Want to make the most of the rest of your summer? From dining and art events to movies under a starry sky, these are our recommendations.


Boston Calling Block Parties

It’s not Coachella — yet. But since it launched in Spring 2013, the bi-annual Boston Calling music festival has grown steadily, drawing huge crowds to City Hall Plaza, where its stages host genre-spanning burgeoning and established artists with major hipster cred. For the fall festival, running September 5-7, the lineup includes Lorde, The National, Nas x The Roots, Girl Talk, The 1975 and Neutral Milk Hotel, to name a few. But in the meanwhile, get in the spirit with Thursday block parties on Downtown’s Dewey Square, part of the Rose Kennedy Greenway. Every week from 5-8 PM, the Boston Calling team throws smaller soirees with craft brews, live bands, and plenty of impromptu hacky sack. (Boston Calling Music Festival; bostoncalling.com)


Finding Neverland at ART

How impressive is Diane Paulus? The artistic director of Cambridge’s American Repertory Theater (ART) has already directed three Tony-winning musicals, and June’s nationally televised awards featured Jennifer Hudson in a preview performance from “Finding Neverland,” the ART’s new. Not bad, for a show that can’t even be found on Broadway. Through September 28, theater lovers will have to come to Harvard Square to discover this just-opened show, an adaptation of the 2004 Johnny Depp flick about the playwright who created Peter Pan. Elaborate sets and a British pop music sensibility pervade what could wind up as Paulus’s biggest hit yet. Cambridge is hardly NYC, but with one of the country’s hottest directors right in our backyard, the stage lights are shining brighter than ever. (American Repertory Theater; americanrepertorytheater.org)


SoWa Open Market

Every Sunday starting at 10 AM, art lovers and food nerds flock to the SoWa Open Market, an open-air extravaganza set by the big brick buildings that dominate the once-industrial area of Boston’s South End. Under dozens of white pavilions, local artisans sell handmade art, craftwork, home décor and small batch beauty products. A “Vintage Market” of retro clothes, housewares and bric-a-brac sprawls throughout the indoors of a nearby building, art galleries along cobblestoned Thayer Street open their doors to visitors, and a farmer’s market serves up fresh fruits, veggies and boutique cheese from local purveyors. Meanwhile, a parking lot full of food trucks bring together gourmet-loving geeks in pursuit of everything from grilled cheese to banh mi.  (SoWa Open Market; sowasundays.com) 


Hit a Rooftop Pool 

The problem: You want to sun and splash, but don’t feel like driving to the beach. (Or competing for towel space around a bunch of sand kicking kids.) The solution: Cocktails and chaise lounges at a rooftop pool. An urban oasis offers the best of surf and turf. So head to Rooftop @ Revere (pictured), the cabana-filled, South Beach-inspired hotspot at Revere Hotel Boston Common. It’s a major social scene, drawing pretty people with pitcher cocktails, “classy Jell-O shots” served in miniature martini glasses, and tropical bar bites like rock shrimp ceviche in a pineapple-jalapeno liqueur. (The staff, decked out in swimsuits designed by a Vogue editor, is easy on the eyes too.) Following a renovation, the Colonnade Boston Hotel boasts some cool bamboo flooring, noshes like spicy swordfish tacos, and weekly “Sunrise Salutations” yoga classes. And the BOKX 109 pool at Hotel Indigo brings a Vegas vibe to Newton, of all places, serving up boozy slushes for sipping by the pool or – as sun sets and a chills sets in – by a picturesque fire pit. (Rooftop @ Revere, reverehotel.com; Colonnade Boston Hotel, colonnadehotel.com; BOKX 109, bokx109prime.com)


Jamie Wyeth Exhibition at the MFA

The Museum of Fine Arts unveiled in July the first comprehensive exhibition dedicated to Wyeth, a painter who hails from a legacy of vital American artists: including grandfather N.C. Wyeth, the famed illustrator whose work for Scribner’s Classics books (like “Treasure Island”) probably made up much of your childhood library. The hundred or so pieces at the MFA show cover six decades of Jamie Wyeth’s work, and the wide breadth of subjects he painted. There are portraits: of John F. Kennedy, for whom his wife once worked, and of Andy Warhol, with whom he palled around throughout the swinging 70s. There are landscapes: of haunting worlds he dreamed, and of sunny days spent on Maine’s tiny Monhegan Island, where he owns a home. Everywhere: a new American master, waiting to be discovered. (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; mfa.org)


Watch the Stars

Drive-in movie theaters are (nearly) a thing of the past, but Boston is filled with options for outdoor movies throughout the entire summer. Every Friday, the Boston Harbor Hotel projects classic flicks (like “Vertigo,” “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “West Side Story”) in the summery setting of its harbor side wharf. It’s the perfect place to unwind after some fine dining at the hotel’s acclaimed restaurant, Meritage, or cocktails at it swank lounge, The Alley Bar. The “Free Friday Flicks” screened at The Hatch Shell each week strike a balance between family-friend fare (“Frozen”) and satisfying thirty-something nostalgia: “Beetlejuice,” anyone? And the North End’s Christopher Columbus Park has retro favorites like “Big” (August 3) and “Star Wars” (August 10) coming soon to a starry night. For a great guide to all summer outdoor movies, head here. [LINK: http://www.thrillist.com/entertainment/boston/summer-outdoor-movies-boston-calendar] 


