Things To Do

37 must-see events in Greater Boston this winter

Ideas to fill your calendar with music, theater, and more, all the way through March.

Join the Mass Audubon at Jack’s Abby Brewery in Framingham on February 12 for the next session of the “Nature On Tap” discussion series to find out what bees have to do with beer.
Join the Mass Audubon at Jack’s Abby Brewery in Framingham on February 12 for the next session of the “Nature On Tap” discussion series to find out what bees have to do with beer.Sean kent

For Valentine’s Day

Love’s a Joke / February 13-16

You might have seen them on Comedy Central or on Last Comic Standing on NBC—now you can join some of America’s comedy couples at Laugh Boston as they dish on all things relationship, including marriage and divorce, sex and parenthood, and their secret, unspoken fantasies. What better way to enjoy Valentine’s Day than to laugh it up with your significant other? $20 Thursday, $25 Friday-Sunday. 617-725-2844; laughboston.com

Valentine’s Day at The Brattle / February 13-15

Cuddle up and celebrate Valentine’s Day with a romantic film at Harvard Square’s historic Brattle Theatre. Two movies will be featured this year, starting with multiple screenings of the classic Casablanca, starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, followed by late night showings of the Academy Award-winning sci-fi romance Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. From $10. 617-876-6838; brattlefilm.org


Break-Up! The Musical / February 14

In this fully improvised musical, there’s only one thing funnier than love: heartbreak. Comedians Misch Whitaker and Pat Parhiala will spin one unlucky audience member’s tale of woe into a heartwarming and hilarious lyrical extravaganza, right before your eyes. At Laugh Boston. $20, $25 at the door. 617-725-2844; laughboston.com


Harlem Globetrotters / February 19

If you’re a sucker for high-flying dunks and impossible trick shots, grab your whole family and head to to the UMass Lowell’s Tsongas Center to see the one-and-only Harlem Globetrotters on their Pushing the Limits World Tour. Team members combine hilarious stunts with real, blood-pumping basketball, and a new record-breaking attempt. From $31. 978-934-5738; tsongascenter.com

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Maple Tree Tap-A-Thon / February 29

February is traditionally maple syrup season in Massachusetts. Here’s your chance to learn how to identify and tap maple trees at The Trustees of Reservations’ Chestnut Hill Farm. Under the watchful eye of park ranger Tim Puopolo, you can set up your own tap on one of the farm’s maples. $9 members, $15 non-members. Registration required. 508-658-3112; thetrustees.org


Dine Out Boston / March 1-6, 8-13

Ever wish you could taste some of Boston’s finer cuisine, only to be stopped by a price tag that was less than delicious? You’re in luck —Dine Out Boston, formerly known as Restaurant Week Boston, is back for two weeks this March. Enjoy specially priced menus at some of your favorite area eateries. Lunch options start at $15, dinners at $28. 888-733-2678; bostonusa.com

Boston Flower & Garden Show / March 11-15

For all those who boast green thumbs, or wish they did, don’t miss the Boston Flower & Garden Show at the Seaport World Trade Center. This year’s garden party theme will help you get ready for backyard barbecues and get-togethers as you sharpen your gardening skills with a wide array of workshops and demos. $22, $12 for children 6-17, free for ages 6 and under. 800-258-8912; bostonflowershow.com

NorthEast Comic Con / March 13-15

Super-suit up and head over to the Boxboro Regency Hotel and Conference Center for the NorthEast Comic Con & Collectibles Extravaganza. Compete in costume contests, battle for gaming supremacy, interact with inkers, puppet makers, and celebrity guests, and browse rare memorabilia in this three-day celebration of all things fandom. One-day admission starts at $15 in advance, $20 at the door; children 10 and under free. necomiccons.com


