Thursday, July 30, 2009

Playground Picks - The New Social Hotspot for the Kiddies! :-)

A kid needs to cut loose sometimes you know what i mean? if you think about little one has been in school since he was 2 years old..all that structure is wonderful..he's only 4 and he can hold a conversation with the best of them...knows his numbers, letters, colors, etc...but i love that he's a boys boy..he loves to play! when school is out he throws down that backpack and loves to run like a wilderbeast outside and cut believe in old school know when you ran outside in the summer with your buds..perhaps in the front street, sidewalk or if you were lucky in your backyard, neighborhood or down in the country with relatives and other cousins your age...i grew up on old school playing..building forts, making mud pies (and eating them)...stringing plants together and making light/green light...mother may i...kickball..jacks and jumprope...and my older brother had a basketball goal in our huge backyard so you know we had the most popular house on the point is i like to give my kid as many opptys for old fashioned playtime as we know nowadays its not prudent to allow your kid to roam the the next best things are playgrounds, which are all the rage on the kid social's my picks..enjoy!

Top Playground Picks: Indoor

During the cold of the winter, indoor play areas are the perfect places to take your kids. Two of my faves are the areas in North Point Mall and the Mall of Georgia.

Mall of Georgia’s Kidgits Korner. 3333 Buford Drive, Buford. This soft play area is designed for the toddler age group. Climbing and sliding are the main attractions here. There are benches for the parents, as well as stroller parking. There’s also a small library for all to enjoy. 678-482-8788.

North Point Mall Children’s Soft Play Area. 1000 North Point Circle, Alpharetta. Specifically designed for children under 42" tall, the play area has a heroes theme, with firefighters, a fire truck and an ambulance as well as a slide and a bridge to climb over and through. All are built with soft materials to protect against falls. The play area also has plenty of seating for parents plus stroller parking. 770-740-9273.

Top Playground Picks: Special Needs

Children’s Playgarden. Ephesus Church Road, Douglasville. This playground in Clinton Nature Preserve features an airplane structure that allows children who use wheelchairs to access slides and other play items. Swings with back support, musical instruments, a covered playhouse, tot area and sand play area round out the other playground amenities. Water misters are also available for the really hot days. All of the equipment on this playground is wheelchair accessible.

Unity Place. 143 Ozora Road, Grayson. Located in Bay Creek Park, this playground has a wheelchair accessible sandbox and play area. The slides use ramps to reach the top. Swings with mesh backing are lower to the ground, so they are easily accessible for special needs kids. 770-822-8840.

All Children’s Playground. Willowbend Road, Peachtree City. This playground features a rubberized surface that allows wheelchairs easy maneuverability. To ensure that every child can have fun, the entire play area is connected by ramps and bridges, and a tot lot is available for younger kids. 770-631-2542.

Top Playground Picks: Outdoor play!


Brook Run Park. A true kiddie hot spot. multiple playgrounds for big and little kids and lots of space for dogs (or little kiddies) to run. A must do!

Chastain Park. Amazing! play on the equipment or walk the trail around the park. If the ball fields nearby are empty, your little ones can poke around there and kick/throw a ball around.

Stone Mountain

Stone Mountain Park. Swings, winding wooden steps and various sized slides there’s plenty to entertain even the most active child. There is so much to do at Stone Mountain Park that often we forget about the playground there. But it's a great place for the kids to run around and play, especially the little ones who may not be able to take part in some other activities or who don't want to stand in line.


Piedmont Park. Open spaces for running, paths for bike riding, fishing, birdwatching and great playgrounds.

Va Highland

Cunard Memorial Park. After a tree fell on the family car and killed a mother and her 2 sons, the community rallied together and built this playground. What a beautiful way tribute.

Orme Park. 795 Brookridge Drive NE, Atlanta. This playground is situated in the heart of the Virginia-Highland. This shady playground – truly a neighborhood gem – has a little something for everyone, including swings for toddlers, older kids and parents, picnic tables, a playscape with a telescope feature, slides and monkey bars and the ever-popular sandbox. The park also features a nature area, perfect for walking the family pet or just exploring on your own.


