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A Guide to Spring Break in the Hub

What to do, see, and eat in Boston this vacation


Signs of spring can be glimpsed everywhere. Snowdrops and crocuses are already blooming, and daylight saving time starts next Sunday, March 12, when we set our clocks forward an hour. And tomorrow marks the official start of spring break. For those staying in Boston, residence halls will be open throughout the week, but dining halls close at 8 p.m. Friday, March 3, and will not reopen until 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 12. The GSU will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Rhett’s from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Many will travel during the week off. But for everyone staying local, there’s plenty going on in the city for a fun-filled vacation. It’s a great time to try a new restaurant, take in a ballet, play, or concert, or get your St. Patrick’s Day celebration off to an early start. We’ve put together a list of events below of special interest.


Dine Out Boston

Want to enjoy a meal at one of Boston’s most popular restaurants, but don’t want to break the bank? Take advantage of Dine Out Boston (formerly known as Restaurant Week Boston), the biannual event sponsored by the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau offering Bostonians and tourists a chance to indulge in prix-fixe lunches and dinners at restaurants around the city at special prices. Hundreds of restaurants, from North End favorites like Antico Forno to hip eateries like Puritan & Company, inventive sushi restaurants like Oishii Boston, and tasty tapas joints like Tapeo, are participating. Diners can enjoy Moroccan, French, Afghan, Argentinian, and Indian cuisine, and much more. So loosen your belts and take a trip to that restaurant you’ve been meaning to try.

Dine Out Boston runs Sunday, March 5, through Friday, March 10, and Sunday, March 12, through Friday, March 17. Lunch is $15, $20, or $25 per person and dinner is $28, $33, or $38 per person. Browse participating restaurants and make reservations (strongly recommended) online here.

Music and Dance

Boston Ballet’s production of Artifact 2017

Boston Ballet’s production of Artifact 2017, a contemporary ballet, blends choreography, spoken word, a brilliant score, and dazzling sets. Pictured above: Misa Kuranaga and Patrick Yocum. Photo by Rosalie O’Connor

Artifact 2017, Boston Ballet

First performed by Ballet Frankfurt in Germany in 1984, world-renowned choreographer William Forsythe’s Artifact 2017 is a tour-de-force of contemporary ballet that combines imaginative choreography with spoken word, an unforgettable score, and dazzling sets and costumes. Boston Ballet is the first North American dance company to stage the ballet in its entirety, and to mark the occasion, the ballet has been revised to include an all-new dance in the final act. The event marks the start of a five-year partnership between Boston Ballet and Forsythe.

Artifact 2017 will be performed through Sunday, March 5, at the Boston Opera House, 539 Washington St., Boston. Tickets can be purchased online and range from $35 to $159. Find directions here.

Sydney Dance Company at the Shubert Theatre

Traveling from Down Under on its current international tour, the Sydney Dance Company, one of the world’s most celebrated contemporary dance companies, visits Boston on March 4 and 5. The dancers will perform three 20-to-30-minute dances that push the limits of the human body. The performance opens with “Frame of Mind,” a poignant, award-winning dance set to a score by Bryce Dessner of the Grammy-nominated band the National. The second piece, “Raw Models,” is an innovative and sensual performance that reveals the fluidity of the human form as dancers writhe rhythmically on stage. The final piece, “Wildebeest,” is a playful and rollicking dance that showcases the dancers’ athleticism and recalls the wildness of the Australian Outback.

The Sydney Dance Company performs Saturday, March 4, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, March 5, at 3 p.m., at the Shubert Theatre at the Boch Center, 265 Tremont St., Boston. Tickets range from $65 to $75 and can be purchased online or by calling the theater box office at 866-348-9738. Find directions here.

Shen Yun at the Wang Theatre

Founded in 2006 by a group of Chinese expats living in New York, Shen Yun is a nonprofit performing arts and entertainment company that uses classical Chinese dance, story-based dance, and ethnic and folk dance to bring to life 5,000 years of Chinese culture. The organization’s meticulous, tightly choreographed performances combine music, dance, costumes, and an array of visual effects. A groundbreaking East-West orchestra helps capture the spirit of ancient China. The nonprofit’s  five separate touring companies have performed on stages across the Americas, Europe, Australia, and Asia.

