7 family fun things to do this January

Baystateparent Magazine

New Year’s Day Family Fun Hike 

Jan. 1, 10-11 a.m.

Oak Knoll Wildlife Sanctuary, Attleboro 

Member adult $10, children $10; nonmember $12

New Year's Family Hike.

Ring in the New Year with an outdoor family exploration. Begin 2021 with your best foot forward on this guided New Year's Day hike at Oak Knoll. Explore the trails to see what animals have visited, and connect with nature and one another. Pre-registration required. massaudubon.org.

Yeti, Set, Go! 

Throughout January

Tower Hill Botanic Garden, West Boylston

Included with admission - adult $16, youth $6, children 5 and under and members free

Yeti, Set, Go!

This fun-filled winter scavenger hunt and adventure is included with admission to Tower Hill Botanic Garden throughout the month of January. Explore the gardens and meet all fifteen of the colorful, furry, friends. Typically covered with white shaggy fur, these yetis have changed things up, boasting bright colors so they will not be missed. On Jan. 8, kids 3-10 can take part in a Yeti Hunt at dusk, and get a behind the scenes tour of the exhibit while learning about camouflage, Yeti adaptations and lore, and a guided magical hunt (pre-registration required). towerhillbg.org

Festival of Lights 

Daily through Feb. 28

Downtown and Main South neighborhoods, Worcester


Festival of Lights.

Light sculptures and installations are on view in Worcester’s Downtown and Main South neighborhoods and illuminated after sundown each evening. Main South installations feature light sculptures by local artists at key nodes and participating businesses. Downtown lighting elements include a crescendo of multicolored snowflakes on Mercantile Center, snowflakes in business windows,  and a backlit mural on the windows of 554 Main St. On the Worcester Common, Tower Hill Botanic Garden has created an illuminated rainbow tunnel over 200 feet long, which celebrates Worcester’s inclusivity and will illuminate the Common in conjunction with 3D geometric light sculptures. 

Preschool Story Hour: Ice is Nice 

Jan. 13, 14 & 16, 10-11 a.m. 

Broad Meadow Brook, Worcester 

Member child $3, nonmember $4

Preschool Story Hour.

Children between the ages of 3 and 5 will enjoy this thematic hour of a story, an activity, and a naturalist-led walk. Dress for the weather and be prepared to be outdoors as much as possible for this program. Pre-registration required. massaudubon.org

Belmont World Film's Family Festival

Jan. 15-24 


Belmont World Family Film

See some of the world’s most remarkable current films for children ages 2-12 and take part in several workshops, all from the safety of home, at the Belmont World Film’s 18th Annual Family Festival, “Where Stories Come Alive.” The festival includes 13 feature length and short film programs with nearly 40 animated, live action, and documentary films—many based on children’s books and several making their US premieres—in English and other languages with subtitles. Kids can also learn about clay animation by building either Gromit or Shaun the Sheep (from the Wallace & Gromit films) with Aardman's Senior Animator, Jim Parkyn and learn how to be a film critic courtesy of the Boston Society of Film Critics. belmontworldfilm.org.

How People Make Things 

Tuesdays through Sundays, from Jan. 16 

Springfield Museums, Springfield 

Free with admission - adults $25, children $13, kids under 3 free 

How People Make Things

Inspired by the Mister Rogers’ Factory Tours this new exhibit at the Springfield Museums tells the story of how things are made, celebrating the people, manufacturing processes and the technology used to make everyday objects in our world. Explore using your hands, tools and machines to cut, mold, deform and assemble. Discover how familiar the story of manufacturing is to all of us. springfieldmuseums.org.

Family Nature Exploration Programs 

Sunday, Jan. 31

Drumlin Farm, Lincoln

Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, Natick 

Habitat Education Center & Wildlife Sanctuary, Belmont

Member family of five  $130; nonmember family $150 

Family Nature Exploration Programs

Take a personalized, private, two-hour guided tour into the wonders of nature with your family. Mass Audubon is offering Family Nature Exploration programs led by an Audubon naturalist at three of their sanctuaries this month. You’ll be guided through hands-on investigations of plants and animals and observe interactions and energy flow in the ecosystem. Programs can be customized to your group's interests and optional activities for children based on age and interest can be provided.

At the Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary in Belmont, choose from programs focusing on everything from  meadows or ponds to reptiles or fairy houses. At Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary in Lincoln, you can pitch in with morning or afternoon chores like caring for and feeding farm animals and collecting eggs, or take a seasonal hike through the woods, search for animal tracks, and investigate their New England winter survival strategies. 

At Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in Natick pick from programs investigating animals in the winter, using your senses in each season to explore nature, or searching the woods animal tracks and identifying trees and fauna. 

Contact each sanctuary for information about scheduling. massaudubon.org.