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Summer To Do List : Pops in the Park May 15, 2017

Somehow, we are halfway through the month of May, and inching closer to summer with each passing day. Time truly flies when you’re having fun in Charlotte!

We thought today would be a great day to tell you all about one of our favorite early summer events here in town – Summer Pops in the Park!

Every Sunday in the month of June, as well as Saturday, July 1st, the Charlotte Symphony hosts their annual summer series, and it is not to be missed! Located at the Symphony Park at Southpark, this family friendly event is the perfect end to your summer weekends.

What makes these events so fun is the fact that you, alongside your family and friends, are able to pack up a picnic basket, a blanket and some low-sitting lawn chairs, to bring with you! Enjoy your packed dinner, or a nosh from the variety of food truck vendors, and feel free to BYOB (but, please drink responsibly and do NOT drink and drive). What’s more fun than a picnic and live music?!

Tickets are available for sale at each show until 9pm, but it is recommended that you purchase them in advance online. Tickets can be purchased either in a package, or for individual shows. Each show has a different theme, so if you can make all five, we more than encourage you to attend them all! The July 1st concert is a Salute to America in honor of the Fourth of July, and will end with a bang (literally!) with an incredible fireworks finale!

Do not miss out on this wonderful opportunity to sit alongside your fellow Charlotte friends and neighbors to enjoy an enriching night made possible by talented artists from our very own community. Each Sunday is special and oh so enjoyable, and it is truly a summer bucket list item not to be missed here in the Queen City!

Enjoy!

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Egg-citing Easter 2017 March 31, 2017

If you’re like us, you can’t believe that April is just a few short hours away – it’s remarkable how these first months of 2017 have flown by!

We are excited, though, for what that means for all of us in Charlotte. We’ve welcomed back spring, and nights where the sun doesn’t set until after 7:00pm. Mother Nature (fingers crossed!) appears to have officially ditched winter, and we are enjoying days filled with sunshine and warmth.

Also rapidly approaching is the Easter holiday! We at Bon Maison love all things that come with this season – from pastel décor to devouring tons of sweet candy to spending time with family and friends. We want you to enjoy your Easter season just as much, so below we’ve compiled a list of fun Easter events around Charlotte this season. So break out your bonnets, and get ready to enjoy!

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  • Easter Eggstravaganza 2017 at Lazy 5 Ranch : With Easter Egg Hunts on both April 8th and April 15th, there’s plenty of time to enjoy the fun at Lazy 5 Ranch! If you’ve never been, it’s a must to see all of the animals up close and personal! The Easter Egg Hunts are broken out by agre group to keep things fair and fun for all, and there are tons of other activities, including a scavenger hunt, coloring contest and playtime with live bunnies! Food and drinks are available as well, but be sure to have cash as cards are not accepted.
  • Visit with the Easter Bunny at Stonecrest : If your kiddos want some face-to-face time with the bunny himself, hop on over to Stonecrest Shopping Center on April 8th. Not only will you be able to take some great pictures, but there will be crafts, cookies and punch for all to enjoy!
  • Easter Egg Hunt at Nascar Speedpark : For the adventurous at heart, take a trip up to the Nascar Speedpark at Concord Mills on April 8th to enjoy a free Easter Egg Hunt! There will be thousands of hidden eggs to find, and candy, toys and additional prizes to be won. Fun for the whole family, and can be followed up with shopping at the outlets!
  • Annual Easter Egg Hunt at Historic Rosedale Plantation : On April 8th from 10am – 1pm, the Rosedale Plantation will be hosting 3 separate Easter Egg Hunts! You’ll be apple to explore the beautiful gardens while your kids hunt for eggs filled with treats and educational prizes. Be sure to bring your baskets!
  • Underwater Easter Egg Hunt at Ray’s Splash Planet : We are officially deeming this the most unique of the Egg Hunts for the year! Put on your suit, grab your bucket and strap on your googles for this water-filled hunt! $5 per person (up to age 12) includes event entry, swimming and egg hunt! The event is taking place on Thursday, April 13th at 6:30pm, and is sure to be the best kickoff to your Easter weekend!
  • Hodges Family Farm Second Annual Spring Fling : With events on both Friday, April 14th and Saturday, April 15th, this flexible schedule will hopefully allow everyone to join in on the fun! With a number of Easter Egg hunts for every age group, your kids are sure to have a blast and even hunt for a special gold or silver egg! In addition to the $5 Easter Egg Hunt, there will be Hay Rides, Yard Games, a Scavenger Hunt and farm animals to enjoy!
  • Easter Hoppenings at Phillips Place : For fun on April 15th, be sure to head over to Phillips Place where the Easter Bunny, a balloon artist and face paint await! The day is fun for the whole family and will provide a full afternoon of fun from 1pm – 3pm.

