Editors' picks for the best of Columbus this month

1. MLK Day Open House Celebration

Jan. 18

Honor Martin Luther King Jr. at the King Arts Complex's annual community event. The family-friendly celebration includes music, live theater performances, films and activities to commemorate the civil rights movement. The open house concludes with the annual MLK Day March, which ends at the Lincoln Theatre, where you can participate in an inspirational program featuring Myrlie Evers-Williams, activist, journalist and widow of civil rights leader Medgar Evers. kingartscomplex.com

2. Lantern Stroll at Highbanks Metro Park

Jan. 3

This free event offers a great opportunity to spot owls during mating and nesting season at the Delaware County park. A naturalist will lead hikers along the lantern-lit 2.5-mile Dripping Rock Trail in search of screech, great horned and barred owls. Participants should gather at 5:30 p.m. at the Highbanks Nature Center. The hike is suitable for all ages. metroparks.net

3. An Evening with Yo La Tengo

Jan. 30

Still fresh off the release of their most recent album, Stuff Like That There, Yo La Tengo returns to the Wexner Center for the Arts for an intimate performance. The indie icon band will perform two sets-one acoustic and one electric-as part of Next@Wex, a musical series featuring breakout bands and up-and-coming indie musicians. wexarts.org

4. "We Are in a Play"

Jan. 15–24

Mo Willems is that rare children's author who delights grownups as much as kids. In "We Are in a Play," two of his most beloved characters, Gerald and Piggie, come to life in a musical stage adaption of the series of early reader books featuring the unlikely best buddies. Willems wrote the script and lyrics, while Deborah Wicks La Puma composed the score. The play is at Van Fleet Theatre in the Columbus Performing Arts Center, 549 Franklin Ave. catcoistheatre.org

5. Russian Winter Festival

Jan. 8 and 9

Instead of hibernating all month long, spice things up with a little vodka and Russian music, courtesy of the Columbus Symphony and its new music director, Rossen Milanov. On Friday, enjoy Mussorgsky's 10-movement "Pictures at an Exhibition," followed by a vodka tasting with the orchestra. On Saturday, pianist Natasha Paremski joins the CSO to perform Rachmaninoff's virtuosic "Piano Concerto No. 3." columbussymphony.com

See our events calendar for a complete list.