Back Bay - Midtown neighborhood notes

Staff Writer
Link Boston Homes
Many of the homes in the Back Bay are decorated with flowers this summer.

Family film festival

With free, family-friendly movies shown under the stars, the Prudential Center Family Film Festival is a great summer night out.

Entertainment, children's activities and giveaways start at 6 p.m. and movies will begin at sundown every Saturday through August.

Rain dates will be held the following Tuesday.

The movie lineup includes: “Smallfoot” (Aug. 10); “Alice in Wonderland” [1951] (Aug. 17); “Hotel Transylvania 3” (Aug. 24) and “Dumbo” [2019] (Aug. 31).

Bring a picnic, blankets and beach chairs.

Closed captioning will be provided for all movies.

One World

The Mary Baker Eddy Library, 200 Massachusetts Ave., is holding its 14th annual One World program - a series of free art and cultural events for children, ages 4 through 12, now through Aug. 13.

Each Tuesday morning, they’ll explore a different corner of the globe with cultural activities from six different nations. Events include live performances, sing-alongs, arts and crafts, story time, face painting and complimentary book giveaways in addition to free admission to the Mapparium®.

To learn more about this family drop-in program, visit or contact Marie Palladino at 617-450-7203 or email

To learn more about group registration, contact Teddy Crecelius at 617-450-7330 or email

Up Close Tours

The Boston Athenæum at 10½ Beacon St. will be hosting Up Close Tours from 11 to 11:30 a.m. on select Wednesdays throughout the year. Up Close Tours encourage visitors to look closely at materials from the Athenæum’s rich collections and consider them within a particular context.

The August Up Close Tours will include:

“Artists as Inventors, Inventors as Artists” (Aug. 14): Samuel Morse, the artist who painted the Athenæum’s portrait of James Monroe, invented the electric telegraph. George M. Dexter, one of the architects of the Boston Athenæum’s home at 10½ Beacon Street, invented a new way to heat building. Boston Athenæum Docent Scott Guthery will explore the interaction of art and science as illustrated in patents granted to Athenæum artists and members during this 30-minute tour.

Members are free and Non-members are free with admission ($10). Call Visitor Services at 617-720-7612 to register.

For more information about this and other programs including ASL services, visit

Prosthetics design and craft

An exclusive tour of Bespoke Bodies: Design and Craft of Prosthetics will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 15 at The Prudential Center, 101 Huntington Ave., Back Bay Arcade.

The tour, led by Amanda Hawkins, Design Museum's Exhibition Manager, will explore the evolution and design process behind a range of prostheses, from sculpting ocular prosthetics to crowdsourcing affordable 3D-printed hands, through visual stories, historical surveys, videos and interactive models.

With more than 40 stories – from DIY-kid inventors to amputees who use mind-controlled bionic limbs – explore the collaborative process between clinicians, innovators and people who use prostheses all using design to impact people’s lives and mobility.

For more information about the Museum, visit

To register for the tour, visit

Writing fanfic

Author Erin Dionne will be at Trident Booksellers & Café, 338 Newbury St., from 7 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Aug, 17 for “Get Your Fan On: Tips, Techniques and Benefits of Writing Fanfic.”

Dionne will take the group through writing exercises and prompts, break down the craft elements of writing fanfic and discuss her new novel, Secrets of a Fangirl.

For more information, visit

261 Fearless group run

The 261 Fearless Boston Run Club of Back Bay meets from 9 to 10 a.m. on Saturdays.

Women, ages 18 and older, are invited to an hour of social, fun running. Come to inspire or be inspired.

Walkers wanting to learn how to run, beginners and experienced runners are welcome.

There will be fun games and/or drills for warm-up and a group run led by one or more of the 261 certified coaches. The group runs focus on proper running technique for efficiency and injury prevention in a non-competitive, non-judgmental way.

Experience a group run for free; then have the opportunity to join for a minimal yearly fee thereafter. Locker room use (restroom, lockers, showers, towel, bodywash and blowdryer) is included.

The group meets at Healthworks Back Bay, 441 Stuart St., 2nd floor.

Concerts in the Courtyard

Concerts in the Courtyard at Boston Public Library (700 Boylston St., Copley Square) will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays and 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on Fridays through August.

Music ranges from jazz to classical, folk to world. The free concerts move indoor to Rabb Hall in case of bad weather.

For more information, visit

Berklee concert series

The Berklee College of Music’s “Summer in the City” free concert series is now underway and continues through Aug.31.

Music ranges from jazz to classical, Latin to funk and folk to world.

They will perform at the Boston Public Library at Copley Square at 6 p.m. on Wednesdays and at the Prudential Center Courtyard at 5 p.m. on Thursdays.

Visit for more information.

Second Saturday Crafts

Second Saturday Crafts will be held at 2:30 p.m. at the Boston Athenæum at 10½ Beacon St.

Free and open-to-everyone, this drop-in craft time will have fun projects to make and take home.

Registration is not required.

For more information about this and other programs, visit

Visitor Story Time

Visitor Story Time will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Fridays at the Boston Athenæum 10½ Beacon St.

The first half hour will include favorite stories, rhymes, songs and games. The second half will incorporate time for making a take-home craft, helping to feed the fish and meeting new friends.

Story time is a great opportunity to discover new books, try new activities and explore the Children’s Library.

All ages are welcome. This program is free for all children under age 13. Other non-members are free with admission ($10). Registration is not required.

