Are you planning a trip to Miami in January and not sure which activities to book for that time of year? No worries – you’re in the right place! I’ve traveled to Miami dozens of times, so keep reading for my ultimate guide to Miami in January.
If you’re anything like me, once the holiday season winds down and the New Year’s festivities fade into the background, chances are you’re ready for a getaway.
If you live in an area where the holidays are celebrated in the snow, you’ll probably want that getaway to involve a little sunshine and some sandy flip-flops.
If it sounds like I’m reading your mind, then Miami in January is the perfect getaway for you! The crowds have subsided, prices have dropped, and the weather is pleasantly warm instead of scorching hot.
Not to mention, there’s a long list of spectacular things to do in Miami in January!
If all you want is a lounge chair in the sun, a cocktail in your hand, and the latest beach read – then there’s no need to go through this entire guide. Just skip to the end for some FAQs and crucial Miami travel info before planning your trip.
But, if you want to explore the city and experience everything it has to offer, then keep reading. I’m married to a Miami native and have visited this tropical paradise dozens of times during our 11 years of marriage. Long story short, you’re in good hands!
Amazing Things to Do in Miami in January
1. Visit the Art Deco Weekend:
Every January, Miami celebrates its rich architectural history with the Art Deco Weekend festival. It’s held in the heart of the city’s historic Art Deco district along Ocean Drive in Miami Beach. More specifically, you can find it along the south end of Miami Beach (A.K.A. South Beach).
Set out on foot and walk right into the 1920s. Here, you’ll have the chance to admire over 800 preserved Art Deco buildings painted in pastels. They’re a spectacle to behold, with nautical and tropical details, neon signs, and gleaming chrome accents. They really capture the city’s unique and festive spirit!
The atmosphere is sure to suit your getaway vibe, with live music, food vendors, and art exhibitions. Not to mention, the outdoor marketplace is perfect for picking up a few souvenirs to take home.
For three days, you’ll embark on guided tours, enjoy classic car shows, and take in a variety of street entertainment. There are even feature films to watch if you’re traveling with the family!
The festival is free to attend, although there may be a fee for some activities like guided tours and special events.
2. Go to a Great Gatsby Party!
In the spirit of the Roaring Twenties, January in Miami means the immersive Great Gatsby Party! This themed event transports you back to the era of jazz, flappers, and speakeasies. It’s a unique way to experience the city’s nightlife.
If you’re a fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel, get ready for an unforgettable night out. This party invites you to put on your best Gatsby-style duds and dance the night away.
Set in one of Miami’s historic Dupont buildings, the event features live jazz performances. There are also themed cocktails in exquisite 1920s décor. Be prepared for aerialists, stilt walkers, and of course, an authentic speakeasy atmosphere.
The Great Gatsby Party takes place in mid-January and offers a memorable experience that starts at around $100 per ticket. So put on your dancing shoes, grab your feather boa, and get ready to party like Jay Gatsby himself!
3. Explore the Miami Design District:
If you love art, architecture, and high-end shopping, a day at the Miami Design District is for you. The cooler January weather is perfect for strolling through this area. It’s filled with high-end fashion, contemporary art, and cutting-edge architecture.
This district covers a full 18 square blocks north of the Wynwood neighborhood (north of Midtown). Its palm tree-lined streets have more types of art and design for your perusal than you could imagine. Here, you’ll find plenty of museums, showrooms, and antique dealers, to name a few.
Throughout the Design District, public art installations and murals add an extra layer of interest. Don’t miss the Fly’s Eye Dome, a futuristic structure designed by inventor Buckminster Fuller, or the famous Jungle Plaza, where you can catch any number of large-scale, outdoor events.
The Miami Design District has a sublime mix of aesthetics, creativity, and gastronomy. Did I mention the Michelin Star restaurants? This neighborhood truly embodies the city’s energy and spirit, earning it a spot at the top of your Miami in January to-do list.
4. Revel in the Miami Jewish Film Festival:
January in Miami is also a season of cultural enrichment! The Miami Jewish Film Festival, held annually in January, is a celebration of Jewish and Israeli cinema.
