Things to do Around Davis Square

HONK! in Davis Square
Photo by Noah Meyerhans on Flickr

One of Somerville’s most active neighborhoods, Davis Square is filled with diverse restaurants, artsy shops, and little parks and plazas. Festivals and parades are common in the area during the spring and summer. HONK!, ArtBeat, and the zombie march are all annual events to look forward to. If you’re looking for the latest news on what’s going on in the area, there’s a LiveJournal community (now hosted on Dreamwidth) for the neighborhood. But, if you’re looking for a few quick ideas on things to do today…

Watch an old movie or see a live show at Somerville Theater

This old-school theater in the center of the Davis Square has frequent live shows and selections of movie classics. As I write this, they’re doing a midnight showing of The Princess Bride, Pulp Fiction, and A Clockwork Orange. You won’t always find the latest blockbuster hit here, but you’ll always find something good.

People-watch from a window seat in Starbucks (and play board games at Diesel)

Renovated in 2010 for the laptop-working crowd, the Davis Square Starbucks is best known for its cozy fireplace seating in the winter, and its long bar of window seats the rest of the year. This is a great spot to watch people walking along busy Elm St. It’s particular fun to watch the trials and triumphs of those clipboard-toting folks trying to raise money / awareness for one cause or another.

Keep in mind that you’ll also be staring guiltily at the far-superior Diesel Cafe, just across the street. Which incidentally has free-to-play board games in the back, if you’ve got a friend to grab a cuppa with.

Search for treasures at Goodwill

You’re not a true Davis Square Somervillian if you’re too cool for Goodwill. Ours is two stories of clothes, books, housewares, and more. Find a kooky coffee mug, a decorative serving plate, an ancient tome of bad fiction, or clothes styles that are so old they’re fresh again.

Go for a walk in the park at Powderhouse Square

Just up College Avenue, Powderhouse Square is a nice-sized park at the foot of Tufts University campus. There are plenty of benches, a nice upper area overlooking the traffic circle below, and plenty of grassy field to picnic on or just lay back and watch the clouds pass.

Get drinks at the Foundry

One of Davis Square’s classiest bars, the Foundry on Elm is a classy spot with no cover, tasty food, and plenty of drinks. Usually some sports playing on TVs above the bar and pop music piping through the speakers, but this is a hang-out-and-chat-with-friends place.

Read books at Somerville Library

Barely a block up College Avenue, the Somerville Public Library is a nice spot with computers, wireless access, and stacks of books. Chances are good there may be an evening program with some unique class or activity too, like Chinese calligraphy or chess games.

Browse handmade items at Magpie

This small nest of a store is filled with handmade items from local artists, and other crafty goods. Wall art, post cards, journals, local t-shirts, fridge magnets, and much, much more. There’s always something new at Magpie, and it’s inspiring just to see what clever crafts your neighbors are making.

Go bowling at Sacco’s

Tucked away with Flatbread Company on Day St, Sacco’s bowling offers classic candlepin bowling in true New England style. Flatbread’s tremendous stone pizza oven, and long stretch of a bar next to the bowling lanes, provides food and drinks to go with the fun. This place is always filled with people having a good time.

Listen to live music at The Burren

Irish pub The Burren frequently has a classic Irish folk band in front, and cover bands in the back. They also have an Open Mic night every Tuesday. Cash covers in advance of shows, but good music’s worth it.