Best Friend Park. 6224 Jimmy Carter Boulevard, Norcross. This 43-acre park is home to an aquatic center, tennis center and community building. The pool provides an interactive play center and there is a separate swing area. The playground features slides, climbing structures and more. 770-417-2212.

Jones Bridge Park. 4901 East Jones Bridge Road, Norcross. The playground has three wooden play stations with a swinging bridge, a big twisty slide, monkey bars, climbing poles and more. A swing set and sand volleyball court add even more options for play. A shaded area with benches and picnic tables is close by for parents to watch their children play. And if you’re the proud parent of an angler, there’s a fishing hole here, too! 770-417-2212.


Centennial Park. Baker Street and Centennial Olympic Park Drive, Atlanta. Less than a block from the children’s museum is a hidden gem of a playground in Centennial Olympic Park. Kids can hop, skip and jump on two playscapes. The playground features three slides, a bridge, a zip line and several towers where children can play tic-tac-toe and peer through Plexiglas windows. The bouncy ground covering is sure to cushion any falls. Benches for parents ring the play area. 404-222-7275.

Atlanta Botanical Garden Discover 21 collections of flora at the 30-year-old facility. The favorite destination for your kids will be, no doubt, the two-acre Children’s Garden; here youngsters can play in the fountain, tend to veggies, perform on stage and more. Located at 1345 Piedmont Ave. NE in midtown Atlanta. Summer hours are Tues.-Sun., 9 a.m.-7 p.m. For more information, call 404-876-5859 or visit


Chattahoochee River Park. 203 Azalea Drive, Roswell. Situated along the Chattahoochee River, the park offers a relaxing scene with plenty of covered resting spots for a picnic lunch or small gathering. A popular spot on the playground is a tiny bridge overlooking a stream that flows into the river. Kids can toss rocks into the stream or watch for fish jumping in the Hooch. In the play area the equipment includes swings, slides and mini climbing walls. 770-641-3705.


Clarence Duncan Memorial Park. 6000 Rivertown Road, Fairburn. The park’s playground equipment includes teeter-totters, swings, a swinging bridge, monkey bars and more. Benches and picnic pavilions are located close to the playground so parents can sit in a shady area and watch their children play. If you’re bringing a picnic, throw in some extra bread for the pond’s ducks. The park also features hiking trails and an indoor pool, so bring your swimming suits along. 770-306-3136.

Howell Mill Road

Ellsworth Park. Howell Mill Rd. at Collier Rd. NW, Atlanta. There’s lots to explore in this fenced-in area: a fort-like play structure with two slides, climbing wall and interactive features, swings for toddlers and older kids, spring toys, two spinner bowls and a teeter-totter. For moms, it’s a great meeting place for mom’s groups, play dates and picnics. And, all of the play equipment rests on recycled rubber material, which is bouncy and wheelchair accessible. 404-817-6734.


Hurt Road Park. 990 Hurt Road SW, Austell. This playground offers something for all ages. Bucket swings and sand play will occupy the little ones while older kids tackle the monkey bars, slides, tic-tac-toe, tunnel and a swing set of their own. Parents can watch their children play while relaxing on a shaded bench. 770-528-8890.


PlayTown Suwanee. 425 Main Street, Suwanee. This 10,000-square-foot multi-level wooden wonderland is a treasure trove of things to do, including six slides (even "wavy and twisty" ones), a vertical tunnel, several bridges, swings, ladders, a rock climbing wall, chin up bars, and rings. In addition, there is a bus, castle, rocket, ship, playhouses, sand box and a hidden phone system. 770-945-8996.


Promised Land Playground. 2450 Lower Roswell Road, Marietta. Constructed entirely of wood, the 10,000-square-foot playground readily inspires imaginative play. The entire play area is connected with bridges or elevated walkways, each leading to a castle-like area. Speaker boxes allow communication between different areas. Around the wooden complex are two swing and slide areas – one for toddlers and another for older children. A layer of wood chips provides ample cushion below. 770-971-2323.

