Boston in January

10 Fun Things to Do

Things to Do in Boston in January 2019

Top 10 Boston Activities for January

Looking for interesting things to do in Boston in January? 

Boston hotels offer their cheapest rates this month, and the city is full of fun activities and events.

Outdoors, winter sports hold center stage at TD Garden, Fenway Park, local ice rinks, and ski slopes. 

Indoors, Boston cultural venues, restaurants, and nightlife provide lots to do. 

In Boston's Theatre District, the theater season is in full swing.  Two big wine events add extra warmth.  And Boston sports fans get to cheer the Celtics, Bruins, and the Patriots (assuming the Pats proceed to the playoffs).

January always feels like the coldest and snowiest month of the year in Boston.  And often, it is.  But the sky is luminous, even when cloudy, and as the month goes by, you may even notice the days getting a tiny bit longer. 

If you're planning what to do in Boston in January, here are some fun activities to consider.  Be sure to also check the Boston Event Calendar for January.

Top photo:  Snowy day in Boston's Public Garden

1.  Head for the Slopes

Boston Bean Pot Tournament

Several excellent downhill and cross country ski areas are located near Boston, less than an hour outside of the city - perfect for a day or even a weekend.  Snowboarding and tubing are also available at some of them.  

Just a little farther away in the Berkshires, you will find even more possibilities, including luxury ski resorts for romantic weekend getaways.

True, you will not imagine you are in the Alps - but these ski slopes near Boston offer you convenient places to learn, plenty of fun, and an easy opportunity to get out and enjoy January.

If you have slightly more time and want greater challenges, head to steeper slopes at ski areas and resorts (some of which are quite fancy) in New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont.  Find out more in our complete guide to New England ski areas and resorts.

2.  Immerse Yourself in Spectator Sports

Prefer to enjoy winter sports inside?  TD Garden, conveniently located adjacent to North Station, provides an almost non-stop schedule of Boston Bruins hockey games and Boston Celtics basketball games during January. 

You can easily get to TD Garden on the T (Boston's subway) - just take the Green or Orange Line to North Station, and enter directly from the station.

TD Garden Lineup for January:

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TD Garden schedule for January

Find all TD Garden events

Even though the New England Patriots don't always go to the Super Bowl in February, January often finds them in at least one and often two playoff games.  Sure, the weather may be fridgid, but true fans put on a few layers of coats and head down to Gillette Stadium for the excitement.  This year, they WILL GO to the Super Bowl - and avid fans will make plans to go watch.  If that sounds like you, here is ticket information: 

Super Bowl Events & Tickets:

More Gillette Stadium information

3.  Bundle Up & Go Ice Skating

Ice Skating on Boston's Frog Pond in January
Ice Skating on Boston's Frog Pond in January

Go ice skating on Frog Pond in Boston Common, or cross Charles Street to the Public Garden and "skate" across the frozen Lagoon - no actual skates required!

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4.  Ignore the Cold . . . Take a Fun Tour around Boston

View of Boston Skyline in Winter

Don't let nippy January weather keep you from touring the city!  You may be surprised by the interesting tours you can take even when the weather doesn't cooperate - luxurious dinner cruises on Boston Harbor (that's where the gorgeous winter sunset view in the above photo of Boston's skyline was taken), walking tours, even museum tours . . . plus lots more!

Or, go on a self-guided tour along the historic Freedom Trail.  Set your own pace, and if the temperature feels frosty, pop into one of Boston's many bistros and pubs to warm up and enjoy a bite of local fare.

Too cold to walk the entire Trail?  Head for the warmer indoor sites - go inside Paul Revere's house in the North End, join a free tour of the USS Constitution, aka "Old Ironsides," in Charlestown, or explore history in the Old State House and Old South Meeting House museums in downtown Boston. 

Even better - visit Faneuil Hall Marketplace, right on the Freedom Trail.  You'll find plenty of great shopping (and maybe some great January sales).  Festive holiday decorations usually remain in place and provide good cheer until the end of the month.

More Fun Tours for January:

5.  Stay Warm - See a Show in Boston's Downtown Theatre District

Boston's theater season gets into full swing during the winter months - perhaps because our ornate historic theaters seem especially cozy and appealing on cold winter nights.  Check out the January theater schedule:

TicketLiquidator Discount Code - Enter TLWINTER to get $10 off orders of $250+
TicketNetwork Discount Code - Enter TNTIX to get $10 off orders of $300+

boston theater schedule

Find all Boston Theater shows & performances

Get a behind-the-scenes tour the Wang Theatre, the crown jewel in Boston's historic Theatre District

Start your evening with dinner in a Theatre District restaurant, and check out more Boston nightlife afterwards.

