14 Amazing Things to do in Texas in January, 2021

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Happy New Year!  Living in Texas may be hard in August, but our reward is our usually mild winters!  Take advantage of these cool days, many of which still require shorts, and pack your calendar full of places to visit and explore around the Lone Star State!

Texas State Parks First Day Hikes and Bikes 

Ring in the New Year with Midnight hikes or one of the many First Day Hikes organized at Texas State Parks!   Imagine reaching the summit of Devil’s Backbone at Inks Lake SP right at midnight, or hiking on New Year’s Day to Fehr’s Overlook at Bastrop State Park.  What’s more, almost all the hikes are FREE with park admission.  The parks also offers races, bike rides and much, much more!  

Hugo’s New Years Day Brunch 

There are lots of New Year’s Day Brunches in Texas, but only one El Buffet que te Vuelve a la Vida!  The New Year’s Day Return to Life Brunch at Hugo’s offers plenty of FIRST to start an adventurous new year, such as sweet potato masa pancakes stuffed with beef cheeks in mole de Xico to duck carnitas, grilled octopus and more, plus plenty for the epicuriously timid!  

Polar Plunge!

Nothing makes you feel quite as alive as a plunge into cold water,  and there are several Polar Plunges in Texas on New Year’s Day and throughout the winter!

While Balmorhea State Park in the Davis Mountains and Barton Springs Pool in Austin, two of our favorites, are not participating in the Polar Plunge this year, Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose is, and after the great time we had last year, with hilarious antics from people in dinosaur costumes, we definitely recommend it for 2021! As a Covid-19 precaution, they are moving it to a wider space to allow for better social distancing.

Special Olympics host Polar Plunges across the state on varying dates as a fund raiser.  On January 23rd, they are hosting one at Great Wolf Lodge!

The Corpus Christi Polar Bear Plunge on New Year’s Day is a way to have fun and raise money for a good cause, ALS.  

Quandrantids Meteor Shower

Bundle up and enjoy the show on January 3rd from midnight to dawn.  Unlike other meteor showers, which may be viewed for a day or two before and after they peak, the Quandrantid has a very short, although productive window.  Enjoy the relaxed sleep schedule offered by Winter Break, and take the kids out away from the city lights for an evening of wishing on shooting stars!  Click HERE to visit my favorite go-to site for all celestial events, EarthSky.

Rainbow Trout

If you think your kids would love fishing, but can’t make the Boat Show, your in luck.  Texas Parks and Wildlife stocks thousands of Rainbow Trout in local fishing ponds all over Texas during the winter, and January is a great time to catch them!  These cold-water loving fish won’t last in our hot summer lakes, and the farm-raised fish are the perfect size for dinner!  Best of all, Rainbow Trout love corn kernels straight from a can, so no ichy worms to touch!

Click HERE to visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife page and find a pond near you.

January is also a great time to learn the sport of Fly-fishing, as many places offer classes this month!  Click HERE to visit the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens, to see their list of classes.

The Texas Fly Fishing School in Houston offers year-round lessons and workshops!  Click HERE to visit their website.

Classes are also offered at the Country FlyFisher Shop in Fredericksburg, click HERE for more information.

Kayak The San Antonio Riverwalk

For the first time, kayakers and paddleboarders are allowed to paddle the San Antonio River in the Riverwalk area on select days and times! You can bring your own or rent one.

There is more to the San Antonio River than just the Riverwalk, paddling trails in the city include man-made riffles on paddling chutes, and miles and miles of paddling trails down through Goliad, as well as many parks and special events, such as movies in the park.  Click HERE to visit San Antonio River Authority to learn more!

Snow Geese

These amazing birds migrate from the Canadian tundra to spend the winter in our warmer Texas marshes and waters.  Visit Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge in North Central Texas, where you can see thousands of snow geese from your car on their driving tour.  It’s also home to migrating white Pelicans in January, as well as nesting bald eagles.  Click HERE to visit their website.

Anuhuac National Wildlife Refuge in Southeast Texas is also a winter home to snow geese, as well as a year-round home to alligators.  Anahuac is considered to have the largest concentration of alligators in Texas, and even in January it’s not uncommon to see them sunning along the banks during the driving tour.  The beach at Anahuac is a favorite for surf fishing.  Click HERE to read more.

Six Flags Fiesta Texas Mardi Gras Festival and Parade, San Antonio

Get ready for an amazing time at this annual celebration at Six Flags Fiesta Texas, with nightly Mardi Gras parades, music and food in the park!

Keep Having Fun in the Texas Sun!

Michelle

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