Shamrock the Tree! Braintree’s First Annual Irish Festival / March 21

If your blood runs green, help celebrate Braintree’s first Irish festival, held the weekend after Saint Patrick’s Day. Come for the Irish brews and whiskey tasting (for an extra fee), stay for the festive music and lively performances of traditional step dancing. All proceeds go toward Braintree’s Independence Day Celebration Parade and Fireworks. From $10, free for kids 12 and under. eventbrite.com

Taste of the South End / March 24

Enjoy scrumptious food and drinks from one of Boston’s best culinary neighborhoods at Taste of the South End, held at the Boston Center for the Arts’ Cyclorama venue. Sample sweets and savory treats from more than 40 restaurants while you sip on diverse wines and converse with some of Boston’s top chefs. The best part? Your money supports AIDS Action’s lifesaving health care programs. Ages 21 and up. From $100 ($125 after Feb. 14). 857-313-6734; tasteofthesouthend.org

Boston Beer and Cheese Fest / March 27-28

Say cheeeese! And beeeer! Featuring 25 Northeast breweries and 12 local creameries, the Boston Beer and Cheese Fest helps you satisfy your thirst and savory cravings at this two-day Cyclorama extravaganza. Your $65 admission fee comes with unlimited 2-ounce samples of more than 80 craft beers and ciders, paired with unlimited cheese. Ages 21 and up. drinkcraftbeer.com


Boston Philharmonic Orchestra / February 20, 22-23

Let the sounds of symphony soothe your soul as the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra performs the music of classical composers Zoltán Kodály, Franz Liszt, and Antonín Dvořák. Acclaimed pianist Lucas Debargue, known for his emotive and spellbinding performances, joins the orchestra in his Boston debut. From $25. 617-236-0999; bostonphil.org


Crashfest: A Global Music Festival / February 22

This event boasts more than 10 bands performing on three stages. From captivating Malian singer and guitarist Fatoumata Diawara, to Indian funk and soul band Cha Wa, this musical assembly will make you want to get up and dance. At the House of Blues. $48 in advance, $55 day of. 617-876-4275; crashfest.org

Great American Songbook: Nu-Vintage Pop⁠—Today’s Hits, Time Traveled / February 23

Tired of hearing the same boring pop hits on repeat? Then listen up as the Berklee College of Music’s talented singers, instrumentalists, and dancers transform the music of contemporary artists such as Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, and Taylor Swift into a wide range of retro styles, including everything from blues and swing to doo-wop and Motown. From $15 in advance, $20 day of. 617-747-2261; berklee.edu

Las Cafeteras / March 18

Born and raised in East Los Angeles, this lively band infuses Afro-Mexican rhythms with their own East LA sound to tell the story of a community searching for love and justice. From rock to hip-hop to rancheras, they seamlessly blend Spanish and English into one harmony. At the Museum of Fine Arts. $20 members, $25 non-members. 800-440-6975; mfa.org

America / March 22The rich sounds of strings will fill historic Arlington Street Church at a special event featuring world-renowned violist Michael Hall and celebrated guitarist Aaron Larget-Caplan. Enjoy the world premiere of “Steps & Leaps” by Tom Flaherty for guitar and computer, and solos and duos by other guitarists and violists performing works by American composers in a concert presented by Now Musique, a new chamber music series. $25, students $15. 617-947-1330; brownpapertickets.com



The Treasurer / February 21-March 22

This darkly funny play pits an aging mother with a loose grip on money against her son, who is tasked with reining in her cheerful overspending lest they head into financial oblivion. Watch as the characters grapple with guilt and familial love in this intimate, unforgiving work. Performed at The Lyric Stage. From $25. 617-585-5678; lyricstage.com

Fiddler on the Roof / February 25-March 8

Tony Award-winning director Bartlett Sher and the production team behind South Pacific and The King and I create a fresh rendition of the Broadway classic Fiddler on the Roof. Don’t miss this touching tale featuring updated dance scenes from Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter. At Emerson Colonial Theatre. From $44.50. 888-616-0272; emersoncolonialtheatre.com

