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Summer is synonymous with a lot of things — sunshine and sunburns, pool days and picnics, lemonade stands and ice cream trucks. It’s also the season when schools let out, which can mean searching for things to do during summer vacation at home. But don’t get stuck in the same summer rut. Break out of your everyday routine without having to pack your bags or drain your bank account by planning a cheap summer staycation right at home!

What is a staycation?

A staycation is the union of a vacation and staying home, where an individual, couple, or entire family hangs out in their home city and finds activities or entertainment within close driving distance. In other words, you don’t have to travel hundreds of miles to find new things to do or see new places!

Staycation

How to plan a staycation

Now that you know the what, it’s time to dive into the how. And how exactly do you plan the perfect staycation? It’ll take a bit of prep work to have the best staycation possible, but the following seven steps are sure to help you minimize your budget and maximize your fun.

1. Do your research

A good place to start in your planning is by doing a little research on what businesses are currently open where you live. Seasonality and other factors can affect when things are open. So before you load up the car, call around to make sure your destination is accepting visitors. If you can’t decide on a specific destination, do a quick internet search for “things to do near me” and let your local listing help you find your next staycation destination.

2. Decide what you want to get out of it

Once you know what’s available to you, determine what you’d like to gain from your time off. Perhaps you’re looking for a little relaxation time or you want a full itinerary of new activities. Why not combine both with an activity that’s both relaxing and engaging, such as checking out a museum or art installation you’ve been curious about but haven’t had enough time to visit.

3. Create a budget

While a staycation is likely less expensive than a traditional vacation, it’s still smart to outline how much you’re looking to spend. The good news is, summertime offers an abundance of free, family-friendly activities, like farmers’ markets, outdoor concerts, movie nights in the park, story hour at the library, and much more.

4. Utilize online resources

Another way to be mindful of your budget is to utilize online resources like Groupon or LivingSocial. These sites allow you to enjoy your city for less, with great discounts on restaurants, events, and experiences. Remember that you’re saving money by not purchasing airfare or hotel accommodations, so don’t be afraid to treat yourself a bit!

5. Turn off your devices

Your staycation is an opportunity to unwind, rest, and reset — but none of that will be possible if you don’t first unplug from your devices. This means silencing your cell phone, attaching an ‘out of office’ reply to your email, and avoiding the traps of social media. Use this staycation as a time to be fully present, savoring every moment with your partner, your children, or yourself.

6. Be a tourist in your own city

Why not use your staycation as an excuse to play tourist in your own city? Spend the day or the whole weekend checking out the hotspots in your area, from famous landmarks and historical sites to quaint side streets and locally-owned businesses. Explore all the places tourists frequent when they visit your area, and be sure to take plenty of photos to remember the day.

7. Try something new

Perhaps the most important part of your staycation is leaving space for new experiences. This could be something as simple as trying a new restaurant or tackling an unfamiliar hiking trail. You could also do a little digging into community education classes, which are an affordable way to learn cooking skills, practice a foreign language, or collect home improvement tips.

Or, have the whole family participate in a family paint night at Painting with a Twist! Whether you’re an experienced painter or just looking for a fun summer activity, the team at Painting with a Twist has you covered.

So, the next time you find yourself wondering how to enjoy your summer vacation at home, why not plan the ultimate staycation! A staycation definitely doesn’t mean you have to sit on your couch since there’s probably plenty of exciting, low-cost things to do in your own city. So do your research, set your budget, and reserve your seat for something new!

Are you throwing a Fourth of July party this year? Better yet… are you wondering how to throw a Fourth of July party that tops all others? Transform your event from a boring backyard barbecue to the ultimate American celebration! From the food to the decorations, these festive Fourth of July party ideas can help you make your Independence Day party the most patriotic – and memorable – one yet.

Food

1. Set up an over-the-top hot dog & burger bar

Hot dogs and burgers fresh off the grill are the quintessential Fourth of July party food, but this extravaganza deserves more than just ketchup and mustard! Set up a decked out toppings station, with things like caramelized onions, grilled pineapple relish, Sriracha mayonnaise, crispy bacon crumbles, guacamole… even mac n’ cheese!

2. Serve Bomb Pop cocktails and mocktails

You don’t need a degree in mixology to make these easy drinks. Buy a few boxes of Bomb Pops or any other red, white, and blue popsicles, as well as a variety of your favorite sparkling beverages. For the boozy version, champagne or prosecco works well. For a nonalcoholic version, just use sparkling water or a clear soda. Place the popsicles in glasses, fill with your beverage of choice, and you’re done! Serve alongside these other yummy (and low-cal!) cocktails.

3. Keep things light with red, white, and blue fruit skewers

In between the loaded hot dogs, potato chips, and your other decadent holiday fare, it’s nice to squeeze in a healthy option. Grab a pack of wooden skewers (bonus points if they’re red, white, or blue!) and load them up with strawberry slices, blueberries, and banana chunks. This sweet snack is easy and patriotic!

4. Send your friends home with S’mores party favors

If you’re one of those hosts who hates sending guests home empty-handed, mini S’mores kits are an easy DIY and a guaranteed crowd pleaser! Just put mini chocolate bars, graham crackers, and a fluffy marshmallow in a clear goody bag, and tie it closed with red and blue ribbon.

Party Games

5. Craft a balloon American flag dart game

This party game takes a bit of time to set up, but the end result is worth it! If you have a white pegboard, that works great for this craft. Otherwise, a large foam board works just fine. Put different prizes (think candy or dollar bills!) into red, blue, and white balloons – you can estimate how many inflated balloons you need based on the size of your board. Then, attach the inflated, goodie-filled balloons to the board and have your guests play a patriotic game of darts.

6. Delight your young (and young at heart) guests with a squirt gun station

You can usually count on sky-high temperatures for outdoor summer parties, and a squirt gun fight is the perfect way for kiddos to cool down. Grab several cheap water guns from local discount stores and toss them in a tub of ice. Just a head’s up: the more Bomb Pop cocktails consumed, the more rambunctious the squirt gun fight gets.

7. Challenge partygoers to a giant game of festive Tic-tac-toe

Create an oversized Tic-tac-toe board on your lawn using either strands of rope or white spray paint. Create several large Xs and Os out of thick cardboard, or pick up some wooden letters at your local craft store. Then, sit back and watch everyone’s competitive side come out!

Decorations

8. Paint your lawn with red, white, and blue stars

Give your yard a star-spangled makeover by covering it with red, white, and blue stars! Create a large star stencil using a piece of cardboard, and then paint scattered stars across your lawn with spray paint. Let your yard art dry, and voila!

9. Repurpose your Christmas lights and make your venue sparkle

You don’t need to spend a fortune on Fourth of July party decorations to make your party space feel special. One of the easiest ways to make your party shine as bright as the fireworks is by hanging strings of white Christmas lights. You don’t have to spend a dime, and your space will instantly feel cozy and festive.

10. Deck out your tables with red, white, and blue flower centerpieces

But don’t worry about hunting down red, white, and blue flowers. Purchase white flowers, and place them in glass vases or bowls filled with water. Then, simply add red food coloring to some of the vases, blue food coloring to others, and leave a few clear. You’ve instantly got red, white, and blue floral arrangements!

Activities

11. Create a DIY patriotic photo wall

Everyone loves a good photo op. Give your guests the perfect place to pose by creating a photo wall, complete with a basket of fun patriotic props. One of the easiest ways to craft a photo wall is with a white flat sheet and some fabric paint. Paint your design (you can’t go wrong with an American flag or fireworks) and suspend your sheet somewhere that guests can snap a pic. Place a basket nearby, complete with things like star sunglasses, America-themed feather boas, and all things ‘MERICA.

12. Host a festive 4th of July painting event

Not up to hosting at your house or looking to find something totally new to do? Host a private 4th of July paint party at Painting with a Twist! Invite your friends, family, and neighbors to spend the holiday at our studio, sipping on their beverage of choice while painting a masterpiece with step-by-step instructions. Bring the guests and the USA-themed snacks, and we’ll handle everything else.

13. Don’t forget the sparklers (complete with custom DIY sparkler packs)

Is it possible to celebrate the 4th of July without sparklers? Stock up on the handheld fireworks and pass them out to your guests when the sun goes down. If you’re really the hostess with the mostest, you can even put them in themed sparkler sleeves, like these free printable options from Minted.

Save yourself from the after-party cleanup by booking a private paint party at your local Painting with a Twist! Bring your most festive food and beverages and any guests you want to share them with. Then, choose from our library of patriotic-themed paintings. We’ll provide the space and all the supplies you need to paint your own tribute to America!

The days are longer and the nights are warmer. It’s the perfect time of year to get out and try those exciting late-night date destinations. The only problem? You can’t think of anything to do! If you’re ready for a summer’s night on the town and need some ideas, check out these summertime late night date night ideas to get your summer love blossoming.

See the stars.

As cheesy as it sounds, when was the last time you looked at the stars? Have you ever had a chance to look at the milky way? If you live in a major city or suburb, chances are your locality doesn’t get dark enough at night to allow you to enjoy the stars! In fact, check out “Dark Sky Communities” — places that are certified for their dedication to the preservation of the night sky in seven US states.

However, there’s no need to organize a whole vacation to a Dark Sky Community just to see the stars! Chances are, an ideal location to catch a glimpse of the milky way is not too far from your home. Do a quick internet search for “Best Places for Stargazing Near Me,” and you’ll find a list of date night destinations. Pack your favorite caffeinated beverages, a couple of blankets, and download directions on your navigation app before starting your drive (reception might be spotty).

