10 Ways to play outside in Boston
Shop at local farmers’ markets
One of the best aspects of summer is the ease with which you can eat healthily, cheaply and locally. Farmers’ markets are the way to go, both for shopping and for outdoor fun. If you’re looking for cheap produce, locally caught fish, and lots of noise, then Haymarket (Fridays and Saturdays dawn–dusk) is your best bet. The Union Square market in Somerville has a more subdued atmosphere, and more specialty products along with the ubiquitous bunches of carrots and bags of tomatoes (unionsquaremain.org/food/farmers-market. Saturdays 9am–1pm). Medford’s market, located in the Whole Foods parking lot, falls somewhere between the two (medfordfarmersmarket.org. Thursdays 3–7pm). Whichever you choose, a day spent wandering the markets is a perfect summertime activity. See more in our list of the area's Best farmers' markets.
SoWa Open Market
As part of SoWa’s transformation into a hip art destination, artists and vendors set up stalls in a parking lot every Sunday during the warmer months to sell their work. Antiques, art, handmade jewelry and other accessories are among the mix, along with delicious offerings from a few choice bakers and varied cuisine thanks to the appearance of seemingly every local food truck worth its salt. We’ve found everything from vintage jewelry to T-shirts with mustachioed polar bears on Open Market excursions past, so don’t be afraid to go digging. Afterwards, check out the many trendy art galleries that are only a few footsteps away. 460 Harrison Ave, SoWa, Boston (800-403-8305, sowaopenmarket.com). Sundays 10am–4pm through Oct 28; free
Hey, have you noticed that there's quite a lot of water in Boston? You should get on it. And there’s no better way to do so than by following in the footsteps of our pirate forebears (your forebears were pirates too, right?)—on a wind-powered vessel. The Bay State is lousy with sailing schools, but we recommend checking out the Boston Sailing Center (54 Lewis Wharf, North End, Boston; 617-227-4198, bostonsailingcenter.com). The company offers boat rentals, lessons and even charters, in case you’d prefer to lean back and let someone else do the work. If you’re looking for something a little less yacht-y but a lot more affordable, hook up with Community Boating (21 David Mugar Way, Beacon Hill, Boston; 617-523-1038, community-boating.org). A One-Year Membership ($259) includes access to all boats and classes, plus the option to bring guests. If you’re looking to make a smaller commitment, grab a 60-Day Boating Pass ($199) or a 30-Day Intro to Sailing and Kayaking ($99).
deCordova Sculpture Park
Lincoln, Mass’s modern art mecca boasts thought-provoking works both inside and out. Unlike most galleries, where the good stuff is all in windowless rooms, a large chunk of deCordova’s artworks are situated outdoors, in its 35-acre sculpture park. The grassy, wooded area is dotted with priceless pieces of large-scale, three-dimensional art, much of which blends harmoniously with the natural landscape. And you can make a day of it: Picnics and pets are allowed on the grounds. If you want to get stretchy, Stil Studio is offering alfresco yoga classes (adults $15, kids $5) among the statuary on the second of Sunday of each month from June to September. 51 Sandy Pond Rd, Lincoln (781-259-8355; decordova.org). Admission $12
Vintage Baseball Tournaments on Georges Island
Go back to the beginning, before there was Pedroia, Ortiz or the Red Sox Nation, with the annual Vintage Baseball Tournament on the Boston Harbor Islands. Teams will gather at historic Fort Warren on Georges Island (just a short ferry ride from Boston) to play ball using rules, regulations and uniforms from the Civil War era. The game may look a little different, but you can certainly see where our national pastime came from. (Though where those terrible pink Red Sox hats entered into it is still a mystery.) 11am–2:30pm; June 3, 24, July 8, Aug 19, Sept 8 (bostonharborislands.org/georges)