The North American International Auto Show is moving to the summer, which means many people will be in search of some new ways to spend their January in Michigan. Here are our 12 picks for winter fun this month.
January 4-6 and 11-13 Michigan International Speedway Backyard Hockey Tournament
Michigan International Speedway has created a unique experience for everyone. MIS is hosting its inaugural MIS Backyard Hockey Tournament and Winter Festival in the tri-oval. The three-on-three and four-on-four hockey tournament will take place on Jan. 4-6 and Jan. 11-13. The backyard hockey rinks will be set up right on the tri-oval at Michigan International Speedway as fans will be able to enjoy a winter festival that will include food, beverages, and winter activities on pit road or enjoy the action from the comfort of a suite.
Plymouth’s Kellogg Park might well be the coldest selfie hotspot in the state each January. Each of the hand-carved sculptures on display is a stunning, albeit temporary, work of art. You never know what you’ll see. Previous masterpieces have included castles, monsters, and even Mount Rushmore. Check them out, pose for pics, and pop into a local downtown eatery or shop to warm up.
Any time you visit Kalamazoo, there’s an argument to be made that it’s a beer week, but in January, it’s official. #KBW2020 includes a series of events to celebrate craft beer including special tastings, dinners, and interactive events. You can participate in a walking tour to get an introduction to local brews and pubs, tour a brewery, fill up growlers at a discounted rate, stretch out at beer yoga, hang out at a pajama party, and of course try a wide range of intricate, unique, flavorful products at tastings, pairings, chef tables, and more.
Foodies flock to A2 on a regular basis, but there’s perhaps no better time than during one of the town’s restaurant weeks. With more than fifty participating eateries, there is much to explore. Squeeze in as many visits as your schedule will allow with special $15 lunch options and $28 pricing for 3-course dinners. Many restaurants are also offering 2 for 1 deals.
January 18 Winter Warm-Up – Old Mission Peninsula
Shake off the chill of January with the Old Mission Peninsula Wine Trail’s Winter Warm-Up. Creative winter wine pairings and cozy comfort food, this event is the perfect way to start the New Year. Tickets are $25 and include a wine pairing at each of 10 wineries, a food pairing at each winery, and a souvenir wine glass.
January 19 Snowshoes, Vines & Wines – Suttons Bay
Winter out on Leelanau Peninsula is a sight to behold in and of itself, yet even more so via snowshoes. Explore easy or moderate trails around Black Star Farms and then warm up with a glass of mulled wine on the heated Terrace Patio. The Hearth & Vine Café
will be offering house-made chili and hot-pressed sandwiches after you’ve worked up an appetite. Round out your excursion, or skip the snowshoeing and just drop by for a tasting featuring their award-winning wines, ciders and spirits.
January 21 Martin Luther King Day at The Henry Ford – Dearborn
While visitors agree it’s worth every penny, it can be pricey to bring the whole family to the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn, so take advantage of this special offer. Celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the many ordinary civil rights activists on MLK Day. Admission, parking, activities and dramatic presentations are all FREE. Sit in the Rosa Parks Bus, and hear the story of Mrs. Parks' courageous act. Participate in and be captivated by the highly praised 30-minute show “Minds on Freedom,” which celebrates the contributions of Dr. King, Mrs. Parks and other civil rights champions such as Fannie Lou Hamer, Gloria Rackley and the Freedom Riders. Sing, carry a protest sign and interact with the performers. Give your kids the chance to experience history not just read about it.
What Plymouth likes to do with ice, Frankenmuth likes to tackle and also add snow to the mix. If you want to inspire your family to create frozen art that extends beyond a man with a carrot nose, then this is the place to be. Pros gather at Zehnder’s Snowfest each season for one of top snow-sculpting events in North America. These larger-than-life snow and ice sculptures are beautifully detailed. Marvel as they’re being made, or simply walk amongst the completed pieces. When you’ve seen enough, or seen them all, grab some of that famous fried chicken or get a local-centric meal from the fine folks at Michigan on Main
January 25 – St. Joe Winter Beer Fest – St. Joseph
Even in the cold an icy beer can be refreshing. Bundle up and head to St. Joseph for a chance to sip and savor some of Michigan’s finest. The event runs from Noon-4pm and takes place at the corner of Broad Street and Lake Boulevard. Tickets are $35 each and include a sample cup, 12 tokens, music and some winter comradery. Each token may be exchanged for a 4-ounce pour.
January 29 Popvich Pet Comedy Theater – Midland
Yep, you read that right, “pet comedy” is coming to the Midland Center for the Arts. As seen on The Tonight Show
and America’s Got Talent
, international circus legend and award winner Gregory Popovich’s Comedy Pet Theater is a blend of unique comedy, world-championship juggling, and the extraordinary talents of his furry cast of animals. Each animal has been rescued from a shelter and transformed into a Las Vegas star. The show features an amazing cast of cats, dogs, parrots, geese, mice, and even a miniature horse named Diamond.
January 30-February 2 Michigan International Auto Show – Grand Rapids
Detroit’s big auto show may have moved to the summer, but if you’re in the market, you can still get a look at plenty of the latest cars, trucks, SUV's, crossovers, hybrids, electrics, luxury and performance vehicles at this popular West Michigan show. Over 35 manufacturers will be displaying current and pre-production models. Be sure to check out the Million Dollar Motorway of exotic cars and the collection from the Gilmore Car Museum.
January 31-February 2 Ice Breaker Festival – South Haven
End the month with one of West Michigan’s predominant winter fests. You’ll find dazzling ice sculptures, a chili cook-off, cardboard sled races, pub slide, outdoor ice skating, and horse-drawn wagon rides. Eat a s’more, watch the snowsuit fashion competition, or check out the infamous Frozen Fish Fling. The highlight of this annual event is the sculpting of more than 50 blocks of ice, weighing 300-600 pounds each, into incredible works of frozen art. Take a stroll around downtown to see all of the cool creations.
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