It’s hard to believe, but just one month of summer remains. All those grand plans you had to explore the city’s rich offerings? Well, you better get started. We’ve come up with 14 ideas to help you make the most of these lazy days — while they last.
Get ready to picnic
If you haven’t broken out your picnic basket yet this summer, now’s the time. Pack some sandwiches and salads, or cheese and wine if you’re feeling fancy, and head to a tried-and-true picnic spot. Want a waterfront view? Castle Island can’t be beat. Or maybe Arnold Arboretum, with its glimpse of the city skyline and leafy confines, is your perfect summer setting. Admission is free to both. Castle Island, 2010 William J Day Blvd., South Boston. Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Jamaica Plain.
Kayak on the Charles
There’s no better way to cool off on a summer afternoon than kayaking on the Charles River. (The workout is a bonus.) Charles River Canoe and Kayak offers rentals at five locations, including Boston, Somerville, Cambridge, Newton and Waltham. Single kayaks are $15 per hour and double kayaks are $20. If you want to try something a little different, stand-up paddleboards go for $18 per hour. 1071 Soldiers Field Road. Open 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. paddleboston.com.
Get your lobster on
Chow down on steamed lobster and clams at the Boston Seafood Festival on the Boston Fish Pier on Aug. 13. There will be an oyster shucking contest, demos from the city’s best seafood chefs, and a beer garden courtesy of Harpoon Brewery. General admission tickets: $15 adults; $5 ages 6-12; free ages 5 and under. If you’re feeling extra hungry, purchase a lobster bake ticket that includes one lobster, steamed clams, corn, and a roll for $50. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. bostonseafoodfestival.org.
Spend a few hours in a beer garden
Come to Somerville Brewing’s American Fresh Beer Garden for an impressive list of beers on tap, and stay for the trivia nights, live music, and hearty food. On Saturday, rock/funk band Joon will take the stage for a high-energy performance. (Bonus: The beer garden is also dog-friendly!) Assembly Square, 301 Canal St. in Somerville. 1-11 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays; 11 a.m.-midnight Fridays and Saturdays. www.slumbrew.com/assembly_row.
Tour of the Fenway Victory Gardens
Originally designed by Frederick Law Olmsted as part of the Emerald Necklace, the Fenway Victory Gardens has outlasted most other victory gardens, planted to combat food shortages during World War II. Today, the garden includes more than 500 room-size plots, each maintained by different gardeners. Free 1-hour walking tours most Tuesday evenings, 90-minute walking tours on weekends through October. Tours start at the Shattuck Visitor Center at 125 Fenway. Call 617-522-2700 to confirm Tuesday tours and get times for weekend tours. www.emeraldnecklace.org.
Dance at the Hatch Shell
Catch performances by dancers from across Boston on Aug. 23 at the Landmarks Dance Carnival , with the Boston Landmarks Orchestra at the Hatch Shell. Composer and drummer Ryan Edwards and Grammy-nominated guitarist Apostolos Paraskevas created a new piece for drummers and dancers from Camp Harbor View and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston. The concert will end with a performance by guests from the Boston Ballet II and The Dance Complex. Free. 7 p.m. 47 David G Mugar Way. www.landmarksorchestra.org.
Catch a movie under the stars
Summer evenings are the perfect time to catch a classic flick under the stars. Mayor Marty Walsh’s movie nights return on Monday, Aug. 7, at Almont Park in Mattapan with “Wall-E.” Popular family friendly films, including “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” and “Moana,” will be shown at 11 city parks in August and September. Free popcorn will be available. Free. Movies start at 7:45 p.m. 40 Almont St. Full list of movies and parks at www.boston.gov.
Enjoy the Fisherman’s Feast in the North End
Get a taste of history at the 107-year-old Fisherman’s Feast, brought to Boston by Sicilians in the early 1900s. Enjoy Italian sausage, gelato, and cannoli from vendors, and stay for the famous Flight of the Angel, when a young girl is lowered out of a third-story window to give a speech to the Madonna del Soccorso di Sciacca. Free. Aug. 17-20. Fleet and North streets. www.fishermansfeast.com.
Rock out at the ALT Boston Concert Series
If you’re a rock fan, you’re in luck. ALT 92.9 is bringing the Revivalists and American Authors to rock Copley Square for its free summer concert series. Local bands will open the performances. Grab a brew and a bite to eat at the Globe Bar and Cafe’s outdoor patio afterward. The concerts are free. The Revivalists will perform Aug. 17, 5-8 p.m.; American Authors will play Aug. 31, 5-8 p.m. alt929boston.com.
Stargaze at the Coit Observatory
Take advantage of those clear summer evenings to learn about stargazing at the Coit Observatory at Boston University. Attendees at Public Open Night can use telescopes and binoculars to look at celestial objects they typically can’t see, weather permitting. Free, but tickets must be reserved online. 8:30 p.m. on most Wednesdays. 725 Commonwealth Ave. Call 617-353-2630, no sooner than two hours before the event, to find out whether Open Night will be held .
Hop around the Boston Harbor Islands
The Boston Harbor Islands offer something for everyone. Love camping? Head to Peddocks Island. There are even yurts for those who don’t like roughing it in a flimsy tent. Want to relax on the beach for a day? Check out Spectacle Island or Lovells Island for beautiful stretches of sand. And if you’re a history buff, tour America’s oldest light station on Little Brewster Island as well as Fort Warren on Georges Island. Park admission is free. Reach the islands by ferry: Tickets $17 adults; $12 seniors, college students, and active military with ID; $10 children ages 3-10; free children under 3. The ferry departs from Long Wharf Pier North in Boston. Tickets and schedules at www.bostonharborislands.com.
Enjoy a taste of France
Try your hand at petanque, a game in which you toss hollow steel balls as close as possible to a wooden ball while standing in a circle. Meanwhile, sip on pastis, an anise-flavored spirit, or lemonade at the French Cultural Center. $8 members, $16 nonmembers. Aug. 25, 5-8 p.m. 53 Marlborough St. Tickets and more information at frenchculturalcenter.org.
Groove at the Boston Jazz Fest
For the sixth year in a row, the Boston Jazz Fest will bring a diverse group of jazz musicians to the waterfront. South Boston Maritime Park, Aug. 26, noon to 6:45 p.m. Free. Food can be purchased at the festival. bostonjazzfest.org.
Brew something new at the Boston Fermentation Festival
Get into the world of fermentation at the Boston Fermentation Festival by tasting everything from cider to kimchi, making sauerkraut, learning about bacteria and microbes from scientists, and swapping live cultures with other fermenters. Aug. 27, Boston Public Market, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. 100 Hanover St. www.bostonferments.com.Bethany Ao can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @bethanyao.