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Arts & Entertainment

Presidents’ Day Weekend in Boston

Plays, museums, and more on campus and off


This weekend marks the last three-day weekend until Patriots’ Day in mid-April. It’s a chance to get outdoors for some skating or cross-country skiing or hiking or to catch up on movies, try out a new museum, or take in a play. Whatever your interests, we’ve put together a list of some of the best goings-on around town to make your holiday fun. Know of other events taking place this weekend? Post them in the Comment section below.


Terrier Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey, Men’s Basketball

West Campus will host a number of sports games this weekend. The men’s ice hockey team hosts the University of New Hampshire on Friday night in one of the regular season’s final games. The Hockey East matchup begins at 6 p.m. The same evening, the women’s ice hockey team takes on crosstown rival Northeastern at Walter Brown Arena at 7 p.m. The tilt will be the latest chapter in the Terriers-Huskies rivalry (the women fell to Northeastern 3-2 in the Beanpot semifinal January 31). The women celebrate Senior Day Sunday, February 19, before taking on the University of Maine, with puck drop at 3 p.m. Students should come ready to eat as the game is the program’s 10th annual Chili Fest. Hockey East playoff seeding is on the line, so expect some great games.

Also on Sunday is the men’s basketball team annual Senior Day celebration, when they host Bucknell University at noon. The team’s four seniors will be honored before tipoff. The Terriers look to lock up a top seed in the upcoming Patriot League Tournament.

It’s men’s ice hockey vs. UNH Friday, February 17, at 6 p.m. at Agganis Arena. The women’s ice hockey team hosts Northeastern that night at 7 p.m. and Maine on Sunday, February 19, at 3 p.m., at Walter Brown Arena. The men’s basketball team hosts Bucknell for Senior Day on Sunday, February 19, at noon at Case Gym. Find tickets and directions here.

Cameron Curry dribbling basketball

The BU men’s basketball team hosts Patriot League rival Bucknell on Sunday, February 19, at noon for the annual Senior Day celebration. Among those being honored is Cameron Curry (Questrom’17). Photo courtesy of BU Athletics

Fenway Park Tour

The Boston Red Sox don’t start spring training in Florida until February 23, but fans who can’t wait can kick off the 2017 season this weekend with a tour of Fenway Park. Guided one-hour tours take fans of all ages through the inner workings of the iconic ballpark. You’ll learn about baseball’s oldest manual scoreboard, view the 10 most memorable moments in Red Sox history, and tour the Fenway Archive, which includes baseballs, bats, and uniforms worn by players over the decades. Be sure to take a selfie from atop the storied Green Monster.

Fenway Park tours are daily on the hour from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the off-season. Tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for children 12 and under and are available at the ballpark, 4 Yawkey Way. Find tickets and directions here.

Outdoor Events

Ice Skating in Boston

There are several ice skating venues around the city, but two are must-sees before the cold-weather season ends. Enjoy the picturesque scenes of the Boston Common, the nation’s oldest public park, while you pirouette around the Frog Pond. The classic winter setting is an ideal place to meet up with friends or have a romantic date, and is suitable for skaters of all skill levels. Don’t have your own skates? No worries. You can rent a pair for $12. New this year is the 11,000-square-foot ice skating path at City Hall Plaza, part of the city’s Boston Winter offerings. The rink offers skating lessons and other events and is open through the end of February.

The Frog Pond rink is in the Boston Common, 38 Beacon St. Weekend hours are Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Skating is free for kids 58 inches tall and below, $6 for those 59 inches and taller. Skate rentals are $6 for children and $12 for adults. Take an MBTA Green Line trolley to Park Street.

The Boston Winter outdoor skating path is at City Hall Plaza, One City Hall Square, Boston. Skating is $10 for adults, $8 for kids 5 to 12, and free for children 5 and under. Skate rentals are $6. Find directions here.

Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing

Despite rising temperatures around Boston, snow is expected to remain on the ground through Presidents’ Day weekend, which should make for some good cross-country skiing. Fortunately, you can get out and exercise at two nearby locales.

