From preparing the perfect dinner to ensuring your décor is pristine — hosting Thanksgiving can be stressful without the right preparation. Stay on top of your Turkey Day to-dos with these checklists, timelines, and other useful tips for hosting during the holidays.
Thanksgiving Hosting Checklist
1. Send Out Invitations
Are you having family over or hosting a Friendsgiving? Set a date, make your guest list, and create an invite. And unless you prefer mailing paper invitations, consider sending e-vites instead. By going digital, you avoid trips to the post office, licking stamps, and undelivered invitations. Whichever option you choose, we recommend delivering them to your attendees about 3-5 weeks before the event.
2. Plan for Food & Drinks
Choose your menu and determine how much food you’ll need based on your anticipated guest count. Provide a few options of beer, wine, and fun fall cocktails and mocktails. Want to save a little cash while also diversifying your drink and food options? Suggest that your guests BYOB and designate different side dishes for attendees for a small potluck.
You’ll also want to gather all the tools and supplies needed to make the meal a hit. Long ahead of the big day, gather the cooking tools and gadgets for all your cooking needs (i.e., spatulas, thermometers, and additional pots). For the meal, you’ll want to ensure you have the necessities below:
Napkins and table linens
3. Choose Inspiring Table Decor
Keep it simple, especially when decorating the table. You’ll want plenty of room for all your dishes. Consider the following ideas to brighten your Thanksgiving table décor:
Add a festive tablecloth or runner and coordinating cloth napkins.
Implement bud vases with flowers or mini pumpkins for a centerpiece.
Add votives or candlesticks to set the autumn mood.
Include a decorative table setting with nice dishes, glasses, and silverware.
Develop a game plan to keep you cool and stress-free. You’ll want a week-by-week Thanksgiving prep list so you’re well-prepared. Need a little help? Check out the Thanksgiving Dinner Checklist below.
Thanksgiving Dinner Prep List
2 Weeks Before Thanksgiving
Plan your menu. From turkey to pie crust, you’ll want to create your menu and gather the recipes you’ll need. Keep reading for menu ideas.
Make a shopping list of décor, food, and beverages. Go through all the recipes and include everything you need on the list.
Purchase other essentials. Make sure you have the right linens, dinnerware, drinkware, serving dishes, and kitchen equipment.
Plan the table decor. Any preparatory steps you take now will only benefit you in the long run.
5 to 6 Days Before Thanksgiving
Confirm the guest list. Reach out to confirm your RSVPs so you know exactly what you’re working with.
Get turkey, all non-perishable groceries, and beverages. You’ll want to start prepping early to avoid the inevitable grocery store chaos.
Put the turkey in the refrigerator. Believe it or not, a frozen turkey can take up to 5 days to thaw.
2 to 3 Days Before Thanksgiving
Clean the house. Make sure you have a clear workspace in the kitchen. Vacuum, sweep, dust, and spruce up the areas where your guests will be gathered.
Make your final grocery store run. Double-check (and triple-check) your list.
Prep any side dishes that will stay fresh. Cut and dry out the bread for the dressing, make the pie and cranberry sauce, and assemble casseroles so they are ready to go in the oven when the turkey comes out.
1 Day Before Thanksgiving
Set the table. You’ll be glad to check one more thing off the list ahead of time.
Chill the drinks. Put beverages in the refrigerator or cooler with ice to chill.
Prepare the turkey. Season or brine the turkey and return to the refrigerator overnight.
Prep the kitchen. Run the dishwasher so you have an empty one for all the dishes that’ll accumulate the next day.
Make the dressing. Use part for stuffing the turkey if desired, and bake the rest for the fan-favorite side dish.
Cook the turkey. You’ll want about 45 minutes to 1 hour before you serve to let it rest. Cook time will depend on the weight of the turkey, so follow recipe instructions carefully.
Bake the casseroles. When the turkey comes out, it’s time for the casseroles and dinner rolls to go in. Start boiling your potatoes. Then, use dripping from the turkey to make the gravy.
Make the mashed potatoes. Whip up the mashed potatoes when the other side dishes are just about ready to come out of the oven. Cover and leave on the stovetop to keep warm.
Serve! Divvy up everything into serving dishes and load up the table. If the dessert needs some time in the oven, you can go ahead and pop it in — don’t forget it’s in there while you’re enjoying your meal! Finally, carve the turkey.
Thanksgiving dinner is served!
Thanksgiving Hosting Hacks
Food & Beverage Calculator
Use this cheat sheet to estimate how much food and drink to prepare.
6-8 bite appetizers per person
1-2 oz grains per person
1-2 oz (undressed) salad per person
1.5-2 oz salad per person
5-6 oz potatoes per person
4-5 oz vegetables per person
6-8 oz of (uncooked) turkey per person
1-2 rolls per person
1-2 servings of dessert per person
1 non-alcoholic drink per person drinking alcohol
2-3 non-alcoholic drinks per person not drinking alcohol
1 bottle of wine per two guests
2 beers the first hour + 1 beer each additional hour per person
3 liquid drinks per person
Approx. Turkey Cook Time
See the chart below for a general guide to cook-time based on the weight of the turkey, oven roasted at 325 degrees F.
8 to 12 lbs: 2 ½ to 4 hours
12 to 14 lbs: 3 to 4 ½ hours
14 to 18 lbs: 4 to 5 ½ hours
20 to 24 lbs: 4 ½ to 6 hours
Here’s a classic Turkey Day menu (and a few recipe suggestions) you can use for inspiration. Bon appetit!
By some miracle, you have 48 wondrous hours off from parent duty. Maybe your little ones are spending the weekend with a friend, or the grandparents are craving quality time with their favorite grandchildren. Whatever the reason, a kid-free weekend is a rare opportunity to enjoy some much-needed “you” time.
If you’re out of practice when it comes to relaxing, not to worry! We’ve got some ideas for how to spend your weekend, whether you want to enjoy it with your partner, friends, or solo.
Set aside quality time with your partner.
You and your partner are alone for an entire weekend, and you’re looking for things to do without the kids! Don’t let the opportunity for some quality couple’s bonding time pass you by.
Between diaper changes, emergency grocery store runs, and the general grind of daily living, you likely feel a little out of touch with your S.O. Take advantage of this kid-free time and rekindle the romance with these ideas.
Plan a day trip.
Break out of your routine by taking a day trip to a nearby town or city. Create a playlist from the good ‘ole days and remember the journey you’ve taken to get to this point with your significant other. A day trip is the perfect low-stress way to feel like you’re on a baecation while staying close to home.
Book a hotel.
If you want to extend your day trip or just want to enjoy the luxury of not doing the cleaning for a night, book a hotel for you and your partner. This is a wonderful way to escape your daily worries and focus on just the two of you.
Have a date night.
Enjoy ice cream at your favorite creamery without the stress of wrangling kids, or make reservations for a more formal sit-down dinner at a five-star restaurant. Maybe you both want to explore your artsy side with a Painting with a Twist couples night. Choose a date night that fits your personality as a couple and simply enjoy one another’s company.
Visit your local art museum.
Chances are, your town has multiple cultural offerings that you haven’t had time to explore now that you have kiddos. Rather than just sitting at home with your partner, why not explore a local nature center or museum? Getting out and doing something new can make all the difference in rekindling the flame in your relationship.
Plan an evening with friends.
It’s moms’ night off! And if by some outstanding miracle your kid-free weekend overlaps with your besties’ free time, it’s time to celebrate. Plan a girls’ night out — or in — with these activities.
Explore your creative side with your besties at a Painting with a Twist Girls Night. Relax and enjoy a glass (or two) of wine while creating a unique painting that will serve as an excellent memory for your kids-free weekend.
Host a sleepover.
Nothing says girls’ night like an adult sleepover. Have your best female friends over to enjoy the peace and quiet of your kid-free house. Make a list of your favorite rom-coms and settle in with a few bottles of wine, your favorite takeout, and the best grown-up conversations you’ve probably had in years.
And if you’d rather not spend your weekend hosting and planning a party, let us help. All you need to do is call up the crew, grab your favorite beverages, and book an event — we’ll handle the rest.
Enjoy some alone time.
If it’s just you on your kid-free weekend, and it’s time to spoil yourself. You don’t have to worry about what anyone else wants, period. You can do all the things you love without worrying about pleasing kiddie palates, short attention spans, or trying to fit in a nap. Here’s how to embrace your kid-free weekend, solo.
Meet up with a friend.
It’s no secret that maintaining friendships as an adult is hard, but it’s even harder when you start a family. When you’ve got kids, it’s hard to spontaneously decide you want to get a coffee with a good friend or go out for a happy hour drink. Take advantage of this opportunity, and reconnect with a friend you haven’t seen in a while.
When’s the last time you had longer than a few minutes to relax without being interrupted by a kid’s request for milk or hearing someone complain about being bored? It’s probably been a while. This weekend, instead of looking for things to do near you without kids, just enjoy the silence. Sit in a comfy chair, crack open that book you’ve been meaning to read, and escape into the world between its pages.
Take a wine tasting class.
You probably haven’t had time to hone your wine-tasting skills since your little wonders came into the world. And while you won’t have time to become a master sommelier in one weekend, you can definitely improve your basic wine knowledge at a wine-tasting class.
Explore the wonders of pinots and sauvignons on your own, and leave the winery feeling a little more relaxed and knowledgeable once the day is through.
Enjoy a Kid-Free Weekend at Painting with a Twist
A kid-free weekend opportunity doesn’t come often. Make the most of it by joining a Painting with a Twist event near you today! Whether that’s with your significant other, girl squad, or solo, there are plenty of opportunities to truly enjoy some much-needed downtime. Book an event or Pop in and Paint — with no reservation — today!
Sometimes, Memorial Day appears out of thin air. And you may not always have plans to fill the three-day weekend. Before sending yourself into a frenzy while looking for things to do, check out these final-hour Memorial Day activity ideas.
Escape to the great outdoors this Memorial Day weekend. Find hiking trails near you to explore or, if you’re lucky enough to live near a National Park, take a day trip to experience some of the most beautiful places in the United States.
A day on the green with a golf club (whether it’s putting 18-holes or putt-putt), on the tennis courts, or in the swimming pool is always a day well spent. To make this long weekend special, do a little research to find an outdoor activity you might not normally do, like horseback riding, visiting a botanical garden, or even kayaking. The options are truly endless.
Go on a getaway.
How about a last-minute Memorial Day weekend getaway? Round up the children, pack up some goodies, and take a scenic road trip to a nearby city you’ve always wanted to visit. And if you’d like to enjoy a little peace and quiet during your three-day weekend, consider taking a mini-vacation at a nearby cabin or lodge for some much-needed R&R.
Host a game night.
Who doesn’t love a little friendly competition? Send out your last-minute text invites (after all, you’re probably not the only one looking for final-hour Memorial Day ideas), and then bust out the games, sandwiches, chips, fruit, and other goodies. And don’t forget to prepare a few last-minute gathering activities like charades or even a themed scavenger hunt.
Have a cookout.
Get friends and family together with a backyard barbecue! Keep it simple and low-pressure by making it a potluck. Grill up burgers and hot dogs, and let your guests bring the drinks, sides, and desserts to share. Who doesn’t love a cookout to welcome the start of summer?
Take a staycation.
Feel like you’re always on the go? Skip the day trips and activities and plan for no plans this Memorial Day. Stay in and practice some self-care at home. Or, book a nice hotel in town, and enjoy a free weekend away from any obligations.
Tackle a DIY project.
Take advantage of the extra day in your weekend to finish up those home-improvement projects you’ve been meaning to get to. Organize the pantry, purge your closet, sand the deck, or start that garden you’ve always dreamed of. All of that HGTV you’ve been watching is sure to pay off.
Get crafty with Painting with a Twist.
For fun on the fly, join a Pop In & Paint event at a Painting with a Twist studio near you! This freestyle DIY experience is one everyone can enjoy—with no reservation necessary. Plus, you don’t have to worry about hosting or cleanup! With these last-minute ideas, this Memorial Day is sure to be one to remember!
Moms are special, and yours is the best in the world. Every year for Mother’s Day, you drape her in gifts, go out for brunch, and you may have crafted homemade cards and little treasures for her when you were younger, too. But what do you do when you can’t be by your mom’s side on this momentous occasion?
Whether your mother lives across the country or on an entirely different continent, it’s possible to show her how much you love, adore, and respect her commitment to you as a parent.
Here are a few epic ways to celebrate Mother’s Day from afar.
1. Send her to a spa.
If you can’t be there in person to pamper your mom yourself, why not give her some professional pampering? If your mom regularly goes to get her nails done or enjoys facials and massages, contact a salon near her and arrange to pay for her next session in advance.
She’ll be pleasantly surprised at your thoughtfulness when she goes in for her next spa day. If you can’t arrange to prepay, a gift card to her favorite place is also a great way to wish her a happy Mother’s Day from far away.
2. Have flowers and chocolates delivered to her door.
Another great way to show your long-distance mom you’re thinking about her on Mother’s day is to send her some fresh flowers and yummy chocolates. A bouquet of her favorite flowers, bursting with spring color, is sure to brighten her day and bring a smile to her face. Indulgent chocolates will send her on an endorphin high that’ll have her smiling from ear to ear.
If your mother is a bit of a gardener herself, sending seeds for flowers or herbs that she loves to grow is a thoughtful gift she can enjoy even after Mother’s Day is over.
3. Craft a handmade card.
If you want to get a little creative with your Mother’s Day gift, consider sending her a handmade card. Everyone loves the thought and effort behind a handmade craft, and moms especially love getting correspondence from their children. That joy at the mailbox is sure to grow exponentially when she sees that you took the time to handcraft the card yourself.
You might include a photo of the two of you together, creating a gift that she’ll be able to cherish and display for years to come. And if you have little ones yourself, get them involved in the crafting process. After all, the only people a mom loves more than her own kids are her grandkids!
4. Paint artwork together — virtually.
If your mom is artistic herself, you might also consider doing something creative together—even if you can only spend time with one another virtually. Painting with a Twist offers Twist at Home Paint Kits that allow you and your mom to spend quality time together as you explore your artistic sides. You can both pick up the same kit at the studio nearest you (or curbside), open a bottle of wine on each end of your virtual painting session, and enjoy a relaxing Mother’s Day long-distance.
5. Sign her up for a subscription package.
If you want to take things the extra mile this Mother’s Day, consider signing your mom up for a monthly (or quarterly) subscription package. There are many great options to choose from, including perfume and jewelry boxes, fitness kits, wine bundles, and more. Just make sure to choose a subscription package that fits her needs, hobbies, and personality! She’ll remember your thoughtfulness and effort every time a new box is left on her doorstep.
6. Plan a surprise visit.
While sending your mom Mother’s Day gifts when you live far away is a wonderful way to show her you love her, imagine the joy on her face if you were to deliver those gifts in person.
Consider taking a road trip or booking a flight to wherever she lives, and show up on her doorstep with a gift in hand. And if you are able to visit her in person, that means you can replace virtual quality time with quality time in real life. You can visit that spa together or go in-person to an in-studio Mother’s Day Painting with a Twist event — making memories that will last a lifetime.
Celebrate Mother’s Day with Painting with a Twist
Want to make your long-distant mom feel extra special this Mother’s Day? Why not spend time bonding, painting, and sipping with a Twist at Home Paint Kit? Most of our studios across the country offer Twist at Home Paint Kits, which you and your mom can pick up from inside the studio or curbside! Then, you can make a memorable experience out of spending quality virtual time with the best mother in the world.
Feel like you’ve celebrated Valentine’s Day in every imaginable way possible—dinners, movies, flowers, etc.? We’ve got a few ideas that’ll have your significant other swooning with affection and appreciation, regardless of their love language. Get started with this 14-day love challenge, and make Valentine’s 2022 one for the books!
What is 14 Days of Love?
14 Days of Love is a Valentine’s countdown. In the days leading up to Valentine’s Day (February 1st through February 14th), gift your loved one with a present or activity that brings them joy. The ideas you choose don’t need to be expensive. Just make sure they’re thoughtful and specific to your partner’s personality, preferences, and hobbies.
Love notes are tried and true. And for a partner who loves verbal affirmations, a detailed letter outlining the depths of your affection is a surefire way to make them feel extra special. Explain what you love about your partner and tell them all the things you look forward to in the relationship. Get detailed. Get cringey. And most of all, get hopelessly romantic.
Your partner and your love are unique. Here are a few different ways to personalize your love note.
1. Handwritten Valentine: Boos or beaus who prefer traditional vows of affection might enjoy a handwritten, old-fashioned valentine note. Deck your letter with red and white hearts and line it with elegant white lace.
2. Thoughtful texts: If your significant other prefers more modern forms of affection, consider sending them romantic texts throughout your 14 days of love.
3. Valentine’s crossword: Got an S.O who swoons for a bit of wordplay? Sweep them off their feet with a homemade Valentine’s crossword puzzle.
A Valentine’s Day date is usually the pinnacle of any Valentine’s Day celebration. This year though, get creative with how you spend time with your loved one. In the days leading up to Valentine’s, try doing things that are tailored to you as a couple.
Maybe you’re the “swole” couple that everyone envies. In which case, dropping by a fitness convention may be the ultimate date idea. Or perhaps, you and your partner champion yourselves as foodies. Why not try a dining in the dark experience or cooking class? Whatever activities you choose, get creative, and ensure they’re something you and your S.O. will enjoy!
Fill your Valentine’s calendar with a few more of these romantic ideas:
4. Go for a treat: Spoil your loved one with their favorite treat, whether that’s a coffee, ice cream sundaes, or a cocktail.
5. Take a hike: Nothing says love like a sweaty hike with a miraculous view. If your partner enjoys the greater outdoors, plan a nature hike at a local park or trail.
7. Take a short trip: Nothing says romance like a baecation getaway. Book a trip to a local bed and breakfast so the two of you can enjoy some quality alone time.
Acts of Service
One of the best ways to show love to your partner is to undertake thoughtful tasks that will both brighten their day and free up their time. Seek out things on their to-do list, and present them with the finished product. These acts can be small, but they’ll definitely be appreciated.
8. Bring them coffee in bed: Get up a little early, and surprise your lover with morning coffee in bed. For bonus points, make a full breakfast!
9. Clean the house: Take over some of their household chores, like cleaning up rooms around the house, mowing the lawn, or even something as simple as making the bed.
