January GoList: Best Things to Do With Kids in Boston

The holiday season may be 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. From a first day at the beach (with hot cider!) to a hands-on art fest to MLK Day community service opportunities, our picks for the month promise a stellar start to the new year. 

Explore our Winter Guide for plenty more indoor and outdoor activities to keep your family busy during the long, cold winter in New England. Here's to a fabulous, family-friendly 2020!

First Day in the Dunes—Ipswich
January 1, 2020
​Begin the New Year with a brisk hike through the Crane Wildlife Refuge followed by a small beach fire at sunset with hot cider.

Animal Talk Scavenger Hunt - Harvard Museum of Natural History, Cambridge
January 2-31, 2020
Find your inner Dr. Doolittle and experience what it might be like to communicate with animals on this super fun scavenger hunt throughout the museum. ​

Winter Art Installation: Entre les rangs—Boston
Through February 2, 2019
The Seaport has partnered with Canadian art production company Creos and architectural firm KANVA on “Entre les rangs,” a twinkling collection of 28,000 handmade white crystalline stems topped with white reflectors that are displayed on Seaport Common. Free


Learn about Three Kings Day and traditions in JP. Photo courtesy of the Hyde Square Task Force (Facebook)

Three Kings Day Parranda and Celebration—Jamaica Plain
Saturday, January 4, 2020
Learn all about this special holiday while singing songs, making crowns, and then joining a parade to Hyde Square Task Force. Free

Winter Trails Day—Weston Ski Track, Weston
2020 DATE TBD
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. Check back to see when the conditions are just right for the event! Free

Science on Screen Jr: The Pirates! Band of Misfits—Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline
Saturday, January 4, 2020
Part of a unique series that blends films with local speakers, this show lets the audience set sail for a fun-filled voyage with the biggest band of misfits on the seven seas. Before the film, hear a local expert discuss the process of evolution and how animals adapt to their environments. 

Magnificent Monster Circus —Puppet Showplace Theatre, Brookline
January 11-12, 18-20, 25-26, 2020
This colorful, silly, multi-sensory show is a perfect by CactusHead Puppets features magnificent creatures and a human caretaker who tries to teach them new tricks.


Kids love to browse through mixed media to make artistic creations at the Snowflake Festival. Photo courtesy of Brookline Arts Center 

Snowflake Festival—Brookline Arts Center, Brookline
Sunday, January 19, 2020
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 activities with the Puppet Showplace Theatre. Free

BCMFest - Dayfest - Club Passim, Cambridge
Saturday, January 18, 2020
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. 


Seasonally apt, Abominable is showing in Belmont. Image courtesy of Belmont World Film Family Festival 

Belmont World Film's Annual Family Festival—Studio Cinema, Belmont and Regent Theatre, Arlington
Friday, January 17 - Sunday, January 20, 2020
This 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 theme is Where Stories Come Alive.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service—Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston
Monday, January 20, 2020
Combine art exploration with community service to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. You can also just explore the museum's gardens and galleries, take a guided tour, and enjoy live music for free. Free

Memorial Day: Operation Social Strong
The Skies above Los Angeles - 12:00 PM Pick
ADDED DATES Drive-In Movie Night at the Muck
Muckenthaler Estate & Cultural Center - 6:30 PM Pick
Mondays with Michelle Obama
Facebook & YouTube - various times Pick
Save with Stories
Facebook & Instagram - various times Pick
Explore Green-Wood: Scavenger Hunts for Families
Green-Wood Cemetery - various times Pick
Activity Guides