Boston events, festivals, things to do – September 2018

September 2018
best events in Boston

Newburyport music festival

September 1, 2018 (noon to dusk)

37 miles NE

Bring a blanket or chair to Newburyport’s Riverfront Music Festival, which has music, food vendors, and a beer garden at Waterfront Park in Newburyport. Free.

Campfire music festival

September 1 - 3, 2018 (starts Aug. 31)

3.6 miles NW

Hear new performers and watch songwriters interact and swap tunes as they sing in the round Labor Day weekend at Campfire Festival at Club Passim.

Sailing festival

September 1 - 3, 2018 (starts Aug. 31)

35 miles NE

Gloucester Schooner Festival has a block party Friday evening. Saturday includes a clambake with lobster, a concert, and fireworks. The spectacular Parade of Sail is Sunday morning before the Mayor’s Race.
CityPass Boston

Country fair

September 1 - 3, 2018 (starts Aug. 31)

64 miles west

The Spencer Fair is a traditional country fair with horse and tractor pulls, rabbit and poultry shows, giant pumpkins, farm exhibits, a carnival midway, live music, and a demolition derby at Spencer Fairgrounds.

Medieval fair

September 1 - Oct. 21, 2018 (weekends)

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. Open Sept. 3 & Oct. 8, 2018.

Labor Day festival

September 3, 2018

28 miles north

The Bread & Roses Heritage Festival presents music, theater, dance, and puppets on three stages, and it has vendors of food, arts & crafts, and merchandise in downtown Lawrence. Free.

Scrapbook Expo

September 7 - 8, 2018

37 miles west

Scrapbookers will find classes, vendors, and crop parties at the Stamp & Scrapbook Expo at Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel in Marlborough.

Country music festival

September 8, 2018

30.7 miles SE

South Shore Country Festival is an all-ages event with food vendors and 10 bands in Marshfield.


September 8 - 9, 2018

25 miles SW

Celebrate Oktoberfest with live music and dancing, kids’ games, German food, beer, wine, and crafts in a covered pavilion at the German club in Walpole.

Cambridge carnival

September 9, 2018

1.8 miles west

Cambridge Carnival International features a 12:30 p.m. parade of revelers in colorful handmade costumes dancing to a steel band, a stage for world music and local bands, a kids’ fest, international foods, and craft vendors. Free.

Comedy festival

September 12 - 15, 2018

Boston locations

Boston Comedy Festival stars 96 innovative comedians from around the world competing for prizes.

Cannabis rally

September 14 - 16, 2018

1 mile SW

Boston Freedom Rally celebrates legal marijuana in Massachusetts with inspirational speakers, two stages of live music, and vendors at Boston Common. Free.

Bicycle ride

September 16, 2018

0.1 miles west

Ride through historic neighborhoods and see views of the Charles River from car-free Storrow Drive (plus Boston Harbor on the longer route) during the Hub on Wheels bike ride, with a choice of 10 or 40 miles.

Food festival

September 16, 2018

0.4 miles NW

Boston Local Food Festival serves locally grown and sustainably produced food, local music, chef demos, educational exhibits, vendors, and a family zone at Rose Kennedy Greenway. Free.

Wine & food festival

September 20 - 23, 2018

74 miles south

Taste wine on the lawn of Marble House, attend seminars and celebrity chef demonstrations, and enjoy wine dinners during Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival in Newport, RI.

Street food

September 22, 2018

2.5 miles SW

A ticket to Phantom Gourmet Food Festival gets you samples of 100 kinds of food, with beverages for sale near Fenway Park. Must be age 21+. Expect lines.

Marshmallow festival

September 22, 2018

2.8 miles NW

What the Fluff? celebrates marshmallow cream with games (Sticky Musical Chairs and Fluff Jousting), cooking and eating competitions, a kids’ area, and live music at Union Square in Somerville, where Fluff was invented in 1917. Postponed if it rains. Free.

Home show

September 22 - 24, 2018

16 miles north

See home improvement products, services, and demos at Suburban Boston Fall Home Show at Shriners Auditorium in Wilmington. Repeats in Jan.

Welcome autumn

September 23, 2018

3.5 miles west

Say goodbye to summer and celebrate the first day of fall with a folk band, a puppet parade from Harvard Square to the Charles River, and a sing along at Revels RiverSing. Free.

Small-town blues festival

September 23, 2018

41 miles south

Bring a lawn chair to the $20 New England Blues Festival at Middleboro Lodge of Elks to support charity. Food and beverage vendors.

Oktoberfest - Boston

September 28 - 29, 2018

1.5 miles SE

Harpoon Octoberfest features beer, bratwurst, waltzing musicians in lederhosen, and contests at Harpoon Brewery for age 21+.

Blacksmith festival

September 29, 2018

47 miles NW

Fitchburg Forge-in celebrates the art of blacksmithing with competitions, demonstrations (12 to 2 p.m.), family art activities, music, arts and crafts, and food vendors at Riverfront Park in Fitchburg.

Free movies

September 2018 (undated)

Boston area

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

Free museum day

September 2018 (undated)


Get a free ticket for two people to visit one of 36 Massachusetts museums on Museum Day Live.

Arts festival

September 2018 (undated)

0.3 miles east

The Boston Arts Festival includes an artists’ village, live music, and family activities at Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park. Free.

Tasting event

September 2018 (undated)

0.6 miles SE

Taste of Downtown Crossing features tastes of 20 local restaurants, a wine and beer garden, local musicians, and cooking demonstrations on Avenue de Lafayette.

