BU Today

Arts & Entertainment + Campus Life

Much to Do Labor Day Weekend in Boston

A guide to festivities on and off campus


Fall may be fast approaching, but Boston is still buzzing with plenty of summer energy. Before classes start on Tuesday, the three-day Labor Day weekend is a great chance to catch up with old friends or make new ones at events on campus, including a competitive bingo game (with cool door prizes), a first-of-its-kind dance party featuring music from around the globe, and the annual Terrier Tailgate. Or head into town for free fireworks, movies, museums, or some shopping. Check out our guide to the upcoming long weekend

Thursday, August 31

Labor Day Fireworks

Looking to start your Labor Day weekend with a bang? Head to the Boston waterfront tonight for a dazzling fireworks display over Boston Harbor. Hosted by the nonprofit Boston Harbor Now, in conjunction with the city of Boston, the fireworks can be seen from several spots, like Christopher Columbus Park in the North End, Fan Pier Park in the Seaport District, and Piers Park in East Boston. After the pyrotechnic display, head over to Fort Point for dinner and libations at one the neighborhood’s many restaurants.

The fireworks display over Boston Harbor begins at approximately 8 p.m.

Fireworks display over the Boston City Skyline

Kick off your Labor Day weekend with a fireworks display over Boston Harbor, which starts just after 8 p.m. Thursday. Photo by Flickr contributor Eric Kilby

Friday, September 1

Club Passim’s campfire.festival

Club Passim, in Harvard Square, has been a fixture of Boston’s music scene since it opened in 1958. The intimate venue helped launch the careers of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Judy Collins, Tom Rush, and Regina Spektor. Today, it’s a nonprofit arts organization that supports local musicians, with an emphasis on folk music. This weekend the club is hosting its popular annual campfire.festival, a rollicking four-day extravaganza that features performances by more than 80 musicians—some established, some up-and-coming. Audience participation is encouraged, and the club’s cozy and relaxed vibe will make you feel like you’re singing around a campfire. Among those performing this weekend is Emma Seslowsky (CAS’18), who goes by the stage name Emma Jayne. She’s scheduled to take the mic at noon on Saturday.

Club Passim, 47 Palmer St., Harvard Square, Cambridge, hosts its 19th annual campfire.festival Friday, September 1, through Monday, September 4. Day passes are $10 and weekend passes are $25. Tonight’s performances begin at 6 p.m. Find a schedule here. Find directions here.

The Institute of Contemporary Art arial view of the dancefloor

The Institute of Contemporary Art hosts an end-of-summer party, with live music, cocktails, and dancing on Friday, September 1. Photo by Natasha Moustache

First Fridays: Endless Summer at the ICA

Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art offers a special mix of art, live music, specialty cocktails, and dance on the first Friday of every month. Tonight’s event, First Fridays: Endless Summer includes live music by local band ABADABAD and DJ Big Bear, harborside games, a sunset dance party, and more. Wander around the galleries and explore the museum’s permanent collection, with works by Andy Warhol, Louise Bourgeois, Cindy Sherman, and Shepard Fairey, or visit one of the temporary exhibitions, like Sun Splashed, a survey of Jamaican-American artist Nari Ward’s work, which explores themes of migration and naturalization. The event is 21+ only.

The Institute of Contemporary Art, 25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston, holds First Fridays: Endless Summer, tonight, September 1, from 5 to 10 p.m. Advance tickets are recommended as the First Fridays events frequently sell out. Purchase tickets, free for ICA members, $15 for nonmembers, here. Note: the event is 21+, so don’t forget to bring a valid photo ID. Find a complete list of First Friday events at the ICA here. Find directions here.

First Friday at the MFA

Not to be outdone, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts also hosts a monthly First Friday series, with music, good conversation, and world-class art. At tonight’s event, which is 21+, patrons can purchase cocktails and tapas while perusing the museum’s numerous galleries and collection of more than 500,000 works of art. Be sure to check out The Summer of Love: Photography and Graphic Design, a temporary exhibition of more than 120 psychedelic posters, album covers, and photographs from 1967 (the so-called Summer of Love). It’s a must-see for anyone interested in graphic design, typography, or the 1960s. Red Sox fans will want to check out David Ortiz: King of the Diamond, another temporary show, which includes Big Papi’s World Series Championship rings from 2004, 2007, and 2013. It closes Labor Day, so this is your last chance to see it.

The Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston, First Friday event is tonight, September 1, from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are free for MFA members, $25 for adults, and $23 for students and seniors, and can be purchased online here. The event is 21+. A valid ID with proof of age is required. Food and alcohol are available for purchase. Find a complete list of First Friday events at the MFA here. Find directions here.

