Ice Skating in the Boston Commons: Test your ice skating skills on America's oldest Public Park's ice-skating rink. Frog Pond in the Boston Commons is open for another season of city skating. Ice skating hours: Mon 10-4 pm Tues-Thurs 10-9pm Fri-Sat 10-10pm, Sundays 10-9pm. Admission is $4 per person and $9 for skate rental. Tuesday College Nights: $2 admission with college ID
Astronomy Night: Boston University hosts free, public astronomy nights, which allow you the opportunity to get up close with the stars. The event is held almost every Wednesday night from 8:30-9:30pm, weather permitting. The Public Open Night is held at the Coit Observatory at Boston University (located at 725 Commonwealth Ave.)
Learn to salsa: Add some spice to this typically tame season with salsa dancing at Club Caribé on Thursdays, in the Courtyard Marriott overlooking the Charles River, with complementary appetizers and a $5 dance lesson (777 Memorial Dr, Cambridgeport, Cambridge; salsaboston.com).
Comedy show at ImprovBoston: Cagematch, a new show at ImprovBoston Theater in Cambridge on Sundays. It features two competing improv troupes vying for the audiences' vote for the best skit of the night. The next week, the winner comes back to take on a new challenger. General admission $10 and students are $8. (40 Prospect Street, Cambridge, MA, 617-576-1253).
Chinese New Year Parade: Head over to Chinatown and help celebrate the year of the Dragon at the Chinese New Year Lion Dance Parade. Held at noon on Jan. 29 this year, the event will feature vendor booths, a martial arts performance, and lion dances. There is no charge to attend.
First Fridays with the SoWa Artists Guild: Every First Friday of the month, the SoWa artist district opens its doors to the public. With over 50 artist studios and 15 galleries, this creative hub has breadth and variety. A typical tour can include steampunk sculptures, stunning photography, feather-decorated hair fascinators and contemporary takes on famous paintings. (First Fridays: Jan. 7, Feb. 4; 5pm-9pm; 450 Harrison Ave, South End, Boston; sowaartistsguild.com).
The Mapparium: The Mapparium at the Mary Baker Eddy library is a short walk from the Prudential Center in Back Bay. A 30-foot glass bridge takes visitors into the middle of a giant glass globe, giving them a view of the world inside-out. Built in 1935, the Mapparium has hosted more than 10 million visitors. General Admission $6; Students with ID $4 AND the best part is that you can get tickets for $2 at OSLA, W002 (The Mary Baker Eddy Library, 200 Massachusetts Avenue)
Museum of Fine Arts: Go see the Degas and the Nude exhibit before it closes on February 5th. Free for Simmons students with student ID. If you have guests, you can also check out free MFA day passes from Simmons library. (Avenue of the Arts 465 Huntington Avenue).
Catch an author signing in Brookline: Get up close and personal with some of your favorite authors at Brookline Booksmith's Writers and Readers series. Most readings are free unless otherwise noted on the bookstore's website. (279 Harvard St. Coolidge Corner, Brookline, www.brooklinebooksmith.com).
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: Visitors to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum are greeted by the visual splendor of the courtyard garden and surrounding galleries--a feast for the senses. The museum was designed as a work of art in totality. General admission is $15 and $5 for college students with current ID. After-renovation Museum reopening is on Jan 19th!