Things to do in Boston this weekend: May 16-19, 2024


BosTen is your weekly guide to the best events and coolest things to do in Boston.

Spectacle Island. Stephanie Schorow

Welcome to BosTen, your weekly guide to the coolest events and bestthings to do in Boston this weekend. Sign up for ourweekly email newsletter here. Have an idea about what we should cover? Leave us a comment on this article or in theBosTen Facebook group, or email us at[email protected].

Tour private gardens in Beacon Hill

Each year, the Beacon Hill Garden Club lets you peer into the typically private and always beautifully maintained gardens of nearby homes during its Hidden Gardens of Beacon Hill tour. For its 95th edition, the club will take you through 11 private gardens, followed by refreshments at King’s Chapel Parish House. For more info on the houses you’ll tour and specific tour times, visit the Beacon Hill Garden Club website. (Thursday, May 16 from 9-5 p.m.; 64 Beacon St., Boston; $60) — Kevin Slane

Enjoy an interactive experience from UNICEF USA

A unique interactive experience that will connect visitors with children all around the globe officially opens in Boston this weekend. Through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and award-winning design firm Moment Factory, “Heart Strings: Creating Connection with the World’s Children” is an all-ages ticketed experience that combines immersive storytelling and music for a first-of-its-kind “experience-for-good.” The exhibit will be at the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts from Friday, May 17 through Sunday, June 2 following an opening-night celebration on Thursday at 6 p.m. Spotlighting the power behind the youth voice, attendees experience eight interactive zones that tell the stories of children and their families through the lens of crucial issues like healthcare, education, protection, and respect. (Open now through Sunday, June 2 at various times; 539 Tremont St., Boston; $19) — Cheryl Fenton

Sing along with Madeleine Peyroux at The Wilbur

Vocalist-guitarist and Athens, Georgia, native Madeleine Peyroux has lived in California and New York and Paris, and has always had music spinning around her. Since her teenage years, she’s been up on stages as a performer, but her musical choices have been quite different from what one might expect of a teen — even one who spent some formative years in the French capital. At 15, she was singing old-timey jazz with the Riverboat Shufflers. The following year, she was in the Lost & Wandering Blues & Jazz Band. Before hitting 20, she was signed to Atlantic Records as a jazz singer, and a few years later, after going with Rounder records, her sweet and smoky voice was covering tunes by the likes of Bob Dylan, Hank Williams, and Leonard Cohen (she does an outstanding “Dance Me to the End of Love”). Her most recent album, “Anthem,” proves that while she’s still very much into jazz, she can handle any sort of pop and “standard” music, and will surely provide a mix of genres during her Friday show at the Wilbur. (Friday, May 17 at 8 p.m.; 246 Tremont St., Boston, $55-$85) — Ed Symkus

Climb aboard for Free Ferry Weekend

The Boston Harbor Now’s annual Free Ferry Day has proved so popular that the organization decided to make an entire weekend out of it this year. On both Saturday and Sunday, you can climb aboard Boston Harbor ferries to Georges Island on a first-come, first-served basis. After spending an afternoon exploring Fort Warren and enjoying a picnic lunch on the grass, grab a ride back to Long Wharf North. Boats depart the wharf on an hourly basis starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, while the last boat back to shore leaves Georges Island at 4 p.m. — Kevin Slane

Raise a glass at Harpoonfest

Boston’s unofficial summer kickoff party, Harpoonfest, returns to the Seaport this Saturday. This year’s fest is sponsored by Dunkin’, which will run a daytime electronic music festival in concert with Harpoonfest from noon to 7 p.m. The “Dunkin’ Spiked Day of the DJ,” will feature eight different DJ sets throughout the day, along with lawn games from Life is Good and plenty of adult beverages. Harpoon will have four of its most popular summertime brews on draft — Harpoon IPA, Rec. League, Juicer Hazy IPA, and Summer Style — along with Dunkin’ Spiked iced coffee and iced tea and a few other brews from local companies like UFO and Clown Shoes. Local food trucks like Chicken & Rice Guys, Paisani, Pennypacker’s, Gangnam Spice, and Revelry N’Awlins will be onsite serving up bites all day as well. Tickets to the 21+ event are currently on sale at Eventbrite. (Saturday, May 18 from 12-7 p.m.; 306 Northern Ave., Boston; $37 and up; 21+) — Natalie Gale

