Back Bay - Midtown neighborhood notes

Staff Writer
Link Boston Homes
This bronze statue of Leif Eriksson can be seen on the Commonwealth Avenue Mall. It was created by Anne Whitney in 1887. The statue honors the Norse explorer, who many people believe was the first European to come to North America. He sailed from Iceland and is said to have landed on the continent in the year 1000.

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: “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.

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

Healing and bell ringing

The (G)race Speaks committee of Old South Church at 645 Boylston St. will lead a Healing Day and Bell Ringing Ceremony from 3 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 25.

This outdoor service is a way of embracing Sankofa, a West African concept which teaches that we must go back to our roots in order to move forward, by sharing stories about the integral role that African Americans have played in the history of the Nation over the past 400 years.

Aug. 25 marks the anniversary when some “20 and odd” Africans aboard the White Lion ship were unloaded at Old Point Comfort in Hampton, Virginia and sold into slavery.

‘Three Notables’

The Boston Athenæum at 10½ Beacon St. will be hosting “Up Close Tour: Three Notables” from 11 to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 28.

Boston Athenæum Docent Susan Ostberg will lead a discussion around portraits of John Adams, Nancy Graves Cabot and Thomas Handasyd Perkins and the complex social and historical questions they raise.

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

For more information including ASL services, 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

‘Little Shop of Horrors’

“Little Shop of Horrors” will be performed Wednesday through Sunday from Aug. 30 through Oct. 6 at Lyric Stage Company of Boston, 140 Clarendon St.

This award-winning sci-fi pulp musical is about nebbish Seymour who haplessly pines after his coworker Audrey. Suddenly, opportunity falls into his lap in the form of a mysterious, carnivorous, conniving – not to mention singing – plant that promises to fulfill Seymour’s every wish.

Visit to learn more.

For tickets, email or phone 617-585-5678.

‘Playthings: The Drag-A-Zine Launch’

“Playthings: The Drag-A-Zine Launch” will take place from 8 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 31 at Trident Booksellers & Café, 338 Newbury St.

The evening will include a unique drag show and a conversation with the zine’s artistic director Nadya Plaything and some of the contributors.

A copy of the drag-a-zine which features essays, poems, illustrations, collages, thought pieces, photography and more in celebration of the drag scene in Boston and beyond will be available for all guests in attendance.

For more information, email or visit

Recovery Eucharist

Recovery Eucharist will be held from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Fridays in the Lindsey Chapel at Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St.

A healing service will include prayer, Eucharist and laying on of hands with a simpler service without the Eucharist being held on alternating Fridays.

These welcoming services are open to everyone, especially those who struggles with addiction and behavioral issues.

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.

Regional Juried Exhibition

The 2019 Regional Juried Exhibition will be on view from Aug. 31 through Sept. 28 in the President’s Gallery at the Guild of Boston Artists at 162 Newbury St.

The exhibition will feature the best of representational paintings by New England artists who work in the realist tradition.

An Opening Reception and Awards Presentation will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 31 and an Award Winners Panel will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21.

For more information, visit or phone 617-536-7660.

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.

Copley Square Farmers Market

The Copley Square Farmers Market at 139 James Ave. will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays through Nov. 26.

MA farmers and specialty food vendors will have an array of fresh produce, meat, fresh baked bread, cheese, pasta, vegan and gluten-free snacks, fresh caught and smoked fish.

The market accepts WIC checks and EBT cards.

Check Copley Square Farmers Market out on facebook for any upcoming special events.

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.

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 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 12. Other workshops are at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, 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.