Things to do

Ideas for fun things to do around Boston

Your calendar of events, music, theater, and more for the late winter and early spring.

The Butterfly Place in Westford reopens on February 14.


Tavi Gevinson / February 12

Online magazine Rookie, which Tavi Gevinson created when she was 15, continues to resonate with teenage girls. Now 21, Gevinson visits the Cambridge Public Library to discuss and sign her new book, Rookie on Love. Free. 617-661-1515;

Thorns / February 14

Single? Don’t spend Valentine’s Day alone. Join the crowd at Improv Boston in Cambridge. The performances, including standup, sketches, and storytelling, will laugh in the face of heartbreak. $18, $14 students. 617-576-1253;

The Butterfly Place / Reopening February 14


Flutter to Westford for the seasonal opening of The Butterfly Place. Hundreds of freestyling butterflies bring magic to a verdant indoor garden. $13, $11 seniors, $9 children 3-12, under 3 free. 978-392-0955;

Boskone 55 / February 16-18

New England’s longest-running science fiction convention descends on the Westin Boston Waterfront hotel for a weekend of gaming, readings, concerts, films, and more. From $20 per day adults and college students, from $10 per day K-12 students. 617-625-2311;

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College Comedy Festival / February 22-24

Laugh it up as teams from more than a dozen New England colleges compete in the Beanpot Tournament at Improv Boston in Cambridge. Each troupe performs four times. $10-$20. 617-576-1253;

Lowell Winterfest / February 23-24

Downtown Lowell warms up with live performances, a carousel, food, craft vendors, and free ice skating at its annual Winterfest. Special events include a craft beer showcase, soup competition, and chocolate extravaganza. Festival admission free; check website for special event tickets. 978-674-4260;

George Lopez: The Wall World Tour / March 3

Stand-up comedian, sitcom star, and TV host George Lopez stops at the Wilbur on his The Wall World Tour. The Wall — also the title of his 2017 HBO special — examines social issues under President Trump. 617-248-9700;

The Original Harlem Globetrotters / March 9-10


The legendary basketball tricksters head to the DCU Center in Worcester for two performances full of silliness and slam dunks. Keep an eye out for 4-foot-5-inch guard Jahmani Swanson, a.k.a. “Hot Shot.” From $24.50. 508-755-6800;

Boston Flower & Garden Show / March 14-18

Escape the winter blues, learn about gardening, and enjoy some early blooms at the Boston Flower & Garden Show at the Seaport World Trade Center. $20, $17 seniors, $10 children 6-17, under 6 free. 800-258-8912;

Anime Boston / March 30-April 1

Ready for karaoke, cosplay, contests, and gaming? Dig out your costume and camera and head to the annual Anime Boston convention at the Hynes Convention Center and Sheraton Boston Hotel. Sunday only $35, $25 children 6-12, under 6 free. Weekend $75, $65 children; in advance $70, $60 children.



Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream / February 16-25


Moana, Elsa, Anna, Rapunzel, Belle, and Cinderella tell tales of courage as they glide through icy adventures at the TD Garden. From $15. 800-745-3000;

Lego Maritime Festival / February 17-24

Dive into a pile of Legos to construct a boat, participate in a Float Your Boat competition, or head to the Masters of Miniature model-ship exhibit for a scavenger hunt. At the USS Constitution Museum in Charlestown. Free; donation suggested.

Frozen Sing-A-Long / February 17-25

You’ve had five years to get “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” and “Let It Go” out of your head. Undo it all when you bring the kids to the Regent Theatre in Arlington during school vacation to sing along to Frozen with lyrics on-screen. $12.50, $10 children and seniors. 781-646-4849;

Marketplace Movie Nights /  February 19-22

Quincy Market becomes a movie theater during school vacation when popular children’s films — The Iron Giant, Moana, Despicable Me 3, and Beauty and the Beast — screen daily at 6:30 p.m. Free.