It’s a good idea to try and arrive right before sundown, so you can enjoy the “light-show” from sunset to dusk. You can also download a stargazing app like Star Walk to help identify the constellations. Once you’ve gotten your fill of celestial bodies, hop back in the car and stop by your favorite drive-thru ice cream or milkshake spot for a treat on the way home.

Practice some DIY TLC.

If you’d dive face-first into a sheet mask any day of the week, you already have an appreciation for DIY spa treatments. However, your partner may or may not be on the same sheet as you. But don’t give up on a couple’s DIY spa night — an evening of joint pampering and relaxation can do wonders for your psyche and your relationship. In fact, according to Couples Therapy Inc., trying something new together can help you rekindle your romantic spark.

Order exfoliating foot masks online (if your partner is face mask-averse) and let them work your magic as you enjoy your favorite drinks, chocolates, and cheeses. Then, soak in a warm bubble bath while you sip on a glass of spa water (iced water with your favorite fresh fruits). Don’t worry too much about jam-packing your date night with all the spa activities. Instead, do whatever feels good — whether that’s giving each other foot rubs, doing a relaxing yoga flow, or falling asleep to reruns of your favorite game show.

Try something new.

If you’re scouring the internet for “date night ideas that don’t involve eating,” you’re not alone. A lot of people want an outing that’s not food related. Some good ways to enjoy a late-night date night that doesn’t end with dessert and indigestion are visiting a rock-climbing gym, challenging each other in a round of mini-golf, or trying a couples’ painting class!

A paint night date night will get your creative juices flowing as you each work to complete half of a painting — which comes together to reveal a beautiful masterpiece! Check out this study on how having a date night at Painting with a Twist releases oxytocin (2x more in men than women!) Additionally, at Painting with a Twist, you can bring your own snacks and drinks, and we’ll provide the painting supplies, ambiance, instruction, and clean-up! SCORE.

paint night date night

Check out our online calendar to find paint night date nights near you or pick up two of our Twist at Home kits to bring date night to you!

Feelin’ hot, hot, hot? Just because it’s a scorcher outside doesn’t mean your summertime activities have to go up in flames. If you’re at a loss of how to deal with summer heat, try cooling down with one of these indoor activities to keep you out of the sun while still having fun!

1. Kitchen Creativity

Turn daily chores like cooking into cool summer activities, like a build-your-own-pizza night! Give everyone an individual pizza crust and go crazy on a topping bar with all the yummy options. Or treat yourself and your kiddos to something sweet! Bake cupcakes or sugar cookies and spend the afternoon decorating them together. Check with your local bakeries too—some are offering at-home decorating kits to make this activity a piece of (cup)cake!

summer ideas

2. Not-Your-Average-Movie-Night

Looking to skip the movie theater? Transform your house into an at-home theater! Pile pillows and blankets to create a cozy palette on the floor, or better yet, gather all the sheets to build a fort! And don’t forget the concessions for that real movie-theater feel! Stock up on drinks, boxes of candy, and popcorn served in popcorn buckets to really get in the spirit of things. Your family will have such a great time, they’ll want a double feature!

3. Fun Field Trip

Need to get out of the house? Take a family field trip! Museums are a fun way to avoid the summer heat (and bonus for parents: educational!). If you’d prefer to stay home, you’ll find many online programs offered by art museums and children’s museums with engaging summer activities for kids.

4. Indoor Camp Out

Roasting s’mores can be fun, but a campfire on a hot summer evening is not. Don’t let the summer heat ruin your adventure—bring your campout into the A/C! Move some furniture around and pitch a tent in the living room, or forgo the tent and just break out the sleeping bags for an equally fun experience. Sauté some hotdogs on the stovetop and roast s’mores in the oven, let your kids build a “campfire” out of flashlights, and turn off all the lights. And to really feel like you’re escaping to the great outdoors, put away cell phones, tablets, and other electronics.

5. Painting Party

Is your family a creative bunch looking for summer art activities? Your little artists will love creating a masterpiece right at home! Painting with a Twist offers family-friendly at-home painting events that are fun for all ages. These painting sessions are fun art, not fine art, so even if you aren’t handy with a paintbrush, you can still have a blast!

Summer break is finally here! The kids couldn’t be happier with no e-learning to worry about, but you’re already dreading hearing that first, “I’m bored!” Just because it’s summer, doesn’t mean your kids can’t still stay active both mentally and physically! Whether you’re looking for fun things to do in your town or brainstorming how to keep your kids learning while on summer vacation, check out these fun and creative ways to keep your kids’ brains engaged and active all summer long.

What to Do with Kids in Summer

1. Make a sweet treat.

Is there anything better than a refreshing treat on a hot day? Help your kids make popsicles or ice cream and teach them valuable kitchen skills along the way. Want to take it to the next level? Have your kids find a recipe for their treat of choice, then ask them to make a grocery list with what they’ll need and give them a shopping budget to follow. They’ll learn how to use a recipe and prep food safely, and you’ll get dessert out of the activity. A win-win for all involved!

2. Plant a garden.

Do your kids know where their vegetables come from — beyond the grocery store, that is? Make a trip to a local nursery or home improvement store to pick out a few veggies that you can grow in your backyard.

If you don’t have a green thumb, start with a few herbs that are easy to grow, like cilantro, basil, or parsley. Let your kids get messy with potting soil and a container or the dirt in your yard to plant your new finds. Then, ask your kids to come up with a system or schedule to remember to water and care for the plants. You’re not only creating an opportunity for them to learn about agriculture — you’re also teaching them a few lessons in patience and responsibility!

3. Get in touch with your artsy side.

Art class may not be in session at your kids’ school, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get crafty on your own! Create cherished memories together with a family paint night or encourage your youngsters to meet new friends with exclusive art camps and painting events for kids. Painting can improve your kids’ concentration and focus, help them sharpen their motor skills, and give them the confidence to think creatively in their everyday lives.

4. Take a trip to local historical sites.

For some kids, history can seem pretty dull. But sometimes, it comes alive as soon as they walk in the footsteps of those who came before them. Look for historical sites in your area, like war battlefields or old homes. Guided tours are a great way to keep kids engaged and interested, and many of these places offer free or low-cost admission. Plus, you’ll all get to learn more about the heritage of your hometown!

5. Look for local summer camps for kids.

Are your kids interested in sports? Find a sports camp where your little athletes can step up their game! What about other hobbies? Check with local businesses and organizations to see if they offer workshops or activity camps for kids during the summer, like carpentry classes at the local hardware store, acting workshops with a theater company, or art camps for kids at a nearby painting studio. Encouraging your children to find a hobby or activity that they love can boost their mood and support their growing imaginations this summer.

6. Host a reading contest.

There’s one way to make almost any activity more fun: turn it into a game! Set a summer reading goal for each child, make a poster to track everyone’s progress, and offer rewards for reaching new milestones (like an outing to a favorite restaurant or getting to pick the movie for your next family movie night). If you have an only child, ask friends or neighbors if their kids want to participate in a friendly competition.

Find Art Camps for Kids This Summer

Making sure your kids’ minds and bodies stay active can feel like a full-time summer job. Keep their gears turning in a creative, productive way with painting events for kids at Painting With a Twist! Their brains stay engaged, and you get some time to take your own summer break. Contact your local Painting With a Twist studio for more info on painting events and summer camps for kids.

Are you feeling nostalgic for the 90s? Those simpler times saw the rise of great music, colorful clothing choices, and the best junk food options that side of the millennium. So, if you’re looking for a little escape from the modern age, check out these fun ways to make your summer the most ’90s nostalgic summer yet!

1. Make a 90s “cheese” board.

You probably remember your lunchbox staples with mouthwatering nostalgia if you were a kid (or kid at heart) in the 90s. Recently, some popular snacks and foods have made a comeback, while many other classic 90s delights never left, they were merely outshined by newer, shinier superfoods.

In fact, according to Southern Living, the area of the brain that helps us remember flavors also “records” the place and time we tasted those flavors. And that’s why char-grilled beef franks always remind you of summer camp!

Time travel back to summertime in the 1990s with a smorgasbord filled with your favorite decade snacks. Consider cult favorites like Dunkaroos (now available in stores according to Delish), Fruit Gushers, and even Lunchables. Sure, a 90s sampler platter might not make for the most wholesome meal, but it will take you back to the times when charcuterie boards didn’t cost an arm and a leg.

2. Have a 90s movie marathon.

You may no longer have that enormous, 1-ton box TV set, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a 90s-style movie night. But don’t just settle for watching classic 1990s movies like Space Jam, Jumanji, or The Parent Trap! Pair your film festival with delicious 90s snacks like the ones mentioned above, or even a good old sip of boxed juice or chocolate milk (Did someone say Yoohoo!?).

Take your nostalgia night to the next level by leaving your smartphone in another room to help you enhance that pre-Y2K feeling. If you get tired of watching movies (and have the technology available), enjoy a brief intermission over your favorite Nintendo 64 or first-generation Sony PlayStation games. “Booyah!”

3. Go all out with a 90s party.

If you left your Game Boy Color back in ’99 (or just want to go screen-free for a few hours), you can still party like it’s 1999. Whether you’re solo or with other members of your household — a little bit of dress-up, some snacks, and a classic 90s playlist are all it takes to time travel back to the second millennium.

