Free Things to Do in Boston This Weekend

faneuil hall marketplace

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Blink! Light and Sound Show

Christmas might be over, but the holiday season lives on for one more weekend at Faneuil Hall Marketplace with the Blink! Light and Sound Show. Follow the cobblestone sidewalks to find the gigantic tree in Marketplace Center. Two light show performances, the newest of which just debuted on Dec. 18, operate every half hour, featuring family favorite holiday songs synchronized with the twinkle of the lights.

Through Jan. 1, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, 4 S. Market St., Boston.


Grab a friend and bundle up to catch a glimpse of Somerville’s new public art installation this holiday season. A new initiative by Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone and the Somerville Arts Council is bent on bringing light and joy to public spaces with bright artwork by Chinese artist Wen Yu and light design consulting firm Lam Partners. Outside both the East Somerville Library and in Davis Square Plaza, open “door2” and step right into what the SAC describes as the “warm, inviting light of ‘home’.” At Union Square Plaza, ogle Yu’s honeycomb-like sculpture, “Drone,” best enjoyed at full glow in the evening.

Through January, “door2” in Davis Square Plaza and at the East Somerville Library, 115 Broadway, Somerville; “Drone” in Union Square Plaza, Somerville.



Somerville Winter Farmers Market

The Somerville Winter Farmers Market is a staple indoor market for anyone in need of escape from the winter chill. Grab some samples from local vendors, browse for belated Christmas gifts and enjoy live music from Fashionflower, a hot-pink-haired jazz-pop duo made up of Berklee College-affiliated Emma Newton and Corwin Zekley. Bonus: Check out trendy snacks like olive oil and citrus “casual cakes” from Sweetteeth Baking Co. or vegan pulled pork from the The Plant Deli.

9:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville.

206th Anniversary of the Battle of HMS Java

There’s nothing like the firing shots of an official salute to ring in the New Year. In commemoration of a naval turning point in the War of 1812, the current officers and crew of the USS Constitution will gather in the Charlestown Navy Yard to fire off the “Old Ironsides” salute. Afterward, swing by the Constitution Museum to check out “All Hands on Deck: A Sailor’s Life in 1812” for a hands-on dive into naval history and the war in which the Royal Navy’s HMS Java was defeated.

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Charlestown Navy Yard, Building 22, Charlestown.

Boston Baroque

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Boston Baroque Free Community Concert

In collaboration with Mayor Marty Walsh’s Office of Arts and Culture, the Boston Baroque, North America’s first Baroque orchestra, will perform a free Bach and Vivaldi concerti with solos by concertmaster and violinist Christina Day Martinson and recorder player Aldo Abreu. Register your tickets online in advance to see this 2019 Grammy-nominated orchestra perform the vibrant “Brandenburg Concerto No 4 in G Major.”

2 p.m., Strand Theatre, 543 Columbia Rd., Boston.

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