East Cobb Park 3322 Roswell Rd Marietta, GA 30062-5561 multiple age-appropriate play structures, bike/walk trail around the park, clean restrooms, a babbling stream for wading, plus plenty of open space for picnicking and kicking a ball - what more could you ask for?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Places where the (Straight) Chocolate Men Mingle

I'm spoken for :-)....however I have lots of girlfriends that ask me..where do the good chocolate men hang out? Well you know since I get around the city a lot I've noticed that there are some places that the fellas gravitate toward…so here's my picks…fellas if you beg to differ let a sista know and I will add your spots for the Best places Where the Fellas Hang:

The Barbershop @ the West End Mall

Busy Bee Café

Barleys esp Back in the Pool Room

Manhotspots like:
--Home Depot
--Publix and Kroger in the refreshing "spirits" aisle :-)

Luckie Lounge

South Dekalb Mall

Really cool chocolate sports bar on Camp creek

Strokers (ok stop giggling..there are lots of nice guys that come to this spot strictly for errra..the entertainment because they are single)

Cactus Car Wash on Ponce

Any event held by the 100 Black men of Atlanta

Events held at Morehouse including:
--Film Screenings
--Cultural events
--Political rallies

Any event held by the Kappas or Ques in Atlanta

TJ Maxx in the Men's section (esp the Buckhead location)

Perimeter Mall Food Court

Fox Sports Grill

Events held at:
--Alliance Theatre
--High Museum
--Woodruff Arts Center

Borders books in the Magazine section

The National Black Arts Festival - OMG it's a man candy store! :-)

Gladys Night's @ Stonecrest Mall

Cafe Circa on Edgewood Avenue

V-103 Car and Bike Show

The Velvet Room

Happy Hour @ Uptown Restaraunt downtown

All Syman Baby parties including the ones held at:
Taboo 2
Pearl Bistro
Echelon 3000

Ole Skool sundays @ Hairston's

Berean Church on Covington Highway in Stone Mountain

Jumpy places!

Everyone that knows me well knows i love myself a good jumpy place...i mean my little one loves a good jumpy play centers provide a safe and fun environment, with giant slides and themed areas, for your kids to bounce off their extra energy. they are perfect go-to spots during rainy, cold, or extra hot days so your kids won’t be stuck inside, doing handsprings off your a parent it is amazing..your kid runs around like a banshee, with reckless abandon (like a kid should be able to do from time to time)...and you get to sit, fart around on the computer using their free wi-fi..sip a latte and munch on kid snacks guilt free(yum!)...My 5 year old's eyes roll back in his head after a visit and it is Naptime USA on the car ride home..ahhhh..what better way to spend a weekend my gift to every mom with a an active toddler to around age 7 is run don't walk to my picks for the area's best!

Fave spots:

Monkey Joe’s
1019-B Collier Rd., Buckhead, 404-351-1818; 3190 Reps Miller Rd., Norcross, 770-734-9774; 700 Holcomb Bridge Rd., Roswell, 678-381-0400; 5805 State Bridge Rd., Duluth, 770-729-1959; 7442 Douglas Blvd., Douglasville, 770-577-6446; 50 Barrett Pkwy., Marietta, 770-792-2244.

1936 Briarwood Ct., Atlanta.

Jumping Jeronimo!
1570 Holcomb Bridge Rd., Ste. 240, Roswell

Jumpin’ Jamboree
2534 Royal Place, Ste. E, Tucker

Leapin Lizards Fun and Party Center
185 Sams Street Decatur Georgia 30030 404) 371-9700
Decatur’s brand new indoor play and party center featuring over 10,000 square foot of bouncing inflatables, giant slides, obstacle courses, toddler exploration area, concessions, two large private party rooms, free WI-FI and computer access.

