Category Archives: Free Stuff

White Mountain National Forest ranked most beautiful in US

Fodor’s Travel gave New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest the top spot in the publication’s list of the 10 most beautiful forests in the U.S. Vermont’s Green Mountain National Forest also did well coming in at No. 8.

Considering how the coronavirus has forced many to rethink travel plans, taking a closer look at these beautiful forests which one can easily explore from Boston may be worth thinking about as a way to beat the heat, get out of the city and socially distance while enjoying the beautiful scenery.

Fodor’s Travel writes:  “White Mountain National Forest is located in eastern New Hampshire (and western Maine) and throughout it you will find alpine peaks, hardwood forests, lakes, streams, and a vast variety of wildlife. It’s known for being some of the most untamed country of the Northeast. It’s also known for having some of the world’s worst weather conditions, with excessive wind speeds and snowfall–this forest certainly has a personality, and sometimes that personality is “frightening.” It’s gorgeous though, too, with maple, oak, and birch trees scattered about at low elevations, spruces and firs in the higher elevations.”

plan a daytrip to the white mountains

For more information about hiking paths and places to explore, get something to eat and hiking paths, check out: visitwhitemountains.com.

Boston Pops July 4th celebration

Photo Credit: Kelly Automotive

The Boston Pops annual fireworks show was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the Pops will still offer patriotic music and fireworks during “A Boston Pops Salute to Our Heroes,” a pre-recorded performance airing July 4th.

This year’s program will pay tribute to the front line workers and those who have lost their lives during the COVID-19 public health crisis and will air on Bloomberg Television, Bloomberg Radio, and Boston’s WHDH-TV, on Saturday, July 4, starting at 8 p.m.

What to this week: April 13 – 19

I don’t know about you, but I am absolutely stir crazy and missing the opportunity to casually hang out with friends. I’d love to be able to connect with friends like the picture above shows, but with public events cancelled in MA for at least the next few weeks (if not longer), I thought I’d share share a few virtual events that you may find interesting. It is my understanding that all of these programs are free so they can accommodate everyone’s budget.

If you know of virtual programs that may be of interest, please email me or leave the information as a comment on this post.

VIRTUAL EXERCISE & MINDFULNESS “MEET UPS”

NOVEMBER PROJECT MORNING WORKOUTS: During COVID-19 pandemic, Boston’S November Project is hosting online workouts Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6:29 AM. NOTE: they are using the free version of Zoom video conference, which only allows up to 100 users at the same time.

STRESS FREE MEDITATION: This Thursday and Friday from 12:30 – 1:oo PM and 5:30 – 6:00 PM enjoy meditation commentary offered for free on Zoom.

YOGA HUB VIRTUAL MAT PRACTICEEach Monday, starting at 5:15 PM join Ali Singer. Sign up (it’s free) through their website to receive the meeting link. Set up your yoga mat with your computer or phone visible nearby. Ali invites you to record your video and send it to her after practice for personalized corrections and opportunities for advancement.

VIRTUAL BEER YOGA: Each Sunday from 10-11 AM Andrea will guide participants through an energetic Power Flow practice — accessible by all ages and skill levels.

ENTERTAINMENT

24 HOUR PLAYS – VIRAL MONOLOGUES: Theater companies – from Broadway to semi-professional to student-run –  host this creative exercise for both playwrights and actors to develop an original piece to be written and performed within a 24-hour time limit. Check out  these new monologues written and performed by a litany of famous actors. More details here.

BOSTON THEATER MARATHON Available through May 17th, features readings of ten-minute plays by New England playwrights in collaboration with New England theatres, via Zoom. Audiences are encouraged to lend their support to area theatre companies and to the Theatre Community Benevolent Fund, which provides financial support to theatres and artists in times of need.

BSO AT HOME: Over the next six weeks, enjoy great performances by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, drawn from the amazing archive of recordings of concerts at Symphony Hall and at the orchestra’s summer home, Tanglewood.

CITYSIDE COMEDYEvery Monday at 8:30 PM CitySide Comedy is hosting free comedy shows, featuring some of the best standup comics working today. For more information visit their eventbrite site, CitySide Comedy.

UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVALThe Boston Underground Film Festival (a.k.a. BUFF)  postponed their annual festival due to COVID-19 but are featuring collection of films from previous editions of BUFF, from BUFF alumni, and/or films in the spirit of BUFF through April 30th. Many of these films are available on Shudder  which offers a free 30-day trial with code SHUTIN.

coupleCOOKING CLASSES

FREE MILK STREET ONLINE COOKING SCHOOLMilk Street is making our entire line of online cooking classes available for free through April 30th.

