Summer Sun Fun North of Boston

Summer Sun Fun North of Boston

July 26, 2023

Hero image courtesy of Yankee Homecoming

We can hardly believe there’s talk of back-to-school season while there is still so much summer to enjoy! We love these warm, long, days where we can pack even more in and enjoy all our local businesses and attractions have to offer.

August marks Gloucester Fisheries Heritage Month, Beverly Homecoming, Yankee Homecoming in Newburyport, Haverhill Restaurant Week and so many more exciting opportunities to get out and explore North of Boston. Here’s what we’re most looking forward to over the coming weeks, and don’t forget to visit our website for an extensive calendar of events!


July 29–August 6: Newburyport Yankee Homecoming

Yankee Homecoming is an annual 9-day festival that originated in 1958 in 29 New England towns and continues to thrive as a cherished tradition for the Newburyport community as well as visitors from near and far. Featuring a broad range of events and exciting things to do, including a concert series, marketplace, golf tournament, parade, fireworks, and more, this annual celebration promises to create long-lasting memories that will keep you smiling until next year. Descend upon this beautiful city and enjoy performers, artists, vendors, and more!

July 29: Yankee Homecoming Brewfest

The 15th annual Yankee Homecoming Brewfest will once again serve as a fundraiser for this year’s festivities: ALL proceeds will go back to Yankee Homecoming! Brewfest will take place rain or shine at Cashman Park in Newburyport and tickets are likely to sell out so get them while you can! Over 20 breweries will be on hand serving their beloved brews, plus local food vendors too!


August 1–6: Beverly Homecoming
Break out the lawn chairs, dust off your dancing shoes, and locate the lobster crackers. Beverly Homecoming is back! Annual favorites such as LobsterFest and the culminating Homecoming Fireworks Display are just the beginning. With live music, family-friendly movies, lawn games, a road race, and a full slate of fun events over the course of six days, Beverly is the place to be August 1-6, 2023 for the 58th Annual Beverly Homecoming. View the full schedule of events.

August 2 & 3: The Concert: A Tribute to ABBA, Blue Ocean Music Hall

21st Century Artists, Inc. has been presenting its ABBA tribute show throughout North America for well over a decade, previously known as ABBA The Music, ABBA The Hits, and ABBA The Concert. The audience and press all agree – “This is the closest to ABBA you’ll ever get.” The Concert: A Tribute To ABBA brings one of the greatest pop phenomena back to life!

August 4: Olatuja, Rockport Music
Critically acclaimed jazz/gospel singer Alicia Olatuja returns to Rockport this summer, this time joined by her husband, the award-winning bassist/composer Michael Olatuja for a new musical project simply titled Olatuja. The duo will cover vast musical ground including Afrobeat, jazz, soul, gospel and funk for an infectious mélange of soulful style.

August 4, 11,18 & 25: Summer Concert Series at Stevens-Coolidge House & Gardens
Join the Stevens-Coolidge House & Gardens for the last month of summer concert series in the gardens! They’ll have beer and food vendors at each concert to enjoy while soaking in the act of the evening. Check out the line up and plan to bring your own chair and bug spray! And don’t forget that The Trustees’ Long Hill property hosts outdoor summer concerts on Fridays too!

August 4–September 3: Rock of Ages, Firehouse Center for the Arts

Don’t miss the high-energy show that was nominated for five 2009 Tony Awards including Best Musical, live at the Firehouse Center for the Arts this month! Amidst the madness of the 1980s in Hollywood, aspiring rock star (and resident toilet cleaner) Drew longs to take the stage as the next big thing (and longs for small-town girl Sherri, fresh off the bus from Kansas with stars in her eyes). But is the rock ‘n’ roll fairy tale is about to end? Only the music of hit bands Styx, Journey, Bon Jovi, Whitesnake, and more hold the answer.


August 9: Salem’s Ice Scream Bowl, Salem Common

Salem’s Ice Scream Bowl is a chance to taste some classic flavors and new combinations from the North Shore’s premier ice cream shops. Local DJs the Salem Halloween Girls will be spinning some sweet tunes to keep you dancing! The event will be directly followed by the Salem Common Neighborhood Association’s Movie Night featuring “Holes,” starting at 8 pm. Bring a blanket and camp chairs so you can settle in after your ice cream to catch an outdoor movie with your neighbors.

August 12: Cape Ann Artisans Tour

The Cape Ann Artisans invite the public to visit select studios on Saturday, August 12th for a one-day event.   The timing coincides with Mass Tax Free weekend as well as the height of Gloucester and Rockport’s summer activities along the waterfront. The summer Mini-Tour is an off-shoot of the larger tour that takes place in the Spring and Fall. This year’s Mini-Tour includes these artists and the numbers coincide with their place on the full Spring and Fall tours – the map and brochure can be downloaded here.

Aug 12 & 13: Gloucester Fisheries Heritage Festival
August marks Gloucester Fisheries Heritage Month and “the jewel in the crown” of the month long event is Gloucester Fisheries Heritage Festival, a two-day festival honoring 400+ years of Gloucester’s fishing industry on the Everett Jodrey State Fish Pier. The Fisheries Heritage Festival will bring the best of Gloucester’s fishing industry for visitors to enjoy, including food trucks, food from the Fishermen’s Wives Association, demos from local fishermen and the US Coast Guard, seafood from local dealers, dockside tours, presentations, information booths, vendors, crafts and more.