10. Give them some alone time: This might seem odd, but often a quiet night in—alone—is what your partner may appreciate most. Clear the house of kids and pets, and let your S.O. bask in the serenity of silence.
Give a Gift
Gift-giving is the hallmark of Valentine’s Day. Instead of sticking to more traditional items like chocolate, flowers, and teddy bears throughout your Valentine’s countdown (although these are never a bad idea!), try expanding your repertoire by presenting your S.O. with gifts specific to the relationship.
Here are a few ideas:
11. Personalized playlists: Create a playlist of their favorite songs or curate tracks that take them on a stroll down memory lane.
12. Books: If the love of your life is an esteemed bookworm, this one’s a no-brainer. Get them that book they’ve been eyeing at the bookshop, or purchase them a gift card from their favorite bookstore.
13. Homemade coupons: Write them a handwritten coupon for something they need or want. And if you’d like to make this gift extra special, try making a romantic coupon book full of thoughtful offers instead.
14. Massage: Life can be stressful, so spoil the one you love with a massage or an at-home spa day that will help make all that tension disappear. Want to take your 14 days of love up a notch? Bring your partner to a Date Night event at your local Painting with a Twist studio! They’ll enjoy sipping, painting, and spending quality time with their favorite Valentine! Book an event today, and your boo or beau will feel all the time, effort, and passion you’ve put into making this Valentine’s Day one for the books!
Friends are the family we choose for ourselves. And when it comes to the holidays, sometimes spending time with your closest pals can be just as sweet as heading home to see family. This holiday season, get ready to host the ultimate gathering with these ideas for a very merry Friendsmas!
What is “Friendsmas” anyway? Simply put, it’s a Christmas party with your friends! Whether you live far away from family or just want to host a friends-only holiday party, Friendsmas is the answer you’ve been looking for.
Your Friendsmas party can be before or after Christmas itself, and it can be as straightforward or as all-out as you want it to be. And hey, if the holidays aren’t always your favorite time of year, having an extra excuse to connect and laugh with your friends can not only boost your mood, but it can also create lasting memories and new holiday traditions.
How to Plan Your Friendsmas Party
1. Send out invitations.
If you’re in the mood for a fancy Friendsmas, print up paper invitations and mail them to friends. Or, use a free app (like Canva) to make a quick and cute evite. Either way, an actual invitation instead of a regular old text makes your Friendsmas party feel a little more special before it even begins.
2. Pick a theme.
When it comes to Friendsmas theme ideas, the possibilities are endless. Ask for everyone’s input before choosing the right one for your crew. Tacky Christmas sweaters are classic. Or you could just tell everyone to let their holiday spirit run wild and give a prize to the most festive outfit of the evening.
3. Serve up holiday food.
It’s not a party without food, and it’s definitely not a Friendsmas party without lots of delicious eats. Here are a few easy Friendsmas food ideas to get you in the holiday spirit.
Hot cocoa charcuterie board: Instead of meat and cheese, use marshmallows and candy canes!
Holiday popcorn mix: Drizzle popcorn with chocolate and throw in some red and green M&Ms for a snack your guests will love.
Christmas tree-shaped snacks: Even if you’re serving “normal” food, arrange crackers, cheese, cookies, or veggies in the shape of a Christmas tree, candy cane, or Santa hat.
Don’t forget to stock up on festive party supplies, like colorful or sparkly plates, napkins, and cups!
Sip and be merry.
Want to get in the holiday spirit? Add some festive spirits of the drinkable variety! Choose a wine that pairs well with your Friendsmas food, whip up a signature cocktail, or let guests make their own drinks. If you go for the latter, make sure to have a few extra goodies on hand for added flavor and garnish:
fresh rosemary or peppermint sprigs
whole cranberries (or cranberry juice)
whipped cream (for hot cocoa or eggnog!)
Everyone in your circle probably has multiple parties to attend this year, including you. And no one wants to get stuck doing ALL the work of hosting, plus cooking, cleaning, and planning activities. Why not divide and conquer instead?
Have a few friends make food, one or two make a unique cocktail, another plan an activity, and someone else who’s willing to host in their home. That way, no one is stuck with all the logistics, and everyone gets to enjoy the holiday spirit.
Watch Christmas movies (or at the very least, put one on in the background!)
Take a walk to look at lights together
If you’re fortunate enough to have snow, host a snowman building contest or snowball fight
Play holiday-themed charades
You can also play a Friendsmas drinking game by choosing a cue word like “present,” “cold,” “lights,” or “snow.” Then, have everyone take a sip of their drink every time someone says the forbidden word.
The holidays are filled with good tidings and great joy. From spending quality time with your friends and family to embracing the spirit of the season with your local community, it seems like there’s tons of cheer to go around.
However, romance can get pushed to the back burner during this whimsical time of year. If you want to make this holiday season extra special for you and your S.O., check out these fun ideas for how to enjoy Christmas as a couple.
How to Have a Romantic Christmas as a Couple
Whether you’re in a new relationship or have been married for years, finding inspiration for romantic Christmas date ideas isn’t always easy. Maybe you and your partner are navigating busy schedules. Perhaps you’re just looking to create new holiday traditions. Whatever the case, get ready to make some major holiday magic with the ideas below.
1. Cut down your own Christmas tree.
If you live within driving distance of a tree farm, cutting down your own tree is a fantastic Christmas tradition idea for couples. You can pick out the perfect fir and maybe even enjoy a sleigh ride while you’re on the farm.
Once your tree is situated at home, it’s time to decorate! Jam some holiday tunes, pull out the ornaments, and hang up Christmas stockings for a totally wholesome and memorable time between you and your beloved S.O.
2. Make a batch (or two) of Christmas cookies.
Baking is a BIG part of the holiday season and an inexpensive date idea you can really put your own spin on. Pour some eggnog or mix a cocktail, and then roll up your sleeves and get to work!
Try your hands at new, creative recipes using seasonal flavors (like ginger or molasses) — or go the classic sugar cookie route. Then, break out your themed cookie cutters, and make them your own.
3. Bundle up for an ice skating adventure.
Maybe it’s been years since you laced up some ice skates. But the holidays are the perfect time to bundle up and brave the ice once again! Ice skating with your significant other can be a great bonding experience. Glide together holding hands or take turns pulling one another around the rink. After you’ve had your fill and put in as many laps as your legs can handle, warm up with a few mugs of hot chocolate to round out this wintry date.
4. Plan a cozy at-home date night.
Maybe you and your partner would prefer a cozy night in instead of an active night out. If so, you can always indulge in a romantic date from the comfort of your own home. After all, a living room picnic complete with wine, charcuterie, and your favorite Christmas movies can set a really lovely mood. And if you want to go the extra mile, why not flex your creative muscles? A shared creative endeavor (like at-home painting) is sure to trigger some serious love hormones.
5. Do a driving tour of holiday lights.
If you need a new holiday tradition, but you’re all out of romantic Christmas eve ideas, a tour of holiday lights might be just the answer. Driving around and looking at neighborhood displays or paying a visit to a larger light exhibit is a wonderfully romantic idea for a Christmas Eve night. Bring along a thermos of cocoa, and turn on some holiday-themed music as you celebrate the season with your sweetheart.
6. Go shopping at a Christmas market.
You have to get your shopping done one way or another, so make it more enjoyable with your S.O. in tow! Few things are as festive or as full of holiday cheer as Christmas craft shows, which tend to run for a whole weekend (or more) leading up to the big day.
Look for a Christmas market in your area or take a little trip out of town to one that interests you. Once you arrive, soak up the day as you meet artisans and find one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone on your list.
7. Enjoy a candlelit dinner on Christmas Eve.
Cooking at home is a terrific Christmas Eve tradition idea for couples. Grab your partner, get dressed in your best chef ensembles, and turn on the heat! When you’re done, set the mood with a jazzy playlist and decorated dinner table.
If you’d prefer a less time-consuming alternative, order in from your favorite restaurant instead. Then, set the mood with a few aromatic candles and enjoy a delicious, non-traditional holiday meal with your partner under candlelight. Now that’s a romantic Christmas dinner idea for two!
Create New Holiday Traditions at Painting with a Twist
Prioritizing your partner and creating new traditions during the holiday season doesn’t have to be difficult. From Twist at Home Paint Kits to Couples’ Night events, your local Painting with a Twist studio has everything you need for a romantic and blissful Christmas season. Look for a studio near you, and make memories that’ll last a lifetime.
Are you in charge of hosting this year’s Friendsgiving celebration? If so, planning meals, decorating the event space, and pulling together all of the small details can feel a little overwhelming. But the best part about spending this holiday with your closest pals is that you can spice things up and celebrate your own way.
Operation Friendsgiving is underway! Here’s how to host Thanksgiving with friends.
Send Festive Invites
As with most social events, you’ll want to give your friends a heads-up on the event date. The holidays are a busy time of year for everyone, so as you prepare for autumn, send out festive Friendsgiving invites to make sure everyone knows to keep their calendars open.
Luckily, being the perfect host or hostess no longer requires a trip to the post office—unless you absolutely love mailing paper invitations. You can send out digital invites from your desk and then focus on the most important part of any Friendsgiving—food.
The feast is what differentiates Thanksgiving from other holidays. You can’t have Thanksgiving with friends without turkey, a delicious serving of sides, and pie. When planning your event, it’s crucial to coordinate who will bring what to ensure the stuffing doesn’t go missing.
Create a shareable document or spreadsheet with categories like appetizers, side dishes, and desserts where all of your attendees can sign up for a dish. This allows your friends to pick food items they feel comfortable cooking, while also ensuring you don’t get any duplicate dishes.
Decorate for Dinner (or Brunch)
Holiday parties usually imply holiday decor. But one of the advantages of Thanksgiving with friends instead of family members is that you can create your own traditions. With no precedents set, that means the decor can be as simple or as elaborate as you like.
If you decide on a Friendsgiving brunch, your Friendsgiving table setting could consist of a simple harvest-colored tablecloth strewn with mini pumpkins. Or you could plan a formal dinner party with an elaborately decorated dining room table, glowing candles, and an assortment of gourds, pumpkins, and fall decor. How the event plays out is completely up to you!
Don’t Stop at Dining
As part of any celebration, you might want to implement a few activities to keep the conversation — and the party — going. Is your crew filled with problem solvers? Set up a board game or piece together a Thanksgiving-themed puzzle before or after dinner.
Are you a more active bunch? Organizing a scavenger hunt or a game of touch football before you chow down might be just the activity you’re looking for. And if a love of Thanksgiving crafts unites your friend group, an at-home painting kit with fall-themed paintings would be the perfect activity to round out your Friendsgiving feast.
Celebrate Friendsgiving at Painting with a Twist!
Trying to host the perfect Friendsgiving can be a little stressful, especially when you want it to be like a “Friends” Thanksgiving episode. So why not leave the planning to Painting with a Twist!
Book a private event at your local studio for a memorable holiday party. We’ll provide the painting supplies, festive atmosphere, and fun. All you have to do is grab your drinks and holiday snacks of choice, rally up your best pals, and show up ready to have a Friendsgiving event like no other!
Halloween is quickly approaching, and you have one last thing left on your October bucket list: host the most spooktacular event ever! What better way to do that than by throwing your own glow-in-the-dark party?
Should you turn your home into a totally lit haunted house, host a galactic paint party, or test your friends’ Halloween know-how with a black light trivia night? Whatever haunt you choose, glow-in-the-dark food and drinks are a must! But how do you make food glow in the dark? Prepare for a little kitchen witchcraft with these glow-in-the-dark recipes.
1. Glow in the Dark Ice Cubes
Where there’s glowing food, there must be glowing beverages. Give your drinks a glow-up by serving all your beverages over glow-in-the-dark ice! Simply mix 1 part tonic water to 1 part water and freeze into ice cubes — guests can enjoy glow-in-the-dark fall drinks all night long.
2. Witch’s Brew
This Witch’s Brew is a spooky spinoff of Marilyn Monroe’s favorite cocktail (great Halloween costume idea, by the way)! It includes champagne for a little bubble bubble toil and trouble and apple brandy for a nod to the season. The grenadine makes this cocktail a bright pinkish-orange when the lights are on and a glowing white under a black light.
8 oz champagne
2 oz apple brandy
½ oz grenadine
¼ oz tonic water
Maraschino cherries to garnish
Stir the grenadine and apple brandy together in a highball glass or champagne flute. Top with tonic water and then champagne. Garnish with two maraschino cherries on a skewer.
Pro tip: Mix by the glass or conjure up a cauldron. (No, really—get a punch bowl shaped like a cauldron!) Stage a smoke machine behind it for an extra spooky effect.
3. Eerie Shirley Temple
For a non-alcoholic glow-in-the-dark drink, look to another leading lady: Shirley Temple. The best part? — you still get the bubbles and fall flavors!
10 oz ginger ale
2 oz grenadine
1 oz lime juice
½ oz tonic water
Maraschino cherries to garnish
Stir the grenadine and lime juice together in a highball glass. Top with tonic water, then ginger ale. Garnish with two maraschino cherries on a skewer.
4. Candy Corn Jell-O Cups
This treat is a nod to the iconic Halloween candy! Tonic water glows fluorescent-green under a black light to make them a perfect glow-in-the-dark party food.
Servings: approx 8
2 c tonic water, divided
1 c water, divided
1 c vodka, divided (double the water for a non-alcoholic option)
1 package lemon Jell-O
1 package orange Jell-O
Pour 1 cup tonic water into a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, then add the lemon Jell-O mix. Whisk until the mix has dissolved, then pour in ½ cup of water and ½ cup of vodka. Stir to combine. Let cool slightly.
Fill plastic wine glasses about ¼ full with the lemon Jell-O mixture. Place in the refrigerator to chill until set, about 30 to 35 minutes.
Repeat the process to make the orange Jell-O. Pour on top of the yellow mixture, filling each glass to ¾ full. Refrigerate to set the Jello-O, about 2 to 3 hours. Top with whipped cream for complete candy corn colors!
5. Vampire Cupcakes
Even Dracula couldn’t resist this bloody good dessert! Make a batch of red velvet cupcakes from your favorite box mix, or try a recipe from scratch. Whip up the vanilla buttercream frosting recipe below (with added tonic water to give it that eerie glow!). Lastly, dip a toothpick into cherry or strawberry jam and use it to create “bloody bite marks.”
1 c unsalted butter, softened
3 c powdered sugar
2 T tonic water
1 T milk or heavy cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ c cherry or strawberry jam
Whip softened butter in a stand mixer. Add powdered sugar by about a ½ cup, alternating with tonic water and milk. Mix in the vanilla. Use a piping bag to frost your cupcakes.
6. Mummy Cookies
White chocolate glows under black lights on its own, but a little tonic water will take these glow-in-the-dark cookies to the next level.
12 oz + 4 oz white baking chocolate
2 tsp + ½ tsp tonic water
12-oz package Oreos
1 tube of black decorating gel or icing
Prepare a place for your cookies to cool by laying a sheet of parchment paper on a rimmed baking sheet. Melt 12 oz of white chocolate over lowest heat in a saucepan. Stir constantly. When chocolate is mostly melted (just a few lumps left), remove from heat and slowly add 2 tsp of tonic water while stirring to combine. Keep stirring until the chocolate is completely smooth.
Using two forks, dip each cookie into the chocolate to coat and place on the parchment paper to cool. Pop the coated cookies into the fridge to speed up the process.
When cookies are cool, it’s time to wrap your mummies! Place the cookies on a wire cooling rack with a sheet of parchment paper or paper towels under it. Melt the remaining 4 oz of white chocolate, adding ½ tsp of tonic water to smooth. Then, drizzle back and forth across each cookie. Add two dots of the black decorating gel for the eyes.
You’ve created your mummies! Feel like Dr. Frankenstein? Let them cool and set before serving.
7. Zombie Treats
Rice Krispies and marshmallows both naturally glow under black light, making Rice Krispie treats the perfect edible glow-in-the-dark food for your Halloween party. Start with the original Rice Krispies recipe and add for a monster mash-up!
Servings: approx 12
3 T unsalted butter
1 10-oz package marshmallows (or 4 c mini marshmallows)
6 c Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal
½ c glow in the dark edible sprinkles or 1 c Ghoul’s Mix M&M’s
Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Add Rice Krispies cereal and stir until completely coated. Mix in sprinkles or M&M’s.
Spray a 13×9-in glass baking dish with cooking spray. Use a spatula or parchment paper to evenly press mixture into the pan. Let cool, then serve!
Note: If you really want to glow crazy (couldn’t resist) with glow-in-the-dark food ideas, add a few drops of neon food coloring to the butter-marshmallow mixture before adding the cereal.
8. The Classics: Chips & Dips
Just like classic horror movies, there are classic party dips too: guacamole, salsa, and queso! This favorite trio always comes with tortilla chips, which reflect black light and appear bright blue or purple — spooky!
1/2 lb ground beef or chorizo
½ c black beans, rinsed and drained
8 oz Velveeta cheese, cubed
8 oz Velveeta Queso Blanco, cubed
1 14.5-oz can Rotel, partially drained
1 8-oz can green chilies
Put cheese, Rotel, and green chilies in a crockpot, then set to the preferred setting. Let cook, stirring occasionally.
In the meantime, cook the meat in a large skillet over medium heat until lightly browned. Drain excess liquids. Turn heat to low and add beans, cooking until warmed throughout.
When the cheese has melted, add in meat and beans. Reduce crockpot to warm setting before serving to your ghoulish guests.
9. Veggie Monster Platter
Mix up a yummy dip to serve with crudités and watch the yogurt glow yellow under the blacklight!
1 c plain yogurt
1 T mayonnaise
1 T lemon juice
1 T fresh dill, minced
½ T fresh parsley, minced
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp salt
Stir all ingredients together in a bowl until thoroughly combined. Serve with a platter of sliced bell peppers (which also give off a glow), coined cucumbers, baby carrots, celery sticks, broccoli florets, and any other vegetables you desire to dip.
Throw Spooktacular Events with Painting with a Twist
Now that you know how to make food glow in the dark, are you ready to throw the spookiest glow-in-the-dark blacklight event ever? Whether you’re decorating at home, looking for a creative activity, or just want to avoid planning the event altogether, Painting with a Twist can make your spooktacular event a breeze
The leaves are beginning to turn, the days are slowly getting shorter, and football is back on TV. So, break out your sweaters and the pumpkin spice — it’s time to kiss summer goodbye! From swapping out your wardrobe to prepping your home, here’s how to get your whole life ready with our all-inclusive fall preparation list!
