Summer might have come late this year but now it feels like it’s sailing by (is it almost August already?!). Don’t let it slip away before you have the chance to check off some of Boston’s most fun summer activities from your list. And there are lotsssss of them. This New England city is packed with great summer activities so we’ve made a list to help you get going. *Note: activities best enjoyed with a healthy dose of sunscreen and a cold drink in hand (you know…rum, rose, tequila….).
Summer Activities to do in Boston
If you want to see Boston at full speed take a spin (literally, they include 360-degree spins) on the Codzilla speedboat. Part of the Boston Harbor Cruise portfolio, this thrill ride goes up to 40 MPH on Boston’s harbor. It’s the perfect way to cool down on a hot day, because, yes, you get splashed!
If you’re looking to eat, experience, and explore during Boston’s summer months then grab your walking shoes and let Bites of Boston guide you through some of Boston’s most unique neighborhoods. You’ll learn the history behind these neighborhoods and make stops at restaurants, cafes, and specialty food markets whose stories you’ll also learn along the way. Bites of Boston offers three different neighborhood walking food tours led by knowledgeable and friendly tour guides who take you into local favorite spots for specially selected bites at each. Book your tour today!
Get out on the water and enjoy a more laid back speed with Paddle Boston. They offer Charles River kayak and canoe tours as well as paddleboard, kayak, and canoe rentals. They have several different locations to start from and you can rent by the hour or the day. Their last boat goes out at 7pm so enjoy a day on the water or a quiet evening.
Boston has become a hotbed for the craft beer scene with breweries like Trillium Brewing Company, Lamplighter Brewing and Turtle Swamp Brewing to name a few. The city also holds a ton of craft beer events so if you’re a fan of brews make sure to check one out this summer.
For an evening of theater outside of the theater attend one of the free showings of Shakespeare on the Common. Dinner theater with a twist — the twist being that you pack your own picnic. Shows rotate so you can see different ones throughout the summer. To see, or not to see? That is the question.
SoWa open market is one of the South End’s most beloved weekend spots that celebrates the best of the best when it comes to local artisans, farmers, food trucks, brewers, and musicians. Plan to spend a lot of time there because this huge open market has a lot to explore to explore — the Arts Market, the Farmers Market, the Food Truck Bazaar, and the SoWa Beer Barn. The market is open every Sunday 10am-4pm from May to October.
The Rose Kennedy Greenway is a mile and a half stretch of contemporary parks in the heart of Boston. It’s a beautiful place to grab a slice of nature in the bustling city and it always has something fun going on. It’s the host of festivals and markets, there’s a carousel, fountains, and rotating art installations. Currently there is the GLOW expedition, displaying vintage neon signs from Massachusetts from 1925-1970. The signs are illuminated from 8am-10pm daily so check them out!
Boston is a food truck city so if you get hungry on the Greenway, like we always do, then grab a bite at one of the many food trucks that you’ll find parked there. They have a daily schedule of 30+ rotating vendors so you’re sure to find what you’re looking for from sweet to savory.
Beantown becomes your game board with the scavenger hunt series hosted by Cashunt. They are in their 18th season and offer 13 different hunts in the city of Boston specialized for different groups and occasions. This unique activity allows you and your group to explore the city while letting your silly side out. And yes, there are prizes!
Join the Boston Harbor Cruise group for the extraordinary opportunity to sail alongside some whales on one of their whale watching cruises. Their custom whale watch catamarans are among the largest and fastest in the country. Most of the whales in these waters return every year so the BHC has lovingly named some of them. Maybe you’ll snap a photo of Sundown, Hancock, or Etch-a-Sketch.
Enjoy one of summer’s favorite activities (and one of our year-round favorites) — EATING ICE CREAM — at one of Boston’s best small-batch ice cream spots. Honeycomb Creamery has quickly become a local favorite with flavors like salted caramel crackle and malted vanilla. They are also throwing a cooler curveball, they’ve brought back the Choco Taco, but theirs is homemade! Every (Taco) Tuesday they feature a different flavor from their rotation. Is it Tuesday yet?!
Feel like you’re getting away from the city without even actually leaving it! Castle Island is a great place to spend a lazy or an active afternoon. There’s a boardwalk, picnic area, scenic overlook, playground, places to walk and bike, and it’s right next to M Street Beach if you want to take a little dip in the water. If history is more your thing, sign up to take a tour of Fort Independence at Castle Island.
