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12 Things to Do in January in Michigan

by Lisa Diggs

It’s a new year and filled with places and events to explore. These are just a sample of the many exciting options from which to choose throughout the state in January.

Jan 2 Saturday Sips – Grand Rapids 

Visiting the Downtown Market for the first time, or simply more often in 2016 is a great resolution. Why not on a relaxing Saturday afternoon? This weekly market bar runs from 1PM-4PM and features rotating craft beers from local breweries, a list of specialty market-inspired cocktails, and select wine. You can grab a beverage and check out the whole place. www.downtownmarketgr.com

Jan 8-10 Plymouth Ice Festival – Plymouth

The Plymouth Ice Festival is a world-class event in charming downtown Plymouth that is exciting and fun for the whole family. Despite the mild weather, snow machines have been seen in town to make sure it’s properly frosty for the big event. Sculptures are available for viewing 24 hours a day and will remain standing after the event, until they melt, that is, of course. www.plymouthicefestival.com

Jan 11-24 North American International Auto Show – Detroit

Make no mistake, this show is an automotive event unlike any other. At NAIAS you have the opportunity to see the vehicles and technologies that will shape the future automotive landscape. From muscle and electric cars, to high-performance supercars and full-size trucks, NAIAS has something for everyone to enjoy. www.naias.com  

Jan 21-23 Winter Fest and Snowmobile Races – Caro

Snowmobile racing is the main attraction at this annual event. Experience the thrills and spills along the snowy track. The three-day event takes place at the Tuscola County Fairgrounds and also includes musical entertainment, a polar dip, sledding, ice skating, a chance to meet the racers and other wintery fun.  www.carowinterfest.com

Jan 22-23 The Big Sleep Showing at Redford Theatre – Detroit

There’s nothing quite like Bogey and Bacall, especially when you get to see them back up on the big screen where they belong. Sit back, relax, and don’t try too hard to figure out all the answers. The fun takes place at the beautifully restored Redford Theatre at 8PM on Friday, January 22nd and 2PM or 8PM on Saturday, January 23rd. To create an even more memorable movie experience, organist, John Lauter, will dazzle on the very special Barton Theatre Pipe Organ, a half hour before each show. www.redfordtheatre.com 

Jan 22-24 Fire and Ice – Rochester

The Fire & Ice Festival also returns to downtown Rochester this month. Admission is free and events include fireworks, food tastings, tube sledding, snow shoeing, cross-country skiing, dog sled rides, ice skating, broom ball exhibitions, and ice sculptures. To avoid parking challenges take advantage of the free shuttle parking available at the Buffalo Wild Wings at 1234 Walton Road, East of Livernois. Shuttle service runs continuously to and from downtown Rochester. The designated pick-up and drop-off location in downtown Rochester will be at E. Fourth and Main. www.downtownrochestermi.com  

Jan 24 Chili Cook-Off – Traverse City

Why not spice things up this year with the Downtown Traverse City Association’s 22nd annual chili cook-off? The fun heats up beginning at 11AM at The Park Place Hotel. Local restaurants compete in several categories, including 1-, 2- and 3-Alarm, White, Seafood, No Bean, Ethnic and more. Tickets are $10 for a sampler of 8 tastes. www.downtowntc.com

Jan 27-Feb 1 Zehnder’s Snowfest – Frankenmuth

It’s hard to believe, but the Zehnder’s Snowfest is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year! Over time it has become one of the premier snow and ice sculpting events in North America. Professional carvers from around the world amaze and excite visitors with their creative, larger than life snow sculptures and beautifully detailed ice carvings. The event also includes entertainment for the entire family in the warming tent, a fireworks display, petting zoo, and children’s activities. www.zehnders.com

Jan 29-30 SnoDrift Rally – Atlanta           

The SnoDrift Rally is a performance rally that features prepared 2-wheel and 4-wheel drive cars that race on real roads in a time-based competition. The rally features two days of racing on Montmorency County roads over snow and ice. It is the only planned snow event on the Rally America National Championship schedule attracting more than fifty domestic and international teams as well as legions of dedicated rally fans. Many teams consider SnoDrift to be their favorite event due to the unique experience of running the icy, snow banked roads without studded tires at high speeds. This year’s event will feature 17 stages that run a total distance of 130 miles. www.sno-drift.org  

Jan 30 Pure Ludington BRRRewFest – Ludington

Back by popular demand, the second annual Pure Ludington BRRRewFest is bigger and better, with over 30 brewers from throughout Michigan showcasing their best. It’s an afternoon of brews, live music and more at Ludington's new community garden. Tickets are $25 in-advance and include 6 drink tokens and a 5oz. commemorative tasting glass. www.pureludington.com/beer.cfm

Jan 30-April 22 Art of the Brick Exhibit – Jackson

THE ART OF THE BRICK is a global touring exhibition rated by CNN as one of the world's "Must See Exhibitions." These are the first art exhibitions to focus exclusively on the use of LEGO bricks as an art medium and artist Nathan Sawaya has taken it to new heights. This award-winning artist has multiple unique exhibitions created solely from standard LEGO bricks often with several new sculptures created specifically for each 


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