Category Archives: Free Stuff

New monthly Queer Book Club opens

The Brookline Booksmith in Coolidge Corner has recently undergone a significant expansion, giving them more space for more inventory and more programming like their new monthly Queer Book Club which begins this month on Monday.

The Brookline Booksmith Queer Book Club is a monthly book discussion group focusing on queer authors and stories. Each month the club will meet to discuss books from a broad spectrum of writing genres, styles, and authorship. One needtn’t identfiy as queer to attend – all are welcome to attend, and no registration is needed.

The newly formed club will meet in person at Brookline Booksmith on the first Monday of every month at 7pm. Their first meeting, will discuss Andrea Lawlor’s Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl, is tomorrow, Monday, 11/7 at 7pm.

2022 Boston Book Festival returns this weekend

This weekend the 14th Annual Boston Book Festival will take place on Friday afternoon and all day on Saturday. Centered in Copley Square and the Boston Public Library, the BBF is a wonderful festival worth checking out.

This year’s festival will bring together more than 200 fiction, nonfiction, young adult and kid authors will participate in this year’s festival that includes readings and discussions, book signings, workshops, and other lively literary events. And it’s all FREE and open to the public.

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

Head of the Charles Regatta

HOCR

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

HEAD OF THE CHARLES REGATTA OCT. 21-23, 2022

The 2022 HOCR takes place this Saturday and Sunday. Sadly, I’ll be out of town and will miss this fun, annual event. If you’ve not been to this premiere rowing events, head down to the Charles River to cheer on these amazing athletes and enjoy all the activity around the regatta.

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.

Portraits of Pride in Boston

Portraits of Pride is an LGBTQ Photography Exhibition currently on display at the Boston Common. The exhibit, which pays tribute to LGBTQ History Month (which is this month), will run through October 29th. The exhibit which is free and open to the public is comprised of 8-foot tall portraits of local LGBTQ leaders taken by world-renowned photographer John Huet. 

This one-of-a-kind exhibit honors the rich history of Boston’s LGBTQ+ community and the many contributions the area’s LGBTQ+ leaders have made to the advancement of LGBTQ+ rights in Massachusetts and beyond. An additional installation of the portraits is also exhibited on the Gallery Wall of Seaport Square located at 60 Seaport Blvd. in Boston. 

To learn more about Portraits of Pride and those who are being honored visit, portraitsofprideboston.org.

G4G Boston volunteering opportunities

Over the years, I’ve promoted a variety of volunteering opportunities organized by Gay For Good Boston. G4G is a national organization with chapters in 15+ cities across the United States.

You can learn more about this fabulous organization and meet some of the active members at their Fall Social later this week on Wednesday, October 12th. You must register to attend (more info provided in the link below).

Wednesday, October 12 | 5:30pm – 7:30pm
Mix and Mingle with free food, drinks and music!
Boston G4G Chapter Fall Social

Symphony Community Garden, Boston, MA

The Boston chapter is particularly active and provides people with an opportunity to meet and socialize while volunteering. It’s a great way to give back and meet some wonderful people. Below are programs for the month of October. These volunteering programs fill quickly so if you see a volunteering opportunity that appeals to you, click through to learn more.

If these opportunities are now full and not accepting volunteers, or if the timing isn’t quite right for you but you’d like to know about future volunteering opportunities, join their mailing list here.

Upcoming Volunteering Events

Thursday, October 13 | 5:30pm – 10pm
Laugh for Literacy at the Braille Gala
The National Braille Press

at the Artists for Humanity EpiCenter, Boston, MA

Saturday, October 15 | 9am – 12pm
Plant and Pick at the Farm
Holly Hill Farm in Cohasset


Saturday, October 22 | 8am–12pm
Distribute Food to a Community in Need
St. Luke’s Food Pantry in Chelsea

Thursday, October 27 | 2pm – 6pm OR 6pm – 10pm
Get Gala Ready and help get this Gala Ready!
GLAD Spirit of Justice Gala

at the Park Plaza Hotel, Boston MA

Boston marijuana and Greek food festivals

Doesn’t it seem devious to host a pot and Greek food festival the same weekend?

Each weekend in the fall in Boston is full of festivals, concerts and other public celebrations, and this weekend will be no different.

