Boston events January 2020. Things to do in Boston.

Best events for 12 months

Boston events January 2020

Holiday light show

January 1, 2020
(begins Dec. 3)
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. See the separate page for opening day Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m. Free.

New Year’s jokes

January 1, 2020
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, 2020
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 for age 16+. Free.

Historical reenactment

January 1, 2020
3.2 miles NW
Join a parade from Somerville City Hall to Prospect Hill to watch the Grand Union Flag Raising, which reenacts George Washington raising the American flag on the same spot on January 1, 1776. Free.

New Year’s baroque

January 1, 2020
(begins Dec. 31)
3.3 miles NW
The New Year’s celebration by Boston Baroque features a variety of classical music, with champagne and chocolates at intermission in Sanders Theatre.

Discount tickets


January 1 - 4, 2020
(begins Nov. 22)
8.2 miles north
See trees covered with lights, live reindeer, decorated animals areas, and Santa at ZooLights at Stone Zoo. The last day with Santa is Dec. 24. Open 5 to 9 p.m. but closed Nov. 28 and Dec. 25.

Classical music

January 10, 2020
(8 p.m.)
3 miles SW
Grammy nominated chamber orchestra A Far Cry performs works by Mahler, Shostakovich, and Takemitsu with two soloists in Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory.

Discount tickets

Modern comedy

January 10 - Feb. 9, 2020
1.4 miles SW
A conservative baker is asked to make a wedding cake for her lesbian goddaughter in The Cake, a humorous and emotional play about morals, judgment, and family at Lyric Stage Company of Boston.

Discount tickets

Travel show

January 11 - 12, 2020
2 miles SW
Hear talks by travel experts (including Samantha Brown, Peter Greenberg, and Pauline Frommer) and shop from travel industry vendors at the Travel & Adventure Show in Hynes Convention Center.

Discount tickets

Mind-reading comedy

January 11 - Feb. 22, 2020
0.4 miles SW
Master mentalist Jon Stetson entertains with a funny show that “blends the art of mystery with the study of psychology, the predictability of human nature, and the power of intuition” at Omni Parker House.

Discount tickets

Celtic music festival

January 16 - 19, 2020
4 miles NW
Boston Celtic Music Fest (BCMFest) features musicians, singers, and dancers from Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton, and other Celtic traditions in Cambridge.

Auto show

January 16 - 20, 2020
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.

Fly Fishing Show

January 17 - 19, 2020
29 miles west
The Fly Fishing Show has casting demonstrations, classes, celebrity speakers, fly-tying materials, rods, and reels in Marlborough. The International Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF4) on Friday evening requires a separate ticket.

Family Film Festival

January 17 - 20, 2020
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.

Sci-fi convention

January 17 - 20, 2020
1.3 miles SE
Arisia is a science-fiction and fantasy convention with costumes, dancing, gaming, films, vendors, and an art show at Westin Boston Waterfront.

MLK gospel concert

January 18, 2020
(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.

Tasting event

January 18, 2020
(1 to 8:30 p.m.)
41 miles SE
A ticket to South Shore Food & Wine Expo includes samples of wine and food pairings, plus live music and a vendor marketplace at Plymouth Memorial Hall.

Amazing pet tricks

January 19, 2020
(3 p.m.)
11.9 miles NE
The 30 animals in Popovich Comedy Pet Theater were “rescued from animal shelters and given a new leash on life,” wowing audiences in Las Vegas and now appearing for one day at Lynn Memorial Auditorium.

Discount tickets

MLK Day in Cambridge

January 20, 2020
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 commemoration

January 20, 2020
(12 to 2 p.m.)
3.6 miles west
Boston University commemorates alumnus Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with speeches and a performance of the music of Aretha Franklin at Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration in the ballroom at George Sherman Union, Boston University. Free and open to the public.

MLK concert & tribute

January 20, 2020
(1 p.m.)
3.6 miles west
Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra performs “a moving array of classical music, spirituals, and freedom songs” at its annual MLK Tribute Concert at Faneuil Hall Free.

Taste of East Boston

January 23, 2020
(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.

RV show

January 24 - 26, 2020
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.

Home show

January 24 - 26, 2020
16 miles north
See home improvement products, services, and demos at Suburban Boston Spring Home Show at Shriners Auditorium in Wilmington.

Track meet

January 25, 2020
2.9 miles SW
The Indoor Grand Prix is a professional track-and-field meet held at Roxbury Community College.

Chocolate festival

January 25, 2020
3.6 miles west
Arrive on the early side to sample chocolate from 10 businesses at the Taste of Chocolate Festival at 31 Brattle Street in Cambridge. Free.

Edgar Allan Poe show

January 25, 2020
(3 & 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 for age 16+.

Birding festival

January 25, 2020
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.

Beer festival

January 31 - Feb. 1, 2020
1.5 miles SW
Celebrate 80 brewers and 300 beers that push the boundaries of brewing at Extreme Beer Fest at the Cyclorama for age 21+.

Monster trucks

January 31 - Feb. 2, 2020
42.8 miles SW
Big trucks with big wheels create big noise and excitement at Monster Jam in Providence, RI.

MLK tribute

January 2020
8.1 miles NW
“An evening of inspiration, celebration, and community,” Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Observance begins with a reception at 6:45 p.m. followed by a keynote speech at 7:30 p.m. and then a chorale performance in Arlington Town Hall. Free.

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