Exhale’s arts and entertainment expert has curated Boston’s best weekend happenings, so you don’t have to.
It’s a Date
Saturday, Nov. 3
Try out your culinary skills at this mantou cooking class in Chinatown. Mantou is a sweet, steamed Chinese bun (similar to bao). You’ll learn how to make the cloudlike dough from scratch and then stuff it with your filling of choice, like roast pork from a local barbecue restaurant, a vegetarian cucumber-and-scallion mix, or traditional five-spice tofu. While you’re cooking, hear about the culture of food in Chinese families. Materials are included in the ticket price.
Pao Arts Center
11 am–12:30 pm
99 Albany St., Boston
Tufts T stop, limited street parking
Relax after all your hard work in the kitchen with cocktails and competition at Versus, an arcade bar that opened in Downtown Crossing last month. Sip craft cocktails like the Mojito Code—made with Bacardi Silver and Bumbu rum, fresh mint juice, lime, and soda—from an old-school game cartridge. Enjoy the interior pop art murals made by local artist Dirty Dek, and battle it out in ‘80s classics like Frogger, Ms. Pac-Man, Mario Kart, and other games. Loser pays for dinner.
4 pm–1 am
$14 cocktails, $15–$18 pizza
42 Province St., Boston
Park St T stop, limited street parking
Sunday, Nov. 4
Explore a side of Boston’s history that unfolded outside the Freedom Trail radius. The Loring-Greenough House was built in 1760 and provides a window into life on the cusp of the Revolutionary War. It’s the last surviving 18th-century home in the historic Sumner Hill section of Jamaica Plain. Every Sunday, docents offer tours of the house for a suggested donation of $5. You can learn about its grounds, architecture, and residents along with the politics that led the Loring family to flee America at the start of the war.
The Loring-Greenough House
1 pm–3 pm
12 South St., Jamaica Plain
775 Centre St stop on the 39 bus, on-site parking
Jump from early American history to your own rebellious past by heading to the Neon Apocalypse show at Midway Café featuring five female-fronted punk bands. Just a 10-minute walk from the Loring-Greenough House, the concert celebrates the book release of Poetry for a Neon Apocalypse by local author Jake Tringali, who you may be able to chat with about his latest poetry. Sip a beer while listening to new music by Mint Green, Ski Bunny, The Sewer Buddies, Hyber, and Jenn Lombari.
The Midway Café
4 pm–8 pm
3496 Washington St., Jamaica Plain
Green St T stop, street parking,
Saturday, Nov. 3
Start the morning off with a hike at the Blue Hills Reservation. The Houghton’s Pond area of the park has lots of low-impact hikes for families as well as biking, baseball, horseback riding, and a playground. It’s the perfect time to enjoy New England’s natural beauty before the foliage ushers in frost-covered windows and bomb cyclones. Pets and picnics are welcome at the reservation as well.
Blue Hills Reservation
Dawn to dusk
840 Hillside St., Milton
Throughout the reservation, the historic estates of the park will be celebrating the second annual Blue Hills Great Estates Fall Foliage Weekend. At each estate, including the Trustees’ Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate, the Mary Wakefield Estate, and Historic New England’s Eustis Estate, you can enjoy garden tours, nature crafts, and seasonal beverages and treats. Outdoor games, a scavenger hunt, and make-your-own bouquets provide fun for the whole family. The Ukulele Union of Boston will also provide live music throughout the event.
10 am–4 pm
1424 Canton Ave., Milton