January is the time for new beginnings, and Florida plans to start 2018 strong with a fun-filled lineup of entertaining events. From the lively Gasparilla event to the family-friendly Central Florida Scottish Highland Games, you are spoiled for choice with art, music, and food festivals held throughout the Sunshine State. Start your year off right at one of these events happening in Florida in January.
South Florida Fair, West Palm Beach (Nearby Hotels)
Visit the South Florida Fairgrounds in West Palm Beach in January to enjoy 17 days of events, showcasing more than 200 rides, five stages of national concert acts, livestock shows, and tons of activities to keep the kids entertained. You’ll want to come hungry, as its the place to indulge in fair food like corn dogs, cotton candy and funnel cake, before watching the adorable racing pigs, catching a colorful parade, or going ice-skating.
Dates: Jan. 12-28
30A Songwriters Festival, South Walton (Nearby Hotels)
Held in various venues along Highway 30A in South Walton, the 30A Songwriters Festival is one of the best music events in the state. You’ll find a variety of singer-songwriters from different decades and genres such as folk, country, blues, soul and Americana, with over 175 artists and 225 performances. It’s a collaborative event, where talented writers offer an in-depth look at their creative process and perform at intimate venues, town halls, local bars and large amphitheaters throughout the area.
Dates: Jan. 12-15
Art Deco Weekend, Miami Beach (Nearby Hotels)
Art Deco Weekend along Ocean Drive in Miami Beach is one of the largest celebrations of Art Deco architecture in the United States. There are more than 85 events to attend, including a Bark Deco Dog Show and Deco Kids Club. Bring the entire family out to this event to enjoy the live music and variety of food, drinks and street theater, parades and antique autos that will be showcased. Then listen to live lectures and go on guided tours of the area.
Central Florida Scottish Highland Games, Winter Springs (Nearby Hotels)
Head to Central Winds Park in Winter Springs in January to catch the Central Florida Scottish Highland Games and listen to the sound of bagpipes. Here you can appreciate the centuries-old Gaelic traditions through an array of lively events, from archery competitions to stone throws, Border Collie sheep herding demonstrations and traditional dance, art and food. There are arts, crafts, and face painting for the kids, while adults can enjoy the whisky tasting and shortbread contest.
Dates: Jan. 13-14
Florida Manatee Festival, Crystal River (Nearby Hotels)
Offering a chance to celebrate Florida’s famous gentle giants, the Florida Manatee Festival in downtown Crystal River is a great chance to enjoy the outdoors. Manatees love the natural spring waters of Crystal River, and this festival celebrates its beloved winter residents with free access and shuttles to Three Sister Springs, boat tours, and local seafood offerings. You also can watch live music on two stages, lounge in the beer garden, or browse the local vendors to purchase unique crafts and artwork.
Dates: Jan. 13-14
Saint Augustine Film Festival, St. Augustine (Nearby Hotels)
Film enthusiasts won’t want to miss out on the Saint Augustine Film Festival in January, as you’ll find a diverse array of prime viewing opportunities. You can catch acclaimed indie or foreign films that are usually screened in the festival circuit, with this year’s highlights including “A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud,” based on the Carson McCullers short story, and “Quest,” a true story about a teacher and his student.
Dates: Jan. 18-21
69th Annual Homestead Championship Rodeo & Rodeo Days, Homestead (Nearby Hotels)
Held in the Rodeo Arena and other locations in Homestead area, the 69th Annual Homestead Championship Rodeo & Rodeo Days is one of the oldest professional sporting events in Florida. Pack your cowboy hat and boots for this lively event, where you’ll be able to attend a variety of exciting competitions, from bareback riding to barrel racing. Bring the entire family out to see the Little Miss & Mister contest, play rodeo bingo, and watch the rodeo parade and battle of the bands.
Dates: Jan 19-21
Gasparilla, Tampa (Nearby Hotels)
One of the most popular events in Tampa, Gasparilla is your chance to dress like a pirate and enjoy a variety of pirate-themed celebrations. You’ll find eye patches and colorful attire galore at this event, where Tampa Bay is filled with boats and the streets are filled to the brim with several miles of partygoers. Beware of booming cannons and boisterous buccaneers, as floats, marching bands and pirates make their way down Bayshore Boulevard with glittering beads and treasures.
Dates: Jan. 20 & 27
Key West Food & Wine Festival, Key West (Nearby Hotels)
The Key West Food & Wine Festival in January attracts thousands of culinary explorers to Key West, who are looking to pair delicious food and wine with a tropical landscape. There are 20 wine- and food-themed events to attend, including waterfront tastings, winemaker and chef collaborations, and a chance to experience the funky atmosphere of Key West. For a VIP experience, sign up for the three-day Italian Cooking Retreat and Workshop to immerse yourself in Italian cuisine. From a Fresh Fish & Oysters event at the Seaport to a Stock Island Shrimp Boil, you’re sure to leave with your taste buds satisfied.
Dates: Jan. 24-28
Art Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale (Nearby Hotels)
The four-day Art Fort Lauderdale is a unique art event. Designed to create a memorable experience, you’ll be transported along Fort Lauderdale’s waterways via water taxi and private yachts, and make stops at vacant multi-million dollar waterfront properties to explore a collection of galleries. The galleries showcase a range of work, from modern and contemporary paintings, installations, films and photographs, while the artAUTO experience features the best works of art on four wheels, with displays of the world’s most exotic, rare automobiles.
Dates: Jan. 25-28