Start by digging in your closet for items reminiscent of 90s fashion. Many of the decade’s trends have made a comeback in recent years, including choker necklaces, scrunchies, mini backpacks, flannels, and colorful windbreakers. Once you find a few 1990s style gems, pick your favorites and get into character! Don’t forget about the bling!

While you dress up as your inner 90s kid, turn up the boombox to your favorite 90s tunes. Get the party started with classic songs like Wannabe by the Spice Girls, Bidi Bidi Bom Bom by Selena, and Livin’ La Vida Loca by Ricky Martin.

4. Pay homage to “the good decade” with a 90s Trivia Event!

Once you’ve got the soundtrack and the outfit down, you’ll feel as fly as Will Smith on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Add an ultimate 90s painting party with super fun trivia to the mix and you have the perfect throwback event this summer.

Take a break from the twenty-twenties today! Join us in studio or virtually for a 90s inspired Summer of Pop painting event.

Summer of Pop paintings

As the workdays bleed into the weekends and the weekends into workdays, social distancing means one thing and one thing only: a whole lot of time at home. The lack of office banter and social interaction during the workweek can lead to burnout and social isolation, a dear cousin of social distancing.

In an effort to keep your team connected, it’s more important than ever to engage team spirit on a consistent basis. One fun way to liven up everyone’s home office? Host a social distancing corporate event!

If you’re unsure how to plan a corporate event, especially in a remote working environment, don’t worry. Here are easy-to-implement virtual corporate event ideas to consider for your team.

Take a mental break with a work-wide virtual health retreat.

Does it feel like working from home is making you more sedentary? It may very well be! With gyms closed and commutes extremely shortened, employees have to proactively schedule in time throughout the day to move their bodies.

To get everyone’s blood pumping, organize an at-home health retreat. Schedule time throughout the workday for online health and wellness classes and activities that employees can opt into. From sweat-inducing power workouts and serene yoga to meditation sessions and nutrition courses, provide a variety of online workshops for your team to participate in.

Encourage team members to post photos of themselves participating throughout the day. Close out the virtual retreat with an awards ceremony! “Hand out” awards online: most team spirit, best workout gear, most classes taken, etc. The more creative, the better!

Host an afternoon of online trivia.

One of the best ways to bring a large team of people together online? Host a virtual trivia party!

Here’s how virtual trivia works: you’ll need an online space where your team can gather, like Zoom, Google Hangouts, Webex, or Microsoft Teams. Since this is a social event, encourage participants to turn on their cameras!

Next, you’ll need a host to serve as the question-master. This person will research trivia questions for the group, keep track of the score, and serve as the host of ceremonies during the event. Some services, like TriviaHubLive, provide a host with their out-of-the-virtual-box solution. You can also simply ask a team member who enjoys being front-and-center.

Next, form teams of 3-5 people and have each group come up with a team name. During trivia, team members can collaborate through an online messaging system, like Slack or Hangouts Chat, to brainstorm answers. Every group needs a team leader to submit final answers to each question.

Finally, host the event! The trivia master may kick off the event by sharing the game rules, going over the trivia categories, and explaining how each team member can submit answers. Then, let the trivia mania begin!

Organize your own 2020 online Olympics.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics may be canceled, but consider lighting a virtual eternal flame for your team by hosting a company-wide online Olympics event!

Start by researching simple “Minute to Win It” games with materials team members can easily find at home or buy on their next trip to the grocery store. Make sure these games can be performed in front of a video-conferencing application. These games will serve as your Olympic events throughout the day. Then, divide your team into groups and assign each group a country. For extra fun, encourage team members to wear their assigned country’s primary colors.

Finally, let the games begin! Dial-in and watch as team members compete in silly games over video conferencing.

Paint at home, together!

If you’re wondering how to make corporate events fun and interactive at home, consider organizing a virtual painting event for your team! Painting provides a therapeutic outlet to relieve stress, making it the perfect group activity for teams who aren’t accustomed to the pitfalls of overworking when working from home.

Create an opportunity for your team to take a breath, connect, and use their brains in an entirely different kind of way through making art.

Painting With a Twist makes it easy to organize a virtual painting corporate event with Twist at Home kits! Purchase kits from your local painting studio, pick them up and distribute to team members’ doorsteps.

If you have team members all over the country, simply order kits online for each employee. Within each kit, employees will receive a canvas, paint, paintbrushes, and step-by-step instructions to complete their painting. If you’d prefer your team to follow a live instructor, you can look for “painting events near me” to find scheduled virtual live events. Or you can throw a private virtual group paint party!

If you’re ready to liven up everyone’s home office with a social distancing corporate event, boost morale while making memories during your Twist at Home event! Get your painting supplies, queue up that video conference call, and prepare to do some long-distance team building!

team building paint party

Deciding what to get mom for Mother’s Day can be extremely tricky. Should you buy her a gift? Make her something? Give her the gift of quality time? While there’s no right or wrong answer to this question, moms usually have one thing in common: they cherish time with their loved ones! So, in the spirit of cherishable memories, here are ten creative gift Mother’s Day gift ideas for all of the moms in your life.

The Best Mother’s Day Gift for Mom

While all moms just want to spend time with their family, giving her a coupon for a free foot rub for the third year in a row may have run its course. This year, spruce up your Mother’s Day gift with an idea that’s both creative and fun to receive for mom.

For Moms of Littles: Host a Talent Show in Her Honor

Invite mom to a talent show in her honor! Kids can get involved in planning this special evening event for mom days ahead of their grand performance. From dance routines and magic acts to singing and skits, kiddos can prepare solo and group performances for their Mother’s Day Talent Show.

There’s plenty to prepare: planning and practicing talent show acts, making mom a homemade program outlining the order of the performances, and preparing snacks and drinks for the guest of honor… there’s a role for every family member!

Make sure to take photos of the event, and if you want to go the extra mile, print a simple photo album documenting mom’s special night. Looking at pictures of this silly evening is sure to bring smiles to her face.

For Moms Who Cherish Quality Time: Coordinate Family Paint Night

One of the most valuable gifts moms can receive is time with her kids. From little ones in diapers to adult children who have lives of their own, moms love to spend quality time with the family she created. This year, organize a family paint night on Mother’s Day and make sure to include every family member!

Can’t be together this year on Mother’s Day? No problem. With Twist at Home virtual paint events, you can pick up the art supplies you need from your local Painting with a Twist location and host a virtual Family Paint Night with loved ones near and far.

For Expecting Moms: Create an At-Home Spa

Sending a mom-to-be to the spa is very relaxing, but it can be incredibly expensive. Plus, she would probably prefer to spend time with you! Pamper mama with an at-home spa experience! She’ll be impressed with your creativity and will love the quality time she’ll get to spend with you.

Start by creating the right atmosphere at home: scented candles, low light, and ambient background music. Offer her a spa drink — cucumber or fruit-infused water — and then let the spa “services” begin! From an organic face mask and hand/foot massages to a more elaborate bubble bath and body scrub, the sky’s the limit with what services you provide for mom-to-be. If you have kids, get them in on the fun! Make sure to spoil this well-deserving mom.

For the Mom Who Loves Romance: Create a Work of Art Together

When it comes to creative Mother’s Day gifts for your wife, spend time creating a unique work of art that you can proudly display in your home. Painting With a Twist offers Twist at Home, a virtual paint-at-home experience that allows for even more one-on-one bonding. Studies show that painting together triggers oxytocin, the “Love Hormone.” Fall even more in love with every stroke of the brush!

Creative Mother’s Day Gifts for Grandma

Not quite sure what to get the matriarch in your family for Mother’s Day? Grandma deserves a thoughtful gift that shows how well you know her, and how much you care about her. Here are some creative gift ideas for Grandma this Mother’s Day.

For Grandmothers Who Have an Interesting Past: Explore Her Genealogy

Knowing where you come from gives a person a sense of identity. Whether Grandma knows a lot or a little about her past, it can be a fun family activity to explore the family tree through an online ancestry, genealogy, or DNA service. Gift Grandma a subscription and become a detective alongside her, exploring and documenting your family history together. Turn your digital subscription into a family scrapbook by printing the articles and pedigree charts you find online and storing them in a binder. Who knows what kind of stories and lineages you may uncover!

For Grandmas Who Adore Their Grandchildren: Celebrate Her Legacy

There’s a special bond between a grandmother and grandchild that can’t be explained. Capture that love by creating a custom piece of jewelry for Grandma that includes all of her grandchildren’s birthstones. The best part? You don’t have to spend a fortune to create a custom birthstone bracelet, necklace, or ring for your grandmother. Explore maker marketplaces, like Etsy, to find a design that fits your Grandmother’s style and your personal budget.

For Tech-Friendly Grandmas: Host a Virtual Family Gathering

If your Grandma loves texting emojis and posting on her Facebook, coordinate a virtual family gathering for Mother’s Day! With easy-to-use video conferencing technology, it’s easier than ever to bring together family members from near and far to celebrate your favorite mom.

Spice up your Mother’s Day virtual gathering with an easy-to-implement activity, like playing an online group game or participating in a virtual paint night. Including an activity creates a bonding experience and helps you avoid the awkwardness of not knowing how to keep the conversation going during a large virtual gathering.

What to Get Your Mother-in-Law for Mother’s Day

When it comes to Mother’s Day gifts for your mother-in-law, a thoughtful gift doesn’t require over-the-top planning. Consider these gift ideas that are sure to bring a smile to her face this Mother’s Day.

