Boston events for August 2017. Best festivals, fun things to do, weekend street fairs, kids activities, and free entertainment 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.

Free Shakespeare

August 1 - 6, 2017

0.7 miles SW

Shakespeare on the Common is a free play by Commonwealth Shakespeare Company at Parkman Bandstand on Boston Common. The selection for 2017 is Romeo & Juliet.

Dance festival

August 3 - 6, 2017

12 miles west

The New England Dance Festival includes dance lessons, social dancing, workshops, competitions, and a Saturday night party at the Boston Marriott Newton.

Maritime festival

August 4 - 6, 2017

17 miles NE

Salem Maritime Festival offers live music, exhibits, demonstrations, family activities, tall ships, and free boat rides at Derby Wharf in Salem. Free.

Jazz festival

August 4 - 6, 2017

76 miles south

Newport Jazz Festival offers 50 performances by the finest established and emerging jazz artists at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, RI.

Blues festival in Onset

August 5, 2017 (noon to 9 p.m.)

57 miles SE

Hear renowned blues musicians play at the Onset Blues Festival in Prospect Park, which overlooks a picturesque harbor in the Victorian village of Onset.


August 5 - 6, 2017

Massachusetts locations

Choose from a dozen different routes that range from 27 to 111 miles long in the Pan-Mass Challenge, a bike-a-thon for charity.

Gospel music

August 6, 2017 (5 to 8 p.m.)

0.1 miles west

GospelFest is a gospel showcase that includes both local and national talent at City Hall Plaza. Free.

Film festival

August 8 - 13, 2017

50 miles SW

Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) shows more than 200 films and videos from independent filmmakers at theaters in greater Providence, RI.

Innovative festival

August 9, 2017 (6 to 10 p.m.)

1.6 miles SE

Targeting “the Hub’s coolest young professionals,” BostonFest offers local food trucks, live music, lawn games, and Coolest Companies awards at The Lawn on D for age 21+.

Free films at Wellesley

August 10, 2017 (6 p.m.)

18.2 miles west

Bring chairs or blankets to the Summer Film Series outside Davis Museum at Wellesley College. Tours at 6 p.m., art activities at 7 p.m., and film at 8 p.m. Free.
  • Aug. 10 - The Iron Giant

Cape Cod jazz festival

August 10 & 14, 2017

113 miles and 66 miles SE

Provincetown Jazz Festival is held in Provincetown on August 10, and near Mashpee on August 14.

Green festival

August 11 - 13, 2017

0.1 miles west

Boston GreenFest offers exhibits and workshops to help you learn about the green lifestyle, vendors, entertainment on three stages, and a beer & wine garden at City Hall Plaza.

Comic book convention

August 11 - 13, 2017

1.3 miles SE

Boston Comic Con brings comic creators, vendors, celebrity guests, a film festival, and gaming tournaments to Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.

Traditional Italian festival

August 11 - 13, 2017

4.9 miles north

The Feast of St. Rocco has live music, a beer and wine garden, and religious processions on Pearl and Thacher Streets in Malden. Free.

Contemporary dance

August 12, 2017 at 3:30pm EDT. Plea

1.5 miles SW

Boston Contemporary Dance Festival hosts a variety of innovative dance companies at BU Dance Theater.

Beer tasting in North Easton

August 12, 2017 (4 to 7 p.m.)

27 miles south

Taste local craft beer and cider with live music and food for sale during A Night at the Brewseum at the Children’s Museum in Easton for age 21+.

Blues festival in Gloucester

August 12, 2017

35 miles NE

Enjoy world-class blues, a beer garden, and food and craft vendors at Gloucester Blues Festival on the waterfront at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester.

Beer festival

August 12, 2017 (4 p.m., VIP 3 p.m.)

39 miles west

Spirit of Hudson Food & Brewfest serves craft beer from 70 breweries and food from local restaurants in Hudson.

Providence festival

August 12, 2017

50 miles SW

AS220 Foo Fest is a block party bash with music, art, performances, a flea market, kids’ crafts, and food trucks on Empire Street in Providence, RI.

Reggae festival in Providence

August 12, 2017

52 miles SW

Hear bands, shop for crafts, and buy Jamaican food, beer, and cocktails at Waterfront Reggae Festival at Bold Point Park in East Providence, RI.

