The Getting-Out Guide :: Boston’s Best Activities for Families This January

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Happy New Year! January is a time for fresh starts, chilly weather, and wintery family fun! We have compiled this list of exciting family events to get your 2020 off to a fantastic start!

In addition to this guide, our calendar has daily events listed to keep you active and entertained this month!

We’ve also included links to area libraries and recurring events. We know this is not a comprehensive list, so if you think of any fun family activities we missed, please share them with us in the comments.

If you are looking to connect with other moms near you, make sure to join our Community & Conversation Group!

January 1 :: First Day at The Mosesian Center for the Arts :: Watertown

Kick off the New Year with an array of art and theatre activities at this exciting, free festival! This event has something for everyone in the family, including live performances by area artists.

Concessions will be available for purchase or guests may bring their own, but please note this event is held at a nut-free facility.

January 1 :: 24th Annual NSRWA New Year’s Day Walk :: Driftway Conservation Park, Scituate

Celebrate the kick-off of the NSRWA’s 50th Anniversary at the Annual New Year’s Day Walk. This fun and interactive walk at Scituate’s Driftway Conservation Park will be a “choose your own adventure” experience. Informative and interactive stations will be set-up throughout the park for participants to visit in whatever order they choose.

Participants are asked to park and meet at Widow’s Walk Golf Course (250 Driftway, Scituate). The walk is free and open to the public; families and leashed dogs are welcome.

January 2 :: Creature Creations :: Buttonwood Park Zoo, New Bedford

The perfect event for children who love art and animals! Little ones ages 3+ will be taught by certified art teacher Kathleen Patrick and a zoo educator in this fun class! Children will get up-close and personal with an animal and create their very own masterpiece. This unique art class allows participants to meet and learn about different animals around the zoo.

Children must be accompanied by an adult. All children (including siblings) must register to attend.

January 4 :: Science on Screen, Jr. — The Pirates! Band of Misfits :: Coolidge Corner Theater, Brookline

Set sail for a fun-filled voyage and hilarious pirate antics with the biggest Band of Misfits on the seven seas! Join the infamous Pirate Captain as he sets his sights on winning the coveted Pirate of the Year award in this hilarious film. Before the film starts, guests will get to learn from a local expert about the process of evolution and how animals adapt to their environments.

January 4 :: Jr. Celtics Basketball Clinics presented by TD Bank :: Auerbach Center at New Balance World Headquarters, Boston

Whether your child is training for the pros or picking up a basketball for the first time, this event is for them! The curriculum is an exciting, fun way to build skills and develop a love for the game of basketball. In addition to coaching from specialists in youth development, participants will have access to special edition Jr. Celtics gear. There will also be appearances by Celtics alumni or team mascots! Chaperones are welcome to take photos of their player on the court.

January 11 :: Snowy Owls at Duxbury Beach :: Duxbury

As they migrate south from their breeding grounds in the Arctic tundra, snowy owls make a stop to winter over the Massachusetts coast. Join Mass Audubon to learn about research on these magnificent creatures, and seek them out in vans provided by Mass Audubon. Additional seasonal sights may include snow buntings and wintering wildfowl.

Registration is required. Participants will meet at Duxbury Beach, on the ocean side of the Powder Point Bridge, and explore together.

January 11 :: Free Autism-Friendly Evening :: Discovery Museum, Acton

Families with members who have autism can play, explore, experiment, and imagine together while the museum is closed to the general public and headcount is limited. Dinner, including a gluten-free option, is provided courtesy of Not Your Average Joe’s, Acton. A certified therapy dog from Pets & People Foundation Inc. will be in attendance from 5:30–7 p.m. to meet some new friends!

January 11 :: Winter Family Fun Day :: Hale Reservation, Westwood

Don’t let the chill of winter get you down! Come enjoy entertainment, games, activities, hot cocoa, s’mores, and more at this free fireside event! This event runs from 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

January 12 :: Dinosaur World LIVE :: Emerson Colonial Theatre, Boston

Thrill the dinosaur lover in your life by bringing them to see their favorite Jurassic creatures roaring live on stage! Guests will see a myriad of dinosaurs, including the tyrannosaurus rex, triceratops, giraffatitan, microraptor, and segnosaurus! A special meet and greet after the show offers brave explorers the chance to make a new dinosaur friend.

