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Around The Area

Out & About: Things to Do in January 2017

Dec 29th, 2016

The holidays have come and gone, and what’s left is a few months of cold or rainy weather, depending where you are. Even with the less-than-agreeable clime, January has much in-store for those cities around the country that AMLI residents call home. Some cities are keeping attractions like ice skating and holiday lights going for a week or two even after the New Year, and most of the festivals we’d normally enjoy outside have simply moved indoors. Rest assured, this month is packed with plenty of reasons to leave the warmth of your home.


Jan. 1-8: Winter Wonderland

The Fernbank Museum of Natural History is still celebrating the winter holidays through the first week of the New Year with two floors of holiday trees decorated according to different traditions from around the world. The museum is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. everyday.

Jan. 14: Monster Jam

Hey, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea (or bottle of beer), but tickets are relatively cheap at 0 a-piece, and the rip-roaring monster truck rally is easily accessible in the Georgia Dome. Give it a try and make a night of it.

Jan 21.:  Atlanta Winter Wine Fest 

City Winery hosts this lunch-time wine tasting event featuring over 50 different kinds of wines. Attendees receive a complementary wine glass and free bottled water throughout the event. The wine tasting is strictly for ages 21 and up, with no kids, babies, or pets allowed.

Jan. 26: The Big Fake Wedding

Enjoy a bridal show without the stuffiness of a convention hall. This uncommon event featuring bridal vendors is held in a brewery and has all the trappings of a real wedding—a ceremony, fancy dress, refreshments, and a dance-party reception.


Jan. 1-7: Free Week

Local and regional musicians and bands perform free shows at various venues throughout Austin. The lineup is seriously massive, encompassing many different genres and styles emblematic of the city’s diverse music scene.

Jan. 4-8: Louie CK

The most popular man in the contemporary comedy scene performs for four dates this month, each at 8 p.m., at Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theatre.

Jan. 19: Movie Party

Take your pick between Pulp Fiction and Wayne’s World for an interactive, audience-focused movie party at The Ritz Alamo Drafthouse. Check the showtime schedule for additional dates, as well as other locations for more showtimes and movie parties.


Jan. 1-30: Museum Free Days

With the coming of a new year comes another spate of free days at Chicago museums. This month offers some of the most free days of the year at the Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, and Museum of Science & Industry. See below for free dates:

  • Adler Planetarium: Jan. 6-13, 16-20
  • Shedd Aquarium: Jan. 9-10, 16-17, 23-24, 27-28, 29-31
  • Museum of Science & Industry: Jan. 10-12, 16-19, 24-26, 31

Jan. 11-15: Tomorrow Never Knows Music Festival

See some of the biggest up-and-coming indie bands and musicians from around the country perform during this multiple-venue music festival hosted by some of the best clubs around the city, including Metro, Schubas, The Hideout, and more.

Jan. 13-15: Cubs Convention

The annual Cubs Convention promises to be more rowdy than ever since the team won the 2016 World Series after a 108-year drought. Tickets will be pricey, but the memories will be worth it for the most diehard fans.

Jan. 27-Feb: 9: Chicago Restaurant Week

Restaurant Week returns to Chicago’s vast culinary scene with some of the best lunch and dinner deals of the year. Hundreds of restaurants present special prie-fixe menus highlighting their strengths and favored cuisines.


Jan. 8: Red Hot Chili Peppers

Rock ‘n’ roll legends Red Hot Chili Peppers kick off their 2017 stadium tour with a group of dates in Texas, including this stop at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Through Jan. 8: Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition

Though this exhibit’s run was extended by popular demand, it will come to an end early this month. The exhibition features a masterful recreation of Michelangelo’s famous paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, all viewable from a better vantage point than the real thing. The exhibit specifically focuses on Michelangelo’s work depicting the Last Judgement.

Jan. 12-14: Beethoven 8

See the Dallas Symphony Orchestra perform Beethoven’s Eighth Symphony as well as renown work by Hungarian composer Béla Bartók and fellow German Richard Strauss.

Through Feb. 28: Penguin Days at the Dallas Zoo

The Dallas Zoo celebrates its penguin residents (and the hundreds of others) with a special discounted admission of to the park during the winter months. All animals are available for viewing and the deal is open to everyone ages 3 and up.


Jan. 7-22: National Western Stock Show

The National Western Stock Show is a rodeo, horse show, livestock show, and trade show all rolled into one. You don’t have to be a cowboy to attend the more popular events and shop the trade show, but a cowboy hat wouldn’t hurt.

Jan. 10-11: David Spade

Lauded comedian and former Saturday Night Live star performs for two nights at Comedy Works South.

Through May 28: Shockwave: Japanese Fashion Design, 1980s–90s

View the work of Japanese fashion designers that changed the way we dress today. Work by designers such as Issey Miyake, Kenzo Takada, and Kansai Yamamoto whose pieces worked to create a bold movement in the 80s and 90s are on display.