The festival offers a diverse program of features, documentaries, and short films. It showcases the best in world cinema, with a special focus on Jewish culture and heritage.
Be prepared for a variety of film premieres, special guest appearances, interactive Q&As, and even live performances. The festival is an enlightening experience for film lovers and culture connoisseurs alike.
The All-Access Pass, perfect for serious cinephiles, gives you unparalleled access to all virtual film premieres for as long as you’re in Florida.
5. Take Part in the Miami Marathon:
Consider participating in the Miami Marathon, or just cheering for the runners! Held every year at the end of January, this event gives you the opportunity to see the city in a different light.
For seasoned marathoners and casual observers, this event is a highlight on Miami’s calendar. The route, which covers both Miami and Miami Beach, offers an incredibly scenic view of the city’s different neighborhoods.
You’ll run past (or watch from) sun-kissed beaches and art deco skyscrapers, past trendy street art in Wynwood, and the lush canopy of trees in Coconut Grove.
You’ll hear the cheer of the crowds and the rhythm of live bands playing Miami’s signature Latin-infused music. The energy on the streets is palpable!
If you’d like to run, but aren’t quite up for the full marathon, consider signing up for the half marathon or the 5K. Post-race, there’s a lively party with music, drinks, and congratulations for participants and spectators alike.
As a participant, you’ll not only have the satisfaction of completing a marathon. You’ll also get a unique, up-close perspective of Miami’s cultural mosaic.
As a spectator, it’s a chance to join the community spirit, support the runners, and enjoy the city’s festive atmosphere. Thankfully, the January weather is perfect for it!
6. The King Mango Strut Parade:
If you’re lucky enough to be in Miami in January, you absolutely cannot miss the King Mango Strut Parade. This annual event is a terrific blend of satire, comedy, and community spirit.
Unlike your typical parade, the King Mango Strut Parade is known for its irreverent sense of humor. Marchers dress up in outrageous costumes and poke fun at the year’s biggest news stories.
Do you have a wicked sense of humor and an appreciation for the absurd? If so, you’ll find yourself laughing along at these playful political and social parodies.
The parade takes place in the quirky neighborhood of Coconut Grove and has been a tradition since 1982. It has earned a reputation for being the “weirdest parade in the universe.”
The parade itself is the main draw, but there are plenty of other activities to keep you entertained. You’ll find live music, food vendors serving local eats, and even a parade for the kiddos (if you’re visiting Miami as a family).
The King Mango Strut Parade is not just a platform for humor, it’s also a celebration of Miami’s sparkling community and unique character. It’s definitely one of the most fun things to do in Miami in January!
Keep in mind that this is a popular event, so make sure you get there early to secure a good viewing spot. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, the King Mango Strut Parade is a quintessential Miami experience. It will leave you with plenty of unforgettable memories!
7. Attend the Beaux Arts Festival:
Another jewel in Miami’s cultural crown in January is the Beaux Arts Festival. Held on the beautiful University of Miami campus, this is Miami’s longest-running juried art festival.
With over 150 fine art exhibitors, there’s always a great mix of fine art and crafts. The festival showcases artwork across a wide spectrum of media. These include oil and acrylics, watercolor, photography, glass, jewelry, and many more.
The festival is a free outdoor community event with something for everyone. Beyond the visual arts, you’ll also find a children’s art tent for budding young creators.
There is a beer garden, live music, and assorted dining options for the foodies. Plus, you’ll have free weekend admission to the Lowe Art Museum.
8. Visit Jungle Island:
January’s mild temperatures make it the perfect time to view the exotic animals. Jungle Island bills itself as “Miami’s premier entertainment destination”, and it’s hard to argue with that assessment!
The eco-adventure park is a must for families and animal lovers. The family-friendly zoo features a variety of interactive wildlife encounters in lush, tropical surroundings.
Enjoy up-close encounters with creatures like lemurs, sloths, and capybaras. For the younger children, there are bunnies that they can feed and interact with.