More about Boston's Theatre District

6.  Plan a Cruise

Horseshoe Bay Beach in Bermuda - pink sand and turquoise water / Bermuda Cruises from Boston - - photo courtesy of Ekem

Did you know that most people book cruises during January?  Must be the dismal weather. 

Leaving for cruises from Boston from the Cruise Terminal couldn't be easier, and you can pick from exciting itineraries.

Cruise from Boston to . . . Bermuda . . . or Europe . . . or the Caribbean. 

Go on a Boston Harbor Cruise

Boston Harbor Sightseeing and Special Event Cruises

Northern Lights Cruises:

  • New Year's Eve Fireworks Cruise - Celebrate the New Year on this fabulous 3-hour fireworks cruise with live music, dancing, appetizers, & more!  Fills up early - so don't wait to book! - Find out more
  • New Year's Day Brunch Cruise - Welcome the New Year on January 1st with a tasty hot 3-course brunch on this relaxing 2.5 hour sightseeing tour Boston Harbor - Find out more
  • An Irish Christmas Carol Cruise - Get into the holiday spirit with Slainte, the Northern Lights' house Irish band.   Raise your glass as you join in singing some merry Irish holiday ballads on this 90 minute Harbor cruise - Find out more
  • Cocoa & Carols Holiday Cruise - Join in singing your favorite Christmas holiday songs led by City of Four, Northern Lights' house R&B/funk band, on this cozy 90 minute Harbor Cruise with drinks and snacks available for purchase at the yacht's Main Deck Bar. - Find out more
  • Holiday Sunset Cruise - As the ship's captain points out highlights of passing landmarks and soft music plays in the background, watch the ever-changing sunset colors as the sun sets behind Boston's city skyline on this relaxing 90 minute cruise around the Harbor.  Find out more
  • Holiday Jazz Cruise - Relax to the sounds of jazzy Christmas tunes and enjoy an adult beverage on this 90 minute romantic evening cruise past iconic attractions along the Boston waterfront - Find out more
  • Holiday Brunch Cruise - See historic sights and panoramic views around Boston Harbor as you enjoy this 2 hour narrated cruise including hot chocolate and brunch (Mimosas, Bloody Marys, and spiked hot chocolate available at the bar) - Find out more
  • Cocoa & Blues Holiday Cruise - Enjoy Boston's sparkling skyline at night along with spiked hot chocolate or a glass of champagne as City of Four, Northern Lights' house R&B/funk band, plays contemporary versions of holiday classics inspired by Stevie Wonder, James Brown, and the Temptations - Find out more

Adirondack III Cruises:

  • Returns in the spring!

7.  Capture Some Winter Scenes

Boston Public Garden and Back Bay Mansions in the Snow

Right after a snowfall, the city can be at its most beautiful.  Bundle up and go out with your camera to photograph the seasonal beauty.   Check out Boston weather in January to know what to expect (hint: not every January day is cold!).

8.  Eat, Drink, & Be Merry

Q.  What are good things to do in Boston in January when weather gets really, really miserable?  You know . . . howling winds, sub-zero windchill, and lead-gray skies? 

A.  Stay inside and feel miserable - no, wait!  That's the wrong answer!  The right one is to eat, drink, and be merry.  The weather outside may still be lousy - but you'll no longer care. 

How to do this?  Here's the easy 3-step process:

1.  Eat - Make reservations in one of the warm and inviting Boston Italian restaurants. 

2.  Drink - Participate in one of the Boston wine festival events underway this month - the Boston Wine Festival gets January off to an exciting start, and the annual Boston Wine Expo toward the end of the month gives you the chance to sample wines from the best wineries from around the world. 

3.  Be merry - Do Steps 1 and 2, and you'll feel quite merry.

9.  Go Gallery-Hopping

January can be the coldest month of the year, but visiting some of Boston's premier art galleries is an ideal way to mix exercise with culture! 

Boston's art galleries concentrate in 3 neighborhoods:  Back Bay, Fort Point, and the South End.

However, Back Bay also offers lots of boutiques for shopping the January sales as well as cozy cafes and coffee bars when you need to warm up - so start there.

10.  Go for Laughs in Boston's Comedy Clubs

Boston Comedy Clubs:  Laugh Boston at the Waterfront Westin
Laugh Boston - One of Boston's Top Comedy Clubs

January weather may be nothing to laugh at - but the comics in Boston's comedy clubs will find plenty of other topics to amuse you.  Most charge small covers, but pack in plenty of laughs.  Take a look at what's on offer:

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Boston Comedy Clubs

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More Fun Ways to See Boston

More Things to Do in Boston in January

Events and things to do in Boston in January

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Find more discount Christmas events

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Check Out More Top Boston Events Each Month

January   |   February   |     March   |  April   |    May    |    June   |   July   |    August   |    September  |  October   |    November   |    December  |  Year at a Glance 

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