Specialize in birthday parties

Pump It Up!
Cumming, 770-886-5151; Dallas, 678-309-1872; Marietta, 770-794-5867; McDonough, 678-432-2025; Suwanee, 678-714-4505. Open jump hours: Tues -Thurs 10-8 Mon Wed Fri 10-5 Sat/sun - private parties only

4479 Atlanta Rd., Smyrna
Open jump hours: Mon-tues 10-6 Wed-thurs 10-8 Fri 10-6 Sat/sun 9:30-11:30 (flunctuates according to party sked)

For the wee ones:
The Jumping Bean
504 Amsterdam Avenue Amsterdam Walk Atlanta GA 404.897.3646 A clean, colorful bounce house in midtown offers a nice alternative to the bigger chains. Very well suited to smaller kids.

Inflatable party rentals:

I've not been..but here they are fun!
Cream Puff’s Jumpy Place
610 B Patrick Industrial Dr., Winder (Off Highway 316).

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Neighborhood Hot Spots: Historic Roswell

Where do I start? what a cool way to spend a day hanging out with your girl? funky little boutiques, antiques, art galleries and one-of-a kind restaraunts make this little sliver off Holcolmb Bridge and Canton Street tops in my book. While you're there don't forget to check out these quirky little spots that will have you rubbing your stomach for more:

The Fickle Pickle Café (the red velvet cupcakes make me swoon)1085 Canton Street
Roswell, GA 30075
(770) 650-9838
Mon., 11 am - 3 pm;
Tues. - Sat, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., 5 pm - 9 pm.
Quaint, eclectic café in an 1890s Victorian house. Serving gourmet sandwiches, salads, wood-grilled hamburgers and our famous fried Cajun pickles. Patio dining, carry-out and catering Special events facility. $$

Greenwood's Restaurant (the fried chicken will make you forget your grandma's)1087 Green Street
Roswell, GA 30075
(770) 992-5383
Wed - Thurs., 11:30 am - 9 pm;
Fri. - Sat., 11:30 am - 10 pm;
Sun., 11:30 am - 9 pm
Founded in 1986. A wonderful dining experience with American home-style cooking. Uses only fresh ingredients, supporting sustainable agricultural practices. All vegetables are meat and dairy free. Top off your home-cooked meal with fresh-baked pie and homemade ice cream. $$-$$

The Swallow at the Hollow (bbq, the best sweet tea and some of the best grassroots country in the area)

1072 Green Street
Roswell, GA 30075
(678) 352-1975
Wed. - Thurs, 11 am - 2:30 pm and 5 - 9 pm;
Fri., 11 am - 2:30 pm and 5-10 pm;
Sat., 11 am - 10 pm; Sun., 11 am - 9 pm
Barbeque restaurant and Country music venue, featuring delicious home-cooked specialties from hickory smoked meats, sausages, macaroni and cheese and fresh breads to yummy chocolate chip banana pudding. Fun! $-$$

Artisan Foods, Bakery and Cafe (new to the area and everything is fresh and delicious!)1169 Canton Street
Roswell, GA 30075
(770) 998-1169; Fax (770) 998-1171
Tues. – Sat., 7 am – 4 pm, serving breakfast and lunch
These graduates of the Art Institute of Atlanta and have now opened their own place to showcase their culinary talents. Artisan Foods fills the former Mittie's Tea Room space on Canton Road in Roswell. the food is fresh delicious and artful..they work really hard to give you their best

Diesel Pizza and Pub (yes this is the sister rest to the one of the same name in Va Highland)994 Alpharetta Street
Roswell, GA 30075
(770) 641-1080

The Roswell Teahouse (adorable!)
108 Magnolia Street
Roswell, GA 30075
(770) 643-5813
Fax: (770) 592-8868
Tues. - Sat, 11:30 am - 4 pm
A teahouse with healthy flair. Choice of 60 different loose-leaf teas and a wide selection of cast-iron teapots and accessories. Lunch and afternoon tea. Visa, MC, AMEX, Disc. $$

Clays' Cafe (what a cute spot)
982 Canton Street
Roswell, GA 30075
(770) 998-1573
Cute little coffee shop tucked away in Roswell..yummy cakes and and sandwhiches. The patio is great in the summer wi-fi

FEATURED HOT SPOT FOR JULY: Will @ Urban Body Studios

OMIGOD..this man is a miracle worker...he's a massage therapist extraordinaire..there's nothing your girl loves more than a spa visit...and the benefits of a relaxing massage is not only therapeutic but essential for balance in this very hectic life we live...from bad posture due to hunkering over a computer screen all day...sports injuries...or the everyday stress of walking in high heels...ladies and gents alike can benefit from massage therapy...if you have back, hip, neck or chronic pain in other areas massage therapy may just be the answer to all your ailments....

