Cool Things To Do in January in Atlanta

January is a time to treat yourself, shake off the holidays and get primed for 2022. Atlanta has a lot to help you enjoy life and be the best you.

Go vegetarian — at least for a day

The Slutty Vegan’s burgers are so great – and big – you won’t even realize they’re vegan unless someone tells you. (📷 Jim Duckworth)

Fine, we’ve all made New Year’s resolutions about getting fit and eating better. How many of us think about going vegetarian (or even vegan) but don’t know if we’d like the food — like forever? Well then, go on a vegetarian food tasting trek and sample some of the city’s vegan and plant-based restaurants. Among our favorites are: Soul Vegetarian, Green Sprout, Dulce Vegan Bakery and Cafe, Tassili’s Raw Realty and Plant Based Pizzeria. Of course, Atlanta’s best-known vegan restaurant is Slutty Vegan, whose plant-based hamburgers will make you a convert.

Be a Dirty Rascal at the Thompson Hotel

The Thompson Buckhead hotel opened so check it out. Plan a staycation, eat at Todd Ginberg’s latest restaurant, the Dirty Rascal, or have drinks on the rooftop patio. (📷 Chelsea Patricia)

Say hello to Buckhead’s newest boutique hotel. The Thompson Buckhead, which boasts 201 luxury guest rooms, a rooftop pool with private cabanas and killer skyline views, just opened to rave reviews. Bonus! It’s pet friendly. We also recommend trying its restaurant, Dirty Rascal, a red sauce Italian restaurant owned by Atlanta’s James Beard-nominated Chef Todd Ginsberg. The 140-seat signature restaurant presents Italian-American fare with a modern twist. Or venture up to the 10th floor rooftop bar for handcrafted cocktails, light bites and stunning city views. It’s the perfect place for a staycation or a night on the town. Say welcome to our newest hotel.

Take some “me time” at an Atlanta spa

Start the new year feeling pampered at one of Atlanta’s fantastic spas, such as Aviary Beauty. (📷 Gianna Keiko)

Sweaters making you itchy? Just wanting to glow? Well, head to one of the city’s amazing spas for a facial, massage or an exfoliating body treatment. Atlanta has a variety of spas — ranging from high-end hotel spas such as the Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta, The Whitley Hotel, Spa at the St. Regis, Waldorf Astoria and exhale at Lowes Atlanta Hotel to amazing local spas such as Natural Body, Iwi Fresh Garden Day Spa, Ten Spot (technically it’s Canadian) and Aviary Beauty. A day at the spa or a quick treatment will make you feel refreshed and ready for spring, which will we promise will eventually come.

Toot Toot Toostie Hello!

Fifth Third Bank Broadway in Atlanta brings the marvelous “Tootsie” to the Fabulous Fox. (📷 Tootsie)

“Tootsie,” the Tony-Award winning musical, comes to the Fox Theatre Jan. 25-30, thanks to Fifth Third Bank Broadway, to delight audiences with the tale of Michael Dorsey, a talented but difficult actor (played in the movie by Dustin Hoffman) who goes to extremes to get the part of a lifetime. “Rolling Stone” called it “musical comedy heaven,” so get your tickets and see for yourself.

Go to a Bookstore

It’s never to early to love reading, and Atlanta has many bookstores that will help you find the perfect book. Above, a young reader spends time with a good book at Virginia Highland Books. (📷 Virginia Highland Books.)

The weather is cold so get something to drink, light a fire, snuggle up in a blanket and read a book. Atlanta has several great bookstores including locally owned stores For Keeps Bookstore, Posman Books, Bookish Atlanta, Book Boutique, A Cappella Books, and 44th and 3rd. The latter sells books on the richness, diversity and genius of Black expression, perfect for Black History Month. Another delightful bookstore is Virginia Highland Books, which welcomes children to grab a book, sit a spell and read — and they do. The store also bring in authors to read and meet with kids. Throughout January Sheri Dillard will read her book, “Cowhide-and-Seek,” sing a few songs and answer questions.

Plan Your Wedding

There’s no need to be a Bridezilla once you attend the Atlanta Wedding Extravaganza where you can plan your wedding in one afternoon. (📷 Janet Howard Studios)

See your Pinterest boards come to life as the Atlanta Wedding Extravaganza returns to Atlanta Jan. 30 at the Georgia Aquarium. Find the best wedding venues, photographers, caterers, bridal party attire, honeymoon locations — plus top caterers, cake designers, florists — all in one place. You can truly plan your wedding in one day.

See the High Museum’s ‘KAWS PRINTS’ Exhibit

The High Museum of Art is featuring the work of Brian Donnelly, known professionally as “KAWS.” The artist returns to the High after a groundbreaking solo show in 2012. KAWS PRINTS on display include silkscreen prints, portfolios such as “Man’s Best Friend” (2015) and “Urge” (2020), a selection of drawings, rare early prints and more. This exhibition is on view through March 3.

Celebrate Dr. King in His Hometown

Atlanta is the perfect place to honor Dr. King (📷 The King Center)

There’s no better place to honor and celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. than in the city of Atlanta. The King Center is hosting multiple virtual and in-person events leading up to MLK Day (Jan. 17). Continue the celebration by viewing Dr. King’s personal papers at Atlanta’s National Center for Civil and Human Rights.

Step into the World of Downton Abbey

After you’ve finished binge watching “Downtown Abbey,” head to the exhibition. (📷 Downton Abbey: The Exhibition)

Where are all the “Downton Abbey” fans? Perhaps at the exhibition based on the popular television show that lets you step into post-Edwardian England and discover the show’s history, culture and memorable moments. Reminisce on some of the best moments from the show’s six seasons. The exhibit is on view through Jan. 17.

Ice Skate in the Heart of Midtown

Get cozy under the heated tent in the heart of Midtown at Park Tavern’s ice skating rink. (📷 Park Tavern)

Park Tavern’s ice rink is one of Atlanta’s most popular places to skate with family and friends. While skating, enjoy views of Piedmont Park and the Midtown skyline. When you’re ready for a break you can sit by a firepit in a private cabana or capture memories at one of the selfie stations. Sip on seasonal cocktails and grab a bite through Feb. 21.

Journalist Mary Welch writes business and lifestyle stories for local and national publications. 

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