Apr 29 – May 5: Steampunk, Science, Catapult, Art, Gerbil Fests, Open Studios, Silent Rave, & Model Rockets!
04/29/10 by Johnny Monsarrat
More free giveaways this week… but you missed out on the free Iron Man 2 preview because you weren’t on the Facebook group. To avoid future heartache, subscribe to email, Facebook, or Twitter and please tell your friends!
The Week in Weird
|Muse and the Marketplace||5/1 – 5/2||Boston Metro|
|I’m listing the Muse and the Marketplace first this week, because I will be there with my Wheel Questions art project. If you’re an aspiring writer, or just want to meet and mingle with novelists, this is your big opportunity. The weekend is chock full of workshops, lectures, and social opportunites. Stop by and say hello. I’ll be the tall guy with the colorful art thing.
Park Plaza Hotel, Boston, MA. more
|Free Movie Previews: Letters to Juliet & Iron Man 2||5/9||Boston Metro|
|I have several tickets to see Letters to Juliet, Sunday at 3pm. Unfortunately, you MISSED OUT on getting tickets to a free preview of Iron Man 2, because they came mid-week and rather than do an entire blog post for one purpose, I posted it to the Facebook group. Now would be a good time to join the Weird Boston Events Facebook group or Twitter.
AMC Boston Common, Boston, MA. more
|Free ticket to Beatles Sing-A-Long @ Boston Pops||5/4||Boston Metro|
|What better way to celebrate the 125th annversrary of the Boston Pops than to merge music with videogames? Actually, I could probably think of other ways. But when you add the game Rock Band and a Sing-A-Long to thet music of the Beatles, played by professionals who turn stuffy classic musical away for a time, I’m there! And I have one ticket to give away. As a bonus, re-enactors will arrive in horse-drawn carriages playing Isabella Stuart Gardner and Boston Pops Orchestra founder Colonel Henry Lee Higginson.
Symphony Hall, Boston, MA. more
|Cambridge Science Festival||4/24 – 5/2||Boston Metro|
|The Cambridge Science Festival remains the event of the week. They say it’s the largest science festival in North America, and if you missed the carnival you really need to pay for your sins by attending one of this week’s events. A few of my favorite suggestions are below.
Various venues, Cambridge, MA. more
|Steampunk Festival||5/1||Boston Metro|
|Steampunk is the artistic vision that wonders, What if the Computer Revolution had occurred during the 1800s? Well, this fesival is bringing steampunk to life with a festival including blacksmiths, live music, dancing, a masquerade and even LARPing (roleplaying). It sounds truly unique! And it all takes place on the site of the oldest factory in the US, a 1814 textile mill.
Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation, Waltham, MA.781-893-5410. more
|Seige the Day: Trebuchet Building at Higgins||5/1||Worcester|
|But wait! This one’s even crazier. A trebuchet is a kind of efficient catapult. And they’re going to build one at the Higgins Armory, which is worth the trip to Worcester even when they aren’t doing something AWESOME.
100 Barber Ave, Worcester, MA.508-853-6015. more
|Arts First Festival (Harvard)||4/29 – 5/2||Boston Metro|
|Harvard Square is so creative that it has several events this week. First, the Cambridge Science Festival. Second, Harvard University has its arts festival, all across campus. I went once and it was great. This is not to be confused with the commercial event run by the Harvard Square Business Association…
Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA.617-495-8676. more
|Harvard Square MayFair||5/2||Boston Metro|
|…Which is this event. All throughout Harvard Square, you’ll find live music, dance, street performers, and sidewalk vendors eager to spread capitalism. 4 stages, hot air balloon rides, and a buskers (street performers) stage, too. 2009: 12-6pm.
18 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA. more
|Chalk on the Walk||5/2||Boston Metro|
|At one of the MayFair events, you can make your own public art through chalk! 10am-3pm.
Church Street, Cambridge, MA. more
|Charles River May Day Festival||5/1||Boston Metro|
|Speaking of May Day, which is far more popular with the elites in Boston than Cinco de Mayo, there will be morris Dancing at dawn & street procession to Harvard Square. 2009: 5:30-9am. And then it continues at a more reasonable hour in Somerville with a maypole dance and labyrinth walk.
Weeks footbridge, Charles River, Cambridge, MA. more
|Harvard University Native American Powwow||5/1||Boston Metro|
|As if that weren’t enough, Harvard Square is also featuring a native american festival. There are dozens of annual powwows in New England, but only a couple in the metro area. Check it out.
Radcliffe Yard, 10 Garden St., Cambridge, MA.617-495-9918. more
|Cambridge Dulcimer Festival||4/30 – 5/2||Boston Metro|
|And I’ve always wanted to see the dulcimer festival, which has workshops, performances, and storytelling.
