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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With the holiday season behind us, it’s time to embrace winter with some festive Southern events lined up for January. Whether you’re looking to enjoy blues music in Mississippi or take your pup to see a winter light show, we have some top events to check out around the South. Here are 12 events to inspire you in 2021. Enjoy!

dog at GardenFest for Fidos, a Southern event in January

GardenFest for Fidos makes for the perfect winter outing! Image: Nicole Plummer

12 Southern Events & Happenings: January 2021

Through January 3, 2021: Winter Wonderland — Memphis, TN

Stroll through icy trees and twinkling light displays at the Children’s Museum of Memphis’ Winter Wonderland. The exhibit includes daily pop-up activities, crafts, and games perfect for children of all ages. Attendees are encouraged to wear their best winter outfits and take advantage of festive photo opportunities throughout the museum. Admission is $15 for adults and children and free for museum members. cmom.com

January 1, 2021: Virtual Tybee Polar Plunge — Tybee Island, GA

The Guinness World Record-setting Tybee Polar Plunge is back! But this year, participants can take the plunge wherever they want. Now virtual, participants can choose to take a brave dip along the five miles of Tybee Beach, or wherever else they may find themselves on New Year’s Day. Register online to participate and receive a Tybee Polar Plunge t-shirt. The plunge takes place at noon. Adult registration is $25, and kids under 12 are $15. All proceeds benefit the Tybee Post Theater. tybeeposttheater.org

Through January 7, 2021: GardenFest for Fidos — Richmond, VA

Take your dog to enjoy the holiday lights at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s GardenFest for Fidos. Visitors can walk through the garden’s spectacular light show and enjoy “grab & go” food and drink options from the garden’s Tea House. Regular Garden admission is required, plus a suggested $2 “pet admission” benefitting the Richmond Humane Society. lewisginter.org

January 7 – 17, 2021: Charleston Restaurant Week — Charleston, SC

The highly anticipated Charleston Restaurant Week is back! This incredible culinary event provides restaurant-goers with the best of Charleston’s infamous low-country cuisine, featuring prix fixe lunch and dinner menus from local participating restaurants. The event runs through January 17. For a full list of participating restaurants, click HERE.

January 9, 2021 – February 19, 2021: Festival of the Cranes — Decatur, AL

On January 9, attend the one-day Festival of the Cranes event at Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, where over 20,000 cranes spend their winter. Activities include close-up viewings of the birds, birding workshops, an art show, and kid-friendly activities. The festival is free to attend. friendsofwheelerrefuge.com

RELATED: 12 Charleston Restaurants in 36 Hours: Challenge Accepted!

Jan 15 – 17, 2021:  Art Deco Weekend — Miami, FL

Attend Miami’s longest-running festival, Art Deco Weekend. With virtual events showcasing the beautiful Art Deco buildings of South Beach, this community cultural festival is part of the Miami Design Preservation League’s commitment to preserve and protect historic Miami. Festivities take place January 15 through 17, and start times vary each day. artdecoweekend.com

Jan 16 & 17, 2021: Florida Manatee Festival — Crystal River, FL

The Florida Manatee Festival returns for its 34th year in downtown Crystal River. The festival features live music, beer and wine gardens, a fine art walk, craft vendors, and manatee boat tours that provide visitors with up-close encounters with manatees for an additional cost. Adult tickets are $5, while children ages 12 and under are free. The festival runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. gomanateefest.com

January 21 – 23, 2021: Cathedral Antiques Show — Atlanta, GA

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Cathedral Antiques Show hosts its annual event in a virtual format this year. Dealers from around the country showcase their unique antiques, fine art, silver, jewelry, rugs and more. Tickets are $10 for three-day access, and all proceeds benefit local charity organizations. cathedralantiques.org

January 27 – 31, 2021: Key West Food & Wine Festival — Key West, FL

For the 12th year in a row, Key West showcases its creative and diverse culinary scene with its annual food and wine festival. The festival offers unique events like waterfront wine tastings, a grilled cheese/beer pairing, a shrimp boil, and sommelier/chef collaborations. Tickets start at $50. keywestfoodandwinefestival.com

RELATED: Our 2020 Holiday Binge-Watch List

January 29 – 31, 2021: Clarksdale Film & Music Festival — Clarksdale, MS

Visit Clarksdale, MS, for its 11th annual film and music festival. Join in on socially distanced “live” blues and roots music, workshops, history tours and more. The 2021 festival features both in-person and virtual activities. The festival is free to attend, though donations are welcomed. clarksdalefilmfestival.com

January 30, 2021: Hilton Head Snow Day— Hilton Head, SC

Enjoy a magical winter wonderland at Hilton Head Island’s annual Snow Day. Held every January at Shelter Cove Community Park, the event features live entertainment, inflatable rides, and a snowfield. Children’s tickets (ages 2-17) are $5, and adult admission is free. The event is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. events.islandreccenter.org

January 30, 2021: Brunswick Rockin’ Stewbilee — Brunswick, GA

Celebrate the famous stew of the Golden Isles and attend the annual Brunswick Rockin’ Stewbilee at Mary Ross Waterfront Park. The day-long event includes live music, a classic and antique car show, a dog parade, and of course, some stew sampling. The Stewbilee runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Pre-sale tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for children. Same-day tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. goldenisles.com

Happy New Year!

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To see even more great events, click HERE.