While Massachusetts has reopened museums and other cultural institutions during Phase 3, many residents are continuing to stay home due to the coronavirus pandemic. With that in mind, this week’s BosTen offers a mix of things to do this weekend. Have an idea about what we should cover? Leave us a comment on this article or in the BosTen Facebook group, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Thursday starting at 8 p.m., the Boston-based National Braille Press (NBP) will host its annual “A Million Laughs for Literacy” Gala virtually, highlighted by a performance from stand-up comic Jim Gaffigan. The non-profit will be raising money for its Right to Read for Everyone campaign, which works to ensure that blind children and adults have access to materials in braille. Donors can purchase individual tickets to the virtual celebration as well as packages that include meal prep kits and wine to emulate the traditional gala environment on NBP’s website.
Belly up to the (virtual) table for the 6th annual Smithsonian Food History Weekend, a three-day event hosted by the Smithsonian Food History project at the National Museum of American History. Food innovators, chefs, educators, entrepreneurs, and scholars will lead a series of panels, demonstrations, and activities, all revolving around the theme of Food Futures: Striving for Justice. The weekend kicks off with a virtual gala on Thursday, followed by “Deep Dish Dialogues” like “Rebuilding the Food System,” “Beer Futures,” and “A Better Deal for Food Workers,” as well as “Cooking Up History” demos with chefs Nico Albert, Jocelyn Ramirez, and Haile Thomas. Attendees can register here.
The Museum of Science has reopened for visitors, but the museum is continuing the at-home educational programming it started during the early months of the pandemic. On Friday afternoon at 2 p.m., you can log onto Zoom for a virtual planetarium presentation, with a museum educator helping to shed light on what we’re seeing in the night sky. If you can’t make it at the scheduled time, the museum has been adding the talks to its YouTube page. The event is free, but registration on Eventbrite is required in order to log onto the Zoom.
Last week, we told you about the Wellfleet Oyster Festival’s online shucking classes. This week? The actual festival is back for its 20th year, this time reimagined as a free virtual event. Starting at 5 p.m. on Saturday, attendees can tune in to the festival’s YouTube channel, where they’ll find local celebrity chefs like Ming Tsai, Elle Simone Scott, and Jamie Bissonette hosting an oyster shucking contest, sharing recipes, and introducing the evening’s musical entertainment. Register for the festival here.
Each year, the Boston Book Festival chooses one work of literature for its “One City, One Story” initiative, during which it offers the work of a local author for free in order to create a citywide book club of sorts. This year’s work is “The Book of Life and Death,” a short story by author and Brandeis University writer-in-residence Grace Talusan about a Filipina housekeeper named Marybelle living in Boston with her employer during the pandemic. You can read Talusan’s short story (available in multiple languages) on the BBF website, then join her for a virtual Q&A on Friday at 6 p.m.
Cambridge Brewing Company’s annual Great Pumpkin Fest is typically one of the must-visit fall brewery celebrations, but coronavirus has forced its cancellation this year. Nevertheless, CBC will be holding a scaled-back, socially distant Fall Fest, in which guests who reserve table service will be able to try 16 different Oktoberfest-inspired lager beers as well as vintage pumpkin beers from the Cambridge brewery. The fest will be available for guests starting Friday at 4 p.m. and all day on Saturday.
The New England Aquarium has continued to strictly observe COVID safety regulations since reopening in July, but that doesn’t mean the institution can’t have a little fun as well. Every Friday night at 8 p.m. through Nov. 1, the aquarium will host themed Aquarium After Dark nights, including Sustainable Seafood Night (Oct. 16), Ecosystems Sounds (Oct. 23), and Haunted Aquarium (Oct. 30). You’ll be able to see the aquarium as you’ve likely never seen it before, with the lights dimmed to emulate the sea creatures’ natural nighttime environment. The Giant Ocean Tank, in particular, looks completely different when the sun goes down.
Greek hangout Krasi isn’t just launching brunch this weekend, it’s launching a brunch fit for the Goddess of Pop: Cher. Starting Sunday at 11 a.m., the Back Bay bôite will offer a weekend brunch menu stacked with baklava muffins, lemon mizithra-filled fried pancakes, and smoked salmon served with lemon-dill manouri cream cheese, boiled egg, caper berries, and carob bread. Snack on sourdough and tzatziki while a Cher-themed playlist runs in the background, or snap a few photos using Cher-themed props while you sip on a Greek negroni.
Sabrina Vixama is the chef and owner at Discover Vegans, a catering service that specializes in Haitian vegan cuisine. On Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., swing by Ripple Cafe in Dorchester where Vixama will be serving her venerated Haitian patties, along with pumpkin French toast, smoothies, and more. Due to COVID-19 guidelines, only five people can be inside Ripple Cafe at a time — but it’ll be well worth the wait.
Since July, Starlight Square has been the place to go in Central Square if you want to watch a live, socially distant arts performance that isn’t on your laptop. This Sunday from 12:15-2:30 p.m., the communal space on Bishop Allen Drive will host Soul of Central Square, an afternoon of music from Cambridge-area blues, soul, Caribbean, and jazz performers. Among the confirmed artists are The Mastadonis Project Band, Tempo International Steel Orchestra, iisma, Genevieve, DJ Cruz/Maurice Wilkey, and DJ Nomadik. Advance registration via Eventbrite in order to allow for social distancing is recommended.
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