Cambridge Center for Adult Education, 56 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA.617-547-6789. more
|Silent LED Rave||4/30||Boston Metro|
|We still haven’t left Harvard Square. A new arts venue is holding one of those silent dances where you bring your own mp3 player and dance wearing headphones. However, they’re making it unique by adding a dynamic light display. I was just there for a FANTASTIC event so this one’s bound to be good, too! And it’s free.
Northwest Science Building, 52 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA. more
|Wake Up the Earth Festival & Parade||5/1||Boston Metro|
|Moving on to Jamaica Plain, here’s another street festival and looks to be a great one. It’s a parade and street festival with participatory dancing & lessons. Parade at 11am. Festival 12-6pm. Rain date is the next day. Bands, dancers, puppet show, pageant.
Jamaica Plain, MA. more
|Musketaquid Earth Day Parade||5/1||Metro West|
|Concord also has a belated Earth Day celebration with a parade, an environmental festival, workshops, and a river ceremony. with floats. There will be plenty of activities for children, to teach them that the #1 thing you can do to use less energy is to not have children.
Concord, MA. more
|Boston College Arts Festival||4/29 – 5/1||Boston Metro|
|Boston College has their own competing arts festival, and they claim that over 10,000 people attended last year. They’ll have music, dance, theatre, crafts, etc. Because it’s on a college campus, it shouldn’t be too kids-oriented. And check out the Mexican restaurant El Pelon while you’re in the area! 12-10pm.
Boston College, Boston, MA.617-552-2787. more
|Brookline Open Studios||5/1 – 5/2||Boston Metro|
|Speaking of the arts, an open studio is a great excuse to walk around a local neighborhood, entering the private homes and work studios of artists. They’re always free and you get to meet the artists, not just merchants, and help them out by buying something.
Get a map online, Brookline, MA.781-316-4320. more
|Somerville Open Studios||5/1 – 5/2||Boston Metro|
|Meanwhile, the rest of Somerville also has local artists opening their homes to the public. It’s great fun to walk around and meet everyone, and they say it’s the largest open studios in New England. Sat-Sun 12-6pm. Go online to find a map of where to visit. It’s free!
Get a map online, Somerville, MA.617-764-2287. more
|Pancake Breakfast at the Nave||5/1||Boston Metro|
|While you’re in Somerville, get a pancake breakfast with live music and browse the artwork. 9am-12pm. Just $7.
The Nave Gallery, 155 Powderhouse Boulevard, Somerville, MA. more
|Needham Spring Arts Festival||5/1 – 5/2||Metro West|
|Further west, don’t leave out Needham. Apparently they are fresh out of ham and need some.
Get a map online, Needham, MA. more
|UMass Renaissance Festival||5/1 – 5/2||Metro West|
|Enough with the arts festivals. Here’s a hidden surprise: a ren fest! Although the festival will have the usual feasting, singing, swordplay, and theatre, it’s run by the UMass Renaissance Studies department, so it’s go to be educational, too.
University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Amherst, MA. more
|Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower||5/6||Metro West|
|Somewhere out West would be a good place to get away from city lights and view this minor meteor shower.
Somewhere without lights, like a pond or open field, Away from the City. more
|Westborough Spring Festival||5/1 – 5/2||Metro West|
|Or attend this street festival with hot air balloon rides, a classic car show, a road race, and a ‘fishing challenge’. The fix is in: the fish always bet against themselves and then throw the fight.
Westborough High School, Westborough, MA. more
|American Gerbil Society Show||4/30 – 5/1||New Hampshire|
|I really want to go see this one!! Pet gerbils compete in races and mayhem ensues. It looks tiny but full of heart, like the gerbils themselves. (But I hear that rats are better cooks.).
Holiday Inn, Nashua, NH. more
|Fife and Drum Muster||4/30 – 5/1||Metro West|
|Let’s not start taking MIMA for granted. Just after their blow-out celebrations for Patriots Day, now they’re bringing 25 fife and drum corps together, dressed up all 18th centurical. Friday 7-8pm, Saturday 9:30-4:30. And it’s FREE.
Minute Man Visitor Center – Rt 2A, Lexington, MA. more
|World Laughter Day World Record||5/2||Rhode Island|
|There are people who like yoga. There are people who like laughing. Put them together, and you get this hopefully world record setting event. Although it happens in RI, there’s a Boston group that’s going down to participate. 1pm.
Vincent Brown gym, East Side Y on Hope Street, Providence, RI. more
|Shakespeare Open Mic||4/29||North Shore|
|Instead of going to the microphone to sing, attendees are invited to read a bit of Shakespeare. Bring your own passage or use one of theirs! I once lost a “one line and you die” Shakespeare competition to a 6-year-old girl. I’m pretty sure it was age discriminating, but it might have been my awful acting.
