The holiday excitement is over and here come the long winter months of January and February.  With darkness taking over our mornings and our afternoons, you might be counting the day until we turn our clocks forward and bask in the warmth of spring.  Luckily, the Atlanta area is host to many festivals and events to add some fun to our post-holiday lives.  So pull yourself out of hibernation and check out what your community has to offer this month!

1. Not ready to call it quits on the holidays just yet?  This weekend is the last weekend for you to take in many of the area’s holiday light displays.  The holiday lights at the  Atlanta Botanical Garden, Callaway Gardens, and Centennial Olympic Park all come down after this weekend.  Good news, although closed January 7th due to weather, the new Chinese Lantern Festival will continue to be on display at the south end of Centennial Park until January 15.

2. On January 10, and every second Tuesday of the month, the Children's Museum of Atlanta offers free admission from 1:00-6:00 p.m. Fair warning: everyone likes free, so be prepared for a line at the entrance.

3. Join the Atlanta Chapter of Les Dames d'Escoffier International for a night out that supports a good cause.  On January 12th  at the Ritz-Carlton Atlanta the chapter will host a cocktail party, silent auction, and a one of a kind culinary experience in order to raise support for a scholarship opportunity for a female high school senior pursuing a degree in Culinary Arts, Hospitality, or related field.  Click here for more information and to register.

4. The Atlanta Boat Show will take place from January 12-15 at the Georgia World Congress Center.  There will be hundreds of boats and accessories on display. This is Georgia’s premier boat show and it is the best place to see and buy boats, gear, and the latest accessories.  The 4-day event and is your once-a-year chance to compare various makes & models, the latest gear, secure insurance, and discuss financing options at the same time!  There’s something for everyone! In addition to great deals on boats and marine gear.  Attending a day at this show promises plenty of family friendly entertainment. There’s even a Kids’ Zone featuring fun activities for young mariners too! 

5. As is the case every year, many events take place in the Atlanta Metro area to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  From the commemorative services at Ebenezer Baptist Church to the many events around the metro area there is no shortage of activities to choose from.  Some events include the Salute to Greatness Awards Dinner 2017 taking place at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta beginning at 6 p.m on January 14th.  

On January 16, a march and rally will begin at Peachtree and Baker streets and end at the King Center.  Also on the 16th the Children's Museum of Atlanta will host a special day full of stories, activities, and performances honoring Dr. King from 11:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.  If you are looking for a different way to celebrate, you can take part in the 2017 MLK Day 5K Drum Run/Walk.  The course will be lined with drummers and will end with a party in Piedmont Park.  Music Starts at 8:00 a.m. and the  5K line up at 8:45 a.m.

This rendition is courtesy of Robyn Willard and S. Whittaker of Reign Entertainment Co

6. The Infinite Energy Area will host Atlanta Model Train Show on January 21.  This event features over 300 tables representing dealers from all over the nation.  Displays will have model items in all gauges and Railroad Antiques for sale. This is Georgia’s largest combination show, displaying items for both the “modeler” and “railbuff” alike all under one roof. Click this link for a discount on admission.

7. On January 21-22, the Callanwolde Fine Arts Festival is taking place.  This event will feature approximately 86 painters, photographers, sculptors, metalwork, glass artists, jewelers and more! The Festival will also offer artist demonstrations, live acoustic music, plus gourmet food trucks with healthy alternatives and music and dance performances.

8. Getting married soon? Here’s your opportunity to see first hand how wedding vendors will handle your big day.  Be sure to check out sites such as Groupon for discounts to several shows in the Metro Atlanta Area.  One such event is The Big Fake Wedding on January 26 from 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm at Three Taverns Brewery.  This gives attendees the opportunity to experience a ceremony, dinner, and dancing at a reception.  All of this is hosted by wedding vendors from the Atlanta area.  Another great event is the Bridal Extravaganza of Atlanta.  Attending the Bridal Extravaganza of Atlanta gives event goers the opportunity to meet Atlanta's most creative and best wedding professionals. See many of the upcoming trends in designs, colors, and tastes for your wedding celebration! 

9. Already a huge favorite this year's Honda Battle of the Bands is poised to continue drawing crowds of more than 65,000 to the Georgia Dome.  This year 40 bands displayed their show-stopping skills from September through November in a series of pre-qualifying shows around the country.  The list is narrowed to 8 schools who are granted the opportunity to perform in January.  This is consistently one of the largest marching band shows in the United States   The line-up for this year's event is 

10. If you are already planning your 2017 vacation, head over to Atlanta Exposition Center South for the 2017 Camping and RV Show and check out the latest models of recreational vehicles.  Check out this link for discount to the show. Also, while you are in the area, visit the Exposition Center North for the Atlanta Build, Remodel & Landscape Homeowner's Expo where you can grow your honey-do list and find vendors to help you complete projects.  Both shows run January 27-29

** Check out the Hawks and Falcons as well**

Don’t let the cold weather keep you from all our amazing city has to offer this month.  Get out and explore!