Start at Home
Are you ready to get your home ready for fall? Make the most of the season by incorporating these tips and tricks!
Get Ready for Fall Fashion
Autumn typically means cooler temperatures — and fun fall fashion! Prepare for fall by swapping out your summer seersucker and sandals for cozy sweaters and scarves.
First things first: clear out some closet space! Begin by boxing up summer staples you know you won’t be wearing this fall, think swim gear, flip-flops, and super-lightweight fabrics. But don’t pack away all of your skirts, shorts, and tanks just yet! Instead, continue wearing some of your summer favorites with these fall layering tips!
Pair your favorite tank or sundress with a cozy cardigan or trusty denim jacket
Pop a neutral turtleneck under your favorite easy summer tank dress for an on-trend 60’s inspired look
Layer tights under shorts and skirts — for added warmth, choose a cable knit pair! Then, choose a chunky knit sweater or long sleeve top for a chic-but-cozy fall look.
To maximize your transitional wardrobe, opt for close-toed options like sneakers, flats, boots, and booties. When in doubt, accessorize — and warm up — with a scarf or hat!
Declutter Before You Decorate
Turning leaves may have you itching to dig out cozy blankets, seasonal candles, and Halloween decor — but pump the brakes! After a busy summer season, it’s time to declutter.
The first step in getting your home ready for fall? Take inventory of your home Mari Kondo style. Yep, that means if you don’t love it, it’s time to toss it. Start by trashing anything you no longer need, like expired cosmetics, old papers, and magazines.
Once you have the clutter cleared away, create a donation pile. Start with old clothes, shoes, and accessories you no longer wear. Then, move on to old books, toys, and furniture. Once your home is neat and tidy, it’s time to enjoy the season — and break out the fall decor!
Incorporate Seasonal Decor
Now comes the best part of getting your home ready for fall — decor! From warm, rich tones to Hygge’s nature-inspired decorations, incorporate the colors and textures of the season. Whether you’re in the mood to DIY your autumn decor or are putting together a shopping list, here are some tips to help you decorate your whole house for fall!
Decorate your mantle with a faux fall leaf garland
Sprinkle in pinecones
Fill vases with sunflowers, pampas grass, or wheat cuttings
Fill metallic or mercury glass votives with tea candles — go flameless
Swap out your doormat for a festive, fall-inspired mat
Use pumpkins and gourds (real or faux!) to create centerpieces and top tables and shelves
Swap out your wall art for something seasonal
Looking for a one-of-a-kind piece of autumn decor? Create your own and get fall festive at Painting with a Twist! And, don’t forget the candles! From sweet pumpkin pie to spiced vanilla chai, a seasonal candle can help set the mood for autumn.
Add Ambiance with Lighting
While fall marks the beginning of the holiday celebrations, it also brings the end of daylight savings time — and likely more time indoors. If the shorter days tend to leave you feeling down, a few simple lighting swaps can help!
Warm light is easy on the eyes, both literally and figuratively! In addition to creating a cozy atmosphere, a warm glow creates less eye strain (and can even help you sleep better!) than white or blue-based lights. Therefore, warm lighting is the perfect choice for your living area, bedroom, or anywhere you want to chill. Embrace the cozy vibes with Edison bulbs, warm-toned string lights, and wall sconces.
On the other hand, if you’re constantly feeling sleepy or battling a poor mood, you’re probably feeling the effects of less sunshine! Use white, bright lighting to mimic daytime sunlight in your home office, craft room, kitchen, and any areas where you need to get detail-oriented. If you tend to catch the fall and winter blues, consider purchasing a special lamp intended for light therapy.
Make Lifestyle Swaps
Sip and Snack on Festive Fall Flavors
A sure sign fall is near? The return of pumpkin spice everything! Fill your kitchen with seasonal beverages and get ready to prepare your favorite fall meals.
Fall is the perfect time to sip on a hot drink! Savor the flavors of the season with seasonal coffee creamers, apple cider, or your favorite spiced tea.
Let your taste buds know autumn is here by preparing your favorite comfort foods and fall dishes. Create meals that incorporate seasonal produce, like chili or butternut squash soup. Then, satisfy your sweet tooth with a homemade pumpkin or apple pie.
Make Time for Mindfulness and Self Care
As the holidays approach, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by travel plans, shopping lists, and endless fall activities. Wondering how to make the most of fall even when things get busy? Slow down with mindfulness and make time for self-care.
Mindfulness can take many forms. Whether you choose to walk, meditate, journal, or pick up another relaxing craft or activity, it’s important to incorporate screen-free time into your routine. If you’re really looking to get creative, our Zen Painting Events set the stage for a relaxing, mindful experience.
It’s also essential that you make space for some quality “me time.” Get prepared by creating your own self-care kit. Then maintain a self-care routine to help you look and feel your best this fall. Whether you prefer to take a long, relaxing walk, journal, slip into a bath with a pumpkin scrub, knit, or paint, mindfulness and self-care are vital!
Embrace Seasonal Activities
Sweater weather is the perfect time to gather with friends and family. Whether you prefer to take in the fall foliage outdoors or snuggle up indoors, there are plenty of amazing experiences to be had this fall. Call up your loved ones and start filling your calendar with this list of fall activities:
Tailgate at football games
Host a game night
Enjoy the cooler temps with a scenic hike
Plan a weekend camping trip
Plan a movie night
Spend the afternoon apple picking
Gather around a bonfire
Visit a winery
Looking for more fall bucket list inspiration? Check out this guide!
Welcome Fall with Painting with a Twist
Now that you’re prepared for the season, it’s time to sit back and relax. Capture the magic of the season by booking a Painting with a Twist Zen Painting event! Enjoy a relaxing evening of painting where you can create your own piece of autumn home decor. Visit your local studio today and get ready for a fall-festive time!
Labor Day weekend is right around the corner, and you need fun ideas for the family — STAT! Since this holiday often marks the end of a warm and exciting summer, you’ll want to make the last hurrah extra memorable. From road trips to picnics, there are tons of fun Labor Day family ideas. Check out this list, and get inspired!
1. Take a Quick Road Trip
While a three-day weekend may not allow for a cross-country road trip, the best Labor Day trips can often be a little closer to home. Choose a neighboring city or state you want to explore, and rope in the kiddos when planning the routes and must-see excursions. Then, pack your bags, create the perfect playlist, and get out on the open road for some serious family bonding time.
2. Score Big on Seasonal Sales
Who doesn’t love a good shopping spree — especially one chock-full of back-to-school promotions and seasonal deals? Bringing home new clothes or shiny electronics is something everyone in your family can enjoy. So, round up those classroom essentials and fall-weather staples when getting out for this exciting Labor Day weekend activity.
3. Attend a Family Paint Event
Labor Day is often centered around spending quality time with family — which means doing your best to avoid on-screen distractions. A great way to implement this is by getting your family canvas-deep at a Painting with a Twist studio.
From kids painting events to family paint nights, joining the world of fun art (not fine art!) is an easy way to have family fun on Labor day weekend. Not only will your kiddos expand their creativity and try something new, but their phones and tablets will be the furthest things from their minds.
4. Have a Backyard Movie Night
A backyard movie is a fantastic cost-saving alternative to taking your entire family to the theater. By getting outside, you’ll put a creative spin on standard family movie nights and enjoy the crisp, warm weather of early September. Fashion a makeshift backdrop using a clean bed sheet, add comfortable seating (lawn chairs, blankets, floor cushions, etc.), and snuggle up for the ultimate backyard movie experience.
5. Go for an Afternoon Swim
In many places, Labor Day weekend marks the final days of open public pools. So, apply a little SPF, grab the floaties, and enjoy the last swim day of the season! In the event area pools have already closed, you can also look for a lake, river, or another natural body of water to hang out in for the afternoon. The idea here is just to splash around with your kids wherever you can.
6. Pack a Yummy Picnic Lunch
A picnic lunch provides all kinds of fun and can be super affordable at the same time. Slice up some fruits and veggies, make a few PB&Js, and toss in a few of your kiddos’ favorite beverages. Whether you picnic on your lawn or find a cute spot at a nearby park, having a picnic lunch is a wonderful, laid-back way for everyone to fill up on good food and great feelings.
7. Relax with a Game Night
Who says you have to leave your house for entertainment? It’s often those cozy nights at home that make for the best memories. Gather family-favorite snacks, pull out the board games, and take in all the laughter and light-hearted competition that comes from a few rounds of Uno and Monopoly. And if you’d rather steer clear of winner-centric games, puzzles are a great alternative.
Celebrate Labor Day at Painting with a Twist
With these Labor Day weekend activities at your disposal, your family is sure to have three days full of fun and cherished memories. And remember, when you book a Family Paint Event at Painting with a Twist, you’re guaranteed a fantastic outing for your entire family. Register for an event today, and see why easel time is the new screen time!
National Red Wine Day is August 28th! That means it’s the perfect time to learn a little more about the wonders of reds, whites, and rosés. Gaining wine knowledge doesn’t have to be scary, and that’s why we’ve created a list of great first steps to lead you in the right direction. Learn more about wine with these tips, and supercharge your sommelier skills in no time!
Purchase a Wine Book (or Two!)
Before you head to a dozen tastings or invest in a bottle with a sky-high price tag, start accruing basic wine knowledge! Opt for reference books like The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson. Other sommelier-approved reading recommendations include The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil and Into Wine by Olivier Magny.
With these reads, you’ll build a solid framework. You’ll learn how to categorize wine (e.g., light, medium, and heavy body; oaked and unoaked, etc.), appreciate wine and food pairings, and understand various wine regions, grape varieties, and their distinct flavors. All of which can put you on the sommelier bandwagon faster than you might think.
Join an Online Wine Community
Serious budding sommeliers wondering how to start learning about wine should also consider joining online academies like Napa Valley Wine Academy. The key is to find and join an organization with courses, educational materials, discussion forums, and events to help you meet your wine goals!
You can also dive into the world of wine by following sommelier social media accounts and listening to wine-centric podcasts. You’ll soak up new information at your leisure while getting elbow-deep in your day-to-day activities. Total win-win!
Learn From The Experts at Wine Tastings
When beginning your journey to sommelier, there’s no better way to learn about wine than straight from the gurus. Local wineries will often host wine tastings where you can try various — often local — flavors (and bring home a bottle of your favorite). Your host will walk you through the process, educating you about the wines you’re tasting.
Most importantly, don’t hold back with your questions! Your wine tasting host is a professional, and they’ll be happy to share their knowledge – especially if they know this is your intro to wine.
Spend Time at Local Wine Bars
Ask a sommelier how to learn more about wine, and they’ll make a common suggestion: spend time drinking wine with wine lovers! By making a wine bar your go-to hang-out or happy hour spot, you’re bound to learn tons of great, new things! Try new wines, take advantage of any special offerings, ask questions, make comparisons, and even take notes! Which, of course, leads to the final tip…
Taste, Taste, and Taste!
The best way to learn about wine is to try a whole lot of it. Pick up a bottle you’ve never tried whenever you go to the store. Order a glass of something that looks interesting on your next date night. Go to wine tastings to try several different wines without breaking the bank. Host dinners and ask guests to bring their favorite bottles, or treat everyone to a delicious homemade sangria.
Every time you try a new wine, make a point to read the label, look it up in your wine book, or do a quick search online. By tasting as many types as you can and doing your background research, you’ll start to connect the dots and familiarize yourself with the world of wine.
Put the “Twist” in Painting with a Twist
We’re all about the “twist” in Painting with a Twist. Join in on the fun! Grab your favorite bottle of wine and book an unforgettable Painting with a Twist event at your local studio — just in time for National Red Wine Day!
Doing something out of the norm for your partner is a great way to bond and connect. And what better way to say, “I love you just because…” than by organizing a sunny, summery picnic you can both enjoy? Learn how to plan a stellar picnic date with these creative ideas and tips.
How to Pack the Perfect Picnic Basket
Find the Perfect Basket
When planning a romantic picnic for two, your first priority will likely be selecting the picnic basket itself! Pick up an old-school wicker basket from your local vintage market, or grab a reusable tote if you’re short on time.
When picnicking in warmer weather, consider bringing an insulated cooler to keep your food and refreshments cold. If you don’t have one on hand, tucking a few frozen water bottles into your picnic basket makes for an excellent alternative. Not only will the frozen bottles take the place of freezer packs, but once melted, they’ll provide a refreshing beverage for your sunny day out.
Plan the Menu
With food, you’ll want to steer clear of sack lunches, and instead, opt for curated, easy to snack on dishes, like a nice cheese plate or charcuterie board. Think cured meats, fancy cheeses, a selection of crackers, and olives or dried fruit. This classic picnic go-to allows you to incorporate a variety of flavors, pairs well with your favorite wines, and sets the stage for an amorous outing with your boo or beau!
Pack the Essentials
Pack dining essentials like plates, cutlery, napkins, stemless glasses, a wine opener, and a chilled bottle of wine or sangria. While fresh flowers are totally optional, they’ll wow your partner and compliment your food and beverage spread.
When figuring out how to plan a romantic picnic in the park, creating a rom-com-worthy ambiance is only the first step. Pack a large blanket to stretch out on, as well as some bug spray, sunscreen, and hand sanitizer. While the last three don’t scream romance, they will make your outing more comfortable in the long run.
How to Plan a Romantic Picnic in the Evening
Picnics aren’t just for afternoon enjoyment! In fact, going al fresco with a late-night picnic can prove even more romantic! The sights and sounds of dusk, the cool evening air, and an optimal location can all make for the perfect outing with your S.O.
Drive out to a romantic destination or lookout point and watch the sunset as you dine on your favorite foods. Follow the tips listed above to pack your basket, but also add in a candle or flashlight for easy navigation. You’ll also want to take a sizable throw blanket along for dining, wining, and stargazing.
How to Plan a Romantic Picnic at Home
Who says you have to leave the house to picnic? Yes, you can have a romantic picnic indoors! Picnicking at home means you’re not limited to bringing along small plates. Instead, order in from an upscale restaurant, or get in the kitchen and whip something up with your partner. To create the picnic vibe, place a blanket and pillows on the floor, light candles (or the fireplace!), and enjoy a blissful evening.
But if you and your beau like the idea of adding some additional at-home date night activities to your romantic event, go for it! The key to an amorous evening is choosing activities that allow you to connect with your partner — so refrain from screen time! Instead, unplug, get creative, and sprinkle in some artistic expression!
A Twist at Home Paint Kit is a great way to add some flair and spice to your at-home picnic date. We’ll provide all the necessary materials so that you and your partner can let your creative spirits run wild. Are you ready to try something new? Order a kit from your local Painting with a Twist studio, and get ready to embrace a unique and meaningful experience with your significant other!
If you’re a proud pet owner, chances are you don’t need a good reason to spoil your four-legged companion. However, we’ve found the perfect annual opportunity you need to give your pup the royal treatment they deserve!
August 10th is National Spoil Your Dog Day, and there are endless ways to celebrate your fur-baby this year! Use these ideas to make pampering your pet extra “paw-some” on this unique summer holiday.
Set Up a Spa Day
Who says spa days are only for humans? When looking for the best ways to spoil your dog, you really can’t lose with a good grooming session. With the right products and attentive care, the chore of bathtime can become a fun and luxurious event for your pet.
Massage away the stress from your pup’s long, busy days of securing the yard against pesky mailmen and outside squirrels. Brush through their locks until their hindleg twitches with joy. And if you really want to take it the extra mile, spoil your pup with an impromptu grooming appointment. They’ll leave the pet salon refreshed, fluffy, and feeling like a million bucks!
Puppy Play Date
There’s no doubt your puppy loves the quality alone time you share, but it’s always nice to allow for bonding time with their best buds! Plan a pet get-together with your human friends and their furry companions.
Bring gifts to spoil your dog along the way, ensuring that you have snacks prepared and activities planned for both humans and pets alike. You and your friends can kick back and enjoy a great time while the four-legged attendees get in their steps!
Make Extra Special Snacks
Dishing out treats is a surefire way to put a doggy grin on your pup’s face. To switch it up on Spoil Your Dog Day, head to the kitchen to create one-of-a-kind delectables for your dog! Think peanut butter and pumpkin cookies and yummy pupsicles for their sweet tooth! All you need is a few of your pup’s favorite all-natural ingredients and a little creativity.
If freestyle baking isn’t your forté, a simple stop at your local pet store can help lead the way to your furry companion’s new favorite treat recipe.
Furry Friend Field Trip
Here’s another fun idea to show your sidekick you care — take them on a tour of their top-ranking locations! Most dogs love a good car ride, especially if it’s leading them to an adventure. Whether you hit the dog park, pet store, watering hole, or all of the above, a furry friend field trip is a great way to leave them with heart-warming doggy joy.
Pro tip: bring along a “pamper your dog kit” full of treats, toys, and anything else your dog adores.
Summer break is coming to a close, and many amazing teachers are preparing for the year ahead. They’re organizing classrooms, going through training, and buying additional supplies and decorations to welcome your little ones back for another exciting school year.
It’s no secret that teachers do a LOT for our kiddos. And what better way to say “thank you” than with a small token of appreciation? Use these back-to-school gift ideas for teachers as the perfect kick-start to a new school year!
Creative gift baskets full of colored pencils, pens, dry erase markers, and books for the class library are thoughtful back-to-school gift ideas for teachers. Since educators are known for using their personal budgets to purchase classroom essentials, why not start the year off by helping with some of those supplies?
Gift Cards for a Sweet Treat
There are plenty of ways, small and large, to show your kiddo’s teacher you appreciate their hard work! You can opt for something simple, like a $5 coffee gift card. Or, you can grab something more indulgent and generous, like a voucher to a local lunch stop or your favorite online retailer.
Not sure you’re able to shell out for a gift card but know you’d love to share the gift of a morning pick-me-up? Wrap a colorful bow around an individual teabag, and attach a note welcoming them back to the classroom. This is a perfectly personal way to save a few dollars while also making your child’s teacher feel thought of and appreciated.
Show your teacher you’re thinking of them with all-year essentials. Think reusable water bottles, hand sanitizer, coffee mugs, hand lotion, and fuzzy socks to enjoy after a long day on their feet. Teachers give their all, so offering them those little necessities can be a thoughtful way to kick off their work year.
Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate!
