Friday, October 1, 2010

Alpharetta Makes Holidays Happy

Make the Most of the Holiday Season in Awesome Alpharetta

The holiday season is filled with traditions which add meaning to family celebrations.  If your gatherings are in need of a little spark, why not start some new traditions or reinvent old ones for your family this year?  Here are twelve ideas to help get you started!

1- Take time for yourself.  Make taking care of yourself a priority and carve out some “me” time before that growing to-do list gets in the way.  Venture out and explore all of Alpharetta’s unique shopping options, from eclectic to classic, big names to boutiques.  Find a fabulous holiday dress, splurge on a pair of designer shoes or pick up that perfect home accessory you’ve been eyeing all year long.  Extend your time alone with a rejuvenating facial or Swedish massage at one of Alpharetta’s luxurious spas.  You deserve it!

2- Enjoy each other.  When things get hectic, it’s easy to take the most special person in your life for granted.  Spend an evening together away from the obligations of home with a romantic dinner at Cabernet ( or Vinny’s ( and a night in a beautiful suite at one of Alpharetta’s 23 hotels (  A delicious champagne brunch the following morning will re-energize you for the holiday activities ahead.

3- Spend time with your children.  Holiday wishes really do come true at the American Girl Boutique and Bistro at North Point Mall (  It’s more than just a store - it’s where your daughter’s imagination can soar!  Select an American Girl hotel package including pink linens, cookies and milk and a special bed just for her doll (  Boys AND girls will love Wacky World at Wills Park or The Cooler ( – Alpharetta’s Family Skate Center - where everyone can work up an appetite for a delicious dinner prepared hibachi-style by the entertaining chefs at Benihana (

4- Family time.  If your family is on a budget this holiday season, you can walk, bike or skate for free on the Greenway (, Alpharetta’s 6.1 mile trail along Big Creek, which also offers access to hiking and mountain bike trails. Take your pick from several hotel packages that include bicycle delivery and free breakfast ( For a treat, challenge the competition at Andretti Indoor Karting and Games, where you can race the new high speed Super Karts, tackle the rock wall or ropes course and enjoy billiards, bowling and basketball all under one roof (  For a splurge, take the entire family to Honda’s Motorcycle Safety Foundation to learn street bike and dirt bike skills on a variety of courses (

5- Extended family home for the holidays?  Take your group to Buca di Beppo ( where you can enjoy Italian favorites served family-style at the Pope’s table or reserve the Bayou Room at Pappadeaux ( for a delicious seafood buffet. Then head over to ACT1 Theatre to see “A Christmas Carol”, a holiday classic for all ages and a sure cure for the Scrooges in your family (

6- An outing with friends.  Everyone is busy. But if you’ve been saying “let’s get together” to friends all year and haven’t done it, do it now!  Meet for dinner and a movie at Studio Movie Grill (  Or if you need a little more face time, enjoy some traditional fare and live entertainment at Durty Kelly’s Irish Pub (

7- A night out with the girls.  Round up your favorite girlfriends and catch up on all the latest news over margaritas at Pure Taqueria ( or dinner at 52 Bistro (  But don’t let the fun stop there!  Select a Ladies Night Out package at one of Alpharetta’s hotels ( where you can enjoy a good old-fashioned pajama party complete with popcorn and a movie!

8- Celebrate with neighbors, old and new.  Bring your group back together for a “home cooked” meal at Alpha Soda (, an Alpharetta landmark for nearly 90 years. From there you can walk, yes walk, to the 33rd Annual Christmas Tree Lighting in Downtown Alpharetta ( for live music, dance performances and a reading of the Christmas classic, Twas the Night Before Christmas followed by the big event – the lighting of the 45’ Spruce tree and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Then let visions of sugarplums dance in your heads at your warm and cozy Alpharetta hotel (

9- Company party a thing of the past?  Share the laughter, share an experience and share a meal with your co-workers at Publix Apron’s Cooking School (, where you can learn the basics or learn to cook with the pros.  If that sounds too much like work, call Vino 100 to schedule a wine tasting and learn how to purchase wine using their simple Wine Barometer System (  Cheers!

10- Get back to nature with a stroll through Alpharetta’s Arboretums.  Marvel at the beauty of Wills Park, Cogburn Park and Webb Bridge Park along the winding, paved trails and see dozens of tree species native to the Southeastern United States (  Top off your tour with a warm beverage or yummy lunch at The Coffee Pot on Main Street (

11- Reflect on the sacrifices made for our freedom at the Walk of Memories (  It’s the only memorial of its kind in Georgia; a walkway of nearly 8,000 bricks inscribed with the names of Georgians who have served in the military.  Younger ones will enjoy the UH-1 Huey Helicopter, flown in Vietnam, and the M60 tank used during WWII.  Afterwards, drop by The Corner Deli and order a bowl of one of Mel’s delicious soups to warm you, body and soul.

12- Take time to be thankful at one of the most special times of the year.  There are live concerts, performances and special events scheduled throughout November and December, sure to get you in the holiday spirit.  Check our calendar for the latest information.  And don’t forget tickets to ASO performances at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre ( for the 2011 season. Wrap them up with Alpharetta hotel accommodations ( and you’ll have the perfect gift!

Don’t know where to start?  Check out for more information about these and other options for festive fun with your family and friends.  And then “Make it Merry” with 12 Days of Giveaways - where 12 lucky winners will receive great getaway giveaway packages filled with certificates for dining, shopping, entertainment and hotel accommodations all across Alpharetta.  Enter at or stop by the Downtown Alpharetta Welcome Center at 178 South Main Street, Suite 200, and pick up an entry form, maps, brochures, a visitors guide and calendar of events.  Winning entries will be drawn daily January 3, 2010 through January 14, 2010.