Your Week Ahead

5 things to do in Boston October 20-26

A free MOOC on Boston history, Boston Book Festival, Vegetarian Food Festival, and more.



Sunday, October 26

Why should kids get all the Halloween fun? From noon to 2 p.m. on October 26, dogs and their owners can show off their costumes at the fourth annual Canine Promenade along the Charles River Esplanade. There will be prizes for best costumes, gift bags and treats from Pawsh Dog Boutique, pet massage demos, and more. Registration for the half-mile parade, which gathers at Fiedler Field, starts at $15.


Monday, October 20

On Monday, Suffolk University launches the History of Boston, perhaps the first Massive Open Online Course to revolve around a city and its history. Taught by the charismatic chairman of Suffolk’s history department, the MOOC will have eight installments stretching from the 1600s to today, many of them including virtual field trips to area landmarks. Register any time for the free, self-paced course at


Thursday-Saturday , October 23-25

The Back Bay near Copley Square acts as a magnet for readers on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., when the Boston Book Festival sets up shop. This year’s sessions, most of them free, will be held not at the Boston Public Library but at area churches, the French Cultural Center, and other nearby spots. Two of the keynote sessions take place earlier — on Thursday night (Herbie Hancock on memoirs) and Friday night (Susan Minot on fiction). Find the full schedule at 617-945-9552


Friday, October 24


The new outdoor venue the Lawn on D, at 420 D Street in South Boston, hosts a Punkin’ Fest from 4-11 p.m. Friday, with free pumpkins available while supplies last. Expect to see a “colossal illuminated punkin’ sculpture,” as well as jack-o’-lanterns carved by local artists and a light show. Pumpkin bowling, live music, food trucks, and pumpkin ale and cider are also on the menu.


Saturday-Sunday, October 25-26

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Vegetarians, vegans, and the veggie-curious can enjoy free food samples, shop for new products, watch cooking demos, talk to a dietitian, and learn more about a plant-based lifestyle at the free Boston Vegetarian Food Festival. The two-day event takes place at the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center in Roxbury. 617-424-8846;

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