Shen Yun performs at the Wang Theatre at the Boch Center, 270 Tremont St., Boston, Saturday, March 4, at 2 and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 5, at 1 and 6 p.m. Tickets range from $70 to $185 and can be purchased online or by calling the box office at 800-982-2787. Find directions here.

Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience at TD Garden

Are you a fan of HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones?  Take a trip to Westeros by way of TD Garden Monday night when the venue hosts the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience. The one-night-only concert features music from the show performed by an 80-piece orchestra and choir and conducted by the show’s composer, Ramin Djawadi, on a 360-degree stage equipped with LED telescoping and 3-D designs projected on the stage. It’s a must-see for Game of Thrones aficionados.

The Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience is Monday, March 6, at 8 p.m. at TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston. Tickets can be purchased online and range from $35 to $105. Find directions here.

Sunday Concert Series at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

The Gardner’s Sunday Concert Series draws classical music fans from all over Boston. Performances are each Sunday at 1:30 p.m. in the intimate Calderwood Hall and feature different artists each week. On Sunday, March 5, the award-winning duo Corey Cerovsek (violin) and Paavali Jumppanen (piano) will perform a selection of 20th-century classics by Debussy, Bartok, and Boulez. On March 12, it’s pianist Daniel Lebhardt, with a program of Beethoven, Brahms, and Rachmaninoff piano pieces as part of the concert series’ Young Artist Showcase.

The Sunday Concert Series is every Sunday at 1:30 p.m. at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 25 Evans Way, Boston. Tickets, which include museum admission, are $31 to $36 for adults; $28 to $33 for seniors; $19 to $24 for members; and $12 for children 7–17 (children under 7 are not admitted). Tickets can be purchased online or by calling 617-278-5156, Wednesday to Monday, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. or at the museum and at the door on the day of the concert. Find directions here.

Theater and Film

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time

Immerse yourself in the world of 15-year-old autistic math genius Christopher Boone, the protagonist of the Tony award–winning The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Adam Langdon (above) plays Christopher in the touring production, at the Boston Opera House from March 7 through 19. Photo by Joan Marcus

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Boston Opera House

When this coming-of-age story about a 15-year-old autistic boy opened on Broadway in 2014, the New York Times hailed it as “one of the most fully immersive works ever to wallop Broadway.” Based on Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel of the same title, the play won five Tony Awards, including best play. The theatrical tour-de-force tells the story of Christopher Boone, a 15-year-old math genius for whom any kind of social interaction is difficult. The production, starring Adam Langdon as Boone, is an unforgettable theater experience.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time runs from Tuesday, March 7, through Sunday, March 19, at the Boston Opera House, 539 Washington St., Boston. Tickets (starting at $47) can be purchased online. Find directions here.

Circus 1903—The Golden Age of Circus at the Wang Theatre

Featuring breathtaking acrobatic feats, glittering and ornate costumes, and unbelievably real-looking life-sized elephant puppets, Circus 1903 bills itself as “a thrilling turn of the century circus spectacular.” Created by the producers of The Illusionists (the world’s biggest magic show) and the award-winning puppeteers from Broadway’s War Horse, this two-hour theatrical experience combines daring circus acts, like knife-throwing and walking a high wire, with acrobatics, music, and more to create an immersive, family-friendly extravaganza.

Circus 1903 runs March 8 through 12 at the Wang Theatre at the Boch Center, 270 Tremont St., Boston. Tickets can be purchased online and range from $19 (opening night only) to $125. Find directions here.

The Huntington Theatre Company’s Topdog/Underdog at the BU Theatre

Suzan-Lori Parks was the first African American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for drama, in 2002, for this play. The darkly comic drama follows two African American brothers as they grapple with racism, poverty, gambling, and their own deeply complicated relationship. Directed by Tony-winning actor and director Billy Porter (Kinky Boots), Topdog/Underdog offers a poignant meditation on what it means to be a black man in America today.

