Like every Boston neighborhood, Dorchester is full of culture, history, and beautiful public spaces. Nestled beneath South Boston, it is a great location for those who want to easily explore the city. But, there is plenty to see in Dorchester itself. Try one of these things to do in Dorchester next weekend.
Taste the local brews at Dorchester Brewing Company.
Dorchester Brewing Company on Mass Ave. invites locals and tourists alike to visit its tap room and taste its many craft beers. Visit on a weekend to get a tasty meal from a local food truck with your drink. Or, make the trip on a Saturdayafternoon and take a tour of the brewery. Boston loves beer, and so does Dorchester. That is why the Dorchester Brewing Company is one of the best things to do in Dorchester.
Explore the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.
The Kennedys, especially JFK, are integral to Boston. Perhaps that is why the JFK museum is not just one of the best things to do in Dorchester, but all of Boston. The compelling exhibits bring historical events to life with presentations on the space program, Cuban Missile Crisis, and more. There are permanent exhibits, but also new special exhibits opening all the time, so there is always something to see. When you are done exploring the museum, check out the gorgeous views of the harbor, and JFK’s favorite boat. History buffs and students are sure to delight in the huge archival collection at the library.
Have a picnic in Savin Hill Park.
There is no better place in Dorchester for a scenic walk on a lovely day than Savin Hill Park. Hike up the hill and take in lovely views of Dorchester, Quincy, and the water. Or, play some tennis or basketball at one of the courts in the park. With beautiful views and calming green space, a visit to Savin Hill Park is often essential – and one of the best things to do in Dorchester.
See a show at the gorgeous Strand Theatre.
The Strand Theatre in Uphams Corner is a beautifully restored vaudeville playhouse. Originally built in 1918, the building itself is a sight to behold, with red plush seats and curtains, a huge domed ceiling, and grand pillars on either side of the stage. The theatre is owned by the city. Local youth groups, community theater companies, film collectives, dance troupes, and other entertainers rent it out for performances.
Do not miss the Kite and Bike Festival at Franklin Park.
Every year, the Franklin Park Coalition in Dorchester hosts a celebration of springtime not to be missed. Traditionally held on the Saturday after Mother’s Day, the Kite and Bike Festival features local food carts, bike rentals and repair services, and affordable kites for sale. The event draws about 1,000 people every year, and is a great way to celebrate the return of warm weather and get to know your neighborhood.
Eat some pho at Fields Corner.
Fields Corner is one of the most thriving areas in Dorchester, with several historic buildings, like the Lenane Building at One Fields Corner. But the real draw of this busy intersection are the restaurants, pubs, and shops. Get some authentic Vietnamese food at one of the many restaurants, or sip a Guinness at the historic Blarney Stone pub.
Meet exotic critters at Franklin Park Zoo.
The largest park in Boston, Franklin Park, stretches 527 acres that cover Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, and Roxbury. It is full of beautiful wildlife, walking trails, ponds, and athletic courts. But perhaps its most exciting attraction is the Franklin Park Zoo. Explore an arboretum, meet gorillas, camels, and other exotic animals from all over the world, and learn about wildlife conservation. The zoo is always holding events for kids and adults alike, from an annual “Brew at the Zoo” beer tasting event to the new children’s zoo. With so much to do and so much variety, the Franklin Park Zoo is one of the best things to do in Dorchester.
Get involved in the Dorchester Day Parade.
Since 1904, Dorchester dwellers have celebrated their local pride and history at an annual Dorchester Day Parade. Join the celebration every year in June. And, get involved with events and planning leading up to the parade. The planning committee meets every month and is always looking for new volunteers. Young women in Dorchester can throw their hat in the ring for the Miss Dorchester contest, and local students submit essays every year to a writing contest. It is a beautiful expression of community pride, and one of many great things to do in Dorchester.
Check out the Commonwealth Museum.
This hidden gem offers interactive and creative exhibits that shed light on Boston’s fascinating colonial and revolutionary history. And, best of all, it is free. Small and charming, these colorful and informative exhibits are a great way to pass an afternoon. And, if you need to do some research, the museum is a great resource.
Bike or hike the Lower Neponset River Trail.
The Lower Neponset River Trail takes walkers and bikers on a two-and-a-half-mile journey following the Neponset River. When you travel this rail trail, you pass through marshes, a park, and see plenty of lovely water views. The trail starts at the Central Avenue T station and ends in Port Norfolk. In a neighborhood that loves green space and waterfronts, the Lower Neponset River Trail is one of the best things to do in Dorchester.