Boston events for October 2017. Best festivals, fun things to do, weekend street fairs, kids activities & Halloween haunted houses in Boston, Massachusetts.

Best events for 12 months

Enjoy the best events, festivals, and things to do in Boston with this calendar of events.

Miles are from Faneuil Hall in Boston.

Past events are not included. Remove past events. Add past events. You can add them if you turn on JavaScript.

Oktoberfest and 5K

October 1, 2017 (9:30 a.m.)

2.6 miles west

Cambridge 5K - Oktoberfest begins at MIT with a German-themed race and ends with food and beer.

Short-film festival

October 1, 2017 (2 p.m.)

7.6 miles NE

Join people worldwide watching the Manhattan Short Film Festival and voting for their favorites. You can see the films at the Regent Theatre in Arlington.

BBQ on the mountain

October 1, 2017

50 miles west

The Great New England BBQFest features roasted pig, oysters, chili (Saturday), pulled pork (Sunday), live music, a beer tent, craft vendors, and running events at Wachusett Mountain.

Young achievers conference

October 1 - 4, 2017

multiple locations

The Under 30 Summit is a series of music, food, drink, networking, famous speaker, and public service events for young entrepreneurs and game-changers.

Celebrate a jazz legend

October 1 - 7, 2017

multiple locations

John Coltrane Memorial Concert Week is a tribute to an early American jazz saxophonist and composer that includes a film, panel discussions, and concerts at Northeastern University and nearby.

Fashion week

October 1 - 7, 2017

Boston locations

Boston Fashion Week showcases the work of local fashion designers with runway shows, exhibits, panels, receptions, and networking parties.

Horror films in Salem

October 1 - 15, 2017

18 miles NE

Salem Horror Fest invites you “to examine the themes of fear and the American experience within the horror genre” with films and special guests at Salem venues.

Medieval fair

October 1 - 22, 2017

49 miles south

King Richard’s Faire offers medieval food, games, and artisan shops, plus costumed acrobats, battling knights, fire-eaters, jugglers, dancers, and puppeteers in a forest near Carver.

Tasting event

October 5, 2017 (SOLD OUT)

Boston locations

The highlight of the Food & Wine Festival is the Chef’s Gala the first night, featuring “cuisine from 21 award-winning chefs” plus wine and beer pairings at WGBH.

The Artisan Taste

October 7, 2017 (4 to 9 p.m.)

5.1 miles west

The Artisan Taste features chef tastings, vintner & brewer tastings, cooking demonstrations, artisan vendors, and live music at WGBH Studios for age 21+.

Oktoberfest in Rhode Island

October 7, 2017 (12 to 8 p.m.)

51 miles SW

Oktoberfest has seasonal brews, savory German and American food, cocktails, and music in downtown Providence, RI.

Cranberry festival

October 7 - 8, 2017

55 miles SE

Cranberry Harvest Celebration has cooking shows, harvest demonstrations, paddleboat rides, craft and food vendors, kids’ activities, and music in Wareham.

Columbus Day Parade - North End

October 8, 2017 (1 p.m.)

0.6 miles NE

Watch brass bands, vintage cars, military units, and politicians wind through the North End’s narrow streets in the Columbus Day Parade. Free.

Oktoberfest and street band

October 8, 2017 (noon to 6 p.m.)

3.6 miles west

Enjoy four beer gardens, six stages of entertainment, 50 food vendors, 150 craft vendors, and roving bands that will get you dancing in the streets at Oktoberfest and Honk Parade in Harvard Square. Rain date Oct. 10.

Brunch extravaganza

October 8, 2017 (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.)

5.1 miles west

Brunch Bar offers 50 tasting stations with brunch dishes and morning cocktails, plus chef demos, and live music at WGBH Studios for age 21+.

Tasting event

October 8, 2017 (5 p.m.)

5.1 miles west

Taste food on sticks (kebabs, corn dogs, satay, and pie pops) from 10 chefs and vote for your favorite at Food Fight, with craft beer, wine, hard cider, and cooking demos at WGBH Studios for age 21+.

Fenway festival

October 9, 2017

2.2 miles SW

Opening Our Doors has open galleries, art museum admission, art-making, live music, salsa dancing, storytelling, walking tours, and food trucks. Free.