The Huntington Theatre Company production of Topdog/Underdog runs from Friday, March 10, through Sunday, April 9, at the BU Theatre, 264 Huntington Ave., Boston Tickets can be purchased online. Prices range from $25 to $99 and are $10 off for members of the BU community; $5 off for seniors (65 and older); $20 for active military and veterans and immediate families, and students (25 and younger); and $30 for individuals under 35. Find directions here.

The Night of the Iguana

An extraordinary cast headlines the current American Repertory Theater revival of Tennessee Williams’ The Night of the Iguana: Remo Airaldi (above, from left), Bill Heck, Dana Delaney, and Elizabeth Ashley. Photo by Gretjen Helene Photography

Tennessee Williams’ The Night of the Iguana at the American Repertory Theater

The American Repertory Theater has brought together a star-studded cast for a revival of this Tennessee Williams’ 1961 drama. It stars Tony award–winning actors James Earl Jones and Amanda Plummer and Emmy-winning actor Dana Delany (China Beach, Desperate Housewives). Set on the edge of the Mexican jungle, it brings together a number of disparate characters—including a hotel proprietress, a Southern preacher, an artist, and a group of vacationers—all of them anxious to outrun their demons. This is one of the hottest tickets in Boston, with some performances completely sold out, so order soon.

Tennessee Williams’ The Night of the Iguana runs through Saturday, March 18, at the Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle St., Cambridge. Tickets can be purchased online and are $25 for A.R.T. subscribers, members, and student members. Prices range from $50 to $95 for others. Find directions here.

2017 Oscar-Nominated Short Films at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA)

The 89th Academy Awards ceremony may have come and gone, but chances are you still haven’t seen this year’s Oscar-nominated short films. Now you can. For the 11th consecutive year, the ICA is screening all Oscar-nominated short films in its theater. Sunday, March 5, is your last chance to catch screenings of this year’s short animation nominees (including winner Piper) and live-action nominees (including winner Sing) on the big screen.

Short films nominated for the 2017 Oscars will be screened on Sunday, March 5, at the ICA, 25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston. The animation films will be screened at 1 p.m. and the live-action shorts at 3 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online. General admission tickets are $10, $5 for students and ICA members. Package deals for tickets to two same-day screenings are $15 general admission and $8 for students and ICA members. Find regular museum hours and admission prices here and directions here.


Wilson/Cortor at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA)

This special exhibition of about 50 prints and drawings is an homage to the work of two accomplished contemporary African American artists, John Wilson (1922–2015) and Eldzier Cortor (1916–2015). Both Wilson and Cortor spent their careers exploring the African American experience. A Roxbury native, Wilson used his art to highlight the civil rights movement and raise awareness of social justice issues. The show includes a preparatory drawing for one of his most famous works, a bronze bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. (GRS’55, Hon.’59), commissioned for the rotunda of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Cortor’s vibrant paintings offer stylized depictions of African American women. The exhibition also includes a series of woodcuts and etchings by Cortor, influenced by his experience in Haiti, and one of his best-known works, Still Life: Past Revisited, an assemblage of objects referencing the history of black life in early-20th-century America.

Wilson/Cortor is on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston, through August 6. Find hours and admission prices here (free to BU students with ID) and directions here.

Museum of Science’s special exhibit, Chocolate

Satisfy your sweet tooth and learn all about the enduring dessert at the Museum of Science’s special exhibition, Chocolate. Photo by the Field Museum

Chocolate: The Exhibition at the Museum of Science

Chocoholics, take note: the Museum of Science’s new show, Chocolate: The Exhibition, offers a fascinating overview of the history of one the world’s most enduring desserts. Featuring over 200 objects (including replicas of pre-Columbian ceramics, 19th- and 20th-century chocolate advertisements, and European silver and porcelain servers), this interactive and immersive show reveals aspects of this sumptuous sweet you’ve probably never considered. The exhibition explores the plant, product, and culture of chocolate over centuries through the prism of science, history, and popular culture.

Chocolate: The Exhibition is on display through May 7 at the Museum of Science, One Science Park, Boston. Find hours here, admission prices here, and directions here.

