18 Best Things to Do in Harvard Square

Harvard Square is a bustling hub of activity, filled with historic buildings, charming bookstores, and cultural landmarks. Nestled in the heart of Cambridge, Massachusetts, this vibrant neighborhood is home to one of the world’s most prestigious universities, Harvard University. With its rich history and diverse offerings, there are lots of things to do in Harvard Square.

From strolling through the iconic Harvard Yard to indulging in delectable handmade chocolates, there is no shortage of things to do in Harvard Square. So, let’s dive into all that Harvard Square offers and discover the top activities and attractions that should be on your itinerary.

The Harvard Yard

A visit to Harvard Square wouldn’t be complete without exploring the famous Harvard Yard. This historic green space has been the heart of Harvard University since its establishment in 1636. Stroll through the tree-lined paths, admire the beautiful architecture, and soak up the lively atmosphere.

The Harvard Museum of Natural History

For nature lovers, a trip to the Harvard Museum of Natural History is a must. This museum boasts an impressive collection of over 21 million specimens, including dinosaurs, gemstones, and even a rare glass flower exhibit. With interactive exhibits and engaging programs, this museum is perfect for all ages.

The Harvard Art Museums

Art enthusiasts will be in heaven at the Harvard Art Museums. This collection of three museums houses over 250,000 works of art from diverse cultures and time periods. From ancient Egyptian artifacts to modern masterpieces, there is something for everyone to appreciate here.

Harvard Book Store

No trip to Harvard Square would be complete without a visit to the renowned Harvard Book Store. This independent bookstore has been a staple in the community since 1932 and offers an extensive selection of new and used books, as well as unique gifts and souvenirs. Don’t miss their frequent author events and book signings.

The Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East

Step back in time at the Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East. This museum showcases ancient artifacts from Mesopotamia, Egypt, Israel, and more. With galleries dedicated to daily life, religion, and art of these ancient cultures, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to another era.

Sanders Theatre

For a dose of culture and entertainment, head to Sanders Theatre. This historic performance venue is known for its exceptional acoustics and has hosted countless concerts, lectures, and theatrical productions since 1878. Check their schedule for upcoming events during your visit.

Brattle Theatre

Movie buffs will love catching a film at the iconic Brattle Theatre. This independent cinema has been in operation since 1953 and is known for its curated selection of classic, independent, and foreign films. Grab some popcorn and settle in for a unique movie experience.

Harvard Film Archive

For even more film options, go to the Harvard Film Archive. This theater showcases various films, from classic Hollywood to experimental cinema. With screenings, discussions, and special events, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to expand your cinematic horizons.

Club Passim

Music lovers should stop at Club Passim, a renowned folk music club that has been in operation since 1958. From local singer-songwriters to well-known artists, you’ll find a variety of performances here. Plus, with intimate seating and a cozy atmosphere, this is the perfect spot for an evening of live music.


After a day of exploring, treat yourself to a delicious Italian meal at Toscano. This elegant restaurant offers traditional Tuscan dishes made with fresh and local ingredients. With a warm and welcoming ambiance, it’s the ideal spot for a romantic dinner or a gathering with friends.

Alden & Harlow

For a more modern dining experience, check out Alden & Harlow. This award-winning restaurant serves up inventive New American cuisine in a trendy atmosphere. With unique dishes and expertly crafted cocktails, this is the place for a fun and memorable culinary experience.

L.A. Burdick Handmade Chocolate

Satisfy your sweet tooth at L.A. Burdick Handmade Chocolate. This artisan chocolate shop creates delectable treats using high-quality, all-natural ingredients. With a variety of flavors and designs, their chocolates make for the perfect souvenir or gift for loved ones back home.

Bluestone Lane

Start your day off right with a cup of coffee from Bluestone Lane. This Australian-inspired café serves up delicious espresso drinks, as well as healthy breakfast and lunch options. Grab a seat on their outdoor patio and soak up the charm of Harvard Square.

Cambridge Common

For a laid-back atmosphere and tasty pub food, head to Cambridge Common. This local favorite offers a wide selection of beer and comfort food, as well as vegetarian options. With a relaxed vibe and outdoor seating, it’s the perfect spot for a casual meal or drinks with friends.

Beat Brew Hall

For a unique dining experience, check out Beat Brew Hall. This restaurant features live music, craft cocktails, and a menu inspired by European beer halls. With a fun and energetic atmosphere, it’s the perfect spot to let loose and enjoy delicious food and drinks.

Shays Pub & Wine Bar

Wine lovers will enjoy a visit to Shays Pub & Wine Bar. This cozy pub offers an extensive wine list, craft beer and tasty pub fare. Plus, with board games and trivia nights, it’s a fun spot to unwind and socialize.

Charlie’s Kitchen

For a quintessential Harvard Square experience, make your way to Charlie’s Kitchen. This neighborhood institution has served burgers, fries, and other classic American fare since 1951. With an outdoor patio and live music on weekends, it’s the perfect spot for a casual meal or a night out with friends.

The Charles River

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of Harvard Square and enjoy outdoor recreation along the Charles River. Whether taking a scenic walk, renting a kayak or having a picnic by the water, this urban oasis is the perfect escape for nature lovers.

Final Words

Whether you prefer cultural activities, dining experiences or outdoor adventures, there are lots of things to do in Harvard Square. With its rich history and vibrant atmosphere, this iconic square truly has something for everyone to enjoy. So, next time you find yourself in the area, explore all that Harvard Square offers and create your own unforgettable experiences.

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