Beacon Hill - West End neighborhood notes

Link Boston Homes
People who visit Boston Common can learn about the history of the city with guided tours.

Prescott House Tours

The William Hickling Prescott House, 55 Beacon St. will be open for tours from noon to 3:30 p.m. on Saturdays through Sept. 24. Tours start 15 past the hour; last tour at 3:15 p.m.

This enchanting Federal period mansion designed by Asher Benjamin was one of the featured locations of “Little Women.”

Visit and/or for more information ($8 | Children under 12, active military and families: Free).

Free Tai Chi

Coach Stephanie Orme will lead free Tai Chi classes near the bandstand on Boston Common from 9 to 10 a.m. on Sundays through November (weather permitting).

Visit for more information.

USS Constitution Story Time and Take-Home Craft

The Constitution Museum at the Charlestown Navy Yard will offer a Sailor Story Time followed by a free take-home craft at 2 p.m. on Tuesday July 26.

Visit for more information, including information about the free admission vouchers and reading program at the Museum good through April 30, 2023.   

The Summer Party

Join the Friends of the Public Garden from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 27 at the UMass Club overlooking the Common, Garden and Mall.

This annual summer bash raises funds for the #threeparks and supports their work to renew, care and advocate for these iconic downtown greenspaces.

Tickets are $95 and include generous hors d’oeuvres and a selection of beer & wine. Garden Chic attire encouraged.

Visit for more information and tickets. Donations welcome.

Book Bi Book: A Bisexual Book Club

This book club, geared towards members of the bi+ community, will read and discuss books by bi+ authors and books that feature bi+ characters.

The group will meet from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 28 at the West End Branch Library, 151 Cambridge St. to discuss Starling Days by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan.

Visit for more information.

Shakespeare on the Common 2022: ‘Much Ado About Nothing’

The Commonwealth Shakespeare Company will present William Shakespeare's “Much Ado About Nothing” at the Parkman Bandstand on Boston Common through Sunday, Aug. 7 (no Monday performances). Showtimes: 8 p.m. - except July 30: at 4 p.m.

“Much Ado About Nothing” is one of Shakespeare’s most popular and frequently performed plays. More than just a comedic romp, the play tackles serious themes too: trust and betrayal, power and privilege, gendered expectations around chastity and violence. This is a comedy entangled with a tragedy, where love and justice nevertheless manage to prevail with vigorous joy - a perfect play for our uncertain times.

Audience members can bring blankets or chairs; rent chairs on site for $10; or purchase “Friends Section” chairs ($60-$75 donation per chair).

Visit for more information.

Tadpole 10 Summer Series

Drop by the TADpole Playground on Boston Common from 10 a.m. to noon on Thursdays through Aug. 25 for stories, games, additional activities, books, giveaways and snacks.

Visit for more information.

Parks Summer Fitness: Frog Pond Yoga

Free fitness classes will be held in neighborhood parks and on Zoom through Saturday, Oct 1, including Frog Pond Yoga from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays at Boston Common Frog Pond.

Visit for full details/schedule and Eventbrite registration. 

Friday Films

West End Branch Library, 151 Cambridge St, will show a variety of movies from 1 to 3 p.m. on Fridays through September.

The July selections relate to Disability Pride Month; Casey’s Picks in August are diverse genres; and September’s titles focus on Hispanic Heritage Month.

Visit for more information and titles.

Nichols House Museum Tours

The Nichols House Museum, 55 Mount Vernon St., was home to landscape gardener, suffragist and pacifist Rose Standish Nichols and her family.

Their 1804 Bulfinch townhouse and its original art and furnishings provide a glimpse into life on historic Beacon Hill from the mid-19th to mid-20th century.

The 45-minute tours, that include stories of family, staff and Beacon Hill, are offered at various times throughout the week.

Visit for more information and tickets (Free to $12).      

Boston Parks Summer Fitness Series: Virtual Classes

Free fitness classes will be held in neighborhood parks and on Zoom through Saturday, Oct 1.

Here are the virtual classes:

Virtual Dance Fit: Mondays from 5 to 6 p.m. | Virtual HIIT Training: Tuesdays from 7 to 8 a.m. | Pre- and Postnatal Friendly Barre from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays | Fit Fusion: 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. on Thursdays | Virtual Chair Yoga: Fridays from noon to 1 p.m. | Virtual Zumba: Saturdays from 10 to 11 a.m. | Virtual Yoga: Sundays from 6 to 7 p.m.

Visit for full details/schedule and Eventbrite registration. 

