Things to Do in Boston in August

Updated: Juni 14, 2023

This post covers the best things to do in August in Boston.

We include evening, free, as well as family-friendly things to do, all updated for 2023.


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:

Remember that many of the things listed here are included for free or at a discount with a Boston tourist discount pass.

Boston Walking Tours

1. 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!

Baseball

Soccer

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.


2. Attend a Concert

Is there anything better than spending an evening listening to live music by your favorite artist surrounded by other fans?

Concerts Close to Boston

Concerts Further Afield

Festivals

  • SoulFest 2023 | August 3rd | Topsfield Fairgrounds | Featuring: Matt Maher, Cory Ashbury, KB, and more

Find even more concerts playing in Boston in August here.

And check out the nighttime section below for more things to do at night.


3. 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.

Our most popular pay-what-you-wish walking tour is the Freedom Trail tour.

Of course, if you’d rather go on your own, you can always use our free, self-guided tour.

Another interesting side of the city to see is the North End neighborhood, also known as Little Italy.

If you’re looking to see more ground than you can cover on foot, summer is the perfect time for bus tours and boat tours.


4. See a Live Comedy Show

There will be at least two well-known comedians performing live stand-up comedy in Boston this month.

Comedy Shows

Comedy Clubs

There are many other comedians appearing in and around Boston in August. You can find those shows here.


5. Visit the New England Aquarium

The visit to the New England Aquarium is an excellent family activity.

They are open from Monday-Friday, 9 am-5 pm, and on weekends from 9 am-6 pm.

Even if you can't afford tickets, you might still want to visit this attraction just to see their free exhibit: the Atlantic Harbor Seals!

These adorable aquatic animals are located just outside of the aquarium on the front plaza, and there is plexiglass allowing all visitors to come and see them during the day -- no ticket required!

They are currently functioning under a timed-ticketing procedure due to covid so ask that you purchase tickets ahead of time.


7. See Something on the Stage

August brings musicals, comedy, and family-friendly events to theatres in and around the Boston area. There's something for everyone.

Plays and Musicals

Performance Art

Family Friendly

For other shows, visit the full list of theatre offerings in August in Boston.

If you’re looking for an affordable alternative to paid comedy shows, there are several great clubs and venues that offer free open-mic comedy nights


7. Attend Boston Jazzfest

Boston Jazz Fest puts on live performances from both well-known international and local artists.

In addition to great jazz, there will also be food vendors in the area, so you might want to bring some cash along for treats.

This event is free for all visitors, so all you have to do is show up and enjoy the music!

Boston Jazzfest will be hosted at the Maritime Park in the Seaport on August 25th and 26th, 2023.

Find additional fun and free events in 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.

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.

The date for this free festival is August 14th, 2023. Visit the August Moon Festival website for updates.

Don’t forget to find more free activities in Boston listed below.


9. Cheer on Athletes at the Boston Triathlon

Athletes from around the world come to Boston to take part in this challenging race.

But it's not only open to pros. Amateur athletes take place as well! Note that there is also a Kids' Race.

There will be swimming, cycling, and running - all taking place in Boston area landmarks such as Franklin Park, Charles River, and the South End.

Activities take place over August 26-27th, 2023.

You can find more information on the Boston Triathlon website.


10. Save on a 5-Star Meal During Dine Out Boston

Dine Out Boston (formerly known as 'Restaurant Week Boston') takes place twice a year, in March and August.

The event offers diners the opportunity to dine at some of the best Boston restaurants at discounted prices.

In 2023, summer Dine Out Boston occurs from August 7th-20th. Prices for a special fixed-price menu start at $22 for lunch and $36 for dinner.

For more information, visit the Dine Out Boston website.

You can enjoy this same experience throughout the year during Restaurant Week in other cities like New York CityNew Orleansund Washington DC.


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:

  • Legoland
  • Skywalk Observatory
  • Old State House
  • Boston Children’s Museum
  • New England Aquarium Whale Watch

For an in-depth comparison and look at all the discount passes available, take a look at our tourist pass post.