With the confines of the packed city you have to get creative when it comes to outdoor spaces and Cinquecento in the South End certainly has. They have transformed an old shipping container into a hip outdoor bar — major points for creativity! This Italian-American trattoria is a lovely place to relax and enjoy a Negroni flight. Cheers.
Who says you can’t enjoy a pool day in the city? Not the Colonnade! Their rooftop pool is one of the most unique spots in Boston. It’s an urban oasis with an awesome bar serving food and drinks, and offering private cabanas and daybeds to rent. Sun yourself with a cocktail in hand while towering over the bustling city streets, not something you’d usually consider, but give it a try.
Boston is a health-conscious city, you’d be hard-pressed to not find someone biking or running outside when you’re out and about. With so many great pockets of nature in the city there are tons of outdoor fitness classes held, especially outdoor yoga. Grab your mat and head to a park for an outdoor yoga class to celebrate the sweat of summer months.
Lawn on D is an interactive outdoor space that has been warmly welcomed by locals. It’s a 2.7-acre space for both public and private events that encourages community engagement. I’m sure you’ve seen pictures of people in the cool light-up sphere swing-chairs. They have lounge chairs and games like bocce, ping pong, and cornhole and sometimes they have live DJs performing. It’s guaranteed to be a fun time!
Burro Bar just opened their second location in the city in the South End and we are so excited. We love their Brookline location and now we can visit them in another one of our favorite neighborhoods. They have a great patio space, perfect for an evening of tacos and tequila so be sure to pay them a visit soon and welcome them to the neighborhood!
We looooove a good Jewish deli. What we especially love about this one in Cambridge is that they do a catering package called the “picnic bucket” that includes build your own sandwich materials and sides. Enjoy one of Boston’s parks with your picnic bucket and a group of friends. Sounds like the ideal weekend day plan or evening activity to us.
Spectacle Island is one of the Boston Harbor Islands and is only 20 minutes from downtown Boston. It’s ideal for hiking, swimming, boating, and learning. It offers panoramic views of the harbor and city from the tallest hill on the Boston Harbor Islands. There are picnic areas and a snack shack to grab something to eat. They also offer sunset clambakes every Thursday from late June to Labor Day.
Cirque du Soleil has arrived in Beantown! Make sure you catch a show at Suffolk Downs before it wraps up August 12th. They are putting on their LUZIA show, inspired by the richness of the Mexican culture. Get ready for your jaws to drop as you are dazzled by this walking dream of Mexico.
Want to have the ultimate aerial experience? Join Hover Boston for a one of a kind helicopter tour with the doors removed. Yes, you read that right, with the doors REMOVED! You will experience the most spectacular panoramic views Boston has to offer. Talk about an amazing photo-op. This thrilling ride will have you hovering oversights such as Fenway Park, the Zakim Bridge, and more, so strap in!
Party on a boat? We’re in! Are you? The Summer Party Cruise Series is in full swing and they are waiting for you to join them. The boat has three floors of live music, bars, and dance floors. They don’t wait for Friday to roll around for the party start, they go out every Thursday in the summer. TGIT.
Is there anything more New England then a really good lobster roll? Not to us. Pay James Hook a visit for one of the best lobster rolls you’ll find in Boston. Nothing fancy, just done right. Perfectly toasted roll packed FULL of lobster, or should we say, “lobstah.” This is gonna get messy so be sure to grab a handful of napkins. Ready, go.
P-town is a New England summer destination but from Boston it seems like such a hike since it’s at the very end of the Cape. That’s why we are in love with the Boston Harbor Cruise Fast Ferry. This ferry will have you there in 90 minutes. ASAP-town as they say. So grab your colorful clothes and get ready to party in P-town!
Just outside of Boston in Quincy is a hidden gem — Marina Bay. This beautiful marina has a little boardwalk and tons of bars and restaurants to eat and drink at while looking at the boats and water. It’s easy to spend an entire day there getting caught up in sunshine and tropical drinks, trust us, we have done it! We love the Waterclub and Port 305 but there are lots of options to choose from. It’s really the perfect summer spot.Tags: outdoor activities boston, summer activities boston, summer in boston, things to do in boston in summer, walking food tour boston
Return to Boston Food and Fun Blog