sept. 3 at 8 p.m.; TD Garden; $39.50-115)

Say a long goodbye to Eagles at TD Garden

Bid farewell to Don Henley, Joe Walsh, and co. as the “Hotel California” group’s Long Goodbye tour visits TD Garden for a pair of shows with Steely Dan. (Sept. 11 and 13 at 7:30 p.m.; TD Garden; $215-499)

West Roxbury

🆓 👪 Step back in time at Brook Farm National Historic Site

Explore several miles of walking trails and Charles River shoreline at Millennium Park, including a path to the former site of a Utopian community founded by author Nathaniel Hawthorne and other Transcendentalists in the 1840s. (670 Baker St.; free)

The Boston Local Food Festival in 2016. – Gleb Budilovsky

Wharf District

🆓 Celebrate 20 years of the Boston Arts Festival

Check out stimulating visual and performing arts from dozens of local creatives at this arts (lovingly pronounced “ähts”) festival. (Sept. 9-10 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Christopher Columbus Park)

🆓 👪 🍲 Enjoy New England cuisine at the Boston Local Food Festival

More than 50 vendors will bring delicious bites, cooking demonstrations, and a Family Fun Zone to the Greenway. (Sept. 17 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Rose Kennedy Greenway at Atlantic Ave.)

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