Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, as well as the return of open-toed shoes and chilled rosé. Whatever your reason to celebrate, here’s your guide for how to savor the season with activities ranging from the fun and to the patriotic.
1. Pay tribute
If you walk around the Boston Common on Memorial Day, you’ll see 37,000 flags placed at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. The patriotic tribute commemorates fallen service men and women from Massachusetts.
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Through May 29, Boston Common, massmilitaryheroes.org
2. Head to the museum
Both the Institute for Contemporary Art and the Museum of Fine Arts will offer free admission on Memorial Day. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the ICA will hold a craft workshop where visitors can create their own flying fish, tag a location around the world where their family is from and add them to a new installation by artist Bennie Flores Ansell. The MFA will also have a slew of family-friendly activities at its open house.
May 29, ICA, 25 Harbor Shore Drive, icaboston.org; MFA, 465 Huntington Ave., mfa.org
Get your seafood fix at City Tap House’s big Memorial Day bash. The Seaport restaurant opens its patio for day drinking, games and all things bivalves: $1 oysters, fried oyster Po’ Boys and oyster shooters with green chile vodka. Yum!
May 29, City Tap House, 10 Boston Wharf Road, boston.citytap.com
4. Ride to the Cape
The CapeFLYER is back! The first train of the season departs South Station at 5:50 p.m. on May 26 and will get you to and from Cape Cod with minimal traffic and stress. Veterans and active military ride free on May 28. Roundtrip tickets are $40.
Starting May 26, various locations, capeflyer.com
5. JFK 100: 'Apollo 13'
MIT aeronautics professor Laurence Young introduces this classic Ron Howard film about the harrowing journey of Apollo astronauts Jim Lovell, Fred Haise and Jack Swigert. Starring Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon and Bill Paxton, the film will be screened in commemoration of President John F. Kennedy, who was born in Brookline on May 29, 1917.
May 29, 7 p.m., Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline $12.25, coolidge.org
6. Dirty water
Don your sailing hat and cruise through Boston Harbor, the Charles River Locks and the Charles River basin on a guided architecture tour. You’ll learn facts about Boston landmarks like the Prudential and Marriott’s Custom House while scoping contemporary designs from leading architects.[tab]
Beginning May 27, times vary, CambridgeSide Galleria, 100 Cambridgeside Pl., Cambridge, $27.50, charlesriverboat.com/tours/architecture-cruises/
7. McGreevy’s Free Comedy Show
Imagine you’re at McGreevy’s and Louis CK shows up. And it’s a holiday? The prolific comic did just that a few months back—and he isn’t the only famous comedian known to drop in on the bar’s popular Monday and Tuesday comedy nights either. Roastmaster General Jeff Ross has visited too.
May 29, 8 p.m., McGreevy’s, 911 Boylston St., Boston, free, mcgreevysboston.com/comedy
8. Honor a hero
Learn about the USS Constitution and how its crewmembers lived during the War of 1812 while honoring deployed troops. The USS Constitution Museum has teamed up with Operation Gratitude for the holiday, and museum-goers can make and send paracord “survival” bracelets or pen a thank you note that’ll be included in one of the 100,000 care packages the nonprofit mails each year.
May 27-29, USS Constitution Museum, Charlestown Navy Yard, Building 22, Charlestown, ussconstitutionmuseum.org/event/honoring-our-heroes
9. Final Frontease
Beam yourself on over to Harvard Square for this nerd-lesque tribute to “Star Trek.” Hosted by Sake Toomey and featuring a troupe of local burlesque dancers, the show promises a galactic night of keeping up with the Cardassians, Spock(ing) the Casbah and fifty shades of Earl Grey.
May 28, 8 p.m., Oberon, 2 Arrow St., Cambridge, $10-20, americanrepertorytheater.org
10. Memorial Day Brunch & Dinner at the Beehive
Gather the gossip girls for a weekend download over mimosas and Belgian waffles at the Beehive’s Memorial Day brunch. As always, live music is on the docket and will continue into dinner, where, if you’re still there, hungry and standing, you can order the steak frites.
May 29, 9:30 a.m.-midnight, The Beehive, 541 Tremont St., Boston, beehiveboston.com