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So many ways to savor Memorial Day weekend in and around Boston

Boston -05/25/22 Volunteers began placing 37,400 American flags on Boston Common Wednesday morning to honor fallen Massachusetts service members since the Revolutionary War. Uta Uchida, 5 from Cambridge holds flags to be planted. This is the 13th annual Memorial Day flag garden. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff (metro)John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Sure, sure, the calendar tells us summer starts next month — but our hearts tell us summer starts now, and the weather is backing up that feeling. From Megan Thee Stallion and a Dunkin’ pop-up, to mini-golf, outdoor movies, and clam cakes, here are some epic ways to welcome the warmth.


Somerville’s Memorial Day Parade steps off at 11 a.m. on Sunday from Davis Square, ending at Broadway & North streets, according to the city’s website, with a Remembrance Ceremony on Monday at 10 a.m. at Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery. Meanwhile, the annual Boston Common Memorial Day Flag Garden, May 23-May 27 at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, commemorates Massachusetts service members who lost their lives in the line of duty with some 37,000 flags.


You can also tune in at 8 p.m. Monday to PBS’s 35th Annual National Memorial Day Concert in Washington, D.C., hosted by Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna. “All-star performances and tributes … honor our men and women in uniform, their families at home and all those who have given their lives for our country,” according to billing. It also streams via www.pbs.org/national-memorial-day-concert and on YouTube.


Megan Thee Stallion plays Boston Calling this weekend.

It’s not officially summer in Boston until an eclectic group of musical A-listers rock Harvard Athletic Complex. Yup, Boston Calling runs May 24-26 with a fire lineup.

On the docket Friday: Leon Bridges, Ed Sheeran, Renee Rapp, and more. Saturday’s lineup includes Tyler Childers, Phish’s Trey Anastasio & Classic Tab, Khruangbin, Motherfolk, and local rockers Ward Hayden & the Outliers. Sunday is stacked: The Killers, Hozier, Megan Thee Stallion, The Heavy Heavy, The Revivalists, and more.

Plus — any Dunkin’ fans out there? (One, two, three … OK, everybody.) We’re getting a two-story Dunkin’ experience. “House of Dunkin’” offers free iced coffee, munchkins samples, a photo booth, airbrush tattoos, and more. Bonus points if you wear your Dunkin’ tracksuit. (And raise your cup for Bennifer.)


Plus, a Ferris wheel and a festive menu — from Jack Daniels barbecue mac and cheese from The Mac Bar, artisanal Blackbird Doughnuts, wood-fired pizza, plant-based ice cream, from-scratch tacos, gourmet grilled cheese, and more. Details at bostoncalling.com. See our guide here.


A view of Wu Tsang’s installation “Of Whales,” which opens this week at the ICA.Matteo De Fina. © Wu Tsan

Kick off the weekend Thursday with free admission to the ICA from 5 to 9 p.m. The waterfront museum also offers free admission on Memorial Day proper, May 27, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Advance ticket required; available to reserve starting May 26 at 10 a.m.) Current exhibitions include a “powerful” survey of the work of Dominican-born painter Firelei Báez, which earned raves from Globe critic Murray Whyte, and “Wu Tsang: Of Whales” (Whyte: “impossible not to be drawn in.”)

Ready to roll: it’s Watershed season. Shuttles start May 23. Catch “Hew Locke: The Procession,” opening Thursday and one of Whyte’s picks for 10 must-see exhibits this summer. 25 Harbor Shore Drive; 617-478-3100, icaboston.org.


"Hallyu! The Korean Wave" exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.MFA Boston

Meanwhile, the MFA hosts a free Memorial Day Open House for Massachusetts residents on May 27 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., according to its website. Tickets available in person on a first-come, first-served basis. Admission is free with a valid Massachusetts zip code. Expect music, art-making, dance, and more, according to billing. Get inspired with “Hallyu! The Korean Wave”, then create your own neon art, jump in the Hallyu! Photo Booth, watch a taekwondo demo, join a K-pop dance, and more, according to billing. 425 Huntington Ave.; 617-267-9300, www.mfa.org.



You're not the only one who decided to get ice cream at Kimball Farm in Westford today.Devra First/Globe staff/file

Can’t wait for the Massachusetts Ice Cream Trail coming this summer? Same. In the meantime, build your own using our picks. Globe food critic Devra First picked 20 of her fave spots. Jump in the car, friends. We’re going stand-hopping. On the list:

Hornstra Dairy Farm. “Customer favorites include coffee Oreo and Cow Tracks (vanilla with a chocolate swirl and peanut butter cups),” First notes. “But the truest yardstick of ice cream excellence might be the simplest: straight-up vanilla.” 246 Prospect St., Norwell; 781-749-1222, www.hornstrafarms.com.