For Mothers-in-Law Who Lives Far Away: Mail Her a Flower “Bouquet”

If you have children, have them help pick flowers in your yard or while on a walk in your neighborhood. Press the flowers between the pages of a thick book — make sure to use parchment paper between the pages and the flowers so you don’t stain the book pages. Leave them for about 2 weeks to allow the flowers to dry out. Once you have your beautiful collection of pressed flowers, you can creatively place them in a frame or simply glue them to a card and mail it to your mother-in-law. Ta-da! A mailable bouquet of flowers!

For Sentimental Mothers-in-Law: Design A One-of-a-Kind Photo Calendar

The rise of social media has meant the fall of traditionally printed photos. While digital photos are incredibly convenient when it comes to sharing memories with friends and family, there’s something extra nostalgic about reminiscing over printed photos in your home. This year, spend some time creating a custom photo calendar for mom. You can make a homemade calendar by printing and gluing photos on a large calendar or simply create, customize, and order one online.

For extra creativity points, organize photos from years past that correspond with each month: New Year’s photos for January, Valentine’s Day photos for February, etc. Not only will mom love the walk down memory lane, but she’ll also have a beautiful, useful gift to display at home or at work!

For Mothers-in-Law Who Love to Cook: Decorate a Recipe Binder

If you’re a huge fan of your mother-in-law’s cooking, pay tribute to her recipes by decorating a recipe binder this Mother’s Day! You can use photos of her, decorative quotes, stickers — any craft supply that makes you think of this special lady. If you want to go the extra mile, ask her in advance what recipes she especially likes, and include a print out of those inside the binder!

At the end of the day, mom can’t get enough of the people she loves. Instead of buying mom a one-time gift, why not give her one she’ll cherish for years to come — the memory of spending time with you and the beautiful artwork you’ll both get out of it! Invite her to join a Twist at Home event so you can stay safe at home while enjoying your Mother’s Day bonding together or purchase a gift card for a Mother’s Day do-over paint night later!

virtual paint night

Time flies when the kids are in school. But as soon as summer break starts, time seems to come to a screeching halt! Don’t let summer creep by with the sounds of “I’m bored!” playing on a loop. Keep the kids busy this summer with these eight fun activities for kids!

Head to the beach or pool, or set up a mini water park in your backyard.

Nothing says vacation like being by the water. If you’re lucky enough to live near the beach or a pool — pack the sunscreen, some water toys, and a picnic lunch for a day’s worth of fun with the kids. If you don’t have access to either and you’re looking for things to do with kids at home, set up an aquatic playground in your backyard! Some water balloons, a sprinkler, and a slip n’ slide can keep everyone occupied for hours. And don’t forget, SPF is your BFF!

Go on a camping trip.

If your family is on the adventurous side, there’s no better bonding activity than a camping trip! Teach the kids to pitch a tent, build a fire, and make s’mores. Are you not wild about the idea of sleeping in the wilderness? Go camping in the backyard! Set up camp, grill out, stargaze, and tell ghost stories from the comfort of your yard.

Take an outing to a drive-in movie theater.

They might seem old-fashioned, but there are still over 300 drive-in theaters operating in the country! Find the nearest one and plan a family movie night excursion. Drive-in tickets are typically much cheaper than standard theaters, and some even let you bring your own food and drinks.

If there isn’t a drive-in theater near you, you can set up a backyard theater with a movie projector and a large, white bed sheet. Bring your home-made movie theater treats like popcorn, pizza, and hot dogs, and you’re good to go!

Sign them up for Kids Camp at Painting with a Twist.

Let your little ones unleash their inner Picasso at your local Painting with a Twist studio! At our Kids Camps, your children will enjoy art, snacks, friends, music, and playtime while you enjoy getting your day back! Don’t let them experience the dreaded school vacation brain drain. Kid-friendly events at Painting with a Twist allow them to develop their creativity, learn new skills, gain confidence, and, most importantly, have a blast with friends. Call your local studio today to learn more about their Kids Camps offerings!

kids summer camp

Tie-dye clothing.

Grab a tie-dye kit and some cheap beach pails from your local craft store, have your kids gather up some pieces of white clothing, and have an outdoor tie-dye party! Everyone will love turning their old t-shirts, socks, and pillowcases into groovy, colorful masterpieces.

Check out storytime at the library.

No one has a parent’s back quite like the library, especially when the weather calls for indoor activities for kids. When in doubt, check out your local library’s calendar of events! They usually offer a variety of great activities, from interactive storytimes to arts & crafts. Even better, they’re almost always free!

Take turns picking new recipes and cooking for each other.

If your children enjoy helping in the kitchen, play restaurant! Kids can pick out fun recipes, grocery shop, and prepare meals and snacks for the family. Your child will get some great practice making a plan and following instructions, as well as a sense of pride and accomplishment when everyone digs into their culinary creation!

Pack a sunset picnic, complete with sparklers.

When the weather is beautiful, everything is more fun outdoors. Instead of having another dinner at home, pack it up, and take it to a park or scenic overlook for a sunset dinner picnic! Surprise the kids with post-dinner sparklers, and you’ll automatically become the favorite parent (or cool auntie).

Running out of things to do with your kids at home? Painting with a Twist’s Kids Camps and painting events for kids are a perfect way to keep them entertained while you crush your to-do list. Find an art camp for kids at a Painting with a Twist studio near you!

Every time you check social media, you see another old friend announcing a big life event. And while weddings, baby showers, and housewarming parties are a great chance to see your old college bestie, you shouldn’t have to wait until one of you has another significant life event to reconnect. And while keeping up with friends can be hard as an adult, it’s not impossible! Here are a few ideas on how to maintain friendships while keeping up with your “adulting” schedule.

Why Adult Friendships Are Important

When you’re a kid, friends are everything! You listen and learn from each other, you lean on each other for support, and you grow together. And this is just as important when you’re an adult! A solid friendship can help provide support, accountability, and a sense of belonging as you face all of those responsibilities that come with growing up. In fact, maintaining adult friendships has proven beneficial in more ways than one!

  • Social connections found in adult friendships can reduce stress levels, which can, in turn, lower blood pressure, reports WebMD.
  • Friends can help your career. One LinkedIn survey showed that about 85% of all jobs are found through a network of friends and personal connections.
  • Adult friendships can impact your lifespan more positively than exercising and can have a similar effect on your long-term health as quitting smoking, according to Live Science.
  • Live Science also reports that strong adult friendships have been linked to a lowered overall risk of health problems.

Making Friends as an Adult: Where Do You Start?

When you think back on early adulthood, what do you remember? Carefree days? Fewer responsibilities? More social time? As it turns out, you’re probably not the only one. According to CNN, most adults make more new social connections in their early 20s as compared to new relationships after 25. But with a little bit of effort, your social circle can keep growing for the rest of your life! Here are a few ideas for making friends as an adult:

  • Take a class. When attending a group activity or trying a unique workout class, keep in mind that every class you attend is an opportunity for connection. You’ll have something in common with everyone in the room already! Plus, trying new things is a simple way to boost your overall happiness.
  • Socialize with your coworkers. So, maybe your peer in the next cubicle over doesn’t seem like best friend material. But you never know who might be in their friend circles! According to Barna, many Americans meet their closest friends through coworkers or other friends, so if a colleague invites you to a party or after-work happy hour, GO!
  • Use the internet. Apps like Hey! VINA can help you connect with potential new friends in your area (it’s for women only!). Want to meet larger groups of people? Meetup is a great way to find people who share similar hobbies and interests, whether you’re into art, sports, reading, fashion, etc.

How to Maintain Friendships When You’re Busy

Whether you’re trying to build out your circle of friends or you need new ways to stay in touch with old friends, here are a few ways to maintain friendships, both old and new.

  1. Schedule weekly or monthly phone calls. Call your best friend while you’re taking care of mundane tasks, like when one of you is grocery shopping or commuting to and from the office. Make the most of that time—even if it’s only five minutes at a time.
  2. Start a new tradition. When you were young, it might have been Taco Tuesdays or an annual Ugly Holiday Sweater Party. Now it’s time to start new traditions! Meet up for a relaxing Paint and Sip night once a month, head to a concert together, or have a casual dinner at your favorite place—just the two of you.
  3. Send each other notes or gifts in the mail. Is there something that will always make you think of your bestie? Maybe they have a thing for flamingos or collecting sassy coffee mugs. Sending a small gift or note every once in a while can help you feel more connected with a friend, even if you don’t talk to them every day.
  4. Take a road trip! If all else fails, drive to visit a long-distance friend or find somewhere you can meet in the middle for a fun weekend of making memories. Both of you can enjoy taking a step away from the everyday hustle and bustle to rekindle your friendship.

How to Make Friendships Last a Lifetime

No matter what your friends are like or how long you’ve had them, the best way to maintain your friendship is to spend quality time together! Take a night to catch up with your best friends over a bottle of wine and a one-of-a-kind painted creation. Make some colorful new memories at a Paint and Sip or Coffee and Canvas event at a Painting with a Twist near you!

paint with friends

After 12 cups of coffee in two days, you finally had enough courage (and caffeine!) to ask out that barista behind the counter. Or maybe you and your partner have been going strong for 12,000 cups of coffee. Wherever you are in your relationship, you never have to stop dating each other! Whether it’s your first date or your 100th, here are some simple dating tips to help keep the spark alive.

Dating Tips for New Relationships

Go places where you can talk.

Movies and loud concerts can be a fun way to spend time together. But it’s also important to make time to converse and get to know each other. Instead of sitting silently in the theater or screaming over music, plan a date night where you can talk, ask questions, and grow your blossoming relationship.