Urban Body Studios is located conveniently right off PONCE DE LEON..behind "Paris on Ponce" and across from City Hall east...Urban Body is one of the area's premier workout don't be surprised if you see local celebrities and sports stars there...and they have a full array of classes, a full service gym with personal trainers....and next door is the salon and spa....AHHHHH amazing! the salon has hair and facial services and on the reason for this post MASSAGES!

If it's your first time don't be shy! Tell Will and he will make your experience a definite must do again...i love Will's professionalism..and his massage therapy room is private, soundproof and the music is created to put you in a soothing napping only uses the best...and has the most extensive array of aromatic oils i've ever encountered...his table is heated for those cold phobes like myself and his technique is is the best i've experienced in my travels around the states and the carribean in search of perfection in a Spa visit...i am unabashedly addicted to massages so i speak with authority..RUN DON'T WALK to see Will....and tell him ATLBROWNGIRL is singing his praises from the roof! You will thank me for this i

Will Humphrey
Urban Body Studios Spa and Salon
730 Ponce de Leon Place
spa and salon

Monkey Joe's Madness there such a thing as Parent Nirvana? I believe Monkey Joes is wi-fi..available terminals to log in if you are without your and snacks cream for the kiddes and BEST OF for those rambunctious rascals to run and play rain or shine....what bliss...they are open from morning to nite and the staff are all friendly and amenable to kids running and playing with reckless abandon...It is the premier jumpy place in the area and enough locations to please even the most discriminating Suburban Mom....if you have a kid from 5-9 yrs old who is full of energy there is no better place to while away a Saturday or Sunday afternoon..Be sure you tell them ATLBROWNGIRL sent you by!

4023 Lavista Rd Ste 230
Tucker, GA 30084
(770) 270-6292

700 Holcomb Bridge Rd. Suite 200
Roswell, GA 30076
(678) 381-0400

5805 Statebridge Rd. Ste. 600
Duluth, GA 30097
(770) 497-9887

2283 Browns Bridge Road Ste. 1
Gainesville, GA 30501
(770) 536-0200

5055 Post Rd.
Cumming, GA 30040

7442 Douglas Blvd.
Douglasville, GA 30135
(770) 577-6446

182 Banks Crossing
Fayetteville, GA 30214
(770) 461-7529

Barrett Parkway
50 Barrett Pkwy. Suite 111
Marietta, GA 30066
(770) 792-2244

1152 Auburn Road, Bldg 4
Dacula, GA 30019
(770) 682-5437

354 Newnan Crossing Bypass Suite A
Newnan, GA 30265
Coming Soon

Warner Robins
4993 Russell Pkwy. Suites 370-410 & 520-570
Warner Robins, GA 31088
(478) 333-6336

2453 Airport Thruway
Columbus, GA 31909
(706) 507-5480

368 Fury's Ferry Rd Suite 2
Martinez, GA 30907
(706) 922-5867

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Neighborhood Hot Spots: Cheshire Bridge

ok, ok..i know what you're thinking....Cheshire is not visually stimulating..i mean it is a strip of businesses and restaraunts that is is stripped down to it's boxers...and i mean that literally based on some of the peep show businesses that are still hanging on in the although it ain't visually stunning there are some culinary surprises on Cheshire Bridge..places that you can tiptoe to if you are in the Emory corridor for lunch or dinner with minimal effort...and you can take a culinary tour around the world without ever leaving Cheshire did you know they just finished a "Tasting Tour of Cheshire" complete with a little trolley bus to spirit you around to different businesses? how cool! so do yourself a favor and ske-daddle over to Cheshire if you have a bit of time to hang out....and keep my list of faves handy..and as always i would LOVE to hear from you if there are any that i left off..until then Happy trails and good eating...and Viva Cheshire Bridge!...mama loves


