AHA! Is a monthly FREE celebration of arts & culture in downtown New Bedford.

AHA! Is a monthly FREE celebration of arts & culture in downtown New Bedford.

AHA New Bedford

Join us for the July 13th AHA! & see what unfolds when KIDS RULE Downtown NB! Hit the streets and enjoy a night jam-packed with summer sounds, hands on activities for the kid in all of us, Overhead Arts, fire truck rides, Moth-style storytelling plus unique shopping & good food at our many boutique stores & eateries.


The Little Portuguese Feast in Custom House Square! Enjoy culture, music and Folkloric dances, flower decorating & traditional Portuguese food. Festivities begin with the singing of the National Anthems at 6:30pm. More info about August’s Portuguese Feast Celebration at www.portuguesefeast.com.

Fire Safety Fun with the New Bedford Fire Department's Fire Safety Program. Get on a hook and ladder truck, meet Sparky the firedog and check out the demonstration smoke and burn building. 5-8pm on 2nd street between Union and William.

What’s happening in Wing’s Court?
- Aerial performance by Overhead Arts. Brought to you by the New Bedford Local Cultural Council.
- Hands-on activities and summer program info with the United Way of Greater New Bedford.  
- Photo booth and prize wheel with Behavioral Connections.
- Take a fire truck ride to the New Bedford Fire Museum for an ice cream treat. Leave from Union Street side of Wings Court, 5:30-7:30pm.
- Hands-on activities with Little People’s College.

Touch the sky! Carabiner’s Climbing brings their Mobile Wall for some climbing adventures. Helmets and harnesses provided. First come, first served. 5-8pm

Check out the driver’s seat of a New Bedford Police Department cruiser.

Join the 1850s Ladies as they explore the world "Under the Sea." Make a fish weaving craft and get your Underwater Junior Ranger book.

Pilgrim UCC (634 Purchase Street) presents root beer floats and children’s crafts in the Church Home, 6-8pm.
The Pilgrim Women’s Club will also be hosting a Jewelry Sale.

The New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center (38 Bethel Street) hosts children's author Jerry Pallotta, for a reading and book signing starting at 6pm.

Stop by Subtextbookshop (209 Union Street) for a BOGO children's book sale.

Celebrate the New Bedford Wind Energy project by making pinwheels with Bristol Community College (800 Purchase Street).

Kids Rule at Freestone’s City Grill! Get one free kids meal with the purchase of an adult entrée. 5pm-Close


Moth-style storytelling in the Frederick Douglass Gallery at Gallery X (169 William Street). 5-6:30pm

Festival Theater presents scenes from their summer musical, My Fair Lady. 6:30-7pm on the New Bedford Whaling Museum Plaza (18 Johnny Cake Hill).  

Mass In Motion New Bedford presents the Downtown New Bedford Farmers Market! Happening every Thursday on Barkers Lane (south side of Custom House Park) from 2-6pm (later on AHA! Night) the Market will feature local produce, eggs, meats, fish, jams, baked goods, flowers, and more!

The New Bedford Historical Society hosts a Nathan & Polly Johnson Open House (21 Seventh Street), 6-8pm. Nathan and Polly Johnson, prominent African American abolitionists in New Bedford, sheltered escaped slaves in this Underground Railroad ‘station.’ It was here, in September 1838, that Frederick (Augustus Washington Bailey) Douglass found freedom, a new name, and with his wife Anna, his first home in freedom.

An Introduction to Tai Chi at the Rotch-Jones-Duff House and Garden Museum (396 County Street). Master Spencer O’Berry (5th level black belt) will introduce you to the fundamentals of Taijiquan, a Chinese martial art known the world over for its therapeutic healing properties including enhanced range of motion and strength. The class is donation-based and appropriate for all ages. 6pm


Cold Chocolate, an Americana roots music trio from Boston plays live in the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park Garden (33 William Street) starting at 6:30pm.

Nativity Prep and the SouthCoast Chorus perform live starting at 5:30pm. Learn about the work being done by
Tian Zhou through local choral affiliations.

The summer tradition continues! Centre Street Sessions presented by Whaling City Sound. This month in the New York Meets New Bedford Series: Saxophonist Eric Wyatt (in his second AHA! Night visit) plays live in the Kaller Beef parking lot (Centre Street) with sets at 5:30 & 7:15pm. Rain location: BayCoast Bank (23 Elm Street).

UMass Dartmouth CVPA Star Store (715 Purchase Street) hosts Blood Drum Spirit Jazz Ensemble in the Crapo Gallery. 7-8pm

It's the re-launch of the 3rd EyE Open Jam hosted by the Black Kennedys. Bring your words, your instrument, your friends and let's make music together. 8-10pm in the 3rd EyE Unlimited http://3rdeyeunlimited.org/ Studio (96 William Street, floor 2).