Find activities to do together.

Getting dinner and drinks may be a classic first date routine, but why not mix it up? Instead of going to a restaurant or bar, plan a date centered around an activity. Take a couples painting class at Painting with a Twist and bond over your artistic abilities – or lack thereof! Get a little competitive with a few rounds of mini-golf. Head to a local hiking trail and break a sweat while you chat. You might get to see a whole new side of your date!

Ask questions and show interest.

One of the best date night tips to get the conversation going is to show interest! No matter where you go on your date, ask plenty of questions so you can get to know your date. Listen to their answers and engage in whatever topics come up. While it’s good to offer information about yourself, focus on them as much as you can. You can always brainstorm a few questions to ask them ahead of time!

Ditch the distractions.

It might seem like a no-brainer to not be on your phone during a date, but it’s easy to pick up your phone when you’re having a slightly awkward, “I don’t know what to do with my hands” moment. To avoid even appearing like you’re not fully present, turn off your phone and tuck it away for your date. Being fully present goes a long way.

Long Term Relationship Tips

Prioritize regular date nights.

Life gets busy, and it’s easy to put dates on the back burner when you’ve gotten into a comfortable groove. After a long day, why wouldn’t you want to hang out and watch TV in your sweatpants with your partner? However, a date night can help break up the same old routine in your relationship. They offer the chance to communicate, rekindle the spark, let loose, and focus on each other. Try these date night ideas to rekindle the flame in your long-term relationship.

Try something new together at least once a month!

If you’ve ever complained about feeling “bored” in your long-term relationship, then spice things up by trying something new together! Sign up for a Painting with a Twist event, where you and your partner can sip on your favorite drink while creating art with guidance from a painting pro. If you’re a brave pair, try an adrenaline rush like a high ropes course or rock climbing.

Little surprises go a long way.

You don’t need to surprise your loved one with round-trip tickets to an exotic destination to make their day. Small surprises can mean just as much, if not more! Greet them with their favorite dessert or surprise them by planning a unique date, and you’ll remind them how much you care.

Forget the old dinner and a movie routine and share an experience you will both remember! Reserve your seats at a Painting with a Twist painting event and take home fond date-night memories and an original work of art as a date night keepsake.

date night

It’s almost that time of year again when crowds of couples come out to celebrate Valentine’s Day — or as others may call it, Singles Awareness Day. But being single on Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a downer! This step-by-step guide will give you plenty of ideas on how to enjoy being single on February 14th and every day after. It’s time to make V-Day feel like your B-Day!

1. Start with Self-Care

Whether it’s getting some extra sleep, sinking into a warm bubble bath, entering a deep meditation, or just rockin’ out in your undies, there are a million ways to practice self-care. Just find out what works best for you, then immerse yourself in it.

Additionally, make sure to throw in some self-affirmations and gratitude practice while you’re at it. Set aside time each morning to celebrate yourself and the small (and big) wins in your life. It can be a great way to lay the foundation for a fantastic day!

Galentine's Day

2. Make Yourself Something Delicious and Nutritious

Whether you’re a master chef or a total novice, there’s something special about eating a meal you poured your heart and soul into.

Prepare a yummy omelette for breakfast to start your day off right. For lunch, make yourself a healthy homemade salad with grilled chicken. For dinnertime, take things up a notch with pesto-topped salmon. Whatever meal it is, make something you love to eat (extra points for sticking to Valentine’s theme). Be sure to fill your meal with healthy, energizing ingredients to fuel you throughout the day and into the night – especially if you’re planning a Galentine’s girls’ night!

3. Work Up a Sweat

Speaking of treating your body right, it’s time to work up a sweat! Not only is it good for your physical health, working out has a ton of emotional benefits too. Getting sweaty can help with things like bad mood, stress, mental fatigue, and anxiety. So, whether it’s yoga, weightlifting, or even a brisk walk, make sure to get moving!

4. Nurture Your Non-Romantic Relationships

With so much focus on romance around Valentine’s Day, it might be easy to overlook the other relationships in your life. Take the time to tend to your non-romantic relationships this Valentine’s Day. After all, they’re an essential part of your support network and deserve some appreciation!

Reach out to parents, siblings, old friends, far-away friends, mentors, or people you’d like to get to know better. It can be a phone call, facetime, or even just a text message. Something as simple as “Hey! I thought of you today and just wanted to let you know that I appreciate you” goes a long way toward keeping loved ones close.

5. Be Productive… Or Not!

You know that thing you’ve been putting off? It’s time to roll up your sleeves and get it done! Or maybe you’ve got a particular hobby that could use your attention — that counts as productivity, too! Checking something off your to-do list or getting better at your favorite pastime is a great way to boost confidence on V-Day. It might even help reduce some stress in your life!

On the other hand, if you feel like you’ve been killin’ it in the productivity department lately and need a break, then that’s a great idea too. Don’t judge yourself if you decide the best thing to do is pop open a pint of ice cream and do some binge-watching.

6. Give Your Time to Something You Care About

The best way to feel good about yourself is to give back to others. It’s one of the purest kinds of win-wins out there! So, why not take a little time out of your day to help an important cause?

Check with local organizations like homeless shelters, humane societies, and food pantries to see if they need any help — or get creative and share the love in your unique way.

7. Treat Yourself

A little retail therapy never hurt anyone. Have a happy Singles Awareness Day by indulging in some much-needed shopping and pampering. Buy a new wardrobe, get a massage, style your hair, get a manicure, or stop by your favorite cafe for a sugary treat (or do all of the above!).

8. Get Creative with Girls’ Night Out

When you’ve had your fill of me-time, it’s time to get the squad together for a night of stress-free, creative fun! And since February 14th is on a Friday this year, it’s the perfect opportunity to skip the bar and try something new on your Galentine’s night out.

A Painting with a Twist Girls’ Night Out is more than a wine and painting class. It’s a wine and painting event! With wine in hand, you and your best girlfriends can paint your own Valentine’s Day masterpiece with help from our friendly instructors. No artistic talent or art supplies are needed.

Book your Girls’ Night Out in advance and start getting excited for a night of fun, friends, and freedom.

Put a Special Twist on Galentine’s Day

Call up your girl gang, throw on your favorite outfit, and get ready to crush being single on Valentine’s Day. Reserve a BYOB painting event for your next Galentine’s Day outing at a Painting with a Twist studio near you and toast to your drama-free single life!

Valentine's Day

Valentine’s day has snuck up once again, and here you are empty-handed! But before you rush to the store to grab some sweets and a sentimental card, you might want to consider changing up the routine a bit. If you’re looking to keep things interesting this Valentine’s Day, check out these 3 cliché Valentine’s Day gifts you should definitely avoid and 3 that you shouldn’t!

3 Valentine’s Day Gifts To Avoid

Giving a gift with a little extra thought can make all the difference on a holiday with so much cliché tradition surrounding it. But just because something has made this list of gifting no-nos, doesn’t mean it can’t still be a nice gift. After all, Valentine’s Day is slightly cheesy by nature – embrace it! But if you’re trying to buck tradition, try staying away from these three gifts.

Chocolates

Sure, who doesn’t love a box of assorted mystery chocolates? But those crudely-shaped little brown hearts probably won’t win you any extra brownie points since they are most likely at the top of everyone’s list of gifts they expect to get. And while you don’t have to avoid chocolate completely, it’s probably a good idea to not make it the centerpiece of the gift-giving experience.

Roses

Every year, stores bring in roses by the truckload, put them on sale, and practically shove them in the arms of each customer that comes through. And while the rose has plenty of sentimental symbolism — a bouquet can come across as impersonal or last-minute. Instead, try your partner’s favorite flowers or a live plant that won’t wilt on their dining room table!

Jewelry

You may be thinking, “Who doesn’t love shiny things?” And while that might be true, buying jewelry can be an expensive risk! If you know your partner really well, you might be able to get away with picking out some expensive sparklies without their input. But if you’re unsure, it’s usually best to involve them in what can usually be a costly purchase.

3 Valentine’s Day Gifts You Shouldn’t Avoid

There’s nothing wrong with giving a cliché gift to your significant other. But if you’re looking to up your game on your Valentine’s Day gifts for him or her, it’s time to start thinking outside the jewelry box. Instead of giving gifts, try gifting experiences instead! By adding a personal touch, these three creative Valentine’s Day ideas could help sweeten up your heart-filled holiday.

Dinner

Never underestimate the power of a good meal! While it is believed that certain foods can be aphrodisiacs, sitting down for a Valentine’s Day dinner is much more than that. It’s an opportunity for conversation in such a busy world! Try connecting over a candlelit meal at a fine-dining establishment. Choose one where the atmosphere is conducive to conversation. If you’d rather opt for a romantic night in, figure out what their favorite dish is and prepare it with the finest ingredients. Pair it with a nice wine and a dessert to complete the evening.

A Night In

If you feel like you and your partner just can’t catch a break, then a quiet Valentine’s night in might be the perfect way to reconnect! Take the initiative to plan out the entire night. Try building an adult-sized blanket fort, picking out a cheesy rom-com, and busting out the snacks for a cozy movie night. Or perhaps you can turn up the romance with a little champagne and a bubble bath. Whatever you decide to do, make sure to put your heart into it. It is Valentine’s Day, after all!