January 13 :: Ice Skating with Wally & Tessie :: Frog Pond, Boston

Join the big green Red Sox mascot Wally and his sister Tessie for this free winter event! There will be giveaways courtesy of L.L.Bean, free food and drinks, free skate rentals, and much more! This event is open to all fans who wish to participate. Guests must pre-register here.

January 18 :: Lunar New Year :: Franklin Park Zoo, Boston

Celebrate the Lunar New Year at the Franklin Park Zoo’s Lunar “Zoo” Year celebration! The tropical forest will be festively decorated for the celebration. As we begin the year of the rat, participants will learn fun facts about some of the zoo’s rodents during zookeeper chats. Guests will also make their own traditional Chinese lanterns and are invited to see a performance of the lion dance by the Imperial Lion Dance Team at noon.

January 18 :: Old Newbury Christmas Tree Bonfire :: Tendercrop Farm, Newbury

Come celebrate the new year with the Old Newbury Christmas tree bonfire! The 1690 Spencer-Pierce-Little Farm house will be open for tours from 3–5 p.m., and there will be food, drinks, and fun for the entire family! The event is free, and parking is $10 per car.

January 18 :: Kids Cake Decorating Night :: Shindigz Parties, Pembroke

A great event for the future baker in your life! Kids will decorate their own designer cake box as well as their own 8-inch cake. They will color frosting, use various designer piping bags with tips, and decorate with fun candy and toppings! There will be pizza and a drink served. This event is best for ages 6+.

January 20 :: MLK Day at the MFA :: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Guests are invited to enjoy free admission all day long, courtesy of Citizens Bank. Programs and activities for all ages will take place throughout the day, including performances by The WonderTwins and Abilities Dance. Mayor Marty Walsh will offer remarks commemorating the life and work of Dr. King, and the winners of a city-wide student essay contest for middle and high school students will be announced at the event.

January 20 :: Benkadi Drum and Dance :: JFK Library, Boston

The multicultural Benkadi Drum and Dance group returns to perform new dances showcasing traditional West African rhythms and movements in this diverse cultural event. Come marvel at the beautiful costumes and interpretive dance as folktales come to life before your eyes!

January 22 :: Teen Jigsaw Puzzle Race :: Pembroke Public Library

In this innovative event, teens (ages 12–18) will race against the clock and other builders as they work to complete a 100-piece puzzle. Participants may compete solo or in teams. Snacks will be provided. Prizes will be given for winners and runners-up!

January 25 :: Chocolate Festival :: Cambridge

Ten area businesses will be on hand to give out free samples of their delicious chocolates at this decadent festival! This free event will take place between 1–2 p.m. at 27 Brattle Street in Cambridge.

January 25 :: Tween & Teen Needle Felted Polar Bears :: MIY Studio, Plymouth

After a safety demonstration, tweens and teens (ages 9+) will learn some basic techniques of needle felting and be provided with step-by-step guidance to create an adorable needle felted polar bear. All levels are welcome, and all supplies and tools are provided.

January 26 :: Vanessa Trien and The Jumping Monkeys :: Norwood Theatre, Norwood

Parent’s Magazine has called her the Katy Perry of the toddler set, and it isn’t hard to see why! Come join Boston’s beloved kids band, Vanessa Trien and the Jumping Monkeys, for a morning of guaranteed musical fun for the whole family that will have you dancing and singing along!

January 26 :: Music of Grateful Dead for Kids :: The Sinclair, Cambridge

The Rock and Roll Playhouse presents this family concert series, hosted at many historic music venues across the country. The series allows kids to move, play, and sing along to works of classic rock artists in a family-friendly environment. Aimed mainly at families with children ages ten and under, there will be games, movement, and stories set to the iconic music of the Grateful Dead.

January 28 :: Infinity Express :: Blake Planetarium, Plymouth

Go on an exciting journey of discovery as you map the universe! The production is a blend of science, art, and entertainment that dramatically communicates the latest breakthroughs in our quest to understand the universe.

January 31 :: Monster Jam Triple Threat Series :: Dunkin Donuts Center, Providence

Come see world-class athletes tear up the dirt in Monster Jam trucks, speedsters, and ATVs as they compete for the chance to go to the Monster Jam World Finals! Kids of all ages will revel in the fast-paced excitement!

