Five hundred and some odd years ago, Columbus discovered America, kind of in the same way models get “discovered” by creepy agents at the mall. He gave America its big break! Here’s how to celebrate the three-day weekend if you’re lucky enough to work for the government or other employers that value a healthy work-life balance.

Thursday to Saturday, October 9-11 – Illuminus D
How would you re-imagine Boston at night? Legal happy hour specials? Later last calls? How about this: Everything else is the same, but we project some cool stuff onto buildings for you to look at when you’re drunk. Like, 3-D stuff. That’s the idea behind Illuminus D — the “D” is for “Dude… whoa” — a series of free, public events previewing the Illuminus Festival later this month. It kicks off tonight with workshops on 3-D projection and motion-responsive technology, then tomorrow night digital artists will use powerful projectors to animate the buildings and structures around the Boston Convention Center. Trigger alert for anyone with a phobia of tall buildings coming to life to destroy us all. No, it’s not just me. (Various times, FREE, all ages)

Friday, October 10 – BCAMFCAAATC Opening Reception
Ever go to a big art museum with your significant other who’s into art, and you’re there for an hour and you’ve gone into a lot of rooms and it feels like you’re about done with this, and then he’s like “Now let’s check out the American wing!” and you die a little inside? The Boston Contemporary Art Museum For Contemporary Art, Artists, And Their Contemporaries (BCAMFCAAATC) only features about 60 square feet of gallery space, promising to be Boston’s largest contemporary art museum under 100 square feet. Check out the opening reception Friday night at the Mobius art space in Cambridge. (7 p.m., FREE, all ages)

Friday, October 10 – J. Cannibal’s Feast of Flesh XIII
Those guys who get really into Halloween and dress up as super-realistic zombies aren’t so scary when you remember most of them probably work at the Verizon store. But J. Cannibal? Dude’s a real-life undertaker. Which is probably why the zombie fanatic’s annual Feast of Flesh is marking its thirteenth chapter at the Coolidge Corner Theatre. The gruesome banquet of midnight mayhem features a screening of Peter Jackson’s “Bad Taste,” live music from Reverend Glasseye, and a performance by Black Cat Burlesque. (11:59 p.m., $12-15, 18+)

Friday and Saturday, October 10-11 – Downeast Cider Fall Party
Nothing goes with the crisp fall weather like a nice, tall glass of apple cider. And nothing helps you forget about being actually cold like a nice, tall glass of alcohol. Hard cider: It’s not just for your gluten-sensitive friends anymore! Downeast Cider rings in the season with music, food, and fresh cider at their Charlestown cider house. They’re even pitting the Friday and Saturday parties against each other in a social media battle for bragging rights and a month of free deposits on growler fills, probably confirming that gnawing sense of FOMO you get because you go to everything on the wrong night. (5 p.m. Fri/2 p.m. Sat, $28, 21+)

Friday to Sunday, October 9-12 – HONK! Festival of Activist Street Bands
What if your car horn sounded like a bad-ass trombone solo? The world would be a much better place, would it not? That’s the idea behind the annual HONK! Festival, bringing marching bands with a social conscious and the spirit of New Orleans to the streets of Somerville. The weekend opens with Friday’s Day of Action in Downtown Crossing, lantern parades in Davis Square, and a late show at Johnny D’s. Bands take over parks and parking lots in Davis all day Saturday, and Sunday is the big parade ending at Harvard Square’s Oktoberfest (more on that later). This is the one time a year the band geeks from high school get to be cool, except for back when they were probably all having sex with each other while I was playing Mario Kart. (Various times, FREE, all ages)

Saturday, October 11 – Feline Film & Video Festival for Humans
If I had to explain why Internet cat videos are so popular, I’d guess it’s because compared to playing with a real live cat, it’s less likely that one will turn on you and gash your throat with its demon claws because cats are the worst and dogs are the best and if you didn’t have a dog as a kid that’s probably why you can’t feel real human emotions, sorry. I’ll admit that cats are funny if they’re still kittens or if they’re really fat, like obviously-detrimental-to-their-health fat, so hopefully those are categories in the first annual Feline Film & Video Festival for Humans at the Brattle Theatre. Bet there’s at least one where the owner comes home from two tours in Afghanistan and his cat’s like, oh great, this asshole again? (1 p.m., $10, all ages)

Sunday, October 12 – Harvard Square Oktoberfest
The streets of Harvard Square close down for its massive annual Oktoberfest celebration, welcoming 200,000 people to take in six stages of live music, five beer gardens hosted by area restaurants, and probably more than a few actual German people telling us we’re doing it all wrong. The HONK! parade should arrive around 1 p.m. to take over the main stage with an all-HONK! revue, but that’s also what time the Pats game starts so don’t feel bad about ditching the festival to watch American football, the REAL football, the one where players only occasionally strike the ball with their feet. (12 p.m., FREE, all ages)

Sunday, October 12 – Rave of Thrones
If you missed having “Game of Thrones” in your life on Sunday nights, here’s the next best thing: The guy who plays Hodor is also a DJ, and he’ll be DJ-ing at Prime on Sunday night. His name is Kristian Nairn. They’re calling it Rave of Thrones. Just try not to take any milk of the poppy from people you don’t know, OK? HODOR! (10 p.m., $15, 21+)

Photo credit:


This article was provided by our content partner, The Boston Calendar.