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No matter what you choose to do, we wish you a Hoppy Easter!

 

17 Must Do’s for Charlotteans in 2017 January 2, 2017

1. Bike, walk or run on the Sugar Creek Greenway : Start at the Metropolitan and make your way down to Freedom Park. Take advantage of Charlotte’s bike sharing program, too. The bikes have a large basket, perfect to fit an afternoon picnic!

2.Take a trip to the Carolinas Aviation Museum : Check out the wide array of planes and choppers, equipment and gadgets. Most notably, you’ll be able to see US Airways Flight 1549, the “Miracle on the Hudson” plane flown by Captain Sully Sullenberg .

3. Explore nature at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden : Visit the local gardens at Daniel Stowe, and check out year-round beauty! With 380 acres of beautiful plants and land, HGTV has named this local spot one of the US’s “20 Great Gardens!”

4. Have an Olympic experience at the U.S. National Whitewater Center : Whether you like rafting, paddle boarding, ziplining, walking trails or listening to live music, the USNWC has it all! Visit any time of the year for a fabulous, fun experience!

5. Brush up on history at the Levine Museum of the New South : Learn about the South’s rich, diverse history from the Civil War through today at this incredible Uptown Charlotte museum. Take the family for a full educational, interactive experience!

6. Hike your way up Crowder’s Mountain : Just about an hour outside of Charlotte, Crowder’s Mountain State Park offers incredible hiking and spectacular views of the Queen City. With varying difficulties and mileage, Crowder’s Mountain has trails for all!

7. Wind your way through Charlotte on a Brewery Tour : Charlotte’s brewery scene is booming, and there is no time like the present to check it out! From Olde Mecklenburg Brewery to Birdsong to Legion, and all those in between, Charlotte has a beer for anyone (over 21!). Just be sure to download the Uber app before heading out!

8. Shop and eat local at 7th Street Public Market : Explore the 7th Street Market to find a variety of local artisans, farmers and craftsmen selling delicious, affordable food every day of the week! Shop local, support local!

9. Take in the 21st Annual Charlotte St. Patrick’s Day Parade : Marching through the streets of Uptown, enjoy the Charlotte St. Patty’s Day parade whether you’re Irish or not! Enjoy native dancing, loads of street vendors and copious amounts of green beer! Don’t forget to bring the kids (and dogs!) as they are activities for all!

10. Test your driving skills at the NASCAR Hall of Fame : Charlotte is the proud home of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, open since Spring of 2010, and filled with 150,000 square feet of NASCAR memorabilia and facts. From exhibits honoring the greats in the sport, to becoming a great yourself in the simulator, the Hall of Fame has something for everyone!

11. Check out the Charlotte Symphony at Summer Pops in the Park : Every Sunday in June, plus near the Fourth of July, the Charlotte Symphony rocks out at Symphony Park at Southpark! Grab a picnic basket and some friends (and a bottle of wine!), and post up to listen to the beautiful tunes of local artists!

12. Dine out during Charlotte Restaurant Week : Participate in Charlotte’s biannual restaurant week, Queen’s Fest! In January and July, participating restaurants come together and allow diners to enjoy a three course meal experience for just $30 – $35 each. A great opportunity to indulge in fine dining, without breaking the bank!

