January Adventures: 13 Things To Do With The Kids This Month
Saturday, Jan. 1 and 2
Worcester and Lowell
The world famous Harlem Globetrotters bring their newly reimagined Spread Game Tour to the DCU Center for two shows on Saturday, Jan. 1 and at the Tsongas Center in Lowell on Sunday, Jan. 2 . Ankle-breaking moves, jaw-dropping swag, and rim-rattling dunks are only some of the thrill you can expect from this fully modernized show. Part streetball from the players who defined it, part interactive family entertainment, the new tour will show off the best of the Globetrotters in a dazzling exhibition of talent and game. Tickets start at $31. dcucenter.com, tsongascenter.com.
First Day Hikes
Saturday, Jan. 1
Start the New Year off right with a guided hike at one of several Trustees locations or Mass Audubon’s Broad Meadow Brook in Worcester. Rangers will lead you on a family-friendly hike to discover natural wonders and ring in 2022. First Day Hikes are offered at Trustees locations Chestnut Hill Farm in Southborough, Appleton Farms and Crane Beach Estate in Ipswich and DeCordova Sculpture Park in Lincoln. Times and costs vary, check the website. thetrustees.org, massaudubon.org.
Castle Hill: The Cat’s Meow
Sunday, Jan. 2
Tour the Great House at Castle Hill on Crane Estate during this special experience designed for the youngest visitors. Experience the grandeur of the 2,100-acre seaside estate, its marvelously landscaped grounds, restored Grand Allée, gardens, and Casino complex. See the family suites and learn about the Crane family while helping a costumed servant find Mrs. Crane’s beloved Siamese cat. The tour is recommended for children 3-8 and their families. General property admission is included in the ticket price: adults $20, children $10; members $10/$5. thetrustees.org.
Belmont World Family Film Festival
Arlington and Newton
This 19th annual family film festival takes place both in-person and online, with some screenings in-person at the Regent Theater in Arlington and the West Newton Cinema. Children ages 3-12 and their families have the opportunity to see current films for children from around the world, giving a window into the lives of kids in other cultures, races, and ethnicities. The festival’s 16 film programs, with over 30 feature length and short animated, live action, and documentary films will be shown in their original languages with English subtitles. Films are from Brazil, Chile, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Iceland, India, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the UK, and the U.S., featuring stories about such subjects as: young girls defying female stereotypes; elementary school students learning how to grow food through a 100-year-old in-school gardening program in The Netherlands; and an Indian boy living in Germany who dreams of becoming a Bollywood star, to name a few. The festival also includes several workshops: two clay animation sessions conducted by the senior model maker from Wallace & Gromit films on Saturday, Jan. 14, and a two-day workshop on film criticism, led by former Boston Society of Film Critics President Tom Meek on Jan. 15 and 16. Tickets for online screenings are $10 for shorts and $14 for feature-length films; in-person screenings are $10; workshops are $20 each. Online film passes are $45, which includes admission to all programs except workshops. Full Festival Passes are $70, with admission to all online films and workshops. EBT Cardholder tickets are half price. belmontworldfilm.org/familyfestival.
Sunday, Jan. 16
Clap your hands and STOMP your feet when this iconic percussion group returns to The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory for the Performing Arts. This one-of-a-kind show incorporates music, dance, acrobatics, and theatrics into the performance. The eight-member troupe uses everything but conventional percussion instruments – matchboxes, wooden poles, brooms, garbage cans, Zippo lighters, hubcaps – to fill the stage with magnificent rhythms. Tickets start at $32. thehanovertheatre.org.
Preschool Story Hour
Jan. 19, 20 and 28
Worcester and Princeton
A thematic hour with a story, activity and naturalist-led walk at Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Worcester or Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary in Princeton. The theme for the Broad Meadow Brook program is tracking, and will take place outdoors as much as possible on Jan. 19 and 20. The Jan. 28 program at Wachusett Meadow is ice crystals. Pre-registration required. Children $5; members $4. massaudubon.org.
Young Explorers Owl Prowl
Friday, Jan. 21
Take to the trails of Fruitlands Museum to see who-who-who might be out and about in the dark winter woods. Join a local naturalist and educator on this family friendly guided Owl Prowl. Begin with a short presentation about winter-time nocturnal animals and learn how to call in the owls, then venture out to see if you can call any owls. This program involves night-time hiking on a moderate trail with some uphill climbs and uneven terrain, and is geared towards a family audience. Pre-registration is required. Adults $25, children $15; members $15/$9. thetrustees.org.
CraneExplorer: Beach Detectives
Sunday, Jan. 23
CraneExplorer events are designed to appeal to families with children ages 5-12 while giving their parents an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the Crane Estate. Hikes cover less ground to accommodate smaller strides and have more frequent stops to look, listen, and learn from guides. These family-friendly experiences teach kids and delight adults by exploring the wonder of coastal habitats and the rich history of the Crane Estate. At this program, you’ll explore the beach and discover treasures washed up by winter waves. Piece together clues to learn what is living under the sand and below the water line, and use field guides to identify shells, egg cases, seaweed and more to tell the story of what creatures are using the winter beach. After a beach walk, you’ll bring some treasures back to The Casino at Castle Hill to learn more about the beach finds over hot chocolate. Make a day of it by adding an optional fire pit experience after the program. Cost is $30 per family, $25 for members. thetrustees.org.
Lunar New Year Wild Walk
Saturday, Jan. 29
Learn about the Lunar New Year and explore the moon schedule and what’s in store celestially for us all during January’s full “Wolf Moon.” Keep your eyes open for animal tracks and other signs of wildlife on the farm and in the woods. This guided hike will be led by a Trustees ranger and naturalist and will be about 30 minutes long and will follow some of Chestnut Hill Farm’s most beautiful trails. The campfire will be going and there will be s’mores to enjoy. Pre-registration is required. Adults $25, children $15; members $15/$12. thetrustees.org.
Wild About Winter
Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 29-30
Celebrate the wonders of winter at the EcoTarium. Find fun and beauty in these short winter days through snowflake investigation, learning what animals do in winter, art experiences, and more. You can even try your hand at building a winter shelter of your own. The program is included with admission: adults $19, children $14, kids under 2 and members free. Tickets must be reserved in advance. ecotarium.org.
Wednesdays through Sundays
Boston Children's Museum’s annual Snowmazing celebration transforms the museum into a winter wonderland for families to discover. Enjoy festive scenes and sparkling winter-themed programs, winter castle and tunnels, and interactive snow and snowball fights. Skate on the sock skating rink, iceberg jump, toss snowballs, and see the biggest (20-feet!) snowman in Boston! The Museum is open Wednesdays through Sundays in two time slots, and admission is by advance registration and ticketing. Tickets are $18, children under 1 free. bostonchildrensmuseum.org.
Daily through January
Southborough and Walpole
Get the family outside to discover an elusive herd of wooden reindeer throughout the trails at Chestnut Hill Farm in Southborough and Francis William Bird Park in Walpole. This is a free, self-guided program. At the Bird Park, grab a bell from the office to put around the reindeers’ necks. Directions can be found at the trailhead parking lot kiosks. thetrustees.org