Gulu Gulu Café, 247 Essex St., Salem, MA. more
|Geek Week & Roleplaying @ Improv Boston||4/28 – 5/2||Boston Metro|
|Geek Week is a series of comedy for the inner nerd in all of us. This year they’re featuring interactive roleplaying games!
Improv Boston, Cambridge, MA. more
|Technology Night in Kendall Square!||4/29||Boston Metro|
|This one’s sort of an open house for technology businesses. TONIGHT, 6-8pm. I have just one question. WILL THERE BE FREE FOOD? Yes! :).
Kendall Square area, Cambridge, MA. more
|Spying on the Past: Declassified Satellite Images and Archaeology||4/29||Boston Metro|
|The Cambridge Science Festival continues this week. Tonight there’s a lecture on satellite photos at 5pm.
Harvard’s Peabody Museum, Cambridge, MA. more
|Engineering Origami: Folding, Design, and Analysis||4/29||Boston Metro|
|But personally I’d rather see the origami folding club at MIT! It’s free! TONIGHT, 6pm.
MIT, Cambridge, MA. more
|Sidewalk Astronomy||4/29||Boston Metro|
|Also TONIGHT! Outside city hall they’ll have telescopes for the public. 8pm.
City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA. more
|Puzzle Hunt at the MIT Museum||5/1||Boston Metro|
|The MIT Museum is doing a DaVinci Code kind of puzzle hunt….
MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA. more
|Improbable Readings from the Ig Nobel Prizes||5/1||Boston Metro|
|… And there will be readings from Ig Noble prize winners, the scientists whose work is not only educational, it’s weird and fun. 10am-5pm.
Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway, Cambridge, MA. more
|Massachusetts State Science & Engineering Fair||5/1||Boston Metro|
|I’m SO curious to see what high school students are up to these days. These are the people who’ll be in charge someday. It’s free.
MIT Johnson Athletics Center, 120 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA. more
|Robots That Can Fly Like a Bird||5/1||Boston Metro|
|And the Robot Locomotion Group (there’s a robot locomotion group?? Cool!!!) will show off some robot birds. 1-4pm.
MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA. more
|Rocket Day||5/2||Boston Metro|
|Rockets!!! They’ll be shooting model rockets! 10am-4pm.
Danehy Park, 99 Sherman Street, Cambridge, MA. more
|Emerging Americal Festival & Parade||5/2 – 5/16||Boston Metro|
|As a lead up to some kind of festival, there will be a parade in Harvard Square at 2pm.
Starts from 2 Arrow St, Cambridge, MA. more
|New England Gem & Mineral Show||5/1 – 5/2||North Shore|
|This looks very kids oriented, but I’m sure it’s great fun. It takes place on a fairgrounds. Sat 9-5, Sun 10-4.
Topsfield Fairgrounds, Topsfield, MA. more
|Free Comic Book Day||5/1||Boston Metro|
|However, if you’re a geek, perhaps you could be satisfied with the more local exercise of walking into any comic book store on Free Comic Book Day, to pick up some free samples.
Various venues, All Over. more
|Free Comic Book Day Festival||5/1||New Hampshire|
|And at least one store will be holding a mini-festival to mark the day with a BBQ and afterparty.
Rochester, NH. more
|Food Inc. film screening and discussion||4/29||Boston Metro|
|Tonight there will be a free screening of the movie, “Food Inc.” and a discussion.
Suffolk University Law School, Boston, MA. more
|The Boston 48 Hour Film Project||4/30 – 5/11||Boston Metro|
|They give filmmakers 48 hours to create a film from start to finish. Perhaps one of the participants could be you!
Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard Street, Brookline, MA. more
|Boston Sailing Center – Open House||5/1 – 5/2||Boston Metro|
|This is the big annual celebration where you get a free boat ride around Boston Harbor and 10% off courses. Dress warm. No experience necessary. Large parties might wait an hour to get a ride but I have been told that it’s worth it. They server wine, soda, and water on their river boat while you’re waiting.
Lewis Wharf, Atlantic Avenue, Boston, MA.617-227-4198. more
|Brown University Folk Festival||5/1||Rhode Island|
|Brown’s campus is beautiful, and here’s an excuse to check it out. 11am-midnight.
Lincoln Field, Brown University, Providence, RI.781-861-6653. more
|Spring Open House at Castle Hill||5/2||North Shore|
|But Castle Hill, which is a genuine mansion with a rolling lawn overlooking the ocean, is even more impressive, if smaller.
Castle Hill on the Crane Estate, Ipswich, MA. more
|Celebrate the Earth & Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum||5/1 – 5/2||New Hampshire|
|I’ve been to this museum and this event will be VERY small, but very interesting. Think of it as a fantastic pit stop on your way to the White Mountains to go hiking.
