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2023 January Michigan Events Calendar and Best Things to Do

things to do in january in michigan

Best January Michigan Events and Best Things to Do in Michigan

Looking for the top January Michigan Events and fun things to do throughout the state?

January marks the start of a fresh new year filled with opportunities for fun throughout the entire state of Michigan.

From spectacular ice festivals. ice fishing tournaments and winter carnivals to guided hikes along winding trails and more, there is something for everyone in Michigan during January. Temperatures in January vary from cold to even colder, so be sure to bundle up!

Read on for some of the best things to do in January in Michigan!

Michigan January calendar of events

Best January Michigan Events: Detroit and Metro Detroit

Winter Toyland at Beacon Park

Where: 1903 Grand River Avenue Detroit, MI
When: 1/1 – 1/16/23; 4-10 p.m.
Beacon Park is being transformed into a Downtown winter wonderland with a behind-the-scenes view of Santa’s Workshop through our “Toyland” light experience! Adults, children and families of all ages are invited to experience the magic of “Toyland,” which runs through Monday, Jan. 16, 2023!

Detroit Zoo Wild Lights

Where: 8450 W 10 Mile Rd, Royal Oak, MI 48067
When: 1/1 – 1/8/23
Millions of LED lights will illuminate the zoo, covering trees, buildings, and over 280 sculptures throughout the property, forming holiday light displays. This beautiful, bright, and unique setting is suited for anything from date night to a family-friendly outing.

Sesame Street Live

Where: Fox Theatre; 2211 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI
When: 1/22/23; 12 – 5 p.m.
Grab the kids and head to the grand fabulous fox theater to see cookie monster and the whole gang from Sesame Street up close and personal!

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Nature at Night: Belle Isle Nature Center

Where: Belle Isle Nature Center,176 Lakeside Drive, Detroit, MI 48207
When: 1/23/23; 6 – 8 p.m.
Bundle up and head to the Belle Isle Nature Center for Nature At Night, a family-friendly evening walk series that is fun for the whole family.

Decked Out Detroit: 1001 Winter Wonders

Where: 1001 Woodward Building, Detroit, MI
When: 1/13 – 1/29/23
This new attraction in downtown Detroit takes you through the North Pole This interactive exhibit features a free indoor, winterized pathway that takes you from icy paths to stunning igloos and even a life-sized gingerbread house.

Bowers School Farm Winter Park

Where: 1219 E Square Lake Rd, Bloomfield Hills, MI
When: 1/6/ – 2/6/23
Go snow tubing and explore the winter wonderland at Bowers School Farm and meet our animals, warm up at one of our cozy bonfires, indulge in a variety of comfort foods from the Farm Kitchen, shop the Farm Store for local products, enjoy special entertainment on Saturdays and more. Includes access to the outdoor ice rink for those who have their own skates.

Celebrate Martin Luther King Day at The Henry Ford Museum

Where: 20900 Oakwood Blvd, Dearborn, MI 48124
When: 1/16/23; 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Celebrate the life and lasting call to action of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by offering a free day of inspiration at Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation on the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King Day, alongside a number of featured exhibits, events and programs.

Hear the words of Dr. King and let them move you today, just as they moved the nation during the 1963 March on Washington; called us to reflect on the meaning of justice in Letter from the Birmingham Jail; and encouraged us to consider the possibility of creating a lasting “beloved community” together.

Snowman Stoll

Where: Downtown Rochester MI
When: 1/1/23 – 1/21/23
Head to charming downtown Rochester MI and take a stroll along the shops and cafes lining the streets to see if you can spot the 12 artistically-inspired Snowmen gracing the downtown area.

Winterfest at Pier Park

Where: 350 Lake Shore Rd, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236
When: 1/14/23; 12 – 4 p.m.
You’ll find a petting farm, ice carving demonstrations, ice skating, food trucks, putt putt golf and games! The Grosse Pointe Farms Public Safety Department will be onsite with the smokehouse and the new K9 Rocco will visit. Inside the festival tent, find live entertainment by Moodswitch formally known as The Boys of Summer Band.

The Detroit Boat Show

Where: Huntington Place (formerly Cobo Center); 1 Washington Blvd., Detroit, MI 48226
When: 1/14-16/23; 1/19-22/23
Making its way back to Detroit for the first time since the pandemic is the Detroit Boat Show. The Progressive Detroit Boat Show is among the top shows in the country based on size, attendance, and sales. Hundreds of boats will be on display from top dealers from around Michigan and the Great Lakes, with more than 110 brands represented and 166 new models for 2023 on display!