Environmental films

October 11 - 13, 2017

multiple locations

See four films on topics ranging from the science and the impact of climate change, to water scarcity, and the dark side of technology at the Environmental Film Festival in several locations.

Documentary films

October 11 - 15, 2017

multiple locations

GlobeDocs Film Festival is “focused on telling important stories, large and small.” Films are followed by discussions with journalists and film makers, except the short film series.

Tasting in Cambridge

October 13, 2017 (6:30 p.m., VIP 6 p.m.)

2.1 miles west

Local Craft Spirits Festival is a tasting of beer, cider, cocktails, and straight spirits, with live music and food for sale outdoors at 350 Kendall Street in Cambridge.

Open art studios

October 13 - 15, 2017

1.1 miles SE

See studios of 150 artists in historic waterfront warehouses during Fort Point Open Studios. Free. Repeats in May.

Brewfest in New Hampshire

October 14, 2017

57 miles north

Sample 100 craft brews from 40 breweries at New Hampshire Brew Fest with food and music in tents at Redhook Ale Brewery in Portsmouth, NH.

Beer festival

October 14, 2017

67 miles SE

Sample 250 beers from 75 breweries at Cape Cod Brew Fest at the Cape Cod Fairgrounds in East Falmouth for age 21+.

Apple festival

October 14 - 15, 2017

50 miles west

AppleFest offers a craft and farmer’s market, family entertainment, food, a 5K, and an Oktoberfest with beer garden and live music at Wachusett Mountain.

Oyster festival

October 14 - 15, 2017 (tasting Oct. 13)

99 miles SE

Wellfleet Oysterfest promises good food, live music, an arts and crafts fair, cooking demonstrations, races for adults and children, kids’ activities, and a shucking contest at Wellfleet on Cape Cod. Schedule.

Volunteer day

October 19, 2017

Greater Boston area

Sign up for a project to help at Tech Gives Back, and register for the free party on Oct. 18 (for age 21+).

Asian film festival

October 19 - 22, 2017

Boston and Cambridge locations

Boston Asian American Film Festival (BAAFF) showcases the experiences of Asian Americans on film and supports Asian American filmmakers.

Pumpkin float

October 20, 2017 (5 to 8 p.m.)

0.7 miles SW

Pumpkin Festival features floating pumpkins, kids’ activities, and music at Boston Common Frog Pond. Bring a hollow pumpkin under 8 inches in diameter.

Wine tasting

October 20 - 21, 2017

1.2 miles SW

Taste 250 wines at Wine Riot at the Castle at Park Plaza, and note your favorites on the free app.

Art show

October 20 - 22, 2017 (preview Oct. 19)

1.5 miles SW

See works from 37 galleries at the weekend Boston International Fine Art Show at the Cyclorama.

Tacos in the park

October 21, 2017 (12 to 8 p.m.)

1.4 miles south

Show up at family-friendly Oktacofest for “cold beer, tacos, and music all day long” in the outdoor urban art park called Underground at Ink Block. Free admission.

Beer & wine festival

October 21, 2017

21 miles north

Taste wine, mead, and craft beer at the Salem Harvest Fest at Knights of Columbus Hall in Salem.

Art on fire

October 21, 2017 (7 p.m.)

51 miles SW

Watch red-hot molten iron fly through the air when industrial art is cast to live music at the Halloween Iron Pour at the Steel Yard in Providence, RI.

Singing competition

October 21 - 22, 2017 (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

0 miles

Hear 40 groups compete at the A Cappella Competition at Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Free.

Vegetarian festival

October 21 - 22, 2017

2.9 miles SW

Discover new food items, taste samples, speak to producers, and shop at the Boston Veg Food Fest at Reggie Lewis Athletic Center. Free admission and parking.

Comics expo

October 21 - 22, 2017

4.5 miles NW

Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo (MICE) focuses on the art of making comics and has panels, workshops, and exhibitors at Lesley University. Free.

Rowing race & expo

October 21 - 22, 2017

4.5 miles NW

Watch 9,000 athletes from around the world compete in the Head of the Charles Regatta (HOCR), and visit vendors at the Rowing & Fitness Expo at the finish line. Recommended viewing area is along the Charles River between the Anderson and Weeks bridges. Free.

Halloween at Stone Zoo

October 21 - 22, 2017

8.2 miles north

Boo at the Zoo features ghoulish games, costume contests, creepy crafts, a trick-or-treat trail, a haunted maze, and pumpkins for animals at Stone Zoo.