A Night On The Town

Do you and your partner always seem to end up on the couch binging Netflix? Then try giving them the experience of a night on the town! Take them to a comedy show, play, or symphony, check out that bar you’ve both been saying you want to try, or explore a side of town you don’t frequent as much.

Are you looking for a more casual experience for your night on the town? Try taking your significant other to a paint and sip event at Painting with a Twist! We’ll provide you with everything you need to paint your own Valentine’s Day masterpiece with your partner. Just bring your favorite wine or beverage, and enjoy an evening of drinking, painting, and laughs. Find a Painting with a Twist near you and book your reservation online for a date-night painting event in your city!

Valentine's paint night

Maybe you’ve already set your New Year’s resolutions, or perhaps you plan on taking all of January to figure out which new habits you want to start. But whether you’re a “hit the ground running” type of person or you take a slow and steady approach, the start of the year is the perfect time to reset and refresh both physically and mentally.

Thankfully, you don’t have to change everything at once! Small and simple changes could be the keys to increasing your overall well-being this year. If enjoying life and staying optimistic are on your list of resolutions this year, then start with these tips for becoming a happier person!

How to Be a Happier Person

Optimism is a wonderful habit, but it’s not always easy to maintain. If you’re struggling with how to be a happier and more optimistic person, here are a few ways to start:

Learn how to be present.

A happier life often begins with more mindful and grounded living. All too often, we find ourselves in one place physically, but don’t notice that our brains have carried us far away—so much so that we’ve completely tuned out what’s happening right in front of us. And with so much technology at our fingertips, it’s almost too easy to disconnect. Activities like mindfulness meditation, yoga, or even a few minutes of deep breathing can help you recenter and stay in the moment.

Start a gratitude practice.

Your first instinct might be to find things to change about your life to increase happiness. But one way to be a happier person is to appreciate things as they already are! Cultivate more gratitude in your life by using a gratitude journal. Write down five things you’re grateful for each morning or evening. Challenge yourself to try new things and never repeat something on your lists!

Spend more time with loved ones.

The holidays give us lots of time with friends, family, and loved ones. But once we’re back to our post-holiday routines, it’s easy to feel isolated or even depressed–especially if you live in an area with cold weather that keeps you inside. But regularly spending time with those you love can boost your spirits! Block out a few hours each week to meet with a friend. See a comedy show together, enjoy a relaxing painting event, or cozy up at your favorite coffee shop to catch up on each other’s lives.

Evaluate your work-life balance.

Burnout can be one of the biggest enemies to a happier lifestyle. If you’ve noticed a lack of motivation at work lately (even if you love your job), it’s time to make time for more play! Take up a hobby (like painting!), try a random sport (ever heard of duckpin bowling?), or travel to a place you love (like that cute coffee shop you pass every day) even if only for a few hours. Doing things purely for enjoyment can clear your mind and give you sharper focus when you head back to work—just don’t take work with you on your playtime adventures!

Learn something new.

Are you stuck in a rut? Invite something new into your life! Learn a new language, discover your artistic side, sign up for kickboxing class, or finally learn how to bake! New activities and experiences like these can expand your horizons and create happy memories you’ll cherish for years to come.

Sip, Smile, and Shine with a Painting Event Near You

Are you ready to jumpstart your journey toward happier living? Start it at Painting with a Twist! Whether you’re relieving stress, connecting with loved ones, changing up a date night routine, or just taking some time for yourself, we have the happy vibes you need. Find painting events near you, and get ready to sip, smile, and shine your way into a new decade.

Stuck in a holly daze? The hustle and bustle of holiday celebrations can leave you craving a dose of relaxation. Don’t wait till next year to practice self-care though! Use these holiday relaxation tips to crush any “ba-humbugs” that come your way!

1. Save the Date… for Yourself

During the holiday season, it feels like everyone wants you to “mark your calendar” for some social outing, from holiday work parties to family gift exchanges! Some days, you may even have double or triple events stacked back-to-back on your planner, all with different dress codes, expectations, and other things to remember. Even if you’re pretty extroverted, the “go-go-go” of the season can leave you feeling exhausted, which is why setting aside a night for yourself can be so important!

This year, mark your calendar for an evening of self-care — a chunk of time to do what you love on your own terms, whether that’s painting, going to the hair salon, or taking a well-deserved nap!

2. Get Your Sweat On

According to WebMD, the endorphin release that accompanies exercise can help reduce stress, improve sleep, and diminish feelings of depression and anxiety. We’ll take those benefits any day, no matter the season! Make some time for your favorite type of exercise to help you beat the winter blues. You’ll walk out with that just-exercised glow, whether you take your dog for a quick walk or try a boot camp class at your favorite gym!

3. Stop & Meditate

During the holidays, it’s easy to get caught up on what you need to do next (or what you should’ve done already), but a busy brain can make it hard to enjoy the here and now! You can reel yourself back into the present with a short meditation session.

If you’ve never meditated before, try the following process. Find a quiet space and a comfortable seat, and queue up a short audio-guided meditation on your smartphone — a soothing voice will give you step-by-step instructions leading you back to a more mindful state. You can find guided meditation recordings with a quick Internet search or by downloading mindfulness apps like Headspace and Insight Timer.

4. Moisturize

Late-night parties and cold snaps can do a number on your skin and hair, which can do a number on your self-esteem and general sense of swagger. Re-claim your confidence with a little stay-at-home spa session! A leave-in conditioner or a post-shower sheet mask can leave you feeling hydrated, pampered, and ready to face the day. Strapped for time? An overnight face mask or peel can help refresh your skin while you sleep — so you can wake up on the bright side of the bed.

5. Give Back

Want to do something that’ll help you feel good, meet new people, and combat stress? According to HelpGuide, those are just a few of the unexpected benefits of volunteering (not to mention the positive impact you can have on your community). During the holiday season, there are plenty of extra opportunities to give back, from sorting presents at gift drives to serving holiday dinners at your local soup kitchen. Reach out to non-profits in your area for opportunities to be of service this winter to have a great time for the greater good!

6. Do What You Love

Some people swear on the life-changing benefits of yoga, others find their sense of ZEN in carpentry, reading, or spending time with friends. Are you overdue for a night out with your besties? If so, book a Girls Night Out paint party at Painting with a Twist — where you and yours can paint, drink, and be merry!

Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve—there’s so much to celebrate this time of year! A glass of your favorite wine can add a festive air to any occasion, especially holiday parties. Ever wondered what to serve and when, though? We’re here to help with a holiday wine guide! Dive in to learn which wines go best with familiar holiday treats and get inspired with wines that complement our December paintings.

Entertain in Style: Your Holiday Wine Guide

Whenever you’re choosing a wine to serve with holiday meals, your goal is to have the flavors of your wine and food enrich one another. Choosing the best holiday wine with your celebratory meals can truly elevate you and your guests’ dining experience, and as the host, it can make you look like a real culinary rock star!

If you’re not sure where to start when choosing a holiday wine, begin with this basic rule of wine pairings: Traditionally, white wines pair best with light meats and foods (like poultry and fish), and red wines pair well with flavor-infused, heavier meats (like beef or lamb).

Of course, there are many variants to consider if you want to go deeper into choosing wine for the holidays, but it’s hard to go wrong when you use that basic rule of thumb for holiday wine pairings. In the end, the best wine for holiday dinners is always something you and your guests will enjoy drinking! Learn a few rules and read recommendations, but keep personal tastes and preferences at the forefront of your mind to keep holiday guests happy. It’s a good idea to offer both a white and red wine with your holiday meal so guests can choose. Not sure what varieties might go well with your meal? Read on!

The Best White Wine for the Holidays

White wines tend to have acidic flavors that need to be balanced with food. When choosing the best white wine for holiday meals, consider what recipes you’re making. A good rule is this: if you would add lemon or lime juice to a dish to give it more flavor, pair it with an unoaked white, like Albarino or Sauvignon Blanc. Making potato latkes for Hanukkah? Go for a crisp Chardonnay. Need something to go with your fancy Christmas dessert? Choose a dry white (like Pinot Grigio), so you don’t overwhelm guests’ taste buds with sweetness.

For upbeat, vibrant celebrations like New Year’s Eve, champagne can’t be topped! For a touch of color, opt for a sparkling rose or fruity sparkling cider. ANY wine is made better with the company of loved ones, so gather all your friends and make a toast to the new year!

The Best Red Wine for the Holidays

Red wines tend to have a bitter flavor, which can be balanced with foods high in fat—think cheesy dishes and red meat with ample flavoring from natural fats. Malbec, Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon are all versatile choices if you’re serving red meat as your main course. Although lighter meats are usually paired with a white, red Pinot Noir goes well with lighter proteins like chicken or turkey. If you’re making a creamy, chocolaty dessert, Port is a lovely choice. It’s revered for beautifully complementing cocoa flavors in sweet dishes.

Painting and Wine: Always a Perfect Pairing

A bottle of wine is best enjoyed with those you love, right? Why not join your friends and family and make memories together this holiday season? We’ll raise a glass to that! Enjoy a wine and paint night with your friends for the ultimate pairing. Sip on a rich Zinfandel while you paint with vibrant reds, greens, and golden hues, or channel snowy vibes with a chilled Riesling as you create a wintry scene. For many of our paintings, you can choose whether you paint on canvas or wood board for a different look and feel. Your custom painting can add cozy holiday charm to your home (or to a loved one’s home if you decide to give it as a gift), and you’ll always remember the laughter and sweet times you had creating it!

