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. 

Photo courtesy First Night Boston

First Night | First Day—Boston
Monday, Jan 1, 2018
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. 

Snowflake Festival—Brookline Arts Center, Brookline
Saturday, January 20, 2018
This open house features a chance to explore the studio spaces and try out exciting projects in mixed media, comic creation, jewelry making, and 3D sculpture. There will also be hot cocoa, a live pottery demo, and music by Hugh Hanley.

Beach Day at the J—Newton
Sunday, January 7, 2018
Escape the cold for few hours and warm up at this “summer” bash with arts and crafts, a bouncy house, interactive games, and family swim in the indoor pool.

Winter Trails Day—Weston Ski Track, Weston
Saturday, Jan 6, 2018
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 20, 2018 - Sunday, Jan 21, 2018
Tickets $15        
As part of the now four-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 7, 2018
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. 

The Bremen Town Musicians—Puppet Showplace Theatre, Brookline
Saturday, January 13 - Sunday, January 28, 2018
CactusHead Puppets brings to life a funny tale of four farm animals who set out on the road to Bremen to pursue their dreams of stardom.

Master Spa is the festival's opening night film -- a kid-friendly James Bond-like comedic adventure about a 10 year-old boy who accidentally wakes up a secret agent who’s been in cryofreeze since 1973.

Belmont World Film's Annual Family Festival—Studio Cinema, Belmont and Regent Theatre, Arlington
Friday, January 12 - Sunday, January 15, 2018
$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 are being screened in the U.S. 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 15, 2018
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 28, 2018
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.