Amazing Outdoor Events Happening in January
Ushering alongside the New Year are tons of amazing outdoor events happening in January. To no surprise, with winter temperatures whipping across the country, many of the activities offered this month involve an extra pair of gloves and a perfect chance to execute that scarf your grandma knitted for you this holiday season. But whether you catch the cold at a winter festival, or catch a show at Sundance, don’t let the inclement weather dampen your spirits, instead check out any one of these awesome outdoor events happening in January:
Head on over to Ouray, Colorado this January and take part in North America’s largest ice climbing festival. Featuring everything about the world of ice climbing including movies, guest speakers, demos, clinics, and competition; the only thing more fun than the events at the Ouray Ice Festival is the like-minded winter athletes you’re bound to meet at this year’s event.
Racine, Wisconsin is one of the first towns in January to host its annual snow festival, and they are setting the bar pretty high. Between the professional ice sculpting competitions and carvings, and the rail jam that will send skiers and boarders sliding through the downtown streets, this festival is looking to please every snowman and woman from young to old. Check it out for yourself and see why the city of Racine doesn’t believe in hibernation.
International Falls, Minnesota takes the cake as one of the coldest cities in the U.S., and what better way to celebrate that than 4 days of blood pumping activity? Not only will Icebox days be hosting the 34th annual Freeze Your Gizzard Blizzard Run, but it is also host to a number of family-friendly activities such as outdoor “Turkey Bowling”, fireworks, and the world-famous Smoosh Races (think cross country skiing with four people to a pair of skis).
Transport yourself to the Bavarian streets of Leavenworth, Washington to check out this year’s Icefest. This once logging-driven community has gone through quite the transformation over the past few decades, and has redefined itself into a realistic Bavarian village. And alongside that comes unique festivals year round including the Icefest. This year’s activities include an Ice Cube Scramble, Bavarian Mug Relay, Snowshoe Sledding, and a homemade chili scavenger hunt.
Saint Paul, Minnesota knows how to do Winter right. That’s because instead of a one-day, weekend, or week-long festival, Saint Paul is hosting the season long winter carnival this year. And that doesn’t mean just throwing confetti onto the snowbanks each day, that means this winter, Saint Paul is hosting a huge number of events and activities including a kid-friendly snow park, adult-friendly Beer Dabblers, Winter Run, Winter Treasure Hunt, Winter Ultimate Tournament, Autonomous Snowplow Competitions, an Ice Palace, and 3 separate parades throughout the winter. Head north now to catch some of the action.
Whatever winter sport gets your blood boiling; skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, or cider-drinking, X-Games has something for you. This world renowned expo of today’s greatest alternative athletes is hitting the slopes again, and with the surrounding Rocky Mountains of Aspen, Colorado as a backdrop, this event is sure to deliver. Great for spectators, besides the action sports, this year’s X-Games will feature concerts from Snoop Dog, Skrillex, and Wiz Khalifa.
I know what you are thinking; the most logical thing to do in frigid temperatures is run 100 miles, and thankfully, the Beast of Burden Ultra Marathon can help you out on that. Their message stands as sure, you can run the highest mountain trails and the deepest desert valleys, but can you handle the heart of winter? If you think you can, it’s not too late to sign up for this epic 50 & 100 mile race on the historic Erie Canal Town Path. And if 100 isn’t your cup of hot cocoa, you can check out the many other races posted on the American Trail Running Association’s website
This world-famous film festival makes the outdoor activities list not only because it’s awesome to attend, but the festivals location (Park City, Utah) is a great winter destination for the outdoors. Between screenings why not catch some slopes at one of three Park City Ski Resorts (Deer Valley, Canyon Resort, Park City Mountain Resort), or find some fun at any of the multiple cross country skiing, snowshoeing, or sledding trails?
The city of Minneapolis continually pops on “Best Places to Live” surveys, and the Loppet Urban Cross Country Skiing Festival is one of those reasons why. That’s because this widely-attended event strives to shine through the cold weather and showcase just how fun winter can be. With every competition you can imagine, from the classic cross country skiing to Skijoring, from ice sculptures to Fat Tires, this festival should be on your calendar if you were at all excited to see the first snowflakes this winter.
Alright, so you might not be that into whales, but who cares? This is one of the only festivals on this list not to include snow, skis, or even the word winter. That’s because the average temperature in Maui average around 70⁰ this time of year. And sure, the whales are quite the sight to see, with huge numbers splashing around the shoreline, but while you are there, why not kick back in the tropical weather and let any of those cold weather worries melt away with the falling sun across the ocean.
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