This weekend Boston will host one of the largest and longest running marijuana festivals in the country, MassCann. With as many as 50,000 people descending upon the Boston Common to celebrate all things marijuana, it seems like a cruel trick to play on all those unsuspecting stoners to have such an amazingly delicious and tantalizing Greek food festival just a mile away at John The Baptist Church in the South End.

While there are plenty of other activities, festivals and events happening this weekend, the combination of these two proved to be quite costly for Sergio and me a few years ago. After attending the Freedom Festival and feeling quite “free” we walked over to the Greek Church basement where rows of homemade Greek food both savory and sweet tempted us. I just hope this year we will show a bit more restraint when we visit John The Baptist Church.

BTW, other cool stuff happening this weekend you can check out include:

Fluff Festival Saturday 17 3PM-7PM (Union Square, Somerville)

Smithsonian Museum Day Saturday 17 (Multiple participating museums)

South End Open Studios Saturday & Sunday from 11AM – 6PM (South End)

and a late addition…

Caribbean Rum & Food Festival Saturday 17 12-8PM (Roxbury Community College)

Romeo & Juliet on Boston Common Aug 11&13

Are you looking for something fun to do this weekend? The Boston Lyric Opera is hosting two free performances of Romeo & Juliet at 8PM on Thursday, August 11 and Saturday, August 13.

Romeo & Juliet on the Boston Common

These FREE performances offer those who have never been to an opera, a unique opportunity to experience it under the stars. You can check out the full cast here. For those motivated by more base instincts, be sure to check out the very handsome baritone, Nicholas LaGeese who plays Mercutio – damn he’s cute.

Similar to the Shakespeare on the Common productions, you can rent chairs but it is best to make a reservation (chair reservation info). If you’re planning to attend, show up early because these free performances attract huge crowds.

I also recommend making pitstop at Roche Bros in DTX before you find a place on the Common to see this production. Roche Bros has a lot of grab-n-go items so you can have an impromptu picnic during the performance. While consuming alcohol on the Common is illegal, if you’re discreet, you’ll be fine. I’m a big fan of bringing some cheeses and one or two bottles of very cold white or rosé.

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company presents Much Ado About Nothing

Photo from CSC website

Shakespeare on Boston Common July 20 – Aug 7

One of my favorite summer traditions in Boston is attending one of the free performances by the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company on the Boston Common. Last year I had a great time with friends watching the CSC produtionc of The Tempest and this year’s comedy, Much Ado About Nothing, is one of my favorites from The Bard – much thanks to the 1990s movie starring Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson.

While the performances remain free, due to the popularity of these performances, advanced registration is strongly recommended for ease of arrival and priority access to seating. All shows start at 8PM with the exception of the matinee on July 30th which starts at 4PM. For more information, visit the Commonwealth Shakespeare Co. website.

About Much Ado About Nothing

The plot revolves around two couples — witty Beatrice and Benedick, who publicly proclaim their disdain for each other but fall madly in love; and naïve Hero and Claudio, who fall quickly in love only to be thwarted and then reunited (in both cases, with a bit of help from their friends). But it’s more than just a comedic romp. The play tackles serious themes too: trust and betrayal, power and privilege, gendered expectations around chastity and violence.

Chaka Khan joins the Boston Pops for a July 4th Party on the Esplanade

Tomorrow evening the Boston Pops annual Fireworks Spectacular will take place with headliner, Chaka Khan. The tradition which started in 1929 has become a right of passage and when I first moved back to Boston, I spent more than a few July 4th holidays on the Esplanade to watch the celebrations in-person. As the years have passed, I’ve moved from the Esplanade to watching the show from friends’ apartments in the Back Bay and more recently from home, which is where I think we will watch this year’s show.

If you too would like to watch this from your home, The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular will be on Bloomberg TV, and locally the show will be simulcast on Boston’s WHDH-TV. Additionally, you can listen to the concert in the Greater Boston area on 106.1 FM / 1330 AM / 1450 AM / 92.9-HD2, and nationally, the concert can be found on SiriusXM channel 119, online at bloombergradio.com, and via mobile on the Bloomberg and iHeartRadio apps.