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13. Cheer on our local teams – PanthersPanthers, Hornets, Knights, Checkers & Hounds! : Charlotte’s sport scene is incredible, and we are the proud home of NFL & NBA teams, as well as minor league baseball & hockey, and professional lacrosse! Share your Charlotte pride by rooting on the athletes who call the Queen City home!

14. Visit nearby Lakes Wylie & Norman : Few cities can say they are nestled right between two beautiful lakes, but Charlotte can! Whether you head south to Lake Wylie or north to Lake Norman, take a visit and enjoy the serenity of these beautiful waters!

15. Shop till you drop – and save – at the local outlet malls, Concord Mills & Charlotte Premium Outlets : Who doesn’t love a good shopping trip? And, who doesn’t love to save a pretty penny? Whether you’re off to Concord Mills or the Charlotte Premium Outlets, savor (and save!) in your shopping adventures at a multitude of fabulous stores.

16. Visit the Southern Shows  of Charlotte – the Southern Home & Garden Show, Southern Women’s Show, Southern Christmas Show, etc. : Charlotte is lucky enough to each year host a variety of “Southern Shows.”  From the Southern Home & Garden Show to begin the year in February, and the Southern Christmas Show to close the year in November, find an abundance of treasures and handmade treats from a host of unique vendors!

17. Fill your belly at Food Truck Friday : Food trucks have become a hot trend as of late, and Charlotte proudly hosts a weekly food truck festival in Plaza Midwood. Enjoy inspired, local eats in a fun, social setting!

Whatever you take part in this year, we hope you enjoy a 2017 filled with happiness and joy!

 

QUEEN CITY WOMEN RULE THE POWER LUNCH January 7, 2013

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The holidays are over and it is time to get caught up with friends! The quintessential girlfriend lunch is a wonderful tradition upheld daily in the Queen City. On any given day in Charlotte, you can witness the girlfriend lunch being enjoyed by lovely Charlotteans. The girlfriend lunch takes many forms and Charlotte’s fine repertoire of restaurants can accommodate them all!

The business-woman-girlfriend-lunch is best commenced in a quiet atmosphere. Lulu’s on Central Avenue is just the place for business appointments.  The atmosphere in the 20’s style bungalow house in the trendy Plaza Midwood area, on the border of Uptown, is soft and charming.  The menu features decadent Pommes Frites (hand cut every day) and the Croque Madame Sandwich, to the more delicate Salad Composée.  Business deals will be graciously contracted and deliciously pursued at Lulu’s.  If girlfriends and business lead you to South Charlotte, the Gallery Restaurant at the Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge has an upscale, quiet atmosphere to engage in negotiations or just happy chit chat!   The menu features a delicious roasted cauliflower soup that can be quietly sipped while contemplating a presentation and a “Express Lunch” tapas style meal that includes a truly picture-perfect plate of a bite-sized sandwich, side dish, a small cup of soup and cute little dessert.   Wooing a business partner or catching up with friends can also be effectively conducted over a shared Grilled Artichoke Appetizer, followed by the light, but amazing Crab Cake Salad at 131 Main in South Charlotte at Blakeney, or one of the fabulous Mediterranean dishes at Ilios Noches at the intersection Providence and Ardrey Kell.  Business women in the Southpark area will appreciate the calm atmosphere and individualized attention at Cafe Monte, a great Southpark area French bistro tucked in the upscale Phillips Place boutique area near the corner of Sharon and Fairview Roads.