Tecumseh’s Annual Ice Sculpture Festival

Where: Downtown Tecumseh
When: 1/21-22/23
Looking for a fun outdoor event for your family? The downtown will have over 50 ice sculptures for you to see. The Michigan Avian Experience will be here this year with their Great Horned Owl for everyone to see on Saturday from 1pm-3pm. Try your hand at the Scavenger Hunt through the participating merchants. The Chocolate/Beverage Walk through the downtown businesses is also back this year, too.

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Ann Arbor Folk Festival

Where: The Ark, 316 S Main St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104; Hill Auditorium, 825 N University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
When: 1/27/23 at The Ark; 1/28/23 at Hill Auditorium
One of the best folk festivals in the country, the 46th Annual Ann Arbor Folk Festival features top folk artists like Ani DiFranco, St. Paul & The Broken Bones and Patty Griffin and others in two iconic venues. Be sure to take some time to check out the best things to see in Ann Arbor while you’re there!

Novi Home and Garden Show

Where: Suburban Collection Showplace, 46100 Grand River Ave, Novi, MI
When: 1/27/23

Thinking about doing some putting in a new kitchen or expanding your garden space? You’ll find ideas galore at the Novi Home and Garden Show, Michigan’s largest home and garden expo.

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Winter Bridal Celebrations at the TCF Center

Where: TCF Center, 1 Washington Blvd, Detroit, MI 48226
When: 1/15/23

The total bridal show experience! See the best vendors, The most vendors with the biggest displays, See things other expo’s don’t offer, It’s everything weddings. It’s the event brides wait for. Find over 200 booths; win fantastic getaways to Playa and Couples Resorts; discover over $100,000 of free gifts, prizes, and special offers. Free Dior gift bags to the first 100 brides.

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More Detroit Shows, Events and Things to Do in January

January Sporting Events in Detroit

In mid-winter every year, nearly all of our favorite Michigan sports teams are active and engaging. Between hockey, football, and basketball, there’s no shortage of exciting sporting events to attend this month.

Watch the Lions close up their season, see the Red Wings excel as the hockey season peaks, or get a jump on the basketball season by cheering on the Pistons.

Whether we succeed or fail we love to support our local teams and there’s no better time than during the bitter cold of mid-winter to get on the band-wagon.

Best Events, and Things to Do in West Michigan in January

World of Winter Festival

Where: Downtown Grand Rapids, MI
When: 1/6 – 3/5/23

In Downtown Grand Rapids, the World of Winter Festival kicks off January with tons of fun for the whole family. This festival takes advantage of Michigan’s cold climate to provide interesting and unique ways to enjoy the season.

With over 100 free events, activities and outdoor art installations over two months, the festival provides an opportunity for families and adults to enjoy Michigan’s beautiful winter and experience the four-season offerings of Downtown Grand Rapids.

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Kalamazoo Craft Beverage Week

Where: Downtown Kalamazoo
When: 1/13 – 1/21/23

In Kalamazoo, craft beers reign supreme and the Kalamazoo Craft Beverage Week is the perfect opportunity to see just what the city’s breweries have to offer.

This celebration highlights the skilled artisans who make local craft beverages, which aside from brewers, includes distillers and winemakers as well.

Southwest Michigan has a significant history and relationship with the craft beverage industry and with Kalamazoo front and center during the Craft Beverage Week, anyone interested in the creation of their favorite local drink should make a stop.

Ride the Muskegon Luge

It’s the only wheel luge track in the USA, and you can ride it this winter at the Muskegon Luge Adventure Park. Want more winter fun/. You’ll find a 1400’ dual mega Zipline and hiking trails, too.

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Grand Rapids Camper, Travel & RV Show

Where: DeVos Place
When: 1/12 – 1/15/23

MLK Day at the Holland Museum

Where: Holland Museum, 31 West 10th Street, Holland, MI 49423
When: 1/16/23
Wander the galleries with a scavenger hunt looking for interesting facts about Inventors of Color and Martin Luther King, Jr. Scavenger hunt participants will be entered to win a children’s book about Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and his teachings. Visitors will also receive some activity pages and resources to take home to extend Dr. King’s lessons into their daily lives.

Hunter Ice Festival

Where: Niles, MI
When: 1/13 – 1/15/23
This fun festival pays tribute to the great history of our area’s Hunter Brothers Ice and Ice Cream Company, which not only created the best ice cream at the turn of the century, but also cut ice blocks out of Barron Lake and shipped it throughout the land.

Murder Mystery Dinner

Where: Henderson Castle, 100 Monroe St, Kalamazoo, MI 49006
When: 1/14/23 6 -9 p.m.
Each murder mystery dinner features new characters and original plots set in the 1920s and 30s. To get the most out of your experience we highly encourage you to dress for the time period—although it’s not required. You’ll spend your evening socializing and deciphering clues with family and friends. Doors open at 6:00 pm.