Film festival

September 2018 (undated)

0.7 miles SW

Boston Film Festival (BFF) is dedicated to supporting evolving filmmakers by screening their new films at AMC Lowes Boston Common.

Dance outdoors

September 2018 (undated)

0.8 miles SE

Let’s Dance Boston starts with a dance lesson and has a different band each day (swing, mambo, disco, salsa, klezmer) at Dewey Square Park. Free.

Chinatown fair

September 2018 (undated)

1 mile SW

Oak Street Fair has games and activities for families, arts and crafts, food, and a watermelon-eating contest at Josiah Quincy School. Free.

Outdoor concert

September 2018 (undated)

1.2 miles west

MixFest is a popular concert with an all-star line-up of artists at Hatch Memorial Shell on the Charles River. Free.

Beer & music festival

September 2018 (undated)

1.5 miles south

The Copenhagen Beer Celebration comes to Boston this year, with 50 brewers, live music, and food vendors at SoWa Power Station for age 21+.

Cheesy event

September 2018 (undated)

1.5 miles south

SoWa Power Station has 20 food trucks serving grilled cheese, macaroni and cheese, and cheese steak, with beer, cider, and wine all weekend. Free admission.

Food festival

September 2018 (undated)

1.5 miles SW

Let’s Talk About Food has cooking demonstrations, food talks and panels, samples, local chefs, and nutritionists at Copley Square.

Run on Spectacle Island

September 2018 (undated)

Seaport is 1.5 miles SE

The Island Run is a 5K or 5-mile run on the trails of Spectacle Island, followed by a lunch and awards as you cruise back through Boston Harbor.

Free music concerts

September 2018 (undated)

multiple locations

ALT Rocks is a series of free summer concerts.

Visit art studios

September 2018 (undated)

1.6 miles SW

Follow the map to visit studios of 200 local artists plus local galleries during South End Open Studios. Free.

Buy American

September 2018 (undated)

1.8 miles SE

Shop from 65 vendors selling American-made goods at the American Field market at The Innovation and Design Building in the Seaport area. Free.

College student festival

September 2018 (undated)

Boston & Worcester

CollegeFest is a back-to-school event with live music, student entertainment, prizes, and giveaways at Fenway Park. Free.

Jazzy block party

September 2018 (undated)

2 miles SW

Family friendly Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival offers three stages of live music, arts, crafts, food, and even an instrument petting zoo on Columbus Avenue (from Massachusetts Avenue to Burke Street). Free.

Game festival

September 2018 (undated)

2.2 miles west

Play video games, tabletop games, and role-playing games at Boston Festival of Indie Games, which also hosts films and lectures for game developers and game jams for making your own games at MIT. Free.

Street festival

September 2018 (undated)

2.2 miles SE

South Boston Street Festival features live music and dance on two stages, 100 artists and local merchants, fair food, and children’s activities on East Broadway between I and L Streets. Free.

Taste of Jamaica Plain

September 2018 (undated)

3.5 miles SW

Taste of Jamaica Plain features food from neighborhood restaurants, live music, and a silent auction at Franklin Park Zoo.

Ice-skating show

September 2018 (undated)

4 miles west

An Evening with Champions features world-class skaters at Bright-Landry Hockey Center of Harvard.

Street festival

September 2018 (undated)

4.1 miles west

Allston Village Street Fair offers activities for families, two stages of live bands, street performers, an artist and vendor market, international food, and an amusement area on Harvard Avenue in Allston. Free.

Jamaica Plain music festival

September 2018 (undated)

4.6 miles SW

JP Music Festival has two stages of music by 20 local artists and bands, plus food trucks and children’s activities northeast of Jamaica Pond. Free.

Greek festival

September 2018 (undated)

6.5 miles SW

Taste Greek food and pastries, dance to live music, and watch folk dancing at the GreekFest Boston in Brookline. Free.

Taste of Winthrop

September 2018 (undated)

6.7 miles NE

Taste food from local restaurants, caterers, cafes, and bakeries at Taste of Winthrop, with views and entertainment at the Winthrop Yacht Club.

Comedy festival

September 2018 (undated)

Cambridge locations

Boston Comedy Arts Festival fills multiple stages with improv, sketch, and stand-up comedy in Cambridge.

Short-film festival

September 2018 (undated)

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.

Beer at the zoo

September 2018 (undated)

8.2 miles north

Taste beer from 20 breweries with food samples, and stroll among animal exhibits during Ales & Tails at Stone Zoo for age 21+.

Scandinavian food festival

September 2018 (undated)

10 miles west

Enjoy authentic food, music, and crafts from Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Iceland, and see a Viking battle reenactment, at Nordic Bites in West Newton.

Horror films in Salem

September 2018 (undated)

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.

Irish festival

September 2018 (undated)

31 miles SW

South Shore Irish Festival features Irish and Irish-American performers onstage, plus family entertainment and vendors in Marshfield. Children 12 and younger are free.

Beer festival

September 2018 (undated)

46.6 miles west

Mass Fermentational [formerly Mass Brewers Fest] offers unlimited samples from 50 breweries plus food trucks outdoors in Worcester Common. No pets.

BBQ on the mountain

September 2018 (undated)

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.

Scallop festival

September 2018 (undated)

69 miles SE

Cape Code Scallop Fest offers fried scallop or chicken dinners, a food court, a beer & wine garden, food vendors, music, arts & crafts, and a carnival at Cape Cod Fairgrounds in East Falmouth.

Halloween on the farm

September 2018 (undated)

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.