Teachers have the patience of saints. But that doesn’t mean they couldn’t use a little midday boost while on the job! Sending your kiddo off with chocolates, candies, or baked treats can help to ensure there’s a go-to stash of pick-me-ups during those inevitably chaotic classroom moments.
A Little Heartfelt Creativity
It can be hard to know what to give teachers at the start of a new school year. If you’re still looking for the best teacher gifts for back to school, let your creative colors fly with a craft! A heartfelt piece of art is a unique and meaningful way to honor your child’s teacher.
Collaborate with your kiddo to create a framed poem, a handmade greeting card, or a piece of art for the classroom! Exercising a little creativity can be a fun way to include your entire family in the excitement of the new school year ahead.
Bring in the New School Year at Painting with a Twist!
Most kids anxiously await school being out for the summer, only to find themselves wondering, “What now?” Summer boredom is a very real, very common condition for kids on break. This means that you, the lucky parent, have the divine duty of keeping them entertained!
If you’re looking for creative new ways to keep the boredom at bay and fantastic experiences at an all-time high, Painting with a Twist is here to save the day. Combat summer blues this season with these awesome summer activities for kids!
Build an Obstacle Course
Is everyone somehow bored of their scooters, hula-hoops, trampolines, soccer nets, sidewalk chalk, and other outdoor toys? Give them new life by using them in a massive, homemade obstacle course! Create a set of rules (for example, everyone must ride down the driveway via scooter, do ten jump ropes, three cartwheels, run around the house, kick the soccer ball into the net, and ride the scooter back). Map it out with your sidewalk chalk, and see who can do it in the fastest time. You can come up with countless “obstacles” to add as you go along!
Volunteer as a Family
Get out of the house, bond as a family, meet new people, and have fun… all while giving back to your community! Volunteering is truly one of the best summer activities for kids. Food banks and meal centers are often looking for volunteers to pack up or serve food. Kids can write and decorate cards for local nursing homes and hospitals. Serving at a local park clean-up event or working at a community garden are great ways to enjoy the sunshine while giving back. The entire family will feel good when doing something for others.
Go on a Road Trip
You don’t need to plan an extensive 12-hour trip to the beach (unless you want to, of course!). Even planning a mini-road trip to get away for a day is an excellent way to mix things up. Picnic and hike at a national park a couple of hours away, explore a small town you’ve never been to, or visit family for a weekend. A change of scenery can work wonders at alleviating boredom, and it certainly doesn’t have to break the bank.
Sign Them Up for Kids Camp (with a Twist!)
Let your child embrace their creative side with a summer camp unlike all the rest! At a Painting with a Twist’s Kids Camp, your child will create a new work of art every single day with the guidance of one of our talented artists.
Most importantly, everything is done in a fun, relaxing setting. Your kiddo will socialize with other children, enjoy a snack, take pride in making an awesome piece of artwork, and learn a brand new skill.
Set Up an Ice Cream Sundae Bar
Let’s be real: most fun family things to do in the summer involve ice cream in some way. Gather the family – or go all out by inviting friends and neighbors – and have an outdoor ice cream social. Load up a table with all the toppings you can fathom (think chocolates, candies, fruits, sauces, nuts, and even cereals!) and let everyone go wild while making their one-of-a-kind ice cream concoctions. The sugar crash will be totally worth it.
Camping is always a fun thing to do with kids during summer break, but you don’t have to travel to a campsite (or forgo indoor plumbing) to do it. Grab a book of ghost stories from the library, pack a picnic dinner, and pitch a tent in the backyard to create an unforgettable night for your kids. You can make s’mores, stargaze, and enjoy all the fun stuff camping has to offer, all without leaving the comfort of home.
Explore a New Museum
By the fourth week of sky-high temperatures, you might be running out of indoor things to do with kids during summer. Branch out! Drive an extra half hour, and spend the day exploring that brand-new-to-you museum a few towns over. You can easily make a day out of it, and your kids will be entertained by brand new activities and exhibits.
Plan a Summer Reading Challenge
Your local public library may have a free summer reading challenge (and various other free activities for kids during summer, for that matter). If not, you can find a ton of ideas and outlines online! Challenge your kids to read a certain number of books, pages, or chapters, and offer rewards like special outings, meals, or prizes for hitting specific goals. Don’t worry if they don’t choose the most educational or enriching books during the challenge. Reading goofy, lighthearted books are all part of the summer fun.
Enjoy Summer at Painting with a Twist!
Now that you’re armed with the cool activities needed to stave off summer boredom, visit your local Painting with a Twist studio for summer kids camp locations near you. Your preschoolers, tweens, and teens can let their creativity shine as they build new friendships and create their own works of art. Talk about a stellar summer activity!
Did you know that having a pet can make you happier? Studies show that petting and playing with your furry friend decreases stress and increases oxytocin levels in your brain. It doesn’t matter if you have a lap dog, a chinchilla, a guinea pig, or a pygmy goat — pets bring you joy no matter their shape, size, or species! So why not celebrate your special creature on National Pet Photo Day on July 11? Spread the joy your pet brings to your life by sharing a photo of them on social media. Here are a few tips on how you can make your pet go viral on #NationalPetPhotoDay!
Let a hashtag inspire your photo.
Of course, you’ll want to include the hashtag #NationalPetPhotoDay in your post. But to really get inspired — and to increase your chances of going viral — consider the following popular hashtags for a bit of creative direction!
People love a good adoption story on social media! Share your pet’s rescue story and include images from the day you adopted them. And don’t forget to post a recent photo of the two of you together — cue the waterworks!
Who can resist a precious pet nose? Take a close-up photo of your pet’s snout to share. Better yet, record yourself booping their nose and catch their reaction on video.
This hilarious hashtag works well for just about any kind of pet. Whether you have a big goofball dog or an itty-bitty, smiley hedgehog, tiny hats on animals can amuse anyone. Make your own tiny hat or purchase one online. Speaking of outfitting your pet…
Dress them up.
Can we all agree that there’s nothing cuter than an animal in clothing? If your pet doesn’t exactly have its own wardrobe, there are plenty of ways to improvise. Take a look at the items you have at home — sunglasses, hats, and scarves — and let your inner fashion designer take over. Simplicity is key, and remember: if you find your pet extremely resistant to dressing up, don’t force it. Keep the purpose of Pet Photo Day in mind: to celebrate the JOY of having your pet. Try not to make them miserable in the process!
Highlight their best feature.
What feature immediately comes to mind when you think about your pet? Do they have giant ears? Are they a unique color? Is there a heart-shaped mark on their back? Snap a photo of the trait that stands out the most and post it to social media.
Paint their portrait.
If getting your high-energy pup or flighty bird-pal to stand still for the camera isn’t going over too well, why not celebrate this memorable holiday by painting your pet instead? Rather than going through all of the fuss of getting the perfect shot on camera, visit your local Painting with a Twist studio and book one of our awesome Paint Your Pet events (great for holiday gifts and birthday celebrations, too!). You don’t have to be a professional artist to create a unique work of art. The Paint Your Pet process is simple: sign up for a class, email a photo of your pet, and show up for an evening of fun! You’ll walk away with your pet in a painting to display at home and on social media.
No matter what you decide to post on social media for #NationalPetPhotoDay, remember that every day is a great day to celebrate your pet!
The day has come — your best gal pal is getting hitched! She’s planned a beautiful summer wedding, but now, you’re stuck planning a bachelorette party during one of the busiest seasons of the year! If you’re feeling some party-planning jitters, just follow this simple how-to guide for organizing the ultimate bachelorette party.
1. Find the Best Date
Are you new to the party planning world? Or maybe you’ve just never been the one calling the shots for such a big event. If that’s the case, settling on the perfect date and time may be your first concern. Thankfully, there are no rules set in stone.
How much time you have available before the wedding, your bride-to-be’s busy schedule, and what works for the crew are all very real factors. However, we recommend organizing the bachelorette party for one to two months before the wedding. This can help to keep your bride from feeling overwhelmed and overbooked prior to the big day.
2. Organize the Guest List
Before you can find the perfect location and event for celebrating your bride-to-be, there’s the guest list to consider. Without a group count, booking the proper accommodations and activities may become difficult — especially during peak wedding season. So, prioritize getting this list and reaching out to each attendee to extend an invitation.
3. Figure Out Where to Celebrate the Bride-to-Be
Every bride has her own idea of a good time. Some are excitable party animals, while others prefer relaxation and leisure over boozy nights out. Luckily, just as there are many personality types, there are also a huge variety of activities to match!
Maybe the bride is an outdoorsy girl who deserves a little extra glam. In which case, visiting a glamping site could leave her beaming with joy! Take the bride and her “I do crew” camping and enjoy a weekend in nature — with the added perk of air conditioning and plumbing, of course!
It’s not every day that your bride has the entire crew gathered in one place. So what better time than now to throw an old-school slumber party? Decorate the space and bring on the bubbly, pajamas, karaoke, and rom-coms! Whether you choose to throw the event at your own house or have everyone pitch in for a rental, this could be the perfect blend of party and wind down!
Want to spice up your slumber party? Order Twist at Home paint kits for the girl squad, and keep your paintings as memorabilia for your awesomely executed event.
After planning every last wedding detail, surely your favorite bride-to-be could use some extra TLC. Treat her and the crew to a day at the spa! From massages and saunas to manicures and skin treatments, there are plenty of self-care opportunities to be had at an all-inclusive spa. Taking advantage of this relaxing time together could really put your bride-to-be at ease before the big day.
Night on the Town
Maybe the bride could use a night out on the town. And you wouldn’t want to disappoint! Start the night with a fancy dinner at her favorite restaurant, and then stop by your local Painting with a Twist studio for a bachelorette party paint night! Painting and sipping is a great way to bond and celebrate your bride’s upcoming trip down the aisle.
Organize a Tentative Schedule
Now that you know the highlights of the bachelorette party, it’s time to consider the details. Where will you sleep? What time will the various events take place? How will you get from point A to point B? Organize a flexible schedule that allows for a little downtime to avoid any gaps during your bride-to-be’s celebratory day or weekend.
Book Your Accommodations
All of the activities are planned, and now it’s time to set them in stone! Book reservations for meals, lodging, and transportation, so you don’t encounter any unnecessary surprises the day of. Peak wedding season can be hectic, so you’ll want to make these arrangements as far in advance as possible.
Let Painting with a Twist Host Your “I Do” Crew
Are you ready to win party planner of the year? Book your bachelorette bash at a Painting with a Twist studio in your city! Our BYOB painting studios can host your whole “I do” crew. Just bring your beverages and attendees, and we’ll provide all the painting supplies you need for the ultimate bachelorette party event!
Have you ever taken a road trip across the country? What about running in a 5K race or riding in a hot air balloon? Why not make this the summer you finally do some of the things you’ve always wanted to try? Whether you’re creating a bucket list for yourself, for you and your S.O., a bestie, or your children, these activities are sure to give you a summer to remember.
Summer Bucket Lists Ideas for Just About Everyone
The sun-filled, warm-breeze days of summer are making their return, which means you’ll likely be looking for fresh ideas on how to spend your time. Fortunately, there are tons of great activities you can dive into on your own — or with your loved ones. Read through our fun summer bucket list ideas for some major inspiration, and then get to planning your next outing!
10 Solo Summer Bucket List Ideas
There’s nothing better than making time for yourself and exploring at your own pace. From doing random acts of kindness in your community to baking your very own fruit pie from scratch, this solo summer bucket list is sure to leave you satisfied with your accomplishments long after the summer sun has set.
Grow an herb or vegetable garden
Play tourist in your home city
Spend a full 24-hours without electronics
Train and run in a themed 5K race
Read a New York Times bestseller
Get that tattoo you’ve always wanted
Pick wildflowers and make a bouquet
Pamper yourself with an at-home staycation
Visit friends you haven’t seen in a while
Start a daily gratitude journal
10 Best Friend Summer Bucket List Ideas
Summer isn’t quite complete until you’ve done a few crazy things and made lasting memories with your girl crew. Bask in the summer sun, pick fresh berries at a U-pick farm, and make this summer season one for the books with these best friend bucket list ideas!
Keep the spark alive with your boo or beau this summer by making this a bucket list challenge! Get rid of mundane movie nights, and instead come up with some cool activities that’ll return vigor to your relationship. Add other ideas to this list, such as learning how to cook homemade pasta or going to a drive-in, and make this a summer you’ll never forget.
Try a cuisine you’ve never had
Snag tickets to an outdoor concert or play
Plan a picnic lunch at a local park
Go for a ride in a hot air balloon
Make dinner with your farmer’s market finds
Watch the sunset or go stargazing on a clear night
Hike a new trail and explore the great outdoors
Go camping (or glamping) in a remote location
Take a tandem bike ride around the city
Take a scenic drive with no destination in mind
10 Summer Bucket List Ideas for Kids
Let’s face it, kids grow up entirely too fast. And that’s why it’s important to make their summer special too! Help create lasting childhood memories for your kiddos this year with this summer bucket list for kids.
Spend the day at an amusement park
Play water games in the backyard
Create tie-dye T-shirts or accessories
Go to an evening game at the ballpark
Make s’mores over a bonfire
Fly a kite at a neighborhood park
Dance in the rain or go puddle jumping
Decorate the driveway with chalk
Catch fireflies in a mason jar
Organize a family game night
Spring into Summer at Painting with a Twist
Are you looking for artsy activities to add to your summer to-do list? If so, bring your girl crew or partner to a Painting with a Twist Late Night event at a studio near you! Our team at Painting with a Twist will provide all the necessary supplies and create an inviting atmosphere. All you have to do is show up and have some fun. Find your nearest Painting with a Twist studio, and get ready to spend your summer creating something unique and memorable!
They’ll always be your kids, but they won’t be young forever. If it’s been too long since you’ve hung out as a family, then it’s time to get everyone out of their rooms and off their devices! Start making lasting memories with these family outing ideas that are sure to be fun for the entire family.
Make Every Activity More Memorable
Engage your senses
To better remember precious moments with your little ones, take a mental minute to log each of your senses. Hone in on your children’s laughter as they sprint across the lawn. Remember the sweet smell of blossoming flowers around you. And relish in the warm breeze across your skin. This not only helps your brain hold onto the details of precious family moments, but it can also help you become more immersed in the enjoyment of each activity!
Aim for stress-free fun
Family outing ideas can have so many moving pieces that they risk becoming stressful experiences. Aim for stress-free fun by getting pre-packaged activities, simplifying your play, or letting someone else plan the day for you! Museums, children’s science centers, and libraries all have amazing activity calendars that allow parents to take a backseat on planning and a front seat in the enjoyment.
Put down your phone
The temptation to check notifications, take pictures, and record videos can make family time a little overwhelming and take the magic out of memory-making. Remember to put down your phone, enjoy yourself, and savor each moment as it happens!
Choose brand new activities
The pressure to choose successful family activities can sometimes bring you back to the same ‘ole ideas. Spice it up! Get input from your kids and create their favorite childhood memories with some creative collaboration. Making memories together can be simple with input from your little ones.
Family-Friendly Activities to Consider
Get into nature
Whether it’s a hike, a picnic, walking the dog, or splashing in mud puddles, getting into nature is a simple family outing idea to connect and unwind. Being in nature can help to reduce stress, anger, and tension while increasing pleasant feelings. With your newfound relaxation, it’ll become easier to get back to basics and find small moments to treasure — like looking at leaves, climbing trees, or watching clouds.
Sweeten the moment
Allow your memory-making to reach others! Bring your kiddos to simple but enjoyable destinations like your favorite coffee shop. While you sip your morning brew, have them make small drawings or write little good luck fortunes and hand them out to the baristas and fellow patrons. You’ll walk away feeling recharged, and your creativity will have spread into your community!
Luck of the draw
Plan ahead by creating a family folder of activity ideas tucked into envelopes. If any activity has a particular restriction — like hours of operation or cost of entry — note this on the outside of the envelope. This will help you confirm whether the idea works for you before the excitement of the unveiling.
Then, rest easy knowing your entire summer of fun is already planned for you. Let your littles pull an envelope when you have free time as a family, and let the indoor activities, movie nights, cookie bake-offs, and dance-offs commence!
Unleash your Creative Side at Painting with a Twist
Let your local Painting with a Twist studio provide you with some family fun! Share conversation, have some laughs, and make colorful memories at a family painting event near you. With tons of events to choose from, we can help make your next family outing so successful that your kiddos will be asking when you can plan the next one!
At last! Memorial Day Weekend has arrived, and it’s time to kick off summer! If you’re looking to get the most out of your three-day holiday weekend, then it’s best to start planning the festivities now. No one wants to realize, the Thursday before, that they have absolutely nothing planned. So, if you’re not sure what to do on Memorial Day weekend this year, we’ve got some fantastic ideas! Say hello to summer with these five Memorial Day weekend activities.
Keep it Classic with a BBQ Pool Party
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel when searching for Memorial Day party ideas. Keep it simple. Invite friends and family for a backyard pool party, complete with a barbeque spread and boozy beverages.
No pool? No problem! You’d be surprised by how much fun a party full of revelers can have at a DIY budget water park. Grab a slip n’ slide, water guns, or even an oversized baby pool. If BBQ isn’t your favorite, you can’t go wrong with a “build your own” bar – think hot dogs, tacos, ice cream sundaes, and anything else you can customize!
Plan a Movie Night in Your Backyard
A movie night with great friends is always a good idea. But make it twice as fun by watching your favorite patriotic films under the stars this Memorial Day.
Luckily, you don’t need any overly fancy gadgets to set up your own backyard theater. Grab a budget-friendly projector at places like Walmart or Amazon, a screen (or a white bedsheet!), some speakers, and, of course, a movie! Have guests bring blankets or folding chairs, pop some extra buttery popcorn, and enjoy a flick al fresco. Don’t forget the star-spangled décor!
Get Competitive with a Backyard Tournament
If this is an adults-only Memorial Day party, think Beerlympics. If it’s a family-friendly affair, think field day! Set up various competitive games (from flip cup to a three-legged race, depending on your competitors) and divide your guests into red, white, and blue teams. Everyone will have a blast getting a little competitive. Afterward, relax and mingle in the sunshine with delicious food and refreshing drinks.
Host a Patriotic Paint Party
If you’re looking for a more out-of-the-box event to celebrate the first day of summer with your crew, hosting a Painting with a Twist painting event is the ticket. At a painting party, a talented instructor will walk you through the creation of your very own summer or America-themed artwork as you indulge in some of your favorite adult beverages.
