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OMG It’s a GNO!

In case you haven’t heard, there is a new phenomenon among women and their circle of friends.  It’s called a Girls Night Out or GNO and it’s definitely not your mother’s bridge night!  Anywhere you hear the sound of a cork being popped or the splash of wine hitting a wine glass, you can best bet there are women gathering to celebrate spending time with their girlfriends away from the pressures of everyday life.

The 30-40 something crowd has taken the GNO to a new level.  These are independent women who relish their time apart from significant others, husbands, and their kids.  These women are fun, full of life, and sassy-  No ordinary dinner and drinks will do.  Oh no, these women have taken the Girls Night Out to a whole new level.  Here are some ideas that are extremely fun, easy to do, and won’t break the bank!

 

  • Shop and Swap:  Like the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention.  Now a days, the saying should be “mothers with a necessity for bags, invented a swap.”  This may be the greatest thing that came out of the recent recession.     The idea of a purse swapping party is that everyone brings a purse that they no longer want and swaps it out for another purse. One woman's junk is another woman's treasure.  Make a list of about 15 of your friends that you think would like to be a part of the swap, and maybe more importantly, might have a good purse sitting in her closet!  Try to encourage the women to bring a purse that they still would carry but just might be tired of.  Once a bunch of your “besties” has signed on to come, you can plan a fun menu.  Try a signature drink like a skinny lime punch-    -  You won’t be at a loss for entertainment as you watch your otherwise subdued friends act like a pack of lioness circling their prey when they lay eyes on a slightly used Tory Burch bag!  By the way, this swap idea can be used for all sorts of things-  Try gently worn clothes or shoes, or even beauty products.  

 

  • Paint Nite:  If you haven’t put paint on paper since the age you used a finger instead of a paint brush, then Paint Nite is a perfect idea for a Girls Night Out .  The idea behind Paint Nite is to take two popular pastimes, artistic painting and drinking cocktails and puts it in a fun social setting at local bars and restaurants.  And don’t worry if you’re not a Picasso or a Van Gogh because Paint Nite invites a local artist to offer step-by-step instructions.  Between sipping a Cosmo and giggling with your girlfriends you will have taken a blank canvas and created a completed picture that you can hang on a wall at home.  Paint Nite is happening in a variety of neighborhoods bars and restaurants all over town.  Check them out here.

 

  •  It’s my Party and I’ll Wine if I Want To:   So we already know that where ever women gather, the wine is sure to follow.  But here is a fun twist on a Girls night Out with wine.  Host a blind wine tasting party.  It’s not only fun to taste a variety of wines but you might be shocked to find out that the favorite wine of the evening was under $10!  Score!  So the concept is to use a theme for the selected wine like from the same region or price point or variety.  Since many of us are not wine connoisseurs, my friend kept it easy by having us all choose a wine with an animal in the name.   Ask your guests to bring two bottles.  One for tasting and one to be used as part of the grand prize.  Then put all of the tasting bottles in brown bags and number them.  Print out score cards based on look, smell, taste, finish and ask the girls to rate the wine on each category from 1-10.  The wine with the highest score wins the party and the person who brought it gets to go home with the grand prize….The one extra bottle of wine that each guest brought.  Since all the ladies will have their hands full with a glass of wine, try offering some easy finger foods so no one goes hungry. Get some easy ideas here

Women have always enjoyed spending time with one another in small groups.  Maybe it’s in our DNA from ancient days when we were gatherers.   The modern knitting bee is now the Girls Night Out and I for one am much happier that female bonding has taken a turn.  I could never knit anyway and I’d much rather laugh with my girlfriends while eying a handbag!

Frolicking on the Fourth: Your guide to metro events

Fireworks will light up the sky all over metro Atlanta on July 4th - weather permitting.

With rain the forecast, be sure to check the websites or with sponsors for cancellations or postponements before taking off to watch.

Many metro Atlanta events involve more than fireworks, with live music, games and other activities to help you party the day and evening away. Here’s your guide to some of the best shows in town Wednesday and Thursday. Most are free.

WEDNESDAY

Independence Day Celebration and Mother’s Finest Concert, Norcross.

4 p.m. July 3. Free. Lillian Webb Park, 5 College St. 678-421-2000, www.norcrossga.net.

Duluth Celebrates America

4 p.m. July 3. Free. Scott Hudgens Park - River Green Business Park, River Green Parkway. 770-476-3434, www.duluth-ga.com.

City of Kennesaw’s Salute to America — postponed to an undetermined date

THURSDAY

4th of July at Centennial Olympic Park

Relax on the Great Lawn or splash in the Fountain of Rings. The AirTran Airways Fireworks Spectacular is synchronized to patriotic music.

6 p.m., gates open. Fireworks begin about 9:40 p.m. Free. Centennial Olympic Park 265 Park Avenue West, Atlanta. http://www.centennialpark.com/.

Red White & Brew at the Georgia Aquarium

Watch the Centennial Olympic Park fireworks from the roof of the Georgia Aquarium with Red White & Brew. Beer and music. Hosted in the Oceans Ballroom before moving to the roof for the big show in the sky.

