Welcome to the unofficial end of summer or, if you’re a glass-half-full kind of person, the start of cider doughnut season.
Full-on fall state fair madness is just around the corner. This weekend, about an hour and twenty minutes in the car gets you to to Spencer, Mass., home of the 132nd Spencer Fair. The gates open at 8 a.m. Friday through Monday. Parking is free, and general adult admission is just $12. Highlights include Vyntyge Skynyrd on stage tomorrow night and a rabbit and poultry costume class on Monday afternoon. Get the full lineup.
If you just dropped your college student off in Amherst, the 204th Three County Fair in Northampton gives you an excuse to visit. This is one of the larger state fairs and features wee wee wee pig racing, a baby animal barnyard and plenty of live music. Pro tip: Buy your day pass online before you go and skip the line. Find the full lineup here.
Here in town, find J-Lo and Michael Spaulding at Bobby & Jack’s tonight and tomorrow, respectively, while TJ Callahan’s hosts Rock Show Radio and MF Law.
Merrimack Valley Pavilion will present a free movie night on Friday, screening the Lion King. Families can pre-order pizzas on the event’s Facebook page.
Lowell’s Western Avenue Studios is the second largest artist community in the United States, with more than 350 painters, sculptors, photographers and other creators in residence. The studio is open on Saturday from noon to 5 p.m., with Empanada Dada on hand to provide sustenance.
Speaking of cider doughnuts, this weekend the Smolak Farms Fall Festival Weekends return, continuing through October. The theme is Woodstock, the entertainment is by Ryan Maher and hayrides will be available. Runs Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Dream Diner in Tyngsboro hosts a car show on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Go for the vintage rides, stay for the cinnamon roll french toast.
Avoiding crowds? Residents can get away to Europe with some online excursions.
The London Drawing Group will explore the work of David Hockney with a virtual sketch class. Saturday at 1 p.m., by donation. Sign up.
The Tour Guy presents Birthplace of the Renaissance: Florence Interactive Live Virtual Tour on Sunday at 3:15. $15. Sign up.
Finally, the Rebecca Nurse Homestead is now open to visitors. This is the only home of a person executed during the Salem Witch Trials open to the public. The 17th century homestead sits on 25+ beautiful acres in the heart of what was known as Salem Village in 1692 and is now the town of Danvers. Note that to help reduce overcrowding on site, the homestead sells timed entry slots every hour, though visitors are welcome to stay on site for as long as they wish.