The Launch: January 2017

The nine musts from this month's calendar of events.

Lunar New Year Festival
Jan. 29. The Walters Art Museum, 600 N. Charles St. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. 410-547-9000. While the Gregorian calendar’s New Year might have come and gone, the Chinese Lunar New Year is once again upon us. At The Walters Art Museum, celebrate the Year of the Rooster with a special focus on traditional Chinese and Korean dance. Several groups will perform, including the Baltimore Chinese School, Johns Hopkins’ Yong Han Lion Dance Troupe, and the Korean Sang Hee Ju Traditional Dance Company. With fun for the whole family, partake in arts and crafts and take group selfies in the Pixilated photo booth to ring in the new year.

Mamma Mia!
Jan. 13-15. Hippodrome Theatre at the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center, 12 N. Eutaw St. Fri. 8 p.m., Sat. 2 & 8 p.m., Sun. 1 & 6:30 p.m. $48-142. 410-837-7400. For one weekend only, this smash-hit Broadway musical is making its way to Baltimore. The Tony-nominated crowd pleaser follows a mother and daughter through love, laughter, and family drama in a comedic coming-of-age story set in the Greek islands. Best of all, it features Swedish pop supergroup ABBA’s greatest hits.

Baltimore Restaurant Week
Jan. 13-22. Locations vary. $20-35. Charm City might be best known for crab cakes and Berger cookies, but it’s so much more than that. For nine days this month, fulfill your foodie-on-a-budget dream, and choose from more than 100 of Baltimore’s best restaurants offering discounted meals for dinner and lunch—including the newly rebranded Bar Vasquez, classic Prime Rib, and more casual Rowhouse Grille.

Orioles FanFest
Jan. 28. Baltimore Convention Center, 1 W. Pratt St. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. $6-12. 888-848-BIRD. Bring friends or the whole family to this daylong celebration of Orioles baseball, where you can shake hands and rub elbows with players, coaches, and super fans. Catch the hilarious kids’ press conference, snap a selfie with the Bird, and grab an autograph from Buck Showalter. Sorry guys, no Adam Jones pie-throwing this year.

Dancing With The Stars: Live!
Jan. 15. Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric, 140 W. Mount Royal Ave. 8 p.m. $34-595.50. 410-900-1150. As a part of a 43-city North American tour, the ABC hit series Dancing With the Stars is making its way out of the television and into a theater near you. During this live performance, get a front row seat to all the glitter and glamor of the show, with top-notch dance numbers and celebrity contestants, including recent DWTS and Olympic champion Laurie Hernandez and her partner, Val Chmerkovskiy.

Ina Garten
Jan. 17. Hippodrome Theatre at the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center, 12 N. Eutaw St. Fri. 7:30 p.m. $69-97. 410-837-7400.
Over the years, Ina Garten has encouraged countless people to cook with her bestselling books, and has garnered a huge fan following thanks to her Barefoot Contessa show on the Food Network. But it’s her husband, Jeffrey (also a Johns Hopkins alum), who has been her greatest admirer, inspiring her 10th and latest tome, Cooking For Jeffrey, which she’ll be talking about this month. “It’s a little bit of a love letter to my husband, who has been unbelievably supportive,” says Garten. “Jeffrey always told me, ‘If you love something, you’ll be good at it’—and that was really good advice.”—Jane Marion

Jan. 20-22. Baltimore Convention Center, 1 W. Pratt St. Fri. 7 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat. 7 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m.-12 p.m. $10-160. 410-235-6882. In the midst of football season, celebrate Maryland’s state team sport at the US Lacrosse Convention. Back in Baltimore with hopes to be bigger and better than ever, the convention will feature all lax everything, with dozens of speakers, educational clinics, on-field demonstrations, gear, swag, and the nation’s best coaches and athletes. Grab autographs from Team USA players and catch keynote speaker John O’Sullivan, founder and CEO of the Changing the Game Project.

Kareem Abdul-Jabaar
Jan. 26.
Weinberg Center for the Arts, 20 W. Patrick St., Frederick. 7:30 p.m. $50-65. 301-600-2828. Don’t miss all-time leading NBA scorer and recent Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as he brings his life lessons to Frederick. Both on the court and off, the U.S. cultural ambassador, black activist, and CML Leukemia survivor has served as an inspiration. For one night, he shares personal experiences and his new book, Writings on the Wall.

Polar Bear Plunge
Jan. 26-28. Sandy Point State Park, 1100 E. College Pkwy., Annapolis. $75. Take a dunk in the Chesapeake Bay this month as the Polar Bear Plunge celebrates 21 years of freezing our tails off for a good cause. With a pledge of $75 or more and a frigid few seconds in our ice-cold state estuary, you can help support the 7,311 athletes of Special Olympics Maryland.