Texas Travel

January Events: Weekend Getaways

By Abi Grise 1.1.18

The best way to refresh and reset for the new year? A winter weekend getaway across the great state of Texas. The Lone Star State offers plenty of ways to take a holiday from the holidays this January — whether you’d like to climb trees with aerial performers in Austin or sample seriously spicy delights at ZestFest in Irving.

South Texas

San Antonio Coffee Festival, Jan. 6, San Antonio

The biggest buzz of the season is the return of San Antonio’s Coffee Festival. Meet local artisans, learn about the art of growing and roasting coffee beans, and get caught up on perfecting your press or buying fair trade. Treat yourself to a signature flight of light-to-dark brews and jam to live folk music among the scenic La Villita shops.

MLK Grande Parade, Jan. 15, Houston

Join the 300,000 expected spectators in Houston for the third-largest parade in the country. The 24th annual MLK Grande Parade pulls out all the stops to celebrate our diverse nation, including 15 parade floats and a whopping 30 marching bands. Grab a cup of cocoa and your comfiest lawn chairs to cheer on the performers throughout the two-hour parade.

North Texas

Day 1 Dallas, Jan. 1, Dallas

Bring your family together on New Year’s Day for a free, child-friendly celebration at Fair Park, where you can meet new furry friends at the petting zoo, dance to live music, and let your little ones explore arts-and-crafts stations. To end the night with a bang, be sure to catch the finale — a breathtaking fireworks extravaganza.

ZestFest 2018, Jan. 26–28, Irving

Blazes! Come to the Irving Convention Center to test your tolerance to the world’s spiciest delights. Watch live demos from celebrity chefs and sample fiery foods from around the world. If you’re feeling extra hot, consider participating in the wing- or jalapeño-eating contests.

Central Texas 

New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge, Jan. 1, Temple

Dive into the new year with an unforgettable experience — the Polar Bear Plunge at the Lions Junction Family Water Park. Grab your friends and a wacky costume, and meet the other brave souls at the water’s edge. Hot chocolate, doughnuts, and bragging rights included. Register early to guarantee a commemorative shirt and don’t miss out on the spectacular belly flop splash off.

Winter Tree Fest, Jan. 27, Austin

Turn over a new leaf this January with family-friendly tree climbing at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Watch aerial tree yoga performers work their magic between the branches, and take educational walks with arborists and ecologists. Build a fort, roast a marshmallow, and take in an extra-fresh breath of air underneath the oak canopies.

East Texas

117th Anniversary of the Lucas Gusher, Jan. 13, Beaumont

The Lucas Gusher spewed oil for nine full days in 1901, marking the birth of Texas’ petroleum industry. To commemorate the 150-foot spout of prosperity, the Spindletop oil field in Beaumont celebrates annually with a live reenactment (using water) accompanied by blacksmithing and printing press demonstrations, crafts, games, and live music. Count down to the gush with friends or family, and be sure to plant your lawn chair upwind.

Eagle Fest, Jan. 20, Emory 

Meet the nation’s most prized bird, the bald eagle, and other exotic creatures at Eagle Fest. Inside, families can watch wildlife shows and listen to educational speakers. Outside, children and parents can tour Lake Tawakoni and Lake Fork with a bird-watching guide. Don’t miss entering the photography contest.

West Texas

SASSRA American Quarter Horse Association Horse Show, Jan. 19–21, San Angelo

Saddle up for equine entertainment at the San Angelo Stock Show & Rodeo. The SASSRA American Quarter Horse Association Horse Show is free to the public and features competitors of all levels demonstrating a diverse set of riding styles, including trail, reining, English, and — of course, the house favorite — Western. The event is climate-controlled, so no blankets necessary.

Youth Bird Count, Jan. 27, Salt Flat

Flock to the Pine Springs Visitor Center at Guadalupe Mountains National Park with the kids for a full day of fun with feathered friends. Dust off those binoculars and learn how to spot and identify bird species on a hike to Smith Springs, led by a park ranger. Make sure to bundle up and bring water and a sack lunch.

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