Don’t miss the Tree Walk, an attraction designed for kids and kids-at-heart. Those seeking some adrenaline-pumping activities can try out Treetop Trekking. It features activities like zip lines, a suspension bridge, and Tarzan swings.
Jungle Island also has interactive jungle shows, making it fun to learn about wildlife. A recent addition to Jungle Island is the Wild Bizarre. It’s got crafts, goodies, and entertainment for the whole family.
The park is open daily from 9:30 AM to 5 PM on Watson Island in Miami.
9. Discover Treasures at the Original Miami Beach Antique Show:
Held at the Miami Beach Convention Center, this is a unique five-day extravaganza. It’s a mecca for antique collectors, interior designers, and anyone who appreciates a blend of history and artistry.
Hosting more than 600 international and domestic merchants from over 30 countries, this event is a veritable feast for the eyes. Each year the enormous selection of items on display brings in fans from around the globe.
You’ll find everything from antique furniture and home décor to vintage fashion, jewelry, watches, and collectibles. High-end brands such as Chanel, Hermes, Van Cleef & Arpels, Georg Jensen, and Worhol are among the many names that can be found here.
Keep in mind that this is not just a shopping palooza. The Original Miami Beach Antique Show is more of a treasure hunt, with one-of-a-kind finds waiting to be discovered around every corner.
This event isn’t only for the seasoned collector. Even the casual browser will be thrilled by the displays of beautiful and unique items on display.
10. Stroll the Miami Beach Botanical Garden:
The Miami Beach Botanical Gardens look especially lush in January, and the weather is perfect for spending the day outdoors.
These gardens are a tranquil oasis that is well-worth exploring if you’re visiting Miami in January. The urban sanctuary spreads over three acres and is located just across from the Convention Centre.
It includes a wetland area that features pond apple and red mangrove trees and a large water garden. Even the plaza entrance itself is beautiful.
Plant and flower lovers will be impressed by the collection of flowering trees, palms, cycads, orchids, and native Florida species. Don’t forget to bring your camera!
Be sure to check their official website for dates and times of their meditation or yoga classes. They’re held inside the serene garden for a small fee.
Open from 9 AM to 5 PM on Tuesday through Sunday, admission to the gardens is free. It’s the perfect spot for a leisurely stroll or a picnic in Miami in January.
11. Cheer on Your Favorite Miami Team:
January is a fantastic time to be a sports fan in Miami. The city is home to the Miami Heat, a top-performing NBA basketball team.
Watching a Heat game is not just about witnessing a high-energy basketball game, it’s about immersing yourself in the contagious atmosphere of a passionate fan base.
The Heat plays downtown at the Kaseya Center, formerly the American Airlines Arena. It has breathtaking views of Biscayne Bay, adding to your overall experience.
January is right in the thick of the NFL season, and there’s nothing quite like the exhilarating atmosphere of a Dolphins game at the Hard Rock Stadium. Throw on your aqua, orange, and white, the Dolphins’ team colors, and join the sea of passionate fans in cheering on the city’s revered NFL team.
From the athletes on the field to the halftime entertainment, a Miami Dolphins game is an action-packed outing. Whether you’re a dedicated Dolphins fan or a first-timer to an NFL game, you’re sure to have an amazing time!
Both games provide an excellent opportunity to mingle with locals. You’ll also learn a bit about Miami’s sports culture. Plus, there are pulled pork grilled cheese sandwiches…need I say more?
12. Catch the Brickell Seafood Festival:
Happening in the heart of downtown on First Avenue, the Brickell Seafood Festival is a must in January. It’s actually a part of the larger Brickell Art Festival, which features over 100 fine art exhibitors.
The Art Festival itself extends over two days and is set in Bickell, one of Miami-Dade County’s most affluent and centrally located neighborhoods.
On the first day, the Art Festival is paired with the Miami/Brickell Beer, Wine & Spirits Festival. You get to try unlimited refreshments and food samples while grooving to the live music.