Wavelengths at the ICA

Picture it: a balmy Friday night on the harbor. DJs are spinning. There’s a drink in your hand, and art (and art lovers) everywhere. That’s the experience you’ll find during Wavelengths, a weekly series at the Institute of Contemporary Art that is an unmistakably modern night out at the museum. Sexy culture vultures descend to the Seaport to soak up edgy exhibits and then groove to live music and DJs, like Peaches, electro-folk maestro Mas Ysa (August 8), and subversive nightlife vixens Juliana Huxtable and Venus X (August 15). After all, some of the finest art is made with vinyl. (Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston; icaboston.org)


Test Your Limits

Cycling is a powerful way to challenge yourself, strengthen your body, and build endurance. Now, that your fitter form and put it to the test in an obstacle filled challenge course. On August 9 and 10, the Spartan Race will fill Amesbury Sports Park with 15 obstacles over three muddy miles, making you climb, crawl and leap your way to victory. And on September 6, the women-only Diva Dash at Marshfield Fairgrounds will test strength, speed, balance and strategy over three miles and a dozen different obstacles. So get ready to hit the ropes. And the climbing wall, and the… (Spartan Race, spartan.com; Diva Dash, divadash.com)


Dine Out. A Lot.

We know swimsuit season isn’t typically the time to throw dietary caution to the wind, but — hell, Dine Out Boston doesn’t come often. The twice-yearly series, formerly known as Restaurant Week, gets dozens of eateries around the city to agree to offer special prix fixe menus at a nice discount: $28, $33 or $38 for a set number of courses. This summer, Dine Out Boston goes down from August 17-22 and August 24-29. And although Boston’s biggest chef, Barbara Lynch, isn’t participating in Dine Out Boston, the maverick restaurateur is doing something similar on her own terms. Besides special menus, she’ll dole out “Taste of the Gruppo Tour” cards that get stamped for each of her joints you visit. (They are: Drink, B&G Oysters, The Butcher Shop, Sportello, Menton and No. 9 Park.) Hit them all, and you’ll be entered to win a food and cocktail party for 14 around “The Block” a private bar at Drink. (Dine Out Boston, dineoutboston.com; Barbara Lynch Gruppo, blgruppo.com)


Shakespeare on the Common 

If Shakespearean theater is normally a bit intense for your taste, the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company might offer your best foray to the Bard. Each summer the organization takes the master playwright out of stuffy, gilded, velvet-draped theaters and into the starry expanse of the summer night, staging free, near-nightly performances in the middle of Boston Common. This season you’ll find the Shakespearean comedy “Twelfth Night.” Just throw down a blanket, or spring a little cash for a reserved lawn chair with picnic boxes from Earl of Sandwich. Shows start at 8 PM on Tuesday through Saturday, 7 PM on Sunday. And if you think a buzz might help you better enjoy things, head to nearby Stoddard’s Fine Food & Ale on Thursday, August 7 at 5:30 PM, when the Downtown pub will host “Bard at the Bar”: a pre-play meet-up for professionals under 40. (Commonwealth Shakespeare Company; commshakes.org)


Get Tapped Out 

The craft beer movement is alive and well in Boston. So well, in fact, that more and more local brew masters have been able to open up taprooms recently. There, guests get a chance to see how the magic happens — and more importantly, sample the results. Among the recent new openings is Night Shift Brewing in Everett, a 2500-square foot taproom with 24 draft lines for sampling boundary-pushing brews from its experimental “Art” series. (They’ll even let you bring your own food.) Aeronaut Brewing Co. just opened its taproom in Somerville, pouring out pints and growlers of eight varieties. And for something a little sweeter, Somerville’s Bantam Cider recently launched the area’s first cider-only taproom in Union Square. Cheers! (Night Shift Brewing, nightshiftbrewing.com; Aeronaut, aeronautbrewing.com; Bantam Cider, bantamcider.com) 


Midnight Movies at Coolidge Corner Theatre 

Every dozen-screen multiplex is filled with summer blockbusters. So if you’re seeking big budget epics and explosion-filled superhero sagas, you won’t have to look far. But don’t forget to spend a hot night soaking up the air-conditioning at Coolidge, a small, nonprofit movie-house (scope the retro neon marquee!) that dedicates its screens to serious art films, quirky indie movies, and campy B-grade curiosities with cult fandoms. You’ll find plenty of the last during the weekend “After Midnite” series, which is focusing on zombie flicks for the rest of the summer: “28 Days Later,” “Night of the Living Dead,” and the British comedy “Shaun of the Dead” are all on the horizon. (Coolidge Corner Theatre; coolidge.org)

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