Silly Soiree / March 3

Dress up and head to the Boston Children’s Museum for the second annual Silly Soiree, a fund-raiser where kids call the shots. The night includes dinner, dancing, exhibit access, and games such as Giant Jenga. $70, $50 in advance. 617-986-3662;

The Magic of Adam Trent / March 9-11

Join magician Adam Trent for a mesmerizing night of illusions, comedy, and music at the Shubert Theatre. Trent has appeared on the Disney Channel and America’s Got Talent. From $35. 617-532-1116;



Dianne Reeves / February 16

The five-time Grammy winner and her quartet visit the Berklee Performance Center for a night of jazz. You might recognize Reeves’s smooth vocals from her role as a one-woman Greek chorus in George Clooney’s Good Night, and Good Luck. From $30. 617-747-2261;

Celebrating David Bowie / February 16

“Tribute band” is usually a polite way to say “cover band,” but this ensemble is loaded with musicians who actually worked with David Bowie. Bernard Fowler, best known as a Rolling Stones backup singer, stands in for the Thin White Duke at the Chevalier Theatre in Medford. From $33. 781-391-7469;

George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic / February 17

Rock & Roll Hall of Famer George Clinton and P-Funk will fill the House of Blues with soulful R&B beats on their Mardi Gras Madness Tour. From $29.50. 888-693-2583;

Sara Evans  / February 17

Country music superstar Sara Evans hits the Chevalier Theatre in Medford on her All the Love Tour in support of her first independent album, 2017’s Words. Openers RaeLynn and Kalie Shorr are part of the fourth annual Next Women of Country Tour. From $37. 781-391-7469;

Celebration: The Legacy of Bob Brookmeyer / March 1

The New England Conservatory Jazz Orchestra honors former professor Bob Brookmeyer, who died in 2011, with selections of music he composed. The program, at Jordan Hall, includes performances by six of his former students. Free. 617-585-1100;

Back Porch Festival  / March 2-4

From radio to real life, this American roots music festival was inspired by a popular program on Pioneer Valley station 93.9 The River. Head to Northampton for four nights (plus Sunday afternoon) of live music at the Parlor Room and the Academy of Music Theatre. From $20. 413-341-3317;

JJ Grey & Mofro / March 11

The Florida-based band comes to The Cabot in Beverly for a performance that combines rock, blues, funk, and soul. Indie roots-rock band Hollis Brown opens. From $28.50. 978-927-3100;

Scotty McCreery  / March 18

Scotty McCreery was just 17 years old in 2011 when he won Season 10 of American Idol. With his new album, Seasons Change, out March 16 and his 2017 single “Five More Minutes” still climbing the Billboard charts, the country star plays The Wilbur. From $35. 617-248-9700;

Rickie Lee Jones / March 27

After four decades in the spotlight, Rickie Lee Jones is still going strong. The versatile artist behind “Chuck E’s in Love,” the hit single off her self-titled 1979 debut album, returns to Boston to rock City Winery. From $45. 617-933-8047;

Huntertones / March 31

This six-person ensemble is all about the brass. The New York-based group, originally from Ohio, will bring jazz, funk, and soul to City Winery in Boston. $18, $15 in advance. 617-933-8047;



2018 Oscar-Nominated Short Films / February 17-March 11

Prep for the March 4 Oscars — or see what all the fuss was about — by watching animated, live-action, and documentary short films nominated for the big prize. At the Institute of Contemporary Art. $10, $5 members. 617-478-3100;

Film Noir Night / February 21

Carlos Saura’s 1976 film Cria Cuervos, which views Francisco Franco’s regime in Spain from a child’s perspective, screens at Jordan Hall. Not usually a film venue, the hall offers a twist: live music by New England Conservatory students and alumni accompanies the film. Free. 617-585-1100;

Global Cinema Film Festival of Boston / March 8-11

See the world without leaving Studio Cinema in Belmont. The third annual Global Cinema Film Festival features more than 30 independent films — shorts and features, narrative and documentary — from two dozen-plus countries. $12 per screening, $60 all-access pass. 781-209-0328;



Stolen Hearts / February 23-March 18

Head to Cambridge’s Sanctuary Theatre for Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre’s winter production, set to music by Messiaen, Busoni and Bach, and Mozetich. $45. 617-354-7467;

Circa, “S” / March 2-4

Australian sensation Circa Contemporary Circus hits the Shubert Theatre with a choreographed performance that blurs the line between dance and circus arts. Performers flip, spin, leap, and stack into astonishing formations. From $60. 866-348-9738;

Parts in Suite / March 9-April 7

Boston Ballet kicks off its spring season at the Boston Opera House with a program in three sections, each by a different choreographer: Pas/Parts 2016 (William Forsythe), In Creases (Justin Peck), and Bach Cello Suites (Jorma Elo). From $45. 617-695-6955;

