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Things To Do

20 Fantastic Things To Do In January In Houston

By Colby Smith

20 Fantastic Things To Do In January In Houston

Do your resolutions for the new year include having more fun?

Goodbye and good riddance to the dumpster fire of a year that was 2020. Not to jinx it, but statistically speaking, 2021 can only get better, right? In Dallas, you can start the new year on the right foot with this list of 20 fantastic things to do in the city. [Featured image: @seismique]

1. Experience Magical Outdoor Candlelight Concerts

Photo credit: @Khanh Nguyen

You can still experience an absolutely magical (and safe) winter here in Houston, and part of that is thanks to the amazing outdoor spaces the city has to offer. Luckily, Fever Originals is bringing its wildly popular Candlelight concert series to a beautiful open-air venue for the season.

2. Celebrate The Joy Of Color

Last year was pretty dull, huh? When you add to the fact that the holidays are over with the brunt of winter ahead, well, it could all make you feel pretty grey. Add a splash of color to your life this January at Color Factory in Houston.

3. Contemplate Art In The Rothko Chapel

Masterful artists often are exalted with holy reverence. Ingenuity, insight, and genius confound the layman such that no possible explanation can rationalize artists’ masterpieces than divine origination. Lemmy Kilmister is a god, Dolly Parton is an angel, and Spanish architect, Antoni Gaudi, is literally being considered for sainthood. In Houston, a chapel stands as a testament to the artwork of Mark Rothko.

4. Channel Michael Scott In ‘The Office’ Pop-Up

There are TV shows that turn you off midway through the pilot. Some shows are one-and-done. Then there’s shows that you watch and re-watch endlessly to the point where the characters, scenes, and quotes are embedded in your brain. The Office is that show. From January 15 to January 30, Houston will turn into Scranton, Pennsylvania as it hosts Dunder Mupplen, a pop-up bar and restaurant inspired by The Office. 

5. Rev Up Your Mornings At This Moto Cafe

Wolfsmiths Coffee in the Heights is motorheads’ new place to hang their helmet. Opened in January 2020, Wolfsmiths operates as a coffee shop, bar, and fully-functioning motorcycle repair shop.

6. Hit The Dive Scene

Because there is no date that officially marks the holiday season, there exists mass confusion as to the appropriate time to start decorating for the holidays. That said, when someone starts decorating is indicative of a certain personality. Those that decorate slightly prematurely are said to be happier people. Those who decorate before the end of October are likely a little nutty. And those who leave up their festive decorations year round, like the people over at Grand Prize Bar, are complete freaking lunatics – and we love them for it.

7. Venture Into The Upside Down

Seismique is a celestial new exhibit that experiments with an otherwordly interplay of immersive experiences, artificial intelligence, and alien-like terrain. Across 40 galleries, 111 projectors, 40,000 square feet, and 9 million LED lights, the exhibit immerses visitors in alien universes full of creativity, imagination, and wonder.

8. Hop On A Luxury Jet To Dallas

Commuters can now streamline their commute from Houston to Dallas in luxurious fashion. Dallas-based startup, JSX is preparing to launch their Simpli-Fly program that allows travelers to hop on a flight from Houston to Dallas for less than $100, with expedited boarding and de-boarding procedures.

9. Roll Into Unicorn Disco

Houston’s bang-up new bar is groovy, baby. Furnished with shagadelic psychedelia complete with flashy neon signs and a cigarette machine straight out of the 60’s, new downtown hangout, Unicorn Disco, gives Houstonians the chance to blast into the past.

10. Stop By Amsterdam Coffee Co. For An Afternoon Pick-Me-Up

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Amsterdam is a beautiful little European city populated with parks, museums, picturesque neighborhoods, and lovely streets filled with whirring cyclists. Yet, above all, Amsterdam is synonymous with two things: the Red Light District and coffee houses. And the latter aren’t quite so famous for their coffee. Now, you can get a subtle – remarkably subtle – taste of Amsterdam with the CBD-infused cafés at new Amsterdam Co. CoffeeHouse in the Heights.

