Do you have a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary that you'd like to celebrate at an area restaurant in the next couple of months? Or, do you have family or friends coming to Boston who need hotel and restaurant reservations? Were you hoping to dine out on Easter Sunday or Mother's Day?
If so, put "Make Reservations" at the top of your to-do list this week.
Because Boston is expecting a lot of visitors between now and mid-June. Here are some of the dates when you will be competing with big crowds here for graduations, conventions, or events.
Each year, we publish a calendar of the area's major college commencements and graduations. Here's a link to this year's edition.
This list runs from May 4th to June 6th with a blockbuster weekend hosting eleven commencements between May 17-19th. Many visitors are shocked at the price of hotel rooms during our commencement season and are having difficulty reserving tables for family meals during this time.
March 15-17, Saint Patrick's Day Weekend - If the questions over on Trip Advisor are any indication, visitors from the UK come to Boston to join in our festivities. As always, this is on March 17th when a strange holiday called Evacuation Day was created that just happens to coincide with a desired date for celebration. With the 17th on a Monday, plans for a long weekend of green beer are on more than a few calendars. (Plus two conventions noted below.)
April 18-21, Patriots' Day Weekend will host the largest Boston Marathon in years with an official field of 36,000 runners and an estimate of twice the traditional half-million spectators.
This is also a weekend of other BAA races as well as sporting events elsewhere in the city. Some locals look forward to this annual happening, others will leave the city until it's over. Oh, and it's also Easter Sunday this year!
May 11, Mother's Day is always a day with a shortage of reservations since it happens during our graduation season. There are five schools holding commencement that weekend.
May 24-26, Memorial Day Weekend is a traditional time to open summer homes and perhaps enjoy a first summer weekend away. If you want the best choice of hotel, Zipcar, or to be assured of a table at your favorite restaurant in places from Portland, Maine to Provincetown, reserve soon.
Move-Out Season - Many of the two hundred thousand plus students will be moving out of Boston in late May and early June. In some neighborhoods, this is a major event impacting traffic, parking, and trash collection.
Spring is also a time for large conventions in Boston. Here are a few dates when 10,000 people or more will be added to the city's population. Fortunately, many of these large events are out in the Seaport District and will not impact most residents. A few are at the Hynes Convention Center in the Back Bay and will be more noticeable.
March 16-18, two conventions in the Seaport District are expecting 26,000 attendees. This is also Saint Patrick's Day Weekend so it will make a difference throughout the city.
March 21-23, the Anime Boston event at the Hynes will have colorful characters roaming the Back Bay and scattered throughout Boston. There is also a a smaller convention in the Seaport District for a total of 25,000 attendees.
April 3-5: 20,000 in the Seaport District
May 1: 16,000 in the Seaport District
May 8-10: 15,000 in the Seaport District
May 18: 11,000 in the Seaport District
June 8: 13,000 in the Seaport District
Then, we switch to summer tourists with the next big convention in October.
You may need reservations for a pet sitter or childcare so get that underway too.
All these visitors will also give you a wonderful opportunity to meet people from around the world. If you see someone who seems to be in need of help or looks lost, be a good host and offer a hand.
When you see a group posing for photos, offer to take one of the entire gang. It only takes a minute, but gives the visitors a great memory of both the photo and the friendly Bostonian.
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