Adventure. Thrill. Experience. Culture. Beauty. We all seek it, crave it, some of us live and breathe it; what if I told you that you didn’t have to go all the way to the Amazonian Rainforest or The Louvre to chase these feelings and encounters? That’s exactly what I’m sayin’, and proudly doing so: as exploring, shopping, and eating locally is a total win- win: the ‘artistic wanderer ‘ within you is completely satisfied, and your local economic community is supported and connected. Without further ado: Here’s my top 5 local adventures:
1) The Farmers Market
Now some may assume that the Farmer’s Market is only for moms trying to save a few bucks on groceries. That could not be further from the truth. Nowadays, the farmers market is so much more than just vegetables for Sunday dinner. Florists, butchers, artists, cheese makers, coffee grinders, beer brewers, specialty bakers, and so much more gather to form a hub for amazing food, gorgeous products, and an atmosphere where really cool, really nice, and really hip people can thrive knowing they are being responsible as a consumer. Not only will your wallet and your photographer’s eye thank you, but your body will too: eating clean is much easier when you cut out the middle man, and keeping your eye on the organic prize is a no brainer as you are buying straight from the farmer. One of the coolest farmer’s markets I have been to was the 14th Street Union Square Greenmarket in NYC. All kinds of beautiful people were catching up with each other while scoring some seriously amazing fruits, vegetables, crafts, gifts, flowers, drinks, and pastries. The flower stalls were like bursts of color on the windy New York Streets.
2) Pub Crawl? More like Coffee Crawl.
As convenient and central as it is to just meet your pal at the closest Starbucks to catch up, by staying in your ” coffee shop box ” you are missing some serious gems out there. Many local coffee shops have fresh house made baked goods and coffee locally sourced all to be enjoyed while you take in the unique decor and ambiance. Maybe the atmosphere will inspire you to ponder attending one of their fun community events; poetry slam anyone? I had the greatest time catching up with an old friend/ amazing photographer/ blogger Calee at Roswell Provisions the other day (check out her website revamp in the New Year). I enjoyed an almond mocha and nutella gelato; she ordered a double shot espresso and two dainty meringues. We were very satisfied by our afternoon tea but even happier with the minutes that turned to hours as the coffee and environment helped our conversation and ideas to flow. If you want to have a cute coffee date and spend your dollars responsibly, research some of your city’s up and coming cafe spots.
3) Park Events / Holiday Markets
There are few parks in the world that rival the beauty of Central Park, but there are many special ones out there. Just because we are too big to fit down the slide these days doesn’t mean we should write off parks. Lots of parks have fun social events, cook outs, fitness mornings, and movie nights. Going to the Moonlight Cinema in the Melbourne Botanic Gardens with my best friend Dani was just a surreal experience (for us and our 10,000 closest friends!) In addition, more dance companies are doing outdoor performances, so if you want to see some cutting edge choreography and be outside, that is available to you! Seasonally, there are markets set up to get you in the spirit and help check off some names on your gift giving list. Despite the pouring rain, I had so much fun taking my friends Tara and Natalie from Sydney to the Columbus Circle holiday market in Central Park. Everyone was so nice to chat to and we saw some one of a kind items (a hat that can be worn 34 or something different ways?) I even got Tara to try some hot apple cider while I bragged about her fashion sense and YouTube channel to a sweet Turkish girl.
4) Night at the Museum
For most, a museum isn’t the first thing that comes to mind for a fun night on the town. But the museum scene is changing, and you might need to rethink your perception. To reach the younger demographic, many museums offer special nights for free admission. When a new exhibit opens, there is sometimes an opening party/reception to kick it off. In addition, some city museums have teen nights- a DJ and food is brought in to have an on location dance party mixer; cool right? If this wasn’t enough to draw you in, there are museums now for all kinds of things. Fashion museums, automobile museums, engineering museums, photography exhibits, etc. If you think about something you totally geek out about – chances are there is a specialized museum or archive for your interest.