August 13: Rockport Acoustic Music Festival
Head to Rockport’s gorgeous Millbrook Meadow for an afternoon of free live music and family fun! This year’s 44th annual Rockport Acoustic Music Festival will feature folk, reggae, classical guitar and more! Rain or shine.

August 15–27: Escape to Margaritaville, North Shore Music Theatre

Kick off your flip flops and set your mind to island time and join us in a tropical paradise where love and laughter are the keys to ‘growing older but not up.’ Jimmy Buffett’s Escape to Margaritaville is a hilarious and energetic new musical comedy featuring new music by Jimmy Buffett, along with some of his most-loved classics. Escape to Margaritaville will transport you to a tropical island getaway to follow this story of a part-time bartender, part-time singer, and full-time charmer named Tully who thinks he’s got life all figured out, until a beautiful career-minded tourist steals his heart and makes him question everything.


August 18: Mari Black Trio
Come join world champion fiddler Mari Black and her trio on a dynamic journey through the roots and branches of Celtic music: tunes from Ireland, Scotland, Shetland, Canada, and more! You’ll be tapping your toes and jumping up to dance in the aisles as Mari spins together a musical adventure full of driving reels, lilting jigs, stately marches, haunting slow airs, mighty strathspeys, cheeky hornpipes, and the magical stories behind them — all celebrating tradition and exploring possibility in these beloved Celtic music styles.


August 18: Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Cabot

Over the course of her acclaimed career, Mary Chapin Carpenter has sold over 16 million records. With hits like “Passionate Kisses” and “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her,” Mary Chapin Carpenter has won five Grammy awards (with 16 nominations), two CMA awards, two Academy of Country Music Awards, and is one of only fifteen female members of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Join her and opener Brandy Clark for one night only at The Cabot!

August 18–24: Haverhill Restaurant Week

Enjoy some of Haverhill’s finest eateries during their 6th Annual Restaurant Week! The delicious event kicks off on on Friday, August 18th from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Liquor Warehouse, 64 Locust St, in Haverhill, with a Tequila and Bourbon Tasting! There will also be select wines and beers. Throughout the week participating restaurants include 110 Grill, A-1 Deli, Barrio, Beach Pizza, Casa Blanca, Craft Dog Deli, Drop Cafe, G’s Texas Southern Flare, Loaded, Peddler’s Daughter, Roasted Coffee Bar, The Tap.

August 19: Salem Flea

Don’t miss your chance to experience the Salem Flea this season! Happening every third Saturday through September the Salem Flea’s 77th annual summer market offers 40+ local vintage, handmade and art vendors sharing their wares in Salem’s historic Derby Square.

August 19: Salem Jazz and Soul Festival
The long-awaited return of the Salem Jazz and Soul Festival is almost over! This amazing celebration of music and community is back on August 19th, 2023, at the picturesque Salem Willows. The festival aims to unite attendees through the power of music, bringing joy and harmony to our vibrant community. The event promises a day filled with spectacular live musical performances, enlightening educational workshops, an array of vendors, a beer tent for those adults looking to relax, and so much more. No matter your age or musical preference, this event has something for everyone!


August 19: Salem Merry-time Fest

Join the National Park Service and Essex Heritage for the first annual Salem Merry-time Fest at Salem Maritime National Historic Site on Derby Street. Salem Merry-time Fest will feature musicians, a magician, visiting vessels, and hands-on activities. In addition to traditional offerings, this year’s event will introduce the first “Great Salem Cardboard Boat Regatta.” Teams of two will test their engineering, ingenuity, and artistry by building homemade boats constructed of cardboard and duct tape. Launching from Derby Beach in a series of heats, teams will race to paddle their cardboard boats in the Salem Sound. This event is free and open to the public.


August 19: Grace Kelly with Strings: At the Movies
Grace Kelly returns with a 15-piece ensemble with her brand-new project, At the Movies: Grace Kelly with Strings. This concert features reimagined versions of her favorite movie music (Pirates of the Caribbean, Mission Impossible), including songs by legendary film composers and contemporary artists like Billie Eilish. Two shows, at 5 and 8 pm.

August 19 & 20: 42nd Annual Gloucester Waterfront Festival
The historic Stage Fort Park along Gloucester Harbor will blossom into color, flavor and music for the 42nd Annual Gloucester Waterfront Festival. Shop from over 175 juried artisans, artists, authors, and vendors while enjoying live music and performance arts too. Come hungry and sample an array of gourmet delights and feast from the food court! Free admission, rain or shine.


August 26: Riverfest Salisbury Beach

Riverfest Salisbury Beach is a free show open to the public. It takes place on the Broadway Boardwalk at Salisbury Beach and offers a day of family fun and great live music including performances by Steve Rondo, Air Traffic Controller, Ryan Montbleau Band and more! Because of the popularity of this event, attendees are encouraged to get there early with blankets and chairs to claim their spot.

August 31: Sunset Lobster Cruise, Beauport Cruiselines
Take in the beautiful sunset over Historic Gloucester Harbor and dance the night away aboard Beauport Cruiselines while enjoying a savory spread of seafood favorites including traditional Ipswich Clam Chowder and steamed New England lobster among more delicious dishes. Check out the full menu!


August 31–September 3: Maritime Gloucester Schooner Festival

The 39th annual Gloucester Schooner Festival (GSF) starts Thursday, August 31st, and concludes with the schooner race on Sunday, September 3rd. This capstone to the summer is steeped in history and jam-packed with events and opportunities to get up-close and personal with these beautiful ships. The GSF has become a Labor Day weekend tradition for thousands of people every year and you don’t want to miss the opportunity to join in on the festivities!