Warner, NH.603-456-2600. more
|Protomagia: Greek Songs of Spring and Summer||5/1||Boston Metro|
|This is another May Day celebration, but with a Greek flair, with ethnic dance, music, and food. 8am-8pm.
Springstep, 98 George P. Hassett Drive, Medford, MA. more
|Rock & Roll Contra Dance||5/1||Metro West|
|This one’s for dancers too. Although contra is a kind of folk dance, they’re mixing it up with rock music this one time. 8-11pm.
Concord Scout House, Concord, MA.857-499-8907. more
|May Day at Turners Falls||5/2||Western Mass|
|I wasn’t able to confirm that this festival is actually happening… but… I love the idea of pole dancing. (Maypole dancing is similar, right?) And they’ll have morris dancing too.
Turners Falls, MA. more
|May Day at Hayes Park||5/2||Boston Metro|
|But this one is definitely on. Also morris dancers. But will there be pole dancing??!?! I NEEDS ME SOME POLE DANCIN’!
Warren Avenue and West Canton Street, Boston, MA. more
|Hiawatha Day at Garden in the Woods||5/2||Metro West|
|These 45 acres of gardens beckon you, along with readings of Longfellow’s Hiawatha and a native american themed concert and scavenger hunt.
180 Hemenway Road, Framingham, MA.508-877-7630. more
|The Revolving Museum’s Harmony Park Celebration||5/1||Lowell|
|I’m not sure what to make of this small festival. It seems small, but they’ll have a lion dance and a drum circle, etc.
Cork Street at Cross Street, Lowell, MA. more
|Chelmsford Quilter’s Guild – Quilt Show||4/29 – 5/2||Lowell|
|And while you’re in the area, check out over 150 quilts. This is one of two big quilt shows in New England that I’ve found. I’ve been to the other and it was surprisingly interesting!
All Saints’ Epsicopal Church, 10 Billerica Road, Chelmsford, MA. more
|Better World at MIT||4/30||Boston Metro|
|I would have listed this festival of ideas higher, but it seems to be very serious, rather than festival-y or fun-for-the-whole-family-y.
MIT, Cambridge, MA. more
|Eastern Haunters Convention||4/29 – 5/2||Pennsylvania|
|Road trip!!!! Not much would entice me to Pennsylvania. I’ve been there only twice, to visit CMU. But how about the largest Halloween exhibitors convention in the USA? Now there’s a place you could easily blow $10,000 and build the perfect traveling haunt to go scare the Amish.
King of Prussia, PA. more
|Cinco de Mayo Children’s Festival||5/5||Western Mass|
|Please don’t just sit in a bar on your butt for Cinco de Mayo. If you want to celebrate, well, this is the only event I found that’s creative. It features a parade for kids.
Turners Falls, MA. more
|Annual Okaido Japanese Drumming||5/1 – 5/8||Metro West|
|These people are Japanese drummers.
Concord MA, and RI, etc., Concord, MA. more
|Big Apple Circus||4/3 – 5/16||Boston Metro|
|These people are not Japanese drummers.
City Hall Plaza, One City Hall Plaza, Boston, MA.800-922-3772. more
|Annual Spring Concert of Steelbands||5/2||Boston Metro|
|These people are doing a Michael Jackson tribute… with streel drums!!! Take that, Japan! 2:30pm. $15. “A Tribute to the King of Pop”.
William Reed Auditorium, Prince Hall Grand Lodge, 24 Washington St, Dorchester, MA.617-233-3578. more
|Rites of Spring, An Oriental Belly Dance Show||5/1||Boston Metro|
|Also not Japanese drummers, but that’s SOO OKAAY with me.
The Dance Complex, 536 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA. more
|TraniWreck: GOLD!||4/30||Boston Metro|
|This transvestite show is probably awesome. 10:30pm. Drag burlesque and comedy.
Oberon, Cambridge, MA. more
|JazzBoston Jazz Week||4/23 – 5/2||Boston Metro|
|I also don’t care much for jazz, but if you do, there’s plenty of it in the city this week.
Various venues, Boston, MA. more
|One Woman Comedy Show by Chef Nostalgia||5/1||Boston Metro|
|I don’t write much about performances, but this comedy show sounds like a great combination of home jokes involving Massachusetts and “Bill Cosby” style personal anecdotes that don’t have to be edgy or involve strange sexual practices to be funny.
Johnny D’s, 17 Holland St., Somerville, MA.617-776-2004. more
|Professional Bull Riders||5/1 – 5/2||Worcester|
|You don’t see many rodeos in New England. This might be worth checking out.
DCU Center, Worcester, MA. more