Five things to do this weekend: June 15-16
Have a Play Day. The Agassiz Baldwin Community greets you with a balloon, offers you popcorn and watermelon, delights you with bubbles and challenges you to bocce … and all it asks is that you have fun, even if you’re an adult. That’s sort of the point: The day is designed to entertain adults without children in addition to children and adults with children. (Other enticements include West African music from Mohamed Kalifa Kamara, large foam blocks perfect for toddler-sized structures, a photo booth with Cambridge photographer Dennis O’Reilly, a raffle and a silent auction for prizes donated by local businesses and a collaborative mural.) “It’s hard to get adults to do things,” says Phoebe Sinclair, community liaison for the organization. “Usually they just stand around and eat food and watch the children.” If you challenge or invite this intergenerational, introductory “Play Day: A Community Party” to break down that reserve, it runs from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday. The Agassiz Baldwin Community is at 20 Sacramento St., in Agassiz near Porter Square.
Get in some early summer Midsummer Night Revels. But it’s never too early for Midsummer Night Revels, and this one is branded “A Summer Solstice Soiree” – and the summer solstice is only a week away. The Revels organization’s annual summer benefit continues its celebration of Irish culture with a special night of music, food and entertainment, including an Irish tenor and fiddler, step dancers, the Revels Singers, special guests Brian and Lindsay O’Donovan, and a whole lot more. The night includes a decadent dessert buffet, cash bar and silent auction. Tickets are $35; benefactor tickets are $100 and include a 6 p.m. pre-soiree reception in the Cambridge area hosted by Revels supporters. The event is otherwise at 8 p.m. Saturday at Holy Trinity Armenian Church, 145 Brattle St., outside Harvard Square. Call (617)972-8300, Ext. 29.
Squeeze in some accordion anarchy at the Squeeze Box Slam. This celebration of accordions, button boxes and other free-standing reed instruments runs as the inaugural festival did last year: accordionists of all skill levels and musical genres stroll the neighborhoods of Somerville and, pied-piper style, bring crowds to Davis Square for a concert of some of New England’s finest squeezebox players. All are invited to “dust off your grandfather’s squeezebox that’s been sitting in the attic and join us for an afternoon of pumping the bellows,” appreciating accordion-themed art and crafts and eating Redbones barbecue. The stroll is from 1 to 3 p.m. Lady Kielbasia – voted Best Drag Queen with an Accordion in San Francisco and a Provincetown Family Favorite who has retired to Somerville – launches the 3 to 6 p.m. concert in Seven Hills Park, Davis Square.
Play even more at the Sunday Parkland Games. The Charles River Conservancy launches the fifth season of the Sunday Parkland Games this weekend, so if the Agassiz Baldwin Community’s Play Day didn’t hold you, head to the Charles River Parklands by the Weeks Footbridge. The Conservancy, with partner Knucklebones, provides athletic equipment and instruction for people of all ages and abilities in games including everything from badminton to hula-hoop, parachutes, Gaga Pit, mini-basketball, bean-bag toss, Maypoles and tetherball. (Karma Yoga offers sessions as well, from 5 to 6 p.m.) The event is free and open to the public every Sunday through Sept. 29. The fun goes from 3:30 to 6 p.m. at 948 Memorial Drive.
Enjoy belly dance while helping empower women in Uganda. This benefit was originally scheduled for April 20 in Central Square – but you may remember that April 18-19 complicated everyone’s lives a bit. Now Johara & Snake Dance Theater Co. have moved some of New England’s finest belly dancers (including the Cambridge and Somerville residents in that category) to Arlington for “Mars and Venus: Tales of Love and War,” a Middle Eastern, fantasy and fusion belly dance show employing silks, swords, staffs, feathers, fire and general sexiness to explore some serious themes for a good cause: the themes are love and war, and the good cause is Empowered Voices, which aims to give women in Uganda’s Mubende district a boost via community-driven programs and distribution of fair-trade products.
“These globally conscious women, who have found their own power in the ancient feminine art of Middle Eastern dance, seek to support others on their path to self empowerment,” said Johara, the choreographer.
Tickets to “Mars and Venus” are $22 general admission (and $12 for children under 10) or $27 at the door, space permitting, and include a silent auction and raffle. The events start at 5:30 p.m. Sunday and is held at the Regent Theater, 7 Medford St., Arlington.