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Songwriter Showcase at Black River Tavern

Where: Black River Tavern, 403 Phoenix Street, South Haven, MI 49090
When: 1/26/23
Head to the Black River Tavern for an evening of songs, banter and laughs at the Black River Tavern! Doors open at 6, Americana food and bar open, $10 suggested donation.

Mason County Historical Society Winter Speakers Series: 3 Murders & a Riot

Where: Mason County Research Center- 130 E. Ludington Ave., Ludington, MI
When: 1/16/23; 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Rob Alway will tell the stories of the three murders and the riot that occurred in rural Mason County during the Great Depression. Tickets are free to Historical Society members and $10 for non-members. Seating is first-come, first-serve.

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Winter Jam 2023

Where: Van Andel Arena
When: 1/19/23
Line-up features Jeremy Camp, We The Kingdom, Andy Mineo, Anne Wilson, Austin French, Disciple, & more.

Holland Indoors Farmers Market

Where: Downtown Holland, 150 W 8th Street. Holland, MI 49423
When: Throughout the month of January; 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Dancing with the Stars Live 2023

Where: DeVos Performance Hall
When: 1/30/23
America’s favorite dance show is back on tour! See the ballroom brought to life in this brand-new production featuring your favorite Dancing with the Stars pros, PLUS special guest stars! With dazzling routines in every style, jaw-dropping talent, and non-stop entertainment, it’s sure to be an unforgettable night full of all the magic of the TV show and more!

Elvis Birthday Extravaganza

Where: House of Flavors Restaurant- 402 W. Ludington Ave., Ludington
When: 1/13- 1/15/23
“Occasionally Elvis” Bill Burnette will perform his impersonation show on Friday from 5-7pm, Saturday from 12-2pm AND 5-7:30pm, and on Sunday from 1-3pm. There will be Elvis specials and free ice cream with any meal.

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Grand Haven Winterfest

Where: Downtown Grand Haven MI
When: 1/26 – 1/29/23

South Haven Break the Ice 5K Run/Walk and Frosty Dash

Where: Black River Tavern, 403 Phoenix St, South Haven, MI
When: 1/30 – 2/5/23
The Break the Ice 5K Run/Walk and Frosty Dash is on Monday January 30, 2023 to Sunday February 5, 2023. It includes the following events: Break the Ice 5K RUN, Break the Ice 5K WALK, Break the Ice and more.

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St. Joseph 2023 Chili Tour

Where: Downtown St. Joseph
When: 1/27/23; 5 – 8 p.m.
Warm up with friends on Friday, January 27 as downtown St. Joe hosts a Chili Tour. Participating locations or “Chili Stops” will play host as you have the opportunity to try their best recipes.

Lantern Lit Snowshoe Walk

Where: Ludington State Park Warming Shelter- 8800 M-116, Ludington
When: 1/21/23; 6-8 p.m.
Free walk with bonfire and warm beverages provided. Walks are approximately 1 mile and begin and end at the Ludington State Park Warming Shelter- 8800 M-116, Ludington.

Kalamazoo Craft Show

Where: Kalamazoo Expo Center
When: 1/21/23; 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Pure Ludington Brrrewfest

Where: Rotary Park- corner of Lewis St. and Ludington Ave., Ludington
When: 1/21/23; 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Taste of the best and most unique flavors of beers, wines, ciders and meads from all around Michigan.

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January Shows, Events, and Things to Do in Mid-Michigan and the Thumb Region

Port Austin Winter Carnival

Where: Downtown Port Austin
When: 1/27 – 1/29/23
Broomball, cornhole and a Polar Dip are some of the many fun activities that you will find at this popular Tip of the Thumb festival. Port Austin is one of Michigan’s best-kept secrets…don’t miss this special spot!

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Zehnder’s Snowfest

Where: Frankenmuth MI
When: 1/25 – 1/29/23

Frankenmuth is a top winter destination in Michigan, especially during the Christmas season. But what about after the holidays have passed? Well, Frankenmuth is still a fantastic spot and Zehnder’s Snowfest has a big role in maintaining Frankenmuth’s popularity throughout the winter.

Each year artists sculpt fantastic figures in snow and ice and visitors from all around gather in town to see the skillful creations and enjoy all the fun entertainment and activities available to visitors of all ages, including fireworks, a petting zoo, and more.

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Best Events and Things to Do in January in Northern Michigan

Iron Fish Distillery Fat Chance Fat Tire Bike Race

Where: Crystal Mountain, 12500 Crystal Mountain Dr, Thompsonville, MI 49683
When: 1/28/23; 10 a.m.

Fat Chance is the cornerstone of Northern Michigan’s fat-tire biking culture. On January 28, 2023, prepare for another legendary race at Crystal Mountain with both new and familiar faces.

