10 free things to do in August in Boston


From concerts along the Charles River to the North End’s famous feasts, there’s plenty of free things to do in Boston this summer.

Revere Hotel Boston Common — in partnership with Lululemon Newbury Street — hosts free rooftop yoga on Saturday mornings through September, led by certified yoga instructors.

With summer in full swing and fall around the corner, you don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy all the city has to offer. From outdoor concerts (there are plenty to enjoy) and fitness classes to cultural celebrations and Italian feasts, there are so many ways to thrive this month, all without shelling out a dime. Here are 10 things to do in Boston for free this August.

The Rose Kennedy Greenway turns into a high energy workout zone, with free fitness classes almost daily as part of the Fitness on the Greenway. There will be more than 130 fitness classes scheduled, including yoga, Zumba, HIIT, bodyweight circuit, and strength classes, so there’s something for every level of fitness. August’s offerings include recurring classes, such as Intro to Parkour on Aug. 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Cardio Kickboxing with Sasha on Aug. 13, 20, and 27 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and Pilates Movement with Jill on Aug. 4 and 11 at noon to 1 p.m., as well as one-time experiences like The Dance Fusion Experience on Aug. 5 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Slow Vinyasa with Elenora on Aug. 31 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. (various locations on the Greenway, Boston)

Mangia your way through the North End

During more than a dozen summer weekends, various Italian societies honor the patron saints of ancestor towns with masses, processions, food and music during Boston’s historic North End Feasts. The streets are adorned with lights, the air is rich with the smell of sausages, and traditional song has every toe tapping. For a true experience, visit during the largest feasts, St. Agrippina di Mineo (Aug. 1-4), the Fisherman’s (Aug. 15-18) and St. Anthony (Aug. 22-25). (various streets in the North End, Boston)

The Boston Public Library hosts its popular Concerts in the Courtyard series.

The Boston Public Library’s Concerts in the Courtyard Series continues through August with a wide array of concerts performed by local and Berklee College of Music musicians in the courtyard of the Central Library in Copley Square (inclement weather location: Rabb Lecture Hall). The current program’s theme of  “Revolutionary Music: Music for Social Change” offers an added layer of discovery by delving into how music has spurred social change in our country. The one-hour concerts will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Fridays and 6 p.m. on Wednesdays. You’ll find the full schedule, which begins Aug. 2 and runs through Aug. 30, here. (700 Boylston St., Boston)

Crowds flock to the Hatch Shell for The Boston Landmarks Orchestra’s weekly free summer concerts and its mix of classical, traditional, modern, and contemporary music. The two-hour concerts begin at 7 p.m., and the final month’s schedule includes “Brahms & Dvorak: Songs Without Words” on Aug. 3, “Chamber Music: The Rivers School Conservatory” on Aug. 10, “Mozart & More” on Aug. 14, and “Sheherazade & Borodin: Arabian Nights” on Aug. 21. (Hatch Memorial Shell, 47 David G. Mugar Way, Boston)

Celebrating 26 years of waterfront music, the Boston Harbor Hotel is bringing back its popular Summer in the City series every Tuesday through Friday evening from Aug. 5 through 25 on the Harborwalk Terrace from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Live bands play on a floating barge stage, and the musical performances range in genres, from jazz to country to R&B. (70 Rowes Wharf, Boston)

The Revere Boston Hotel continues its Summer Fitness Series yoga series on its rooftop with Saturday morning flow at 10 a.m. on Aug. 6, 13, 20, and 27, weather permitting. Bring your own mat (although guests of the hotel can use the provided mats) and enjoy practice led by Equinox instructors. (200 Stuart St., Boston)

The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association of New England brings back the August Moon Festival (aka the Harvest Festival) on Aug. 11 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Known as one of the greatest Chinese Festivals, second only to the Chinese New Year, the celebration is a festival of joy and health and pays homage to the arrival of autumn’s prosperous harvest. The full day event will host Asian folk dance, lion dances and Chinese opera, along with vendor tables with food, gifts and souvenirs. (various streets around Chinatown)

The 14th Annual African Festival of Boston is a day filled with vibrant music, delicious food, and colorful cultural performances. Held on Aug. 17 and 18 from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., the festival puts the spotlight on the rich diversity of African heritage in Boston with live music, dance, art, and more. There will be traditional drumming, local artisans showing off their intricate beadwork, and flavors of authentic African cuisine to savor. (Boston Common, 139 Tremont St., Boston)

Enjoy a movie under the stars

From the Prudential Center to Christopher Columbus Park, Greenway’s Wharf District Park to Chinatown, there are plenty of free flicks this summer throughout Boston. Check the individual locations for times and movie titles. Of note, on Aug. 29 at 7:30 p.m., the City of Boston will host its own viewing of the hit movie “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire” at the Boston Common’s Frog Pond (38 Beacon St.), along with free popcorn while supplies last. (various locations around Boston)

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