James and Audrey Foster Prize

The ICA’s biennial showcase of outstanding Boston artists is on display in the 2017 James and Audrey Foster Prize Exhibition. Photo by Natasha Moustache, copyright Jennifer Bornstein

2017 James and Audrey Foster Prize Exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA)

Since 1999, the ICA has recognized emerging Boston-area artists with a biennial showcase, the James and Audrey Foster Prize Exhibition. This year’s exhibition features work by Sonia Almeida, Jennifer Bornstein, Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Verena Paravel, and Lucy Kim, artists who have garnered international acclaim, but are relatively unknown in Boston. Each engages the human body through various media, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, film, and video. Many of the works are on display for the first time in Boston. This year’s biennial includes a new series titled “The Foster Talks,” where each of the prize-winning artists presents a talk about an individual who has influenced his or her work.

The 2017 James and Audrey Foster Prize Exhibition will be on display through July 9 at the Institute of Contemporary Art, 25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston. Find and admission prices here and directions here.


The Harlem Globetrotters at TD Garden

A global phenomenon for nearly a century, the Harlem Globetrotters blend athleticism with theatrics and a dose of comedy to create unique and unforgettable basketball performances. The exhibition basketball team will be at the TD Garden twice this week to dribble, dunk, flip, dance, and engage in hilarious hijinks. Get ready for a night of fun and see for yourself why the Globetrotters have earned a devoted international following.

The Harlem Globetrotters play on Sunday, March 5, at 1 p.m., and Saturday, March 11, at 7:30 p.m. at TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston. Find directions here. Ticket prices vary and are available here.


Cheer your men’s lacrosse Terriers when they host the Air Force Falcons on Saturday, March 4. Cal Dearth (SHA’17) (above) is only the second Terrier in program history to be named to the Tewaaraton watch list of early contenders for the nation’s top collegiate lacrosse award. Photo by Steve McLaughlin

Terrier Men’s Lacrosse

With the first hints of spring in the air, lacrosse season has returned to campus. Stop by Nickerson Field tomorrow, Saturday, March 4, and watch the men’s lacrosse team duke it out against the Air Force Falcons.

The men’s lacrosse game is Saturday, March 4, at noon, at Nickerson Field. Admission is free for BU students with a sports pass, $2 for faculty and staff, and $5 for the general public.

For 21 and Up

2017 Harpoon St. Patrick’s Festival

St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t officially arrive until March 17, but Bostonians like to get an early jump on the holiday. So don your green apparel, channel your inner Irishman (or woman), and head to this year’s annual Harpoon Brewery St. Patrick’s Festival. Each year, thousands gather under heated tents at Harpoon’s Boston brewery in the Seaport District to enjoy live music, food, and, of course, plenty of Harpoon beer, including seasonal offerings like Harpoon Fresh Tracks, and the limited release Harpoon Craic, an Irish Red IPA that embodies the spirit of St. Paddy’s Day.

The 2017 Harpoon Brewery St. Patrick’s Festival is Friday, March 3, from 5:30 to 11 p.m. (doors close at 9:30 p.m.) and Saturday, March 4, from 1 to 7 p.m. (doors close 5:30 p.m.) at Harpoon Brewery, 306 Northern Ave., Boston. A cover charge of $25 (comes with a souvenir pint glass and your first beer) can be paid at the door; additional perks and discounts are available for Friends of Harpoon members. The event is 21+. Find directions here.

Liz Vanderau can be reached at vanderau@bu.edu.


3 Comments on A Guide to Spring Break in the Hub

  • Lk on 03.03.2017 at 1:22 pm

    Almost everything on this list is expensive

  • Student on 03.05.2017 at 8:17 am

    To add to this, Boston Ballet tickets can be bought for $25 with a student ID up to two hours before the show. These are the student rush tickets and, while they are often not the closest seats, they are a great way to see a performance without spending too much money. There is more information on the Boston Ballet website if people are interested. Just wanted to share this tip!

  • Snowman on 03.05.2017 at 8:53 pm

    Remember, stay warm!

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