Things to Do in Boston in August
This post covers the best things to do in August in Boston, including evening, free, as well as family-friendly things to do, all updated for 2019.
TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN AUGUST
This section lists our top 10 things to do in Boston in August
If you’d like to see some of the most popular things to do in the city, check out these posts:
Keep in mind that many of the things listed here are included for free or at a discount with a Boston tourist discount pass.
Boston is a big theater city, with multiple stage productions touring in the city or having residencies.
Fans of musicals will be thrilled to hear about three big-name productions in town during August:
Dear Evan Hanson is an award-winning musical about a high school boy who struggles to fit in and finds himself in too deep in a lie.
Blue Man Group is a famous and popular variety show like no other. The titular blue men have been entertaining audiences worldwide for decades.
Hello, Dolly is the story of a widow playing matchmaker in 1890s New York City who gets tangled up in the lives of her matchmaking clients.
There are plenty of other shows are happening in Boston, too!
Most of the productions have evening shows, which makes this the perfect way to spend an evening. Look at the section below for additional nighttime activities.
Is there anything better than spending an evening listening to live music by your favorite artist surrounded by other fans?
Boston brings in plenty of big-name artists – here are a few August concerts you can check out.
- Chase Rice – August 1
- Thomas Rhett – August 2
- Hootie & the Blowfish – August 3
- Gavin DeGraw – August 10
- Backstreet Boys – August 14
- Shawn Mendes – August 15
- Jonas Brothers – August 17
- Aerosmith – August 24
(3) See a Sporting Event
Seeing Fenway Park is often a highlight for any baseball fan’s trip to Boston. Baseball season is in full swing during August, which means you’ll have plenty of opportunities to go to Fenway and see the Boston Red Sox!
Of course, if baseball isn’t your thing the Boston Celtics are playing and the NFL is in their pre-season. You can also find a few soccer games with the New England Revolution.
Take a look at all the games happening in Boston.
These games are great activities for the whole family to attend together. For more kid-friendly activities, check out the section below.
(4) Sightseeing Tours
Summer is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy the city! There are lots of events happening in August, so we suggest getting a fun overview of the city to start your trip.
Another interesting side of the city to see is the North End neighborhood, also known as Little Italy.
If you consider yourself a seafood connoisseur, don’t miss out on the annual Boston Seafood Festival, which takes place on Sunday, August 4, from 11:00 am – 6:00 pm at Fish Pier on the South Boston Waterfront
The city has a long history of sea-related industry and food and celebrates it each August.
You can participate in delicious seafood tastings, watch chef demos and a fish cutting contest, relax in the Harpoon Garden, and see the traditional ceremony of the Blessing of the Fleet.
Tickets are generally around $15 for adult general admission, $5 for child general admission, and $50 for the lobster bake.
(6) Games in the Park
For the month of August, you can take the family to Christopher Columbus Park right by the harbor in the North End for some fun lawn games and movies.
Croquet will be set up Wednesdays from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm. Volunteers will be around to teach gameplay to anyone who needs a refresher course.
Other lawn games such as corn hole and giant Jenga will be available to play on Saturdays (except August 31) from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm.
(7) Summer in the City Movies
Head to the Boston Harbor Hotel for their Summer in the City concerts and classic movie nights.
Live bands start playing at 4:30 pm every Friday afternoon. Once the sun begins to set, a fun classic movie will play.
The entertainment is free, and you can purchase drinks and snacks or dinner from the hotel bar and grill.
- August 3 – Breakfast at Tiffany’s
- August 10 – The Karate Kid
- August 17 – Hook
- August 24 – Dr. No
- August 31 – Out of Africa
For more fun and free events, check out the free activities section below.
(8) August Moon Festival
Boston has a thriving Chinatown neighborhood that goes all out for the August Moon Festival each year.
This free festival happens on Sunday, August 12, 2019, from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.
You’ll see lion dances, martial arts competitions and demonstrations, folk dancing, and plenty of street vendors with souvenirs and street food.
Of course, there will be plenty of mooncakes for sale – the traditional food of the Moon Festival feast.
Don’t forget to find more free activities in Boston listed below,
(9) See an Observation Deck
The Skywalk Observatory is one of the more popular observations spots in Boston. August is a great time to take advantage of clear skies and admire the skyline.
Plus, if you’re looking for something to do indoors during the heat of the day, this is a perfect option.
If you’re looking to get some great views of the city for free, we also have a list of some alternative lookout points such as Bunker Hill Monument and Coit Observatory free Wednesday events.
TIP: The Skywalk Observatory is included in some tourist discount passes.
(10) Save Money with a Tourist Attraction Discount Pass
The easiest way to save more money while seeing all the popular sites in Boston is by purchasing a tourist pass.
These passes work by bundling together many popular Boston attractions and tours all for one discounted price, saving you up to 55%.
They also can save you time by allowing you to skip the ticket lines at select attractions.
A few great attractions and activities included in the passes are:
- Skywalk Observatory
- Old State House
- Boston Children’s Museum
- New England Aquarium Whale Watch
For an in-depth comparison and look at reviews of all the discount passes available, take a look at our tourist pass post.
Several of the fun activities, concerts, and productions to see listed above are all great evening entertainment.
This section includes more outdoor movies, parties, and events in Boston during August.
If you’re looking for things to do at night, check out our full post.
Boston Calling Block Parties
Every week between May 10 and August 30, you can go to Dewey Square on Rose Kennedy Greenway to enjoy a fun evening block party.
The events take place every Thursday evening from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm and showcase a different live music group and food trucks.
Those 21 and older will be able to purchase beer and wine.
Take the Beacon Hill Crime Tour
August is the perfect time to go out for an evening walking tour.