October 21 - 22, 2017

37.8 miles west

See your favorite characters from comics, TV, and movies at Super Megafest Comic Con, which features panel discussions, parties, costume contests, and exhibitors in Marlborough. Repeats in April.

Halloween on a farm

October 23 - 31, 2017

Greater Boston area

Enjoy pumpkin patches, hayrides, and corn mazes.

Festival of the Dead

October 23 - 31, 2017

21 miles north

Festival of the Dead is a series of events that explore death’s macabre customs, heretical histories, and strange rituals in Salem, led by psychic mediums, paranormal investigators, witches, and warlocks.

Halloween on the farm

October 23 - 31, 2017

22 miles north

A ticket to Connors Farm Corn Maze also includes hayrides, pedal carts, and activities in Danvers. The flashlight maze and haunted farm are only open Friday and Saturday nights.
CityPass Boston


October 23 - 31, 2017

multiple locations

These discount prices include all taxes and fees.

Halloween comedy

October 25, 26, 31, 2017

2.6 miles west

Laughing in the Dark promises “spooky standup and comedic storytelling with Boston’s funniest people” featuring nine comedians at ImprovBoston in Cambridge.

Discount tickets $6.

Gruesome comedy

October 25 - 31, 2017

3 miles NW

Dress for fallout in the audience when you attend GoreFest, which is part bloodbath, part musical, and all campy at ImprovBoston.

Historic home tour

October 25 - Nov. 5, 2017

9.2 miles NW

Walk through a historic home remodeled beautifully by experts at Designer Show House at 661 Pleasant Street in Belmont for ages 12+. No parking or photography. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

Discount tickets $20 (Thursday & Friday).

Literature in bars

October 26, 2017 (6:30 to 9:30 p.m.)

0.7 miles SW

Lit Crawl Boston features games, performances, and local authors reading their works in bars, cafes, bookstores, art galleries, and performance spaces in the Boston Literary District surrounding Boston Common. [Also see book festival on Oct. 28.]

Halloween radio show

October 26 - 28, 2017

5.1 miles NW

Tomes of Terror includes three chilling tales and a poem read live in Somerville.

Discount tickets $7.50.

Film festival

October 26 - 29, 2017

8 miles NW

Arlington International Film Festival (AIFF) fosters appreciation for different cultures by exploring the lives of people through independent narrative, documentary, and animation films in Arlington.

Adult Halloween show

October 26 - 31, 2017

3.3 miles NW

Billed as a macabre and unsavory night of circus, live music, and gore, Cirque of the Dead includes aerial, acrobatic, and juggling acts plus burlesque at Oberon.

Haunted ship

October 26 - 31, 2017

14 miles south

A ticket to Ghost Ship Harbor includes four haunts aboard a ship docked in Quincy. The fourth haunt costs more. Parking is $5. Open Thursday to Sunday and Oct. 31. See directions.

Haunted ski area

October 26 - 31, 2017

29 miles NW

Witch’s Woods has seven attractions, including a haunted hayride and a nightmare mansion, at Nashoba Valley Ski Area. Closed Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (except October 30 & 31).

Haunted house in 3 cities

October 26 - Nov. 4, 2017

50 miles

Factory of Terror includes cutting-edge special effects and actors in professional makeup. Schedules vary.
  • Fall River
  • West Warwick, RI
  • Worcester

Ghost Tour

October 26 - Nov. 5, 2017

5.5 miles NW

“Professional storytellers take you on a nighttime stroll to hear about otherworldly tales of those who lurk in the shadows of Harvard Square” plus Harvard University campus and the Cambridge Burying Yard on Ghost Tour, beginning at Cambridge Historical Tours.

Discount tickets $6 to $12.

Halloween cruise

October 27, 2017 (7:30 to 10:30 p.m.)

1.8 miles SE

Sinners & Saints Halloween Cruise is a costume party with DJ music and a cash bar on the Provincetown II, departing from 200 Seaport Boulevard.

Halloween ball in Salem

October 27, 2017 (7:30 p.m.)

21 miles north

Dance in the Grand Ballroom to pop, party, and goth; see a laser light show and costume contest; eat hors d’oeuvres, and visit the cash bar at Salem Witches’ Halloween Ball at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem.