6 to 10:30 p.m. $55, 21 and older only. Georgia Aquarium, 225 Baker Street, Atlanta. 404-581-4000. http://www.georgiaaquarium.org/.

Lenox Square 4th of July

Games for children, music, food concessions and one of the largest fireworks display in the Southeast. Many line the streets around the mall to watch, hauling folding chairs and food for the evening show.

10 a.m., opens. Fireworks at dusk. Free. Music, fun for kids. 3393 Peachtree Rd NE Atlanta. Phone: 404-233-6767. http://www.simon.com/mall/lenox-square.

Mall of Georgia Fabulous Fourth

A full day of activities including children’s rides, inflatables, live music, food. Kids Zone opens 2 p.m. for games, water balloon toss. Parking recommended in the Dillard’s lot. Bring blankets and lawn chairs.

2 p.m. events begin. Fireworks begin at dusk. Free. Post-fireworks screening of Playing for Keeps (rated PG-13).

Mall of Georgia, 3333 Buford Drive, Buford. 678.482.8788. www.mallofgeorgia.com.

Alpharetta’s July 4th Fireworks and Festivities in Wills Park

Children’s activities and entertainment on the lawn behind the Alpharetta Community Center (175 Roswell Street) from 6 to 9 p.m. Fireworks begin at dusk, rain or shine. The City Pool open until 9 p.m. Patrons can watch from the pool deck.

6-10 p.m. Free. Wills Park 1825 Old Milton Parkway, Alpharetta, 678-297-6133. www.alpharetta.ga.us.

Atlanta Braves vs. Miami Marlins

Okay, it’s a two-fer. Cheer on the Braves then stay around for the fireworks. Or, if you are nearby, watching from a parking lot is free.

7:10 p.m. Tickets $11-$92. Turner Field 755 Hank Aaron Drive. 800-745-3000. www.Braves.com.

Marietta Freedom Parade, Fourth in the Park and celebration

The parade begins at 10 a.m. at Roswell Street Baptist Church and ends at North Marietta Parkway. Marching bands, civic organizations, beauty queens, scouts and local businesses. Festival starts after the parade with food concessions, music, arts and crafts and carnival.

10 a.m. - 9 p.m. Free. Fireworks at dusk. http://www.mariettaga.gov/city/residents/parks/specialevents/julyfourth.

Fantastic Fourth Celebration at Stone Mountain Park

Enjoy the Lasershow Spectacular followed by a fireworks July 4-6 on the lawn.

Begins at dusk. $10 daily parking pass or $35 for annual parking permit, Highway 78 East, Stone Mountain. http://www.stonemountainpark.com/.

Decatur’s July 4th Pied Piper Parade

Decorate your wagon, ride your bike, skate, or walk in this parade. Everyone can join the neighborhood and organization floats before settling in a the square for the fireworks, which begin about 9 p.m. Parade line-up is at the First Baptist Church of Decatur at 5:30 p.m. Parade begins at 6 p.m. and ends at the Community Bandstand on the square, where a concert by the Callanwolde Concert Band, begins at 7 p.m.

6 p.m. Free. 404-371-8386 or email Katie.Abel@decaturga.com. http://www.visitdecaturgeorgia.com.

Fireworks at The Nash Farm Battlefield in Hampton

Nash Farm, 4361 Jonesboro Road, Hampton. http://www.henrycountybattlefield.com/.

Free. Fireworks at dusk.

Thursday Thunder and Fireworks at Atlanta Motor Speedway

NASCAR’s stars of tomorrow race in Legends and Bandolero cars. Family-oriented fun in a kid-friendly environment that includes autograph sessions, a rock climbing wall, clowns, face painters. root beer chugging contests, trivia games.

Children 6-11 $2, adult $6. 1500 N Highway 41, Hampton. 770.946.4211. http://www.atlantamotorspeedway.com/.

Woodstock run, parade, festival, fireworks

A full day of celebrating, eating and playing. Freedom Run begins at at 7:30 a.m.; Main Street parade at 10 a.m.; Festival in the Park from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fireworks at dusk behind Kohl’s/Target Shopping Center on Ga. 92.

7:30 a.m. for race. Registration $30 for race, other events free. Main Street, downtown Woodstock. http://www.woodstockga.gov/index.aspx?nid=90.

14th Annual July 4th Fireworks Extravanganza, Roswell

Carnival games, local duo Banks & Shane play before the fireworks.

5:30 p.m., music at 7:30 p.m. Fireworks at dusk. Roswell High School, 11595 King Road, Roswell. 770-641-3705, http://bit.ly/18irFCk.

POSTPONEMENTS

East Point Hometown Celebration

Gather in the heart of East Point for an old-fashioned carnival with favorites such as the carousel, Ferris wheel, rides, games, concessions and watermelon eating contest.

Postponed until Saturday 5-11 p.m. Free. 2757 Main St., East Point. 404-270-7059. http://www.atlanta.net/eastpoint/events-fourth-of-july.aspx.

Celebrate July 4th in Lilburn — postponed until Sept. 1

Sugar Hill Sparks in the Park — postponed until Aug. 3

Acworth July 4th Concert and Fireworks — postponed until July 19

KISS 104.1 Universoul Circus

KISS 104.1 Pearl Bistro Feb 25

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