January on the South Coast (title, with a photo of the shoreline and a woman dressed as a polar bear)

8 Great Things: January on the South Coast

It's January and time to hunker down to stay warm. Our list this month reflects this goal -- after first suggesting a good old fashioned polar plunge, we give you lots of warmer choices for the rest of the month.  Here are 8 things we think you can't miss this month!

1. Plunge into the New Year

Polar plunges are always on our resolutions list and then we start to lose our nerve around December 29. Maybe this will be the year we follow through? Gain some courage through community at the Fort Phoenix Plunge in Fairhaven at 10:00, Onset Beach from 11 to 1 (includes a post plunge party -- the party is INDOORS), the Mattapoisett Town Beach at noon and the Sakonnet River in Tiverton at noon.  All on January 1.

2. Curl Up with a Great Book

It's the annual Moby Dick Marathon at the Whaling Museum. You can stay the whole time for the unabridged version, or pop in and out at some point in the 25 hour marathon reading. There are prizes for those who stay the entire 25 hours (the prize for those who don't is sleeping in your own bed). Free. January 6 at noon straight through to January 7 at 1 pm. More here. 

Nora Brown, Stephanie Coleman and The Brother Brothers

3. String Obsessions

"We both were middle schoolers who were obsessed with old banjo players." We're so intrigued with this statement by Nora Brown, who is not that far away from middle school. Join Nora and her fellow enthusiast Stephanie Coleman as they perform with The Brother Brothers. Check out a little preview here of Nora and Stephanie's old-time string music magic. $28 in advance. 8 pm, January 5 at the Narrows Center, 16 Anawan Street, Fall River. More here. 

Cooking by the hearth at the Lafayette-Durfee House

4. Time Travel

The Lafayette Durfee House is serving up some good 18th century fun this month. Join them on January 6 with a focus on Twelfth Night with colonial cooking, crafts, and stories. We hear there may be some hot wassail, eggnog and ginger cookies. They'll focus on crafts and period music on January 7. Then, join them later in the month (1/21) when a couple of 18th century housewives share their secrets on flip, punch, possetts, brewing and rum. All events are free. More here.

5. Beer & Science

Pouring a draft of beerThe New Bedford Science Cafe is popular among folks who love science. Or who love beer.  Or both. This month, National Park historian Bill Burke will discuss the archeological excavation of the Great Island Tavern in Wellfleet which revealed that whalers, European settlers and Native Americans had gathered and created community in the oldest recorded tavern in New England. It seems like a good way to start the year. Free (except for the beer!). January 9 from 6 -8 pm.  Last Round Bar & Grille, 908 Purchase Street, New Bedford. More here. 

Winter Stock at Narrows Center

6. Winter Stock 2024

How did this fly under our radar before now? Four summers ago, a group of local musicians began gathering in a back yard on the 3 Mile River in North Dighton. This year, the Narrows Center hosts them, where they'll play music, pass the hat, and donate the hat money to the Samaritans Southcoast for suicide prevention. It's free (though feel free to contribute generously to the hat) and there are hours of the area's finest acts, including Emily Nawrocki, Louis Leeman, Roots Run Wild, Ed McGuirl, The Berger Boys, The Automatics, and 3 Legged Dog, with some special guests. January 13, The Narrows Center, 16 Anawan Street, Fall River. Noon to 4 pm. More here. 

Steeple Playhouse

7. Theater in Uncommon Spaces

We're lucky to have two incredibly special theaters tucked into architectural gems. Make this the month you visit them!

In New Bedford, the fabulously restored Steeple Playhouse is hosting A Doll’s House Part 2. Nominated for 7 Tonys, the play provides a modern spin on the Ibsen classic and is filled with suspense, humor, and intensity.  $25. Eight performances from January 19 to January 28. Evening and matinee. More here. 

Meanwhile, the Little Theater of Fall River uses a converted firehouse -- "The Fire Barn" -- for their performances of Gruesome Playground Injuries which follows two star-crossed lovers over thirty years from their first meeting in the nurse's office in elementary school.  $25. Eight performances from January 19 to January 28. Evening and matinee. More here.

Inside the Mattapoisett Museum

8. Show Your Talent!

The Mattapoisett Museum is providing the stage (in yet another cool venue!) to celebrate local talent with its open mic night. Sing a song, tell a joke, read a poem, or play an instrument....give us your best! Or come show support for your talented neighbors! Free, January 19 from 6 to 8 pm. More here. 

Well, there you have it! 8 Great Things for gathering and keeping you cozy for the month of January (yes, we'd argue the polar plunges are cozy because you wrap yourself up right afterwards!) Go out and enjoy the new month -- and year!

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