Cheapskate’s Guide to Boston: Week of May 23

Alright fellow cheapskates, after the glut of free events this weekend (Somerville PorchFest, Ashmont Hill Yard Sale, EarthFest 2011) it looks like the coming week is a bit thin on freeloading opportunities. Here are a couple of notables:

Lunch Line Poster, Courtesy of Uji Films.

Monday, May 23

Free screening of Lunchline, a documentary about the federal school lunch program and the intersection of nutrition, politics and education. Here’s the trailer. Hosted by AMC Loews on the Common, 7:30 PM.

Tuesday, May 24

Last day to catch Occupation Forces, an interactive art installation on the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway. Wander around the Greenway finding alien and robot invaders to interact with in realtime on your device of choice. Participation requires an iPhone or Android OS-smartphone to detect invaders in the cityscape. Download the project application here.



Thursday, May 26

Boston Beer Week kicks off Thursday (for the 21+, of course) and runs until June 5. Local breweries are holding tastings aplenty throughout Boston-Cambridge (check each event to see if it’s a free tasting, some are tap takeovers at bars). Whole Foods hosts a few throughout the event, as do time-honored favorites Samuel Adams, Dogfish Head and Pretty Things.

The annual Faneuil Hall Street Performers Festival also begins Thursday and runs through Memorial Day. Contortionists, illusionists, musicians and all manner of sidewalk spectacles descend on Boston’s greatest tourist trap.

Friday, May 28

While not free, Harvard Square’s Club Passim hosts its annual fire-sale-cheap Campfire Festival through Memorial Day. Ten bucks gets you a day pass (from 6 pm to midnight on Friday, noon to midnight Saturday through Monday) or throw down $30 for the full weekend of folk, country, indie, classic rock and every other imaginable genre.

Saturday, May 28

The North End will host Festa della Repubblica Italiana in Christopher Columbus Park on Long Wharf with a full day (10 AM to to 8 PM) of Italian music from pop to classical, food and exhibits.

Sunday, May 29

Lorem Ipsum Bookstore in Cambridge’s Inman Square hosts a free monthly acoustic set that always attracts great acts. This Sunday at 8 PM it’s another solid lineup: instrumental/experimental/post-rock Koala, the indie-pop Grownup Noise and free folk outfit We Avalanche.  No admission, but all donations (plus $2 Narrangassets) support the bookstore. Take the CT2 bus from the BU Bridge or the 66 bus to the 69 bus from Harvard Ave in Allston.


Most of the free outdoor concerts and movies start next week or in mid-June. In the interim, here are a couple more standbys we spaced in the overview:

SoWa Open Market is open every Sunday (through October), 10 AM to 4 PM at 500 Harrison in the South End. A mix of food, clothing and crafts vendors. SoWa also has a local farmer’s market and a smattering of food trucks (including Grillo’s Pickles — try the green tomatoes — Boston Speed Dog, Grilled Cheese Nation and the stalwart Clover Food Lab).

Boston Children’s Museum is only $1 every Friday from 5 to 9 PM. You’ll need to brave the “you don’t have a kid?” scrutiny from the ticket counter staff, but a three-story climbable maze and rooms devoted solely to bubbles and static electricity are worth feeling vaguely creepy.

Art Fridays in Downtown Crossing brings crafts vendors, local musicians and artists to downtown. Stop by on the way to the Common or Public Garden.


We are tightfisted. We are legion. We are cheapskates.

About Shawn Musgrave

Shawn Musgrave is a senior studying economics and global development.

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