The new course this year has participants and spectators alike buzzing about the event, as the new course offers a 360-degree view for onlookers. For 90 minutes, participants will race through and break up the pack through singular sections with plenty of excitement for all.

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Wilderness Sleigh Ride & Dinner at Treetops

Where: Treetops Resort
When: 1/14/23; 5 – 9:30 p.m.

At Treetops Resort in Gaylord, plan a magical winter excursion into the forests for memory unlike any other. Here you can ride a sleigh through the wilderness of northern Michigan as you glide through a secluded bit of the resort’s property.

Afterwards, a gourmet four course meal at Hunter’s Grille will be waiting for you to enjoy with loved ones as snow falls outside and adds to the enchanting winter forest all around.

Highlands Anniversary Weekend

Where: Boyne Highlands, 600 Highland Drive, Harbor Springs, MI 49740
When: 1/20/23 5- 8 p.m.
There will be exciting family activities and events beginning on Friday with a “Welcome Event” in the Tower Lobby. From 5 – 8 PM, there will be live entertainment, cotton candy and champagne, a hot cocoa bar, face painting, and more. On Saturday, from 12 – 4 PM, there will be a DJ on the slopes pumping tunes as The Highlands kicks off the annual Sno-Go hot Cocoa Hustle sponsored by Coca-Cola.

Dog Sled Rides at Schuss Mountain/ Shanty Creek

Where: Shanty Creek Resort, 2400 Troon S, Bellaire, MI 49615
When: Saturdays and Sundays beginning 1/7/23
Travel along the landscape of Schuss Mountain’s golf course with majestic views of Schuss Mountain. Each dogsled experience is approximately 20 minutes long, which includes a meet and greet with the dogs, photo opportunities and a dog sled ride, which is approximately 1 mile long.

Snow Jam and Chili Challenge at the Commons in Traverse City

Where: Village at Grand Traverse Commons, 1200 W Eleventh St, Traverse City, MI 49684
When: 1/21/23

Q100 & The Village at Grand Traverse Commons present SNOW JAM & CHILI CHALLENGE 2022! Join us on the Piazza at The Village in Traverse City for an afternoon of amazing local music and Chili!

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Alpena’s Rod Stewart, Shania Twain, & Olivia Newton John Tribute Show

Where: Alpena Events Complex, 701 Woodward Ave, Alpena, MI
When: 1/15/23; 1 – 5 p.m.

30th Annual Mackinaw City Winter Fest

Where: Mackinaw City MI
When: 1/21/23
Outhouse Races at The Hook Restaurant, Kids BIG Freeze obstacle course at the Mackinaw Crossings front parking lot (behind Igloo’s). Enjoy the before, after and during party at the Dixie Saloon.

Candlelight Hike at Mt McSauba in Charlevoix

Where: 09223 Mt. McSauba Rd. , Charlevoix, MI 49720
When: Friday evenings in January; 5 – 8 p.m.
Experience the magic of snowshoeing, hiking or cross-country skiing on candle-lit trails. You set your own pace on this self-guided journey. The hike will begin at the sledding hill parking lot. The event takes place between 5 – 8 PM. Dress for the weather!

Frostbite Trail; A Winter Cask, Flask, and Fork Experience

Where: Central Lake, 5833 Shooks Rd, Central Lake, MI 49622, USA
When: 1/14/23; 1 – 7 p.m.
For the first time, eight locations between Charlevoix and Elk Rapids, are joining together to bring you a food, wine, cider, and beer-tasting experience.

January Events in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Annual Tahquamenon Country Sled Dog Race- cancelled

The Annual Tahquamenon Country Sled Dog Race on January 7, is back this year and better than ever. The TCSDR is a favorite winter activity in the Upper Peninsula.

Starting and ending in Muskallonge State Park, this dog sled race offers incredible views of an icy Lake Superior and all the wild coastline that neighbors it.

The history of transportation via dog sled in Northern Michigan is rich and culturally significant ever-still, so making your way up to the Upper Peninsula this January is a great way to celebrate the historical significance of man’s best friend in Michigan.

February events and things to do in Michigan

January Bonus Event: State-Wide Polar Plunges

Polar Plunge 2023

If you know, you know; the Polar Plunge is a huge deal. It’s the one event of the year where we come together in the middle of winter to do something extreme to support something fantastic.

Each year Michigan residents support Special Olympics Michigan by committing to taking a dip in the frigid waters of the Great Lakes.

By doing this, we raise money in support of Special Olympics Michigan which provides training and services to thousands of athletes with disabilities state-wide. Take the plunge and support a cause which aims to create a more accepting and inclusive world.

Check Out the Michigan February Events Calendar!

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