Things to do in January: Winter sports, exhibits, downtown fun and celebrating MLK's legacy

Snow and ice have never been so nice. January brings a fresh start to the new year and a fresh list of fun, exciting things to do along the Lakeshore that includes Winter sports, exhibits, downtown fun and celebrating the legacy of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. This list of Ottawa, Allegan, and Muskegon county events for residents and visitors alike includes options for everyone, regardless of age, ability, or interest.

Muskegon Luge and Adventure Sports Park (Photo credit: MLASP)

Winter sports
Muskegon State Park
Open daily until 9:45 p.m. and lit at dusk.
Tickets and passes available.
Muskegon Luge and Adventure Sports Park, located in Muskegon State Park, has one of only four luge tracks in the United States. Participants can reach speeds up to 30 mph. There is also ice skating on 2 acres of an outdoor rink and a quarter-mile skating trail that winds through Muskegon State Park. There are 9 miles of cross-country ski trails and three trail systems for snowshoers.

Detroit multimedia artist and metalsmith Tiff Massey creates art and jewelry pieces inspired by 1980s hip-hop fashion.

Jewelry Box exhibit
Through Feb. 20
Muskegon Museum of Art
Cost: Adult $10, Seniors (65+) $8, Students (17+ with school I.D) $6
Children and Museum members: Free
Detroit multimedia artist and metalsmith Tiff Massey creates art and jewelry pieces inspired by 1980s hip-hop fashion. The MMA’s Olthoff Gallery has been transformed into a shiny and jaw-dropping display of massive hip-hop jewelry, gold, and mirrors. 
This indoor game of miniARTure Golf was inspired by artwork from the MMA’s permanent collection..

Art-inspired miniature golf

Through May 22
Muskegon Museum of Art
Cost: Admission is free for members, $15 for non-members, $5 for children 17 and younger.
This indoor game of miniARTure Golf was inspired by artwork from the MMA’s permanent collection. Designed by staff, this nine-hole course will “take guests through a fun and challenging array of obstacles. Almost 250 feet of custom-designed greens with multi-levels, unique stunts, visual canals, volcanos, towering sculptures, mazes, tornados, snowdrifts, and more!” All ages are welcome; golf clubs and balls will be provided.

Downtown Holland's Meltdown Sale returns.

Meltdown Sale

Jan. 14-16
Downtown Holland 
The Meltdown Sale is downtown Holland’s biggest sale of the (new) year. Merchants will be offering deep discounts on hundreds of items as they clear their shelves to make room for new merchandise after the holidays. Take advantage of Downtown Holland’s heated sidewalks, shop without a slip and save big.

Indoor Winter Market
Beginning Jan. 15, every first and third Saturday through March, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. 
Holland Civic Center Place, 150 West 8th St., Holland 
The Holland Farmers Market’s Indoor Winter Market returns to the Holland Civic Center Place. Over 25 vendors provide a wide product assortment of fresh produce and specialty foods and beverages, including greenhouse grown fruits and vegetables, bread and other baked goods, honey and maple syrup, jams, meat, cheese spreads and dog treats Lemonjello’s serves coffee onsite for early morning market-goers. Bridge Cards, Double Up Food Bucks and Market Bucks accepted.

Holland Museum's 2019 MLK Celebration.

Celebrating MLK Day

10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Jan. 17
Holland Museum
Holland Museum will celebrate the life and legacy of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a free day, enjoy crafts in the Smithsonian Spark!Lab in addition to winter-themed STEAM activities. There will be a scavenger hunt looking for interesting facts about inventors of color. 

MLK Community Day
Jan. 17, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. 
Muskegon Museum of Art
Cost: Free
In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the public is invited to explore the galleries with Muskegon High School student docents, participate in an interactive museum tour of African American artists whose work is in the MMA permanent collection, and watch a film screening of ‘Black Man’ throughout the day.

Winslow Homer exhibit

Opens Jan. 20 
Muskegon Museum of Art
Adult $10, Seniors (65+) $8, Students (17+ with school I.D) $6
Children 16 & under: Free, Museum members: Free
A new exhibition, Winslow Homer: Illustrating a Nation, highlights one of the most significant American artists of the 19th century, famed for his dramatic depictions of people and nature. The exhibition features several of Homer’s best known images, including The Noon Recess, Snap the Whip, A Sharpshooter on Picket Duty, and The Dinner Horn, a companion image to the MMA’s oil painting Answering the Horn. An opening reception will be held Jan. 20 from 5-8 p.m.
Pigeon Creek park is popular for winter sports. (Photo: Mike Lozon)

Snowshoe & Cross-Country Ski Biathlon 
8 a.m. Jan. 22  
Pigeon Creek Park
Cost: Entry fees are $45 per person, excluding ski and snowshoe rentals.
The Pigeon Creek Biathlon is for all skill levels are welcome to this fun, low-key snowshoe and cross-country ski biathlon. Proceeds support the work of the Parks Foundation in providing additional funding for the expansion and improvement of our parks, and nature education.   Registration ends at 9 p.m. on Jan. 19.
Lunch and Learn
Jan. 26, noon - 1 p.m. 
Holland City Hall
Cost: Free
The City of Holland Human Relations Commission will host a Zoom training in partnership with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). HSI special agents Sarah Pettey and Kurt Fiegel will lead the training about how community members can help increase awareness about this egregious crime, and learn how law enforcement is using resources to minimize trauma and assist victims/survivors of human trafficking.
Details: Registration for this free series is at This Zoom training will not be recorded.

Grand Haven Winterfest 
Jan. 27-30
Downtown Grand Haven
Admission is free
This longtime winter tradition features a variety of events, including Glowbowl, Sleepwalker Run, Bonfire Bash, Cardboard Sled Races, Family Dog Pull, Freeze 4 All ( Snow Volleyball), and a Ski & Snowboard Competition.

Pianist May Phang

Hempy Keyboard Series
2 p.m. Jan. 30
Saugatuck Center for the Arts
Cost: Tickets are $22, free for students
Performance by pianist May Phang, whose debut CD, "Travels through Time," features works centered around Mark Twain’s satirical “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.” 
If you are looking for more information on specific destinations or activities, check out these tourism resources: 
Allegan County Parks & Recreation
Ottawa County Parks & Recreation


Read more articles by Sally Laukitis.