Things To Do

38 Activities For An Incredible January In The Bay Area

By Arianna Gary

38 Activities For An Incredible January In The Bay Area

January is (finally) here and there are plenty of fun things to do!

January 2021, arguably the most awaited month in recent history, has finally arrived. And with it comes a host of activities to enjoy in and around San Francisco. Things may still look a bit different, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of awesome and exciting (and safe) plans out there to fill this month’s calendar, whether you prefer to get out for some fresh air or cozy up at home!

Here are 38 things to check out this month:

Outdoor plans:

1-5. Hike your way to 5 of the most spectacular views in the Bay

[Image: Manu Kumar via Unsplash]
The Bay Area has no shortage of incredible views but, like many things, the best ones require a little work. Luckily, San Franciscans have a plethora of options to choose from when it comes to places to soak in the beauty of nature. And no time is better than the present to plan a nice hike through the wilderness, especially with the killer views that await you at the end of these 5 treks!

6. Check out SF’s newest light art installation at Golden Gate Park

[Image: San Francisco Recreation & Parks]
Visit Golden Gate Park’s Peacock Meadow for an adventure through an acre of paths of entwined trees, bushes and canopies all made of colorful pixel-like LED lights. It’s an extraordinary life-sized representation of nature, with trees ranging from 12 to 20 feet tall and illuminated canopies standing as tall as 30 feet.

7. Soak in that last glow of holiday lights at Garden of d’Lights

[Image: Ruth Bancroft Garden]
Garden of d’Lights invites visitors to spend quality time with loved ones and soak in the magical beauty of nature. It’s a great activity for the whole family, with 3.5 acres full of mature cacti, succulents and trees all lit up for this special season. There are only two weekends left, so be sure to check it out before the season ends!

8. Drive through millions of twinkling lights at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

[Image: Six Flags Magic Mountain]
This mesmerizing nighttime drive-through experience at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom features millions of twinkling lights synchronized to the cheerful music. Drive through the different dazzling zones throughout the 135-acre theme park for a magical ride complete with snacks and souvenirs! The fun runs through the end of January.

9. Take a long walk in the 1,400-acre Foothills Park

[Image: Sruthi R./Yelp]
This gorgeous park provides miles and miles of hiking trails, lots of areas for picnics, a seasonal campground, and even fishing for visitors with a license. With 1,400 acres to explore, it’s a park with something for everyone, from families looking to spend the day outside to avid hikers looking for some exercise.

10. Roll up to a Napa Valley wine drive-thru (or get it delivered!)

napa valley drive-thru
[Image: Ashes & Diamond via Instagram]
This Napa Valley winery offers a Delivery & Drive-Thru service, so that customers can enjoy the vintage charm and delicious wine of the Oak Knoll District right from home! Every bottle of wine comes with complimentary snacks, that get incrementally fancier with the number of bottles in your basket. Three or more bottles will get you “Everything” focaccia, Rancho Gordo bean dip, housemade pickles and Cowgirl Creamery Fromage Blanc. If you step it up a notch to 12 bottles, then you’re talking White Sturgeon caviar.

Indoor plans:

11. Take a virtual tour through Frida Kahlo’s whimsical Mexico City villa

[Image: Wikimedia Commons]
Step through the cobalt walls of La Casa Azul —also known as “The Blue House” — and get to know the artist through the private universe located in the Colonia del Carmen neighborhood of Coyoacán in Mexico City. Easily one of the most recognizable houses in the capital, the vibrant blue villa where Kahlo spent most of her life, has turned into a museum that you can peruse virtually.

12-21. Channel your inner detective in these 10 thrilling virtual escape rooms

[Image: Unsplash]
Take your Skype sessions with friends to the next level or have a game night with family as you sort through the clues sent to you through a multitude of virtual channels. Put your inner detective to the test as you solve the mysteries and uncover the secrets that each of these exciting stories holds. It’s the perfect way to get your thrills this season without having to leave the house!

22. Bake the Perfect Loaf with a Bread Kit From Mr. Holmes Bakehouse

mr holmes bakehouse survival kit

Turn your kitchen into a mini bakery and have the scrumptious smell of freshly baked bread wafting through your quarantine quarters. The West Coast cruffin masters, Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, have put together a ‘Bread Starter + Kit’ which could provide you with a lifetime of fluffy loaves.

23. Watch a Broadway Show without leaving The Bay

[Image: Shutterstock]
If your culture cravings are creeping up on you and you or you just need a virtual city escape right now, BroadwayHD allows you to stream hundreds of professionally recorded Broadway musicals and plays. Choices range from Carousel to Cats to Kinky Boots to Sweeney Todd to Romeo and Juliet, plus many more.

24. Explore the ultimate Frida Kahlo exhibition with over 800 works

virtual frida kahlo
[Image: Google Arts & Culture]
Google Arts & Culture has partnered with museums from all over the world to put on the ultimate Frida Kahlo exhibit. What a time to be at home, because now we finally have the opportunity to explore 33 different museums at the same time and enjoy all of Frida Kahlo’s amazing works—without ever leaving the couch! Google Art & Culture’s online exhibit, “Faces of Frida,” features more than 800 pieces by (and of) the artist in what might be the most epic exhibition yet!

25. Experience the magic of the Northern Lights

northern lights live streaming

Did you know you can watch the Aurora Borealis from literally anywhere in the world? Many have always dreamed of seeing the northern lights up close, but it certainly won’t be happening any time soon, thanks to a certain global pandemic. But, thanks to the internet, we’ve found a compromise…find out how you can now stream them here.

26. Order some mouthwatering doughy treats from Ocean Malasada

[Image: Ocean Malasada]
Ocean Malasada currently operates out of Daly City as a curbside pick-up and delivery only business, so that, amid stay-at-home orders, Bay Area locals can still order these delicious ‘Portugese doughnuts.’ You can even try your hand at making some malasadas of your own with their new dry mix kits (and you know what that means: you can eat them while they’re still hot!).

27. Explore the worlds of Jean-Michel Basquiat & Keith Haring in a free virtual art exhibit

basquiat virtual
[Image: @ngvmelbourne]
The closure of museums, galleries, and venues across the globe has led to a surprising benefit. It’s no reason to jump and shout for joy of course, considering the trying circumstances that we are all facing, but due to the closure of the National Gallery of Victoria in Australia, people from all around the world will find themselves fortunate enough to view the NGV’s newly-launched virtual programming. This includes the unprecedented and world premiere exhibition Crossing Lines, showcasing the works of Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

28. Have a laugh with this satirical recap of 2020

[Image: Netflix]
Black Mirror creators Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones give us ‘Death To 2020’ — a satirical nod to an unprecedented era. The documentary-style comedy special utilises archival footage shot in the past twelve months, and the star-studded cast play a series of fictitious characters narrating their thoughts and opinions on the events that have transpired. They play experts, politicians, royalty and, for good measure, the average-joe as well.

29-38. Go on a virtual hike through the most breathtaking U.S. national parks

[Image: Shutterstock]
While parks aren’t closed to the public, many of us may not have the opportunity to venture out into the great outdoors. Thankfully, in 2019 Google Earth introduced virtual tours of 31 of the country’s incredible national parks. The satellite imagery allows you to zoom right into every nook and cranny of a cliffside or take in sweeping aerial views. Check out our top ten virtual hikes to experience the stunning beauty of our national parks right from your living room!

[Featured image: Ameer Basheer via Unsplash]

See also: 10 Moments From 2020 That Made Us Smile