January is hardly the easiest month of the year. It’s cold, wet and none of our friends ever want to do anything. The highs of December – from Christmas to waving goodbye to 2022 – often leave us feeling low in the first month of the year. Luckily for you, we’ve unearthed plenty of fun things to do in Birmingham to help kick those January blues. And rest assured, you’ll definitely end January knowing that it was the best month of 2023 – so far!
1. Glide into the year in style at one of these ice rinks near Birmingham
The festive season might be over, but there’s still every reason to get your skates on. A few of Birmingham’s best festive ice skating rinks are hanging around for the first week of January. But head down to Planet Ice all month long to test out your Axel jump or simply aim to stay upright. Whether you’re the next Torvill and Dean, or more of a Bambi on ice, there’s no better time to grab your skates than this January.
2. Warm up with the best curry house in the West Midlands
Birmingham is famed for its curry. So to stand out, you have to do be doing something special. To see Lasan in the Jewellery Quarter win a record sixth time at the recent (November 28) British Curry Awards was nothing but astonishing. The best Indian restaurant in the West Midlands – which shot to fame in 2010 after winning Best Local Restaurant in the UK on Gordon Ramsey’s The F Word – is a must-try. Nothing will warm you faster this winter than a order of bhuna this January.
January may be the coldest month, but bopping along to the legendary 1970s pop band ABBA will certainly warm you up. On January 20, the Swedish pop group will get the much-awaited Candlelight treatment. A Tribute To ABBA replaces the iconic disco ball with hundreds of sparkling candles, while a string quartet perform ABBA’s greatest hits, such as Super Trouper, Mamma Mia, and Take a Chance On Me. There will be nothing like hearing Dancing Queen at the iconic Birmingham Botanical Gardens this January. Let the winter take it all and get your tickets here.
4. Ring in The Year Of The Rabbit as Lunar New Year celebrations return to Chinatown
It’s been a long three-year wait, but Chinese New Year Celebrations will return to Birmingham’s Chinatown this January. The weekend festival (January 21 & 22) will ring in The Year of the Rabbit in the areas around The Bullring, Grand Central & Arcadian. Expect dancing dragons, traditional folk music, delicious Chinese street food, fireworks and much more. Learn more here.
5. Escape the city and enjoy a winter staycation in the UK
After a global pandemic, many of our now facing a cost of living crisis. The idea of finally going on an international holiday this year looks less likely by the day. But the UK doesn’t have to be a total prison. Boasting varying landscapes and quaint little villages, our country is actually a mecca for culture, with tons of stunning sights and historical landmarks to uncover across the island. Check out our pick of the best winter staycations in the UK here. Or you could stay even closer to home in Birmingham’s The Grand Hotel, recently voted one of the best places to stay in Britain.
Few in Birmingham know how to throw a bottomless brunch quite like Tonight Josephine. On January 21 & 29, you are welcome to Moulin Rouge where the drinks are free-flowing, the food is delicious and the atmosphere is très sauvage. For 90 minutes of bottomless drinks, party like its 1899 with drag, cabaret, lip sync battles and so much more. Get your tickets here.
7. Shake yourself silly with Belly Laughs comedy festival
Throughout the month of January (5 to 31), Birmingham welcomes the comedy festival Belly Laughs for the first time. Local comedians and familiar faces, such as Lindsay Santoro, Danny Clives, Andy White, Celya AB and James Cook, will make appearances at some of our favourite independent venues across Birmingham. Tickets start at £10, with shows at the likes of The Old Crown, Chance & Counters and more. For those looking for things to do this January that are little outside the norm, this might tickle your belly.
8. Tuck into a glamourous bottomless brunch with gorgeous lakeside views
Brightsmith On The Water is bringing a taste of the Balearic Islands to Birmingham. Be it the decadent decor, the DJ blasting soulful house anthems as you eat, or the waterside views of Pendigo Lake. It’s one of the most glamorous bottomless brunches we’ve ever experienced. Brightsmith On The Water also offers a high-quality dining experience in the Hilton Birmingham Metropole throughout the week too. Serving an array of dishes from premium steaks to fresh pasta.
9. Explore Birmingham on the buses
Exploring Birmingham on the public transport is going to get a little easier come January. Birmingham bus services will cap bus fares at £2 for three months to convince more people to hop aboard.National Express will even go a step further by making child tickets cost only £1. So whether you want to try our all the best Italian restaurants in Birmingham, or all of the city’s wacky museums . There’s no excuse this January not to explore as much as the city as you can.
10. Go vegan for the month
Veganuary rolls around once more, and it seemingly gathers speed every January. We say, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, so why not check out all the vegan delights that Birmingham has to offer to inspire your next dining out experience. From vegan junk food by BAHA and The Vegan Kitchen to Asian cuisine by Yakinori and Cafe Soya, there’s definitely something for plant-based eaters to enjoy in Brum, Veganuary or not.