Five Reasons to Leave the House This Weekend

Good Cause
Polar Grill Fest 2012
The Portsmouth, New Hampshire outpost of Seattle-based Redhook Brewery is teaming up with The Meat House to fire up the grills for charity. Local grill masters will cook steak tips, chicken, and pulled pork alongside heated tents, fire pits, outdoor bars, and live music to raise money for Share Our Strength, a nonprofit working to end childhood hunger.
$5 admission; food and beer is extra, 21+, Saturday, January 28, from 1-5 p.m., Redhook Brewery, One Redhook Way, Portsmouth, NH, 603-430-8600,

Third Annual Magner’s Comedy Festival

There’s no such thing as too much laughter. But if you’re finding yourself short on gut busting, consider checking out five days’ worth of local and national comedy. Look for performances by big names like Colin Quinn and Marc Maron, and locals like Lamont Price, Tony V, and Graig Murphy, a regular on WEEI. “If laughter is the best medicine,” says Murphy, “this festival is CVS.”
$20-$70, Wednesday, January 25, through Sunday, January 29, venues include Improv Asylum, Mottley’s Comedy Club, Nick’s Comedy Stop, Oberon, and the Wilbur Theatre. Check the website for dates, times, tickets, and prices.

Be Healthy Boston
If you’re anything like me, those New Year’s resolutions about exercising more and getting healthy aren’t quite sticking. Or maybe it’s just that they were never implemented. Whether you have a list of specific goals or general curiosity, this two-day event is a worthy way to spend a weekend: events include morning yoga, cooking demonstrations with Ana Sortun (of Oleana) and Jody Adams (of Rialto and Trade), mini spa treatments, wellness and nutrition consultations, trial fitness classes, and workshops in personal growth, healthy cooking, weight management, and more. Keynote speakers include Terri Trespicio (our cover girl in this month’s issue) and Seth Goldman, CEO of HonesTea.
$79-$159, The Westin Boston Waterfront, 425 Summer St., Boston, 617-532-4600,

Bread and Puppet Theater
Combine paper-mâché puppets, homemade sourdough rye with garlic alioli, and sociopolitical issues and you’ll get Vermont’s Bread and Puppet Theater. The group will perform three shows through the weekend at the Cyclorama: Attica (which marks the 40th anniversary of the prison riots in the New York correctional facility of the same name), Man of Flesh and Cardboard (the story of Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army soldier charged with passing restricted information to Wikileaks), and Man=Carrot Circus (a family-friendly show “based on the revelation that an upright man rooted in dirt was created in the image of the upright carrot rooted in dirt”). So where does the bread come in? You get to eat it with the performers after each show as part of an informal talk back.
$6-$12, Through Sunday, January 29, Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts (BCA), 539 Tremont St., Boston, 866-811-4111,;

Goat Rodeo Sessions
I know, I know, this isn’t technically a weekend event, but I’m a sucker for strings — so the chance to see cellist Yo-Yo Ma, fiddler Stuart Duncan, bassist Edgar Meyer, and mandolinist Chris Thile, who released The Goat Rodeo Sessions in October, play a mash-up of classical and bluegrass is a must-see. Fun fact: the album’s name comes straight from Urban Dictionary: “A Goat Rodeo” is about the most polite term used by aviation people (and others in higher risk situations) to describe a scenario that requires about 100 things to go right at once if you intend to walk away from it.” That oughta make for a pretty stellar live performance.
$45-$250, Tuesday, January 31, 6:30 p.m., House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St., Boston, 888-693-2583,