Many towns shut down in January. Not Annapolis. The start of the General Assembly's 90-day legislative session brings legislators, lobbyists, and advocates of various political causes to the center of historic Annapolis. Each session opens with a sense of renewed vigor and purpose as politicians descend on the Maryland State House, the nation's oldest state house in continuous legislative use (and also open year-round to tourists). As returning politicians flood the streets, restaurants and pubs of downtown Annapolis, their energy is contagious. Experience more positive energy at the Polar Bear Plunge, on January 30th, as brave participants take a frigid dip at Sandy Point State Park for a heart-warming cause: raising money for Special Olympics Maryland. Prefer something a little more low-key? Find a window seat at one of the area's waterfront restaurants, enjoy a hearty meal or a drink with friends and, if the timing's right, watch the January snow falling softly on the water. 

New Years Eve Fireworks

The Polar Bear Plunge 
When:
 January 26-28, 2017
Where: Sandy Point State Park

Held each year at the end of January at Sandy Point State Park, the Polar Bear Plunge is one of the area’s favorite winter-time events. Brave participants take a frigid dip in the Chesapeake Bay for a great cause: raising money for Special Olympics Maryland. Don’t want to hop in the frigid Chesapeake Bay, but want to support the cause? Each year, the event hosts family-fun activities under a heated tent on shore while plungers take to the water. Visit the Polar Bear Plunge online for more information and to register to take the plunge.

 Polar Bear Plunge

Dining
With the crowds of summer gone in winter, January in Annapolis is the perfect time to check out all the great dining options available in town. Dine in the city’s most popular restaurants without waiting or reserving a table and discover your new favorite Annapolis dish. From trusted local favorites like Rams Head TavernLemongrassMetropolitan,  Carol’s Creek Café, and Boatyard Bar & Grill, to new arrivals like Iron Rooster, Annapolis’ dining scene is yours for the sampling in January.

Arts and Culture
Annapolis’ thriving arts and culture scene doesn’t slow down just because it’s January. Visit the Arts District on West Street and stop in the handful of art galleries offering fine art, sculpture, pottery, and more. (There are about two dozen art galleries located throughout Annapolis). Performing arts are also in full swing in January. The Annapolis Shakespeare Company – hailed as the foremost professional theatre company in town – closes out a month-long performance of the American Classic, It’s a Wonderful Life, and always has one or two great performances happening each month. The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra (ASO), and The Ballet Theatre of Maryland are two other great options to check out when looking for entertainment in Annapolis during January.

Live Music
Live music can be found at many of the city’s bars and restaurants throughout the year, and January is no different. Venues like Rams Head on Stage bring in nationally-recognized names for music lovers year-round, making it the perfect choice for your music fix. Other venues like, Metropolitan and 49 West Coffeehouse in the Arts District offer small, intimate shows for music lovers of all types.