Well, it’s finally here. Summer is officially upon us and Newton arts are quieting down. (This is also the quietest time of year for local restaurants. Don’t forget to visit your favorite spots and give your friendly bartenders and servers an extra high five. )
There are still plenty of activities happening in Newton that you should check out, including author readings at Newtonville Books and historical walks at Historic Newton*, not to mention the bevy of activities the City has planned for mid-July and August. In the meantime though, take advantage of some of the terrific outdoor festivals that Greater Boston has to offer! There’s not much better than catching a concert or theater production while soaking in the sun or soaring through the stars. Put some of these on your calendar and then pack your blanket and picnic basket. (Pro outdoor concert goer tip: Bring a plastic shower curtain liner for underneath your blanket. You’ll thank me later.)
The following list is by no means exhaustive, but it includes some of my top (and free!) picks!
My parents took me and my younger sisters to see the Tall Ships some eon ago and I still remember how incredible they were. The sails are massive and their slow crawl through the Boston Harbor will help inspire you and yours to just enjoy the history as it sails by.
Free Fun Fridays invites Massachusetts residents and tourists to visit designated cultural attractions every Friday this summer with free admission. No registration or tickets required. Visit and enjoy!
There are concerts, museums, zoos, historical sites and more on this list – and all for free! Highlights include the ICA, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, New Rep Theater, Commonwealth Shakespeare Co and many, many more!
Outdoor Community Performance at Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park
Sunday, July 1 at 2pm
Bizet’s Carmen is one of the better recognized works in the opera repertoire. That being said, while I can play you the bass lines in the music I can’t accurately recount the story (which is why I’ll be attending this performance) but I can tell you that the fiery and feisty gypsy Carmen loves and leaves the men. I’ll keep the ending to myself though.
We all know that the Pops performs the greatest televised July 4 concert but did you know they are also doing a July 3rd concert? The concert’s the same, just without the fireworks. This year’s special guests are pretty great, including host Michael Chiklis and songstress Jennifer Hudson among others. Extend your patriotic spirit and celebrate on the Esplanade and then be back in Newton for the 4th!
Speaking of the Pops… have you been to Tanglewood yet? I am incredibly lucky and have had the opportunity to visit the Berkshires every summer for 30 years. There are some amazing programs, including classical, pops, and special guests this summer to celebrate Tanglewood’s 75th birthday. I’ll be posting a guide to this summer’s shows sometime this weekend before I head out there next week. This is a magical place and you should make whatever efforts you can to experience it for yourself.
The Esplanade is Boston’s answer to Tanglewood over the summer. Boston Landmarks Orchestra presents a free concert series every Wednesday starting July 11. While Landmarks is the featured orchestra there are special guest programs and orchestras included as well. Take the T, bring a picnic and listen as the music floats to the stars.