Landmark Diner
2277 Cheshire Bridge Road NAtlanta, GA 30324
(404) 636-8240

Las Margaritas
1842 Chesire Bridge RdAtlanta, GA 30324
(404) 873-4464

The Original Pancake House
2321 Cheshire Brg Rd NEAtlanta, GA 30324
(404) 633-5677

Nakato Japanese Restaraunt1776 Cheshire Bridge RdAtlanta, GA 30324
(404) 783-6582

Varsity Jr
1085 Lindbergh Dr NEAtlanta, GA 30324
(404) 261-8843

Woodfire Grill 1782 Cheshire Bridge Rd NEAtlanta, GA 30324
(404) 347-9055

Nino's Italian Restaurant
1931 Cheshire Brg Rd NEAtlanta, GA 30324
(404) 874-6505

The Red Snapper Seafood Restaurant
2100 Cheshire Bridge Road NAtlanta, GA 30324
(404) 634-8947

Rhodes Bakery
1783 Cheshire Brg Rd NEAtlanta, GA 30324
(404) 876-3783

Taqueria del Sol
2165 Cheshire Bridge RdAtlanta, GA 30324
(404) 321-1118

Colonnade Restaurant
1879 Cheshire Brg Rd NEAtlanta, GA 30324
(404) 874-5642


Enat Ethiopian Restaurant
1999 Cheshire Bridge Rd NAtlanta, GA 30324
(404) 685-9291

Roxx Tavern and Diner
1824 Cheshire Brg Rd NEAtlanta, GA 30324
(404) 892-4541

Bamboo Luau's Chinatown
2263 Cheshire Brg Rd NEAtlanta, GA 30324
(404) 636-9131

Alfredo's Italian Restaurant
1989 Cheshire Bridge RdAtlanta, GA 31136
(404) 876-1380

Taverna Plaka
2196 Cheshire Brg Rd NEAtlanta, GA 30324
(404) 636-2284

Rain Thai Restaraunt
2345 Cheshire Bridge Rd NEAtlanta, GA 30324
(404) 325-6963

1740 Cheshire Brg Rd NEAtlanta, GA 30324
(404) 873-1577

Return To Eden – Neighborhood Organic Market
2335 Cheshire Brg Rd NEAtlanta, GA 30324
(404) 320-3336

Cooking School Ursula Knaeusel
1764 Cheshire Bridge Road NAtlanta, GA 30324
(404) 876-7463

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Neighborhood Hot Spots: Historic Norcross

I love historic neighborhoods that have a modern know the type places..cobblestone walkways...shopowners that holler "howdy!" as you come in the door..eating places where the owners and waitstaff know your little one and i hang in these type areas of town all the time..i have my top faves and thought i would share with you....first out of the chute is Historic is the type place that takes you back in time..(in a good way lol)..the houses are absolutely gorgeous..there are craftsman stunners and historic houses that have been lovingly restored...beautiful bungalows and all other types of goodies inbetween...the neatest thing of all is it is a bonafide community feel..the townfolks walk to the shops and restaraunts from their home and the kids all know each cool is that? my fave restaraunts are listed as follows:

Mojitos - cuban

Dominicks' - italian

Paizano's - (Kissing cousin to the chi-town institution) - italian

Bleu House Cafe - lunch and sandwich spot

Norcross Station Cafe - the menu is amazingly diverse

Northern Star Coffeehouse - cool spot to kick back, have a cup of joe and enjoy the free wi-fi

Thrasher park - trust me the kiddes will love this hot-kiddie spot

Run don't walk to this best kept secret in the Atlanta metro is quite tucked away but easy to find..right off Peachtree Industrial/Medlock's the neighborhood website..

Happy Trails!