Still from Fever Pitch featuring Jimmy Fallon

Catch a free screening of Fever Pitch, the 2005 rom-com starring Jimmy Fallon as a die-hard Red Sox fan, at the Boston Harbor Hotel on Friday, September 1. Photo by Twentieth Century Fox

Screening of Fever Pitch at the Boston Harbor Hotel

Boston Harbor Hotel’s Summer in the City Series offers up free concerts and outdoor movies screenings throughout the warm weather months. Tonight, as part of its Fridays Classic Movies series, the hotel presents Fever Pitch, the 2005 Red Sox–centric romantic comedy starring late-night TV host Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore. Inspired by Nick Hornby’s book Fever Pitch: A Fan’s Life, the flick follows Fallon as Ben Wrightman, a Sox fanatic (whose obsession will be familiar to Bostonians) in the lead-up to the 2004 Red Sox World Series Championship. You can buy cocktails and food from the hotel’s Rowes Wharf Sea Grille or the Harborwalk Terrace.

Fridays Classic Movies at the Boston Harbor Hotel, 70 Rowes Wharf, Boston, begins at dusk and is free and open to the public.

Saturday, September 2

Art at the Park at the Lawn on D

The Lawn on D, an innovative outdoor space next to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in South Boston’s Waterfront District, with its famous LED-illuminated swings, lawn games, and food and drink, has become a popular playground for adults. On Saturday, the Lawn hosts a special family-friendly event, Art at the Park. Activities include face painting, chalk art, magic shows, and the World’s Biggest Soap Bubbles. Be sure to stick around for live music at the Pavilion on D.

Art at the Park is at the Lawn on D, 420 D St., South Boston, on Saturday, September 2, from noon to 11 p.m. Find a full schedule of events here. Find directions here.

SoWa Open Market

You’ve moved into your new dorm room or off-campus apartment. Now comes the fun part: decorating. You’ll discover all kinds of finds at SoWa Open Market, which bills itself as “Boston’s largest celebration of local artists, farmers, chefs, brewers, and musicians.” The weekend market has dozens of vendors selling goods from fresh flowers, paintings, and photography to home decor, fresh produce, and specialty foods. If all that shopping works up an appetite, be sure to check out the food trucks on site offering up tacos, burgers, homemade ice cream sandwiches, and much more. The market is also home to Boston’s first weekly outdoor beer and wine garden; visitors 21+ are welcome to come and sample beer, cider, and wine from a variety of breweries, among them local favorites like Bantam Cider Company and Castle Island Brewing Co.

SoWa Open Market, 530 Harrison Ave., is held every Saturday and Sunday through October 29, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Find directions here.

New England Revolution vs. Orlando City SC at Gillette Stadium

Soccer fans, you’re in luck. You can still snag $29 tickets to watch the New England Revolution kick off against the Orlando City Soccer Club at Gillette Stadium. So don your most patriotic red and navy apparel and head to Foxboro to cheer on the Revs.

The New England Revolution vs. Orlando City SC game begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Gillette Stadium, One Patriot Place, Foxboro, Mass. Tickets are $29 and can be purchased here. Find directions here.

Atlas BU, Powered by GrooveBoston at the BU Beach

Here’s a chance to welcome BU’s international Terriers and celebrate our differences with a night of dancing. GrooveBoston will provide live DJs playing the biggest hits from around the world. This first-of-its-kind event is a joint venture between Student Activities and BU’s Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground.

Atlas BU is being held at the BU Beach, 270 Bay State Rd., on Saturday, September 2, from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. The event is rain or shine (the party will be under a tent). The event is for BU students only and requires a valid BU ID. You must RSVP in advance on Eventbrite. Find a full schedule of BU’s Student Activities Weeks of Welcome events here.

BU fans in the crowd at the Men's Soccer game

The annual Terrier Tailgate, with free admission, free food, music, and giveaways, kicks off the 2017–2018 school year and the fall sports season. Photo by Natalia Boltukhova

Sunday, September 3

Mens Soccer and 11th Annual Terrier Tailgate

Don your scarlet and white and head over to Nickerson Field to cheer on the BU men’s soccer team as the Terriers take on the under-23 national team from Haiti in an exhibition game. Be sure to arrive early for the 11th annual Terrier Tailgate, the official BU Athletics season kickoff. There will be music, games, free food, and lots of giveaways. Gates open at 3 p.m.

The BU men’s soccer team hosts Haiti’s under-23 national team at 4 p.m. on Sunday, September 3, at Nickerson Field, 285 Babcock St. The Terrier Tailgate begins at 3 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public. Check Go Terriers for possible weather delays.