SoWa Health + Wellness free pop-up

SoWa Health + Wellness

SoWa Health + Wellness free pop-up will take place at the SoWa Power Station on Saturday June 11th, from 7:30 am – 12 pm.

SoWa Health + Wellness will be opening in the space formerly known as the Boston Sports Club South End later this fall but in June there will be a free pop-up at the SoWa Power Station located at 550 Harrison Avenue for members of the community interested in learning more about the programming that will be available when it opens. Free parking will be offered to all who come to check out one of the fitness classes offered on Saturday, June 11th.

8:00 am – 8:45 am – MoveStudios HIIT Bootcamp with Andrew LaCombe –  @movestudios_boston
A high intensity bootcamp powered by MoveStudios, one of Boston’s premier personal training groups!

9:00 am – 9:45 am – Yoga with Gina Molinari –  @ginamolinari
This is a flow class perfect for all levels. You will find this class is a wonderful way to begin your day while building flexibility and strength of body with calmness of mind.

10:00 am – 10:45 am – 305 Dance with Jessica Edwards –  @miss_jeds
305 is an addictively fun dance cardio class that works you head to toe! Drop it low, tone it up, and shake it out to a fire beat!

11:00 am – 11:45 am – Kickboxing with Alejandra Bethermyt –  @alebfitness
Kick, punch, and move to the beat of a fun electrifying workout that will help you leave it all out there on the workout floor!

Space is limited so register today!

A DJ will provide music to keep you going and healthy snacks and beverages will be available, as well as lockers for storage. Attendees are asked to bring their own mat and towel.

Exclusive screening of documentary: 5B

Tuesday, March 15th Fenway Health and the Coolidge Corner Theatre will host a complimentary screening of the documentary film 5B, which honors the amazing nurses, physicians, and caregivers who built Ward 5B at San Francisco General Hospital in 1983 — during the height of the AIDS crisis.

Not all superheroes wear capes & masks
Some wear scrubs & stethoscopes

This is an an inspirational story about men and women who took extraordinary action to comfort, protect and care for the patients of the first HIV/AIDS ward unit in the United States. The program is free but will be limited to 60 participants so register to get your seat while they last.

The film will be followed by a brief Q&A with former Ward 5B nurse Alison Moed, Boston Association of Nurses in AIDS Care Chapter President Justin Alves, and Fenway Health’s Adrianna Boulin, Director of Community Impact and Engagement.

Shakespeare on the Common returns

Photo from CSC website

One of my favorite summer traditions in Boston is attending one of the free performances by the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company on the Boston Common. Last year the tradition was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but this year the theater company returns with a production of The Tempest. All shows are free and will begin one week from today, running through Sunday, August 8th.

For everyone’s safety, this year’s production will be streamlined with an intermission-free performance. In addition, audience size will be limited according to state and city guidelines on capacity and social distancing. Due to these capacity constraints, advanced registration is strongly recommended for ease of arrival and priority access to seating. However, walk-ups will be welcome the night of each performance. For more information, visit the Commonwealth Shakespeare Co. website.

About the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company: The Commonwealth Shakespeare Company was formed in 1996 by artistic director Steven Maler and associate Joan Moynagh to bring free, outdoor Shakespeare to the city of Boston.

Donna Summer Disco Party returns

Donna Summer was born in Boston and grew up in Mission Hill. Shortly after her passing in 2012, Boston started hosting an annual summer disco party to honor the Queen of Disco. Initially hosted in Government Center, the celebration was suspended last year due to COVID-19 but will return to Copley Square tomorrow, Thursday, June 24th.

Donna Summer Disco Party
Thursday, June 24 at Copley Square
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Free)

Unlike past years, this year’s event will not feature a roller-skating rink, but dancing is ecouraged as DJs play Donna Summer’s greatest hits in a groovy atmosphere complete with glow sticks, colorful lights, and a disco ball.

Breaking through the Silence

Hatch Memorial Shell on the Esplanade in Boston

A multi-sensory winter illumination experience called, Hatched: Breaking through the Silence, launches today at the Esplanade’s Hatch Shell. The 15-minute visual and sound performance has been desiged specifically for the 80-year-old amphitheater and has been created by Boston-based artist Maria Finkelmeier.

Presentations will run daily from 5pm to 9pm starting every 20 minutes.

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.