Is Boston on your travel bucket list, but you can’t decide when to visit?
Well, you’re in luck! Boston is my home and I’ve got over 17 events for you to check out, from world famous sporting events (Boston Marathon) to patriotic American celebrations (Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular).
Held annually by the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) on the 3rd Monday of April, the Boston Marathon is one of the top Boston events.
The Boston Marathon debuted in 1897 and is the oldest annual marathon in the world.
The race starts off in Hopkinton, MA and takes runners through several Boston suburbs before ending in the heart of Copley Square in Boston.
The Boston Marathon takes place on Patriots’ Day, a Massachusetts state holiday that commemorates the start of the Revolutionary War, which brings festivities of its own, chief among them a Red Sox home game at Fenway Park.
Sox v. Yankees Home Game
Speaking of the Red Sox, if you can’t make it to the annual Patriots’ Day home game, another big game to attend at Fenway Park would be one of several Boston Red Sox v. New York Yankees games.
The Yankees are hands-down the biggest rival of the Red Sox, resulting in an extra competitive atmosphere both on the field and in the stands.
Check the Red Sox’s schedule for dates and tickets.
Fourth of July in Boston
Boston kicks off the 4th of July with Harborfest, with tons of events across the city, such as a reading of the Declaration of Independence and the Taste of Harborfest.
The real gem of Boston’s 4th of July festivities, however, is the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular.
The show includes a concert by the Boston Pops, which plays through Boston’s fireworks display.
The concert takes place at the Hatch Memorial Shell, an outdoor stage on the Charles River Esplanade.
The 4th of July in Boston is one of those Boston events that you have to experience at least once!
Head of the Charles® Regatta
The Head of the Charles® Regatta is another annual classic event in Boston.
The 2-day rowing event is the largest rowing event in the world, with roughly 11,000 rowers competing in events along the Charles River between Boston and Cambridge.
If you’re looking for classic New England, this event is perfect for you. Be sure to pack your polo or rugby shirts, quilted vests and riding boots, and you’ll fit right in.
St. Patrick’s Day in Boston
Given the large percentage of residents with Irish heritage, it’s no surprise that St. Patrick’s Day is taken very seriously.
Aside from the multitude of parties hosted across the city on March 17, Boston also holds an annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in South Boston (aka Southie).
Parade day starts off with the annual St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast, where public officials roast each other while drinking their coffee regulars.
In the afternoon, the parade makes its way through South Boston and usually goes for 2-2.5 hours.
Shakespeare on the Common
Every summer, the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company performs a classic Shakespeare play for FREE on an outside stage erected on the Boston Common.
Performances are held nightly on Tuesdays – Sundays, with an extra matinée performance on Saturday.
In 2016, the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company will perform Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost from July 20 through August 7.
Boston Book Festival
The Boston Book Festival is a weekend perfect for literary lovers.
The Boston Book Festival features writing workshops, readings, vendors, activities, panels, and presentations from well-known authors.
Past speakers include Margaret Atwood, Joyce Carol Oates, andDoris Kearns Goodwin.
The Boston Book Festival also hosts book and literary events throughout the year in Boston.
Boston Pride Week
Typically held the first full week in June, Boston Pride Week is a week full of celebrating LGBTQ pride.
The celebration kicks off with a pride flag raising ceremony at City Hall.
There’s also a pageant, parade, concert, several block parties and other events around the city throughout the week.
Check out the Boston Pride Week site for more information on this year’s schedule.
First Night First Day
Boston’s First Night First Day is a series of city-wide events on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
The events are typically arts-based, such as special exhibits at many of Boston’s museums, ice sculptures around the city, and musical performances.
New Year’s Eve is capped off with a fireworks display at midnight (with a shorter display around 7pm for the kiddos), if you can brave the cold that long.
The art displays and performances continue on into New Year’s Day.
ArtWeek Boston is a relatively new bi-annual event in Boston that takes place each Spring and Fall.
The event features a vast list of creative experiences across the city through the duration of the festival.
Past experiences include a tour of a recycled instrument studio, a mixology class that used art and fashion as inspiration to create new cocktails, open mic night, gallery tours, literary talks, and much more.
Boston and its surrounding suburbs have produced a slew of famous comedians, such as Amy Poehler, Elizabeth Banks, and Conan O’Brien, so it’s no surprise that Boston hosts several comedy festivals.
The College Comedy Festival and Beanpot Tournament, held annually in February, is a competitive comedy festival featuring the best Boston-area college improv groups.
The Boston Comedy Arts Festival, a 5-day event held annually in September, features improv, sketch, and stand up acts from around the world.
The Women in Comedy Festival is a month long celebration of women in comedy, with a variety of events throughout the month of April.
Last up is the Boston Comedy Festival, a 9-day event featuring over 100 performers, held annually in November.
Boston is home to several film festivals.
The Boston International Film Festival is a 5 day film festival in April that includes screenings and talks across 3 theaters in downtown Boston.
The Independent Film Festival Boston is run 100% by volunteers and showcases independent and up and coming filmmakers from around the world.
The Boston Science Fiction Film Festival is the oldest genre film festival in the US.
Held annually in February over 11 days, concluding with a 24-hour film marathon.
Which classic Boston festivals are you planning to attend?