One of our pay-what-you-wish tours is the Beacon Hill Crime Tour, which goes into gory details about the Boston Strangler and the neighborhood he terrorized for over a year. You’ll see homes of the victims and the Charles Street Jail.
These tours start at 7:00 pm, which makes for a fun and spooky evening!
NOTE: This tour is for participants 14 years old and older, due to the nature of the gruesome and historical events discussed.
Labor Day Fireworks
One of the most popular Labor Day events takes place at the very beginning of the long weekend.
On Thursday, August 30 at 8:30 pm, look to the sky over the Boston Harbor to see a huge fireworks display.
Chinese Film Festival
The Chinatown neighborhood in Boston is home to an annual Chinese Film Festival.
At the Chinatown Park Plaza, you’ll find plenty of subtitled Kung-Fu Classics being shown on an outdoor screen after martial arts demonstrations earlier in the evenings.
The Chinese Film Festival runs from August 24 – 26, 2019. Performances begin at 5:30 pm with the films starting at 8:00 pm.
There will be a limited number of folding chairs available on a first come, first served basis.
Check out the Boston Museum of Science
This Boston institution has been around since 1830 and has grown into a large museum with 700+ exhibits, most of which are interactive.
They’re open late until 9:00 pm on Friday nights, which makes this a perfect nighttime activity after a day of walking around Boston.
Check out our article on the Boston Museum of Science here.
Tickets to the Museum of Science range from $20 to $23, but you can get in for free with some of the Boston tourist discount passes.
If you’re looking for things to do at night, check out our full post.
From Shakespeare on the Common to outdoor concerts, Boston has a lot of free activities going on during August.
Check out the events below. If you’re looking for more things to do, we have a full post on free activities in Boston.
Shakespeare on the Common
The Commonwealth Shakespeare Company is putting on Cymbeline in Boston Common this year.
While it is one of Shakespeare’s least-known plays, Shakespeare on the Common is one of the city’s favorite summer events.
Admission is free, but there will be chairs available to rent for $5 (with an additional $5 deposit that will be returned when you take your chairs back).
The play runs July 17 – August 4.
- Tuesday – Saturdays at 8:00 pm
- Sundays at 7:00 pm
- August 4 special matinee at 3:00 pm
Berklee Summer in the City
The Berklee College of Music puts on roughly 400 free concerts every summer between June 7 and August 31.
You’ll hear classical, contemporary, folk, Latin, and jazz music, among other genres.
- Atlantic Wharf on Thursdays at 12:00 pm
- Boston Public Library on Wednesdays at 6:00 pm
- Charlestown Navy Yard on Thursdays at 6:00 pm
- Institute of Contemporary Art on Thursdays at 6:00 pm, except August 9 & August 16
- Kendall Square on Thursdays at 5:00 pm, except August 14
Concerts in the Courtyard
Head over to the Boston Public Library on Wednesdays and Fridays to hear free concerts with a wide range of genres.
The great part about these free concerts at the library is that in case of bad weather, they move indoors instead of canceling.
- Wednesdays at 6:00 pm
- Fridays at 12:30 pm
Learn more about sustainable living at the free GreenFest, which will be held at the Boston City Hall Plaza and Faneuil Hall.
They’ll have over 200 exhibitors set up with Eco-friendly fashion shows, cars, and robots. There will also be constant entertainment in the form of live music, dancers, and other performers.
If you bring the kids, they’ll be entertained with games and crafts at the EcoKids Center!
St. Anthony’s Feast
The feast honoring St. Anthony is the largest Italian religious festival in all of New England.
You’ll find the street party stretching across Endicott, Thatcher, and North Margin Streets, with the main parade on Sunday at noon.
Arrive on an empty stomach so you can sample the wide array of street food available to purchase.
If you’re looking for more things to do, we have a full post on free activities in Boston.
From outdoor movies to sporting events, the sections above list plenty of family-friendly ideas for how to spend your time in Boston. This section lists more events, kid-centered movies, and places to take the younger ones in your family.
If you’re looking for even more inspiration for things to do with the kids in Boston, check out our full post.
Take a Duck Tour
August is the perfect time to get out on the water with a boat tour. And one of the most popular boat tours to take with kids is the Duck Tour in an amphibious vehicle.
You’ll get to drive through the city with narration from a tour guide before launching into the Boston Harbor for a quick circuit on the water.
Free Friday Flicks at the Hatch Shell
Every Friday night in August you can take the whole family to Hatch Shell for a fun, free movie! We recommend bringing a picnic and blankets or lawn chairs.
Movies start around 8:00 pm – right after sunset.
- August 2 – The Lego Movie 2
- August 8 – How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
- August 16 – Captain Marvel
- August 23 – Dumbo (2019)
Red Sox Showcase
Any kids who love baseball will be excited to go to Faneuil Marketplace on August 11 between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm.
The Red Sox Showcase is returning with a mobile truck that contains a batting cage, pitching stations, games, and a themed selfie station.
Magic 106.7 Family Film Festival
More family-friendly movies are on display for free at the Prudential Center South Garden on Saturday evenings during July and August! There will be fun games and activities that start at 5:00 pm each Saturday. The films will start just after sunset.
- August 4 – The Incredibles
- August 11 – Mulan
- August 18 – Tarzan
- August 25 – A Wrinkle In Time
NOTE: If any of the movie nights are rained out, the film will show the following Wednesday at the same time.
Go to a Kid-Friendly Museum
Boston is a city with an amazing history as well as some excellent current scientific organizations.
This means Boston has plenty of excellent museums to enjoy and learn from, and many of these museums are family-friendly and interesting to younger visitors.
- Boston Children’s Museum
- Museum of Science
- Boston Fire Museum
- The Mapparium
- The Coit Observatory
Some of these museums are free to attend, and others are included on several tourist discount passes.
Check out our full list of child-friendly museums here.