How to Find Events in Boston

Harvard Square Mayfair Festival
Photo by sushiesque on Flickr

Every day, dozens of events (professional, social, cultural, recreational) are happening in Boston. And while there’s no single site that aggregates all of them, there are definitely some go-to sites no matter what you’re looking for.

Music & entertainment events in Boston

Reflyer – An iPhone app for sharing photos of flyers, this is filled with local shows, many of which aren’t well-promoted online. Extra notable as another project by Chris Marstall, the former creator of Tourfilter.

Songkick – This site’s page for the Boston area lists what live music events are happening. They also have a pretty cool feature where if you’re on a band’s page, you can see upcoming shows in the area by similar bands, which is great for finding local bands / musicians who are similar to nationally-known music you like. If you’re looking for some live music, check this out.

Check calendars of some notable venues – each part of Boston has its own venues that always have some kind of event happening. A few I’d recommend include:

  • The Middle East, in Cambridge – A set of restaurants & clubs with multiple live bands most nights.
  • Improv Boston, in Cambridge – Audience-suggestion improv, comedy open mic nights, sketch comedy.
  • Laugh Boston, in Boston (the Seaport) – Comedians, game nights, improv, and more.
  • House of Blues, in Boston (Fenway) – Rock & blues music concerts.
  • Aeronaut Brewery, in Somerville – Beer releases, live music, game nights, trivia, and other community events.
  • Somerville Theatre – Live performance shows – comedy, burlesque, and music.

Educational & activity events in Boston

Craigslist – Good for more than just finding sketchy roommates and crappy jobs! =P Though browsing the listings can be a challenge, Craigslists’ Community section has a full events list as well as categories like “classes”, “activities” (think “pickup basketball game tonight at the YMCA”), and “musicians”. Always something new here, and pretty easy to search.

Eventbrite – A popular tool for event organizers to manage registration and ticket sales, Eventbrite maintains a public directory of Boston events, particularly classes and conferences.

Cultural events in Boston Calendar – The online calendar of Boston’s largest newspaper is where almost every major cultural event in Boston is publicized. Easy filtering for free events, and many other categories of events listed as well. Events – User-submitted events on the popular business-review site means many lesser-known events get listed here alongside the mainstream happenings. Easy to find hidden gems near you, and Yelp’s active community means you can even see which events are popular (people planning to attend).

City of Boston – On the city’s official website, you can find filter their calendar to find some notable festivals, food events, art displays, and other special occasions coming up.

Outdoor events in Boston

Esplanade – A mile-long stretch of river-front park area, the Boston Esplanade hosts some of the largest outdoor events in Boston. An annual 100,000+ attendee Earth Day celebration, the nationally-famous Boston Pops 4th of July concert, free Friday movie showings throughout the summer, and more all happen here.

The Boston Hiking Meetup – One of many outdoor-activity meetups in Boston, this one regularly organizes group hikes.

Professional events in Boston

Boston Business Journal – A long-running business publication in Boston, their online calendar aggregates many valuable professional development and networking events.

BSG’s Boston Tech Events calendar – Startups, entrepreneurs, and techies will find this calendar by Boston Startups Guide to be an invaluable resource. It’s curated to show the best of Boston’s developer meetups, startup networking, tech conferences, hackathons, and more.

Social events in Boston

Meetup – Hundreds of Boston groups organize interest-centric meetups here. While you can find classes and networking opportunities on Meetup, the many singles, find-new-friends, outdoors-enthusiasts, and other social-focused groups are one of the best ways to make new friends in Boston.

Social Boston Sports – If you’re athletic (or willing to try), this is a great site for finding an easy-to-join team or activity with other people who are interested in meeting new people. Besides sports, the site organizes short recreational trips, nights out, and less-athletic activities like cornhole and bowling.