Have Your Own Holiday Wine and Paint Night

Don’t feel like entertaining in your home? Want to try something different for a holiday celebration this year? Pick up a bottle of wine you’ve been dying to try, gather up your loved ones, and head to Painting with a Twist for a holiday wine and paint party! Paint, drink, and be merry at a BYOB painting studio near you today. Happy Holidays!

The holidays are approaching quickly, which means you’ll get a few blissful days (or weeks, if you’re lucky) of nothing but time with loved ones. Will you have friends and family staying at your house for Christmas? You could take them to do the traditional touristy stuff around your city… OR you could give them an experience and a souvenir to remember their visit! Check out these eight ideas for entertaining out-of-town guests between all of the celebrations and feasting!

Go on a tour of Christmas lights.

Nothing gets you in the holiday spirit like taking in some beautiful Christmas décor. Bundle up, grab a thermos of hot chocolate, and take a drive (or a stroll, weather permitting!) to check out the most festive homes in your town. Not impressed? Enlist your guests to help decorate and make your house the most festive destination in the neighborhood!

Host a multi-night card or board game tournament.

Facilitate some friendly competition between your family and friends with your favorite game. Raise the stakes by turning it into a tournament lasting the span of their visit. Circle up, drink up, and deal up. You might be shocked at how competitive everyone gets as the nights go on. Just don’t forget to choose a prize – even if it’s something as simple as getting the last piece of pumpkin pie!

Make a bonfire in your backyard.

If you’ve got a backyard (or even a fire pit), cozy up around a bonfire with your out-of-town guests. Mix up some spiked hot chocolate or warm apple cider, and break out the ingredients for s’ mores. Get the complete “campfire” experience with some ghost stories!

Break a sweat.

Exercise probably isn’t high on your “how to entertain houseguests” brainstorming list… but nothing feels better than a good sweat sesh in the middle of eating and drinking your way through the holiday season! Pick any activity you enjoy that will raise your heart rate, whether it’s going for a hike, having a dance party, or running a 5K. Then bask in those endorphins!

Sip, socialize, and create.

Spoil your guests by taking them to a group painting party! At Painting with a Twist, you and your guests can enjoy a beverage (or three) as you create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece, following along step-by-step with a talented local artist. Not only will you have a blast getting tipsy and crafty, but your guests will also have a fantastic keepsake to take home with them.

Volunteer in your community.

There is something that feels good about giving back, especially around the holidays. Contact your local animal shelter, food bank, nursing home, or any other charity that is near and dear to your heart, and figure out how you and your guests can be helpful. Whether you’re serving hot lunches or walking cooped up shelter dogs, you and your friends will have a memorable day while making a difference.

Check out a local theater.

Grab tickets to take your guests to a play or a local comedy club. Local theaters usually have less expensive admission costs, and they offer the most authentic experience as portrayed by artists from your community! It might not be a Tony-worthy performance… but truthfully, sometimes it’s more entertaining that way!

Craft ugly holiday sweaters.

Ugly sweater parties are a Christmas-season staple. One way to ensure you’ve got the ugliest sweater in the room is to make it yourself! Set up an ugly sweater “bar,” complete with sequins, iron-on appliques, fabric paint, and all of the tacky goodness your heart desires. Tell guests to BYOS: Bring Their Own Sweater! You’ll all have a ball creating hideously beautiful custom sweaters from scratch.

It’s no doubt that your holiday guests are unique, and they deserve a trip that’s as amazing as they are! Give them the gift of an itinerary full of fun and creative activities, like a paint party. With 300 studios in 29 states, there’s bound to be a Painting with a Twist near you! We’ll take care of the hosting and entertaining. You just have fun!

Between unwrapping presents and making it to seasonal social commitments, it’s easy to miss precious opportunities to bond with your loved ones. This year, make the most out of your time with friends and family by initiating fun holiday activities, like trivia! Bring the Santas and the Scrooges together with these popular holiday trivia questions that’ll break the ice and get the party started.

How to Play Holiday Trivia

Lay down the groundwork for your trivia game to keep things fun and fair. Split party-goers into teams, depending on the size of your celebration. We recommend groups of 2-6 people, preferably of different ages, genders, and families (that way everyone gets to interact with everyone). Make sure every team has a pen and paper (or a dry erase board and marker) to write down their answers.

Remind players of the game’s super simple rules!

  1. No cell phones or tablets.
  2. No yelling out answers.

Once the teams are ready, and the rules are set, go ahead and start firing off these holiday questions! The answers are at the bottom (no peeking).

Holiday Trivia Questions About Classic Movies:

  1. In which town does the Grinch steal Christmas?
  2. What is Scrooge’s first name in A Christmas Carol?
  3. What’s the first rule of The Code of Elves’ in Elf?
  4. Where does Kevin McAlister’s family go on vacation when he’s left Home Alone?

Holiday Trivia Questions About Traditions:

  1. How many candles are in a Hanukkah Menorah?
  2. What is another name for Santa Claus?
  3. What’s the name for the traditional, pointy, red, holiday flowers?
  4. What are the colors of Kwanzaa?

Holiday Trivia Questions About Food:

  1. What are candy canes shaped after?
  2. Which spice is typically used in both apple cider and egg nog?
  3. Name the root vegetable used to make Latkes.
  4. What amino acid in turkey is (allegedly) responsible for making people sleepy?

Once the teams have had a chance to write down their answers for all your trivia questions, it’s time to find out who won! Collect all the answer sheets and tally up how many questions each team got right. Make things extra memorable with a prize for the winning team members, like a sweet treat or inexpensive stocking stuffer. If there’s a tie, use the tie-breaker questions in the next section to help you crown the trivia kings and queens.

Holiday Movie Trivia Answers:

  1. Whoville!
  2. Ebenezer
  3. Treat every day like Christmas
  4. Paris

Holiday Tradition Trivia Answers:

  1. Nine
  2. St. Nicholas, St Nick, Kris Kringle, or Priznickel
  3. Poinsettia
  4. Red, black, and green

Holiday Food Trivia Answers:

  1. A shepherd’s staff
  2. Cinnamon
  3. Potatoes
  4. Tryptophan

Holiday Trivia Tie-Breakers

Time for the speed round! Give each team a new sheet of paper and 20 seconds to come up with the answer to the final question, “Name as many of Santa’s reindeer as you can!” Collect their answer sheets and see who knows Rudolph’s squad by heart! Congrats — you’ve found the jolliest guests at your holiday party! Don’t forget to invite them next year for another round of good times and great memories.

Wrapping Up Holiday Trivia

Tis’ the season to be jolly — but how cool would it be if we could be jolly year-round! From big birthdays to quick coffee outings, there are plenty of things to celebrate every day. Next time you have (or need) something to toast to, grab your loved ones and visit your local Painting with a Twist, we’ve got seasonally-themed paint parties and year-round fun for occasions big and small!

The Disney hit song “Let it Go” really did a number on us back in 2013 (and beyond!) Elsa, Anna, Olaf and the whole Frozen crew have been holding their spaces on retail shelves for years.

I’m here to tell you, Frozen obsession isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s about to get SO. MUCH. BIGGER. with the new Frozen 2 animated movie hitting theaters on November 22nd! To celebrate the new movie, we’ve teamed up with Disney to offer Frozen 2 painting events in studios October 22nd – November 24th! Now that we have the PERFECT birthday destination for your kiddos, we’re giving you a ton of awesome ideas to make your Frozen birthday bash a huge hit. Brownie points for you, Mom!

frozen birthday party
A Frozen themed birthday party at Painting with a Twist gives kids the perfect creative outlet while enjoying their favorite Frozen 2 characters!

Frozen Themed Birthday Must Haves:

  1. The Outfit –Must we say more? Any Frozen themed birthday starts with the outfit. If you’re a true Do-It-Yourselfer, you can bedazzle your own t-shirt for your little. Or, go the easier route and pick up something at a local retailer or have something customized on Etsy!
  2. The Decorations – There are two types of moms out there, Pinterest moms and Amazon Prime moms. Both are fantastic, but choose the path that makes sense for you. No need to go all out making your own party favors and themed food (unless you want to, of course!)
  3. The Food –If you DO want to make some adorable Frozen themed snacks, here are a few easy party food ideas (there are also tons of ideas on Pinterest!):
    • Powdered donuts could be “Elsa’s snowballs”
    • Kids always want to build a snowman! Let them make their own Olafs with marshmallows and pretzel sticks
    • Mixed sandwiches —- hopefully they don’t finish each other’s ??
    • Cup of popcorn could be snow flurries
  4. The Props – A Frozen themed birthday party isn’t complete without props! Buy some Frozen character masks or plastic crowns (shh…from the Dollar Store!) and make a photo booth frame cut-out made of foam core for the perfect Frozen photo-op!
  5. The Games – The kids will have a BLAST painting their favorite character from Frozen 2 but to make it even more fun, we love to play games! Tell us your favorite game idea or we’ll think of something fun and interactive! Trust us, it’ll be unforgettable!

Your kid’s ultimate Frozen 2 themed birthday party is one click away. Request a private party and we’ll take extra special care to make sure her birthday is unforgettable! Want to join an event on the calendar already? Just click here for one of our family friendly Frozen 2 events!

frozen 2 birthday party ideas

“The couple that paints together, releases oxytocin together!”

– Dr. Karen K. Melton Ph.D., assistant professor of child and family studies in Baylor’s Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences. ?

