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Archive for December, 2009

Access Points 20: Snow tubes at Stone Mountain Park

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It's Snow Mountain! AJC photos by Jamie Gumbrecht

Were you able to identify the image in this week’s Access Points photo game? Indeed, commenter Tony was correct — it was a snow tube at Stone Mountain Park’s Snow Mountain attraction.

This is Stone Mountain Park’s second year of Snow Mountain playtime. It planned to open the attraction for the first time in 2007, but caught criticism for using more than 1 million gallons of tap water during a drought and watering ban. The park brought the plan back last year, using water from its own lake.

And I’m glad it worked, because snow is far more fun to play in than to drive in. By 9 a.m., there were hundreds of kids and parents dressing snow people, throwing balls at the Snowball Shooting Gallery and carving icy angels into the ground. I underestimated how much fun there is to be had with a bucket and a fresh layer of white on the ground.

There’s no time limit to how long you can stay in the play areas, and I could tell some children …

Continue reading Access Points 20: Snow tubes at Stone Mountain Park »

5 reasons to love year-end Best Of lists

Arbitrary, unscientific and subjective though they are, I am in love with the glut of year- (and decade-) end Best Of lists infecting media right now, and not just because they draw more page views to this blog than I ever would have imagined.

Here’s why, in a convenient list:

1. Tidy packages
Most mornings, I post a list of fun things to do around Atlanta. It might be more comprehensive to just Tweet links to AccessAtlanta.com all day long, but if I’m going to wade through 200 listings anyway, it seems worth sharing what I found in a manageable, organized, clean way. Why not think the same way about a year’s worth of events? A few weeks ago, you nominated and voted on your favorite events of 2009. I tacked on my own list because, well, it’s my blog.

2. Sweet reminders
Catherine Fox’s list of Top 10 Exhibitions shows slivers of the visual art offerings around Atlanta. I have a friendly interest and zero expertise in art, but I’m surprised by how many of these I saw, and how …

Continue reading 5 reasons to love year-end Best Of lists »

Botanical Garden: ‘Moore’ ends, ‘Orchid Daze’ begins Feb. 6

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"Orchid Daze: Towers of Flowers" opens on Feb. 6 at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. AJC file photo

Before you stake your claim on a spot for the Peach Drop, please scoot over to the Atlanta Botanical Garden for the last day of “Moore in America.”

I understand that “go see a garden” is not a reasonable command when it’s sleeting outdoors. For more convincing, check out this post from October, which links to more reviews and stories about it. I wrote that post when the show was first scheduled to end. It was extended through the end of the year, but now we really have to say good-bye. (This will also be the last chance to see the Garden’s holiday displays and families might dig the New Year’s Across the Globe event today, too.)

So what comes next? The Botanical Garden’s annual orchid show, “Orchid Daze,” returns, this time with a “Towers of Flowers” theme. Here are some photos from last year’s show. It opens Feb. 6 and runs through April 11.

Want to go? “Moore in America” ends …

Continue reading Botanical Garden: ‘Moore’ ends, ‘Orchid Daze’ begins Feb. 6 »

Access Points 20: Can you guess what and where this is?

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Hmm, where around Atlanta have you seen this before? Share your ideas in the comments. AJC/Jamie Gumbrecht

Wow, we’re already at the 20th edition of our Access Points photo game? Way to play, Atlanta!

Just like the past 19 times, tell me what’s in this photo and where around Atlanta you’ll find it. Post your ideas in the comments, or on Twitter @insideaccess.

I’ll reveal the answer in photos and a story at 4 p.m. tomorrow!

To keep playing, check out our earlier Access Points stops, or see them on our Access Points map.

Continue reading Access Points 20: Can you guess what and where this is? »

Know before you go: Peach Drop at Underground Atlanta

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Atlanta's Peach Drop in 1999. Ten years later, that 800-pound peach is ready to drop again. AJC file photo

For Atlanta 2013 Peach Drop information, please visit our updated pages

2013 Peach Drop New Year’s Eve at Underground Atlanta

2013 Chick-fil-a Bowl, Fan activities and Chick-fil-a Bowl Parade

More places to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Atlanta Dec. 31, 2013

Continue reading Know before you go: Peach Drop at Underground Atlanta »

To do list: December 30

Dance: Kwanzaa celebration featuring Giwayan Mata dance ensemble, 3-6 p.m., Atlanta-Fulton County Central Library auditorium, Atlanta. FREE.

