The calendar says there are a few more weeks to go before autumn truly kicks in, but this coming weekend marks the traditional end to the summer season. So before you trade in your flip-flops for flannel and your lemonade for cider, pack some more fun into the coming long weekend to make sure this one goes down as a summer to remember.
1. Gloucester Schooner Festival, Gloucester | Sept. 1-4
Back for its 38th year, the Gloucester Schooner Festival is a four-day extravaganza of sails and summer. Climb aboard schooners, enjoy a downtown block party, explore maritime history, be dazzled by a fireworks display, dance to live music, and more. On Sunday, grab a spot on shore to watch the schooners parade out to Eastern Point to compete in the Mayor’s Cup Race. A full schedule and plenty of details are available online.
2. Forest bathing, Julia Bird Reservation, Ipswich | Sept. 2
Help yourself achieve a more peaceful mindset as you leave behind the bustle of summer with a three-hour experience that is part nature walk, part meditation. Certified Forest Therapist Nadine Mazzola will guide exercises to help you tune into nature with all your senses and maybe even lower your blood pressure and unwind some stress. For more details or to register, visit ecga.org/Events.
3. Sunset kayak, Crane Wildlife Refuge, Ipswich | Sept. 2 and 3
Paddle into the protected waters of the Crane Wildlife Refuge to enjoy one of the most scenic sections of the Great Marsh and take in a spectacular sunset. The exact route of the two-and-a-half hour journey changes with tide and wind conditions, but every trip includes awe-inspiring views and the chance to get up close to one of the region’s most beautiful wild areas. Learn more and buy tickets online.
4. Classic cinema, The Cabot, Beverly | Sept. 2-5
For four days, The Cabot will be showing a series of favorite films ranging from an iconic Western to modern classics. The lineup kicks off Friday with sci-fi adventure Tron and continues with cult favorite black comedy The Big Lebowski on Saturday. Sunday will feature Grease, in a tribute to its recently departed star Olivia Newton-John and the schedule wraps up on Monday with a showing of acclaimed Western High Noon. Find the schedule and buy tickets at thecabot.org/events.
5. Hike for Beer, Appleton Farms, Ipswich | Sept. 3
Enjoy a leisurely early evening hike on some of Appleton Farms’ most scenic trails, then return to the farmhouse to reward your efforts with locally brewed craft beer. It’s the perfect way to wind up an active day or kick off a night out. Details and reservations are available on The Trustees’ website.
6. Flying Horse Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit, Pingree School, Hamilton | Opens Sept. 3
The largest outdoor display of art in the region, the annual Flying Horse exhibit opens on September 3, featuring sculptures by more than 50 artists. If you can’t make it on opening day, the exhibit will welcome guests seven days a week during daylight hours until November 27. Preview the sculptures and learn more about the artists with the online exhibit catalog.
7. Bread and Roses Heritage Festival, Campagnone Common, Lawrence | Sept. 5
In the true spirit of Labor Day, this arts and cultural festival strives to commemorate the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike by textile workers in Lawrence. Face-painting, pony rides, trolley tours, food vendors, and a wide-ranging live music lineup bring the fun, while a series of workshops educating visitors about their rights as parents, patients, young people, and workers honors the spirit of the labor movement. The full schedule is available at breadandrosesheritage.org.