The most active spot in East Somerville, Union Square provides some extra options for those living in the Porter Square or Harvard Square areas, and is the nexus of Somerville’s active arts community. Fun events like Fluff Fest, the Harvest Festival, and various ArtsUnion programs draw a crowd from most of Somerville and some of Cambridge. You can check the Union Square Main Streets site for the latest, but try out some of these (mostly year-round) things to do near Union Square…
Tour the Taza Chocolate Factory
A cheap $5 almost any day of the week will get you a tour of Taza’s artisan chocolate factory. If you haven’t picked up a bar of Taza chocolate yet; grab one. The unique texture and high quality cocoa content will drive Hersheys out of your life forever. A tour at Taza will teach you about cocoa beans, the machines used in processing them, and give you a chance to sample different chocolates. If you’re really into this idea, call ahead and see when the next time the machines will be in use is, so you can schedule a tour during that.
Check out locally-created comics at HubComics
Hosting game nights, a huge selection of comics, and enthusiastically offering works from local comic book and web comic creators, this a great place to find your favorite super hero or see what narrative artists from the area are doodling.
Picnic and enjoy the city view from Prospect Hill park
Not only is it home to a monument for where the first American flag flew, this park has a beautiful view of the Boston skyline. Pack a picnic, grab a frisbee, and enjoy a scenic piece of Boston history.
Try Yoga at be. or Bow Street Yoga
“Open body, quiet mind” says Bow Street Yoga. Whether you’re interested in yoga as an athletic, spiritual, or therapeutic activity, there’s no denying that $25 for two weeks of unlimited classes is a great introductory rate. be.yoga, above Bloc 11, is another studio offering classes at all levels.
Make something at Artisans Asylum
Whether you’re interested in circuit boards or carpentry, if you’re a “maker”, you’ll love Artisans Asylum. A fully-equipped workshop that offers cheap classes on crafting of all kinds, this is a unique space to check out. It’s even been featured in Adam Savage’s (of Mythbusters fame) YouTube show:
See a show at the Precinct
A below-ground bar in the center of Union Square, this place hosts a range of live music almost every night of the week. It’s a well-frequented sports bar earlier in the evening, with a pretty good menu in addition to their drinks. And every Halloween, check this spot out for a good Halloween party.
Learn to dance at Dance Union
Blues dance, tango, and zumba classes + events on the regular at this dance studio. Check meetup.com for dance meetups hosted here like the one for Zumba. At $10 per class, it’s cheap, active, and fun. (And a surprisingly good way to make new friends, whether you’re single or a couple.)
Attend Somerville Arts Council / Open Studios events
With so many artists living around Union Square, there are many events where you can see the work (and during Open Studios, workspaces) of some incredibly talented and creative people. Somerville hosts an annual city-wide Open Studios event, and individual artist communities like Vernon Street artists and Brickbottom Artists Association host their own open studio events. Visit SomervilleArtsCouncil.org for news on art programs and events in the area.
Attend an open mic at Bloc 11
Sister cafe to Diesel Cafe in Davis Square, Bloc 11 is a sleek-decored coffee and sandwich shop with friendly staff, WiFi, and a really nice outdoor seating patio. They host monthly art displays and open mic events. Drop by to find out when the next one will be.