THE PANDEMIC PANTRY WITH CELESTE ROGERSJoin ‘Chopped’ champion Celeste Rogers for daily dinner deets & fantastic eats every Monday through Friday at 5PM through Friday, May 8th as she shares recipes live on her Instagram account.

WHAT’S COOKING WITH YOU: This weekly, crowd sourced Instagram TV show helps tell each other’s stories, while showcasing our community’s cooking prowess. Share your recipes and favorite plates. Not only do we want to see how imaginative you can get with your pantry, but we want to get to know you. Submit your video by Friday to be eligible for the following week. Each week the most popular recipe will be voted upon and the winner will have the chance to have a personal Zoom call with Kate Sidell (Saltie Girl, Met Back Bay, Stephanie’s on Newbury, The Met Natick).

AND EVERY FRIDAY @ 7PM TAKE A MOMENT TO

Head of the Charles Regatta is this weekend

HOCRThe Head Of The Charles Regatta (HOCR) is a Boston area tradition that dates back to 1965 and has evolved into a massive two-day rowing competition that draws more than 11,000 athletes and 400,000 spectators, making it the largest rowing event in the world.

The 2019 HOCR takes place this Saturday and Sunday. The forecast suggests plenty of sun with Sunday being the warmer of the two days and thankfully for the rowers, very little wind. If you’ve not been to this premiere rowing events, head down to the Charles River to cheer on these amazing athletes.

The organizers have created a great website that includes more information about the races, maps and FAQs. You can learn more by visiting the official HOCR website, www.hocr.org.

Boston Book Festival this weekend

shirtless guy, man with glasses, reading, bookI believe this weekend will be the 11th Annual Boston Book Festival. This free event centered in Copley Square and the Boston Public Library this Saturday and Sunday is a wonderful program worth checking out. The 2019 BBF will include 350+ presenters, 140+ events at 37 venues and is expected to draw 30k people.

The Boston Book Festival celebrates the power of words to stimulate, agitate, unite, delight, and inspire by holding year-round events culminating in an annual, Festival that promotes a culture of reading, ideas and enhances the vibrancy of our city.

The variety of events, topics and discussions are meant to ensure there is something for everyone. If you’re an aspiring (or possibly frustrated) writer, there are many sessions set up all weekend long as well (check’em out here). One program I’m contemplating attending is Saturday’s Poetry & Pints.

This year’s full schedule can be viewed here: BBF Schedule.

Museum Day is Saturday, September 21

Museums all over Boston are free for Museum Day on Saturday

Although the weather forecast is so beautiful that you may find yourself inclined to head to the beach or one of the outdoor festivals taking place, Saturday, September 21st is Museum Day.

Museum Day is an annual celebration of boundless curiosity hosted by Smithsonian Magazine. Participating museums and cultural institutions across the country provide free entry to anyone presenting a Museum Day ticket. The Museum Day ticket provides free admission for two people on Saturday, September 21, 2019.

Get your FREE tickets here to Boston-area museums, here.

Below is a partial list of participating museums.

Gibson House Museum
Hours: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (EST)

The Mary Baker Eddy Library
Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (EST)

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (EST)

Harvard Art Museums
Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (EST)

Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate
Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (EST)

Revere Beach sand sculpting festival this weekend

Revere Beach Sand Sculpting Festival

This coming weekend Revere Beach will host the 2019 International Sand Sculpting Festival. It really is a cool event with a lot of other activities in addition to watching talented sculptures create amazing sand sculptures. Over the years it has grown in popularity and according to organizers, last year’s festival attracted 1,000,000 visitors.

Sergio and I have visited this in the past and have always been impressed by the scale and detail of the participating contestants. Check out the video below and for more details visit, reverebeachpartnership.com/sand-sculpting-festival.

Free Shakespeare on the Boston Common

Shakespeare in loveThe Commonwealth Shakespeare Company is currently hosting their annual production of a free William Shakespeare play on the Boston Common. The first show started on Wednesday evening. This year’s production of Cymbeline will run through Sunday, August 4th with performances taking place Tuesday–Saturday at 8PM, Sundays at 7PM with the exception of hosting  a 3PM matinee on Saturday, August 3rd.

Be sure to make plans so you can and enjoy an evening of Shakespeare under the stars. on the Boston Common. I’m happy to provide suggestions on where to get bites and beverages to bring with you so you needn’t carry them from home. This makes for a fun night out with friends or a great date with someone special.

