Boston events, festivals, things to do – July 2018

July 2018
best events in Boston

Guitar festival

July 1, 2018 (begins June 25)

3 miles SW

Boston GuitarFest includes competitions, workshops, and (mostly free) concerts at the New England Conservatory.

Dance camp

July 1 - 5, 2018 (begins June 28)

25 miles NE

Get totally immersed in dance classes, dance parties, and dance shows at Beantown Camp in Beverly.

Beer bash

July 3, 2018

0 miles

Register and arrive early for free beer samples at Samuel Adams Independence Bash at Ned Devine’s in Faneuil Hall for age 21+.
CityPass Boston

Lexington carnival

July 3 - 7, 2018

15 miles NW

Enjoy patriotic music, carnival rides, food, games, and Thursday night fireworks at Fourth of July Carnival in Lexington.

Fireworks shows

July 4, 2018

Also see Fireworks Displays in Mass.

  • July 4 - Newton (11 miles W) - Albemarle Field 9 p.m.
  • undated - Boston (0 miles) - Charles River 10:30 p.m.
  • undated - Burlington (15 miles NW) - Town Common 9 p.m.
  • undated - Falmouth (77 miles SE) - beach at dusk
  • undated - Lowell (30 miles NW) - LeLacheur Park 9 p.m.
  • undated - Marblehead (16 miles NW) - harbor 9 p.m.
  • undated - Plymouth (41 miles SW) - waterfront 9 p.m.
  • undated - Salem (25 miles NE) - Derby Wharf 9:15 p.m.
  • undated - Springfield (92 miles W) - Riverfront Park 9:30 p.m.
  • undated - Wakefield (12 miles N) - Beacon Street 9:30 p.m.
  • undated - Waltham (12 miles W) - Leary Field 9:30 p.m.
  • undated - Winthrop (8 miles W) - Coughlin Park 9:15 p.m.

Boston Pops Fourth of July

July 4, 2018 (8 p.m.)

1.2 miles west

Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular wows 500,000 visitors on the banks of the Charles River with music and entertainment. The July 4 event includes fireworks, firing cannons, and ringing church bells to celebrate America’s birthday. Strict security. Free.

Levitate Music & Arts Festival

July 7 - 8, 2018

30 miles SE

Levitate Music & Arts Festival promises to bring great music, local artists & crafters, food trucks, beer, wine, and good times to the grounds of Marshfield Fair.

Comedy festival

July 11 - 14, 2018

99 miles SE via ferry

Nantucket Comedy Festival includes a kids’ show, a women’s night, and a competition between Boston and New York that brings local and national comedians to the Dreamland Theatre in Nantucket.

French party

July 13, 2018

1.1 miles SW

Buy tickets in advance for the Bastille Day Party, which features French food, beer, wine, live music, and dancing on Marlborough Street.

French day - Cambridge

July 14, 2018

3.5 miles west

Bastille Day is an evening street festival with French food, a beer garden, music, and dancing to French techno music into the night on Holyoke Street.

Beer festival

July 14, 2018 (7 to 10 p.m.)

5.1 miles west

Sample New England craft brews from 20 brewers, and buy a meal from food trucks at Craft Beer Fest, with live entertainment at WGBH Studios for age 21+.

Ice cream and music

July 14, 2018

5.1 miles west

FunFest features your favorite flavors of ice cream and treats plus live music by family friendly artists, interactive games, face painting, inflatable rides, and PBS characters like Curious George at WGBH Studios.

Salem festival

July 14 - 15, 2018

22 miles NE

Salem CultureFest features a diverse lineup of bands and entertainment, crafts booths, international foods, and a children’s area at Salem Willows Park. Free.

Kite festival

July 14 - 15, 2018

76.8 miles south

Buy a kite from vendors, or watch amazing kites in the air, with kite battles and candy drops during the Newport Kite Festival at Brenton Point State Park on the coast of Rhode Island. Free.

Somerville arts festival

July 20 - 21, 2018

4.4 miles NW

ArtBeat offers music and entertainment beginning Friday evening, and on Saturday adds 75 craft vendors, food, and activities at Davis Square. Free.

Naked bike ride

July 21, 2018

4.7 miles SW

The World Naked Bike Ride to promote “safe streets, oil independence, and body positivity” begins at Spontaneous Celebrations in Jamaica Plain. You must sign into Facebook to see the official page. Free.

County fair

July 23 - 29, 2018

69 miles south

Find farm animals, carnival games, live music, and fair food at Barnstable County Fair in East Falmouth.

