BEST BETS FOR JANUARY

New year, new you! January isn’t just the best month to start fresh, it’s also a perfect time to seek out something new on Cape Cod. Here are your best bets for exploring this month—and keeping those resolutions.

Get organized.
Decluttering the closet seems like a lovely idea, almost as lovely as stuffing all the boots, ski poles, baskets of junk mail, broken gadgets, gift wrap, dusty candles, and plastic bags right back in there and shutting the door. Take heart and inspiration at the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod’s annual Winter Art Exhibit at Cotuit Center for the Arts (January 11–February 8), where local artists’ interpretations of this year’s theme, “Heroes & Villains,” will give you a moment to step back and reflect on the bigger picture.  Artwork will be displayed at a kid-friendly, four-foot eye level (for those little ones who have yet to grasp the concept of “personal space”). Bonus: Students can create their own piece inspired by the exhibition during a hands-on workshop in the Cotuit Center’s Art Barn.

Eat right.
Any diet or nutrition book will tell you: Go for mindful indulgences. Each bite counts at the
5th Annual Awesome Chili Challenge (Saturday, January 25, noon to 5 p.m.) under the heated tent at the oceanfront Popponesset Inn, where you can sample the area’s best chili (professional & amateur categories) and help determine the winning recipes. More to feel good about: The event benefits the Falmouth Service Center and Boys & Girls Club of Cape Cod––and live entertainment by the Grab Brothers Band, dancing, free food from Estia, and raffle prizes make it all even more splurge-worthy. Come Monday, the office vending machine bags of sour cream chips and hard-as-bricks cookies will never seem less tempting.

Travel more.
Americans are famous for ignoring their vacation time, either because it’s more stressful to miss work or because a single week seems mighty short when book-ended by all that bag-packing, airport-ing, line-waiting, hotel checking, trip-planning, and kid/spouse whining. Expand your horizons instead when
 Cape Symphony presents “Passport to Africa” (January 25–26), a special concert where the orchestra is most definitely the diva. This musical journey takes you overseas to celebrate the extraordinary rhythms and melodies of Africa.

Get outdoors and exercise.
A few things will happen at the 
Cape & Islands Orchid Society’s Annual Orchid Show (January 25–26) at the Resort and Conference Center at Hyannis. 1) You’ll hit your daily steps by perusing the marketplace and stunning displays that are as beautiful (yup, we said it) as being in the actual outdoors. 2) These orchids will inspire your love of nature, thus motivating you to get outdoors and exercise. 3) You’ll buy one to take home, become obsessed, and return next year for advice on how to solve its many, many problems. It will be worth the trouble. Back to step one, repeat forever.

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