And don’t worry: at Painting with a Twist, it’s fun art, not fine art! There’s no painting experience (or skill) required! Book a private party at your local studio, or check out this step-by-step guide for hosting a painting event in your own backyard. As you might’ve noticed, Memorial Day and sunny backyard celebrations go hand-in-hand!
Remember Our Veterans
Memorial Day weekend is typically marked by cookouts, sunburns, and festivities with loved ones. However, it’s important to remember the significance of this heroic holiday. As we remember the men and women who have given their lives while serving our country, carve out some time to honor their sacrifice. Create care packages or write letters for those currently serving or tune in to the National Memorial Day Concert.
The first day of summer isn’t until June, but you can still get in the summertime spirit this Memorial Day by planning the ultimate summer experience. From backyard pool parties to delicious BBQ, the options are endless! The best option, however, is getting everyone together for a private paint event. Enjoy creating seasonally-inspired artwork with the entire family at Painting with a Twist this Memorial Day!
Scheduling regular date nights for couples is essential to keeping that romantic spark alive. But unfortunately, it’s all too easy for this activity to become a little stale. Kick things up a notch with these fun and inexpensive stay-at-home date night ideas and enjoy a wonderful evening you won’t soon forget.
1. Cook Up Some Romance
Is there anything more romantic than cooking pasta with your boo or beau? Turn up some tunes and sing along as you chop, stir, and simmer with this Pasta Bolognese recipe. Enjoying a Lady and the Tramp moment is highly encouraged.
2. Enjoy a Movie Marathon
Snuggle up on the sofa for a movie night. Choose a theme, like your favorite series or all your beloved childhood films. Pop some popcorn, and pick up those theater-style candy boxes, too. Turn off all the lights and silence your cell phones like you would at the theater.
Kick it up a notch: Set up a sheet and projector on the patio for a movie night beneath the stars.
Candles can make any dinner-for-two one of the most romantic ideas for a stay-at-home date. Enjoy a cozy night in by ordering takeout from the best steakhouse in town or that little French place you’ve always wanted to try. Lay out a white tablecloth, pull out your fancy dinnerware, and light a few candles to set the mood. Get dressed in your best like you would for a date night out.
Kick it up a notch: Tie in something meaningful, like picking up dessert from the place you had your first date or opening a bottle of the wine you served at your wedding.
5. Game Night
A little competition is healthy for a relationship, right? Challenge your partner and plan a big prize! The winner gets a massage or no dish duty for a week! Here are a few games to get the romantic rivalry brewing:
6. Tasting for Two
Bring the booze to you! Set up a tasting for wine, whiskey, beer — whatever tickles your fancy. And if you’d prefer an alcohol-free tasting, try chocolates, olive oils, balsamic vinegars, or coffees! Do a little research to learn more about your tasting options in advance. The best part — you can add this to your list of cheap stay-at-home date night ideas since you’ll save some cash by forfeiting pricey wineries, breweries, or distilleries.
Kick it up a notch: Add in pairings, like wine with chocolate, beer & popcorn, or olive oils & bread.
7. Cozy Campout
No need to venture out into the wilderness for this date-night idea! Just pitch a tent in your backyard or build a comfy fort indoors! But before cozying up in your sleeping bags, be sure to pull out all the stops! Go for a “hike” around your neighborhood, cook hotdogs, roast s’mores in the oven (yum!), and tell stories while gazing at the stars.
Kick it up a notch: Ghost stories are always a good idea when camping, but change the genre to romance by re-telling the story of how you met, your first date, your wedding day, etc.
8. The Happiest Hour
Have fun mixing up your own signature cocktails! Create one for each of you — and maybe one as a couple, too. Become an amateur mixologist for the night as you look up how-to videos and stir the night away! And if the weather is nice, sip your signature drinks on the patio for an al fresco date. But don’t forget the appetizers — chips and guac are always a great idea!
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp ancho chile powder
1-2 T lime juice
1/2 white or yellow onion, finely chopped
1/4 c cilantro, roughly chopped
Coarse salt, to taste
Cut avocado in half, remove the pit, and chop into quarters. In a bowl, mash the avocado with a fork. Mix in pepper and chile powder, followed by the chopped onion and lime juice. Add salt to taste. Mix in cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips.
9. A Perfect Picnic
If the weather is nice, spread out a blanket in the front yard and sip on iced tea or a glass of rosé. You can dine on anything you like, from Chinese takeout and pasta salad to cheese and crackers. Time it just right so you can watch the sunset together.
Forget about your two left feet and cut loose! Bust a move on your own, or try online dance lessons for couples. Move the furniture to create your dance floor, and have a blast learning to salsa, waltz, or two-step!
Kick it up a notch: Create a playlist of your favorite and most meaningful songs together for your personal dance party.
Whether you cook up a gourmet meal or create fun art together with a Twist at Home Paint Kit, these activities for two are sure to combat date-night fatigue! And when you want to get out of the house, try a couples’ night event at your local Painting with a Twist for a romantic date night out!
You’ve finally carved out time for a date with your mom crew, and it’s time to let your hair down for a night on the town! Child-free excursions are few and far between, so get ready to make the most of your evening. Skip the standard movie nights, leave the kids’ snacks at home, and take advantage of this rare opportunity with these fun and exciting moms’-night-out ideas.
1. Dance the night away at a concert
There’s nothing quite like letting loose and dancing to live music with a couple of your closest friends. If your favorite musical artist is coming to town, you’ve got the perfect excuse for a moms’ night out. Put on your dancing shoes and savor the chance to ditch the Baby Shark song for… well, anything else!
2. Let off some steam with axe throwing
For the mom squads who like a good adrenaline rush, axe throwing might be the perfect activity. This out-of-the-box pastime used to be exclusive to lumberjack competitions, but now you can find axe-throwing locations in most cities! Don your coziest flannels and stretch out those arms for this terrifically edgy experience.
3. Enjoy some arts & crafts (adult style!) with Painting with a Twist
It’s always fun to get a little artsy. But let’s be real, it’s best when the kids can’t make a massive mess, and you aren’t in charge of cleaning up. At Painting with a Twist, you and your girlfriends can enjoy an adult beverage (or two!), jam out to some music while following along with one of our instructors as you create your own art. Book your seats or a private party at your local studio or stay in for the night with Twist at Home Paint Kits!
4. Channel your inner Julia Child with a cooking class
It’s mom’s night off from making dinosaur chicken nuggets and mac & cheese, so why not indulge in something a bit more sophisticated? Book a class at a local culinary school or restaurant, and cook up some memories during your night out with friends. Taking a cooking class together is a great way to stay connected with your busy girl squad. So, heat up the kitchen and bond with your crew with this fantastic activity!
5. Check out the local comedy scene at an improv or stand-up show
Your city likely offers things to do for ladies’ night that you’ve never considered. In the mood for a laugh? Find a local comedy club and grab tickets to a show! Hopefully, you’ll see some SNL-level sketch comedy or a stand-up star on the rise. And if your local comedians are a bit more amateur, you’ll just have a different reason to laugh!
6. Pamper yourselves with a blowout and fancy dinner
For busy moms, taking a shower without little hands pounding on the bathroom door can be a real treat. That’s why this is one of the most fun ladies’ night out ideas! Book blowouts at your local salon, and make reservations at that fancy and extremely kid-unfriendly restaurant you’ve been wanting to check out. Amazing hair and an amazing meal – is there anything better?
7. Throw it back to the good old days with a sleepover party
There doesn’t have to be a curfew on mom’s night off. If you’re searching for free moms’ night out ideas, consider hosting a sleepover! Invite your mom crew over for a wine-down slumber party, complete with your coziest pajamas and favorite rom-coms. Who says sleepovers are for children? There’s something magical about having a heart-to-heart with your closest confidantes before drifting off to sleep.
Mom’s night out is truly sacred, and you deserve to make it something special. What better way to ensure your evening is a guaranteed blast than by booking a private event at your local Painting with a Twist studio? Make lasting memories and masterpieces to symbolize that one child and spouse-free night with your much-deserving mom crew!
Spring is here, and you’re ready to get out of the house and escape the mundane! If you and your partner are itching for breathtaking views and scenic locales, it’s time to plan a “baecation!” Whether you’re celebrating an anniversary or just looking to escape the daily grind, check out these fantastic baecation destinations for a relaxing time with your boo.
What’s the Meaning of “Baecation,” Anyway?
Simply put, a baecation is a romantic vacation with your significant other. And since fitting date night into your busy schedules can prove challenging, enjoying an intimate getaway may be just the thing you need to fan the flames of your relationship!
So, what are the best places for a baecation? Read on to get inspired and choose the perfect destination for you and your boo.
The Best Baecation Spots for Adventurous Couples
1. Yosemite National Park, California
You and your partner want a baecation destination full of exploration and adventure. The answer — Yosemite National Park! With countless waterfalls, spectacular views, and all the lush hiking trails you could ever need, you’re sure to reconnect with your partner — and nature — at this gem of a national park.
2. Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky
You’ve seen your share of soaring mountaintops, but you’re ready for something new. Why not go underground, and explore mystical caves and caverns, instead!
And if you’re looking for inexpensive baecation ideas, Mammoth Cave can help. Springtime is often their cheapest time of year, and you’ll also enjoy cool, relaxing temperatures since summer’s humidity doesn’t arrive until June. You can also extend your baecation by visiting Nashville or Louisville while you’re in the area. Both are a short drive from the park and offer food, music, and art scenes for an overall romantic experience.
The Best Places for a Baecation Full of Romance
3. Charleston, South Carolina
If you’re dreaming of old-fashioned charm and relaxed beach vibes, Charleston, South Carolina, can give you both. Enjoy gorgeous plantations (and their gardens, in full bloom!) by day, then take a sunset boat cruise from Charleston Harbor to wind down for the evening in style. Check out the Nathaniel Russell House or Middleton Place for historic tours — the rich history of this southern city only adds to the romantic vibes on your baecation!
4. Cape Cod, Massachusetts
There’s a reason all your favorite romance novels are set in Cape Cod! Slow down and enjoy each other’s company with a romantic baecation to this beachfront locale. Take in some spring sunshine on any of the area’s beaches, or get adventurous with a trip to a lighthouse. Highland Light, Nobska Point, and Chatham Lighthouses are all well-loved spots. Don’t forget to enjoy a romantic seafood dinner over a nice bottle of wine!
Inexpensive Baecation Ideas for Homebodies
If the thought of travel logistics has you in a chill, at-home baecation mood instead, you’re in luck! Your local Painting with a Twist Studio has everything you need for the perfect staycation. All you need is your boo, a bottle of wine, and a Couple’s Paint Night event! We’ll take care of the supplies, instructions, and positive vibes. Find a Couple’s Paint Night event near you, and get ready to make picture-perfect memories with the one you love.
Mother’s Day celebrates the moms and maternal figures in our lives. Not only do we show them appreciation throughout the year, but we use this particular holiday to really drive our love and adoration home.
Instead of opting for the great, yet repetitive methods of celebration (i.e., brunch at overcrowded restaurants and movie dates), why not present them with the gift of a unique experience? If you really want to know how to surprise your mom this year, use these fabulous ideas!
1. Sample Wine at a Vineyard
At Painting with a Twist, we believe you can never have too much wine. What better way to hone in on the Moscato and Cab spirit than by taking her to sample the greatest wines your local vineyard has to offer?
Drive out to the countryside, breathe in the sweet aromas of delectable Pinot’s, and before you leave, grab a few of her favorites so she can enjoy them time and again. And if your mom isn’t into the wine scene, try taking her to a local craft brewery or fancy tea tasting instead.
2. Take a Road Trip
Pack up the car, let down the sunroof, and escape away to a marvelous destination! When it comes to fun things to do with your mom, road trips definitely take the cake. You’ll stop and admire the sights, do a little shopping, and most of all, spend quality time while making lasting memories.
From day-long road trips to weekend getaways, your mom is sure to appreciate the new, wild adventure of beautiful sunsets and time spent with her best creation — you! Some excellent spring and summer road trips are:
Pacific Coast Highway
Long Island Wine Trails
Going-to-the-Sun-Road in Montana
Blue Ridge Parkway
Texas Hill Country
U.S 1, Florida Keys
3. Take Her on a Picnic Brunch
Want to show your mom how much thought you put into planning the best Mother’s Day ever? Skip long wait times and reservations at jam-packed brunch spots, and put a spin on it this year. Pack up her favorite dishes, grab a few cozy picnic blankets, and enjoy a lovely Sunday afternoon at a nearby park.
Not only is your mom passionate about her offspring, but she’s likely to be enthusiastic about various social issues too. Find a volunteer opportunity that suits her beliefs, and get out to join the world of change! Whether it’s volunteering at a local women’s shelter or a Special Olympics event, there’s sure to be a cause that will fill her heart with joy and unyielding gratitude this Mother’s Day.
5. Throw a Party
To truly celebrate the best mother in the world, why not throw a party in her honor? And if you’d like to celebrate all the moms in your life at once, this is a great way to do it! Break out the wine, “Happy Mother’s Day” banners, fancy charcuterie boards, and throw a bash to remember! From backyard paint parties to hosting your own Mother’s Day brunch, the options are endless.
6. Book a Spa Day
A traditional spa day is not to be overlooked this Mother’s day. Help mom relieve some tension and escape the woes of daily life with a relaxing spa trip catered to self-care. Whether you’re funding her new haircut, a relaxing massage, or mani-pedis, this is a great way to make her feel fabulous.
But if you’re on a budget and looking for fun things to do with your mom inside, opt for an at-home spa day. Run her a nice bath with fragrant bath bombs and candles, paint her nails, upgrade her hair-do, and make her a relaxing meal with tasty champagnaritas to seal the deal. She’ll enjoy the time and effort you’ve spent in making her feel like the greatest mother on Earth.
7. Go to a live show
Take mom to enjoy shows with world-class casts for prices within your budget. If she likes a good comedy show, see if her favorite comedian is in town. If she is a woman of the arts, why not take her to a nice play or ballet? Use these ideas on how to surprise your mom with a magnificent live show:
8. Explore the Great Outdoors
If you’re fortunate to have a mom that enjoys being active and escaping to the great outdoors, there’s nowhere near a shortage of fun things to do with your mom. Choose a creative outdoor activity nearby that fits your mom’s personality, and enjoy a day of laughter and glory sweat with the mother of the year. Here are some ideas:
9. Join a Mother’s Day Painting with a Twist Event
When searching for fun things to do with your mom this holiday, there’s nothing better than bringing her to a Mother’s Day Painting with a Twist event! She can let her hair down, paint, sip, and enjoy a beautiful time with you along the way. Join an event near you and take home lasting paintings and memories this Mother’s Day!
According to the at AACAP, kids ages 8-12 spend around four to six hours per day in front of a screen. While online learning is great, too much screen time can take away from other healthy activities. When it comes to helping your kids develop their creative skills and interact directly with the world around them, nothing beats good old-fashioned arts and crafts! Check out these arts and crafts projects you can do right at home to help boost your child’s inner creativity.
Feed the Birds
According to Harvard Medical School, getting outside is a great way to teach your child to appreciate nature, boost their mood, improve their executive functions, and help them socialize. Building a bird feeder is a great, cheap arts and crafts idea for kids. With just a few items, they can reap all the benefits of being outdoors while also learning about the wildlife in your area. To help attract these beautiful creatures to your garden, all you’ll need is:
To create your crafty bird feeder, cut the bagel in half, spread the inside with peanut butter, and then dip in the birdseed. Next, string a piece of yarn through the bagel’s center, and voila! You’ve got your very own feeder. Venture out into the garden with your child, find a fence post or tree branch to hang it from, and then watch as the birds flock to your garden.
Learn about American History
History is a crucial part of any child’s education, and this project is a low-mess way to supplement your at-home American history lessons. With just a few simple items that are on almost any arts and crafts supply list, you and your kid can create your very own American flag. You’ll need:
A sheet of paper
Place your paper in landscape orientation, and draw a pencil outline of a square in the top left corner — this is where you’ll place the blue field of stars. Next, take your white crayon and press hard within your square to create each star.
Lay your masking tape in horizontal lines across your paper to create the white stripes of your flag. Use blue watercolors to paint within the square outline on top of your white crayon stars, and use red to paint between your masking tape. Let it dry, and then remove the tape.
You now have your very own American flag! Get your child to write the pledge of allegiance on the back to complete the lesson, and hang it up in your home classroom.
Get Familiar with the Globe
If you’re looking for a fun homeschool idea that lets your kids get a bit messy and learn about the world, a paper maché globe might be just the thing. Check out The Crafty Classroom’s guide to putting your globe together. You’ll just need a few things to help your child learn about the oceans and continents:
Incorporate this homeschool art class idea into your next geography lesson, and keep it in the home classroom to refer to anytime you learn about a new country or culture.
Painting with a Twist At-Home Painting Event
As a parent, planning arts and crafts to help with your child’s development may be a fun way to engage in their education. But sometimes, you might want to have a project that’s fully planned and ready to go.
After months of cold temps and being cooped up in the house, the warm spring weather has finally arrived! Birds are chirping, flowers are in bloom, and it’s time to take advantage of all the goodness spring has to offer. Check out our list of must-try springtime outdoor activities to help you stay healthy and happy during this special season.
12 Fun Things to Do In Springtime
By the time spring rolls around, most of us are jumping at the chance to head outside for a bit of fresh air. That’s because there’s really no better feeling than spending hours outdoors after you’ve spent the last few months hunkered down at home.
Check out these twelve fun (and affordable!) things to do in springtime to help you make the most of this time of year.
1.Go for a Bike Ride
A bike ride makes an excellent solo adventure, but it’s also a prime activity to enjoy with a friend or the whole family. Hopping on a bike is a great way to take in your neighborhood from a new perspective or a chance to check out the paved paths around your community.
2. Plan a Picnic
Nothing says springtime quite like planning a picnic for you and a loved one. Regardless of if you picnic at a local park or right in your own backyard, bringing a meal outdoors is the perfect way to soak up the warm weather and share some quality time together.
3. Plant a Garden
If you want to snack on homegrown produce all summer long, you’re smart to plant a garden in the spring. Grab your gloves, your trowel, and a few of your favorite seed packets, and savor a quiet weekend digging around in the dirt.
4. Go Camping
Camping is one of the best springtime activities for any avid or aspiring nature lovers. There’s something altogether wonderful about sleeping under the stars, and spring has the ideal climate for setting up camp and roasting a few s’mores.