January 31 :: Respect: A Boston Arts Academy Tribute to Aretha Franklin :: Roxbury Community College Media Arts Building, Roxbury

You don’t want to miss Boston Arts Academy students paying tribute to Aretha Franklin — twice named the greatest singer of all time by “Rolling Stone.” This entertaining production showcases the best of all the Boston Arts Academy’s departments’ artistic work through an interdisciplinary collaboration. Boston Arts Academy vocalists, instrumentalists, dancers, actors, filmmakers, fashion designers, and visual artists will celebrate Aretha Franklin’s impact on R&B and gospel music as well as her social activism. Come see how BAA students interpret this 20th century cultural icon.

Storytime at Showcase Cinema de Lux :: Patriot Place, Foxborough :: Tuesdays, 11 a.m.

This free weekly storytime takes place every Tuesday at Showcase Cinema de Lux. After a story reading, a special character makes a weekly appearance followed by a short movie.

Public Telescope Nights at New England Sci-Tech :: 16 Tech Circle, Natick :: Tuesdays and Fridays, 8–9 p.m.

The public is invited to join New England Sci-Tech for an evening of astronomy during the spring, summer, and fall months. Depending on staff availability, inside activities such as planetarium shows and visiting the astronomy classrooms may be available. Visitors are also invited to borrow smaller “starblast” telescopes to use on their own.

Urban Air Sensory Friendly Jump/Play Time :: Bellingham :: Sundays, 9 a.m.

This event is specifically designed for children with autism and special needs to enjoy time at the park and have a lot of fun without loud music and flashing lights! The lights will be white and music/video games turned off for those with sensory challenges during this time.

Family Night at Urban Air :: Bellingham :: Thursdays, 4–8 p.m.

Family Night is a crazy deal! Get four ultimate passes, four bottles of water, and one pizza for $79.99! It’s fun for the whole family!

Baby-Friendly Monday Matinees at the Capitol Theatre :: Arlington :: Mondays, 12–2 p.m.

The Capitol Theatre features a baby-friendly movie every Monday afternoon. Please check the theater’s Monday schedule to see what feature has been selected for parents and their infants.

Kids’ Art Club :: Dorchester :: Tuesdays, 4:30–5:30 p.m.

This club has a new art project at the library every Tuesday. Projects include collage self-portraits and artist’s books. Art Club projects are showcased in rotating displays in the library children’s room.

Nature Time at Blue Hills Trailside Museum :: Milton :: Thursdays, 10:30–11:30 a.m.

Introduce your preschool-aged child to nature with this fun program. Programs may feature a story, nature games, crafts, short walks outside, or meeting one of the museum’s animal residents. Meet, play, and learn with other area families. Each program runs for 45 minutes and meets most Thursdays. Museum admission is included with this program. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

JFN Free Friday Playgroup :: Natick :: Fridays, 9:30–11:30 a.m.

Bring the little ones and come join other parents and caregivers in the Metrowest area for a fun-filled morning of play and socializing. There are plenty of songs, activities, toys, snacks, and laughter, as both the children and their grown-ups build connections and lasting friendships.

Backyard and Beyond: Forest Fridays :: Acton :: Fridays, 10–11 a.m.

A great way for the whole family to enjoy time outdoors, the Forest Friday program is held outside, no matter the weather. Every Friday morning there is a nature-based activity based on the weather and season, either in Discovery Woods or out on the adjacent conservation land. All ages are welcome but activities are designed for 2- to 6-year-olds. Please note that the conservation land trails are not ADA or stroller accessible; please wear appropriate footwear and clothing.

Storytime at the Curious George Store :: Cambridge :: Fridays, 10:30–11 a.m.

Small children and their caregivers are welcome at these weekly storytimes, running throughout the year.

SaturPLAY :: Rose Kennedy Greenway – Chinatown :: Boston :: Select Saturdays, 1–3 p.m.

The Asian Community Development Corporation’s youth program, A-VOYCE, hosts a placemaking event monthly to activate and bring children to The Greenway’s Mary Soo Hoo Park. Each month features a different theme with games, activities, crafts, and more. Youth volunteers are on hand to engage children. SaturPlay is subject to weather conditions.

ImprovBoston Family Show :: Cambridge :: Saturdays, 4–5 p.m.

Improv Boston’s improv and music extravaganza is completely made up on the spot every week based on your suggestion. No two shows are alike! Best of all, children who want to participate have opportunities to be on stage and take part in the fun! The show is ideal for family outings, birthday parties, and school field trips. It’s fun for the whole family and best for children ages 4-12.

guide to January pinterest

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