17 Best Fun Things to Do in South End Boston

South End Boston is often referred to as the “heart and soul” of the city, known for its vibrant art scene, trendy restaurants, and charming brownstone buildings. It’s a neighborhood that appeals to locals and tourists alike, offering a unique blend of historic charm and modern energy. One of the best ways to experience South End Boston is by immersing yourself in its thriving art community. Here are some top things to do in South End, Boston, for those looking to explore the artistic side of this beloved neighborhood.

Wally’s Cafe

Located on Massachusetts Avenue, Wally’s Cafe is a historic jazz club that has drawn music enthusiasts for over 70 years. This intimate venue is known for its impressive live jazz performance lineup featuring local and international artists. With its laid-back atmosphere and cozy setting, Wally’s Cafe offers the perfect spot to relax and enjoy some world-class music.

SoWa Artists Guild

The SoWa Artists Guild is a must-visit for anyone interested in contemporary art. This vibrant community of over 90 artists showcases a diverse range of paintings, sculptures, photography, and more at their open studios. Visitors can explore the galleries, meet the artists, and even purchase unique pieces to take home as souvenirs.

SoWa First Fridays

Experience the best of South End Boston’s art scene at SoWa First Fridays. This monthly event transforms the neighborhood into a lively street festival, with over 200 artists displaying their work in galleries and open studios. It’s the perfect opportunity to discover new talent, mingle with locals, and enjoy complimentary wine and snacks while browsing.

Delux Café

Delux Café is not your average bar. This eclectic hangout features a unique combination of vintage furniture, kitschy decor, and an impressive collection of taxidermy. And if the quirky ambiance isn’t enough to draw you in, their secret entrance to Wink & Nod (a speakeasy-style cocktail bar) surely will.

The Butcher Shop

Meat lovers won’t want to miss The Butcher Shop, an award-winning restaurant and wine bar that serves up some of the best cuts in town. This neighborhood staple offers a cozy and intimate dining experience with its rustic décor and open kitchen. Whether you’re in the mood for some charcuterie and cheese or a hearty entree, The Butcher Shop has something to satisfy every craving.

Wink & Nod

Tucked away behind a secret door at Delux Café is Wink & Nod, an enchanting speakeasy-style cocktail bar. This hidden gem features a rotating menu of creative and carefully crafted cocktails and a selection of small plates to nibble on. It’s the perfect spot for a romantic date night or an evening out with friends.


If you have a green thumb or simply appreciate beautiful plants, then a visit to Flock is a must. This charming shop specializes in urban gardening and offers a wide range of plants, pots, and gardening supplies to help you create your own little oasis in the city. Bonus: they also have an adorable resident bunny named Mr. Pickles.

Niche Urban Garden Supply

Another great spot for all things gardening is Niche Urban Garden Supply. This cozy shop carries a wide selection of plants, seeds, tools, and accessories to help you create the garden of your dreams. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced gardener, Niche has everything you need to nurture your green thumb.

SoWa Open Market

For those who love to shop, the SoWa Open Market is a must-visit destination in South End Boston. This outdoor market features over 150 vendors selling everything from locally-made art and jewelry to vintage clothing and gourmet food. It’s the perfect spot to spend a sunny afternoon with live music, food trucks, and a beer garden on-site.

The neighborhood

One of the best ways to experience South End Boston is by simply taking a stroll through the neighborhood. With its charming brownstone buildings, tree-lined streets, and cozy cafes, it’s easy to get lost in the charm of this historic area. Take your time and explore at your own pace, and don’t be surprised if you stumble upon some hidden gems along the way.

Dog Park

South End Boston has a great option for some off-leash fun for those traveling with four-legged companions. The Peter’s Park Dog Run is a spacious, well-maintained dog park where pups can run, play, and socialize. It’s a favorite spot for locals and tourists, making it a great place to connect with fellow dog lovers.

Griffin Museum of Photography

Photography enthusiasts won’t want to miss the Griffin Museum of Photography, a small but impressive museum that celebrates the art of photography. With rotating exhibitions featuring both established and emerging artists, there’s always something new and exciting to discover here. Plus, with its convenient location in South End Boston, it’s easy to add to your itinerary.

Boston Center for Adult Education

The Boston Center for Adult Education (BCAE) is a unique destination offering a wide range of adult classes and workshops. From cooking and painting to language and dance lessons, BCAE has something for everyone. It’s the perfect way to learn something new, meet new people, and have fun while visiting South End Boston.

Underground at Ink Block

Underground at Ink Block is a vibrant open-air space showcasing local street artists’ work. This ever-changing exhibit features large-scale murals and installations from both established and up-and-coming artists. It’s a great spot to immerse yourself in the local art scene and see some truly impressive works of art.

The Cyclorama

The Cyclorama is a historic building that now serves as an event venue and exhibition space. Built in 1884, it has hosted many significant events over the years, including the Boston Ballet’s first performance. Today, it continues to be a popular spot for art exhibitions, trade shows, and other special events.

Manicure or Blowout

If you’re in need of some pampering during your visit to South End Boston, look no further than Mills Gallery. This chic and contemporary salon offers a variety of services, including manicures, blowouts, and makeup applications. Treat yourself to some self-care and leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Boston Ballet

Lastly, the Boston Ballet is a must-see for any art lover visiting South End Boston. This prestigious ballet company has entertained audiences since 1963 with its impressive repertoire of classical and contemporary productions. Catch a performance at the Boston Opera House for a truly unforgettable experience.

With so many unique and exciting activities, South End Boston offers something for every traveler. Whether you’re in the mood for a relaxing day of shopping or an evening filled with art and culture, this charming neighborhood has it all.

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