Critical Blood Shortage - Donate at Big Night Entertainment Group

The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 3 at Big Night Entertainment Group, 110 Causeway St.

Visit or phone 1-800­-RED CROSS (1-800­-733-2767) to reserve your space.

BCYF Summer Program Registration is Open

A variety of land and pool programs will be offered at the BCYF community centers across the city this summer.

Go to for more details and registration.

Registration is Open for Hill House Summer Programs

Hill House, 27 Mt. Vernon St. is offering a range of week-long camps and programs through Aug. 19. Registration is open for Kiddie-Kamp, Day Camp and Leadership in Training (LIT).

Visit for more information and registration.

Boston Summer Camp Listings

For a comprehensive listing of and links to Boston Summer Camps – Art, Sports, Academic and Specialty – visit

The Boston Common Frog Pond Carousel is Open

The Carousel will be open for the summer and fall seasons daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Visit for more information ($4/ride | $30/10 Ride Card).

Brewer Fountain Plaza is Open with Music, Food and Fun

The tables, chairs and umbrellas will be set out daily around the Brewer Fountain in the Boston Common for the public to enjoy from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through October.

Live solo piano performances by Berklee College of Music students can be enjoyed Monday through Friday from 12:15 to 2:15 p.m.

Four food trucks will rotate through two spots on Brewer serving diverse cuisine during the lunch hours each day.

Visit for details.

Boston By Foot Tours

Boston By Foot offers a variety of daily tours throughout the neighborhoods for adults, little ones and/or families.

Visit for the schedule and tickets ($8 to $17).

Boston Athenæum Art and Architecture Tours (updated)

Join a Boston Athenæum docent for an onsite tour focused on the history of the Athenæum, its iconic building and its special collections at 10½ Beacon St. Tours are offered at 5:30 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays, 3 p.m. on Thursdays, noon on Fridays and 11 a.m. on Saturdays in July.

Whether visiting for the first time or as a member who frequents the building, the stories are sure to fascinate people as they walk through the historic library.

Visit for more information and registration (Members: Free | Visitors: $5).

West End Walking Tours (updated)

The West End Museum will host a walking tour of the West End neighborhood covering the area's history from settlement through to modern times at 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays through Dec. 10.

Visit for more information and registration ($8-$12).

Black Heritage Trail Tours

Join a Park Ranger from the National Parks of Boston to explore the rich history of Beacon Hill's 19th century Black community.

The guided walks will be held at 10 a.m. and at 1 p.m. on Sundays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through Sept. 4.

Visit for more information and registration.

BPDA's Model Room is Open

The BPDA's model room houses a 1:40 inch scale, physical, basswood model of Boston's downtown and portions of Beacon Hill, the North End, Charlestown, Back Bay and the South Boston waterfront.

Visit the model room on the 9th floor of Boston City Hall at One City Hall Square - open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.

Visit for more information.

Colonial Society of Massachusetts Open House/Tours

Colonial Society of Massachusetts, 87 Mount Vernon St. will host an open house from 1 to 3 p.m. on the first Sunday of the month.

Take a tour of the interior of a house that was designed and built by Charles Bulfinch in 1807, one of the earliest Beacon Hill mansions. Collections on view include 19th-century furniture and decorative arts.

A short program on the history of the Society, the house and collections, and the elegant neighborhood will begin at 2 p.m.

Visit for more information.

King’s Chapel History Tours 

The King's Chapel History Program is open for guided (on the hour) and self-guided tours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Saturdays (Summer Schedule). ​

Discover more than 330 years of history at King’s Chapel, 58 Tremont St. with a 40-minute guided tour of the historic sanctuary and church crypt containing 21 tombs.

General admission includes self-guided exploration of the chapel’s ground level, access to a selection of mobile tours, and informal interpretive programs offered by their team of Historic Site Educators.

General admission - available for purchase on-site: $0 to $5.

Guided tours - available for purchase on-site and online: $0 to $10.

Visit for more information.

Online/Onsite ESOL Conversation Groups and Classes 

The Boston Public Library offers a variety of elementary, intermediate and advanced ESOL conversation groups and classes on select days and times throughout the week. Practice speaking English with other adult learners in an informal and friendly group setting.

Visit for more information and registration.

BCYF Programs and Services                                                        

The Boston Center for Youth and Families offers a variety of arts and computer activities,

recreational programs, virtual field trips, workshops and services for children, youth, individuals and families at 36 facilities, including community centers and pools.

Visit for more information and registration.

Operation ABLE                                                                                                     

Operation ABLE (174 Portland St.) provides employment services and training programs to job seekers from economically, racially and occupationally diverse backgrounds. 

