So you’ve done it – after months of holiday indulgence, you’ve committed to a Dry January. But worry not. Even though the festive season has subsided, there are still plenty of things to do across the US to keep your mind off that wine bottle hiding in your wine rack.
Here’s our list of January events that keep the party flowing, even if the drinks aren’t.
Miami’s Art Deco weekend
Miami may be Party Central, but the Art Deco Weekend at Miami Beach offers a great way to experience the city without hitting the sauce. Take a guided walking tour of the historic Art Deco district, enjoy a retro fashion show channeling the 20s, catch a film series or a classic car show, and enjoy Jazz Age concerts. And given that 2020 is that iconic decade’s centennial, this year’s celebrations are sure to be the bee’s knees even if you’re not trying to get zozzled!
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Winter Jazzfest in NYC
Arguably one of the premier events celebrating jazz in the Big Apple, Winter Jazzfest kicks off the new year with plenty of grooving. An extensive roster of musicians (2019’s festival featured over 100) head to venues across the city over the course of nine nights, showcasing the best the genre has to offer via the work of new talent and established greats. This year’s festival features two of its signature marathon concert nights, one in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn.
Related article: The perfect New York weekend
Volunteer on Martin Luther King Jr. Day
January 15 honors activist and civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., and in 1994, Congress designated the federal holiday as a National Day of Service. Over the course of the three-day weekend, organizations across the US orchestrate opportunities to give back; find an event that speaks to your interests and invest your time in your community.
Bluff International Balloon Festival
Hot air balloons bring a touch of whimsy to any landscape, and it’s no different when they hit the Utah skies in late January for the Bluff Balloon Festival. The weekend features two balloon flights, first over Bluff, Utah, and then over the dramatic Valley of the Gods; other activities include a nighttime “glow-in” where the balloons light up on the ground like giant lanterns, and a local artists market.
St Paul Winter Carnival
Minnesota sits at the heart of the cold, cold north in the US, so it’s only appropriate that it’s home to the oldest and biggest winter festival in the country. Activities abound – those willing to brave the chill will find beauty at the ice-carving and snow-sculpting competitions, and those looking to warm up can head to the King Boreas Torchlight Parade, which pays homage to the god of fire’s victory over the king of the wind (more on the carnival’s legends here).
Related article: Exploring Duluth's great outdoors
Sundance Film Festival
January seems to be Utah’s month – for 10 days in January, the Sundance Film Festival invites filmmakers and film enthusiasts to Park City and Salt Lake City for a celebration of artistic and experimental cinema. Sundance holds film viewings across an array of theaters in both cities, and while the previews and showings may seem exclusive, they are open to the public. Who knows, you may find yourself in the audience of a film destined for greatness.
Ouray Ice Climbing Festival
Held at the photogenic Ouray Ice Park in Colorado, this climbing festival attracts ice climbers from all around with its dramatic "waterfalls" of ice. The festival hosts climbing clinics ranging in difficulty from beginner to professional, and if you’d rather keep your boots on the ground, visitors are welcome to watch the competitions and attend evening activities including dance parties, silent auctions and more.