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things to do in Pennsylvania in January

10 Great Things to Do in Pennsylvania in January

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Whether you love or hate the holidays, our list of things to do in January in Pennsylvania has something for you. The the last of the holiday events end in early January, giving way to many events that celebrate the cold weather outdoors.

However, if you want to stay toasty warm inside, we’ve also got some great things to do for you as well.

Check out our handpicked list of 10 things to do in Pennsylvania this January and start planning your winter adventures.

(Article Updated December 8, 2018 for things to do in Pennsylvania in January 2019)

Mummers Day Parade in Philadelphia – January 1

Things to do in January: Mummers Parade

The Mummers Parade shouldn’t be missed.

Start the year off right at the Mummers Day Parade in downtown Philadelphia on New Year’s Day. Believed to be the oldest folk festival in the United States, watch as 40 colorful troops march through the streets of Philly putting on performances as they go.

The parade centers around Philadelphia City Hall and the Philadelphia Convention Center, but anywhere along the parade route will offer a great view of this bizarre tradition.

For more information, check out our guide to the Mummers Parade in Philly

Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg – January 5-12

The 103rd Pennsylvania Farm Show kicks off at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg on January 5. The largest, indoor agricultural festival in the country (at more than 24 acres in size), the Pennsylvania Farm Show draws more than half a million people during the eight-day event.

Visitors come to see farm animals, browse vendors, see shows, and eat delicious food. It can get very crowded on weekends, so visit during the week if possible.

For more information, visit the Farm Show’s website.

January Ice Jam in Butler – January 11-12

Now in its 21st year, the January Ice Jam in Butler, PA, brings together some of the region’s best bluegrass musicians for two days of great music. Over two dozen bands take the stage each year spanning every style of bluegrass music.

If you love bluegrass music and want a respite from the cold weather outside, don’t miss this great annual event.

For more information, visit JanuaryIceJam.com.

Fire and Ice Festival in Somerset – January 12-14

The 24th annual Fire and Ice Festival will be returning to Somerset in January. The event features beautiful ice sculptures, vendors, a variety of food and drink options, and even fireworks. The downtown area will also feature many different live musical performances.

For more information, check out the event’s Facebook page.

Center City Restaurant Week in Philadelphia – January 13-25

Things to do in Pennsylvania in January: Center City Restaurant Week

Enjoy a delicious meal at a great price during Center City Restaurant Week. (Photo by C. Smyth for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®)

January is a great time to visit downtown Philadelphia! Over 100 different restaurants in and around Center City will be participating in Center City Restaurant Week in the middle of the month. Dine on special lunch and dinner menus at discounted prices.

Don’t miss this chance to eat at some of Philadelphia’s best restaurants without breaking the bank.

For more information and to see a list of participating restaurants, visit the event’s website.

Pittsburgh Winter Restaurant Week – January 14-20

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week is a great thing to do in PA in January

There are many great restaurants in Pittsburgh participating in Restaurant Week, including Burgh’ers which is pictured.

Pittsburgh also gets in on the winter culinary deals with their Winter Restaurant Week in mid-January. More than two dozen great restaurants around the city will be participating, each offer a special menu at a great price.

This makes Pittsburgh Restaurant Week a great opportunity to get out and enjoy a restaurant you already love or to find a new favorite place to eat.

For more information, visit PittsburghResaurantWeek.com.

Auto Mania in Allentown – January 18-20

Auto Mania returns to the Allentown Fairgrounds this month. The state’s largest indoor automotive flea market, this is a fantastic spot for those that love cars. Whether you are looking for a hard-to-find part of your antique vehicle or enjoy collecting pieces of automotive history, there’s a bit of something here for every gear head.

Find out more about the event on its website.

Warren County Winterfest – January 18-20

Warren County Winterfest returns to northwestern PA’s Chapman State Park this January. The largest winter event in the Pennsylvania Wilds, Winterfest is highlighted by a 32-mile dog sled race and a weight pulling competition to see which dogs are the strongest.

For humans, there is a polar bear plunge, ice fishing, a pond hockey tournament, sledding, and much more.

For more information, check out the event’s Facebook page.

See the Frozen Waterfalls at Ricketts Glen State Park – All Month

Things to do in PA in January: Hiking Ricketts Glen

Ricketts Glen is an amazing place to visit in the winter.

During the wintertime, Ricketts Glen State Park’s Falls Trail is closed to the public…unless you have the right equipment. Due to this, the trails are much less crowded, but the scenery is incredibly breathtaking.

While you can hike it if you have the proper equipment and experience (Don’t take this lightly as the trail is often a sheet of ice with deep falls if you slip), you can also hike these trails with an experienced guide through Valley to Summit.

Valley to Summit provides an experienced ice-hiking guide and all the winter hiking equipment you need to explore this icy wonderland.

I have also partnered to offer a Frozen Waterfall Photography Workshop on Saturday, January 26 (and Saturday, Feburary 23), which are the only photo workshops offered in the park during the winter.

For more information, visit check out Valley to Summit’s regular winter hikes and my winter photography workshop at Ricketts Glen.

Go Skiing or Snow Tubing throughout Pennsylvania

Things to do in PA in January: Skiing or Snow Tubing

Go skiing, snowboarding, or snow tubing in Pennsylvania this January

Pennsylvania is home to 19 ski resorts throughout the state. Take some time this month to hit the slopes on skis or a snowboard. Whether you are an experienced skier or never been before, this is a great activity for the whole family.

If skiing isn’t your thing, many ski resorts also offer snow tubing. These great tracks offer a great twist on sledding that will leave you wanting more.

I’ve previously written about my experiences at Jack Frost Ski Resort in the Poconos. You can find out more about the other ski resorts in Pennsylvania on SkiPA.com.

Looking for other things to do in Pennsylvania? Check out our list of things to do in December and our picks for things to do in PA in February.

Do you know of a great event happening in Pennsylvania in January? Let us know in the comments section below!

Do you have an upcoming event that you would like to promote in a future monthly edition? Click here for more information and to submit your event.

10 Great Things to do in Pennsylvania in January

AUTHOR - Jim Cheney

Jim Cheney is the creator of UncoveringPA.com. Based in the state capital of Harrisburg, Jim frequently travels around Pennsylvania and has visited, written about, and photographed all 67 counties in the state. He has also traveled to more than 30 different countries around the world.

3 Comments

  • Pat Lane

    Ice Tobaggon Run in Eaglesmere, PA YOu may have already done that.

  • Susan O'Neil

    Lebanon Bologna Festival Jan.26-27

  • Linda Lawler

    Cross country skiing at The Wilderness Lodge just southeast of Erie, Pa near the town of Wattsburg, PA. It is an awesome cross country ski center with a ski lodge that serves soups, sandwiches and more. They rent ski equipment and the cross country trails are wide, groomed, beautiful trails that meander through the winter woods. Their website is http://www.thewildernesslodge.net And, no, I don’t work for them and am not getting paid to write this.

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