Seafood festival

August 13, 2017 (11 a.m.)

1.3 miles SE

The family friendly Boston Seafood Festival offers live music, chef cooking demos, arts & crafts with a marine theme, a lobster bake, and small plates of seafood for sale on Boston Fish Pier. No pets.

Barbecue & cocktails party

August 15, 2017 (6 to 9 p.m.)

1.9 miles SE

Boston Magazine promises you “drinks and BBQ from Boston’s most acclaimed chefs and restaurants” at The Cue at Black Falcon Cruise Terminal.

Best hamburgers

August 16, 2017 (7 p.m., VIP 6 p.m.)

1.9 miles SE

Watch 25 restaurant chefs compete at Battle of the Burger, which promises food and beverage samples, live music, and games at 1 Black Falcon Avenue.

Lego party for adults

August 16, 2017 (7 to 9 p.m.)

3.5 miles NW

Adult Night features a building competition, a murder mystery to solve, and a cash bar at Legoland Discovery Center Boston in Somerville.

Restaurant week

August 16 - 18, 2017

multiple locations

Get a special price for lunch or dinner during Dine out Boston (formerly Restaurant Week Boston), which is held in March and August. No registration is required.
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Provincetown Carnival

August 16 - 18, 2017

115 miles SE

Provincetown Carnival is a week-long gay and lesbian festival that includes a famous parade on Thursday at 3 p.m.

Comedy festival

August 16 and 21 - 23, 2017

84 miles via ferry

Martha’s Vineyard Comedy Fest is a series of comedy shows at Lola’s in Oak Bluffs.

Free music evenings

August 16 - 30, 2017

Boston area

Hear music in parks and playgrounds at ParkARTS Citywide Neighborhood Concerts, plus Thursday Latin music and a Wednesday concert series. Free.

Music at Hatch Shell

August 16 - 30, 2017 (Wednesdays 7 p.m.)

1.2 miles west

Hear concerts by Boston Landmarks Orchestra (plus a dance carnival on Aug. 23) at DCR Hatch Memorial Shell. Free.

Free classical music

August 16 - 30, 2017

1.5 miles SW

Concerts in the Courtyard are free on Wednesdays and Fridays in the courtyard of the Central Library on Boylston Street (or in Rabb Hall if it rains).


August 16 - Sept. 30, 2017

multiple locations

These discount ticket prices include all taxes and fees.

Fisherman’s Feast

August 17 - 20, 2017

0.5 miles NE

Enjoy Italian food, music, and culture at the Fisherman’s Feast, which pays tribute to The Lady of Help on the streets of the North End. The Flight of the Angel is a high-wire act 8 p.m. Sunday. Free.

Free music concerts

August 17 - Sept. 9, 2017

multiple locations

ALT Rocks includes three free concerts.
  • Aug. 17 - The Revivalists (Copley Square)
  • Aug. 31 - American Authors (Copley Square)
  • Sept. 9 - New Politics (SoWa Open Market)

Harbor cruise

August 17 - Sept. 10, 2017

0.5 miles SE

Take a two-hour Boston Harbor Islands Cruise aboard the 1920s Northern Lights yacht for great views of Boston Harbor, departing from Rowes Wharf.

Discount tickets $26.

Free movies

August 17 - Sept. 22, 2017 (dusk)

Boston area

Watch family films outdoors on Mayor Walsh’s Movie Nights in Boston Common, parks, and playgrounds. Free.

Short plays

August 18 - 26, 2017

5.5 miles NW

See six short plays each night about Boston’s history and culture at Wicked Boston at Davis Square Theater.

Discount tickets $7.50

Agricultural fair

August 18 - 27, 2017

30 miles SE

Marshfield Fair has animals, arts and crafts, music, agricultural demonstrations, 4H competitions, carnival rides, a farmers’ market, and concessions in Marshfield.

Beer tasting at the zoo

August 19, 2017 (4 p.m., VIP 3:30 p.m.)

3.5 miles SW

Brew at the Zoo is a fundraiser featuring beer from 36 breweries, local restaurant food, live music, and a chance to explore Franklin Park Zoo for age 21+.

Plymouth beer festival

August 19, 2017 (1 & 5:30 p.m.)

