The 31 best things to do around Boston this January

Make exploring the city your New Year's resolution.

Participants took the plunge during Annual L Street Brownies New Year's Day Swim on Jan. 1, 2018. Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

A new calendar year — and a new decade — is upon us. If the end of 2019’s holiday hubbub has left you with a case of cabin fever, we’ve got just what the doctor ordered. Peruse this list of 31 opportunities — one each day — to explore conventions, museums, a small animal circus, and more.

Wednesday, Jan. 1
L Street Brownies New Year’s Day Plunge. Start 2020 with a splash in Boston Harbor. (9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.; BCYF Curley Community Center M Street entrance, South Boston; free; all ages)

Thursday, Jan. 2
“The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).” This show holds the record for the shortest reenactment of “Hamlet,” at 43 seconds. (Runs through Jan. 12 at 3:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Charlestown Working Theater, Charlestown; $25 – $55; all ages)


Friday, Jan. 3
First Friday Nights Free at the Discovery Museum. The family can climb, play, and explore all over this museum’s immersive exhibits. (4:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.; Discovery Museum, Acton; free; all ages)

Acton’s Discovery Museum.

Saturday, Jan. 4
The Great Gatsby Ball. The ’20s are back, making this Jazz Age soiree feel especially appropriate. (6 p.m. – 11 p.m.; Fairmont Copley Plaza, Back Bay; $75 general admission, $125 VIP; 18+)

Sunday, Jan. 5
Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert. Dancers and musicians take the Symphony Hall stage in this re-creation of Neujahrskonzert, a concert that has ushered in the New Year in Vienna and around the world for more than 80 years. (2:30 p.m.; Symphony Hall, Fenway-Kenmore; tickets start at $25; all ages)


Monday, Jan. 6
Aeronaut’s Board Game Bonanza. Hunker down after a chilly workday with a beer and board games. (6 p.m. 11 p.m.; Aeronaut Brewing Company, Somerville; free; 21+, parent-accompanied minors welcome)

Tuesday, Jan. 7
Cats.” Catch the stage production of this Broadway hit before seeing Tom Hooper’s version on the big screen. (Tuesday, Jan. 7 – Sunday, Jan. 19 at various times; Citizens Bank Opera House, Downtown; tickets start at $40; all ages)

Wednesday, Jan. 8
Drinking and Drawing with Joanne Shih
If you’re looking for a midweek perk, stop by this Allston spot to drink and doodle a while. (5:30 p.m. 8:30 p.m.; Zone 3, Allston; free; 21+) 


Thursday, Jan. 9
It’s Happening with Snooki & Joey. If you loved Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi’s antics on “Jersey Shore,” you’ll want to check out this live podcast taping with her makeup artist Joey Camasta. (7:30 p.m.; The Wilbur, Downtown; $36 – $100; all ages)

Friday, Jan. 10
Boston Ballroom Dance Night. Salsa, samba, and swing on the dance floor, then hit up the light food offerings and cash bar when you need to catch your breath. (7 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.; Summer Shack, Cambridge; $15; all ages)

Saturday, Jan. 11
Boston Youth Poet Laureate Finalist Showcase. Boston Poet Laureate Porsha Olayiwola will read alongside teenage wordsmiths, one of whom will be named the city’s first youth poet laureate. (2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.; Boston Public Library, Back Bay; free; all ages)


Sunday, Jan. 12
Dinosaur World Live. Watch a Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops trek across the Colonial Theatre stage, then see them up close at a post-show meet and greet. (1 p.m. and 5 p.m.; Emerson Colonial Theatre, Downtown; $35 – $75; 3+)

Monday, Jan. 13
Ice Skating with Wally & Tessie. Glide across the Frog Pond with the furry faces of the Red Sox. (5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.; Frog Pond, Boston; free, but registration is required; all ages, anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult)

Tuesday, Jan. 14
Snowport Winter Village. Skate across a 3,000 square foot ice rink, or warm up with a freshly-baked waffle at this Seaport pop-up. (Open through February 2020; 65 Northern Ave., Seaport District; free; all ages)


Snowport Winter Village in the Seaport.

