Boston events, festivals, things to do – January 2018

January 2018
best events in Boston

Holiday light show

January 1, 2018

0 miles

See “the largest tree in the northeast” decorated with lights synchronized to music at Blink Light & Sound Show at Faneuil Hall every half hour from 4:30 to 10 p.m. Free.

New Year’s festival

January 1, 2018

Boston locations

Boston First Night First Day is a two-day festival of art exhibits, dance performances, live music, puppets, a people’s parade, and family fun, mostly at Copley Square and Boston Public Library. See schedule. Free.

New Year’s jokes

January 1, 2018

2.6 miles west

Hear 50 comedians tell their brand-new jokes during each half of 100 First Jokes at ImprovBoston.

New Year’s swim

January 1, 2018

2.7 miles SE

Run into cold Boston Harbor to celebrate the new year at New Year’s Day Swim sponsored by the City of Boston and L Street Brownies at Curley Community Center in South Boston. Free.

New Year’s race

January 1, 2018 (10 a.m.)

19.5 miles SW

Kick off the new year with a 5K run or walk on Commitment Day in Westwood.

Ice sculptures

January 1 - 2, 2018

0 miles

The Ice features interactive ice sculptures that make great photo opportunities at Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Free.

Lights in the garden

January 2 - 7, 2018

47 miles west

Winter Reimagined features colorful lights, decorated trees, and illuminated sculptures outdoors, plus “a wishing tree forest,” subtropical plants, and seasonal music indoors at 132-acre Tower Hill Botanic Garden. You must buy tickets online.

Auto show

January 11 - 15, 2018

1.3 miles SE

The New England International Auto Show displays a wide range of vehicles, from vans and crossovers to hybrids and SUVs at Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.

Family Film Festival

January 12 - 15, 2018

multiple locations

Belmont World Film: Family Film Festival shows a variety of entertaining films from around the world (subtitled if foreign) in Arlington, Belmont, and Cambridge.

RV show

January 12 - 15, 2018

1.3 miles SE

Meet RV dealers and manufacturers, and see the latest models of motorhomes, fifth wheels, campers, and travel trailers at the Boston RV and Camping Expo at Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.

Sci-fi convention

January 12 - 15, 2018

1.3 miles SE

Arisia is a science-fiction and fantasy convention with costumes, dancing, gaming, films, vendors, and an art show at The Westin Boston Waterfront.

MLK gospel concert

January 13, 2018 (7:30 p.m.)

3.3 miles NW

The Harlem Gospel Choir makes a Joyful Noise with music and dance to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at Sanders Theatre in Cambridge.

MLK Day in Cambridge

January 15, 2018 (11 a.m.)

3 miles west

Martin Luther King Day Commemoration features music, a speech, and readings of Dr. King’s works at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, followed by an informal lunch. Free.

MLK Day celebration

January 15, 2018 (5 to 7 p.m.)

3.2 miles SW

Promising “an evening of music, reflection and community,” the Celebration of the Life and Legacy of MLK Jr. features students playing classical music, a discussion about Martin Luther King’s legacy and the impact of his work, and a reception at Hibernian Hall. Free.

MLK commemoration

January 15, 2018 (2 to 3:30 p.m.)

3.3 miles west

Boston University commemorates alumnus Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with speeches and music at its MLK Day Commemoration, which is free and open to the public.

MLK concert & tribute

January 15, 2018 (10:30 a.m.)

3.6 miles west

Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra performs classical music, spirituals, and freedom songs, with a sing-along and a keynote speaker at Boston University. Free.

MLK tribute

Jan. 15, 2018 (7:30 to 10:30 p.m.)

8.1 miles NW

Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. begins with a reception at 6:45 p.m. followed by a keynote speech and a musical performance at 7:30 p.m. at Robbins Library in Arlington. Free.

Celtic music festival

January 19 - 21, 2018

4 miles NW

Boston Celtic Music Fest (BCMFest) [scroll down their page] features musicians, singers, and dancers from Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton, and other Celtic traditions in Cambridge.

Fly Fishing Show

January 19 - 21, 2018

29 miles west

The Fly Fishing Show has casting demonstrations, classes, celebrity speakers, fly-tying materials, rods, and reels in Marlborough. The Fly Fishing Film Festival on Friday evening requires a separate ticket.
CityPass Boston

Edgar Allan Poe show

January 20, 2018 (3 and 5 p.m.)

10 miles west

A historian dressed as Edgar Allan Poe brings the American author to life with readings, biographical details, and dark humor at Edgar Allan Poe: Master of the Macabre at Gore Place in Waltham.

Tasting event

January 20, 2018 (1 and 5:30 p.m.)

41 miles SE

A ticket to South Shore Wine & Food Expo includes samples of wine and food pairings, plus live music and a vendor marketplace at Plymouth Memorial Hall.

Romantic comedy

January 20 - Feb. 24, 2018

2 miles SW

Backstage antics collide with onstage drama in Shakespeare in Love, about an imaginary love affair between Shakespeare and an actress he met while writing Romeo and Juliet at Calderwood Pavilion.

Discount tickets $25 to $35.

Smart comedy

January 21 - Feb. 4, 2018

18.9 miles west

The Liar is a 17th Century French romp, full of wild misassumptions, mistaken identities, and tangled truths, performed in English at Wellesley College.

Discount tickets $10.

Smart drama

January 23 - Feb. 18, 2018

3.2 miles west

When her mathematician father dies, Catherine must deal with his mysterious Proof, his mental illness she may inherit, and his student with a crush on her in this award-winning drama at Central Square Theater in Cambridge.

Discount tickets $20 to $28.

Taste of East Boston

January 25, 2018 (6 to 9 p.m.)

3 miles east

Taste of Eastie includes samples from 30 local restaurants, entertainment, a cash bar, and free parking at Hilton Boston Logan Airport.

Blue Man show

January 25 - Feb. 3, 2018

1.1 mile SW

Blue Man Group promises to rock your world with a combination of comedy, music, and special effects at Charles Playhouse.

Discount tickets $47.

Home show

January 26 - 28, 2018

24 miles south

See home improvement products, services, and demos at Suburban Boston Spring Home Show in Hanover. Repeats in Sept.

Dating comedy

January 26 - Feb. 24, 2018

3.5 miles SW

A woman tells a series of hilarious tales while preparing for, and recovering from, one dreadful date after another during Bad Dates at Huntington Avenue Theatre. The Boston Globe calls it “irresistibly charming and bubbling over with good cheer.”

Discount tickets $33 to $43.

Chocolate Festival

January 27, 2018 (1 to 2 p.m.)

3.6 miles west

Arrive on the early side to sample chocolate from 10 businesses at the Chocolate Festival at 27 Brattle Street in Cambridge. Free.

Birding festival

January 27, 2018

38 miles north

Superbowl of Birding is a competition to find the most species of birds, with categories for families and kids at Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats Education Center. The registration fee includes a pizza party afterward.