10 best things to do in Boston this weekend: Sept. 17-20, 2020

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While Massachusetts has reopened museums and other cultural institutions during Phase 3, many residents are continuing to stay home due to the coronavirus pandemic. With that in mind, this week’s BosTen offers a mix of things to do this weekend. Have an idea about what we should cover? Leave us a comment on this article or in the BosTen Facebook group, or email us at [email protected]

School is in session at Bully Boy Distillers, which launches its 14-week semester of virtual cocktail classes on Thursday. Held every Thursday at 6:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., the classes will focus on seasonal libations featuring apple cider, chai, cranberry, and more, plus liqueurs, infused spirits, and house-made syrups. Tickets are $10 per person, and can be purchased here

This Thursday, Emerson College’s Visual and Media Arts (VMA) Department kicks off its virtual Bright Lights Film Series, during which it will screen 12 films that focus on aspects of social justice, be it racial, economic, environmental, mental health and disability, gender and sexuality, or immigration justice. The series, which is free and open to the public, begins Thursday night at 7 p.m. with “The Dilemma of Desire,” a documentary that examines how female desire has been diminished and disregarded while the female form has been used as the primary metaphor of sexuality for centuries. Registration for the free screening opens at noon on Thursday on the Arts Emerson website.

Patio season isn’t over yet, as evidenced by Summer Shack’s new pop-up, which debuted in Harvard Square on Wednesday and will run through the end of October. The seafood joint’s outdoor kitchen and patio behind the Charles Hotel is now serving seaside classics, like lobster rolls, Rhode Island-style calamari, lobster potstickers, and crispy fried fish sandwiches. Stop by for lunch and dinner daily from noon to 8 p.m. 

Named in honor of a Martin Luther King Jr. quote, the Fierce Urgency of Now is a five-day festival  founded in 2018 that helps give young professionals in Boston a voice in building a diverse, inclusive community that is welcoming to all. Among the highlights of this year’s virtual events is Black Boston Reimagined, a panel discussion on the steps that need to be taken for Boston to shed its reputation as a racist and unwelcoming place for Black people. A group of seven panelists, including Boston While Black creator Sheena Collier and King Boston executive director Imari Paris Jeffries, will examine how to successfully transform Boston into “a model of racial equity and a hub for Black talent to live, work, and play.” You can register for the free discussion, which starts on Friday at 5:30 p.m., via Eventbrite.

Celebrate Oktoberfest with steins, sausages, and more

Oktoberfest might look a little different this year, but restaurants and breweries around Boston are still observing the stein-hoisting celebration. Remnant Brewing kicks off its Fest Week with a seated, socially-distanced beer dinner from Sept. 19 to 26, featuring pours of Fest Lager, a special-edition Fest Lager crowler, an Oktoberfest-themed meal, and a glass stein. Tickets are $42 per person, and a registration form can be filled out here. At Stillwater, chef Sarah Wade is hosting a sausage celebration from September 19 to October 23, with house-made wursts, fall brews, and rotating charcuterie boards. And at Somerville’s German-inspired restaurant Bronwyn, the festivities will take place from September 17 through October 25, with specialty food, German beers, and more. Prost!

Before summer sneaks away for good, consider taking a Boston Harbor Ferry ride to Spectacle Island, a short 30-minute trip from Long Wharf. Thanks to the Highland Street Foundation, tickets for the ferry are half-price for the final two Fridays of the month of September, giving you just enough to book a ride before the ocean winds become downright bone-chilling.

Even as some drive-in theaters are closing for the season, others, like the newly created Nubian Drive-In in Roxbury, are opening for a run of fall screenings. The drive-in has screenings every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday night into October, as well as non-movie activities like football viewing parties and trivia nights. Saturdays are family-friendly and free to attend, with this Saturday offering the 2007 Denzel Washington film “The Great Debaters.” A full list of upcoming films is available on the drive-in theater’s website.

The Current, a seasonal pop-up village in the Seaport, started rolling out its series of seven businesses last week, and will introduce Cupcake Mojo on Saturday. The Weymouth-based cupcake shop will sell miniature versions of both its traditional and creative baked goods, which come in flavors like chocolate mousse, pumpkin spice, and cookies and cream. Stop by The Current Thursdays through Saturdays from noon to 7 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.

There’s rarely a bad to check out the DeCordova Sculpture Park, especially during a pandemic where everyone is looking for new outdoor activities. If you haven’t visited recently, the Lincoln museum has added four new sculptures in the last two months as part of its PLATFORM series, which showcases one-person commissioned works from early- and mid-career artists. Among the new pieces are “Heavy Handed,” a painted aluminum and steel sculpture by Nathan Mabry located near the museum entrance plaza and “The Wild Within,” an undulating slab of concrete from Rachel Mica Weiss on the entrance lawn.

Has it been a little while since you took on one of those fitness challenges that were all the rage at the beginning of the pandemic? If you break a sweat for a good cause with the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Fall Fitness Challenge powered by Boston.com, you could win cool prizes like a Peleton bike, a WHOOP fitness tracker, or autographed Red Sox memorabilia from Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers. Teams will compete to engage in physical activity over the course of one week while also raising money for BOKS, a local organization that prioritizes getting kids away from screens and engaging in physical activity. Team registration for the challenge, which runs from Sept. 21-27, is now open via RaceMenu.

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