Wednesday, Jan. 15
Cozy Centerpieces at Time Out Market. The holiday decorations may be down by this point, and a floral arrangement you create yourself could be the answer to livening up your space. (6:30 p.m.; Time Out Market, Fenway-Kenmore; $80; all ages)

Thursday, Jan. 16
Boston Celtic Music Festival. This annual event gives the public access to four days of Celtic concerts, sessions, and workshops. (Thursday, Jan. 16 – Sunday, Jan. 19 at various times; various locations, Cambridge; free – $45; all ages)

Friday, Jan. 17
New England International Auto Show. Whether you’re in the market for a new vehicle or just an auto fanatic, your weekend plans are set.  (Thursday, Jan. 16 – Monday, Jan. 20 at various times; Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Seaport District; $17 for adults, $7 for children aged 6 – 12; all ages)


Saturday, Jan. 18
Family Film Festival. Bring the little ones with you to this cinematic celebration, which includes 17 features, shorts, and workshops across four days. (Friday, Jan. 17 – Monday, Jan. 20 at various times; various locations; $6 – $20; age recommendations vary by movie)

Sunday, Jan. 19
Popovich Comedy Pet Theater. Gregory Popovich’s performing pets include 15 cats and 10 dogs rescued from shelters. (3 p.m.; Lynn Memorial Auditorium, Lynn; tickets start at $29; all ages)

Monday, Jan. 20
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Breakfast. The 50th anniversary of this event features a keynote by The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, who delivered a sermon at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding. (7:30 a.m.; Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Seaport District; $50 for general admission, $150 for VIP; all ages)


Tuesday, Jan. 21
Ice Skating Rink at 401 Park. Try out your toe loops and triple axel mere blocks away from Fenway Park. (Open seven days a week at various times; 401 Park, Fenway-Kenmore; $10 for adults, $6 for college students, seniors, and children under 12; all ages)

Wednesday, Jan. 22
Comedy at Bill’s Bar. This lounge regularly pulls in talent who have appeared on Comedy Central, “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” and “Last Comic Standing.” (Wednesdays from 7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.; Bill’s Bar & Lounge, Fenway-Kenmore; free; 21+)

Thursday, Jan. 23
Taste of Eastie. Chew on the diverse culinary treats East Boston has to offer at this annual festival. (6 p.m. – 9 p.m.; Hilton Boston Logan Airport, East Boston; $35; all ages)


Friday, Jan. 24
Harvard Square Chocolate Tour. Take the chocoholic in your life along on this journey tasting an assortment of cacao treats around Harvard Square. (Fridays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.; 18 Brattle St., Cambridge; $40; all ages)

Saturday, Jan. 25
Edgar Allen Poe: Master of the Macabre. Literary historian Rob Velella brings Boston-born Poe to life in this one-man presentation. (3 p.m.; Gore Place, Waltham; $18 – $20; recommended for 16+)

Sunday, Jan. 26
Beer Flights and Donut Bites. This boozy brunch includes two flights one of Harpoon beer, the other of miniature Union Square Donuts. (10 a.m. – noon; Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall, Seaport District; $35; 21+)


Monday, Jan. 27
Paint Nite: The Original Paint and Sip Party. This outing includes the built-in guarantee of a take-home souvenir. (7 p.m. – 9 p.m.; Regina Pizzeria, Allston; $37; all ages)

Tuesday, Jan. 28
2020 Annual Charlestown YMCA Community Kick-off Party. Celebrate Charlestown with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails in hand. (6 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Blackmoor Bar and Kitchen, Charlestown; $35 in advance, $45 at the door; all ages)

Wednesday, Jan. 29
Adult Stress Relief ColoringIf you’re feeling frazzled, this weekly art session could be the answer. (Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to noon; Fields Corner Branch Boston Public Library, Dorchester; free; all ages)

Thursday, Jan. 30
Murder Mystery Dinner. Be careful; you might become a suspect during this three-course whodunit. (7 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Adventure Pub, Arlington; $45; all ages)


Friday, Jan. 31
Respect: A Boston Arts Academy Tribute to Aretha Franklin. You better think before you skip this tribute to the Queen of Soul. (Friday, Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 1 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Roxbury Community College Media Arts Center, Roxbury; $15 for adults; $10 for students and seniors; all ages)

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