Free Things to Do in Boston, January 2017
Though Boston Winter leaves City Hall Plaza December 31, ice sculptures will be up across the street for family fun to ring in the New Year. The marketplace will be open and in full swing, with additional performers, activities, and the last showing of BLINK! On January 1.
Free, December 31-January 1, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, faneuilhallmarketplace.com.
Mass Parks First Day Hikes
Start your New Year off outside, with First Day Hikes at 12 different state parks across Mass. These hikes include trail talks, visitor center programs, and even hot chocolate, depending on the park. Check your preferred park’s flier for details.
Free, Friday, January 1, hours and locations: mass.gov.
From Cairo to Khartoum: John Lowell Jr.’s Travels in Egypt and Sudan
You’ve probably heard the name Lowell before, but probably didn’t know it once belonged to a Bostonian who traveled up the Nile to Egypt and Khartoum, the Sudanese capital in 1835. Join Museum of Fine Arts curator Lawrence M. Berman to hear about Lowell’s’ dangerous travels and how he contributed to the MFA with the souvenirs he collected along the way.
Free, Wednesday, January 4, 6-7 p.m., Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St., Boston, bpl.org.
Shakespeare to Hip Hop
Hip hop poet and actor Marlon Carey and slam poetry champ and educator Regie Gibson collaborate with musicians for a performance of poetry, song, and rap to connect classic and modern styles, as part of “All The City’s a Stage: A Season of Shakespeare” at the Boston Public Library.
Free, Friday, January 6, 12-1 p.m., Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St., Boston, bpl.org.
Cooper Gallery Open House
Harvard’s Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African and African American Art is offering music, tours, and refreshments at their all-day Winter Fair. The fair is also the last day of the Carrie Weems: I once knew a girl exhibition and will feature a talk with contemporary African-American artist Deborah Willis at noon.
Free, Saturday, January 7, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., The Cooper Gallery, 102 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge, coopergalleryhc.org.
Brookline Arts Center Snowflake Festival
All ages are welcome at this open house, which offers demonstrations, a chance to meet the center’s staff and faculty, and to make some art of your own. This festival also includes the opening of the annual student artwork exhibition.
Free, Saturday, January 9, 1-3:30 p.m., Brookline Arts Center, 86 Monmouth St., Brookline, brooklineartscenter.com.
New York Times-bestselling sports writer and WEEI’s Dale & Holley co-host Michael Holley spills about his new book, a subject of great importance to most Bostonians: Belichick and Brady. Learn what nuances you might have been missing in the relationship between the Patriots’ dynamic duo. The reading will be followed by a book signing.
Free, Tuesday, January 10, 7 p.m., Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, harvard.com.
The Athenaeum opens its doors to the public for pastry chef and author Louise Miller’s talk on her new book, A City Baker’s Guide to Country Living. Dessert not included, but Miller’s book, much of which she wrote in the Athenaeum’s fifth-floor reading room, will be available for purchase.
Free, Wednesday, January 11, 12-1 p.m., Boston Athenaeum, 10 ½ Beacon St., Boston, bostonathenaeum.org.
Winter Wellness Walk at Arnold Arboretum
Get a jump on that fitness New Year’s resolution, and maybe an Instagram or two. Guides offer information on the nature around you while you take it all in and walk off that holiday daze.
Free, Sunday, January 15, 1-1:45 p.m., Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston, arboretum.harvard.edu.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Open House
Not only does this day offer free admission, but there are also tours, talks, art-making, and more all day. This celebration of art, culture, and community also features an exhibition of two contemporary American artists exploring the African American experience.
Free, Monday, January 16, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston, mfa.org.
Isabella Stewart Gardner MLK Jr. Day of Service
The day offers free admission and the chance to participate in community-building art, movement, and performance alongside local figures dedicated to social justice.
Free, Monday, January 16, 11 a.m., 25 Evans Way, Boston, gardnermuseum.org.
Author Elizabeth Searle will be in the store to discuss her new novel, We Got Him, which examines a single mother’s struggle set against the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
Free, Monday, January 23, 7 p.m., Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard St., Brookline, brooklinebooksmith.com.