On the second day, your art is accompanied by the decadent Brickell Seafood Festival and the crowd-favorite, Burgers, Beer, & Babaloo. It’s a fantastic opportunity to indulge in some delicious, local cuisine.
Enjoy a variety of fresh seafood like shrimp, lobster, and crab, all while sipping on a chilled beer or a glass of fine wine beneath the Miami sky.
Access to the festival is free with online registration, which lets you enjoy the art. But for an incredible gastronomical experience, consider purchasing a separate ticket that provides unlimited samples of food, beer, wine, and spirits.
For your little ones, there’s also a Kids Zone! The festival is a fantastic showcase of, not only Miami’s food and beverage offerings, but also its fascinating and varied culture.
13. Dive Headfirst into Otakufest:
Submerse yourself in the classic world of geek culture at Miami’s Otakufest. It’s hosted every January at the Miami Airport Convention Center.
This three-day event is a top pick for fans of cosplay, manga, comics, and music. It features an eclectic mix of hundreds of exhibitors, vendors, and craftspeople. You’ll even get to meet publishers, artists, and writers.
There are mind-blowing celebrity Q&As and panel discussions, plus insane costume competitions and concerts.
Rub shoulders with celebrities from anime, animation, and cosplay, and don’t miss the chance to snap a selfie or get an autograph from your favorite creators and artists.
Gaming junkies will love the Video Game Ballroom, with free video game play sessions and tournaments. Or maybe role-playing games and collectible card games are more your style? If so, get ready for some competitive fun in gaming and tabletop tournaments.
Lastly, let’s not forget the KPOP dance contest, where you can show off your dance moves or cheer on the participants. Over 100 unique events make Otakufest a must for anyone visiting Miami in January!
Is January a Good Time to Visit Miami?
Miami is a great place to visit in January! The weather in Miami during this month is ideal, with average temps in the 60s to 70s (°F). If you’re looking for a warm escape from winter, Miami is for you.
If you’re a fan of family beach vacations and outdoor activities, you’ll be happy to know that Miami’s beautiful beaches are incredible even in January. The mild climate is perfect for sunbathing and water sports, a Godsend if you’re from somewhere chilly like Milwaukee.
Another advantage of visiting Miami in January is that it’s considered the off-peak season. This means fewer crowds and more affordable accommodations. You can enjoy popular attractions without the long lines and wait times.
As you can see, there is a huge variety of activities, events, and attractions to choose from this time of year in Miami.
Keep in mind that, while Miami weather in January is normally blissful, it can still have cooler temps or the odd rain shower. Keep an eye on your favorite weather app to make the most of your visit.
What Should I Wear in Miami in January?
Dressing for Miami in January is all about comfort. With the mild weather, temps are in the 60s and 70s (°F), so light layers are a good choice.
You can wear T-shirts, blouses, and long-sleeve shirts during the day. Evenings will be cooler, and a lightweight sweater or jacket is a good idea.
Shorts, skirts, and dresses will be great for the daytime. Lightweight materials like cotton or linen are still suitable in January, no woolies are required. Miami’s weather allows for summer stuff, so revel in it!
No trip to Miami is complete without a swim, so don’t forget your swimsuit. January weather is still great for swimming and sunbathing.
For your feet, stick with the summertime vibe and pack sandals, flip-flops, or sneakers. Of course, January Miami is still sunny, so sunglasses and sunscreen are important.
However, January is winter, so it’s a good idea to have a small umbrella or a rain jacket in case of occasional showers.
And if you plan a night out on the town, go crazy! Just remember to pack a sweater.
In Conclusion: Things to Do in Miami in January
Miami is an ideal U.S. travel destination, even in January! It caters to a wide range of interests and personalities. Whether you love the beaches, the art scene, the food, or the cultural events, there’s something in Miami in January for you.
The mild winter weather is the perfect backdrop for getting outdoors, from the botanical gardens to art expos at the beach. Whether you’re planning a week-long getaway or just a weekend road trip from Orlando, Miami is the perfect destination!