5. Explore Local Trails
There’s almost nothing better than going for a long walk on a lovely spring day! Take an opportunity to enjoy the extended daylight hours and explore the local walkways near your home or venture out a little further to tackle a hiking trail and marvel at the greenery!
6. Play In the Park
Playing in the park is an inexpensive and accessible way to embrace a warm spring afternoon. Bring along a colorful kite, throw a frisbee with your friends, or tie up a hammock among the trees, and take a quick nap in the shade.
7. Try Outdoor Painting
If you’re interested in springtime art activities, you should try outdoor painting! When you join a Twist at Home painting event at Painting with a Twist, you can create a nature-inspired piece and even set up your materials outside for the ultimate spring experience!
8. Visit a Farmer’s Market
While spring is a fabulous time for growing, it’s also an exciting time to visit your area farmer’s market. After making it through the long winter months, few things taste better than various locally-grown fresh fruits and veggies.
9. Head to the Drive-in
Spending a night at the drive-in is one of the best date night ideas around, and it’s sure to make for a memorable spring evening. But if there’s not a drive-in within close distance to you, you can always host an outdoor movie night right in your backyard!
10. Attend a Live Show
As soon as temperatures start to climb, outdoor concerts and performances become incredibly popular. Bring your lawn chair or your favorite blanket along for the ride, and get ready to take in some awesome entertainment in the warm spring air.
11. Fire Up the Grill
Why waste a gorgeous night hovered over your stove when you could fire up the grill out in the yard? Keep dinner fun by moving things outside and throwing some fresh ingredients or seasonal favorites on the grill.
12. Watch Spring Sports
Even if you’re not the biggest sports enthusiast, there’s nothing quite like catching a baseball game or a soccer match in late spring. The crowd and the food are enough to make for an amazing outing. And you might even become a new fan!
When it comes to planning a bachelorette party for the bride-to-be, you might think it’s necessary to throw a wild party and spend tons of money. But you can break that stereotype and still have a fun bachelorette party with these unique party ideas the whole “I Do” crew will love!
1. Host an Art + Wine Party
Aside from the tiaras and beads, glamourize your bachelorette party by creating your very own custom piece of art! Center your party around quality time, private memories together, and beautiful take-home favors for the guests (don’t forget the bride’s favorite beverage, of course!) Is the I Do Crew spread all over the country? Host a virtual bachelorette party with our At-Home Paint Kits. We’ll give you everything you need to have fun and get creative!
2. Go Camping
Looking for a retreat the whole bridal party will love? Book a camping trip! Get away from the hustle and grind of daily life, and give your crew the chance to bond in the great outdoors, share stories over a campfire, pop some bubbly, and, of course, roast s’mores!
Camping doesn’t have to be sleeping bags and small tents. Go all out by glamping with nice blow-up mattresses, some mattress toppers, faux-fur blankets, and some battery-powered mood lighting to set a little campsite ambience.
3. Party At Home
Looking for low-key bachelorette party ideas? Start with some bachelorette party ideas at home, like decorating the space, inviting your favorite friends, planning a meal together, and making a playlist of your favorite songs. To add even more fun to your at-home bachelorette party, include a virtual event on the itinerary! Painting With A Twist makes it easy to bring the fun of the studio to your space.
4. Start Early
Rather than begin the itinerary with late-night bars and clubs, start with some bride tribe bonding early in the day. Grab breakfast together, have a picnic in your local park, or opt for something more adventurous — like white water rafting! After all, quality time doesn’t need to wait until after nightfall. Your bachelorette party can be fun any time of the day.
5. Book a Private Event
Unlike rowdy bars, a private party can allow for personal elements for both the bride and her crew. From unconventional partiers to bachelorette traditionalists, private parties give your crew the chance to keep things personal and intimate while still having a great time! Personalize your private party around the bride’s favorite activity. Choose your favorite art, music, wine, and foods to include at your private party. Then, let loose, have fun, and make some lasting memories!
Are you looking to host the perfect private bachelorette party but are in need of a venue? Your local Painting with a Twist studio has your back! Schedule your private bachelorette paint and sip party, bring your favorite beverages and snacks, and let a Painting with a Twist artist-entertainer lead you through the creation of your custom artwork. And that beautiful painting you make at your private painting party is yours to keep, so the party will live on in your home long after the tiaras and party beads have come off.
Are you and your team tired of the usual team-building tasks? Switch up your office’s old routine, and try something new! With a little creativity, your team can start to make memories, form friendships, and look forward to work-related events. If you’re wondering what to do for some fresh team building activities, here are a few ways to start!
Trivia Night: Team Building Edition
You’ve probably attended a trivia night with friends and family before, but have you ever been to one with your coworkers?
Trivia is an awesome way to learn more about your workmates than you ever thought you would! Your coworkers’ unique strengths and knowledge will shine through as your team collectively and competitively answers questions.
What’s more, this activity can take place in many different spaces, which can make for a fun outing. Skip the search for the perfect trivia place, and bring your team to a trivia painting event at Painting with a Twist! With all sorts of trivia themes to choose from, you and your team are sure to enjoy the evening while creating their own themed work of art as a reminder of a night well spent.
If you and your team like to enjoy a remote work environment, join a virtual Painting with a Twist trivia night. No matter where your team members are, the familiar and fun nature of this game is sure to please the crowd. Remember — the best team building games for adults are ones that your team would happily engage in on their own day off.
Enjoy the Outdoors
Another effortless way to bond with your coworkers can be to simply get outside. Being out in nature can make us feel more relaxed, joyful, and open to connection, thus creating an ideal environment for team building.
Team building outdoors can manifest through many types of activities. Plan a scavenger hunt, sports game, hike, or even a picturesque picnic — there are plenty of options! Whatever you choose, this change in environment will help immensely in shifting everyone’s work mindset. Team building exercises for work are most successful when they take place outside of work!
Take a Tour
Happy hours are a pretty common concept when it comes to team building, but have you ever been on a happy hour tour?
Instead of just grabbing drinks, take your team on a culinary adventure! Plan a pub crawl or a restaurant tour that features several stops. By having an exciting agenda, you’ll help keep the momentum going and your coworkers engaged. This can also allow your team to switch up their seats and mingle amongst themselves. At the end of the day, you can all compare your favorite dishes, drinks, and destinations!
Painting with a Twist Team Building Events
A Painting with a Twist Team Building event is accessible to any work culture and provides a great way to integrate team building activities for all ages. Our events are led by professional artist-entertainers, allowing each member of your work family to kick back, relax, and create a beautiful piece of art.
Additionally, Painting with a Twist makes it easy to be an artist! All of the supplies, set-up, and clean-up are taken care of for your team. All you need to do is show up and express your creative talents — no skill level is required, just a willingness to have fun! Bond with your coworkers over the lighthearted expression of creating art, and you may even discover some hidden talents of your own!
Painting with a Twist Virtual Events
In addition to in-person events, Painting with a Twist also offers virtual team building event options. These events follow the same structure as the studio events; however, they can take place anywhere with a computer present. Your coworkers can either sign on individually from home or gather at the office!
Painting with a Twist carefully packages paint kits for your virtual event based on the painting you pick. You can either pick them up from your local studio or sign up in advance to have the paint kits shipped to each team member’s home. Whether you partake virtually or at one of Painting with a Twist’s studios, this work activity will definitely be one for the books.
On February 14th, couples express their admiration for one another by exchanging cards, candy, flowers, and other tokens of affection. But what about those who are single on Valentine’s — they get to spoil and treat themselves, instead!
If you’re flying solo this year, there are so many awesome and empowering activities you can do to make this day special! And what better company to keep than your awesome self? This year, make February 14th a self-love journey. Learn how to spend Valentine’s Day single by treating yourself to the best day ever with these activities!
Self-Care Equals Self-Love
Whether it’s a new haircut, a relaxing massage, or a mani/pedi, spoiling yourself for Valentine’s Day is a great way to boost your confidence and make you feel fabulous. If you’re on a budget, grab a sweet-smelling bath bomb, light a candle, and mellow out in the bathtub with some of your favorite tunes.
Bring the Squad Together for Galentine’s
Would you rather spend Valentine’s with your girl squad? Bring the crew together and celebrate Galentine’s Day instead! Shower your friends with love and adoration by doing a girls’ night full of laughter, drinks, movies, and karaoke, or opt for a bestie’s brunch at your favorite go-to restaurant!
You Grow Girl!
If you’re looking for an instant mood booster, pick up a bouquet of your favorite flowers and display them in a beautiful vase. Flowers are a great way to spruce up your living room or workspace, and choosing roses or any other delicately-scented variety will remind you of their beauty every time you walk by. If you want to go a step further, add some fresh flower petals to a warm bath for a luxurious, spa-like experience.
Take a Hike
If you’re not too far from a hiking trail or nature area, plan a day hike — solo or with a friend. Pack a picnic lunch with your favorite foods, and maybe even a bottle of wine to enjoy. If you’re in a colder climate that isn’t conducive to a mid-February hike, make your favorite meal or order takeout from your favorite restaurant and enjoy a cozy, indoor picnic right in your living room.
Find Valentine’s Singles Events
From Valentine’s Day singles parties to speed dating events, there’s likely a group of people just like you looking to make the best out of this awesome holiday. You can even make it a celebration by bringing your single pals along for the ride. Whether you’re single and loving it or looking for that special someone, you’re bound to have a great time!
Furry Friend Date
A pet can be the purr-fect companion for Valentine’s, so spend some time celebrating with your favorite fur baby. You know they’re always there for you, so why not do something nice for them too? Take them to a park for a nice day out, and shower them with extra head pats, cuddles, and some special treats. And if you’re feeling artistic, join a Paint Your Pet event at your local Painting with a Twist to have something to remember you and your pet’s special day!
Paint and Sip
If you’re looking for something fun and unique for Valentine’s Day, look no further than a Painting with a Twist paint and sip event. Join in on a love-themed group painting event and let your creativity run wild! Bring your bubbly and make a new friend (or two) while you paint your masterpiece. You’ll leave the studio feeling inspired, creative, and oh so in love with yourself and your beautiful work of art!
Singles Awareness Day? More like Singles Celebration Day! What better way to celebrate your freedom and independence than at a paint and sip event! Bring your friends — or come single and get ready to mingle — and bring your beverage of choice for a fun painting event at your nearest Painting with a Twist studio.
Happily taken? Single and lovin’ it? It doesn’t matter on Galentine’s Day! Now’s the time to celebrate your girl squad — just ask Leslie Knope! No boys allowed, so leave your boo behind, get the girls together, and check out these fabulous Galentine’s Day ideas that your whole squad will love!
Girls’ Day Out
Galentine’s Day only comes once a year, so treat yourselves to brunch before an afternoon of pampering at the spa — massages, facials, and mani-pedis for all! Then, hit your squad’s go-to spot for dinner and enjoy an evening of laughter and extra bonding time.
Must have: Make personalized goodie bags for each of your besties. If you need ideas for Galentine’s Day gifts to include, try a bottle of their favorite nail polish, a mini bottle of prosecco, or chocolates!
Girls’ Night In
Are you looking for the perfect girls’ night in idea? Wear pajamas and pretend you’re back in middle school for a good old-fashioned slumber party! 13 Going on 30, anyone?! Paint your nails, don your facial masks, get lost in a fun game of Truth or Dare, and sing terrible karaoke. But most importantly, pop some extra buttery popcorn, pull out the bubbly, and watch classic rom-coms deep into the night!
Must have: Grab some Galentine’s-themed sugar cookies from your local bakery. You know, the ones shaped like conversation hearts and champagne bottles — adorable and delicious.
Are you searching for a more unique girls’ night experience? Book a private paint party at Painting with a Twist! All you have to do is make the guest list, bring your favorite snacks and cocktails, and have fun with your best gals. It’s sure to become one of your favorite Galentine’s Day party ideas!
Must have: Pink cocktails — they’re perfect for Galentine’s Day! Try these:
Classic (& Classy) Cosmopolitan
2 oz. cranberry juice
1½ oz. vodka
½ oz triple sec
¼ oz. lime juice
In a shaker filled with ice, combine juice, vodka, and lime juice. Shake well, and strain into two large martini glasses. Drink and feel like you’re in an episode of Sex and the City.
Rim the edges of your glasses with pink crystallized sugar. Puree strawberries until smooth. In a shaker, combine strawberries, champagne, tequila, lime juice, and triple sec. Stir or shake until well combined. Pour into glasses full of ice.
2 oz white rum
2 oz grapefruit juice
1 ½ oz lime juice
½ oz maraschino cherry liquid
1 oz simple syrup
Grapefruit wheel for garnish
Maraschino cherries for garnish
Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice, and shake to combine. Strain chilled cocktail into two coupe cocktail glasses. Garnish with a grapefruit wheel and a maraschino cherry. Enjoy!
Red Carpet Party
It’s the day to be a little extra! So, dress to impress, sip champagne, and set-up a photo booth. Instead of AMAs, VMAs, GRAMMYs, or Oscars, show some love and give each other superlatives — funny, sweet, sassy, or all of the above!
Must-have: Balloons! They’re at the top of every list of cute ideas for Galentine’s Day! Hearts, lips, the letters L-O-V-E — it doesn’t matter as long as they’re themed! Be sure to hang them where you can take plenty of pics.
Chocolate & Wine Tasting
Are you looking to get the winery experience without leaving the house? Bring the winery to you! You’ll need wines and chocolates, water and snacks to cleanse the palette, and a little knowledge to make you seem like a sommelier. Let everyone taste the paired wine and chocolates as you read the descriptions. When everything has been tasted, everyone can choose a glass of their favorite to continue enjoying for the rest of the night.
Create tasting cards for each wine and chocolate. Include the name, maker, and description. You can find these on the back of the bottle or wrapper — or with a quick online search.
Here are a few pairings to get you started:
Prosecco + white chocolate truffles or milk chocolate with hazelnuts
Sweet Riesling + white chocolate or dark chocolate with orange
Beaujolais + plain dark chocolate or dark chocolate with cherries/raspberries
Rosé + milk chocolate or white chocolate truffle with caramel
Must have: A charcuterie board. Build your board with two cured meats, a soft cheese, a hard cheese, mixed nuts, fruit, crackers, and a baguette.
Because… pizza! But forget frozen pizza — make your own! Throw on your aprons, put on your chef’s hat, and open a bottle of wine while you and your BFFs make the dough from scratch and pile on your favorite toppings. Making homemade pizza will be a blast — although you may wind up with a few questionable toppings layered onto your dish. When all is said and done, your crew will agree, this activity is one of the most fun Galentine’s Day ideas around.
Must have: Galentine’s cards. The best are always homemade (glitter, heart-shaped doilies, etc.), but there are plenty of sweet and sassy ones out there!
Celebrate Leslie-style (she has the best Galentine’s Day ideas, after all) with a Galentine’s Day brunch! Make frittatas and waffles topped with strawberries and extra whipped cream. Grab some croissants, and then whip up some lattes! When no one can eat another bite, exchange gifts — make it a White Elephant or go for a “Secret Cupid.”
Must have: Set up a build-your-own mimosa bar that pulls out all the stops! Provide prosecco and sparkling rosé, mixers including orange juice, cranberry juice, and grapefruit juice, garnishes like strawberries, raspberries, and mint, and other cute extras like personalized champagne flutes and gold straws.
Celebrate Galentine’s Day this February 13th with a paint and sip event at your local Painting with a Twist! Bring your crew, something to drink, and get ready for some wine-drinking, memory-making fun!
Every year, celebrating Valentine’s Day leads to all kinds of cliché date nights and gift ideas that don’t adequately convey how much we care — or demonstrate how well we know our partner for that matter. But it doesn’t have to be this way!
Explore love languages for couples, how these can relate to your Zodiac signs, and some personalized Valentine’s Day gifts your sweetheart is sure to enjoy!
What Are Love Languages?
Dr. Gary Chapman popularized the subject of love languages in his 1992 release, ‘The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts.’ In his book, Dr. Chapman outlines the five general ways romantic partners express and experience love. These include:
Words of affirmation: When words of affirmation is your love language, you thrive on verbal praise, affection, encouragement, and compliments; words lift you up!
Quality time: If you value quality time, you like for your partner to be truly present. This undivided attention makes you feel important and secure in the relationship.
Physical touch: Hugs, kisses, holding hands, and other touches are the preferred way to show and receive love, as this is how people that value physical touch experience warmth and safety.
Acts of service: Anything your partner willingly does to ease your workload is a sign of love, from taking out the trash to making you breakfast before a big meeting at work.
Gift-giving: A thoughtful gift shows that you’re seen and cared for by your significant other. Gift-giving could be as simple as coming home to your favorite snack after a tough day.
People typically have a combination of love languages that help us feel loved and describe how we offer love in return. We often give love to others in the same way we like to receive it, so looking at how we share love with our partner could be a strong indication of what our own love language is.
Love Languages and Zodiac Signs
Since you’re now a bit more familiar with the concept of love languages, it’s time to look into how these relate to Zodiac signs. Learning about your partner’s astrological charts and the ways they receive love can offer great insight into who they are and help you form deeper bonds with them every day!
If you’re unsure of how to show your partner you love them, check out this list of love languages and their corresponding Zodiac signs!
Words of affirmation: Aries and Leo
Both Aries and Leo benefit from words of appreciation and encouragement to know they’re on the right track. Verbal affirmations relating to their creativity, joy, and purpose can go a long way in helping your partner feel seen and supported.
Quality time: Gemini, Pisces, and Sagittarius
Gemini, Pisces, and Sagittarius all love spending time with the people they’re closest to and being on the receiving end of someone’s full attention. Sharing an honest, authentic conversation with them is a great way to build trust and intimacy.
Physical touch: Scorpio and Taurus
Scorpio and Taurus feed off of affectionate touches like hugging, cuddling, and holding hands. Physical touch translates to love for these two, so by offering a welcome touch to your partner, you’re sure to facilitate a strong, long-lasting connection.
Acts of service: Aquarius, Cancer, and Virgo
One of the best ways to show love to an Aquarius, Cancer, and Virgo is to pitch in on chores or tasks without being asked. Acts of service don’t need to be grand gestures, but can be a simple reminder that someone else is looking out for them.
Gift-giving: Capricorn and Libra
When you’re looking for ways to love on a Capricorn and Libra, gift-giving is typically the way to go. To these signs, a gift says something words cannot, and can bring with it a genuine, emotional attachment to their partner and the relationship as a whole.