The BFF-girlfriend-lunch requires a fun, buzzing atmosphere to allow for gut giggles and relaxation.  BFF lunches do not usually include calorie counting or “just water to drink”.  The Mimosa Grill on Tryon Street is a great gathering place for the BFF friends.  Try the low-country shrimp and grits, and, of course, a mimosa!   Blackthorne Restaurant on North Community House Road in South Charlotte is also a suitable BFF lunch destination.  The Duck Confit French Dip with one Bubbly Pear Martini is a delicious indulgence with best friends.  Brixx restaurant in Blakeney off Rea Road has a fun atmosphere with a very dainty Gorgonzola Pear Pizza that seems girly, but packs a punch to your palate.  City Tavern at Stonecrest, in Ballantyne offers a lively atmosphere and extensive menu: try sharing the City Sampler with your BFF.

Book Club gal pals need a large table, lots of room for the kindles and books, and a relaxed atmosphere.  The Terrace Café In Ballantyne Village is a South Side favorite and a great book club meeting sight.   Firebirds, located at Stonecrest in Ballantyne has a cheerful atmosphere and large booths and tables for all your book club friends.

All the pleasantries and serious intellectual conversations are in need of bright lighting with a cheery atmosphere!  Amélies French Bakery and Café in the popular art district of North Davidson (NoDa) also has a well-lit, eclectic, Parisian, shabby-chic atmosphere perfect for you and your book club gal pals to sink into a comfy couch and enjoy your book critiques.  Try the tomato fennel soup and a croquet-en bouche (think lots of cream and caramel) for dessert from the endless options on the bakery menu.

Charlotte is a city of women working and supporting each other professionally and personally.  Take a girlfriend lunch and appreciate girl power in the Queen City!

frame_bonmaison_r2www.southcharlotteliving.com

 

MUSICALLY ENDING THE DOG DAYS OF SUMMER September 27, 2012

Walking my dogs down Ballantyne Commons Parkway to take advantage of a September breeze is truly a south Charlotte delight. There are a few fallen leaves along our typical route and I realize that too soon Charlotte’s trees will be ablaze with fall colors.

Summer is quietly showing signs of coming to an end, but Charlotteans know how to extend their outdoor relaxation into the fall. South Charlotte continues the pleasures of summer outdoor entertainment through its free local concerts.

Ballantyne Village can get you through that mid week hump! MIXATSIX will continue Wednesdays through October 10, 2012. People can enjoy music from the patios of Ballantyne Village restaurants. Enjoy a relaxing atmosphere with live outdoor music, drink specials and fine dining! www.ballantynevillage.net

Music on the Greenat the Promenade on Providence Shopping Center will continue through September 29th. The atmosphere is family friendly situated on a large patio and fountain area. If the weather is hot, it is not unusual to see children sneaking (an unendorsed by the management) dip in the fountain. The concerts will be held every Friday and Saturday night from 7pm – 10pm. www.promenadeonprovidence.com

Stonecrest Summer Concert Serieslasts through September 29th from 7pm to 10pm. You can choose from two locations: the Fountain Stage (large patio area with expanse of beautiful fountains below) or the Courtyard Stage (smaller courtyard area near Bonehead restaurant). The Fountain Stage has concerts every Friday and Saturday; the Courtyard, every Saturday. www.shopstonecrest.com

Blakeney Summer Concert Series presents free concerts on Fridays and Saturdays from 7pm to 10pm through September 29th. A large patio and lawn area invites guests to bring lawn chairs and blankets for family friendly, relaxing musical entertainment. A large patio area invites children to frolic and grownups to show off off their dancing skills. www.shopblakeny.com

Taking in the view of our fine Queen City is another wonderful way to relax and listen to outdoor entertainment! Located in Midtown Charlotte, Metropolitan offers a great Queen City view to accompany their musical performances. METLIVE’ offers an exciting, yet relaxing outdoor venue to listen to music from September 13th– October 18th, 6:30-9:30 pm.  Enjoy a glass of wine, view the Uptown skyline, take in the Little Sugar Creek Greenway at sunset or stay for dinner at one of the six restaurants, including the always delicious fair at Dressler’s, at Metropolitan. www.metmidtown.com

Summer concerts are calling you to relax outdoors, and replace the cicada drones with sounds of music!

, www.southcharlotteliving.com