January GoList: Best Things to Do With Kids in Boston

family activities for boston kids in january

The holidays may be (almost) over, but that doesn't mean the fun has to be. January in Boston brings an abundance of special performances, festivals, celebrations, and outdoor adventures for families.  Check out our picks for the month for a stellar start to the new year, and then explore our Winter Guide for plenty more indoor and outdoor activities to keep your family busy during the long, cold winter in New England. 

First Night | First Day - Boston
Sunday, Jan 1, 2017

First Night activities continue through New Year's Day at various locations, including Copley Square and the Prudential Center, offering family-friendly fun to kick off the new year. 

Seussical - JCC, Newton
Sunday, January 16, 2017
$18 ($15 for JCC members)

Dr. Seuss's best-loved stories come together in an unforgettable musical adapted from the Broadway version.

O-shogatsu! Japanese New Year FestivalBoston Children's Museum, Boston
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Adults: $16, Children (1-15): $16, Children (0-12 months): FREE , Members: FREE

Welcome the New Year and bring good luck with Taiko drums, a Shishimai lion dance, Mochi pounding, and more.

Winter Trails Day - Weston Ski Track, Weston
Saturday, Jan 7, 2017
Free snowshoeing; see website for additional options        

Winter Trails Day is a national event each January to introduce people to the fun of getting outside on cross-country skis and snowshoes. All snowshoe events are free and do not require pre-registration. Everyone receives a free snowshoeing trail pass, can watch free snowshoe demos, and take free guided tours. 

BCMFest - Dayfest - Club Passim, Cambridge
Saturday, Jan 14, 2017
Tickets $15        

As part of the three-day Boston Celtic Music Festival, Dayfest features songs, storytelling, and other children's and family entertainment in the morning, plus multiple stages of performances, dance, and sessions throughout the day. 

Debbie and Friends - Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline
Sunday, Jan 8, 2017
Tickets $10-13

When we saw the delightful Debbie and Friends for the first time at the Boston Kids Really Rock music and arts festival the band became one of our favorites, especially for a younger crowd. Debbie and her friends play a variety of musical styles, keeping both kids and parents engaged and entertained. 

I Spy Butterfly - Puppet Showplace Theatre, Brookline
Saturday, January 21 - Sunday, February 5, 2017

Live music, colorful critters, and oodles of audience interaction make this show a fun ecological romp in the wild.

Train Time Exhibit - Wenham Museum, Wenham
Tuesday, January 2 - Sunday, February 26, 2017
Included with museum admission

Come “ride the rails” and see three big “Train Time” model railroad layouts created by the museum’s train curators and volunteers. A museum tradition for 46 years, everyone can enjoy the village details, lights, and moving trains.

Belmont World Film's Annual Family Festival - Studio Cinema, Belmont and Regent Theatre, Arlington
Friday, January 13 - Sunday, January 16, 2017
$6-9 per film

The 14th annual festival offers nearly four full days of some of the world’s best films, in English or their native language with subtitles, many being screened in the US or on the East Coast for the first time. This year’s festival, Where Books Come Alive, features films based mostly on children’s books.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service - Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston
Monday, January 16, 2017

Combine art exploration with community service to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Work alongside artists in the Studio, sort seeds in the Greenhouse Classroom, and create an object for someone special in the Living Room. You can also just explore the museum's gardens and galleries, take a guided tour, and enjoy live music for free. 

Winter Fun Day at Ward Reservation - North Andover
Sunday, January 29, 2017

Families enjoy an afternoon of guided hikes, refreshments, and a toasty fire at this Trustees of Reservations property. Bring your own snowshoes, cross-country skis, or sleds for an outdoor adventure. There will also be guided adventures through the reservation.