Jan. 15: Chevron Houston Marathon

Got what it takes to run 26.2 miles? If you’re not ready for a full marathon just yet, this annual Houston run also has half-marathon and 3.1-mile run options. An estimated 20,000 runners are expected to participate and around 200,000 spectators to be cheering them on.

Jan. 17: Neil de Grasse Tyson

Famed author and astronomer Neil de Grasse Tyson speaks at Jones Hall, focusing on science and exploration in a program titled “The Cosmic Perspective.”

Jan. 20-22: Red Bull Flying Bach

This unique hybrid performance has toured the world. The famous b-boy crew Flying Steps brings new life to Johann Sebastian Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier with a performance combining elements of urban dance and culture with classical sensibility.

Jan. 21-22: Lunar Lantern Festival

Southeast Asian cultures come together for two nights to celebrate their heritages. Enjoy Asian cuisine staples and many dishes you can’t get at restaurants, as well as a dragon parade, a market bazaar, and a huge lantern exhibit. Cultures represented include many from Houston’s vast and growing Asian population, with representation from Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese, Mongolian, Chinese, Korean, Indonesian, and more backgrounds.


Jan. 1: Free State Parks

Don’t party too hard on the night of New Year’s Eve, because the first day of the year is a free admission day for all state parks, of which Washington has plenty—and some of the most beautiful in the country to boot. Find a full list of national parks in the state here.

Jan. 21: Chinese New Year

Ring in the Year of the Rooster in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District with traditional dragon and lion dances, Japanese Taiko Drumming, martial arts demonstrations, and many other family-friendly activities. Many Asian restaurants in the neighborhood have specials for just each. Eat five specials and collect their stamps for a chance to win an international flight for two courtesy of Delta Airlines.

Jan. 25-29: Washington Sportsmen’s Show

Check out the latest and greatest in hunting, fishing, and camping gear at the Washington State Fair Grounds. The event includes seminars, a plethora of exhibitors, and other outdoor sports-related attractions.

Jan. 28: Belgian Fest

Be careful drinking these traditionally strong, but incredibly tasty brews. Choose your tastings wisely from among over 100+ Belgian-style beers. Tickets are 5 and include ten 4oz samples. Designated drivers receive admission and soda and water included.

Southern California

Through Jan. 8: Enchanted: Forest of Light

The Descanso Garden offers one of the most unique holiday light shows not only in the Los Angeles area, but also the entire country. In part this is because it doesn’t focus on Christmas or any of the wintertime holidays in particular, but also for its hands-on and interactive nature. See what’s in store with this excellent preview by Time Out Los Angeles.

Jan. 8: Rose Bowl Flea Market

Join the thousands of buyers and vendors that flock to Rose Bowl Stadium to shop from all kinds of knickknacks, household goods, collectibles, and almost anything and everything under the sun at the Los Angeles area’s most popular flea market.

Jan. 27-29: Tet Festival

Southern California’s lively Vietnamese community bands together to throw a festival to welcome the Vietnamese Lunar New Year. Attendees can enjoy Vietnamese cuisine, a beauty pageant, several contests and performances, and a cultural market. The event has been a tradition for more than 35 years and has been organized by exclusively by students and the Union of Vietnamese Student Associations of Southern California.

Jan. 28: Snow Day

Experience snow without a lengthy flight or drive. Snow is brought into Brea Dam Park in Fullerton for kids and adults to play in. Admission is limited to just 900 attendees—so register early. It’s 5 for residents of Fullerton and 8 for non-residents.

South Florida

Jan. 4: Swan Lake

Witness the legendary classical ballet performed by none other than The State Ballet Theater of Russia. Tchaikovsky’s music is set to the tale of German and Russian folklore as performed by 50 Russian dancers  at the Coral Springs Center for the Arts.

Jan. 7-8: Las Olas Art Fair, Part 1

Attend the first Las Olas Art Fair of the year! Attendees can talk with the artists and creators who have their work on display. Best of all, these one-of-a-kind pieces of art are available at affordable prices. Over 150 artists have their work on display at the 29th annual rendition of this fair.

Jan. 14: Stone Crab & Seafood Festival

For the sixth straight year, Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale celebrates Florida’s stone crab season with this festival dedicated to the popular dish and many other seafood staples from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at Esplanade Park in the heart of Downtown Fort Lauderdale. Area restaurants serve their best takes on stone crab claws, with many offerings starting at just .

Through Jan. 29: Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities

Be sure to catch this nationally-touring Cirque du Soleil act before it heads to Texas. The performance is steeped in steampunk and carnival-style aesthetics with a story centered on the creations of an inventor bent on altering the laws of nature and time with his wonderfully quirky, mind bending ideas.

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View All Posts by Nick Kotecki
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