Exhale’s arts and entertainment expert has curated Boston’s best weekend happenings, so you don’t have to.
It’s a Date!
Friday, Oct. 5
Start your evening off with an energizing dinner at the new Life Alive café on Comm. Ave. in Brookline. Life Alive provides healthy, sustainably produced meals catering to all diets. Are you eating vegetarian, vegan, macrobiotic, raw, or gluten-free? No problem. The menu centers on bowls with either a grain, greens, or broth base. Asian flavors like curry cauliflower, spicy green curry, and banh mi blend with locally sourced ingredients for a satisfying meal that won’t break the bank.
Life Alive Brookline
7 am–10 pm
$9.75 bowls, $4.50 snacks, $5.95 soups
888 Commonwealth Ave., Brookline
BU West T stop, limited street parking
From there, walk down Comm. Ave. to the BU Global Music Festival for live entertainment celebrating cultures around the world. The inaugural festival will offer performances like Jupiter & Okwess from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Fendika & Debo Band from Ethiopia. You can also browse the global bazaar featuring artisanal products from international communities. Soy Negra Productions will sell textiles, bags, and accessories in the traditional Taino style and Authentic Caribbean Foundation will offer jewelry and gifts.
7 pm–12 am
775 Commonwealth Ave., Boston
BU Central T stop, limited street parking
Sunday, Oct. 7
No fall in Massachusetts is complete without a visit to the Topsfield Fair. The one-week extravaganza features performances by artists like Martina McBride and the Charlie Daniels Band. You can also expect activities like a hot dog eating contest, the Giant Pumpkin Weigh Off, fair rides, fireworks, and many more. Indulge in cotton candy and popcorn (fair calories don’t count), and shop works by local artists and craftspeople. Top off the day with a ride on the classic Ferris wheel overlooking the fairgrounds.
10 am–10 pm
207 Boston St., Topsfield
Parking available on site
After a day of exploring the fair, kick back with what is thought to be the world’s oldest alcoholic beverage. Just a short drive from the fairgrounds, the 1634 Meadery produces mead, a drink made by fermenting honey and water with other flavors, on-site using local ingredients. Learn about the ancient beverage, tour the facility, and taste a variety of different meads. You can even hand-dip, bottle, and seal a container of mead yourself. The facility’s latest creation, a cranberry mead, is made with Carver, Massachusetts, cranberries and local wildflower honey.
12 pm–5 pm
$19.95–$23.95/person for a tasting
3 Short St., Ipswich
Parking available on site
Saturday, Oct. 6
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage month (and spend the day off from school outside) with the Latin Quarter Story Walk in Jamaica Plain. Pick up a map at the Connolly Branch of the Boston Public Library or on the Blessed Sacrament Plaza, and follow the story of the children’s book Maybe Something Beautiful throughout the square. Each page of the book will be displayed on a different business or site. At every stop you answer a question on your map based on the surroundings. Kids who return a completed map to the library receive a prize.
Connolly Branch of the BPL
9 am–2 pm
433 Centre St., Jamaica Plain
S Huntington Ave. at Moraine St. stop on the 39 bus, limited street parking
Keep the exploration of Latinx culture going with an authentic Cuban lunch at El Oriental de Cuba, just a few doors down from the Blessed Sacrament Plaza. El Oriental has been serving up specialty Cuban sandwiches and entrees since 1994. Start things off with an appetizer of fried yucca or ceviche, and then move on to an oxtail plate with rice, beans, and plantains, or a full red snapper in a spicy coconut sauce. Sweeten the deal with a tropical smoothie that comes with guava, mango, or papaya fruit, among others.
El Oriental de Cuba
8 am–10 pm
$2.99–$12.99 appetizers, $7.99–$9.99 sandwiches, $13.99–$23.99 entrees
416 Centre St., Jamaica Plain
S Huntington Ave at Moraine St. stop on the 39 bus, limited street parking
End the day with dessert at the original J.P. Licks on Centre St. The local favorite has been in business since 1981, a nice slice of Boston history to share with the kids. All the ice creams and frozen yogurts are made from scratch with original recipes and a dramatic array of flavors. Try the fall-themed creations like Maple Spice Latte, Salted Caramel Sundae, and Apple Crisp.
6 am–12 am
$4.50 one scoop, $5.50 two scoops
659 Centre St., Jamaica Plain
Centre St. at Myrtle St. stop on the 39 bus, limited street parking