Beer festival

October 27 - 28, 2017 (SOLD OUT)

1.5 miles SW

Beer Mansion promises “an immersive room-by-room journey through the world of beer, complete with food, live music, games, prizes, and a handful of surprises.” Beer and small bites included, additional food for sale at Boston Center for the Arts.

Modern ballet

October 27 - 29, 2017

4.5 miles NW

Assault on the Senses features a trio of modern, minimalistic dances performed by José Mateo Ballet Theatre at the Sanctuary Theatre in Cambridge, which has intimate cabaret-style seating.

Discount tickets $20 to $23.

Romantic musical

October 27 - 29, 2017

9.3 miles NW

The Light in the Piazza is a breezy musical about a woman and daughter who travel to Italy and the Italian who falls for the daughter, in Arlington.

Discount tickets $13.

Halloween party at Hard Rock

October 28, 2017

0 miles

Hard Rock Cafe Halloween Thriller features a DJ playing top 40, hip-hop, and house music at the Hard Rock Cafe near Faneuil Hall for age 21+.

Halloween Pet Parade

October 28, 2017 (noon)

0 miles

Register your pet for the Halloween Pet Parade and costume contest at Faneuil Hall Marketplace, or just enjoy it as a spectator. Free.

Halloween pub crawls

October 28, 2017

Boston area

Visit various bars for drink specials. Costume optional.

Book festival

October 28, 2017

1.5 miles SW

Boston Book Festival (BBF) celebrates literature and writing with dozens of author talks, seminars, writing workshops, exhibitors and publishers, live music, and kids’ entertainment in and near Copley Square. Free.

Beer festival

October 28, 2017 (12 & 4 & 8 p.m.)

2 miles west

Great Pumpkin Festival features 50 pumpkin beers, pumpkin-inspired and Oktoberfest food, and costumes at Cambridge Brewing in Kendall Square for age 21+. A $30 ticket includes five beer and food tickets. Costumes welcome.

Horror movies all night

October 28, 2017 (11:59 p.m.)

3.7 miles SW

Watch films of terror for 12 hours at the Halloween Horror Marathon, beginning with live music and a costume contest at Coolidge Corner Theatre. Tickets.

Fire and wine

October 28, 2017 (6:30 to 9:30 p.m.)

4.8 miles SW

Join a Wine Tasting event with cheese and crackers as you watch glass being blown at Diablo Glass School.

Discount tickets $18.

Halloween party

October 28, 2017 (9 p.m.)

5.7 miles west

Scared Stiff is a costume party with DJ dance music, two drink tickets, and a costume contest at The Draft in Allston sponsored by Singles Social Sports.

Charles River cruise

October 28 - 29, 2017 (noon)

1.3 miles NW

Take a 90-minute Fall Foliage Cruise departing from Lechmere Canal Park at CambridgeSide Galleria Mall.

Discount tickets $21.

Halloween at F.P. Zoo

October 28 - 29, 2017

3.5 miles SW

Zoo Howl features trick-or-treating, creepy crafts, ghoulish games, costume contests, a haunted maze, and pumpkins for animals at Franklin Park Zoo.

Halloween in Cambridge

October 28 - 31, 2017

3.5 miles NW

See the list of business that offer Halloween parties and specials. Some give away candy during Harvard Scare.

Doggy Halloween party

October 29, 2017 (4:30 to 6:30 p.m.)

7.9 miles south

A ticket to family-friendly Boston Halloween Costume Pawty includes dog treats, a doggy costume parade, a pet photo, human snacks, and a vodka cocktail at Ester in Dorechester.

Oktoberfest & blues music

October 29, 2017

44 miles west

Oktoberfest Blues & Brews draws crowds for fall beer, food trucks, scenery, winery tours, and live blues at Nashoba Valley Winery. Bring cash.

Halloween cruise

October 31, 2017 (board 8:30 p.m.)

1.1 miles SE

Black Pearl - Pier Pressure Boston Halloween Party offers a no-host bar, two floors of music, three DJs, and views from four decks of the Spirit of Boston, departing from 200 Seaport Boulevard.

Discount tickets $10 to $18.

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© October 2017 calendar of events in Boston, MA: Halloween haunted houses, parties, festivals, best things to do in Boston, Massachusetts. bos-10