Pipeline / March 5-9

The Nora Theatre Company and WAM Theatre present Pipeline, playwright Dominique Morisseau’s passionate dive into a Black mother’s struggle to protect her son from being sucked into the “school-to-prison pipeline” here from childhood, people of color with histories of poverty or neglect are funneled out of public education and into the penitentiary system. At Central Square Theater. From $25. 617-576-9278; centralsquaretheater.org

The Merchant of Venice / March 11-April 5

The Actors’ Shakespeare Project presents The Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare’s late 1500s comedy. Watch this classic tale of love and revenge at the Boston’s Center for the Arts’ Plaza Theatre. From $25. 617-241-2200; actorsshakespeareproject.org

Jersey Boys / March 18-22

The Four Seasons electrified the 1960s and ’70s with widely loved hits like “Sherry” and “December, 1963 (Oh What A Night).” Now, their story is captivating audiences in the acclaimed musical Jersey Boys, which garnered four Tonys, including Best Musical. Relive your childhood playlist for the show’s run at the Emerson Colonial Theatre. Recommended ages 12 and up for “profane Jersey language.” From $44.50. 888-616-0272; emersoncolonialtheatre.com

Our Daughters, Like Pillars / March 20-April 19

When Lavinia and her sisters’ summer excursion to New Hampshire is rudely interrupted by the surprise arrival of their stepmother—to whom their father has left everything —the family is left to grapple with a laundry list of grievances and feuds. In this moving comedy, award-winning playwright Kirsten Greenidge delves into the life of a contemporary Black family in America. At the Boston Center for the Arts’ Calderwood Pavilion. From $20. 617-266-7900; huntingtontheatre.org

The Band’s Visit / March 24-April 5

Based on the 2007 Israeli film of the same name, this musical won an incredible 10 Tony Awards while also collecting a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album. Be mesmerized by the bittersweet story of an Egyptian police band’s night as its members are stranded in a lonely Israeli village, and witness how the most unlikely circumstances can lead to romance and heartbreak. At the Citizens Bank Opera House. From $40. 617-259-3400; boston.broadway.com

Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar and Grill / March 29-April 19

Explore the life of Billie Holiday in this biographical play centered around one of the jazz icon’s final performances before her untimely death in 1959. Blending some of her most famous tracks with poignant storytelling, playwright Lanie Roberston shows how the Black singer battled all odds to shine on stage. Performed at the Mosesian Center for the Arts. From $22. 617-923-8487; newrep.org


Off the Wall! February Vacation Week / February 17-23

Wondering how to keep your kids busy during the break? Take them to the Tower Hill Botanic Garden, where the whole family can tour the complex’s 17 gardens and take part in fun activities. Many are included with admission; some arts and crafts—such as designing your own graffiti art T-shirt—cost an extra fee. Free for members and children under 5, $16 for non-members, $6 for youth 6-18. 508-869-6111; towerhillbg.org

February Vacation Week at the MFA / February 17-21

Cultivate your child’s inner artist at the Museum of Fine Arts this February vacation. Admission is free all week for children 17 and under. For $4, kids 6-10 can take a mobile tour of the Art of the Americas collections guided by three characters: high school reporter Lucia, adventurous 10-year-old Steve, and art detective Malone. Adult admission $25. 800-440-6975; mfa.org

Disney on Ice: Road Trip Adventures / February 19-23

Don’t miss your children’s (and your) favorite Disney stars glide across the TD Garden ice in Road Trip Adventures. In this continent-hopping adventure, characters from Moana, Frozen, The Lion King, Mary Poppins Returns, and many more beloved films will twist and twirl through iconic movie settings such as the rooftops of London and the sunny beaches of Motunui. From $20. 617-624-1000; disneyonice.com

Children’s Winter Festival / February 20

Head to Boston Common to enjoy music, giveaways, winter themed attractions, sweet treats, arts and crafts, and more fun activities from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free. 617-635-4505; boston.gov