We were ecstatic a couple of years ago when Baylor approached Painting With a Twist about a research study to determine how different family interactions caused spikes (or lulls) in the release of oxytocin. Oxytocin, AKA the “love hormone” is a hormone that plays a role in social bonding between couples. Check out a summary of some pretty interesting insights from Dr. Melton below from an interview we conducted with her!

Q: How did the idea for this study come about?

A: Working specifically with family studies, we really wanted to understand how different interactions affected the natural oxytocin levels of individuals participating in family activities. We chose two activities to test with participants: board games and a painting experience with Painting with a Twist.

Q: What did your colleagues think when you came to them with this idea?

A: They loved the idea. When we presented the idea to the National Council to receive the grant for the study, they loved the idea as well and were excited to hear the findings.

Q: Did the findings surprise you?

A: We hypothesized that all activities would release oxytocin but that board games would likely release more. What surprised us the most was that not only did painting release MORE oxytocin but men in the painting group had 2-2.5 times the oxytocin levels of other groups (even other women!) What’s interesting too is that people who were in the painting group had higher levels of oxytocin at their baseline than board game participants leading us to the idea that the novelty of the concept and physical environment play a key role in the release of oxytocin as well.

Q: What was your personal experience at Painting with a Twist?

A: When we had the idea of the study, I took my team for the experience and everyone really enjoyed it. I still have my painting in my bedroom because I’m so proud of it. What I think is really great about the concept is it takes away a lot of the work when it comes to family leisure. Somebody in the relationship has to do the work of setting up the activity. With this, it’s all done for you so you can enjoy a true state of leisure. And when it comes to the actual activity of painting, you are challenged but certainly not overwhelmed.

Q: Are you looking forward to returning to Painting with a Twist?

A: Absolutely! I think it’s a great concept. I’ve seen some kid-friendly options posted so I’m looking forward to taking my daughter for mother/daughter date night.

Q: What do you hope comes about based on your study results?

A: Well, we certainly know more than we did before the study. We can make a lot of assumptions with recreational activities but it’s great to be able to measure the true experience. Ultimately, we would like to study different types of interaction to find out exactly what activities and factors release oxytocin. This information can help facilitate better experiences and family interaction so individuals and couples can connect at a deeper level.

There you have it! Painting = more oxytocin = more love in the air. So if you’re planning your next date night, find a Painting with a Twist studio near you and give it a whirl! You might walk away with not only amazing paintings but a new sense of connection with your significant other. Cheers!

Painting with a Twist studios* nationwide offer an outstanding and innovative way for parents to get their day back with our Summer Kids Camps and Kids Classes! Kids camps and kids classes are an invigorating option to get kids out of the house and interested in something beyond computers and video games. They can explore their wild side with creative guidance and enjoy painting in a fun studio atmosphere – all while meeting new friends!

Keep them busy and keep them INSPIRED!

Hanging their painting up at home will also help boost your child’s confidence! The look of pride and satisfaction on their face after each class is absolutely priceless. Creativity opens up their perspective to future possibilities and keeps their minds active during the summer months. Give them the tools for success by enrolling them in Kids Camp or Kids Classes today!

Happiness abounds at Painting with a Twist Kids Camp!
Happiness abounds at Painting with a Twist Kids Camp!

It’s About the Time, Not the Art!

We provide them with everything they need to have the best time possible: Dancing, snacks, friends, playtime, art, and more!

Find a Kids Camp near you by clicking here!

Painting with a Twist Kids Camp and Kids Classes
Painting with a Twist Kids Camp and Kids Classes
Making New Friends at Painting with a Twist Kids Camp!
Making New Friends at Painting with a Twist Kids Camp!

*Available at participating studios

Tis the season for holiday parties! Whether you’re attending or hosting, there is usually some stress for everyone involved. Avoid the anxiety this year by hosting your holiday party at Painting with a Twist. People have so much going on in their life this time of year, it’s hard to keep up with a to-do list for the holiday season.  Paint and sip parties are a blast for 3 obvious reasons: A little bit of art, a little bit of wine, and a whole lot of fun!® Today, we’re going to break down four other reasons why holiday parties with a twist are the best. 

1. BYOB Appetizers and Cocktails

Julia Child hit the nail on the head when she said, “A party without a cake is just a meeting.” Don’t stop at cake! We invite you to bring an array of treats when you host a party at Painting with a Twist. You can ask your party guests to bring a potluck dish or plan to have the entire event catered with your favorite snacks. Most of our studios are BYOB, so don’t forget to pack some shareable cocktail options, like the makings for a fruity Sunset Sangria or sippable Tinto de Verano. Some locations even have a bar inside the studio for all your cocktail needs.

Fun ideas for a holiday party at Painting with a Twist

2. Fun and Games

Throughout your holiday party, you’ll have to take a few breaks and step away from your painting so that the paint can dry. This is a great time to fill a plate with delicious treats or refill your glass. It’s also a great time to play some hilarious and fun games with your instructor! We pride ourselves on putting the “art” in “pARTy” so get ready to let loose. Our instructors have plenty of fun and games up their sleeves for you to play: anything from karaoke to dance contests to a wine cork version of hot potato. The prizes are pretty great, too- winners leave with a variety of PWAT swag and maybe even an extra painting chosen from the prize painting wall. Ready, set, mustache contest!

Mustache Contests, Dance Parties, Karaoke, and Selfie Ops!

3. Everyone leaves with a painting and a memory.

This is the best reason of all – everyone unleashes their creative side, tries something new as a group, and leaves with a piece of artwork to call their own. A holiday party doubles as a tremendous bonding experience whether your guests are your friends, family, or co-workers. You’ll never forget the sensation of accomplishment and camaraderie… AND you’ll have a beautiful, new piece of artwork to hang on your walls.  

Beautiful painters and their beautiful paintings

 4. Leave the mess to us!

Let’s face it – party cleanup can be a major hassle. So we’re here to take care of that for you! Once your holiday party has wrapped up, you’ll get to return home to a sparkling clean abode. Now that’s a Christmas miracle.

No mess  – no stress!

Contact your local studio for information about hosting your own private event, or fill out our party request form.

It’s date night again and you’ve got a standard lineup of ideas circulating in the conversation- Cocktails? Dinner? A movie? Date nights are there to help us reconnect. We want to feel that spark of excitement in our romantic relationships. We want to indulge in experiences that we can happily reflect on and tell stories about later. So why do we stay in the same redundant pattern? Albert Einstein once said, “Creativity is intelligence having fun!” Change it up every once in awhile and do date night the smart way: Painting with a Twist! According to Bustle, couples who attend paint and sip classes together are less likely to break up. With all the fun and diverse options, there’s no reason to pass up the chance for bonding with your bae. Here are 5 ideas to help you spice up your date night with Painting with a Twist. 

1. Paint Your Pet Date Night:

If you and your boo are animal-obsessed, then this is the fun and interactive class for you. It’s what your walls having been missing.  Send your local studio pics of your beloved pet and let an upbeat instructor lead you on a step-by-step creative journey painting a portrait fit for kings! Below is a dose of puppy love brought to you by Painting with a Twist in Mobile, AL. 

Bonus: Get ready to swap heartwarming + hilarious stories about your furbaby with everyone else in the class.

 

Paint Your Pet at Painting with a Twist Eastern Shore in Mobile, AL

2. Zombie Date Night:

Ghouls and boys unite for this spooky class! You and your date will paint portraits where you “Zombify” yourselves in every creative and icky way imaginable.  It is so fun – we’re dead serious. These two twisters from Painting with a Twist in Mason, OH did a creepily amazing job “Zombify-ing” themselves!

Bonus: Dress up as zombies when you attend the class- you can even make zombie themed refreshments! Who knows, maybe there will be a costume contest?!

Zombify Yourself at Painting with a Twist in Mason, OH

3. Game Date Night:

If anyone has trouble getting their guy through the doors of a paint and sip studio, then this is bound to solve that. Ladies and Gentlemen… Introducing… Game night! Sometimes our studios partner with local teams for a truly exclusive experience celebrating your favorite team. Other times, studios host “Paint Your Own Jersey” nights where you get to paint your team’s colors while going head to head in friendly smack talk amongst rival fans. Join the winner’s circle like these guys n’ gals at Painting with a Twist Kingwood in Houston, TX. 

Bonus: Amp up date night by sporting your favorite team’s gear and bringing a cooler of tailgating goodies!

Paint Your Own Jersey at Painting with a Twist Kingwood in Houston, TX

4. Couples Painting Date Night:

Many of our paintings are made to do side-by-side with someone. Combine your skills (and paintings) to make one big piece of art to hang up. Every time you see the painting, you’ll remember what a wild time the two of you had. Imagine it now: Scrunched close together on your stools. Cocktails in one hand and paintbrush in the other. Then, the announcement of a mustache contest… Get ready to LOL and make some date night memories!

Bonus: Make it a friendly challenge of who’s painting looks better! Winner gets a kiss and bragging rights.

Date Night Mustache Contest at Painting with a Twist Dewitt in Syracuse, NY

 

Date Night at Painting with a Twist in Middleton, DE

5. Holiday Date Night:

Tis the season, y’all! Winter is right around the corner and that means the holiday-themed parties are here. Whether you’re attending a public class or hosting a private party, bring a batch of mulled wine and sugar cookies to your holiday date night. Can you feel the holiday cheer coming at you from Painting with a Twist in Lexington, KY

Bonus: Spread the joy and bring a small gift to surprise your loved one in the middle of class (goofy Santa hats, reindeer antlers, etc.)

Celebrating the holidays at Painting with a Twist in Lexington, KY

 

 

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