Things to do in January: Find post-holiday bargains or enjoy the ice and snow

Editor’s note: This is a monthly feature to highlight what Ottawa and Allegan Counties have to offer residents and visitors alike.

Though many of us marked New Year’s Eve at home, there was a communal sense of celebration — and a huge sigh of relief — as we said goodbye to 2020 and welcomed 2021. January brings a fresh start to the new year and a fresh list of fun, exciting things to do along the Lakeshore. This list includes options for everyone, regardless of age, ability, or interest.

The Elm Street Park & Ice Rink in downtown Zeeland is the perfect place to practice your figure 8s.
Ice skating
Elm Street Park & Ice Rink, 221 S. Elm St., Zeeland
Now that winter is in full swing, it’s time to get out and enjoy the weather. The Elm Street Park & Ice Rink in downtown Zeeland is the perfect place to practice your figure 8s. Don’t have skates? You can rent them from the Howard Miller Library (youth size 9 through adult size 9); check out feelthezeel.com for details.

The Holland Museum will be celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with several activities.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Holland Museum, 31 West 10th Street, Holland  
Gather your friends and family for a day of learning fun. Swing by the Holland Museum on Jan. 15, 16, and 18 to pick up your Martin Luther King Day “activity kit."  (First come, first serve.)  On Martin Luther King Day, Jan. 18, check back with the Museum for a list of MLK-related activities that day. Depending on COVID-19 restrictions, they could be virtual, in-person, or a mix of both. More details at hollandmuseum.org.

Tallmadge Woods and Crows Nest is a 2.6 mile loop trail near Saugatuck

Take a hike
Tallmadge Woods and Crows Nest, Saugatuck
Looking for a quiet place to hike? Check out Tallmadge Woods and Crows Nest, a 2.6 mile loop trail near Saugatuck. Good for all skill levels, the trail takes you through wooded dunes, winds above the Kalamazoo River, and has Lake Michigan overlooks. Snowshoeing is also allowed. The trailhead is located at the end of Park Street in Saugatuck, just before the entrance to Ox-Bow School of Art, at 3435 Rupprecht Way, which is private property. Park at the Mt Baldhead parking lot and head north. The trailhead is unsigned, so keep your eyes open. More details at alltrails.com › trail › tallmadge-woods-loop.

Bundle up, mask up, and enjoy some outdoor shopping at downtown Holland's Outdoor Winter Market.

Outdoor Winter Market
Eighth Street Market Place, downtown Holland
9 a.m. to 1 p.m., first and third Saturdays through April
Bundle up, mask up, and enjoy some outdoor shopping at downtown Holland's Outdoor Winter Market. You’ll find a variety of fresh produce — apples, beets, greens, mushrooms, onions, and potatoes — along with cheese spreads, baked goods, granola, honey, jam, maple syrup, meat … and even dog treats. Social distancing protocols and masks required.

Fellinlove Farm in Holland is hosting Winter Wonderland on the weekends through January.
Winter Wonderland
Fellinlove Farm, Holland, (Check website for directions)
Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 4-6 p.m. through January
Looking for a new way to get out and enjoy nature? Then take a trip to Fellinlove Farm's “Winter Wonderland.” Walk the ¾-mile nature trail aglow with more than 4,000 lights and winter décor, including artistically created wooden snowmen, deer, and birds. And you can watch the farm’s live animals go into their barn for the night. With 150 animals — including ponies, llamas, chinchillas, goats, miniature pigs, tortoises, and even a prairie dog — you’re sure to have a memorable visit, no matter what your age. ($5 donation suggested) For more information or directions, visit fellinlovefarm.com.

Downtown Holland merchants are hosting the Meltown Sale Jan. 11-17.
Meltdown Sale 
Downtown Holland
Jan. 11-17 
You’ll definitely want to check out the biggest sale of the (new) year. You’ll find deep discounts on post-holiday items, as well as merchandise left over from the cancellation of Downtown Holland Sidewalk Sales. If regulations permit, restaurants will join in the fun with winter-themed drinks and menu specials. So head to downtown Holland, where you can save big and shop in safety on the city’s snow-melted streets and sidewalks.

Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Commission recently voted to extend winter park hours for hikers and bikers – by 2 hours – to 10 p.m. (Photo by Mike Lozon)

Skiing, hiking and biking 
Pigeon Creek Park, 12524 Stanton St., West Olive
With more than 10 miles of groomed ski trails winding along the Pigeon River, Pigeon Creek Park is a popular cross-country ski destination for classic and skate skiing. Ski and snowshoe rentals are available, and 3 miles of ski trails, as well as a sledding hill, are illuminated for night use. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, check out the website for rental and lodge information, as well as ski conditions. Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Commission recently voted to extend winter park hours for hikers and bikers – by 2 hours – to 10 p.m. “We are so pleased to be able to make this adjustment at Pigeon Creek Park, especially during these stressful times,” says Jason Shamblin, Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Director. “By the time many of us finish with our workday, myself included, it’s too dark to get out for a hike. Between turning on the trail lights and extending our operating hours, we hope to help more individuals and families spend more time outside.”

Sally Laukitis, Chair of the Michigan Travel Commission, recently retired as Executive Director of the Holland Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. A longtime Holland resident, she can often be found exploring the county’s many dog-friendly parks and attractions with Tulip, her faithful Boston Terrier puppy. If you have an idea of something to do, email her at sallyjlaukitis@gmail.com.
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