Personalized Valentine’s Day gift ideas
Now that you know how to show more love to your sweetie, it’s time to decide on a personalized Valentine’s Day gift that’ll both surprise and delight them!
These ideas are based on your partner’s Zodiac sign and corresponding love language, so they should be a great match for their specific interests — and help you avoid all those cliché gifts they’ve likely been given before.
Gifts for Aries and Leo
Buy a fun balloon bouquet featuring an uplifting message.
Make an elaborate homemade card detailing how much they mean to you.
Write an original love poem they can hang onto or revisit.
Create a video montage with messages from their friends and family.
Use conversation cards to facilitate a heart-to-heart chat.
Gifts for Scorpio and Taurus
Purchase a gift certificate they can spend on spa services.
Give them a foot, neck, or back massage of your own.
Build a basket full of bathtime essentials, like soaps and soaks.
Splurge on a weighted blanket that’ll feel like a warm hug.
Gift soft clothing items, like socks, slippers, or lounge wear.
Gifts for Aquarius, Cancer, and Virgo
Cook their favorite dinner and do the cleaning up afterwards.
Do all of the household chores and errands for the entire week.
Complete whatever’s on their to-do list so they can relax.
Treat them to a stress-free date night to spark their creative energy.
Buy a nice bottle of wine they can sip on after a hard day.
Gifts for Capricorn and Libra
Appeal to their sense of smell with a lovely candle or perfume.
Give them a fun night out with a painting gift card.
Help them stay organized with a planner or desktop calendar.
Purchase a magazine subscription they can use all year.
Add some green to their aesthetic with a low-maintenance plant.
Embrace Love at Painting with a Twist
Are you eager to incorporate some new ways to show love to your partner this Valentine’s Day? Join a Painting with a Twist date night at your local studio, or partake in a fun, virtual date night painting party right from home! No matter what they’re love language or zodiac sign is, you’re both sure to enjoy a fun paint and sip date night full of bonding, laughter, and fun.
From Cancer-inspired crabcakes to “Party Like a Scorpio” banners and balloons— throwing an astrology birthday party for yourself or your horoscope-obsessed loved one is sure to be a perfectly aligned affair! Celebrate your friends, yourself, and the stars with these zodiac-themed birthday party ideas!
1. Horoscope-Inspired Birthday Party
A horoscope predicts a person’s future based on the strengths, weaknesses, and personality traits associated with their star sign. Each zodiac is characterized by an element such as water or fire, a symbol, and a creature or item (i.e., centaur for Sagittarius and ram for Aries). So, play up these cool features of the zodiac with a horoscope-themed birthday party.
Amp Up the Feng Shui
A harmonious feng shui can truly tie your horoscope-inspired party together — from zodiac wine glasses and charms to horoscope decorated tableware, banners, and balloons. But with all the zodiac swag and accessories out there, it’s easy to get a little carried away. Organize your search by ensuring all of your decor and accessories fit into a single color scheme for a beautiful, seamless finish.
Astrology Party Games and Activities
Your guests may not know all 12 or 13 zodiac signs and dates (depending on which horoscope theory you subscribe to), but your party is a great place to learn! Play zodiac-themed charades and have the partygoers act out four qualities associated with their star signs. Whoever guesses the most signs correctly wins! And if you’re feeling a little risqué, hire a psychic or tarot card reader to shake things up. Surely the cards align with your weekly horoscope.
Pay homage to the planets and stars with a constellation-themed birthday party. From ethereal decor that will leave your guests feeling like they’ve stepped into a new universe to snacks and beverages so delicious, it’ll bring them back down to Earth.
The universe is jam-packed with stars, planets, asteroids, dark matter, and beautiful celestial energy. Replicate the universe with clever lighting and dark hues of blues, purples, and silvers for a truly otherworldly aesthetic.
Deck your home with fairy lights to put your guests in mind of the stars. Use mason jars, lanterns, staircases, or even wrap them around branches in your backyard for a truly stellar feel.
Set-up a black light in major party areas to emphasize the beautiful, neverending nature of the universe.
Use fluorescent, white paint to draw each constellation on large, dark blue fabric. Then, hang it up in your central party space.
Get galaxy tableware of your choice, and decorate your dining room set. Use galactic-inspired treats and snacks to finish off the look.
Cosmos Snacks and Treats
You’ll want your snacks and food to be out of this world, so why not bake cosmos-inspired cakes, cookies, pretzels, and even Galaxy Cheesecake Tarte? Use dark bases for your baked goods, such as midnight blue icings and creams, and dress them up to match the constellations for the perfect cosmos-inspired treats.
Many activities could take your cosmos party to the next level. Try backyard stargazing if you live somewhere far from obstructive city lights. Print out each zodiac constellation and have your guests find their own cluster of stars in the night sky. If you stay in the city, order a Twist at Home Paint Kit dedicated to galactic artwork to inspire and materialize your own constellations at any time of day.
3. Painting With a Twist Galactic Private Event
Although hosting an event can be both rewarding and exciting, sometimes it can be a little overwhelming — finding the perfect decor, making baked goods, and even cleaning up the mess after the party has ended can all be a chore.
Instead, book a galactic painting and astrology-themed private party event at Painting with a Twist, and spend your evening sipping, painting, and actually enjoying the party! Select a painting studio, choose the date, time, and painting of your choice, send us a guest list, and show up ready to enjoy a good time. You’ll plan the perfect party all while avoiding the stress of hosting. It’s a total win-win!
Don’t Forget Your Zodiac-Themed Party Cocktails!
Prepare cocktail drinks and bring them to the private party! For the perfect zodiac spin, create beverages that can be cleverly associated with the star sign of you or your guest of honor. Think two-toned drinks such as a layered strawberry mango margarita or a Tequila Sunrise for a Gemini’s tiered personality. Go the straightforward and no-nonsense route with Pear Spritzers for a Virgo. And if you have a loyal and true Capricorn in your corner, go traditional with a tasty sangria recipe.
Whether you’re celebrating the planets that rule your zodiac sign or organizing an event for a fellow horoscope lunartic, Painting with a Twist can help you host the perfect astrology-themed party! Choose a painting event at your local studio, and embark upon an adventure that’s out of this world.
Life gets busy. Sometimes a little too busy! But that doesn’t mean you still can’t make time for date night with your partner! Grab your significant other, and check out these fun and creative ways to add date night back into your busy schedule.
1. Embrace fun.
Creative date night ideas can help you stay in the habit of having fun together. Try a new activity, take a risk together, try new cuisines, see a standup comedy show, or ride a rollercoaster — just don’t forget to make fun a part of your busy lives together! Even if you only have a little time, make sure you allow the joy of fun to fill it well.
2. Keep it simple!
When life is busy, a simple date can be easy to fit into your schedule. Or, why not let someone else plan the fun for you? Painting with a Twist offers the perfect date night for busy couples. Whether you’re joining us in the studio or attending a remote event from the comfort of your home, having a plan for the activity you enjoy on your date together makes the night a simple solution — and lets you focus on each other. When it comes to date nights for busy couples, there’s really nothing better.
3. Be social!
Date night ideas for married couples tend to change course — and sometimes social groups — once your single days turn into wedded bliss. While you’re madly in love with each other, don’t forget the joys of being social!
Make new friends at a group event at Painting with a Twist You’ll be surrounded by couples trying something new, creative, and fun! It’s the perfect way to meet new people while still having dedicated date night fun with your special someone.
4. Make it family-friendly.
Whether you’re getting a babysitter for a night on the town or letting the kids in on the fun, date night should make everyone happy! With Painting with a Twist’s virtual events, it’s easy for busy parents to enjoy time together while keeping the whole family involved and engaged.
Date night ideas for busy parents shouldn’t be constrained to a babysitting budget — let the little ones get creative right alongside you! While you enjoy a glass of wine at our guided painting event, let the kids bust out their creative skills and make their own masterpieces.
5. Pop a cork.
Whether you’re balancing busy schedules together, an active family, a new marriage, or you’re a long-time married couple with nothing but time for each other, it’s important to make your date nights together special!
Pop a cork and have a glass of your favorite wine, make time for eye contact, remember to buy each other’s favorite snacks to enjoy throughout the night, lose yourself in the conversation you reserve for special nights together, and remember to celebrate each other — even if it’s just in small ways.
Sometimes, the simplest things make for the best date nights! Keep your next date night simple and fun, and bring your partner to your local Painting with a Twist for a fun and creative date night event you both will remember for years to come!
As you enter the new year, you may have a list of resolutions to help you build better habits and make it your best year yet. And although this sentiment can be encouraging in the beginning, you may find yourself feeling frustrated and disappointed in your progress as the months roll along.
Instead, consider changing your list of resolutions to a more “New Year, Self Care” approach. So, ditch those huge resolutions, and switch things up with these simple tips to bring your best self into the new year.
1. Own Your Happy
Often, we lose ourselves in the busyness of our daily lives — work, children, social obligations, relationships, household chores… There’s hardly any time left in the day to do things you enjoy!
This year, promise to dedicate more time for yourself and the activities that truly bring you joy. In essence, own your happiness, elevate yourself, and unapologetically implement your self-care goals for the new year. Try things like:
2. Develop New Habits by Customizing Your Long-Term Goals
This year, take a little time to evaluate yourself, who you’d like to be, and what you’d like to get better at. How does the new you look, act, and speak? Are you a better guitarist, a stronger public speaker, or a successful CEO? Have fun with the process and customize those broad, long-term goals.
If you’d like to become a better reader, for example, break that down into more manageable, bite-sized chunks. Try reading 10 minutes a day, three times a week, and as the year progresses, continue to customize, grow, and expand upon your goal until you’re where you want to be. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Remain patient and be gentle with yourself.
3. Find Your Tribe
Seek out people that fill your proverbial cup. Having a tribe can help alleviate any angst you may feel when trying new things.
Start by making a list of adjectives that best describe you — academic, creative, selfless, ambitious, thrill seeker, etc. — and align that with a community of people that are most similar to you. For example, if one of your attributes is “Nature Enthusiast,” sign up to get your scuba diving license or join a hiking group. You’re sure to meet people along the way that share your enthusiasm for mother nature.
What if you’re more of a creative? Find programs and locations that other artists like yourself might frequent, such as a Painting with a Twist event or music festival. In short, create a safe haven of people that help steer you towards fulfilling your goals of self-care for the new year. Here are a few tips for finding your tribe:
Attend Programs and Meetups in your area
Become more open to spontaneous conversations
Lend a helping hand to others
Join Facebook groups
Frequent places you enjoy
4. Say Yes
That camping trip your friends invited you to might sound more laborious than lying around in your PJs and watching Rom-Coms all weekend, but it doesn’t bring new experiences, closer bonds, or lasting memories. Try being open to new adventures because you truly never know what’s on the other side. And if opting out becomes a habit, you could lose out on some of the greatest joys life has to offer.
Burst through your fears, get out of your comfort zone, and say “Yes!” to new experiences and opportunities you’ve grown comfortable saying “No” to.
Whether your self-care new year’s resolutions involve developing new habits, saying “Yes” to new adventures, or finding your tribe, Painting with a Twist can help you get the ball rolling! Choose a painting event at your local studio, and embark upon the new year with a more creative, happier, and self-assured you!
The season of giving doesn’t have to come with a huge price tag. Sometimes the best gift can come in a small package — or no package at all! If you need heartfelt gift ideas for your loved ones, check out these inexpensive and sentimental Christmas gift ideas. They’ll love your thoughtfulness, and they’ll treasure your sweet gift for many years!
Heartfelt Gift Ideas for Everyone on Your List
If you’re up for trying unique handmade gift ideas, candles are easy to make, and you can personalize them with scents and cute vessels. Purchase small, inexpensive glass jars, or shop at thrift stores for quirky containers — bonus points if they remind you of a specific recipient!
Then, spend an afternoon in the kitchen, making your candles. For an added touch, write a sweet note, and tie it around the top of the jar with colorful twine. They’ll think of you every time they light their candle!
Have you ever looked at an old photo and instantly felt like you were living in the sweet memory that the photo captured? That’s why photos make wonderfully personal handmade gift ideas!
With a few cheap materials and an hour or two of time, you can be well on your way to creating unforgettable, inexpensive, and sentimental Christmas gifts. Try making photo tile coasters for your BFF’s brand new apartment, or whip up some adorable mason jar photo magnets that your S.O. can use to decorate their work cubicle.
Not crafty? Not a problem. DIY heartfelt gift ideas don’t have to be complicated. At Painting with a Twist, you can make something beautiful and unique — no DIY skills required. We’ll provide all the materials, and our talented instructors will take you through simple steps to creating an art piece that you can personalize for your loved one. Create something you’ll be proud to give them. It’ll be extra special because YOU put your heart and time into it!
Custom Gift Baskets
If you need easy sentimental Christmas gift ideas, try custom made gift baskets! We’re not talking about ordering a fruit basket from a fancy retailer here. Put your heart into it and show your loved ones how well you know them.
Start with your mom’s favorite candy or your brother’s favorite beer, and build an inexpensive basket of goodies around that theme. Here’s a hint: dollar stores and secondhand shops often have baskets for cheap! You can even include other favorites of theirs, like snacks (everyone loves snacks, right?!). They’ll be touched that you noticed and remembered their favorite things over the years.
A Walk (or Drive) Down Memory Lane
Sometimes the best heartfelt gift ideas aren’t a physical gift at all. For your S.O. or best friend, consider creating a one-of-a-kind holiday scavenger hunt!
You can include unique spots to see festive lights or a place to stop for hot cocoa, but be sure you have landmarks that are significant to your friendship or relationship.
The holidays are an excellent time to reflect on what we’re grateful for. Take time to revisit your favorite memories with your loved ones with thoughtfully written scavenger hunt riddles or clues.
A Day of Fun Together
There’s no better gift than making new memories together! For sentimental Christmas gift ideas that don’t require any wrapping paper, treat your loved one to a new experience together, such as a holiday paint party at Painting with a Twist. You can enjoy your favorite wine — and each other’s company! — then, gift each other your paintings after the event and have a tangible reminder of your cherished time together. Find an event you’ll both love at your local Painting with a Twist studio!
The holidays are supposed to be the happiest time of year, but that’s certainly not always the case! Between the holiday shopping rush, scheduling time to visit all of your loved ones, and all of that extra traffic from seasonal travelers, you might not be feeling as much holiday cheer as you’d like. But don’t let it wear you down! Check out these tips to help you slow down and boost your mental health through the holiday season.
Schedule In Your “Me Time”
While you’re planning all of the fun, festive activities you’re going to do during your precious holiday time, don’t forget to schedule in some time to just take care of yourself!
In a season chock full of wonderful indulgences, sleep is something that’s often in short supply. Whether you’re staying up late to spend time with visiting relatives or waking up early with excited kids or early plans, you might find yourself burning the candle at both ends during the holidays.
And as any cranky toddler will gladly demonstrate, being tired is a surefire way to make you irritable and generally not feeling your best. Prioritize plenty of time for those Z’s, and your mental health during the holidays will thank you for it!
Plan Fun Activities to Connect With Friends
There’s really nothing more mood-boosting than sharing a laugh or a heart-to-heart with your favorite people. While everyone is off work and embracing their holiday cheer, plan a few fun (and unique!) activities to bond over.
A painting event at Painting with a Twist is the perfect way to bring everyone together — and with our new Zen Collection, everyone will leave feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. Listen to calming music, sip your favorite adult beverage, and paint a beautiful, calming painting with the help of our instructors.
When Things Get Stressful, Keep It Simple
Many people approach the holidays with a to-do list as long as their expectations. If you find yourself getting stressed, try to scale back your tasks and your standards, and just keep things simple.
You don’t need to serve an 8-course meal, send out the most flawless holiday cards, or purchase the most elaborate gifts. The holidays are a time to focus on relationships and gratitude, and everything else is extra. Let it go!
Embrace Those Endorphins.
It’s hard to fit in exercise when there is so much fun stuff going on — and eating leftover pie for breakfast sounds way better than going for a jog. However, breaking a sweat really can do wonders for your mental health.
Making time for 30 minutes of exercise a day can help create a positive mindset and rosier outlook in general. If you’re looking for tips on how to help seasonal affective disorder, you’ll be happy to know that exercise also checks that box!
Set Healthy Boundaries
From start to finish, the entire holiday season is filled with various obligations. From work parties to school parties to holiday shopping to holiday cooking to festivities with your family, your in-laws, your friends – it’s exhausting just thinking about it all!
One of the best things you can do is identify when you need to create boundaries, and then learn how to stand by them. It is ok to say no to an invitation or a request when you’re feeling drained. It is more than ok to take care of yourself!
The holidays are joyful, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be stressful, too. Take a break from the holiday hustle and grind with a visit to a Painting with a Twist studio near you! Bring your favorite beverage and relax as our instructors guide you through creating your very own painting to help you recharge your mental health.
Making a gift list for the holidays, but finding yourself a bit stumped on the perfect present for the pet-owner in your life? Maybe you’ve considered getting a tutu for their puppy or high-quality bird food for their Cockatiel. Or was it a Cockatoo?
Why not skip the generic presents altogether, and opt for a personalized custom painting of their pet? A DIY Paint Your Pet gift can send a message of consideration and effort, and your favorite animal lover is sure to cherish it for years to come!
How to Spot a Pet-Lover
Are you trying to determine if a personalized pet painting is the right gift for the pet owner in your life? Here are a few ways to tell that you have a true pet fanatic on your hands:
If they refer to their pets as “fur babies”
If they own one or several “Fur Parent” coffee mugs
If they frequently volunteer at animal shelters
If they dress their pets up in outfits or costumes
Pets require patience, care, and a strong sense of responsibility, and in turn, they give us unconditional love, constant companionship, emotional support, and so much more. It’s no wonder your pet-owner deems them part of the family. Because, well, that’s just what they are — family! Embrace your loved one’s honorary relative with one of the best Christmas gifts for pet lovers out there — a commemorative Paint Your Pet masterpiece.
What is Paint Your Pet
During a Paint Your Pet event, you’ll be joined by one of our talented artist instructors in a fun and exciting art studio. They’ll help you every step of the way as you create a unique work of art catered to your favorite pet-owner and their furry, scaly, hooved, or even quilled companion.