Outdoor salsa party

July 27, 2018

5.5 miles NW

Sample tasty salsa, buy a mocktail, and dance to DJ salsa music with help from an instructor during Salsa Squared Party at Brattle Plaza in Cambridge.

Lowell Folk Festival

July 27 - 29, 2018

25 miles NW

Billed as America’s largest free folk festival, Lowell Folk Festival has continuous folk, bluegrass, gospel, world, and dance music on five outdoor stages, plus ethnic foods, crafts, and kids’ activities. Donation.

Newport Folk Festival

July 27 - 29, 2018

76 miles south

Hear folk, reggae, rock, and indie music; visit the beer and wine garden; and shop for food and crafts at the Newport Folk Festival in Fort Adams State Park.

Harbor festival

July 2018 (undated)

Central Boston

Harborfest has dozens of events, including music concerts, colonial and revolutionary reenactments, cruises, tours, walks, talks, a Saturday art fair, and a Sunday chowder tasting.

Puerto Rican festival

July 2018 (undated)

0.1 miles west

Puerto Rican Festival of Massachusetts has Puerto Rican music, food, and vendors, carnival rides, and a parade on Sunday at noon at City Hall Square. Free.

Pizza festival

July 2018 (undated)

0.2 miles west

Boston Pizza Festival features pizza vendors, pizza-making demonstrations, beer, wine, and live music in City Hall Plaza. Tickets do not include food.

Participatory art

July 2018 (undated)

0.4 miles NW

Figment features creative art installations you can make and play with at Rose Kennedy Greenway. Free.

Free Shakespeare

July 2018 (undated)

0.7 miles SW

Shakespeare on the Common is a free play by Commonwealth Shakespeare Company at Parkman Bandstand on Boston Common.

Medieval battle in the park

July 2018 (undated)

0.9 miles SW

Engage in combat using padded swords, shields, spears, axes, grappling equipment, and archery at Medieval Combat on Boston Common at the softball field for age 18+. Free.

Summer party

July 2018 (undated)

1.1 miles SE

Summer Inn the City includes a full-service bar with summer drinks, hearty canapes, and DJ music in the waterfront park at John Joseph Moakley Courthouse to support the homeless.

Music at Hatch Shell

July 2018 (undated)

1.2 miles west

Hear concerts by Boston Landmarks Orchestra (plus a dance carnival one day) at DCR Hatch Memorial Shell. Free.

Wine party

July 2018 (undated)

1.2 miles SE

Drink samples of fruity sangria and pink wine at Sangria and Rosé Fest, with DJ music on the upper rotunda at Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center.

Free kids’ race

July 2018 (undated)

1.4 miles NW

Run & Ride is a running race for ages 5 to 13 (or a run plus a bike ride for ages 7 to 13) with free iPads for the winners at CambridgeSide. Register free online.

Free classical music

July 2018 (undated)

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).

Latin festival

July 2018 (undated)

1.7 miles SW

Billed as New England’s longest-running Latino cultural celebration, Festival Betances features live music, dance performances, and ethnic food vendors at 100 W. Dedham Street. Free.

Movies in the garden

July 2018 (undated)

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.

French films

July 2018 (undated)

2.6 miles SW

See popular French films with subtitles at the Boston French Film Festival at the Museum of Fine Arts.

Beer at the museum

July 2018 (undated)

4.2 miles NW

A ticket to All the World Is Beer includes three beer tastings, light appetizers, and a talk about the history of beer at Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology in Cambridge for age 21+.

River festival

July 2018 (undated)

6.8 miles south

Try out a kayak or canoe, walk or bike, play in a spray park, shop from food vendors, and hear music at RiverFest at DCR Neponset Park in Dorechester. Free.

Free films at Wellesley

July 2018 (undated)

18.2 miles west

Bring chairs or blankets to the Summer Film Series outside Davis Museum at Wellesley College. Free.

Farm day

July 2018 (undated)

22 miles NE

Visit the Blueberry & Raspberry Festival at Connors Farm in Danvers for hayrides, farm animals, pedal carts, music, barbecue, and fruity desserts.

Pop-culture convention

July 2018 (undated)

23 miles SE

Boston SouthCoast Comic Con includes gaming, guests, toys, and vendors in the event center at The Hanover Mall. Repeats in Dec.

Dance show

July 2018 (undated)

12 miles south

Boston International Dance Showcase presents ballroom dancing and live music at the Lantana in Randolph for $80, including cocktails and dinner.