All services, including distance learning, coaching and wrap-around services, are being conducted remotely, including a new remote employee skills training program for Massachusetts residents, ages 55 and up.

Visit for more information and registration.

MOS Experience Online/Onsite

Highlights of your visit to the Museum of Science can include permanent and temporary exhibits and a variety of shows in the Planetarium and recently refurbished Mugar Omni Theater.

MOS at home also offers an array of programs and events. Schedules change weekly and may include a weekly STEM challenge, virtual planetarium visits, live animal visits, science stories, science-related question and answer panels, and Sub-space events.

Visit for more information and reservations.

Boston Athenæum Online/Onsite                                       

Boston Athenæum offers many activities online (some free of charge), serving their members, the Boston community and beyond. They also offer tours of the first floor of their landmark building and artworks from the special collections.

Admission is free for all on Second Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Visit for more information.

Museum of African American History Online/Onsite                  

The Museum of African American History, 46 Joy St. will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays through Sundays.

Exhibits, programs and education activities showcase the stories of black families who worshipped, educated their children, debated the issues of the day, produced great art, organized politically and advanced the cause of freedom from Colonial Period through the 19th century.

Tours include The African Meeting House, Abiel Smith School and The Museum’s Black Heritage Trail. They also offer virtual programs and events.

Visit for more information and reservations (0 to $10).

Big Sister Mentoring                                                                                    

Since 1951, the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston continues to make and support one-to-one mentoring relationships between thousands of women and girls each year.

The Big Sister professional staff matches a girl between the ages of 7 and 15 with a woman who is at least 20 years old, based on shared preferences and interests and continues to provide support and guidance to each Big Sister, Little Sister, and Little Sister’s family.

To learn more about how to become a Big Sister or to enroll a girl to become a Little Sister, visit

Food Access and Resources Information                           

The Mayor's Office of Food Access works to improve the accessibility and affordability of healthy food that reflects the diversity of the residents of Boston.

– Visit for a list of programs and initiatives, including food pantries, soup kitchens, farmers markets, school meal and summer eats sites, among others.

– Visit for a list of current food pantries, food closets, food banks, soup kitchens, congregate meal locations, food boxes, vouchers, etc.

– Visit or contact Project Bread’s Food Source Hotline at 800-645-8333 if you need additional food resources.

Support The WEM Restoration Project

Please consider supporting The West End Museum as they work to rebuild after flooding destroyed the Museum on Jan. 15. 

The Museum has worked for more than a decade to preserve the story of the West End, foster community for the displaced and current residents of the neighborhood, and ensure that the lessons of Boston’s urban renewal program are not forgotten. They make sure that the memory of Boston’s most ethnically diverse and dynamic neighborhood survives as a guide for the next generation of planners, urbanists and community builders across the world. 

Your contribution will support their efforts to rebuild the Museum as an even more effective space for learning and community. Every little bit helps.

Go to for more information and the link to donate.

Support The Boston Parks 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign

Help support three transformative projects in all three parks by making a donation to the 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign.

Donations will support enhancements that will invite and inspire visitors to the Public Garden, Commonwealth Avenue Mall and Boston Common for years to come.

Go to for more information and donation links.

Neighbors in Need/Neighbors in Deed                   

There are times when we could all use a helping hand and other times when we could lend one, and that’s the underlying sentiment behind Neighbors in Need/Neighbors in Deed (NIN NID) – a program that connects St. Joseph’s parishioners with neighbors who could use a little assistance or just some cheering up.

If you are in need of anything - or are willing to assist them in outreach - please email or call the office at 617-523-4342 with your name, phone number, email and a list of items needed, or availability to serve.

Old West Church Community Dinners to go

The Old West Church at 131 Cambridge St. will serve a community dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. on Mondays – rain or shine and holidays, too. While these meals primarily serve people who are housing insecure or elderly, it’s open for anyone.

During the pandemic, the meals will be served to go. Everyone is welcome to come by and grab a hot meal to takeaway.

Visit for more information.

Wednesday Night Supper Club – ‘Takeout Meal in a Sack’

The Wednesday Night Supper Club will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Paulist Center Auditorium, 5 Park St. Place. At this time, they have shifted to a “takeout meal in a sack.”

The Paulist Center volunteers have been serving more than 200 people a week who don’t have access to a good hot meal. The program has been running for more than 50 years. 

Visit to volunteer to help out in any way (cook, serve, clean up; donate supplies, food or money; etc.) or for more information.