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Seven weeks of summer

A guide to free, family-friendly events from now through Labor Day

Lowell Folk Festival takes place July 29-31.Lowell Folk Festival

If summer for you means kids out of school and outings with friends and family, you may be looking for things to do that don’t break the bank. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of festive, free, and family-friendly options taking place this summer. From cultural festivals to movie nights, food-truck fleets to open-air concerts, this list of happenings in and around the Boston area will keep you and your family busy for the rest of the season.

JAZZ ON THE PORCH On Sundays in July and August, buy a one-way ferry ticket from Boston’s Long Wharf North to Spectacle Island for some fresh sea air and a seat at Boston’s Jazz on the Porch series, featuring emerging local musicians from Beantown Sessions in July and Berklee College of Music throughout July and August. Upcoming performances include music from singer/songwriters Juan Botero and Dom the Composer, as well as saxophonist Salim Charvet. The ferry home is free. Sundays from July 17-Aug. 28, 2-5 p.m., Spectacle Island, Boston. bostonharborislands.org


SOUL CITY BAND A regular at weddings and parties throughout Boston, Soul City Band has a singular mission: to get people to dance. Latina- and female-owned, the group will perform at Southie’s Medal of Honor Park as part of the Boston Department of Parks and Recreation’s neighborhood concert series. July 18, 7-8:30 p.m., Medal of Honor Park, East Broadway at N Street, Boston. boston.gov

PATRIOTS TRAINING CAMP Did you know you can get a free front-row seat to watch your favorite team gear up for the upcoming season? (Yes, even the parking’s free.) At Gillette Stadium, join thousands of other Pats fans to watch official team practices, enjoy kids’ games inspired by team workouts, see Patriots Cheerleaders, and even take photos with the team mascot. July 27-30, hours vary, Gillette Stadium, 1 Patriot Place, Foxborough. patriots.com


LOWELL FOLK FESTIVAL At the longest-running free folk festival in the United States, you’ll be treated to a wide variety of performances, with vendors on hand selling food from cultures around the world. This year’s performers range from Latin Grammy Award-winner Pedro Giraudo to “Cherish the Ladies,” an Irish music ensemble. July 29-31, times vary, National Park Visitor Center, 246 Market St., Lowell. lowellfolkfestival.org

MAYOR’S MOVIE NIGHTS Grab some popcorn and a picnic blanket to attend this annual series held outdoors across 11 neighborhoods in Boston. From animated musicals like “Soul” and “Encanto” to the action-packed “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” the family-friendly selection of films promises to engage attendees of all ages. Aug. 2-Sept. 1, 7:30-9 p.m., Boston. boston.gov

Bostonians gather for one of Mayor Wu's Movie Nights.Boston Parks and Recreation Department

PUBLIC OPEN NIGHT AT THE OBSERVATORY Since 1967, Boston University’s Coit Observatory has opened up the telescopes on its observatory roof deck to the public every Wednesday evening (weather permitting). To see the night sky like you’ve never seen it before, make sure you sign up when registration opens on the Thursday beforehand — and be aware that no late guests are allowed in. Aug. 3, 8:30 p.m., Coit Observatory at Boston University, 725 Commonwealth Ave., Boston. bu.edu

TANGLEWOOD MUSIC CENTER CHAMBER MUSIC CONCERT If you’re in the mood for a little classical music, head out to Tanglewood for a free morning concert. This performance will feature the world premiere of a piece by New England Conservatory alumna Andreia Pinto-Correia. It’s just one of the free events that make up this year’s Festival of Contemporary Music. Aug. 7, 10 a.m., Seiji Ozawa Hall, Lenox. For the full list of concerts from Aug. 4-8, visit bso.org


CHINATOWN AUGUST MOON FESTIVAL Celebrate the 52nd annual Chinatown August Moon Festival in Boston with a day of performances (including lion dancing and martial arts), arts and crafts, and food from street vendors. There’s even a scavenger hunt and trivia contest with prizes — and, of course, plenty of delicious moon cakes. Admission is free. Aug. 14, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., enter near Harrison Avenue and Beach Street, Boston. ccbaboston.org

The August Moon Festival's festivities include lion dancing, a form of Chinese traditional dance.the Epoch Times