THINGS TO DO AT NIGHT IN AUGUST

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.


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 the homes of the victims and the Charles Street Jail.

Tours start at 4 pm and last for a few hours.

NOTE: This tour is for participants 14 years old and older, due to the nature of the gruesome and historical events discussed.


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 $24 to $29, 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.


Take an Evening Cruise

Summer is one of the best times to take a cruise in Boston Harbor, and there will be several companies offering evening cruises.

In addition to specialty cruises for Independence Day, some companies also offer sunset and dinner cruise options throughout the week.

Whether you want to see the skyline as the sun sets or when the city lights up after dark, there will be plenty of services available in July.

For more details, make sure to read our post covering Boston cruises.

NOTE: Some cruises are included with Boston tourist passes.


See Shakespeare on the Common

In addition to all the fun you can have with your kids at the Frog Pond, Boston Common will also be hosting a summer series of classic Shakespeare plays.

This annual event takes place in 2023 from July 19th - August 6th on Boston Common.

Macbeth, one of Shakespeare's most popular plays, will be performed.

Shakespeare on the Common doesn’t cost a thing and there are no tickets sold, so all you need to do is show up and get a good spot!

Chairs though can be rented for $10, although you can bring your own chair or blanket along. You can also bring "modest" food items.

TIP: If you’re looking for something to do before the show, don’t forget that our Freedom Trail Tour runs through Boston Common.


FREE THINGS TO DO IN AUGUST

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.


Boston Calling Block Party

This concert series brings in bands to play each Thursday from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM for those aged 21 or over.

You'll find the music (and lawn games) at Dewey Square downtown, close to the waterfront.

Admission is free, but there is a cost for beer and wine.


Berklee Summer in the City

The Berklee College of Music puts on roughly 400 free concerts every summer, from May through September.

You'll hear classical, contemporary, folk, Latin, and jazz music, among other genres.

For a list of scheduled concerts, click here.


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

For a list of who is playing in August, visit the Boston Public Library's list of scheduled events.


Boston GreenFest

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!

Dates haven't been released as of April so check out the website for updates.


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.

The Festival runs from August 23rd-27th, 2023.

Visit their St. Anthony's Festival website for a list of scheduled activities.

If you're looking for more things to do, we have a full post on free activities in Boston.


FAMILY-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES IN AUGUST

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.


See the Lion Dances

From noon to 1 pm from July 31st - September 18th, catch the Lion Dances at Chinatown Gate.

The Lion Dance is considered good luck and is thought to chase bad spirits away.


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 Family Flicks

Every Saturday night in August you can take the family to Prudential Center's South Garden for a free movie night!

We recommend bringing a picnic and blankets or lawn chairs.

Movies run from 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM

For a schedule of films, click here. Note that the schedule has not yet been updated for 2023 but we expect it will be soon.


Faneuil Hall Marketplace Street Performers

Kids will be excited to see the world-class performers who have been appearing here since 1976, making it part of the fabric of Faneuil Marketplace.

Acts include a man who can twist his body into a knot, a juggler, an amazing acrobat, an escape artist, and much more.

Note: nearby is a Dino Safari Tour.


Boston Fan Expo

If your kids are fans of comics, Sci-Fi, anime, or gaming, this three-day event with family-friendly attractions is for you.

This year the event runs from August 4th - August 6th at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

2023 celebrity guests include actors from Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, The Last of Us, and more.

For a list of events and to purchase tickets, visit their website.


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.

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About The Author

Brian Burgess

I was born in Cambridge and have been living in the Boston area all my life. I am a graduate of Boston's Emerson College with a degree in communications with a journalism/history focus. I have been leading tours for Free Tours By Foot Boston since it was started in the city of Boston in 2012, and enjoy sharing my knowledge of Boston's rich history with not only the guests on my tours, but with everyone I meet. <a href="https://freetoursbyfoot.com/contributors/brian-burgess/" Read More...
Updated: Juni 14th, 2023
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