Opening Celebration: Painting Edo / February 13

Enjoy free admission to the Harvard Art Museums during the opening of Painting Edo: Japanese Art from the Feinberg Collection—the museum’s largest-ever exhibition. All galleries are open for visitors to roam, and a reception will be held in the courtyard. Make sure to snag a free ticket to the lecture by Timon Screech, an art professor from London. Free. 617-495-9400; harvardartmuseums.org

Sterling Ruby / February 26-May 26

This exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art boasts more than 70 works from Sterling Ruby, whose creations critique American culture and power. A comprehensive survey of Ruby’s work, this showing features drawings, paintings, ceramics, and sculptures formed from a combination of seemingly disparate materials: clear urethane, wood, dye, fabric, spray paint, fiberglass, and more. Admission free for members and children 17 and under, $15 for non-members. 617-478-3103; icaboston.org

Lucian Freud: The Self-Portraits / March 1-May 25

Witness the artistic evolution of acclaimed British figurative painter Lucian Freud (1922-2011) through this Museum of Fine Arts exhibition of his self-portraits, featuring 40 works on canvas, paper, and etching plate that span nearly seven decades. These works also tell the story of one man’s life, documenting the changes as he ages from young boy to old man. Museum admission free for members, $25 for non-members. 800-440-6975; mfa.org


Carmen / March 12-22

Revel in Boston Ballet’s rendition of this classic, seductive tale of passion, jealousy, and betrayal, on stage at the Citizens Bank Opera House. Adapted for the 21st century from the world-famous 1875 opera by French composer Georges Bizet, the performance will be accompanied by two other ballets, all of which explore varied aspects of femininity. From $37, discounts available for 17 and under. 617-695-6955; bostonballet.org

Global Arts Live Presents: Malpaso Dance Company / March 13-14

Catch a glimpse of Cuba as Havana-based Malpaso Dance Company brings four powerful performances to the Institute of Contemporary Art. Aszure Barton’s Indomitable Waltz interprets “an approach to the soul,” the company’s founder says, and New York choreographer Ronald K. Brown’s Why You Follow fuses African, disco, hip-hop, and modern dance. Two pieces choreographed by company members round out the program. From $58, $54 Global Arts Live members. 617-876-4275; globalartslive.org

Riverdance 25th Anniversary Show / March 31-April 5

Twenty-five years ago, Riverdance took the world by storm and composer Bill Whelan went on to win a Grammy for best soundtrack. Now on its silver anniversary tour, this Irish theatrical dance show returns with a revitalized soundtrack and design plus a new grand finale. From $25. At the Boch Center Wang Theatre. 800-982-2787; bochcenter.org


Okko’s Inn / February 13

Catch this whimsical animated tale of ghosts, magic, and the importance of family at the Museum of Fine Arts, as part of its Boston Festival of Films From Japan. Directed by Kitarō Kōsaka—who worked as an animator at iconic director Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli, known for Spirited Away and other anime features—this story will leave tears in your eyes. Japanese with English subtitles. $10 members, $13 non-members. 800-440-6975; mfa.org

Bugs Bunny Film Festival / February 15-23

What’s up, doc? It’s the 25th annual Bugs Bunny Film Festival, that’s what. Watch all your Looney Tunes favorites up to their usual hijinks, uncut on 35mm film, at The Brattle. This event is perfect for kids on February break and adults looking for a nostalgia hit. From $10 per screening, $9 ages 11 and under. 617-876-6838; brattlefilm.org

Irish Film Festival / March 19-22

In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, head to the Somerville Theatre for the 20th annual Irish Film Festival. Screening more than 50 films from all across Ireland, the festival also gives awards for the best film, documentary, short fiction/animation, and director’s choice. The event is billed as the largest of its kind outside of Ireland. All-access passes start at $96.90; irishfilmfestival.com


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