New Dating Craze: Coloring and Cocktails?

Trying to meet new and interesting singles in Charlotte? Maybe you should get into coloring books. Seriously.

No need for dating website promo codes, all you need is crayons.

A sample adult coloring book.

The City Art Room is holding a Coloring and Cocktails party that involves, you guessed it: coloring books and alcohol. The even is BYOB, so you’ll need to bring your own booze. According to its website, you are also strongly encouraged to bring your own food, or have it delivered (all hail MakeaFoodieCall!).

The website does stipulate that the coloring books are ‘premium’. What were the ones that I used as a kid? There were different levels? Did the rich kids get to color in majestic steeds while I was trying to stay-inside-the-lines of a hippo?

More Details of This Event:

City Art Room
5019 Wilkinson Blvd
Charlotte, NC, United States

Maybe this is what the dating scene needs: no awkward job interviews over dinner. Instead we can forget our troubles and be as care-free as kids.

carolina christmas speedway

Speedway Christmas at Charlotte Motor Speedway

It’s Thanksgiving week so that means that Christmas has officially begun! And Charlotte Motor Speedway isn’t missing any of the action with the opening of their spectacular holiday light show, Speedway Christmas. Now in its fifth year, this holiday classic features more than three million lights, an infield Christmas Village and a unique chance to drive the historic track.

One of the brightest spots on the Carolina Christmas Corridor, which extends from Tanglewood Park in Clemmons to Biltmore House in Asheville, highlights of Speedway Christmas include:

* A completely redesigned 3.1-mile drive of lights, which meanders the infield of the 1.5-mile speedway (you actually get to drive on the track!) and continues under the concourse behind the grandstands.

*More than 800 light displays set to music along the track.

*An infield winter wonderland including a Bethlehem Village live nativity scene, petting zoo, Santa’s Workshop (including visits with Santa), Christmas trees, fair rides, and food.

*Drive-in holiday movies such as Elf, Frozen, and Christmas Story, each Friday and Saturday night on one of the world’s largest HD TVs.

*Dining in the Speedway Club overlooking Speedway Christmas.

Speedway Christmas opened for the season this past weekend. The light show is open every night through December 30th, with the exception of Christmas Day. The Christmas Village is open every Thursday through Sunday evenings, as well as Monday, December 23 and Tuesday, December 24.
Admission into Speedway Christmas is $20 per car on nights when the Christmas Village is open and $15 per car on nights when it is closed.

Light up your holiday season with Speedway Christmas at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Drayton Hall

Charleston Virtual Advent Calendar Filled with Holiday Goodies

It’s baaaack! The Christmas in Charleston Virtual Advent Calendar is back starting today and is offering up some creative and tasty holiday offerings. Showcasing Charleston-based and Charleston-made products, the calendar offers unique, time-sensitive reveals about Christmastime in Charleston from area’s local tastemakers, shop owners, attractions, restaurants, and tour operators every day.

Although the specific product and deals will be a secret until the day of, a sample of the deals that will appear between December 1-24 include:

*A festive DIY decorating tip from noted event planner Tara Guérard, named one of Vogue’s Top 5 Star Wedding Planners in 2014

*A sweet holiday recipe from Heritage, Chef Sean Brock’s first New York Times best-selling cookbook

*A downloadable complimentary parking pass to use in select downtown city-owned parking garages

*A tradition-steeped eggnog recipe from Brooks Reitz, owner of Jack Rudy Cocktail Company

Sounds like a perfect way to shop for all our friends and family this holiday season. And a fun way to count down to Christmas!

spa carolina

Warm Up Your Winter at a North Carolina Spa

Winter can leave you feeling blah. But if you want to offset the shorter days and chilly temperatures of the season, treat yourself to a warming spa package. Across North Carolina, spas are countering the frigid weather with treatments and packages that will warm the soul and rejuvenate the spirit.
Here are seasonal specials from 11 of North Carolina’s top resort spas:

The Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge

Celebrate the season with a Perky Peppermint Pedicure, featuring a candy cane champagne soak, caramel coffee scrub and massage leaving your soles super refreshed. Or unwind with a Honey Pumpkin Soufflé Wrap & Facial, including a spicy whipped honey sea salt exfoliation, ginger sorbet shea butter wrap and a pick-me-up facial. Enhance it with a Winter Getaway, Girls Getaway or Spa Escape overnight package for a total winter-warming splurge.