Free Shakespeare on the Common

Performances are Tuesday – Saturday at 8PM & Sundays at 7PM
Click here for More Information

Shakespeare on the Common presents Cymbeline

Commonwealth Shakespeare CompanyThe Commonwealth Shakespeare Company will return in less than a month with their annual production of a William Shakespeare play on the Boston Common. This year’s production of Cymbeline will start in approximately three weeks opening on Wednesday, July 17th and running through Sunday, August 4th with performances taking place Tuesday–Saturday at 8PM, Sundays at 7PM with the exception of hosting  a 3PM matinee on Saturday, August 3rd.

Free Shakespeare on the CommonPerformances are Tuesday – Saturday at 8PM & Sundays at 7PM
Click here for More Information

About Cymbeline: Shakespeare’s mystical dramedy Cymbeline chronicles the fates of King Cymbeline and his family through a journey of deception, intrigue and separation. The king’s daughter Imogen (one of Shakespeare’s most beloved heroines) is swept into a nearly mythic realm of mistaken identities, twists and turns in the all-consuming quest for true love. According to Wikipedia, the play deals with the themes of innocence and jealousy. While the precise date of composition remains unknown, the play was certainly produced as early as 1611. You can read more about the play and this year’s production here.

MAAM: New contemporary art museum will open next year in Boston

A new contemporary art museum will open in Boston in February 2020 on the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) campus. Located  on Huntington Avenue, it will be near the Museum of Fine Arts and Gardner. The MassArt Art Museum or MAAM as it will be referred to, will encompass more than 15,000 square feet and be free to the public. MAAM will also have outdoor space in the Arne and Milly Glimcher Plaza for programming beyond the walls of the museum. Below are renderings of two of the new museum’s galleries.

You can follow the progress of what will be Boston’s newest museum by following them on Instagram at @MAAMBoston.

Ben & Jerry’s: Free Cone Day is Tuesday

I’ve included this post as a friendly reminder to all of you ice cream addicts that Ben & Jerry’s “Free Cone Day” celebration which they’ve been hosting since 1979 is tomorrow, Tuesday, April 9th.

In Boston, stop by their Newbury Street, Prudential Center and Harvard Square  locations for a free ice cream. Remember to say thank you and be sure to tip the staff who will be working their butts off.

ICA and MFA are open and free to the public on Columbus Day

cultcha, ahts, ICA, institute of contemporary Art, MFA, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, bosartsDo you happen to have Columbus Day (Monday, October 8th) off? Many in Boston do but unfortunately, that is not the case for me. However, if I did have the day off, I’d be tempted to visit the Fall Open House at the MFA or head over to the Seaport and check out the Institute of Contemporary Art and their new annex “The Watershed” across the harbor. 

Both museums will be open on Columbus Day and are offering free admission all day. Hours of operation on Monday for both museums are 10AM – 5PM. Get out and soak up some cultcha at these local museums and bring your friends along.

Jazz along the Charles today 2-4PM

The Celebrity Series presents a free concert series along the Charles River in Boston today from 2-4PM. The event “Jazz along the Charles” includes 25 jazz ensembles that will be set up along a walkable route along the Charles River Esplanade, interpreting a curated list of Boston-related tunes in one collective concert that celebrates Boston’s jazz community.

For more information visit the website for Jazz Along the Charles.

Click on the link below to enlarge the imageboston music

29th Boston Freedom Rally this weekend

legalize marijuana, boston marijuana festivalThe 29th Boston Freedom Rally is the largest annual gathering of pro-marijuana supporters on the East Coast and the second largest festival of it’s kind in the world, surpassed only by Seattle’s Hempfest. So if you find yourself near the Boston Common this weekend that hazy cloud hanging over the Common isn’t a weather pattern and is likely to make your head spin if you walk through the park. The rally officially kicks off this afternoon but is typically attended by most over the weekend from 12-8PM on Saturday and Sunday.

The rally is organized by the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition (MassCANN), the state affiliate of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) also known as MassCann/NORML.

Patrick Horrigan reads from his novel Pennsylvania Station

gay authors, gay literature, The History Project, gay boston

Later this month this month  The History Project will be hosting a reading of  Patrick Horrigan’s novel, Pennsylvania Station, that is free and open to the public but does require registering to ensure space will be available. You can reserve your space through Eventbrite.

Thursday, September 27th
Doors open at 6:00PM
Book reading begins at 6:30PM

Horrigan will also share how he weaves together the history of New York’s old Penn Station, the historic preservation movement, and the pre-Stonewall gay rights movement. Horrigan’s book is available for sale everywhere but help support Boston’s local and independent bookstores by placing an online order for his novel at these locations:

Brookline Booksmith 279 Harvard Street by Coolidge Corner
Harvard Bookstore  1256 Mass Ave in Harvard Square
Porter Square Bookstore 25 White Street in Porter Square
Trident Bookseller’s & Cafe 338 Newbury Street in Back Bay