Bring it on, July heat!
These are the best things to do in Boston, rain or shine.
After a scorching heat wave, summer in Boston has certainly arrived. While it stays cool(ish), it’s the perfect time for an outdoor patio visit or go see some outdoor shows! When it heats up again, we also have air-conditioned recommendations. Find some of the best things to do in Boston this July below.
1-5. Make some weekend plans
Before diving into our definitive list of things to do in July, make sure you’re not missing out this weekend. Check out 5 things you don’t want to miss in Boston for the weekend of June 2 – 4. In particular, check out the Kelleher Rose Garden: the flowers will be in full bloom for just a few more days.
6. Dive into history with a Freedom Trail tour
With the Fourth of July coming up, it’s a great time to brush up on your high school U.S. history if need be. Learn more about Boston’s history on the Freedom Trail tour, which spotlights historic spots around the city.
Find more information on the Freedom Trail here.
7. Head to a Fourth of July comedy show in Cambridge
Fourth of July skeptics will enjoy Ain’t That America, a standup show featuring local comedy talent hailing from Cambridge and the Boston area. The show seeks to spotlight POC, LGBT, and first generation comics, adding both nuance and comic relief to the topic of patriotism. Find more information here.
Find it at Starlight Square, 84 Bishop Allen Drive, Cambridge, MA 02139 on July 7 from 7pm to 9pm.
8 – 15. Soak up the sun on an outdoor patio
Lazy summer days are the perfect time to dig into some food and a cold drink — or a few — at one of Boston’s many eminently Instagrammable patios. Check out some of our top patio picks here.
16. Ogle at fish at the New England Aquarium
Escape heat, humidity, or rain by spending a day exploring the New England Aquarium. A paradise for fish enthusiasts and the young at heart, the NEAQ is a perfect spot to spend an afternoon. Though you’ll need to reserve a time when you book your tickets, there’s no time limit for visits, meaning you can stare in awe for as long as you’d like.
Find it at 1 Central Wharf, Boston, MA 02110.
17. Create your own fish (and more!) at the Museum of Science
For an air-conditioned day of fun and exploration, take the science enthusiasts and kids in your life to the Museum of Science. This expansive science museum is chock full of interactive activities, including fish creation. The virtual fish tank allows guests to create a fish based on their specifications, let their virtual fish free in a tank, and learn how your choices ultimately affect the ecosystem. Find it in the Blue Wing, Level 1.
18. … and while you’re there, catch a movie at the Mugar Omni Theater.
IMAX fans will love the five-story-tall screen at the Mugar Omni Theater at the Museum of Science. Current showings include Superpower Dogs and Back from the Brink, a documentary that follows three true stories of animal breeds that were saved from the brink of extinction.
Find the Museum of Science at 1 Science Park, Boston, MA 02114.
19 – 23. Check out the Monet exhibit (and more!) at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts
If you’re looking for an extra dose of nature without braving the July heat, check out the Monet and Boston: Legacy Illuminated exhibit at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. You’ll find it at the Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art, Level 2. After you’re done exploring the connection between Boston and the famous painter, check out other current exhibitions including Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation, Women Take the Floor, Art of the Americas, and Black Histories, Black Futures.
Find the MFA at 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115.
24 – 27. Explore the Virgil Abloh exhibit (and more!) at the Institute of Contemporary Art
The Institute of Contemporary Art, apart from being housed in an impressive building that makes the most of its harborside location, hosts a rotating collection of excellent contemporary art exhibits. After a sold-out opening on July 3, Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech” will showcase the work of the creative chameleon known for his work with Off-White. Other exhibits include Beyond Infinity, which focuses on Yayoi Kusama’s legacy in the art world; Ragnar Kjartansson: The Visitors, a sound and video installation described as a “feminine nihilistic gospel song;” and an exhibition composed of work by sculptor Eva LeWitt.
Find the ICA at 25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston, MA 02210.
28. Dine on a boat in East Boston
[Image credit: @tallshipboston]
Act fast and you’ll be among the first to dine at The Tall Ship, a floating restaurant housed in a 245-foot ship docked at Pier One. The restaurant just celebrated its grand opening on July 30. Feast on oysters, shellfish, and sushi, or try one of their appropriately maritime-themed cocktails. Find more information on The Tall Ship here.
Find The Tall Ship docked at Pier One, 1 East Pier Drive, Boston, MA 02128.
29. Pay a visit to the Franklin Park Zoo
For a change of pace from the hustle and bustle of downtown, make a trip to the Franklin Park Zoo to get a glimpse of some incredible animals. You’ll see everything from pensive barn owls to laughing kookaburras to stately tigers.
30. … and when the sun sets, check out the Boston Lights!
On a balmy summer night, there’s no better escape from the city lights than a trip to the Franklin Park Zoo to see a beautiful light show. This year’s edition of the Boston Lights will feature immersive displays themed around the animal kingdom, including the staggering 87-foot-long Tyrannosaurus Rex light tunnel. The Boston Lights will be on view from July 23 to October 11 from 6 to 10:30pm. Find out more information and buy tickets here.
Find the Franklin Park Zoo at 1 Franklin Park Road, Boston, MA 02121.
31. Check out Concerts in the Courtyard
The Concerts in the Courtyard weekly concert series welcomes a new artist to the courtyard of the Central Boston Public Library in Central Square every Friday. These hour-long shows (running from noon to 1pm) are perfect for lunch break entertainment or families with children.
32. … and explore the Central Library!
The Boston Public Library’s Central branch is an impressive Renaissance-style building with plenty of architectural merit, as well as being home to a staggering collection of books and other public amenities. Take an online tour or wander through in person (or both!)
Find the Central Boston Public Library at 700 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116.
33. Play tourist and take a Duck Tour
We know this one isn’t exactly a secret, it’s a tourist favorite for a reason! This tour, which takes place on a unique amphibious vehicle that drives on land and floats on water, leads guests past the city’s key historical landmarks. After finishing the driving tour, the “DUCK” drives into the Charles River, giving its passengers uninterrupted views of the Boston and Cambridge skylines. Find more information here.