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Spring Break in Boston

What to do if you’re staying in town

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Photo courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts

Spring break. The words conjure images of tropical beaches and warm weather. But not everyone’s lucky enough to get away. If you’re staying in town this week, fear not: there’s lots to do—museums, plays, sporting events, and one of the nation’s biggest St. Patrick’s Day parades. Many are free—others offer steeply discounted student tickets. So don’t spend the whole week studying. Get out and relax. And if you’re lucky, maybe you’ll get some warm spring weather to enjoy as well.


Museum of Fine Arts
Art in the Street: European Posters

This show draws on the museum’s extensive collection of more than 2,500 posters. Focusing on some of the best posters designed in Europe from the 1920s to the 1940s, the pieces in Art in the Street represent almost every major style in poster design from the era. Major works by Jules Chéret, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Pierre Bonard are on display, in addition to works by lesser known artists. Find the full list of current MFA exhibitions here.

Art in the Street: European Posters runs through July 21, 2013. The museum is open Monday, Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., and Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 9:45 p.m. Admission is free with a BU student ID, $20 for seniors and students 18 and older, $22 for adults, and free for children 6 and under; free to the public on Wednesday evenings. By public transportation, take the Green Line E trolley or the number 39 bus to the Museum of Fine Arts stop or the Orange Line train or bus routes 8, 47, or C2 to the Ruggles stop.

Institute of Contemporary Art
Mickalene Thomas

If your taste runs more towards modern art, consider stopping by the Institute of Contemporary Art. In addition to its ever-expanding permanent collection (with an emphasis on photography and portraiture), the ICA has several noteworthy temporary exhibitions, one of the most interesting featuring the work of Mickalene Thomas. Drawing on pop culture and art history, Thomas’ paintings—reproduced from meticulously crafted collages—celebrate black female sexuality, beauty, and power. If you visit on a clear day, you can enjoy the museum’s stunning views of the Boston waterfront.

Mickalene Thomas runs through April 7 at the Institute of Contemporary Art, 100 Northern Ave., Boston. By public transportation, take any MBTA Green Line trolley to Park Street, transfer to the Red Line to South Station, then transfer to the Silver Line Waterfront bus. The ICA is within walking distance of the World Trade Center or Courthouse station. It is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. General admission is $15, $13 for seniors, $10 for students, free for ages 17 and under, and free for everyone on ICA’s Free Thursday nights from 5 to 9 p.m.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Anders Zorn: A European Artist Seduces America

Mention the name Anders Zorn and you’re likely to draw a blank look. But Zorn was one of the most important Belle Epoque painters. Championed by Isabella Stewart Gardner, Zorn’s work helped to lay the groundwork for today’s modern art. This exhibition is notable because it brings together many paintings never been shown in the United States, and because it is the first exhibition to be mounted in the Hostetter Gallery of the museum’s new Renzo Piano–designed wing. The exhibition is divided into five segments: “Zorn and Gardner,” “Society Portraits,” “In the City,” “Country Life,” and “Artist’s Studios,” and features 24 paintings, 22 drawings, photographs, letters, and gifts Zorn gave Gardner in 1894.

Anders Zorn: A European Artist Seduces America is on display at the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum, 280 The Fenway, Boston, through May 13. Hours: Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., closed Tuesday. Phone: 617-566-1401. By public transportation, take the MBTA Green Line E trolley or number 39 bus to the Museum of Fine Arts stop, cross Huntington Avenue on your right onto Louis Prang Street, and walk two blocks; the museum is on the left. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $5 for BU students with a current ID. There is free admission for people under 18, U.S. military and families, and anyone named Isabella. Tickets are required for the Zorn exhibition on Saturday and Sunday; timed tickets will be issued at the front desk and visitors can view other parts of the museum until their ticket time.


The Comedy Studio

Looking for a laugh during spring break? Head over to the Comedy Studio in Harvard Square. Above the Hong Kong Restaurant, this club attracts comedians of every stripe. It presents stand-up comedy shows six nights a week, featuring numerous local and nationally known comedians, like Brian Kiley, a writer for The Conan O’Brien Show. A full food and drink menu is available during the performances.

The Comedy Studio, 1238 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, is on the third floor of the Hong Kong Restaurant. Shows are Tuesday through Sunday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, and $12 on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Buy tickets at the door or order advance tickets/seating here. Take any MBTA Green Line trolley to Park Street, switch to an outbound Red Line train, and get off at Harvard Square.


