Things to do in Boston in 2014

With the start of every year, people make new resolutions that they seem to forget about by the time March rolls around. This year, I encourage all of you to make trying new things your New Year's resolution! And with plenty of exciting events taking place in Boston this year, it'll be easy to stick to it all year round.

2014 kicks off the year with plenty of high-profile concerts. Justin Timberlake is headlining his tour that hits TD Garden Feb. 27, and for those of you who missed his killer show in Fenway last August, this concert is a must-see. Other music highlights this year includes Lorde at the Orpheum March 15 and Miley Cyrus at TD Garden April 2. And while the lineup hasn't been released yet, Boston Calling Music Festival in May is sure to feature a plethora of amazing artists.

"Wicked" also comes back to Boston this summer, and for the first time ever, the Boston Ballet company will put on "Cinderella" from March 13-23 at the Boston Opera House. "The Book of Mormon," winner of eight Tony awards, will be hitting the same stage from April 9-28, and "Phantom of the Opera" will also be coming to Boston this year from June 26 to July 20, featuring an entirely new set and cast, but with all the same hit songs we know and love.

Museum goers will also find themselves with plenty of special exhibits to go. In February, the Museum of Fine Arts launches its Boston Loves Impressionism exhibit, the very first interactive, publicly-run exhibit. Throughout January, people were able to vote on their favorite Impressionist paintings on from a variety of categories and choose which paintings they wanted to see displayed.

This will also be a big year for all the foodies out there. The Wine Riot will be held the weekend of April 18 at the Park Plaza Hotel, featuring wine from over 250 countries that participants will get a chance to sample. Can't wait that long? From March 20-21, the Extreme Beer Fest will be held at the Seaport World Trade Center, featuring over 60 local breweries. And finally, the Taste of the Nation Boston event will be held on April 19 at Cruisport Boston, where renown chefs will face off in "food fights" to support the Share our Strength No Kid Hungry Campaign. What better way to gorge yourself on food from some of the most prominent chefs in Boston than to do it in the name of charity?

And for anime and comic-book enthusiasts alike, two events you won't want to miss this year are Anime Boston March 21-23 at the Hynes Convention Center and Comic-Con Aug. 8-10 at the Seaport World Trade Center. Dress up in your best cosplay, and be on the lookout for celebrity guests Eve Myles from the BBC series “Torchwood,” and James Marsters from the TV shows “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel” spin-off.

And while these are all special events being held in Boston throughout the year, there are also seasonal and year-round venues that will help you stick to your resolution of trying out new things to do in the city! The Frog Pond is open now until late March, and on Tuesday nights, college students get a 50% skating discount. Sick of winter activities? Check out Rockspot Climbing Gym just outside of Boston for indoor rock climbing walls. All skill levels are welcome!

If the big name artists that are coming to Boston this year are sold out before you get a chance to buy your tickets, fear not — venues like the Middle East in Cambridge, House of Blues in Fenway, and the Great Scott in Allston have shows every weekend featuring lesser known (but just as talented) artists, and tickets are generally under $20.

And if plays and shows aren't necessarily your thing but you still love the arts, I encourage you to check out some of the performances that are off the beaten track. Improv Asylum is a hilarious sketch routine that has shows every Friday in the North End for only $5, slam poetry and spoken word nights are featured at the Cantab Lounge in Central Square every Friday, and the Trident Cafe on Newbury Street also has tons of special events ranging from trivia to book discussions that are all outlined on their website.

So this year, I urge you all to abandon your usual "dinner and a movie" outings to try new things. Boston has so much to offer and with all of the events set to take place, 2014 is bound to be a fantastic year for Boston dwellers.

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