Bring the kids to ‘Bluey’s Big Play’

If you’re a parent of a young child, you’re undoubtedly familiar with “Bluey,” the Australian animated series whose titular talking dog has become a favorite of the preschool set. If you’ve already run through every episode of the series on Disney+ 100 times, round up the family and bring them to see Bluey’s stage show, “Bluey’s Big Play.” A mix of puppets and live actors will bring Bluey, Bingo, Bandit, and Chilli to life during four shows at the Wang Theatre this Saturday and Sunday, accompanied by new songs by Bluey composer Joff Bush. Tickets are available at the Boch Center Box Office, online at, or by phone at 866-348-9738. (Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19 at various times; 270 Tremont St., Boston; $25 and up) — Kevin Slane

Go ‘Beyond Brilliance’ at the MFA

Amidst a number of visiting exhibitions and temporary galleries, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is adding a permanent gallery to its exhibit halls. “Beyond Brilliance: Jewelry Highlights from the Collection” opens to the public this Saturday, and shows off objects from the museum’s extensive jewelry collection, including both contemporary works and artifacts over 4,000 years old. The new exhibit will display over 150 objects, featuring works like an ancient Egyptian collar necklace along with pieces from such modern day designers as Tiffany & Co., Dior, and Chanel. (Opens Saturday, May 18 from 10-5 p.m.; 465 Huntington Ave., Boston; $27 and up) — Natalie Gale

Sip tea after yoga on the water

Thanks to Sip & Stretch on the Harborwalk, this Saturday you can start your
morning with a free outdoor flow. Gather outside Martin’s Park near Fort Point Channel, where Britney Willingham of Move with Brittany will lead you through a slow-flow Vinyasa yoga session at 9:30 a.m. Following practice, Alexis Jones of Té Spa serves hot and iced, herbal, and caffeinated teas. Bring your mat and a water bottle for this free event, and be sure to register beforehand via Eventbrite. (Saturday, May 18 at 9:30 a.m.; 64 Sleeper St., Boston; free) — Cheryl Fenton

Laugh it up with Colin Mochrie & Brad Sherwood

“Whose Line is it Anyway?”  — both the Drew Carey-hosted version from the late ’90s and early 2000s and the more recent revival with Aisha Tyler — doesn’t get enough credit for the sheer number of belly laughs it’s generated, not to mention the number of randy sight gags it was able to get away with on network TV (thanks largely to a preponderance of giant styrofoam humor accouterments). This weekend, two “Whose Line” veterans, Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood, are in town for a pair of shows on Friday and Saturday, both at 7:30 p.m. Friday’s laugh-a-palooza will be held at Plymouth Memorial Hall in Plymouth, while Saturday’s giggles will echo through Cary Memorial Hall in Lexington. (Friday, May 17 and Saturday, May 18 at 7:30 p.m.; 83 Court St., Plymouth, and 1605 Massachusetts Ave., Lexington; $39-$79) — Peter Chianca

Fly a kite at the Revere Beach Kite Festival

The Revere Beach Kite Festival returns this year this Sunday to kick off beach season. The event will feature live music, professional kite flyers, and family-friendly activities on America’s first public beach. Children at the festival will have the opportunity to build, decorate, and then fly their own kites. Visitors are welcome to bring their own kites as well. Free and open to the public, the event takes place on Revere Beach right across from Kelly’s Roast Beef, a favorite roast beef sandwich spot for readers. (All day on Sunday, May 19; Revere Beach, Revere; free) — Natalie Gale

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