Dublin Irish Dance / March 11

World champion Irish step dancers perform to a live Irish band in the fast-paced program Stepping Out, which tells the story of Irish immigration to the United States from before the mid-19th-century famine to the present day. At Mechanics Hall in Worcester. 4 p.m. $49, $17.50 students, $7.50 children. 508-754-3231;

Romeo and Juliet / March 15-April 8

Boston Ballet returns to the Shakespearean story of star-crossed lovers divided by feuding families. Choreographer John Cranko’s 1962 interpretation, set to Sergei Prokofiev’s classic score, plays the Boston Opera House. From $45. 617-695-6955;

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater /March 22-25

The legendary troupe celebrates the 50th anniversary of its Boston debut with a showcase performance at the Wang Theatre. Performances vary, but all five end with Revelations, choreographed by Alvin Ailey himself. From $35. 617-482-9393;



Something Rotten! / February 20-25

In this comedy set in the 1590s, two brothers try to outdo Shakespeare by writing the world’s first-ever musical. The show, nominated for 10 Tony Awards in 2015, plays the Hanover Theatre in Worcester. $44-$79. 877-571-7469;

Waitress / February 20-March 4

The Broadway hit, which originated at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, comes full circle as the national tour visits the Boston Opera House. Waitress tells the story of Jenna, who enters a baking contest in hopes of turning her life around, and features original songs by Sara Bareilles. From $50. 617-259-3400;

Virginia Woolf’s Orlando / February 23-March 25

Ninety years after the publication of the gender-bending novel, Orlando follows a man from 17th-century Constantinople who transforms into a woman in his sleep. At the Lyric Stage. From $35. 617-585-5678;

The Hotel Nepenthe / March 2-11

John Kuntz’s 2011 play focuses on the guests of the Hotel Nepenthe and the unexpected ways in which they connect. The Brown Box Theatre Project production plays Atlantic Wharf in Boston. Free; reserve tickets online. 443-808-1215;

Sister Act / March 2-11

While disco-loving Deloris might seem out of place at a convent, where she is stowed in a witness protection program, she could be just what the sisterhood needs to spice up the choir. The raucous show, with music by Alan Menken, plays Riverside Theatre Works in Hyde Park. From $25. 617-361-7024;

Bedlam’s Hamlet & Saint Joan / March 7-25

The Bedlam theater company drops in from New York with an even more impressive offering than usual. Four actors portray a total of 49 characters in Shakespeare’s Hamlet and George Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan, playing the Emerson Cutler Majestic Theater in repertory. From $20, from $10 students. 617-824-8400;

The Humans / March 13-25

Winner of the 2016 Tony Award for best play, The Humans takes place at the Blake family’s Thanksgiving dinner table. The national tour of Brown University graduate Stephen Karam’s hit stops at the Shubert Theatre. From $25. 866-348-9738;



Klimt and Schiele: Drawn / Opening February 25

A century after the deaths of Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele, 60 drawings by the Austrian artists are on display at the Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibition showcases two very different interpretations of the human body. $25, $23 seniors and students, $10 youth 7-17, under 6 and members free. 617-267-9300;

Fresh Goods: Shopping for Clothing in a New England Town, 1750-1900 / Opening March 2

Think your high school letter jacket is a blast from the past? Visit the Concord Museum to get a sense of fashion and shopping from 18th- and 19th-century outfits. $10, $8 seniors and students, $5 children 6-17, under 6 and members free. 978-369-9763;

The Lure of the Dark: Contemporary Painters Conjure the Night / Opening March 3

Head to Mass MoCA to check out a dozen artists’ takes on the hours from dusk till dawn and the light that shines through. $20, $18 seniors and veterans, $12 students, $8 children 6-16, under 6 and members free. 413-662-2111;

MFA Late Nites  / March 3

The Museum of Fine Arts continues a seasonal series that kicked off in October, throwing open its doors from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. for gallery access, music, dancing, food, and more. $20, $15 in advance. 617-267-9300;

ICA Collection: Entangled in the Everyday/ Opening March 16

At the Institute of Contemporary Art’s 13th annual collection exhibition, artists transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. The show spotlights unexpected twists on everyday objects. $15, $13 seniors, $10 students, under 18 and members free. 617-478-3100;  

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