40 miles SE

A ticket to Hopfest includes unlimited samples of 100 craft beers and food samples from local restaurants in Plymouth Memorial Hall.

Discount tickets $38 for 1 p.m.

Zombie convention

August 19 - 20, 2017

1.4 miles SE

Zombie lovers will find celebrities, panels, vendors, and a costume party at Walker Stalker Con at the Westin Waterfront.

Discount tickets $9.50.

Jazz festival

August 19 - 20, 2017

11 miles NE

Salem Jazz and Soul Festival features live music, a beer garden, artisan vendors, and a kids’ tent at Salem Willows seaside park. Free.

Blues and Brews

August 19 - 20, 2017

32 miles NW

A ticket to Blues N Brews gets you five beer samples from a dozen craft breweries, food for sale, and blues bands at Nashoba Valley Ski Area. Children age 13 and younger are free.

Gloucester festival

August 19 - 20, 2017

35 miles NE

See the creations of 200 juried artists at Gloucester Waterfront Festival, with family entertainment, food vendors, a lobster bake Saturday, and a car show Sunday at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester. Free.

Movies in the garden

August 19 & 26, 2017

1.8 miles SW

Family Film Festival begins with games and prizes at 6 p.m. followed by a film at sundown in the Prudential Center’s south garden. (Tuesday if it rains.) Free.
  • Aug. 5 - Moana
  • Aug. 12 - The Little Mermaid
  • Aug. 19 - Beauty & the Beast (live-action version)
  • Aug. 26 - The Secret Life of Pets

Asian festival

August 20, 2017 (noon to 5 p.m.)

11 miles SE

Quincy August Moon Festival begins with a traditional lion dance. It includes performances (hip hop, rap, and beatbox), vendors, food trucks, rides, and a petting zoo on Coddington Street in Quincy. Free.

Children’s festival

August 22, 2017 (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.)

6 miles SW

Kids can do science activities, learn about plants, make art, and do experiments at Children’s Summer Festival at Franklin Park in Dorchester. Free.

Dinner cruise

August 23 - 27, 2017

1.6 miles SE

Enjoy a dinner buffet, a DJ dance, and hours of views aboard the Spirit of Boston departing from Seaport.

Discount tickets $58 to $71.

Surfer rock

August 24, 2017 (8 p.m.)

7.6 miles NE

Steamy Summer Surf Soiree features retro bands Tsunami of Sound, The Beachcombovers, and the all-female Surfrajettes, plus go-go dancers and a cash bar at the Regent Theatre in Arlington.

Discount tickets $7.

Saint Anthony’s Feast

August 24 - 27, 2017

0.5 miles north

St. Anthony’s Feast is an Italian street festival with food vendors, a music stage, religious ceremonies, and processions on Endicott Street. Free.

Chinatown films

August 25 - 27, 2017

0.7 miles south

Films at the Gate screens subtitled classic and kung fu Chinese-language films outdoors near Chinatown Gate. Free.

Jazz in the park

August 26, 2017

1.3 miles SE

Hear a diverse array of jazz artists at Boston Jazz Fest at South Boston Maritime Park, 600 D Street. Free.

Caribbean parade

August 26, 2017 (noon)

3.5 miles SW

The colorful Boston Carnival Parade begins at Warren Street & MLK Boulevard and ends at a Caribbean food court in front of Franklin Park Zoo. Parade map. Free.

Antique boats

August 26 - 27, 2017

16 miles NE

See and board elegant antique & classic yachts at the Antique & Classic Boat Festival, with kids’ activities, a crafts market, and afternoon music in Salem. Free.

Comedy show

August 27, 2017 (7 p.m.)

0.9 miles SW

Direct from Chicago, The Second City is a legendary comedy troupe famous for its edgy and hilarious improvisational theater, live at The Wilbur Theatre.

Discount tickets $16.


August 31, 2017 (sunset)

0.3 miles east

Kick off Labor Day weekend watching Boston Harbor Fireworks launched from a barge anchored between the North End and Seaport. Public viewing locations include Christopher Columbus Park (North End), Piers Park (East Boston), Fan Pier (Seaport District). Free.
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© August 2017 calendar of events in Boston, MA. Best events, fairs, festivals, and things to do in Boston, Massachusetts. bos-08