where to travel right now
Indulge in a spa retreat and 9 more Texas travel tidbits for January
Texans who've resolved to take more vacations in the new year can start with a quick getaway this month. From blockbuster art and theater to wine, rodeos, and hotel and spa deals, there are plenty of ways to fill an itinerary in all of Texas' hot spots. Here are 10 events and happenings to help plan a fun-filled getaway in January.
Houston's bustling art scene gets bigger and better with every year, and 2024 has kicked off with with a surge of can't-miss new art exhibits and galleries. Choices include centuries of African American art in a special traveling exhibition on display at the Holocaust Museum, provocative contemporary art at the Blaffer Museum, and a mixed arts festival at the MATCH. Ticket prices vary, so make sure to check CultureMap's event calendar and museum websites for more information.
If the ideal getaway involves a shopping spree, The Sale Houston's 10th anniversary extravaganza should be on your can't-miss list. The three-day weekend event at the Bayou City Event Center, from January 11-13, will feature over 50 popular Houston stores offering discounts that start at a tempting 20 percent and soar up to 75 percent off, making it easy to score stylish finds at prices that won't break the bank. One-day general admission begins at $30 ($40 at the door), and two-day general admission is $50. A Thursday VIP preview shopping event with re-entry access for the remaining days is $250. Tickets can be purchased via Eventbrite.
In San Antonio
Tim Burton fans only have until Sunday, January 14 to catch the McNay Art Museum'sThe Nightmare Before Christmas exhibition in celebration of the stop-motion film's 30th anniversary, but there's still plenty to see to keep visitors coming back for more. New exhibitions include "Eye of a Collector: The John M. Parker Jr. Bequest," which details a San Antonio native's journey collecting minimalist and conceptual art; and "Latin Exoskeleton" by brothers Einar and Jamex de la Torre, which transforms the museum's AT&T Lobby wall by combining trompe l’oeil wallpaper with lenticular images. General admission ranges from $10-$20, with free admission for museum members, veterans and their families, and children aged 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased via the museum's website.
A breathtaking Italian circus is splashing into Austin with high-flying mermaids and pirates at Barton Creek Square from now until Monday, January 15. Cirque Italia's new production begins with Ringmaster “Clown Rafinha” fishing when he unexpectedly catches a bottle with a treasure map stuffed inside. Rafinha's journey continues as he faces storms on the high seas, dreams of angelic aerialists, and more. Ticket prices range from $15-$55 with discounts available for children ages 2-12, and can be purchased online via cirqueitalia.com.
In the Hill Country
Popular Texas winemakers Wine for the People and William Chris Wine Company teamed up to open a new tasting room in Fredericksburg this month, at 113 East Park St. Wine for the People founder Rae Wilson has been making wines for nearly a decade, and has previous experience as a sommelier and wine educator, making her one of the few female wine experts in the state. WCWC is also incorporating Wilson's Dandy Bubbles and La Valentína brands into its portfolio of wines. Reservations ($25 per guest) are now open, and can be made online via Wine for the People's website.
In North Texas
The Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo is returning Friday, January 12 for three weeks of Western experiences. One of the city's biggest events of the year draws crowds to Cowtown for livestock and horse shows, bull riding, midway rides, and more, but no rodeo is complete without a slate of talented live music acts. This year's concert series includes country stars Tanya Tucker, Jamey Johnson, Sammy Kershaw, Old Crow Medicine Show, Trace Adkins, and Motown legend Smokey Robinson. Tickets begin at $44, and can be purchased via Ticketmaster.
Dallas takes command of theater arts this month, with must-see concerts, musicals, and shows throughout January. Notable productions include Dog Man: The Musicalby TheaterWorksUSA, which runs January 11-28 at Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre, and Theatre Three's I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Changefrom January 18-25. AT&T Performing Arts Center presentsJagged Little Pill, based on Alanis Morissette’s world-changing music, and then Broadway Dallas presents Tina: The Tina Turner MusicalJanuary 23-February 4. Golden Girls: The Laughs Continue rounds out the month, January 30-February 4 at the Wyly Theatre. Ticket prices vary per show and seating arrangement.
Along the Gulf Coast
The Margaritaville Beach Resorton South Padre Island is already earning a name for itself after its summer 2023 opening. The tropical resort was recently named one of the best new hotels in the nation by USA Today, whose nominees were chosen independently by editors, travel experts, and readers. It was the only Texas hotel on the list – ranking No. 6 – with USA Today praising the chain's on-site restaurants, bars, and its "over-the top" fun atmosphere. Swimming in the year-round heated pool and relaxing at the resort's Sapphire Spa are undeniably enticing winter escape activities. Room rates at Margaritaville begin at $140 per night.
In anticipation of the new Mean Girls musical, Hotel ZaZa properties in Austin, Houston, and Dallas are debuting a Mean Girls "Fetch" package for travelers booking stays January 12-28. Guests will receive a $50 credit for room service mimosas, a "burn book" in-suite game, a "Regina's Radiant Renewal" facial from the hotel spa for two guests, and two bright pink robes which guests can take home. Guests can use the code "FETCH" while booking directly on Hotel ZaZa's website. Nightly rates for the Mean Girls "Fetch" package start at $785, and decrease as more nights are added.
Hiatus Spa and Retreat – with locations in Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, and Houston – are going all in on the "new year new you" ethos of January. Their "The Winter Fire Epic Retreat" features a rejuvenating facial, a calming body treatment, and a manicure/pedicure special. Guests can also take advantage of the spa's "Peel Deal," which grants a free add-on service if a guest purchases a medical grade chemical peel, or the ultra-gentle "29 Again Facial" ($129-$205), or deep-cleansing "Best Facial Ever" ($159-$205). Services under the "Winter Fire Epic Retreat" range from $109-$205. Guests can book at their preferred location on Hiatus Spa's website.