Chetola Resort

Blowing Rock
Take the stress out of the holidays with a the two-night Stress-Free Spa Package, including accommodations, a 60-minute massage, a fitness or yoga class, 10-percent off spa products and breakfast each day. Or chase away the winter doldrums with a Spa Day-cation Package, featuring your choice of a 60-minute Chetola Signature Swedish Massage or Signature Facial, spa lunch, unlimited use of the pool, Jacuzzi and dry sauna; full use of the fitness center, choice of fitness and yoga classes; and complimentary beverages. And be sure to check out the newly opened Hair Boutique at the Spa, exclusively featuring the full line of Aveda hair care products.

The Fearrington House Inn

To get you party-ready for the holidays, try the anti-aging Visible Brilliance Facial. And keep your skin rejuvenated during the harsh winter months with the Frangaponi Salt Glow Exfoliation and Massage. The mineral-rich salts and hibiscus cleanse will exfoliate your skin, while an infusion of exotic Tahitian monoi massage oil and frangipani flowers seal in moisture.

Inn on Biltmore Estate

Enjoy the 8,000-acre Vanderbilt property and pamper yourself at The Spa at the Inn on Biltmore Estate. Spice up your winter with a Ginger Glow Swedish massage, complemented with an organic ginger body butter and detoxifying heated herbal poultice. Hydrate your winter skin with a Ginger Glow facial, featuring a marine-based collagen and ginger masque. Or treat your feet to an organic ginger foot soak and an invigorating ginger salt scrub as part of a Ginger Glow pedicure.

Old Edwards Inn and Spa

Enjoy the serenity of winter with the Comfort and Joy Package, including deluxe accommodations for two nights, a three-course dinner for two in Madison’s Restaurant, two classic spa treatments and an Elf tuck-in for the wee ones. Or rejuvenate with the Winter Slip Away and Save Package, featuring accommodations, spa treatments, dinner at Madison’s and plenty of time left over to indulge in a little winter shopping therapy or outdoor adventure.

The Omni Grove Park Inn

Relax and celebrate the season at The Omni Grove Park Inn as the smell of gingerbread fills the air during the Annual National Gingerbread House display. Enjoy the world-class subterranean spa, featuring cavernous rock walls, arches, tunnels and 20 water features — and sip on organic herbal Cinnamon Plum tea in one of the relaxation lounges. Let the hustle and bustle melt away with a signature body treatment, massage or facial, including the new mind-blowing Ultimate Facial coming mid-January.

Pinehurst Resort

Enjoy the season with the Wonders of Winter seasonal massage featuring Farm House Fresh’s Hello Yellow Shea Butter whip blended with cinnamon-spiced massage oil (think gingerbread). Combine it with a Honey Heel Glaze, with scents of cinnamon, clove and honey to let yourself unwind into the warmth of the season. If you prefer a traditional pedicure, the Cinnamon Cider Pedi combines a decadent Bourbon Bubbler scrub with a soothing cider-fizzing soak and a dollop of super-hydrating Hello Yellow Shea Butter.
The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte

The Ritz-Carlton Spa & Wellness Center offers winter indulgence and rejuvenation throughout the spa with arctic berry peel facials, red velvet body scrubs, and red velvet manicures and pedicures. Enjoy weekday special prices on best-selling nail services Mondays through Thursdays.

Sanderling Resort

The Sanderling is celebrating the “spaaahlidays” with a Holly Jolly wrap and facial, which will envelop your body and mind with scents of apple, pumpkin, orange and spice. Or get in touch with your inner solitude and cleanse your body with a Winter Glow Chakra or Holiday Hammam ritual featuring a Moroccan mint and salt scrub followed by a cocoon of jasmine- and rose-infused clay. Top it all off with a Mistle’Toes spa pedicure.

The Umstead Hotel and Spa

Pomegranate is all the rage this holiday season and The Umstead has several spa treatments that take advantage of this rich source of antioxidants and vitamin C. Be transported to a deep-relaxed state with a Pomegranate and White Tea Swedish Massage. Or indulge your senses and your feet in a luxurious Pomegranate & Fig Luxury Pedicure, including an exfoliation, foot and lower leg massage, and a glass of champagne.