2017 Seaport Artwalk: Sustainable Oceans Talk & Walk
The New Bedford working waterfront has been transformed by eighteen original sculptures and murals created by local artists, temporarily installed along MacArthur Blvd, the City and State piers, and in the city’s Seaport Cultural District. This year’s theme – “Sustainable Oceans”; aims to bring awareness to the problems and solutions, globally, in our oceans and waterways.
- Seaport Artwalk Talk at Buzzards Bay Coalition (114 Front Street), 5:30-6pm.
“Restoring an Urban River: The Acushnet River Project” by Sara N. daSilva Quintal, Restoration Ecologist.
Sara will discuss the Coalition’s restoration projects along the Acushnet River, including the transformation of the Acushnet Sawmill from a 19-acre vacant industrial site into a nature park.  Dam removal on the river has led to a dramatic increase in river herring.  Replacement of acres of pavement with natural river banks, wetlands, fields, trails and a canoe launch has reconnected wildlife and people with the River.  Miles of trails along the river are now open to the public and more restoration and trails are planned.
- Seaport Artwalk guided tour steps off from Buzzards Bay Coalition at 6pm. Tour is approximately an hour long.

Stop by for the launch of the Fiber Optic Center New Media Gallery at New Bedford Art Museum/ArtWorks! (608 Pleasant Street). Enjoy the photography work of Jeep Wheat, family-friendly activities and the fabulous drag DJ Cassandra, 6-8pm. Not just a fashion photographer, Jeep Wheat’s work spans the cutting edge of international street art, LBGTQ portraits, the documentation of body positive revolutionaries and a growing number of alternative cultures. Read More
Plus the opening of FLAGRANT FOWL: Audubon’s Bad Birds, 6-8pm. John James Audubon’s Ornithological Biography, published in 1831-39 to compliment the engravings in The Birds of America folio, became a record not just of scientific data but a chronicle of stories with his subjects as dramatic characters. Using Audubon’s text, this exhibit features some of the birds he saw as the most brazen and shamefaced in the avian world.

Jeff Golenski Pop-Up Gallery at Howe Allen Realty (185 Union Street).
Golenski is a multidisciplinary designer and photographer born and raised in Acushnet, Massachusetts. Jeff is also an avid traveler, who has loved the art of nature and astrophotography since he was a child. After his closes his laptop for the day, you can often find him with his camera pointed towards the stars at Gooseberry Island in Westport, Massachusetts.   Learn more about Jeff’s photography at DesignTactician.com or MidnightShiftPhotography.com.

Swing by the South End! Judith Klein Art Gallery (127 Rodney French Blvd. Door #31) presents a new exhibit, Summer 2017. Featuring local artists: Lori Bradley, Catherine Carter, Alma Cummings, Deborah Ehrens, Bryson Dean-Gauthier, Donne Huse, Ron Lister, Sheila Oliveira, James Sears, Laurie Carlson Steger, Adrian Tio, and Valorie Sheehan. Reception 5-8pm


February 9, 2017 History, Herstory, Ourstory
March 9, 2017 All Sewn Up
April 13, 2017 Sustainable SouthCoast
May 11, 2017 We Art NB
June 8, 2017 Launch: New Spaces, New Places
July 13, 2017 Kids Rule
August 10, 2017 Jammin’ in the Streets
September 14, 2017 NB Cultures
October 12, 2017 Moveable Feast
November 9, 2017 Made in NB
December 14, 2017 City Sidewalks

All activities are FREE and open to the public.Year-round programming is funded in part by the Mass Cultural Council's John and Abigail Adams Arts Program, The Island Foundation, The City of New Bedford, the AHA! partners, individual supporters and in-kind marketing support from the Standard-Times and WBSM. For more information call 508-996-8253 x205

First time visitors
may want to start AHA! Night at the National Park Visitor Center (33 William Street). Complete program flyers with maps are also available at all AHA! venues starting the Tuesday prior to each event.

Directions: From I-195 E or W. Take Exit 15 (Rte. 18). Follow Rte 18 to 2nd traffic signal; take a right onto Union St. At the first traffic signal take a right onto Second Street and take your first left for parking in Custom House Square or continue on two blocks to the Elm Street garage. On-street parking also available for free after 6 pm. 

Our AHA! Partners have something for everybody on your list. 
- boutique shops 
- museum memberships
- galleries galore
- tickets to a show
- gift cards to eclectic eateries 

Click here for AHA! Partner info.

AHA! Is a monthly FREE celebration of arts & culture in downtown New Bedford.