The holiday season is so festive and fun that it’s easy to get some serious post-holiday blues. Add to that the fact that winter is just gearing up here in Boston, and you (and the kids) could be going stir crazy in no time. However, just because the holidays are over and the weather is frightful doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. Here are 10 kid-friendly festivals that will have you beating the post-holiday blues in no time and keep the fun rolling all the way until spring!
Belmont World Film Family Festival
Where: Arlington, Belmont and Cambridge
When: January 13-16
The 14th Annual Belmont World Film’s Family Festival brightens mid-January in 2017 with its theme, "Where Books Come Alive." Many of the movies being screened this year are based on children’s books, like Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are and Johanna Spyri’s Heidi. The films are best for kids ages 3-12 and ticket prices vary by event.
O-shogatsu! Japanese New Year Festival
When: January 15
The Boston Children’s Museum is hosting the O-shogatsu! Japanese New Year Festival this January. Welcome the new year with Taiko drums, Mochi pounding and a Shishimai lion dance. In Japanese culture, O-shogatsu (New Year) is an important time of year to spend together as a family and community to bring good luck, health and happiness in the coming months.
Stoneham Theatre Winter Festival
When: January 25 to February 5
At the Stoneham Theatre Winter Festival not only are the plays kid-friendly, they are performed by children as well. This year the Stoneham Theatre presents The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley Junior, an incredible adventure that spans the world; The Emperor’s New Clothes, which teaches kids to open their eyes to what’s right in front of them; Mary Poppins, where the nanny uses a spoonful of sugar to teach the entire Banks family to value one another; and Sweeney Todd, a dark, edgy play about just how far some will go for those they love.
Where: Harvard Square
When: January 27-29
If you and your family love chocolate, you can’t miss the Harvard Square Chocolate Festival this January. The fest goes on all weekend with area restaurants and retailers offering special meals and deals to sweets-loving attendees. The highlight of the event is on Saturday when there’s a free chocolate tasting on Brattle Plaza that’s sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Chinese New Year
When: January 28
Come to Boston’s Chinatown to celebrate Chinese New Year with a big parade that’s perfect for families. The highlight of the parade is the Lion Dances, which are believed to bring good luck in the coming year. There will also be music, firecrackers and great food, and many of the area streets will be pedestrian-only during the event.
Providence Children’s Film Festival
When: February 11-26
This event isn’t in Boston, but it was too good not to include on our list. The 11th Annual Providence Children’s Film Festival run for two weeks in February at locations in Providence and around Rhode Island. It aims to bring the best of independent and international children’s films to New England and will include movie screenings, workshops and free activities for kids.
MIT Museum Feb Fest
When: February 20-25
Keep the kids busy during February vacation week with the MIT Museum Feb Fest. This week-long celebration of science and technology coincides with National Engineers Week. The event includes engineering-specific activities, workshops and demonstrations led by MIT students.
When: February 24-25
Celebrate all of the good things about the season at Lowell Winterfest this February. This family-friendly event will have rides, free ice skating and an all-you-can-eat chocolate festival. Warm up with the North Bowl Soup Competition and enjoy a laser light show, music and fireworks. There’s even a craft beer showcase and competition for the adults in the family.
Maple Syrup Boil Down
When: March 4
If you think you need to go way out of the city to see trees tapped and maple syrup made this winter, think again. Every year, Groundwork Somerville taps trees on the Tufts University campus then brings the sap to the Community Growing Center in Somerville for Maple Syrup Boil Down. The free, kid-friendly festival will feature a syrup tasting and snacks like waffles and hot drinks.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Where: South Boston
When: March 19
There’s hardly a bigger holiday in Boston than St. Patrick’s Day. It seems like the whole city comes out to celebrate the luck of the Irish at the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in South Boston. Don your finest green attire and bring the kids to experience a true Boston tradition.
Top image of the Chocolate Festival in Harvard Square courtesy of Bill Manley.