SB NOTE: As we are experiencing a rise in COVID cases, these suggestions are all made with social distancing in mind and each is subject to change. Please look at websites and social media for updates, and check the most up-to-date CDC guidelines for the latest safety recommendations.

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We know we’re not the only ones ready to bid farewell to 2020. Get ready to celebrate the new year in the Magic City! Whether you’re kicking off 2021 with a commitment to exercise or hoping to explore new experiences throughout our growing city from the comfort of your home, we’ve rounded up the best runs, virtual festivities and sporting events to ensure your year starts with a bang. Cheers to 2021!

Downtown Birmingham skyline

Birmingham is welcoming 2021 with open arms! Image: Picture Birmingham

10 Birmingham Events & Happenings: January 2021

Opening this month: The Valley Hotel

Downtown Homewood welcomes a brand new 129-room luxury hotel this month. The Valley Hotel, A Curio Collection by Hilton, offers upscale accommodations, a cafe, a 7,000-square-foot event space, and a restaurant lovingly named Ironwood Kitchen & Cocktails to pay tribute to Birmingham’s industrial era. This is going to be a wonderful addition to the bustling Homewood community! valleyhotelbirmingham.com

Through January 3, 2021: POSE at The Summit

Get ready to strike your best pose at The Summit’s selfie-centered pop-up crafted in partnership with the talented team at Cultured To Create. This unique experience includes 10 rooms created for you to take the perfect photo. Social distancing is enforced, and reservations are available by the hour. Tickets are $25 for adults, and children under 4 are free. thesummitbirmingham.com

Through January 18, 2021: Glow Wild at the Birmingham Zoo

Celebrate the new year with the lions, tigers and bears at the Birmingham Zoo. This unique animal lantern celebration features all of your favorite animals flying high above your head. From 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday through Sunday nights, bring the whole family down to the zoo for a night of magical fun. Adult tickets start at $14.95 and are sold in 30-minute increments to ensure social distancing throughout the zoo. Purchase your ticket online before 2 p.m. for same-day entry. Masks are required for this event. birminghamzoo.com

January 1, 2021: First Day, Pre-Sunrise Hike to King’s Chair at Oak Mountain State Park

Watch the first sunrise of 2021 from one of Birmingham’s most beautiful and scenic parks this January 1! Oak Mountain State Park hosts a first-day-of-2021 pre-sunrise hike to King’s Chair, beginning at 5 a.m. Arrive at the North Trailhead dressed warmly with a flashlight in hand, and enjoy a rewarding hike. The event is open to all ages, but keep in mind this is an advanced hike with rough terrain and no light. Gate fees are $5 for adults and $2 for children (ages 4-11) and seniors (62 and up). Note that no strollers or dogs are allowed. alapark.com

RELATED: 5 Southern Winter Hikes to Take This Year

January 8, 2021: Trey Lewis at Zydeco

Make plans to get out and support Birmingham-raised musical artist Trey Lewis on January 8. Head downtown to Zydeco and see this amazing performer who has opened for country music stars like Craig Morgan, Cannan Smith, and Jon Pardi. CDC guidelines are followed, and tickets start at $10. The show kicks off at 9 p.m. zydecobirmingham.com

January 8 – 31, 2021: UAB Men’s Basketball Season

Support the UAB Blazers this year by attending one of the men’s basketball games. These are full of fun and excitement for the whole family. All home games are at Bartow Arena, and game times differ. In January, UAB takes on teams like Southern Mississippi, Rice, Middle Tennessee and more. For more information and to check the 2021 schedule, click HERE.

January 16, 2021: MLK Day Virtual 5K Drum Run

Lace up your sneakers and celebrate MLK weekend the Birmingham way with the 4th Annual MLK Day 5K Drum Run. This year’s event is virtual, so pick your favorite course and get to running! Why not spend MLK Day celebrating the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. and our diverse culture while feeling fit and energized? Registration is $30, and the race can be completed at any time on January 16. mlkday5kbham.com

RELATED: WHOOP, Fitbit, Apple Watch & Oura Ring: Know Your Health & Fitness Trackers

January 16, 2021: Fire and Ice Pop-Up Shop

Support over 20 small, Black-owned businesses at the Fire and Ice Pop-Up Shop on January 16. This one-day event features amazing vendors, giveaways, live music and plenty of networking opportunities. Located at The Dannon Project, this pop-up is a great opportunity to meet some of the Magic City’s most creative and innovative minds. There are no registration fees, but the first 75 attendees to RSVP receive a free gift. eventbrite.com

January 17, 2021: The Pink Bride Show

Before you walk down the aisle, make plans to attend one of Birmingham’s best bridal shows! The Pink Bride Show allows brides-to-be to plan their dream wedding all in one day. This year’s event features Birmingham’s top wedding professionals, inspirational showcases, a fashion show showcasing this season’s bridal and bridesmaid fashions, tasty food and drinks, giveaways, and tons of shopping. Advance tickets are $12 and same-day tickets are $15. The event runs from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. thepinkbride.com

January 23, 2021: “2020 Recovery” Run & Vendor Village

Spring Valley School invites the Birmingham community to come together, be active and recharge from the hardships faced in 2020 in a safe way. Join them on January 23 for their “2020 Recovery” 5K Trail Run at Red Mountain Park. Runners also have the option of participating in a fun-run at Spring Valley School. Additionally, there is a Vendor Village for runners and the general public to peruse and shop. The first race begins at 7:30 a.m., and registration is $35. All proceeds made from these events directly benefit Spring Valley School’s COVID-19 Relief Funds. runsignup.com

Enjoy the start to the new year, Birmingham! Stay safe and healthy.

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To see even more great events, click HERE.

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