I love summer — don’t get me wrong. But by August I often feel a lot of pressure to get out of town and go on big weekend getaways that end up costing a lot of money and are primarily fueled by my sense of FOMO. The truth is, I had a lot of fun in July and got away to the Cape and the Berkshires and even NYC!
And now, truthfully, I just want to lean into the doldrums of thick, hazy August in Boston and use it as an opportunity to stay put, relax, get ready for fall and, most importantly, explore more of our city and the surrounding areas. Much of the city clears out in August, and it’s a perfect time — fewer lines, more parking spots, and less traffic — to take advantage of all the incredible cultural, culinary, and creative offerings Boston offers us.
Below are seven Boston staycation ideas for weekend or weekday fun in August. Some of these ideas involve the whole family; others are for parents only.
Have you been wanting to stay active but can’t spend the big bucks at studios like SoulCycle and Pure Barre? Try these free community fitness classes every Wednesday evening from 6–7 p.m. at the Prudential Center. Classes range from cardio to HIIT training to boot camps.
On Saturdays in August, your Lego-loving kid can drop in for a Lego design challenge (for free!). It all goes down at BSA (Boston’s leading center for design and architecture). You only need to bring your Lego skills and imagination.
Every Saturday this August, the Magic 106.7 Family Film festival offers free family-friendly movies under the stars at the Pru. Come early for a bring-your-own-picnic or snag some snacks that are already available at the venue. August movie highlights include Mulan and A Wrinkle in Time.
Who says you have to spend hundreds of dollars just to hear some quality music or attend a concert? Every year, my family loves to attend the Gloucester Waterfront Festival. It’s only a 45-minute drive, it’s close to the beach, and it includes dozens of food, jewelry, and craft vendors from around the state. Best of all, it hosts an array of musicians and bands that fuel our sweet summer music festival vibe. For free! For other free live music opportunities check out music at the Hatch Shell.
Take a relaxing cruise around the Boston harbor. These family-friendly excursions include stops at some of the Harbor Islands and lighthouses and give the littles a lesson in our rich Boston history and heritage. We took our kids a few summers ago and they couldn’t stop talking about it for weeks. Or, try a brunch cruise or a sunset sail!
Starting at 1 p.m. on August 18, you’ll get a chance to sip some brewskies among the apes, lions, and giraffes at the Franklin Park Zoo. The entire zoo is shutting down for this event (it’s 21+), and you get to sample different beers and brews while enjoying a visit to your favorite local zoo. Just remember, it’s not a sip and share event — getting the animals tipsy is strictly prohibited!
Speaking of tipsy, why not sign up for the unique tipsy chocolate walking tour (did I have you at tipsy or chocolate?). This two-hour cocktail and chocolate tour in the heart of Boston’s Back Bay is a girls day out or date to remember. Tours are on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
Whatever you do this August in Boston, be it sitting in your room sobbing that summer is almost over or going on a camping trip (and everything in between), just remember you can make it whatever you want it to be! Go out, stay home, do nothing, or pretend to do something just so you can post it on Facebook. But whatever you decide, please have fun, be mindful, and savor it — summer is always fleeting, and soon we’ll be trading in our sweaty tank tops and sunglasses for sweaters and boots. (Something to look forward to!)