The Weston Ski Track

Weston’s Leo J. Martin Golf Course is transformed each winter into a cross-country ski and snowshoeing center and is a popular destination for stir-crazy Bostonians. There are just over nine miles of track with natural snow, with another 1.2 miles on a lighted loop with artificial snow. Visitors can rent skis, snowshoes, and pulks (child carriers) on site. Find information about rentals here and ski and snowshoe lessons are available for a fee. Private instruction is also offered.

Just south of Boston, the Blue Hills Ski Area, part of the 7,000-acre Blue Hills Reservation, which stretches from Quincy to Dedham and from Milton to Randolph, offers 12 trails for downhill and cross-country skiing, with a combination of natural and man-made snow. Skis, boots, snowboards, and helmets are available for rental. Find more information about rentals here. Lessons for children and adults of all ages are also available; find out more here.

The Weston Ski Track is at 190 Park Rd., Weston. Visitors can rent equipment on site, and lessons are available for a fee. Find a complete list of services, hours, prices, and directions here.

The Blue Hills Ski Area within the Blue Hills Reservation is at 4001 Washington St., Canton. Find a complete list of services, hours, prices, and directions here.

Family working on crafts

The Winter Party at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is a weeklong series of family-friendly events with interactive performances beginning Monday, February 20, and coinciding with the Boston public schools vacation week. Photo by Matt Teuten


Winter Party at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Looking for a family-friendly event this Presidents’ Day? Head over to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in the Fenway for the museum’s weeklong annual Winter Party, which coincides with Boston schools’ winter vacation. This year’s events include interactive theater from actress Black Venus, dancing in the courtyard with Nadine Martinez, and gallery games throughout the historic Venetian palace, among other attractions. And for those anxious for a taste of spring, there’s no better respite than the museum’s stunning courtyard, filled with fragrant flowering plants.

The Winter Party at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 25 Evans Way, Boston, is Monday, February 20, through Friday, February 24, at 11 a.m. (closed Tuesday). Find ticket prices and information and get directions here.

Make Way for Ducklings at the Museum of Fine Arts

In recognition of the 75th anniversary of the publication of Robert McCloskey’s classic children’s book Make Way for Ducklings, the MFA has mounted an exhibition of the author-illustrator’s work. Ducklings tells the story of a family of ducks who take up residence in the Boston Public Garden and has not been out of print since first published in 1941. The exhibition contains more than 50 works by the two-time Caldecott Medal recipient, studies from some of his other classic children’s books, such as Blueberries for Sal and Time of Wonder, as well from the classic favorite.

Make Way for Ducklings is on display until June 18, 2017, at the Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. The museum is open Friday, February 17, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday, February 18, through Monday, February 20, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Find regular hours and admission prices here (free to BU students with ID).

Chocolate: The Exhibition at the Museum of Science

Valentine’s Day may be over, but this new exhibition at the Museum of Science is a must for all chocolate lovers. Visitors will learn the complete story behind the tasty treat. More than 200 objects are on display and will offer an overview of the culture of chocolate. Much of the exhibition is interactive.

Chocolate: The Exhibition is on display at the Museum of Science, One Science Park, Boston, through May 7. Admission is included with an Exhibit Hall ticket, $25 for adults, $21 for seniors, and $20 for children. Hours: Friday, February 17, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, February 18, through Monday, February 20, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Find more information and tickets here.

Pencil sketch of Make Way for Ducklings

The Museum of Fine Arts pays tribute to children’s book author and illustrator Robert McCloskey, best known for the 1941 classic Make Way for Ducklings, in a show running through June 18 with more than 50 original illustrations created for his books and others. Courtesy of the May Massee Collection, Emporia State University Special Collections and Archives, Emporia State University. Photo courtesy of the MFA

John F. Kennedy National Historic Site

In anticipation of the centennial anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s birth this coming May, the National Park Service is opening the house where he was born to visitors on Presidents’ Day, Monday, February 20. (The house is usually closed during the winter months.) The Kennedy family lived in the house in Coolidge Corner from 1914 to 1920 and bought back the house in 1966, three years after Kennedy’s assassination. In 1969, after a restoration supervised by the late president’s mother, Rose Kennedy, the property was given to the National Park Service, which operates the National Historic Site. Visitors can see the upstairs master bedroom where Kennedy was born on May 29, 1917, as well as the small bedroom across the hall where the future president shared a room with his older brother, Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Note: all of the clocks in the house are set to 3 p.m., the time of JFK’s birth.

