🤑 FREE things to do in June

Plus: 📣 Calling all young Bostonians!

It’s Monday, Boston.

🚨 Attention, Bravo fans! We’re giving away two tickets to “Sonja’s Supper Club” with Real Housewife Sonja Morgan. The event is 7 p.m. Thursday at 1928 Beacon Hill. These tickets are normally $175 each and include bites, bubbles, and a Q&A and photo opp with Sonja herself. The first person to respond to this email gets them! 

But … If you’re a late-morning reader and a true RHONY stan, you can still buy tickets here.

👀 What’s on tap today:

  • Gussying up the Green Line

  • One step closer to getting on the ballot

  • Wild tales from the zoo

Up first…


Summer savings start now

A group dancing at Cambridge’s annual city dance party. Image: Laurie Swope. Illustration: Gia Orsino.

Summer plans ≠ expensive plans. So instead of hate-watching TikTokers and nepo babies slurp oysters on Nantucket, here’s a list of free events happening in June that’ll fill your cup (and social calendar):

🏳️‍🌈 Celebrate Pride Month, Boston style. There are loads of Pride freebies happening in June: See this “big queer picnic,” Pride trivia night, and Pride block party. But the main event is Boston’s Pride Parade on June 8. The parade route kicks off at 11 a.m. from Copley Square, then moves through the South End before finishing with a Pride festival on the Common. And for those of you 21+, City Hall Plaza is also hosting a block party with adult beverages later that day. 

😳 Don’t look down in the Seaport. Acrophobes may want to skip out on the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series this weekend, where 24 men and women will fling themselves off the top of the ICA into the Boston Harbor, reaching speeds over 50 mph all while twisting and somersaulting. The practice round starts on Friday, June 7, with the qualifying round kicking off June 8, so make sure to get there early to grab a good spot. 

🍿 June = The start of outdoor movie season. And this month’s lineup is already stacked. The Coolidge is curating the Charles River Speedway’s outdoor movie series this year, and “Wayne’s World” is their pick on June 5. Boston Landing is showing the rom-com classic “27 Dresses” on June 6 (with free popcorn!). And it’s anime night on June 14 at MIT’s Open Space Programming with a showing of “Spirited Away.”

✊🏾 Spend Juneteenth at the museum. This federal holiday commemorates the ending of slavery on June 19 every year, and both the MFA and the ICA are opening their doors to the public to honor the day (make sure to check both pages since they have different admission requirements). On June 21, the Embrace Ideas Festival will wrap up its three-day celebration of Black culture, joy, and excellence with a free block party at Roxbury Community College.

💃 Put on your dancing shoes! The steps of Cambridge City Hall will turn into da club on June 28 for the city’s annual dance party where thousands of people will gather on Mass. Ave. to get their freak on (seriously, it’s very legit, look at this pic). And you can keep those moves going at The Superette’s free summer salsa nights this month, too, which include a public dance lesson.


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Quick & dirty headlines

Image: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe 

🚃 Some Green Line stops are about to get a face-lift. Fourteen street-level stops on the Green Line’s B and C branches (think: Allston, Brighton, and Brookline) are going to get an accessibility upgrade, thanks to a $67 million federal grant from a program for older public transit systems. The line’s street-level stops have historically been among the most difficult hurdles for MBTA accessibility. Plans for the project include removing steps at the stops and widening, leveling, and illuminating platforms. As of right now, when we’ll see said changes is still TBD.

🎓 Dozens of MIT grads walked out of commencement. The walk-out on Thursday was said to be both in support of Palestinians in Gaza, and against the university’s treatment of some students who participated in its pro-Palestinian encampment last month, which resulted in about two dozen suspensions. The students who walked out did so in full graduation regalia with banners, marching down Mass. Ave. and across the Charles, briefly blocking traffic. 

📝 Anti-MCAS advocates are popping off. The Mass. Teachers Association announced that advocates have gathered a whopping 25,000 signatures in support of a ballot question initiative opposing the MCAS, a standardized test public high schoolers must pass to graduate that’s gotten heat for exposing existing inequalities among students rather than being a measure of success. That number is double the threshold the campaign must hit by June 18 to appear on the Nov. 5 general election ballot (that is, if the signatures are authorized). If passed, it would take away the test as a graduation requirement, and students would instead be judged on school performance and completing coursework.

📣 Calling all young, changemaking Bostonians! SPARK Boston, Mayor Michelle Wu’s volunteer civic engagement council for Millennial and Gen Z Bostonians, is looking for new members. The council, which meets monthly, is made up of 20- to 35-year-olds who liaise between young people and local government and create programming that informs local policy. If that sounds good to you, get in an application before June 5 at midnight.


Weekday plans

Image: Olivia Moon Photography

💦 Sweat it out on the town. The Greenway’s free summer fitness series kicks off today where you can take everything from yoga, to parkour (!), to “squats and booty pops.” Check out the full schedule here

🍦 Scream for all-you-can-eat ice cream. The Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl is back in action Tuesday through Thursday on City Hall Plaza, where a $20 ticket gets you unlimited ice cream.

🏀 Watch the C’s in the NBA Finals. The Celtics kick off their Finals run for another banner at 8:30 p.m. Thursday. You can watch their matchup against the Mavericks at The Anchor’s watch party

🏃 Cross the Boston Marathon finish line. The B.A.A. is celebrating Global Running Day on Wednesday by encouraging runners crossing the Boston Marathon finish line and breaking the tape. They’re also partnering with Sam Adams for a fun run on Tuesday

🥂 Cheers to National Rosé Day. Welch’s Rosé Your Way Float will pop up around the city from June 6 to 9, serving up sparkling rosé-inspired frozen treats in partnership with Gracie’s Ice Cream.

🎉 Want more things to do recommendations? Refer five friends to unlock three bonus items. For those who already have, enjoy below.

📚 Bookworms, unite! The Boston Book Festival’s Lit Crawl returns June 6 in Union Square for an evening of unique events, including games, fusion performances, and other delightful oddities.

🎻 Listen to college kids who’ll blow your mind. Five performances for Berklee’s free Summer in the City concert series are happening this week. If you go, you’ll be serenaded by Berkee students, alumni, and faculty.


Tales from the zoo

Illustration: Gia Orsino.

If you work in any company for 40-plus years, you’re bound to have some wacky stories. And when that company is the Stoneham Zoo — as is the case for Sandra Elliott — those stories tend to be a bit more wacky than most. 

Elliot recently shared her four favorite stories from across the decades with The Boston Globe

There’s one about an ornery llama who had a tendency to spit and charge at keepers expressing kindness toward a young, nonverbal child. Another is about a rude but incredibly smart orangutan who took it upon herself to learn how to use a wrench and help with some zoo renovations. A third is about a polar bear who constantly outsmarted the people and animals around him, including plugging drains with cans and pretending to be asleep. 

You can read the full version of her tales here.

— Written by Gia Orsino and Emily Schario

🐒 Thanks for reading! Zookeeping might sound like fun and games, but if I were in an enclosure alone with an angry llama, it would be game over.

⛱️ The results are in: 25% of B-Siders say that going to a local beach is the No. 1 item on their summer bucket list. One reader said: “I've lived here two years and still haven't been to a beach.” You gotta go!

💃 Keep up with us @BostonBSide on IG, TikTok, and Twitter. Send comments and suggestions to [email protected] or [email protected].