Rhettro Bingo

One of the most popular events of BU’s Student Activities annual Weeks of Welcome, this version of Extreme Bingo offers big-ticket prizes, including a chance to see the reigning Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium and Ed Sheeran perform at the TD Garden. The games are played on projector screens, allowing players to compete with hundreds of classmates at once. Free pizza, courtesy of Domino’s, will be provided.

Rhettro Bingo is in the Metcalf Ballroom, George Sherman Union second floor, 771 Commonwealth Ave., Sunday, September 3, at 9 p.m. The event is free and open to BU students only—so don’t forget your BU ID. You must RSVP in advance on Eventbrite.

Two girlfriends shop at the Somerville flea market, vintage furniture in hand

The Somerville Flea, in Davis Square, is open each Sunday. This a mecca for those looking to score one-of-a-kind used furniture and vintage clothing. Photo by the Somerville Flea

Somerville Flea

On the prowl for used furniture, vintage clothing, rare books, and hard-to-find records? You’ll find them all and much more at the Somerville Flea, the open air vintage and artisan market, open Sundays from April through October, in the heart of Somerville’s Davis Square. Dozens of vendors offer quite a variety, from old typewriters and trunks to gently used cowboy boots and leather jackets, all at great prices. You’ll also find fresh produce at the market, as well as live music from some of Boston’s best local musicians.

The Somerville Flea market is open Sundays from late April through October, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 52 Holland St. in Davis Square. Find directions here.

Screening of Moulin Rouge! at Christopher Columbus Park

On the waterfront in Boston’s North End, Christopher Columbus Park offers spectacular views of Boston Harbor. It’s also home to the popular summer Sunday Night Movie Series, which screens free family-friendly movies at sunset. This week, it’s the 2001 Oscar-winning musical Moulin Rouge! starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor. So grab a picnic and a blanket and head to the North End. It’s an ideal end-of-summer outing.

Moulin Rouge! will be shown at Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park on Sunday, starting at dusk. The screening is free and open to the public. Find directions here.

Monday, September 4

Frank Hatch Day at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Boston is full of world-class art museums, and none is more beautiful than the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, in the nearby Fenway neighborhood. Modeled after the magnificent Palazzo Barbaro in Venice, Italy, the Gardner is home to more than 2,500 paintings, sculptures, tapestries, books, and other works of art, all assembled by Gardner herself during the late 19th and early 20th century. Masterpieces by Vermeer, Botticelli, Titian, Rembrandt, Whistler, and John Singer Sargent hang above ornate Italian furniture, and there are decorative arts from Japan and rare books dating back to the 13th century. And in keeping with tradition, admission on Labor Day is free, in observance of Frank Hatch Day, an annual celebration of longtime museum trustee and patron of the arts Francis “Frank” Hatch. In addition to viewing the magnificent collection of art and artifacts, visitors can try their hand at a craft project in the Studio, take in a fashion show, and listen to live music and performances in the museum’s Calderwood Hall and the Courtyard.

Free timed tickets will be available at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 25 Evans Way, Boston, on Monday, September 4, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Entry is on a first-come, first-served basis, and tickets are timed for entry every 30 minutes. Tickets will be distributed until capacity is reached, so getting there early is recommended.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Courtyard

Enjoy free admission to the spectacular Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in the Fenway on Labor Day, Monday, September 4, during the museum’s annual Frank Hatch Day. Photo by Matt Teuten

Screening of Jaws at Coolidge Corner Theatre

Shark Week may be over and beach season may be coming to a close, but the Coolidge Corner Theatre will host a special showing of Jawsthe Oscar-winning 1975 summer blockbuster that spooked beach-goers and broke box office records with its tale of a man-eating great white shark. Screened annually as part of the Big Screen Classics series, Jaws is the theater’s farewell ode to summer. Directed by Steven Spielberg (Hon.’09), and starring Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, and Richard Dreyfuss, the film is one of Hollywood’s great thrillers. John Williams (Hon.’85) provided the award-winning soundtrack. You’ll be sitting on the edge of your seat. Promise.

Jaws screens Monday, September 4, at 7 p.m. at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. Purchase tickets at the box office or call 617-734-2501. Find directions here.

Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway

What better way to enjoy the last day of summer vacation than with a Red Sox game? Head to Fenway Park—America’s oldest ballpark—tonight to cheer on the Sox as they host the Toronto Blue Jays. The Sox are having a successful 2017 season, so tonight’s game against the division rival Jays is sure to be exciting.

The Boston Red Sox play the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park, 4 Yawkey Way, on Monday, September 4, starting at 7:10 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online. Find directions here.

Find a complete Weeks of Welcome schedule here; all events are for BU students only; bring your BU ID with you to all events. RSVP on eventbrite.

Connor Lenahan can be reached at lenahan@bu.edu.

+ Comments

Post Your Comment

(never shown)