January will never have the same sparkle as December, no matter how long you leave twinkling lights tacked to your roof (you know who you are).
But that doesn't mean that you need to start the new year with a thud after a month of festivities.
There are a variety of ways to avoid the January letdown in Atlanta this year. Below, you’ll find some of the top picks to ease the post-holiday slump:
Keep the long days bright with the self-explanatory "Squirrel Stole My Underpants" (Jan. 2-6) or folklore tales from "Paul Bunyan and the Tall Tale Medicine Show" (opens Jan. 22) at the Center for Puppetry Arts, 1404 Spring St. NW, Atlanta. The $19.50 non-member price includes a create-a-puppet workshop and admission to the puppetry museum.
Celebrate the days slowly getting longer with a sunset hike Jan. 5 at Panola Mountain State Park, 2620 Georgia 155 SW, Stockbridge. A ranger will lead you up the mountain and guide you back down under the moonlight to a lakeside campfire with s'mores. Registration is $15, plus $5 per vehicle to park. Call 770-389-7801 to sign up.
If seeing the Apollo 6 module and giant tyrannosaurus rex skull aren't dazzling enough, the Fernbank Science Center (156 Heaton Park Drive, Atlanta) is also home to one of the metro area's largest planetariums. It's $7 for adults and $5 for students (the center itself, operated by DeKalb County schools, is free); the show about mars, black holes and even a guided tour of the nighttime sky runs at the planetarium starting Jan. 10.
You can swap the magic of the season for a mix of magic, humor and mentalism at the Atlanta Magic Night Jan. 12 at Red Light Café, 553-1 Amsterdam Ave. NE, Atlanta. Headliner Jim Leach tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, but online site Goldstar offered half-price tickets at press time.
Billed as "Babkas, Bands and Belugas," the Atlanta Jewish Life Festival Jan. 13 at the Georgia Aquarium (225 Baker St. NW, Atlanta) features an interactive market that celebrates Jewish and Israeli food, music and culture. Tickets are $18 per person or $54 for a family of two adults and up to four children and include the festival and general admission to the aquarium gallery and exhibits.
A staggering 68 percent of Atlanta third-graders cannot read at grade level, according to the nonprofit Empowered Readers, which aims to donate books and create reading rituals for children and their parents. The March to 20Hundred Thousand Books hopes to collect 5,000 books toward its goal (20hundred thousand = two million) by inviting children to dress up as their favorite book characters at the event, from 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 19 at Turner Field, 755 Hank Aaron Dr. SE, Atlanta. Registration is free, but you can donate books or make a cash gift to help buy books and seed 72 Little Free Libraries.
More than 50 wines – plus some ciders and beer – will help you keep the winter chill away with Atlanta Wine Festivals' Winter Wine Fest on Jan. 19 at City Winery, 650 North Ave.NE, Atlanta. There will be two four-hour sessions – one starting at noon and one starting at 6 p.m. – that also include live music and food for purchase. Tickets are $50 ($60 day of event) and include a souvenir wine glass.
Close out the month with unicycle polo, balancing games and, of course, plenty of juggling at the Groundhog Day Jugglers Festival Jan 26 at the Yaraab Shrine Center, 400 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE, Atlanta. Tickets are free for spectators (with a chance for free juggling lessons) during daytime events and $10 for the 9 p.m. cabaret show. For those who want to jump into the juggling world (which includes yo-yoists, unicyclists and more), the Atlanta Jugglers Association also invites registration for the full weekend of workshops and events for $30.
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