Crescent Ridge made both People Magazine’s 10 Favorite Ice Cream Shops in the United States in ‘21, and Food & Wine Magazine’s Best Ice Cream Spots in the US in 2022 (they recommend Black Bear — raspberry ice cream base loaded with chocolate chips and chocolate-covered raspberry truffles.) “Cherry Ridge Ripple” won first place at the World Dairy Expo in 2021. 407 Bay Road, Sharon; 781-784-2740, www.crescentridgedairybar.com.

First calls Bedford Farms the”perfect stop after a Walden Pond swim or a ride on the Minuteman Bikeway.” Flavors rotate — they’re “sometimes making” cinnamon sugar and cashew caramel turtle. Others are constants, for example, “the stellar mint chip.” 20 North Road, Bedford; 781-275-6501, www.bedfordfarmsicecream.com.


Or you can make a day of it with zip-lining, riding bumper boats or bumper cars, playing mini-golf, putting the kids on a pony ride, hitting the batting cages, digging into fried scallops and burgers — and yes, eating ice cream at Kimball Farm in Westford. Think flavors like Salty Caramel Pretzel, Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl, and Vanilla Blueberry Crumble. 400 Littleton Road, Westford; 978-486-3891, www.kimballfarm.com.


Noa (played by Owen Teague) in 20th Century Studios' "Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes."20th Century Studios

You can stream TV shows on your iPad all winter. Summer nights are for blockbusters at the drive-in. Get your nostalgia on at Mendon Twin Drive-In. This weekend’s double-features: “The Garfield Movie” followed by “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire,” or “If” followed by “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” May 24-May 26. Bring your whole crew: it’s $35 per car. Just add Twizzlers. 35 Milford St., Mendon. 508-473-4958, www.mendondrivein.com.


See Boston from the water while cycling and drinking wine and snacking with your friends on a boat. (That’s, like, four Summer To-Do list boxes checked right there.) Cycleboat Boston allows you to pedal (or not) on a boat cruising Boston Harbor. BYOB and snacks. There are various private and public options. Public Cruises depart from either Pier 6 or India Wharf, according to the website. 617-910-2616, cycleboatboston.com.


Witch City is more than Halloween — it’s also Memorial Day. Saturday is opening weekend for Coast to Coast Paddle, offering kayak and stand-up paddle board lessons, rentals and tours for all levels out of Salem, Beverly, and Woburn. You might, for example, stand on water to see a different view of Salem (Hmm, looks different with no costumed crowds) with an SUP rental. Rates vary by day. 978-969-0151, coasttocoastpaddle.com.


Meanwhile, Paddle Boston offers private rentals and group outings from various locations — including Allston/Brighton, Kendall Square, Somerville, and Waltham. You might canoe, stand-up paddle board or kayak — and bring your fuzzy best friend. … No, not Sully. We mean your pup. Rates vary. 617-965-5110, paddleboston.com.


The Hot Mess & Cheese burger at Crazy Good Kitchen in Malden and on Newbury Street: shaved steak, double American cheese, griddled onions, topped with house cheese sauce.Josh Jamison

When the temps rise, we crave lobster rolls, clam strips, burgers, and anything off a grill.

Golden clam cakes, stuffies, and cups of beer with an ocean view at Flo’s is a Rhody summer-must — and the secret is getting out. Flo’s gets some Food Network limelight on “Best Bite in Town,” hosted by Guy Fieri, May 24 at 9 p.m. Fieri enlisted Noah Cappe to explore Newport. Technically, Flo’s is in Middletown, Guy, but we understand the exception. There’s a drive-in in Portsmouth, but there’s nothing like the charm of the original spot. Thu.-Sun. 4 Wave Ave., Middletown, R.I.; 401-847-8141, flosclamshacks.com.

Woodman’s of Essex is another buzzy staple for classic New England summer fare. We’re talking about fried lobster tails, clam cakes, corn on the cob, New England clam chowder, hot dogs, and the like. 119 Main St., Essex; 978-768-6451, woodmans.com.

May is National Burger Month — not that we needed an extra reason to dig in — but you might sink your teeth into a Bred Classic at Bred Gourmet, which Globe critic First calls a “pitch-perfect bacon cheeseburger.” 2255 Dorchester Ave.; 617-698-0103, www.bredgourmet.com.

Crazy Good Kitchen impressed First, Boston Magazine, and in 2021, landed on Food Network’s “Cheat Day USA.” Its Instagram is eye-candy for carnivores. (We’re not drooling, you’re drooling.) 906 Eastern Ave., Malden, 781-480-4729; 268 Newbury St., Boston, 617-936-4359; www.crazygoodkitchen.com.

Meanwhile, vegans might hit up Veggie Galaxy for a “Kendall Square” (sweet potato black bean burger, roasted red pepper puree, onion rings, roasted garlic mayo, baby arugula) or Portobello Patty Melt (roasted portobello mushroom caps, Swiss cheese, caramelized onions, pickles and pesto on grilled rye). 450 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge; 617-497-1513, www.veggiegalaxy.com.

Lauren Daley can be reached at ldaley33@gmail.com. Follow her on Twitter @laurendaley1.