For more information about this and other events, visit

Teen video game tournament

Show your skills in Teen Central (teens, 13 through 18 years of age) at their weekly Video Game Tournaments from 3 to 4 p.m. every Friday through Aug. 30 at the Central Library in Copley Square (700 Boylston St.).

Compete to win in games such as Super Smash Ultimate, Tekken 7, My Hero One's Justice, Street Fighter V, Mario Kart.

Prizes include GameStop gift cards, extra time in the game room and fun snacks.

For more information, visit, email or phone 617-536-5400.

Collections tour

The Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston St., will host tours of the collections of the society at 10 a.m. on Saturdays.

Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the 90-minute tour focuses on the history and collections of the MHS.

The tour is free and open to the public. Reservations are not required for individuals or small groups. Parties of eight or more should contact the MHS.

Further information can be found at or by calling 617-646-0560.


The Mary Baker Eddy Library, 200 Massachusetts Ave. is hosting story time at the Book Nook from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of each month.

Young visitors will listen to stories and engage in playful activities surrounding the theme of the book.

This event is recommended for bookworms 5 years old and younger with adults.

No registration is needed.

For more information about this and other programs, visit

Library tours

Boston Public Library volunteers will give art and architecture tours of the McKim Building, a National Historic Landmark, in its main building, constructed in 1895, throughout the week.

Highlights include the murals of John Singer Sargent, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes and Edwin Austin Abbey and the work of architect Charles Follen McKim.

Self-guided tours are available as well, and literature describing the architectural highlights is available on the web at

For tours by appointment, call 617-536-5400.

Tiffany stained glass windows

The Tiffany Education Center at Arlington Street Church (20 Arlington St) offers self-guided tours with an audio guide as well as docent-guided tours. Experience the resplendent beauty and history of the Tiffany stained glass windows.

The Visitors Center is open from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sundays and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays (closed Tuesdays). Group tours are also available.

Celebrate Newbury Street

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the City of Boston invite everyone to experience a car-free Newbury Street (between Arlington and Mass Ave.) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 25 and Sept. 15.

For one day only each month, shoppers, diners and pedestrians can explore new restaurants, local boutiques, and international brands — or rediscover favorite Newbury Street gems from a different perspective.

Find meaning in the melodies of local musicians, challenge your friends to an outdoor game, or simply stroll along enjoying the festive atmosphere of Open Newbury Street.

For more information, visit

Esplanade run club

Marathon Sports, at 671 Boylston St., hosts a meet up every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. to go running with others. All ages and levels are welcome to join and choose between a 3, 5, or 8-mile run along the Esplanade or Charles River pathways. Classes are led by Marathon Sports Run Groups.

Pre-registration is strongly encouraged in order to participate.

For more information or to pre-register, visit

These meet ups are partnered with The Esplanade Association; for information, visit

Outdoor activity area

Tender Greens at Copley Place is hosting an Outdoor Activity Area featuring giant-size chess, checkers and cornhole, located on the Southwest Corridor across from Back Bay.

For more information, contact Tender Greens at 617-616-8700.

Model room tours

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.

Free tours are conducted in the BPDA Model Room at Boston City Hall, One City Hall Square, on the 9th Floor every Wednesday at 10 and 11 a.m. in two 30-minute sessions.

For more information, visit

For individuals or groups of up to 15 people, register at

For groups larger than 15 people email to arrange a tour.

Art and architecture tours

Boston Public Library offers free public tours highlighting the celebrated art and architecture of the Boston Public Library’s McKim Building (1895), a designated National Historic Landmark. The hour-long tours explore the work of architect Charles Follen McKim and murals by John Singer Sargent, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes and Edwin Austin Abbey.

Led by volunteer tour guides, the art and architecture tours begin at the Dartmouth Street entrance of the Central Library in Copley Square from 11 a.m. to noon on most Wednesdays throughout the year for teens and adults, ages 13 and older.

No appointment is necessary for parties smaller than eight people. For more information and a full schedule of public tours, please visit


Since 1935, more than 10 million people have traversed the 30-foot glass bridge that spans the Mapparium, taking visitors to a unique spot: the middle of the world. This world-famous, three-story, painted-glass globe is one of the key attractions at the Mary Baker Eddy Library, 200 Massachusetts Ave.

The Mapparium’s three-dimensional perspective of the world of 1935 is enhanced by A World of Ideas, an original presentation that features a rich orchestration of words, music, and LED lights to illustrate how ideas have traversed time and geography and changed the world.

The Library is also showing a complementary exhibit, "The Mapparium: An Inside View," featuring never before made public letters, documents, and artifacts showcasing the construction, history, and significance of this magnificent architectural and artistic achievement.

The Mapparium® is available for view on a tour only. Tours of the Mapparium run every 20 minutes, lasting 15-20 minutes. The first tour of the day starts at 10:20 a.m., and the last tour starts at 4 p.m.

For more information, visit or phone 888-222-3711.

ASD workshop

Has your child recently been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

Boston Children's Hospital offers a 90-minute workshop for parents and caregivers to connect with each other and to learn more about your child's diagnosis, including: common recommendations, therapies and services plus resources and tips.

The next workshop is at 1 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 12. Other workshops are at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 12 and Oct. 3; 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9 and 1 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 9.

The workshops are held at Boston Children's Hospital Longwood Campus at 300 Longwood Ave. in the Byers Conference Room B (in the Enders Building, to the right of the main hospital emergency department entrance).

For more information, call Kelly Federico at 617-355-5999.

Parking validation is provided for the main Children's Hospital parking garage.