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August is the last full month of summer, so make it count. We suggest fireworks, lobster, live music, some time on the water, lots of time outdoors, and definitely plenty of ice cream.

1. Ice Scream Bowl, Salem | August 3
For just $6 (or $4 for kids), sample all the ice cream you can stomach from some favorite local vendors including Cherry Farm Creamery, Holy Cow Ice Cream, Maria’s Sweet Somethings, and more. Classic scoops and innovative flavors will both be on offer, and proceeds benefit Salem Main Streets, so indulge for a good cause.

2. LobsterFest, Lynch Park, Beverly | August 3
Kick of Beverly’s annual homecoming celebration with boiled lobster, lobsters rolls, chowder, and more at the city’s beautiful Lynch Park. Local musicians will perform live, kids will compete in a costume contest, and businesses, nonprofits, and elected officials will set up tables to share what they do. More details available at the Beverly Homecoming website.

3. Outdoor screening of CODA, Cape Ann Museum Green, Gloucester | August 5
If you haven’t manage to see the locally filmed, Academy Award-winning CODA, now is your chance to enjoy the beloved movie while keeping an eye our for familiar local sights (yes, that bar fight is happening in Gloucester’s Pratty’s). Enjoy a free screening of the acclaimed movie on the lawn at the Cape Ann Museum, kicked off by a Q&A session with director Sian Heder, a frequent summer visitor to Gloucester. Reserve at spot at the Cape Ann Museum website.

Sian Heder directing CODA

4. Festival by the Sea, Manchester | August 6
Celebrating arts, music, and food, the Festival by the Sea includes crafts vendors, live music, and local food, all in one of the most picturesque towns on the North Shore. More details available at Greater Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce website.

5. Morning meditation, Stevens-Coolidge, North Andover | August 8
Gather in the gorgeous gardens of the Stevens-Coolidge estate to clear your mind with a guided meditation, completing the experience with a floral-infused water mindfulness practice. Beginners are very welcome. Learn more and register at The Trustees website.

6. Sip and Roll, Soall Viet Kitchen, Beverly or Marblehead | August 10 or 17
Sip some wine while receiving expert instruction in the art of creating authentic, flavorful Vietnamese spring rolls. Soall’s owners Sa Nguyen and Mia Lunt will provide all the ingredients and hands-on lessons. To ensure everyone gets individual assistance the class will be kept small, so register soon at Eventbrite.

7. Illumination Night, Rockport | August 13
It’s called Illumination Night, but it is all-day family-friendly affair. Starting at 11 a.m. there will be story-telling and face-painting in downtown Harvey Park, as well as the chance to paint your own paper lantern. Live music starts at 2 p.m. and the day is topped off with a fireworks display at 9 p.m. As you drive into town, keep an eye out for the colorful paper lanterns residents display on their homes and businesses. More details available on Facebook.

Farm dinner at Appleton Farms | Photograph courtesy of The Trustees of Reservations

8. Farm dinner: Mandarava, Appleton Farms, Ipswich | August 18
Appleton Farms welcomes Mary Lyn, chef and owner of Newburyport’s Mandarava, to its kitchen to prepare a hyperlocal feast. Lyn’s menu will highlight the best of summer produce, much of if from the Appleton Farms fields. Guests will dine family style at long wooden tables under tents on the farm. For tickets, visit The Trustees website.

9. Diversity matters festival, Red Rock Park, Lynn | August 20
This free celebration of international art, food, and culture will include musical, dance, and circus performances; food from a wide range of cultures; arts and crafts vendors; a magician, and more. Celebrate the region’s rich diversity in a beautiful seaside setting. Festival runs from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

10. Vineyard Hill trail run, Vineyard Hill Reservation, Hamilton | August 20
Runners won’t want to miss this annual fundraising run through the scenic woodlands and fields of Hamilton’s Vineyard Hill Reservation. There are a 5K and a 10K option available, and your race fee supports the land conservation work of the Essex County Greenbelt Association. More details and registration available at

11. Trivia Night on the Schooner Thomas E. Lannon, Gloucester | August 25
Break out your knowledge of fun facts for a truly unique trivia opportunity. The Schooner Thomas E. Lannon will be hosting a combination sail and nautical trivia competition. Passengers can try their hand at hoisting the sails, or just sit back, relax, and show off their maritime knowledge. The winning team receives a $100 gift certificate for future schooner adventures. More details available on the schooner’s Facebook page.