Free Events in Boston and Massachusetts in May
FREE events in May 2016 in Boston and around Massachusetts!
ARTS FIRST, 9am – 9pm, Various locations, Cambridge. Harvard’s festival of creativity wraps up today. View a Japanese Tea Ceremony, hear the 1812 Overture or check out the Battle of the Bands. Many events free. 617-495-8676; ofa.fas.harvard.edu/arts.
New England Right Whale Festival, 11am – 3pm, New England Aquarium, Central Wharf, Boston. Hear from scientists and researchers about efforts to protect this highly endangered species and take part in family activities. FREE. 617-973-5200; neaq.org.
MayFair, noon to 6pm, Harvard Square, Cambridge. This annual spring festival includes multiple stages of music and dance, food, vendors, children’s activities and very cool sidewalk chalk art. FREE. 617-491-3434; harvardsquare.com.
Earth Day/Arbor Day Celebration, noon to 4pm, Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, 108 North St., Norfolk. A day of timely demos and information sharing, children's nature games, crafts and much more. FREE. 508-528-3140; massaudubon.org.
New England VegFest, 11am – 5pm, DCU Center, 50 Foster St., Worcester. Celebrate vegetarianism with free food, kid's activities, speakers, demos and more. FREE. newenglandvegfest.com.
Drop Into Art - Storytelling, 2-4pm, Danforth Art, 123 Union Ave., Framingham. A program about narrative in art. Activities include mobile creation, pastel drawing, book making, storytime and more. FREE. 508-620-0050; danforthart.org.
Return of the Swans, 10:45am, Public Garden, Boston. Welcome back Boston’s most famous waterfowl to the lagoon with a reading of Make Way for Ducklings and a parade. FREE. 617-635-4505; cityofboston.gov/parks.
Open Arts Day, 11am – 4pm, Arsenal Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal St., Watertown. Experiment with clay, printmaking, mixed-media and other art projects, and take part in theatre-based activities. FREE. 617-923-0100; arsenalarts.org.
Wake up the Earth Festival, 11am – 6pm, Southwest Corridor Park, Jamaica Plain. The parade begins at 11am, followed by multiple stages of entertainment, craft and food vendors, and much more. FREE. 617-524-6373; spontaneouscelebrations.org.
Goat Gala, 1-3pm, Habitat Education and Wildlife Sanctuary, 10 Juniper Road, Belmont. Meet the Nigerian Dwarf Goats, join in games, entertainment and raffles, and sample goat-related products. FREE. 617-489-5050; massaudubon.org.
Make a Craft for Mom, 10am to noon, North River Wildlife Sanctuary, 2000 Main St., Marshfield. Make handmade gifts using natural materials. Bring a picnic and take a stroll through the sanctuary. Drop in. FREE. 781-837-9400; massaudubon.org.
Festival of Dance and KidsFEST, 10am – 5pm, Newton City Hall, 1000 Commonwealth Ave., Newton. This community festival features kiddie amusement rides, face painting, craft and food vendors as well as dance performances (including Circus Smirkus!). FREE. newtoncommunitypride.org.
Lilac Sunday, 10am – 3pm, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston. The lilac is celebrated with tours, activities and food trucks. Stay for lunch - it’s the one day picnicking is allowed on the grounds. FREE. 617-384-5253; arboretum.harvard.edu.
Ethnic Heritage Festival and KidsFEST, 10am – 5pm, Newton City Hall, 1000 Commonwealth Ave., Newton. Take part in Indian folk-art painting, try out calligraphy or origami or hit up the kiddie rides and face painting. FREE. newtoncommunitypride.org.
Peek a Blue Hike, 11am, Houghton’s Pond, 840 Hillside St., Milton. A free, one-hour guided hike for kids, including a simple scavenger hunt and refreshments. FREE. 781-828-1805; friendsofthebluehills.org.
Kite and Bike Festival, 11am – 4pm, Franklin Park Playstead, Pierpont Road, Dorchester. Bring your kite and bike, or buy or rent one. Bike tours, food trucks, craft vendors and more. FREE. 617-442-4141; .franklinparkcoalition.org.
Star Gazing Nights, 7:30-9:30pm, Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, 293 Moose Hill St., Sharon. Join local astronomers for a look at the stars and other night objects through big telescopes. Drop in. FREE. 781-784-5691; massaudubon.org.
Plant a Seed Day, 3-5pm, Francis William Bird Park, 251 Washington St., Walpole. Plant a mystery seed by the sports courts, then check back all summer long to see what it grows into. FREE. 781-784-0567; ttor.org.
EarthFest Concert, Hatch Memorial Shell, 47 David G Mugar Way, Boston. A day-long festival featuring nationally recognized bands (to be announced), a kids stage, exhibits and environmental displays. FREE. earthfest.com.
Historic Open House Day, 10am – 5pm, various locations. Get free admission to 9 Trustees’ cultural sites across the state, including the Bradley Estate in Canton, The Old Manse in Concord and The Great House at Castle Hill. FREE. ttor.org.
Sol y Canto Concert, 5pm, Church of Holy Spirit, 525 River St., Mattapan. This pan-latin ensemble presents a family concert with the Church of the Holy Spirit liturgical dance ensemble. FREE. 617-598-3225; celebrityseries.org.
Family Nature Hike, 10am, Oak Knoll Wildlife Sanctuary, 1417 Park St., Attleboro. A monthly hike of the sanctuary exploring the local flora and fauna. $2. 508-223-3060; massaudubon.org.
Huge Children's Tag Sale, 10am – 1pm, Sts. Anagyroi Church, 9 Cashman St., Marlborough. The West Suburban Chapter of Mass. Mothers of Twins Association’s sale includes kid’s clothing, gear and toys. $1. wscmmota.org.
Spring Spirit Day, noon to 4:30pm, New Art Center, 61 Washington Park, Newtonville. A fun-filled day of exhibitions, demos and participatory art activities. FREE. 617-964-3424; newartcenter.org.
Peek a Blue Hike, 11am, Houghton’s Pond, 840 Hillside St., Milton. See May 10 listing.
Fort Independence Tours, noon to 3:30pm, Castle Island, Day Boulevard, Boston. Free one-hour tours of the fort. Round out the day with lunch at Sullivan’s and a romp on the playground. FREE. mass.gov.
Memorial Day Beach Ramble, 10am, Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary, 1280 Horseneck Road, Westport. A naturalist will explain the flora and fauna along the Beach Loop Trail. Registration required. FREE. 508-636-2437; massaudubon.org.
Lexington Discovery Day, 10am – 3pm, Muzzey Street/Waltham Street Municipal Parking Lot, Lexington. A street fair with food, fun, clowns, exhibits from town departments and more. FREE. 781-862-1034; discoverydayinlexington.com.
Newburyport Spring Festival, 10am – 5pm, Downtown Newburyport. Enjoy live music, art, fine crafts and food from Newburyport’s best restaurants. Kid’s entertainment, live music and more. FREE. 978-462-6680; business.newburyportchamber.org.
Bio-Blitz Free-for-All, 10am – 3pm, Joppa Flats Education Center, 1 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport. A mixture of indoor and outdoor activities teaching about biodiversity. FREE. 978-462-9998; massaudubon.org.
Commemorate the holiday by attending a local Memorial Day parade. Several towns, including Somerville, Sudbury, Stoneham and Quincy, hold annual parades. Check your town’s website for details.