A Raisin in the Sun

The Huntington Theatre Company is currently staging Lorraine Hansberry’s classic A Raisin in the Sun at the BU Theatre. Directed by Liesl Tommy, this drama tells the story of an African American family struggling to realize their share of the American dream.

A Raisin in the Sun runs at the BU Theatre, 264 Huntington Ave., Boston, through April 7, 2013. To get there, take any MBTA Green Line trolley to Hynes Convention Center, walk down Massachusetts Avenue to Huntington Avenue, and turn right. Tickets may be purchased online, by phone at 617-266-0800, or in person at the BU Theatre box office. Patrons 35 and younger may purchase $25 tickets (ID required) for any production, and there is a $5 discount for seniors. Military personnel can purchase tickets for $15, and student rush tickets are also available for $15. Members of the BU community get $10 off (ID required) and are also eligible for a special subscription rate. Call 617-266-0800 for more information.


Boston Flower and Garden Show

If you can’t make it to the rain forest this break, but are itching to check out some spring blooms, head over to the Boston Flower and Garden Show at the Seaport World Trade Center from Wednesday, March 13, through Sunday, March 17. A Boston rite of spring for more than a century, this year’s show is titled Seeds of Change—focusing on how the plant world is embracing new species. The show features gardens designed by some of New England’s most accomplished landscape designers as well as a changing roster of gardening, cooking, and floral demonstrations. There are also lectures by distinguished garden writers and professionals, musical entertainment, and competitions for floral design, amateur horticulture, and photography. Plants, bulbs, seeds, and other gardening merchandise will be for sale as well. A complete schedule can be found here.

The Boston Flower and Garden Show runs from Wednesday, March 13, to Sunday, March 17, at the Seaport World Trade Center, 200 Seaport Blvd. Take any MBTA Green Line trolley to Park Street, transfer to an inbound Red Line train to South Station, and take the 448 Express Bus three stops to Seaport Blvd. @ Seaport Hotel. Purchase tickets, $20 for adults and $10 for children (per day), here. The show is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Tropical fish at the New England Aquarium, Boston

Photo by Flickr contributor Angela N.

New England Aquarium

Can’t get to a tropical island during spring break? You can still check out hundreds of different aquatic species at the New England Aquarium. There are also daily presentations and shows, including harbor seal and fur seal training sessions and IMAX movies. The aquarium is being renovated now, so the Giant Ocean Tank is temporarily out of commission and most of the penguins have been moved off site, but there’s still plenty to see.

The New England Aquarium, One Central Wharf, Boston, is open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Ticket prices, reduced because of construction, are $17.95 for adults and $12.95 for kids. There is also a discount for students with valid IDs. To get there, take any MBTA Green Line trolley to Government Center, switch to a Blue Line train, and get off at the Aquarium stop.

Terrier Athletics

Women’s Lacrosse

The Terriers take on Ohio State University on Saturday, March 16, at 1 p.m. at Nickerson Field. Find out why attacker Danielle Etrasco (SHA’13) was recently named one of the top 50 players in the nation and became the first Terrier to be named to the United States National Team.

The women’s lacrosse game is at 1 p.m. at Nickerson Field, 285 Babcock St., West Campus. Tickets are $5 for adults, $2 for faculty, staff, and students, free with a sports pass.

Women’s Ice Hockey NCAA Quarterfinals

The first round of the NCAA tournament begins this weekend, and the Hockey East champion Terriers are pitted against the Clarkson Golden Knights at Walter Brown Arena on Saturday, March 16, at 3 p.m.

The BU women’s hockey team hosts Clarkson in the NCAA quarterfinals on Saturday, March 16, at 3 p.m. at Walter Brown Arena, 285 Babcock St. Tickets are $6 for the general public, $4 for students, faculty, staff, children, and senior citizens.

Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Boston University BU, things to do Boston spring break, South Boston annual St. Patricks Day Parade

Photo courtesy of South Boston Parade.org

St. Patrick’s Day, Sunday, March 17, coincides with the last day of spring break. What better way to celebrate the wearing of the green than by heading to South Boston for Boston’s official St. Patrick’s Day Parade? The first parade was held here in 1737, and today draws a crowd of more than half a million people. The parade, which runs along Broadway, features floats, bagpipes, and marching bands from all over the country.

Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade begins at 1 p.m. on West Broadway in South Boston. Take any MBTA Green Line trolley to Park Street and switch to an outbound Red Line train to Broadway or Andrew Square. Find the official parade route here.

Andreia DeVries can be reached at adevries@bu.edu; follow her on Twitter at @andreia_dev.

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