Dance, Theater, and Music

Berklee Performance Center
One of the performance venues of the Berklee College of Music; from Paula Cole to Christopher Guest and from the Laszlo Gardony Trio to the Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra, Berklee brings ’em in. 136 Massachusetts Avenue; tel. +1 617 747 2261. www.berkleebpc.com

The Opera House
Occupying 539 Washington Street, the Opera House hosts major productions in its 2,600 seat Beaux-Arts building in the heart of Boston’s theater district. Tel. +1 617 259 3400.

Boston Center for the Arts
“This is the ace-in-the-hole, there is always something going on with several performance venues and many different groups. The Cyclorama (one of BCA’s many stages) is such an architecturally cool space.”—Marie Morris, author, Frommer’s Boston. BCA hosts everything from a tattoo convention to world theater debuts and open studio events in venues from black box theater to a 300-seat pavilion to the “Cyclorama” (originally built to hold a 360-degree panorama painting). 539 Tremont Street. tel. +1 617 426 5000 (general number), +1 617 933 8600 (box office). www.bcaonline.org

American Repertory Theatre
Across the river in Cambridge, this Harvard-affiliated stage does the serious and the silly with equal aplomb: Julius Caesar followed by Elections and Erections; particularly noted for its willingness to experiment with lighting and stage design. 64 Brattle Street; tel. +1 617 547 8300. www.amrep.org

Boston’s Symphony Hall
Home to one of the world’s best orchestras since 1900; former home of famed conductor Seiji Ozawa; now led by James Levine. The 2,600-seat hall is renowned for its acoustics. 301 Massachusetts Avenue; tel. +1 617 266 1492. www.bso.org

Nightlife

Wally’s Café
Serving up hot jazz 365 nights a year; a real locals’ place. “Unless you know about it, you could walk right on by.”—Marie Morris, author, Frommer’s Boston. A venerable institution in the Boston jazz scene. 427 Massachusetts Avenue; tel. +1 617 424 1408. www.wallyscafe.com

The Beehive
“Menu presents an array of casual, gypsy fare reflective of Mediterranean, American, and Middle Eastern cuisines, as well as vintage cocktails and an eclectic and extensive wine list.”—Jill Epstein, publisher, www.wheretoeatboston.com. Live music seven days a week; two-level layout leaves room for intimate conversations. 541 Tremont Street; tel. +1 617 423 0069. www.beehiveboston.com

RumBa—Rum & Champagne Bar
“Check out the hidden Champagne bar.”—Jill Epstein. In the lobby of the sparkly, new InterContinental hotel on Boston’s newly thriving Fort Point Channel; bar showcases Boston’s rich history in the rum trade with an extensive collection of vintage and fine rums attractively displayed. 510 Atlantic Avenue; tel. +1 617 747 1000. www.intercontinentalboston.com/html/dining.asp

Excelsior
"A sleek and sexy bar perfect for wine and cocktails paired with a true food aficionado’s cafe menu—don't miss the lobster pizza.”—Jill Epstein. Have a seat in the stylish dark leather seats and try one of the unusual cocktail combinations cooked up by the bartenders; across from the Public Garden. 272 Boylston Street; tel. +1 617 426 7878.

Kings Lanes, Lounge, and Billiards
“High-tech bowling with a retro lounge; very popular with the young working crowd.”—Dave Andelman, chief executive officer, The Phantom Gourmet. Eight vintage Brunswick Gold Crown billiard tables and 16 AMF bowling lanes. Retire to the DeVille Lounge for post-game analysis and a cocktail. 10 Scotia Street; tel. +1 617 266 BOWL (2695). www.backbaykings.com

Festivals

New England Spring Flower Show
Early March. An explosion of color at the end of a cold and colorless winter, Bayside Expo Center. www.masshort.org

Feast of St. Anthony
Weekend of the last Sunday in August. Live cooking demonstrations, Italian music and dance, an outdoor Mass, and a parading statue of Saint Anthony in Boston’s famed North End Italian enclave; festival starts on Friday evening but be sure to be there for the parade on Sunday—it’s a moving party that lasts all day long. www.stanthonysfeast.com

Patriots’ Day
Third Monday in April. Annual celebration of the “shot heard round the world”—the first battles of the American Revolutionary War at Lexington and Concord—combines the running of the Boston Marathon, a Red Sox game at Fenway Park, and much ado. www.bostonmarathon.org/BostonMarathon/PatriotsDay.asp

Fourth of July
The Charles River Esplanade, the Boston Pops, fireworks, and lots and lots of people; it’s a New England institution unto itself. Keith Lockhart conducts the ever-popular Boston Pops Orchestra concert in the Hatch Shell. www.july4th.org

Head of the Charles Regatta
Third full weekend in October. About 8,200 athletes from around the country and the world compete in 55 different rowing events; gather along the banks of the Charles to watch the world’s best row by. www.hocr.org

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