For kids: Pokemon City Championship, 11 a.m., Stevi B.’s Pizza, Marietta. FREE.

Music: KEM performs with Will Downing, 8 p.m., Fox Theatre, Atlanta.

Music: Widespread Panic performs, 8 p.m., Philips Arena, Atlanta.

Music: Zoe Myers and others performs a concert to benefit Southern HOPE Humane Society, 7 p.m., Red Clay Theatre and Arts Center, Duluth.

Have an event, venue, restaurant or performance in and around Atlanta? Add it to the AccessAtlanta.com calendar.

For instant updates, follow @insideaccess on Twitter.

Continue reading To do list: December 30 »

‘Cavalia’ draws 100,000, continues through Jan. 6

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The White Big Top in Atlantic Station is home to "Cavalia." AJC file photo

“Cavalia”, the dreamy horse-and-acrobat show under the White Big Top in Atlantic Station, had its 100,000 attendee in Atlanta today.

Atlanta has been its most successful market outside of Canada, doubling its planned run from five weeks to 10, and selling out for 31 of its 56 shows so far. After it closes in January, it will move on to Miami.

Michael Diamantides, general manager at Atlantic Station, said the show was on track with expectations, but hadn’t drawn audiences as strong as Cirque du Soleil’s — a difference he chalks up to name recognition. He also “Cavalia” will likely return to Atlantic Station in 2010 or 2011, and Cirque will be back, too, with a new show.

Still, the show was a win for some retailers, and especially restaurants, who enjoyed the dinner-and-a-horse-show crowd. Diamantides said word-of-mouth was good for the show, and they still get calls about it every day.

“It’s a great …

Continue reading ‘Cavalia’ draws 100,000, continues through Jan. 6 »

How much will you pay for a New Year’s Eve party?

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The Peach Drop in Underground Atlanta is a good time for the price of a good coat and hat, but other New Year's Eve party prices go way, way up from there. AJC file photo

Well, hello, hello! I’m back from an exhausting week of travel and merriment, and shifting now from Christmas mode to New Year’s Eve planning.

The chatter I hear isn’t so much about which party people will go to, but how much they’ll pay for it. You can get a night’s worth of chilled-to-the-core entertainment for free at the Peach Drop in Underground Atlanta, I see a lot in the $20 to $125 range…and then there are parties around town charging $2,000 for a VIP ticket.

I’m sure it’s a memorable way to ring in a new decade, but at that price, I’d never hear the end of it from my Atlanta Bargain Hunter cubicle-mate — or my conscience. At this point, any checks that require a comma had better be tiling my bathroom or feeding hungry wedding guests. 2010, I will toast you with pals and a SweetWater, thanks.

If you …

Continue reading How much will you pay for a New Year’s Eve party? »

To do list: December 29

Art:Caught Captive” exhibition by Erick Swenson continues, 9 a.m.-6- p.m., SCAD’s Trois Gallery, Atlanta. FREE.

Music: Lady GaGa performs, 7:30 p.m., Fox Theatre, Atlanta.

For teens: Mission Six, The Rubyz and Jasmine perform, 8 p.m. Gateway Event Center, McDonough.

Sports: Atlanta Hawks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, 7 p.m., Philips Arena, Atlanta.

Sports: Gwinnett Gladiators vs. Florida Everblades, 7 p.m., Gwinnett Arena, Duluth.

Have an event, venue, restaurant or performance in and around Atlanta? Add it to the AccessAtlanta.com calendar.

For instant updates, follow @insideaccess on Twitter.

Continue reading To do list: December 29 »

To do list: December 28

Comedy: Jeff Dunham performs, 7:30 p.m., Philips Arena, Atlanta.

Film: The Death of Richard Young” screening and filmmaker Q&A, 7:30 p.m., The Plaza Theatre, Atlanta.

For kids: Kwanzaa stories and crafts, 7 p.m., Clayton County Library Jonesboro Branch. FREE.

For families: Winter Wonderland continues, noon-10 p.m., Corn Dawgs, Walnut Grove.

Music: Lady GaGa performs, 7:30 p.m., Fox Theatre, Atlanta.

Have an event, venue, restaurant or performance in and around Atlanta? Add it to the AccessAtlanta.com calendar.

For instant updates, follow @insideaccess on Twitter.

Continue reading To do list: December 28 »