ROOT FOR THE (OTHER) HOME TEAMS
Thanks to the Hub’s rabid baseball fans, most Red Sox games sell out months in advance. Still, there’s plenty of great hardball options for your viewing pleasure. For less than $10, you can watch former Red Sox pitcher Oil Can Boyd make his comeback with the independent Brockton Rox, or cheer on Lynn’s North Shore Spirit at Fraser Field, a charming, old-school style stadium that includes a kid’s fun area and picnic grounds.
Beach-lovers flock to Revere Beach (the nation’s oldest public beach) to bask in the afternoon sun and have a lobster roll at Kelly’s Roast Beef (410 Revere Beach Blvd., Revere, 781-284-9129). Kelly’s, a Revere Beach landmark since founders Frank McCarthy and Raymond Carey opened its doors in 1951, is best known for its world-famous roast beef sandwiches. Come summer, however, Kelly’s Brian McCarthy jokes, “we probably sell more lobster rolls than anyone else in the U.S.”
TO THE STREETS
No summer trip to Boston is complete without seeing a blindfolded man juggle a rubber chicken. Or so you’ll believe once you’ve witnessed the eclectic mix of street performers outside Faneuil Hall Marketplace. From juggling comedians to experts in the arts of yo-yo trickery, street artists have long been enticing visitors to linger in the market long after their shopping is done.
To find a bargain in Boston, you’ll need to go where the locals go. On Sundays this summer, share in their latest find—two open-air markets that sell everything from farm produce to vintage clothing. The brand-new Jamaica Plain Antiques & Flea Market (3694 Washington St., Jamaica Plain, 617-522-3460, $1) is bound to be a hot commodity following in the footsteps of the two-year-old South End Open Market (540 Harrison Ave., 617-481-2257, free).
MUSIC IN THE AIR
It won’t cost you a dime to hear quality music in Boston, as the city grooves all summer long to free concerts. Sit beneath the stars and check out the Harvard University Band (August 7) and the North Shore Philharmonic (August 10) at the Hatch Shell on the Charles River Esplanade or the Boston Landmarks Orchestra on Boston Common on August 13. Also, doo-wop pioneers The Platters perform at City Hall Plaza on August 3, and world, jazz and blues acts perform every Wednesday at City Hall as part of Boston’s 375th anniversary.
BEYOND THE FREEDOM TRAIL
History can be found everywhere in Boston, and sometimes the lesser-known sites offer enriching and affordable experiences. The Boston Fire Museum (344 Congress St., 617-482-1344), located in a historic firehouse, preserves vintage fire-fighting artifacts from Boston’s earliest days, including two of the city’s first fire trucks. Housing the Massachusetts Archives, the Commonwealth Museum is a treasure trove for any history fan. And see fine art for free at the McMullen Museum of Art, where visitors can find stunning collections of American, Italian and Flemish paintings and sculpture.
BLOCKBUSTER HITS UNDER THE STARS
Going to the movies can be pricey, but here in the Hub there are cheaper (and more picturesque) ways to enjoy a film. Grab a blanket and a friend and enjoy a night under the stars watching Free Friday Flicks at sundown at the Hatch Shell. Bring the little ones to the Boston Children’s Museum for free short Movies at the Milk Bottle each Friday at dusk. Or have a meal at the Boston Harbor Hotel’s Intrigue Cafe on Rowes Wharf and enjoy Movies by Moonlight—August 5 features The Postman Always Rings Twice, while An American in Paris screens August 12.
ALL OVER THE CITY
Throughout August, Boston celebrates its ethnic diversity with fun, free festivals. The Dominican Festival (August 12–14) in Franklin Park kicks off with a parade, followed by lively music and dance, while India Day (August 14) at the Hatch Shell highlights India’s culture with “Bollywood” dances, folk music and Indian cuisine. Eastern culture remains at the forefront at the Chinatown Festival (August 7), which boasts martial arts displays, Japanese drumming and Burmese dancing. The Bayside Expo Center hosts a Brazilian Carnival on August 7, and if you still have the energy to keep partying, North End Italian Pride Week (August 2–7) promises further merriment, delicious Italian food, music and crafts as the red, white and green flags fly proudly.
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