Spring Has Sprung: A Cultural Guide to Spring in Boston

photo by Rio Asch Phoenix

With the advent of spring in Boston comes a host of related warmer-weather activities (well, theoretically warmer at least). Although spring in New England can be chilly, there is still a plethora of events and activities to enjoy in the coming months. You’re probably already familiar with the more well-known activities to be enjoyed this coming season: strolling through Boston Common, museums, etc. Off the beaten path, though, there is another side of Boston to explore beyond the more familiar, touristy events.

Shopping:

Newbury Street is generally the go-to for most Boston students. However, shopping opportunities in the city are much more diverse than just one street.

Boston Black Market

An art collective called Boston Hassle hosts a “Black Market” event about once every one to two months, where local artists sell their wares in a one-day flea market. The last event was on Feb. 12, and the events are trackable on Boston Hassle’s website. Both the artists and the venues are local, and items range from vintage leather jackets to embroidered pins and earrings to wood carvings.

The Black Market event offers a chance to support local artists as well as find one-of-a-kind items. For an entry fee of $1, you can browse an array of hipster-chic, inexpensive art. Boston Hassle also hosts local artists and writers.

The Garment District

Another great spot is the Garment District, located in Cambridge. This second-hand store offers everything from ’50 vintage jackets to new winterwear. While the unique selection of clothing makes it noteworthy, the Garment District is remarkable also for its somewhat unconventional events calendar.

Every second Sunday of the month, the Garment District hosts a dog adoption event in conjunction with Last Hope K9 Rescue. Surrounded by 80’s dresses and bomber jackets, shoppers can stop by to pet the assorted dogs and inquire about adoption. The most recent event featured six dogs ranging from a chow-chow named Funshine to a daschund named Teddy. What’s not to like?

Food:

Some well-known eateries include Mike’s Pastries; Trident Bookstore and Cafe; Legal Seafood; and pretty much any restaurant on Boylston, Newbury, or Huntington. Other parts of the city, though, also offer a wonderful array of cuisine. While it’s not necessarily particular to the spring season, there are many bakeries and pastry spots in Boston that are definite musts.

Pastries:

In the North End, not too far from Mike’s Pastries, Modern Pastry provides a similar array of mouthwatering sweets. Small and family-owned, Modern Pastry offers a wide range of pastries as well a charming ambiance. Their cannoli, in particular, especially renowned.

Other hotspots include Tatte Bakery and Cafe and Flour Bakery and Cafe, both with multiple locations in the Boston area. The latter is known across the city for their award-winning sticky buns: buttery pastries with glazed pecans, baked to perfection.

Museums:

Many Boston-area university ID’s will get students into museums for free; everywhere from the Museum of Fine Arts to the Tea Party Museum offers preferential or free student rates. Museums aren’t only good for touring, though. Many offer art and subject classes, again at reduced costs to students.

The Museum of Fine Arts:

The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) is well-known to Northeastern students. What many don’t know is that the museum offers art classes and several events throughout the year. The MFA offers basic figure-drawing courses for $30 a session, as well as more advanced courses. The MFA even offers classes like metal inert gas (MIG) welding for anyone looking to learn specific skills.

Other Museums:

Other favorites include the Harvard Natural History Museum located in Cambridge and one of the most interactive museums in Boston; as well as the Institute of Contemporary Art, located about 2.5 miles away from Northeastern.

This and That:

Like any city, Boston is home to a wide array of people with a wide array of interests. As a result, the city offers a huge variety of events to choose from in the coming spring.

For wildlife enthusiasts or bird lovers, the Welcome Spring Bird Walk, on March 22, offers free fun. Binoculars are lent out to bystanders. Experts, as well as novices, gather to watch the earliest migrating birds come to the Boston reservation.

For dancers looking for a unique night out, Boston’s Havana Club hosts late-night salsa lessons followed by a four-hour salsa party (partner not required). The club is open Fridays, Saturdays, Mondays, and Tuesdays, with different events on each day.

And of course, for outdoor lovers, Boston Public Garden is a classic destination. What you might not know, however, is that the garden is home to one of the most spectacular tulip displays during warmer spring weather.

Of course one of the most anticipated events of the spring season is opening day for the Red Sox on April 6. However, procuring a ticket can be tricky and expensive. Consequently, almost all sports bars show the game. Local favorites include Game On and La Verdad. Local legend has it games are even viewable from some of the higher buildings on Northeastern’s campus.