With the 4th of July weekend upon us, I’m sure you either have too many stressful, overlapping plans and demands of you time from friends and family or you’re sitting there asking yourself, “how is that I have nothing going on?!” Well, coming from a former go-with-the-flow-turned-enthusiastic-planner kind of gal, I’ve come to love having things lined up and ready to go before the weekend hits. Pre-planning gives you something to look forward to, provides some friendly structure and allows you to take maximum advantage of your precious time. That being said, living in a bustling and beautiful city that has music and food festivals, exhibits, and outdoor fun every weekend of the summer, ironically, I realized that I have absolutely no plans for this upcoming holiday weekend!

If you’ve experienced Independence Day weekend in Boston you already know that the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular is a must, but in addition to that event, I wanted to see what else is going on in this nonstop, creative city of ours.

After some digging, I’ve crafted my list for the top five things I’d like to do this weekend.

  1. Movie Friday at The Boston Harbor Hotel

Starting in June and scheduled through September, the Boston Harbor Hotel puts on a free, outdoor movie every Friday! It’s like a drive-in except significantly more cool…not only is it free to watch, but your backdrop is the Boston Harbor during sunset! A large outdoor screen is set up on the side of the gazebo so you can either pack your snacks and blanket and grab a cushion to get cozy on the stairs, or you can be seated at a table at Rowes Wharf Sea Grille to grab dinner or drinks.

movies-by-moonlight-1Sure, you can go to the movies any night of the week, but the best part of this experience is you get to travel back in time and re-watch some of your favorite classics! I went a few weeks ago and watched “Groundhog Day” while drinking red wine and treating myself to a lobster tail from the Sea Grille. It was perfect.

This Friday, July 3, grab your boxing gloves and head to the wharf because promptly at sunset (8:24pm), they’ll be streaming Sylvester Stallone’s “Rocky.”


  1. Pedal Towards African-American Freedom

With all that barbeque deliciousness you’ll be eating this weekend, it probably wouldn’t hurt to get some exercise in before things get out of control. Let’s not over-exert ourselves though.

While casually riding through downtown Boston’s Emancipation trail, you’ll hear stories behind 18 statues, sculptures and monuments in different neighborhoods that have relevance to African-American history. Unlike the other tours in the city, the Emancipation trail includes both women and men and asks you to reflect on ways in which the people and events depicted in the art have relevance to today.

Brush up on some history and enjoy this educationional and fun ride on Thursday, July 3rd. Tickets are only $15.

  1. Bacon and Beer Crawl

Yes, you heard right—a pub crawl focused on bacon and beer. On Saturday, July 4, red, white and blue dressed crowds will hop around Faneuil Hall bars exciting their taste buds with bacon-themed food and drinks. The crawl starts at 3:30pm at the Hard Rock Café and tickets can be purchased for $40.


  1. North End PhotoWalk

Do you enjoy pretending to be a photographer but have no actual artistic skill? Have you come to the frustrating realization that snapping photos of beautiful buildings and landscapes is harder than it seems (pick me, pick me)? Then pay attention.

“Little Italy” is one of Boston’s oldest neighborhoods, filled with history and physical reminders of the influence of immigrants who came here to fulfill the American Dream. These crowded neighborhoods are filled with culture at the turn of every corner, and don’t forget the delicious pasta and pastries!

By spending $40, on Sunday, July 5, you’ll be guided on a walking tour through these mesmerizing streets and given historical commentary as well as instruction on “creative composition” and how to get the most out of your digital camera. When it’s over you can go back to your friends and show off your impressive prints.

  1. Off the Record: Music Panel Discussion

Looking past the weekend, once you’re back in the office next week you’ll be smiling about all the new and unique things you did over the weekend, but also exhausted from the non-stop fun. For all the music lovers out there, you know how powerful music can be in regulating your mood and helping you get back in the swing of things. It just makes you feel good and even better when you’re playing records (proud record player owner myself).

This free panel discussion on Wednesday, July 8 at O’Brien’s Pub in Allston brings together record store owners to discuss the history of record stores and today’s tactics for staying infused with the community and music industry. Network with local musicians and music lovers alike and stick around after the panel for live music from Spitting Black, Damien The Cat, A Raven Among Doves and It Destroys And Kills.

4thI hope you’ve found my list helpful in planning your weekend. I’m confident that you’ll come out of July 4th week reminiscing about the great times you had with family and friends but also feeling proud of yourself for the new activities you challenged yourself to try!