11. Transport Yourself To A Madrileña Discoteca

The city of Madrid worships the sun. On warm summery days the terraces fill with Madrileños enjoying their tapas, tortillas, and patatas bravas while bathing in the Spanish sun. Though they love the day, the city lives for the night. Once the sun goes down and the neon lights turn on, the night turns into a vortex of cocktails, cañas, and dancing that doesn’t stop until the sun returns. If you’re looking for a taste of Spanish cuisine, with the sight, sound, and feel of Madrilenian nightlife, MAD Houston is your ticket.

12. Get Your Game On

Video games are taking over the world. Join the virtual takeover at Katy’s new epic 90,000 sq. ft. gaming center — Andretti Indoor Karting & Games.Andretti Indoor Karting & Games has finally opened its doors in Katy. The new epic entertainment center features –*deep breath* — cutting-edge virtual reality and gaming technology, a massive arcade, a two-story laser tag arena, (soon to be) nine high-tech holes of mini-golf, three levels of go-kart racetrack, multiple dining options, and, last but not least, two locked and loaded bars.

13. Skate In The Heart Of Downtown

Glide into the holidays this season! Discovery Green in Downtown, Houston has announced the return of their outdoor rink this season. From now until January 13, Discovery Green is hosting public skates at the foot of Houston’s skyline.

14. Travel Into Another Dimension

At James Turrell’s Twilight Epiphany Skyscape in Houston, sunset and sunrise are otherworldly experiences. The rise and setting of the sun are spectacles all on their own. Captivating natural phenomena that imbue us with feelings of wonder, awe, and romance. At the James Turrells’ Twilight Epiphany installation, you’ll see the sky in entirely new colors.

15. Sick Your Tastebuds On A Chicken & Waffle Sandwich

You gotta love the emerging f– it attitude of chefs nowadays. We give it out to all those food truck owners, bakers, and mad scientists food makers out there breaking tradition and going off their imagination rather than old recipes. The Waffle Bus in Houston included. Bus on by the their hangout at 1835 N Shepherd Dr in the Heights to see, and taste, what we’re talking about.

16. Experience A Psychedelic Odyssey By Train

Photo via Hermann Park’s website

The train ride in Hermann Park begins as ordinary as would be expected in any urban park. Fair, pleasant, mild. The miniature Dr. Jack Express train picks you up from Kinder Station and takes you on an 18-minute trip around the park. It engines along, giving you pleasing views of the Miller Outdoor Theatre, Japanese Garden, and the Jones Reflection Pond. When suddenly, you are plunged into Destination Mound Town: a tunnel of mind-altering artwork from another universe.

17. Get Second Breakfast At The Hobbit Hole

Photo credit: @shelbie.mariee

You don’t have to journey all the way out to Mordor to enliven your Tolkien-esque fantasies. Here in Houston, just southwest of Montrose is The Hobbit Café. Since 1972, the café has served all the hobbits, elves, wizards, and dwarves the best food Middle Earth, Houston has to offer.

18. Go To Town On French-Fry-Stuffed Burritos

Man vs. Fries is now offering delivery and pickup from two Houston locations. It’s the time of the year where we say “adios” to our diet plans. Our new year’s resolutions can wait until the first of January, until then, we owe it to ourselves to savor holiday sweets, eggnog, and massive burritos stuffed with french fries.

19. Glamp In The Cosmos

Basecamp Terlingua looks like something on another planet. New resident Texan, Elon Musk, promises that humans will land on Mars by 2026. If you can’t wait that long, you can spend a few nights at Basecamp Terlingua, an other-worldly glamping experience that integrates the future with the past, giving its visitors the impression of luxury camping in the cosmos.

20. Fall Into A Fairy Tale

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Café Poêtes in Montrose gives visitors the chance to escape reality over a pot of tea. Inspired by L’Orangerie hotel in Paris, this elegant coffee shop re-imagines the typical Parisian café into a realm of fantasy.