PEACH AND TRACTOR FESTIVAL Get ready for an idyllic summer weekend at Cider Hill Farm, where you and your family can enjoy hayrides, free live music, food truck specials, homemade peach desserts, and fun kids’ activities. For an extra treat, check the farm’s website to reserve a time to pick your own raspberries, blueberries, and fresh flowers (for separate fees). Aug. 13-14, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Cider Hill Farm, 45 Fern Ave., Amesbury. eventbrite.com

112TH ANNUAL FISHERMAN’S FEAST First started by Italian immigrants in 1910, this annual celebration provides a perfect opportunity to eat some of the best Italian food in the North End (oh, and they’ve got plenty of other fun activities, too.) When you’re not trying all the pasta, pizza, and sausages you can from the weekend’s street vendors, make sure to catch Friday’s carnival-themed parade, Saturday’s best meatball competition, and Sunday’s “Flight of the Angel” ceremony. Aug. 18-21, times vary, North Street, Fleet Street, and Lewis Street, Boston. fishermansfeast.com


A photo of one of Fisherman Feast's celebratory parades.Matt Conti

HAITIAN FOOD FESTIVAL Celebrate Haitian cuisine and culture at this inaugural community event. Sample an array of classic dishes from numerous local restaurants and food trucks, pile into a photo booth with some friends, listen to some rara (a type of traditional Haitian festival music), or compete in an eating contest. Aug. 20, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Devir Park, Fellsway and Malden Street, Malden. eventbrite.com

LATIN AMERICAN FESTIVAL Head to Worcester for a lively festival celebrating Central Massachusetts’s Latin American community, returning for its 30th anniversary this year. Grab some street food, listen to live music, and look through a selection of handcrafted items on sale from local vendors. This year’s performers include headliner Willie Gonzalez, as well as El Rey Tulile, Ada Betsabé, Banda Duro Swing, Alex Hernandez, and Son de mi Tierra. Aug. 20, noon-9 p.m., City Hall, 455 Main St., Worcester. eventbrite.com

FILMS AT THE GATE FESTIVAL Take an evening stroll to the Chinatown gate for this annual series, featuring outdoor screenings of movies that highlight Asian-American stories and creators. All movies will be screened in Chinese, with English subtitles. Get there early to grab a chair (or bring your own). Aug. 26-28, 5:30-9:30 p.m., Chinatown Park on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, 34 W. Lincoln St., Boston. filmsatthegate.org

AFRICAN FESTIVAL OF BOSTON Head to Boston Common for the 12th annual celebration of the African diaspora through food, crafts, music, fashion, and art. Watch performances by West African drumming group Akwaaba Ensemble, sample dishes from different African cultures, and support local artists and small businesses. Aug. 27, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Boston Common, 115 Boylston St., Boston. africanfestivalofboston.org


The African Festival of Boston features food from a variety of African cultures around the world.the African Festival of Boston

SAINT ANTHONY’S FEAST This 103-year-old tradition in Boston’s North End is designed to entertain attendees of all ages. Buy food from more than 100 vendors, enjoy live entertainment, processions, and parades, and buy a charity raffle ticket for a chance at a prize. Aug. 25-28, 5-11 p.m. on Aug. 25, noon-11 p.m. on Aug. 26-28. Endicott, Thacher, and North Margin Streets, North End, Boston. stanthonysfeast.com

GLOUCESTER SCHOONER FESTIVAL The 38th annual Gloucester Schooner Festival is a chance to learn about maritime history, and watch from the shore as boats from around the world set sail. Parades, public boat tours, and concerts round out the fun. Sept. 1-5, hours vary, 23 Harbor Loop, Gloucester. maritimegloucester.org

ICA WATERSHED Labor Day weekend is your last chance to see “Revival: Materials and Monumental Forms,” at the ICA Watershed (where admission is free), featuring works of art created by repurposing everyday and industrial items. The exhibition was inspired by the Watershed building’s history as a manufacturing plant and features work by artists from around the world who transform everything from bottle caps to taillights into fantastic new creations. Through Sept. 5, hours vary, ICA Watershed, 256 Marginal St., Boston. icaboston.org

Joy Ashford can be reached at joy.ashford@globe.com. Follow them on Twitter @joy_ashford. Maya Homan can be reached at maya.homan@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @MayaHoman.