January is a great time to visit Orlando, Florida if you’re not a fan of crowds or oppressive heat. The humidity is usually next to nothing, and most of the holiday visitors have packed up and headed home. But there’s still plenty of things to do in Orlando in January.
7 Things To Do In January In Orlando
1. Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend – January 7 – January 10, 2010
Strap on your sneakers and run 26.2 miles through all four Walt Disney World Theme Parks. The weekend also features a half marathon, a family 5k run and races for the kids. Disney’s Health & Fitness Expo also runs all weekend long at the Wide World of Sports Complex and features celebrity athlete speakers, fitness seminars and a product expo for health and exercise fans.
2. Blue Spring Manatee Festival – January 23 & 24, 2010
North of Orlando, in Volusia County’s Orange City, you’ll find a local festival offering crafts, face painting, games and rides. But the highlight of the event is the chance to catch a shuttle over to Blue Spring State Park to watch hundreds of manatee in their natural habitat.
3. Central Florida Scottish Highland Games – January 16 & 17, 2010
Hosted in Winter Springs, the Scottish Highland Games provides a truly unique festival experience. Watch (or participate in!) athletic events like the open stone put, hammer toss, and caber toss. The festival also includes a dance competition and a whisky tasting event. Tickets for the weekend are $20 for adults.
4. Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities – January 23 – 31, 2010
Taking place the last week of January each year in Eatonville and throughout Orange County, Florida, this multi-day, multi-disciplinary event celebrates the life and work of 20th century writer, folklorist and anthropologist, Zora Neale Hurston, as well as the cultural contributions of people of African ancestry across the world. The festival features writers’ forums, lectures by well-known novelists, art exhibitions and live music. January 30th is the festival’s Family Day and features an outdoor art festival. Event details available online.
5. Sunshine Regional Chili Cook-Off – January 17, 2010
Each year, Kissimmee, Florida hosts this International Chili Society sanctioned event at the Kissimmee Lakefront Park. The competition will offer more than $4,000 in cash/prizes, including $1,000 for the 1st place winner and airfare to attend the World Finals. Although pre-registration is required to compete, the public can watch, sample and vote as all the cooking is done on site. The event also features live entertainment, a beer garden, children activities, and, of course, food vendors.
6. Light Up UCF – January 1 – 10, 2010
Light Up UCF starts in November and continues on through the first week of January. Enjoy ice skating, a light show, film festival and live music. Visit the website for specific event information for each day.
7. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus – January 14 – 17, 2010
The circus is coming to Orlando’s Amway Arena this January. Catch the animals, the tight-rope walkers, the clowns and the motorcycle troupe. Beginning 90 minutes before each show, families can get up close with some of their favorite animal performers in the free Animal Open House. And then, starting one hour before the show, guests can join on the arena floor for the All Access Pre-show, free to all ticket holders. Tickets start at $25 and are available at www.ringling.com.
Of course, all of the amusement parks, museums and shopping malls are still open all over Orlando in January, too!