As we decompress from a busy holiday season and prepare for the Mardi Gras marathon, we're taking the time to treat ourselves this January. Whether it's picking up a new hobby, exploring one of New Orleans' many great cultural institutions, or embracing Dry January and ordering a fancy mocktail, it all counts! Below, three things to consider this month while taking some much-deserved time for yourself.

Learn a New Skill

Discover the art of calligraphy this month in a beautiful French Quarter setting. Hosted by The Historic BK House & Gardens, Eugenia Uhl, a New Orleans photographer and artist, will introduce students to the "tool of self-expression" over three Saturday morning sessions (1/14, 1/28, and 2/11). All levels are invited to join the course which is $85 for BK House members and $100 for non-members. Register online now!

The Historic BK House & Gardens is located at 1113 Chartres Street

Leave the Country

Well, not actually. Instead of renewing your passport, head to The Historic New Orleans Collection for Notre-Dame de Paris: The Augmented Exhibition. The traveling exhibition takes visitors into the Notre Dame, which is currently off-limits as it undergoes repairs from the devastating 2019 fire. See the cathedral at every stage of its life, including real-time updates on the restoration efforts, by using a HistoPad™, an augmented reality touch-screen tablet developed by Histovery. The experience is free with timed admission and will be at the museum through Wednesday, March 1.

The Historic New Orleans Collection is located at 520 Royal Street

Make the Most of Dry January

If you're participating in Dry (or Damp) January or interested in exploring non-alcoholic libations, be sure to try a mocktail when you're out and about. Addis's Addis Smash is a vibrant choice and features a blend of blueberry mint syrup, lime juice, and satsuma. Gris-Gris has added three new mocktails to its menu including the Eat Fit Zero Proof made from Hibiscus tea, orange zest & basil syrup, lemon, and lime. Mister Mao's Libertad marries Lyre’s White Cane Spirit, Lyre’s Italian Spritz, non-alcoholic aromatic Bitters, rose water, and a splash of coke. Bacchanal serves more than just delicious wine — try the Crown of Laurel made from Bare's Classic Modern N/A Gin.

Wishing you could have your favorite drink sans alcohol? Copper Vine is happy to turn any cocktail on the menu into a mocktail upon request.

Addis is located at 2514 Bayou Road

Bacchanal is located at 600 Poland Avenue

Copper Vine is located at 1001 Poydras Street

Gris-Gris is located at 1800 Magazine Street

Mister Mao is located at 4501 Tchoupitoulas Street