Beat the mid-January blahs with one of these fun, area activities this weekend. As always, you can find a full-list of Baltimore family activities on our calendar. Here are our top picks for the weekend:
2012 Progressive Insurance Boat Show: Maryland’s longest running and largest indoor boat show returns to the Baltimore Convention Center, January 19-22, 2012, providing on-the-water enthusiasts a chance to shop the newest boats and cutting-edge gear. Young boaters can join in on the fun by learning nautical knots, boat navigation, and other boating skills through daily, free hands-on sessions. Other options: welcome to the water coloring contest; a cast of characters including the Baltimore Orioles Bird, Pirates of the Caribbean’s Jack Sparrow and Crew impersonators, and Aang from The Last Air Bender; story time with Blackbeard the Pirate; and interactive Boat Show Bingo/Family Scavenger Hunts.

Horse World Expo: Family friendly entertainment, mounted demonstrations and clinics in three arenas and two seminar halls, and shopping at over 450 booths are the features at Horse World Expo. Horse World Expo offers something for everybody, from the casual admirer to top competitors. Friday through Sunday at the Maryland Fair Grounds.

Marvelous Magnets at The Maryland Science Center: Imagination and creativity exploration at the Maryland Science Center on Friday from 3 PM – 4 PM, specially designed for children ages 5-8. From simple loadstones to complex motors come discover the mysterious history and contemporary uses of fascinating magnetic material. Free with paid admission.

Women’s Oral History Night at The Women’s Industrial Kitchen: The Women’s Industrial Kitchen is dedicated to the amazing women who make/made Maryland. Join them for an oral history project celebrating the women who inspired you. Share your mom’s (or your grandma’s) story through spoken word, video and/or written journals. $15 for Mom-inspired food and drinks, Friday from 6 PM – 9 PM. Perfect for ages 5 to 115.

Chinese New Year at Port Discovery: Celebrate the year of the dragon at Port Discovery this Saturday! Make a Chinese Zodiac, learn Chinese calligraphy, sample cuisine from PF Changs, enjoy an authentic Chinese lion dance and make your own lion mask.

Zumbatomic® Fitness for Kids Launch Party: Face Painting, Costumed Characters,Crafts, Vendors, Prizes & More. Zumbatomic is a rockin’, high-energy fitness party packed with specially choreographed, kid-friendly routines and all the music kids love. Teach your children fitness can be fun from the start! Get dancing on Saturday from 10-11 AM at Universal Fitness at the Overlea. 

Young Writer’s Group: Calling all literary artists, ages 9 to 13! Meet twice a month to learn about writing stories and poems from a published children’s author at the School 33 Art Center. Each 1.5-hour session includes a fun creative writing activity and the chance to give and receive feedback on your work, all in a supportive setting. Creativity abounds on Saturday from 12:00 noon to 1:30 PM.

Making Tot Tracks: Frozen footprints provide special clues about winter wildlife. Let your child be a detective for an afternoon in which games, stories and a short hike lead to discoveries of animal survival in the winter season. Children should bring a white t-shirt for a special opportunity to create a track story. Perfect for ages 4-6 at the Robinson Nature Center on Sunday. 

Henry and Mudge: Moving from the city to a new house in the country can be tough. Henry can’t find a playmate in his new neighborhood! Luckily, he’s got Mudge, a 182-pound canine buddy, with whom he can share all kinds of adventures! Catch the show by Theatreworks at Howard Community College on Sunday. Two performances! One at 2:30 PM and one at 4:30 PM.

And for mom and dad…

Friday kicks off Baltimore Restaurant Week. Oh yeah. It’s time to book that sitter and make a reso…