The John F. Kennedy National Historic Site, 83 Beals St., Brookline, Mass., is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday, February 20. Guided tours are available on the hour and half hour. Admission is free. More information is available here. Find directions here.


The Honey Trap at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre

The Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, dedicated to the production of new plays, is currently mounting The Honey Trap, a new drama by Leo McGann (GRS’17), a student in BU’s MFA Playwriting Program. The play, set in Northern Ireland in the 1970s, begins with two British soldiers out on the town for a pint of beer, but soon turns tragic. The drama received the National Partners of the American Theatre Playwriting Award at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in 2016. The production is part of the BU New Play Initiative and is produced by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre and the College of Fine Arts School of Theatre.

The Honey Trap is playing at the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, 949 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, through Sunday, February 26. Tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for seniors, and $10 for students with a valid ID. Tickets can be purchased online here.

ArtsEmerson’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane at the Paramount Center

A stunning production of Irish playwright Martin McDonagh’s Tony Award–winning dark comedy The Beauty Queen of Leenane by Ireland’s Druid Theatre Company, directed by Tony-winner Garry Hynes, is being presented by ArtsEmerson. The story of a spinster and her homebound mother engaged in an emotionally wrenching tug-of-war stars Marie Mullen, who won a Tony 20 years ago as the daughter in the original Broadway run and here plays the mother (with Aisling O’Sullivan as the daughter). This subversive thriller is a must for theater lovers.

The Beauty Queen of Leenane is at ArtsEmerson’s Paramount Center, 120 Boylston St., Boston, through February 26. Find schedule, ticket prices, and directions here.

Video screen at the Steve McQueen: Ashes video installation

The Institute of Contemporary Art hosts the US premiere of Steve McQueen: Ashes, a video installation by the Oscar-winning director, through February 25, 2018. Courtesy of the artist, Marian Goodman Gallery, New York/Paris, and Thomas Dane Gallery, London. © 2016 Steve McQueen. Photo by Francesca Buccaro


Steve McQueen: Ashes at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston

The Institute of Contemporary Art hosts the US debut of English director Steve McQueen’s Steve McQueen: Ashes, a standout from the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015. McQueen won an Oscar for his 2013 feature 12 Years a Slave. Ashes is a video installation by the filmmaker that presents footage on both sides of a freestanding screen. One side, shot on Super 8 film, tells the story of Ashes, a fisherman, who balances on a pitching boat against an expanse of sky and water. The other side shows a second projection, shot on 16 mm film, that chronicles the fisherman’s unexpected fate. The two films are united by a shared soundtrack.

Steve McQueen: Ashes is at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston 100 Northern Ave., Boston, through February 25, 2018. Admission to the museum is free on Monday, February 20, in honor of Presidents’ Day. Find hours, admission, and directions here and more information here.

2017 Oscar-Nominated Short Films at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston

In anticipation of the 89th Academy Awards on Sunday, February 26, the ICA is once again presenting Oscar-Nominated Shorts, featuring all of the live-action, documentary, and animated shorts nominated this year. Among the films are the family favorite Pixar short Piper, a deftly detailed piece of animation, and Joe’s Violin, a documentary about the passing down of a Polish Holocaust survivor’s violin to a young girl in the Bronx and the way it changes their lives.

Oscar-Nominated Shorts is at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, 100 Northern Ave., Boston, through March 5. Tickets are $5 for members and students, $10 for nonmembers. Find film times and buy tickets here up to two hours before most screenings or call 617-478-3103. Walk-up sales begin two hours before the screenings. Find directions here.


15th Annual Terrier Dancesport Competition

The Boston University Ballroom Dance team hosts its annual daylong Dancesport competition Sunday, February 19, at the GSU. The event brings together nearly 400 accomplished ballroom dancers from across the East Coast for a dazzling competition that includes Latin, rhythm, smooth, and standard ballroom dance.

The 15th Annual Terrier Dancesport Competition is at the George Sherman Union Metcalf Ballroom, 775 Commonwealth Ave., on Sunday, February 19, . The event begins at 7 a.m. and is expected to wrap up about 9 p.m. Admission is free. Find more information here.

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

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