10 Ideas for Summer Entertaining in Boston

By Erin L. Souza May 5, 2011, 10:14 AM EDT

The Spa at Equinox is available for group treatments.

Here are new ideas for group outings, catering, corporate entertaining, gifts, and entertaining summer associates in Boston.

1. Entertainment Cruises offers private cruises with views of the city skyline for groups of 20 to 800 on a single boat and up to 1500 for fleet sailing of their three boats: the Spirit of Boston, the Odyssey, and the private-events-only Seaport Elite. A customizable menu is available on the Seaport Elite. On the other boats, cocktail and dinner options from the in-house chef include maple-glazed chipotle chicken and Argentenian salmon; prices range from $34.90 to $109.90 per person depending on menu and time of the cruise. A Sunday champagne and chocolate brunch also happens weekly.

2. Urban Adventours, an eco-conscious bike rental group, opened a brick-and-mortar shop in the North End last year and last month received a “green business” award from the City of Boston. The group offers themed, guided tours of the city such as the Funway to Fenway and Bikes and Brew, which includes a stop at Harpoon Brewery; tours range from an hour and a half to four hours. The $35 to $100 per-person price includes bike rental, helmet, a tour guide, and water bottle (re-usable, of course).

3.Hotel Chocolat opened a Newbury Street outpost at the end of last year, and its private tasting room is available by appointment for $50 per person for a 60 to 90 minute chocolate tasting and lesson about the origin of the chocolate. Hotel Chocolat also has a new partnership with L'Espalier to offer chocolate and wine pairings for a luxe take on a sweet treat.

4. Davis Square’s Posto pizzeria offers another fun spin on the office picnic: a two-person team will bring Posto’s traveling brick oven to the group’s site to cater events starting at $20 per person. The restaurant's pizza menu includes Neopolitan-style pies with housemade cheese.

5. Scholar's, a Downtown Crossing bar and lounge that opened in April, has a six-table pool room with a full bar, offering a library-like lounge for groups to shoot pool.

6. Baker's Best Catering launched their “Gift of Food” program in March. The program is a spin on a summer picnic: prices range from $10 to $23 per person for seven customizable menu options. Packaged in Baker’s Best-branded paper bags tied with ribbon, each multi-course option has a themed title; the “Comforts of Home” and “Southern Comfort” seem particularly fitting for summer associates who might be far from home while working in Boston.

7. Boston Ballet's Offstage events are young-professional-focused parties where ballet ticket holders meet the dancers in a cocktail-party setting post-show. Bina Osteria, across from the Ballet's Opera House performance venue, hosts with small bites and drinks. The next Offstage parties are slated for May 5 and May 19, and RSVP is strongly recommended to

8. For the diehard Red Sox fan--or the out-of-towner who hasn't experienced Fenway--the Green Monster, the park's left field wall, is available for groups of up to 200. Catering options go beyond traditional ballpark fare, with lamb lollipops and mini lobster rolls on the menu. Contact for booking and pricing information.

9. The Newbury Street outpost of Max Brenner (there are locations in New York, Las Vegas, and Philadelphia) opened at the end of March and offers reservations for tasting parties of seven or more. They have full breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus, but they're known for their sweets. Desserts, like the chocolate-filled “syringe” shots and popsicle fondue, are priced between $4.75 and $24.95.

10. For a relaxing group retreat, the Spa at Equinox is available for buyouts and can accommodate up to 20 guests in its four treatment rooms. Groups receive 10 percent off treatment prices, which range from $110 to $350, and must book the entire spa. With a spa buyout comes access to Equinox's workout facilities, fitness classes, sauna, and relaxation room. New for summer is the Caviar Indulgence package, a facial and massage the spa touts for its anti-aging effects.

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