Shoji Spa & Lodge

Shoji Spa & Lodge is the only Japanese-style bathhouse and spa on the East Coast, and its Winter Warmth Package offers up deep relaxation 2,500 feet above stress level. Enjoy a one-hour private spa pass featuring aromatherapy showers, a dry cedar sauna, and a private outdoor hot tub, followed by an 80-minute Swedish massage with your choice of a cypress and tea tree oil scalp massage or a warming ginger sake exfoliating foot treatment.

wine festival

Hilton Head Island Wine + Food Festival Turns 30

It’s never too early to start talking about food & wine festivals and the season kicks off in the Carolinas in just three months. We’ve already given you a heads up about the 10th Anniversary celebration of the Charleston Food + Festival coming March 4-8. And now there is even more reason to keep the celebration going further at the 30th Anniversary of the Hilton Head Island Wine + Food Festival at Sea Pines Resort March 9-14.

wine festival

Noted as the oldest-running food and wine festival on the East Coast and paralleling the Food and Wine Classic in Aspen, the Hilton Head Island Wine + Food Festival celebrates the unique culinary culture on Hilton Head Island and features an international wine competition, culinary talent, local and regional cuisine, and island attractions that make Hilton Head Island a premier Southern destination. The festivities will take place at The Sea Pines Resort with the festival’s signature Grand Tasting to be held on the 18th lawn of the legendary Harbour Town Golf Links, while the popular Public Tasting will take place at the resort’s iconic Harbour Town Yacht Basin.

This year’s festival week offers a brand new schedule of events including the Par for the Cork golf outing, Sip and Stroll marina celebration, and themed vintner dinners at the resort’s newly renovated Plantation Golf Club. Spanning the week of March 9-14, 2015, the 30th anniversary celebration offers up an impressive line-up of world-class vineyards, local and regional celebrity chefs, live entertainment, and a variety of visual and performing artists. The highly-acclaimed International Wine Judging Competition precedes the 2015 festival on February 6-8.

Start your diet, dig out your fat pants, and make plans now for the 30th Anniversary of the Hilton Head Island Wine + Food Festival.

ArtFields Turns Lake City Into an Art Mecca

For nine days this Spring, the historic district of the small, Southern agriculture town of Lake City, South Carolina will be transformed into an art Mecca with the arrival of artists from 12 Southeastern states and art lovers from all over for ArtFields.

Now in its third year, the South’s biggest art competition will take over the town April 24-May 2, showcasing original works in 50-plus venues including historic buildings, shops, cafes, offices, and outdoor spaces. Named by CNN as a “don’t miss” festival in 2014, ArtFields includes a competition of over 400 pieces of art with over $100,000 in cash prizes (viewing the art competition is free), a 5K run through downtown, an artist market, a SC Barbeque Association cook-off, symphony concert, children’s art workshops, portrait contests, food, and craft brews. For the full calendar and ticketing information, check out the Artfields website.

Lake City is located approximately 90 minutes from Charleston and Columbia and within an hour’s drive of Myrtle Beach and has become a burgeoning creative community. The town has recently welcomed the new Inn at the Crossroads, a boutique hotel located in the heart of the ArtFields’ activity. Festival goers enjoy free parking and shuttle services all over town.

Have Dinner with Downton Abbey in Asheville

downton abbey
And speaking of Downton Abbey (see our post about the Dressing Downton exhibit coming to Biltmore)….Lex 18 in Asheville, North Carolina is hosting a Downton Abbey intimate interactive banquet dinner to celebrate Season 5 of the award-winning PBS series. The experience kicks off with the live broadcast of the first episode on Sunday, January 4 and runs every Sunday through March 1, 2015 and is limited to 16 exclusive guests.

Lex 18‘s historic 1920s dining room will be set in a resplendent post-Edwardian era style complete with all the finery from this popular historic era. Centered under its gold ceiling, a 16-foot long banquet table will be lavishly dressed with china and crystal. Footmen in tails and a head butler will serve guests a five-course wine and champagne dinner, along with an interactive cast personifying Downton Abbey’s Crawley family members and their lively servants.

Each dinner will begin with a Vintage Cocktail Hour of unlimited cocktails and socializing with members of the Asheville Crawley family and guests. The cocktail hour will also feature a brief historical perspective of Asheville and English music, arts, culture and fashion by a guest historian. Then the five-course dinner will be served along with three paired wines and a champagne pairing with dessert. The dinner service will include table-side butler service, beautiful china, silver platters, crystal, and the leisurely feast classic of a grand manor. The live broadcast of Downton Abbey‘s fifth season will then air, along with an intermission for post-dinner digestifs and coffee and tea.

Space is limited to 16 guests each Sunday for this extraordinary food and libations experience and interactive fun set in the grand style of one of the most watched and loved Masterpiece programs in the world. Reserve your seats now for the Downton Abbey Dinner Theatre Experience.