Boston Common Frog Pond Skating
Through March 16
Frog Pond, Boston Common
Tremont and Park St., Boston
Why not take advantage of the winter and do some skating? Beyond the $5 admission, it costs $9 for skate rental and $2 for a locker. Then you're off, whether you're just in it for fun or for the classic rom-com date -- though if you do that, you're basically committing yourself to a last-minute airport chase scene.
'Inspired By His Words'
Friday, 10 a.m.
House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St., Boston, Free, 617-960-8380
The International House of Blues Foundation teams up with Boston Public Schools for this fourth annual celebration of the life of Martin Luther King Jr. Students perform songs, spoken-word pieces and dances inspired by the late civil rights icon.
'Talk to Me'
Friday, 9 p.m.
Paramount Center, 559 Washington St., Boston, $10, 617-824-8400
Don Cheadle plays charismatic D.C.-area talk show host Petey Greene in this 2007 biopic. Greene was an ace at balancing political seriousness with humor. Couldn't we all use a little of that now?
Friday and Saturday
Arts at the Armory
191 Highland Ave., Somerville
Helios Early Opera presents this baroque comedy opera by Francesco Cavalli. Director Aria Umezawa has taken the tale of mistaken identities, fame and scandal to a modern locale where those are the main industries: Hollywood.
Winter Wildlife Cruise
Saturday, 11 a.m.
Boston's Best Cruises, 70 Long Wharf, Boston, $20, 617-770-0040
Sometimes it can feel like everything's dead in mid-winter, but that's not true. For proof, take a cruise of the Boston Harbor Islands. Past trips have seen such creatures as the snowy owl, the harlequin duck, the black guillemot and the purple sandpiper.
New England Book Festival
Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Omni Parker House Hotel
60 School St., Boston
This fest is for writers as much as readers, with seminars by successful authors and industry peeps on getting published, the value of the maxim "write what you know" and the rapidly changing state of the publishing industry.
Make a Ring
Stonybrook Fine Arts
24 Porter St., Jamaica Plain
Crafting is a constructive use of your winter indoor time, and why work with puny stuff like yarn or fabric when there's metal? You get to keep what you create here.
Improv Asylum: 'Raunch'
Improv Asylum, 216 Hanover St., Boston, $15, 617-263-6887
Laughter is a good way to chase away the laborious seriousness of that January mood. In that spirit, we recommend this weekly adults-only midnight performance, which pulls out all the stops to tickle its inebriated, pasta-stuffed audience right in the ol' reptile brain.
A Day of Service and Celebration in Honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Monday, 1 p.m.
Faneuil Hall, 1 Faneuil Hall Square, Boston, Free, 617-635-3911, www.cityofboston.gov/arts
Rejuvenate your sense of possibility with the city's official tribute to MLK, a mix of music and oratory featuring the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra's Intensive Community Program and keynote speaker Ernest G. Green, a member of the Little Rock Nine. The 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th anniversary of King's "I Have a Dream Speech" will be honored.
Bread and Puppet Theater: 50th Anniversary Art Installation
Monday through Jan. 27
Cyclorama, Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont St., Boston, Free, 617-286-6694
A good cure for the winter blues is to see something out of the ordinary, and the art of Vermont’s Bread and Puppet Theater is way out of the ordinary. It’s probably best known for its grotesque homemade papermache puppets, whose images have a way of sticking with you. Monday’s opening reception includes skits, music and a “fiddle talk.”
‘You For Me For You’
Friday through Feb. 16
Plaza Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts
527 Tremont St., Boston
This play by Mia Chung chronicles the relationship between North Korean sisters. One, suffering from an illness, attempts to escape their homeland for the superior health care of the United States, only to encounter an oppression different from the kind she’s familiar with, in the form of a freedom both seductive and bewildering.
Joyful Noise Gospel Concert
Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
45 Quincy St., Cambridge
Mid-winter is a perfect time for a shot of pure, positive, life-affirming energy, which you’ll get here in ample supply with a visit from the world-famous Harlem Gospel Choir. They’ve performed with artists as diverse as Lyle Lovett, the Chieftains and Diana Ross. This concert honors the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.
Jan. 24, 7:30 p.m.
7 Medford St., Arlington
The dance company This Is Tango Now presents this tango ballet, created by choreographers Fernanda Ghi and Guillermo Merlo (who also star) and musician and anthropologist Alfredo Minetti. More than just a showcase of masterful tango, it’s a full theatrical experience, with an allegorical narrative spun throughout and lighting design by Aníbal Rea, one of South America’s masters of the art.