Paint your masterpiece using your own color scheme and art style to create a perfectly personalized Christmas gift that matches the decor of its final placement in your pet lover’s home. Our events are also designed to meet the needs of individuals that don’t have a background in painting, so there’s no need to worry if you’re not a canvas and paint guru. We’ll help you through every step of the painting process.
How to Join a Paint Your Pet Event
To reserve a Paint Your Pet event, find an event at a convenient location near you, make a reservation, and send us a picture of the adorable creature you’d like to paint. Before your arrival, our artists will pre-sketch the pet on the surface of your choosing. All that’s left to do is grab your favorite beverage and have a great time, all while creating your very thoughtful and very personalized pet Christmas gift.
Ways to Gift Paint Your Pet
Would your loved one enjoy painting their own pet? You can gift them an experience instead by inviting them to join you at the event. Not only does this option allow them to create their very own pet dedication, but the happy memories they’ll make while sipping and painting won’t be forgotten.
If you’d prefer to paint the pet yourself, that’s okay too! Come and enjoy the gift of pure, unadulterated satisfaction that can only come from swiping a paintbrush over a clean, bare canvas as you create a fantastic gift for that amazing person.
It’s getting dangerously close to the holidays, and your chances to get everyone together are getting slimmer by the day. If you’re short on time, don’t stress! Check out these last-minute holiday gathering ideas for everything from family get-togethers to workplace holiday parties.
Last-Minute Holiday Party Ideas for Your Friend Group
When planning a last-minute holiday gathering, you may not have time to plan a menu, grocery shop, and cook. But you still need party ideas that’ll get your friends in the spirit! Why not keep things classy — and oh so easy — with a wine and charcuterie night. Most grocery stores carry delicious varieties of cheese and sliced meats, so all you’ll have to do is choose the perfect wine pairings and serve up a few courses of stylish charcuterie.
Even if the weather outside is frightful, you can still enjoy a delightful night out with friends. If you’d rather not host in your home, find a venue for a small private party instead. You can reserve a room at your favorite local restaurant, host a white elephant gift exchange, or book your own holiday-themed private paint party, complete with your favorite drinks and appetizers. The best part? You don’t have to clean up at the end of the night!
Family Holiday Gathering Ideas
Can’t wait to see your loved ones this holiday season, but you haven’t planned any activities to do with your out-of-town guests while they’re here? Don’t fret — we can help. Check out these fun and easy activities you can do from the comfort of your own home!
Set up your own hot cocoa bar.
Set up a hot cocoa bar in your house, complete with every topping you can dream up. Then, grab your perfect cup of cocoa, put on your holiday jammies (bonus points if they match!), and enjoy a holiday movie marathon in the living room. Or, craft your holiday hearts out with a festive Twist at Home painting kit.
Play some holiday charades.
This is an easy one to set up. Just write the names of your favorite holiday movie characters on cards, set a phone timer, and enjoy some laughs together.
Plan out a holiday scavenger hunt.
Divide your guests into teams and have everyone search for things like rainbow twinkle lights, menorahs in windows, or the yard with the most inflatable décor. The team that finds the most items from your list is the winner!
Play holiday-themed digital games.
Download a holiday-themed game — like Christmas Jeopardy or the smartphone game Heads Up — and gather around your TV or another device for a fun evening that requires zero prep work.
Play a “Candy Canes” card game.
Ever played Spoons with a deck of cards and a few spoons? Try playing with candy canes instead for a fun and festive feel!
Host a gingerbread contest.
When it comes to classic family games for holiday gatherings, a friendly gingerbread competition can’t be beat. Bake gingerbread people or get ambitious with gingerbread houses. The only prep required for you, the host, is some grocery shopping for colorful candy and premade frosting!
Holiday Get Together Ideas for Your Office Crew
Hosting a last-minute holiday office party doesn’t have to be complicated! Get everyone together for some fun and simple group activities, like an office superlatives award ceremony, complete with a trophy or certificate for each winner to make things official. The goofier the award titles, the better! Serve premade cake from a local bakery or have everyone bring a favorite holiday snack or treat to share so you don’t have to worry about catering.
If you’d rather get out of the office, try a holiday party with a twist instead! After all, you and your colleagues have worked hard this year, and you deserve a little social time to celebrate the holidays. Book a private paint party for your corporate team at your local Painting with a Twist studio to get everyone out of the office and into the holiday spirit.
Last-Minute Holiday Parties are Easy at Painting with a Twist
When planning a last-minute holiday gathering, there’s no need to stress over the details. Just invite your guests to join a holiday-themed painting event or private party at your local Painting with a Twist. Bring your favorite festive wine or cocktails, your best ugly sweater, and your holiday spirit—we’ll handle the rest!
Believe it or not, another holiday party at work is already approaching! But with internet video-conferencing on the rise, your team may be switching from an in-person party to a virtual gathering. Even with this change, there’s still plenty of opportunities to share some laughs and create wonderful memories during your company’s virtual celebration!
6 Best Virtual Office Holiday Party Ideas
No matter if your company is spread across multiple cities, states, or even countries, hosting a virtual holiday party is a wonderful way for co-workers to connect, mingle, and share some holiday cheer when they can’t be together in-person. But hosting a virtual holiday party can be a bit awkward. To help break the ice, here are a few of the best virtual office holiday party ideas to help everyone feel merry and bright!
1. Costume Contest
This year, it might feel a little trickier to get in the holiday spirit if your team is remote. While offices can jazz things up with trees, and lights, and even fake snow, working remotely may not have that same effect. That’s why when it comes to your list of virtual holiday party ideas, you shouldn’t hesitate to add a costume contest into the mix!
Everyone at the party can dress up in their own festive gear, and prizes can be awarded in a handful of categories. Honor your team’s creativity with prizes for things like, Best Antler Arrangement or Most Surprising Use of Glitter. Encourage participants to think outside the box and express their seasonal spirit in a unique way.
2. Holiday Trivia
Playing holiday trivia is another great virtual team holiday party idea, as it’s a fun way to test everyone’s knowledge and is sure to bring about a few laughs in the process. To incorporate trivia into your virtual office party, prepare questions in advance using categories like movies, songs, foods, or traditions, all with a holiday twist. For example:
Question: Who played George Bailey in the classic film, It’s a Wonderful Life? Answer: Jimmy Stewart.
Feel free to search online for additional ideas and insights, or think up a few unique questions of your own. Trivia is not only a chance to encourage teamwork and collaboration, but it’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser at your upcoming event!
3. Virtual Secret Santa
No holiday party would be complete without a game of Secret Santa! Gift exchanges truly capture the fun of sharing the holiday season with your co-workers, and this year should be no exception, even if it’s celebrated online rather than in the office.
To host a virtual Secret Santa, choose names using a gift exchange generator (like DrawNames or Giftser), and have everyone provide a list of five ‘wish list’ items for their Santa to consider. Gifts should be mailed to their designated recipient, but should not be opened until everyone is together at the party — and don’t forget to try and guess who each gift is from!
It’s worth noting that Secret Santa is typically an optional activity since participants usually purchase gifts out of pocket. If it’s possible for your company to provide a small stipend, that may encourage more involvement. Otherwise, try and keep gifts around $20 plus shipping.
4. Holiday Bingo
Bingo is one of the best virtual holiday party games because it offers a taste of nostalgia in a familiar format (and it’s easy to learn on the off chance it’s unfamiliar). A quick Google search will offer dozens of free holiday Bingo designs, or you can opt to create your own custom board with inside jokes or references that are relevant to your team.
Be sure to send the digital template to everyone so they can save the image ahead of the party. And if you’re up for it, encourage a little healthy competition by awarding prizes to the winner of each round. Even a five dollar gift card feels nice to receive, and it offers a bit of light-hearted bragging rights among co-workers.
5. Holiday Pictionary
Pictionary is an awesome, high-energy group game that translates really well to a virtual environment. And a great way to play Pictionary at the holidays is by challenging your team to draw scenes from different festive flicks! For example, someone could sketch Kevin McAllister in front of the mirror in Home Alone, or illustrate Buddy’s massive winter wonderland display in Elf.
Each person will need to bring a blank piece of paper or poster board with them to the party. Divide the group into two teams, and remind everyone they can only guess the answer when it’s their team’s turn. Allow the artist to choose their favorite holiday movie, or send a message with a title if they feel stuck. The artist will then draw the selected movie, while their fellow team members try and guess the film. The winning team earns a small prize and makes Santa proud!
6. Name That Tune
Name That Tune is a game where participants race to identify a specific song melody, and it’s truly one of our favorite virtual team holiday party ideas. Ask your team to either hum the holiday tune or mute their microphone and sing the song out loud. The other players will need to listen closely or practice lip-reading to identify the correct carol.
Song suggestions with a festive touch might include “All I Want For Christmas Is You” or the ever-popular instrumental “Carol Of The Bells.” And if you want to make things a little more difficult, you can always throw in a few curveballs, like “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” to see who’s the real musical connoisseur of the group.
Celebrate the Holidays with A Virtual Painting Party
Hopefully, this list of holiday party ideas will help you feel more confident with just how easily you can adapt your annual celebration into a virtual gathering. And if you’re interested in elevating your office party further, why not host a virtual painting event for your whole team?
Painting with a Twist will ship everyone the supplies they need, and we’ll even guide your team through the entire painting process right from the comfort of their home! Your only job is to keep the games going strong and enjoy some virtual holiday fun!
Think you know everything about Halloween? Have you watched every horror movie franchise 100 times over? Do you annoy your friends with your knowledge of all things spooky? Then put your knowledge to the test – and test your friends! – with these fun Halloween trivia questions you’ll definitely want to use at your next trivia night painting event!
Question: What is the highest-grossing horror movie of all time at the worldwide box office?
Answer: The highest-grossing horror movie of all time is IT, released in 2017.
(Fun fact, however: if you adjust the highest-grossing list using the price of a 2019 movie ticket across the board, Jaws would take the #1 spot!)
Question: In the famous movie franchise named after this holiday, who is the first person we see killed by the masked serial killer?
Answer: The first person killed at the beginning of the first movie is Michael’s sister, Judith Myers.
Question: In the beloved comedic TV series that takes place at a Pennsylvania-based paper company, the goofy character Jim wears a very simple, homemade, and paper-themed costume. What is it?
Answer: In Season 2, Jim’s costume is “Three-Hole Punch Jim,” created with just three paper circles.
Question: What are the names of the three sister witches in the iconic 1993 Halloween movie?
Answer: The names of the three sister witches are Winifred, Sarah, and Mary Sanderson.
Question: In the seven-book series following a young wizard’s adventures, the redheaded best friend has a pet that becomes particularly important. What kind of pet is it, and what is his name?
Answer: He has a pet rat named Scabbers.
Question: This popular candy bar, which shares the name of our galaxy, consists of three main ingredients. What are they?
Answer: Nougat, caramel, and chocolate.
Question: Every year, candy companies produce around 35 million pounds of this festive candy made from sugar, water, and corn syrup – but it’s most popular around Halloween. What is it?
Answer: Candy corn.
Question: It’s probably not possible for someone to actually eat this much candy without throwing up first, but the American Chemical Society says eating this many fun-sized candy bars would poison the average 180-pound person! (Closest answer wins.)
Answer: 262 fun-sized candy bars.
Question: According to a survey done by Monmouth University, this sweet treat is the most popular Halloween candy.
Answer: Peanut butter cups, with 36% of Americans reporting it’s their very favorite!
Question: History buffs trace Halloween’s origin back to what ancient Celtic festival celebrated from October 31st to November 1st?
Question: This common Halloween tradition was originally considered a way to hide from ghosts. What is it?
Answer: Dressing in costumes.
Question: Pumpkins haven’t always been used for carving jack-o’-lanterns. Which vegetables were originally carved in Ireland?
Answer: Large turnips and potatoes.
Question: Though not used nearly as often as the term “Halloween,” this is another title for the ghostly October holiday.
Answer: All Hallows’ Eve.
Question: The last time we’ve gotten a full moon on Halloween was 2001. When is the next full moon Halloween?
Question: Believe it or not, it’s illegal in one state to dress up like a priest or a nun on Halloween. Which state is that?
Question: In 2019, Americans had a field day shopping for Halloween costumes… for their pets. According to the National Retail Federation, approximately how much money did Americans spend on costumes for their furry friends?
Answer: $490 million.
Question: Halloween is probably a particularly frightening day for anyone with this phobia, which is defined as a fear of masks.
Question: Picking a costume can be stressful, but try not to overthink it. In 2019, the most popular costume was a simple one. What was it?
Are you ready to show off your knowledge of all things spooky? Now that you’ve brushed up on these good Halloween trivia questions, it’s time to get a little competitive! Join a trivia night painting event at a Painting with a Twist near you! Test your knowledge and quiz your friends while you paint your own spooky Halloween-themed painting.
Countdown to Christmas? Pssshhh, yeah, right—you’d rather count the days ’til Halloween! If the spooky season is your favorite time of the year, you need to make the most of October. Ready to get a jump start on your list of things to do for Halloween? Read on for 7 ideas you HAVE to add to your October checklist!
1. Host an all-things-pumpkin party.
When it’s time to brainstorm things to do in October, most of them involve pumpkins — and rightfully so! Invite a friend or two to accompany you to a nearby pumpkin patch or local farm stand, then take your creations home and carve them into jack-o-lantern masterpieces.
Invite all your neighborhood witches — or, you know, girlfriends — over to watch your favorite Halloween flicks together. If you have a hard time choosing between thrillers or lighter Halloween movies, check out this list of Halloween classics that’s sure to have something for everyone. Don’t forget to whip up some smokey witches’ brew for your gals to enjoy!
3. Come up with the best couples’ costumes ever.
Coming up with a killer Halloween costume for yourself is cool, but going all out on a couples’ costume idea is double trouble! Dress up with your S.O. and head out to find spooky things to do around town. Check out a haunted house, go for a hayride, or channel your creative side with a Halloween-themed date night painting event!
4. Tell ghost stories around a bonfire.
If telling ghost stories isn’t on your list of things to do for Halloween, can you even call yourself a true Halloween enthusiast?! Gather ‘round a backyard fire pit and tell your best terrifying tales. Bring marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers, because let’s be honest: everything’s better with s’mores.
You spent time, money, and effort putting together an epic Halloween costume this year. Whether you’re headed to a gathering or choosing to stay home for Halloween, make sure your costume gets the attention it deserves! Grab your family or a few friends and have a photoshoot in your costumes. Bring props to use, or just let everyone’s personality go wild to capture some spooky — and goofy — memories.
7. Get creative at a Halloween-themed paint party.
Want to branch out from the “typical” things to do in October? What better way to get into the Halloween spirit than with a themed spooky painting event at Painting with a Twist? Bring your favorite wine — or spooky spirits — and celebrate October at a studio near you!
There’s a good chance you’re familiar with the phrase, “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” It’s an age-old mantra many people still uphold, yet it can be difficult to put into practice if we’re not offering that same kindness to ourselves first! Doing things for yourself is far from selfish — in fact, it’s actually a great way to enhance your self-esteem and keep a positive outlook on life. Check out these 8 ways you can practice self-love to start showing yourself some much-needed kindness.
Why Is Self-Love Important?
Being kind to yourself shouldn’t be a luxury or reserved for a special occasion. Just as you deserve to feel cared for by your friends and family, you should feel cared for by yourself as well. The following are eight examples of how to practice self-love and care that’ll help you invest in your mental and physical health and help you thrive in every area of your life.
1. Use daily affirmations
You may not realize it, but you have the power to generate positive feelings no matter what kind of stress you’re under. Get in the habit of using daily affirmations that speak to your self-worth. If you’re unsure of what to say, try something like, “I feel proud of myself when…” or “I trust that I’m on the right path.” It might feel silly at first, but the truth is, repeating these empowering mantras can have an amazing effect on your mental health.
2. Make a nourishing meal
If you’re new to practicing self-love, another great place to start is nourishing your body with healthy foods. Look for recipes full of healthy, whole ingredients, and visit the farmer’s market or grocery store to stock up on fresh, seasonal produce. The way we feed ourselves is truly a reflection of how we love ourselves! Try and plan a beautifully balanced meal a few times each week — and be amazed at how good you feel when you do.
3. Explore your inner artist
Expressing ourselves creatively can be a huge component of self-love. And when it comes to exploring your inner artist, Painting with a Twist has you covered! You can book a soothing zen painting event at your local Painting with a Twist studio or from the comfort of your own home.
Whether you visit in-person or participate in Twist at Home, all the supplies will be provided for you so you can sit back and let the creativity flow!
4. Get your body moving
When we’re learning to love ourselves, we can’t forget to spend time on our physical self-care! How we feel in our bodies can directly affect how we think of ourselves as a whole. To keep your body feeling its best, pick a physical activity that most appeals to you, whether that’s a jog around the neighborhood or a yoga session in your living room. Moving your body is a great way to lift your spirits, so find what works well for you and stick with it.
5. Create a relaxing environment
It’s almost too easy to slip into a frantic way of life. But when your schedule is always at capacity, it becomes easy to neglect your duties at home. After all, a cluttered space is not a peaceful one, nor does it help you unwind after a long day.
But by creating a relaxing home environment, it’s much easier to feel calm and collected. Start by tidying up your belongings, and then add fresh flowers, soft lighting, or a few candles to support a calming atmosphere.
6. Put your phone away
Putting your phone away is one of the most valuable self-care activities you can do. It can be easy to get wrapped up with emails and online distractions but don’t underestimate the importance of quieting your mind every once in a while.
Few things are as refreshing as silencing your phone and getting absorbed in a good book or enjoying a nice, long bubble bath. Your responsibilities can wait, so take a few deep breaths and cherish this time for an intentional pause or reflection.
7. Take yourself on a date
If you’ve never taken yourself on a date, make this the month where that all changes. Taking yourself out is all about doing something special just for you. If you’ve got the time, you can even make a whole day of it. Begin with breakfast in bed, visit a local museum, take a stroll around the park, watch a matinee, and splurge on a nice dinner or a decadent treat for dessert. The idea is to give yourself the love and attention you’d typically offer to others, guilt-free!
8. Find reasons to be grateful
We all walk through some tough stuff at different points in our lives. But by looking for reasons to be grateful despite difficult circumstances, you can help shift your attitude toward whatever’s happening to a positive one!
If you have a journal, take time every day to jot down a few things you’re grateful for, and include yourself in the mix. When you find at least one thing you can thank yourself for each day, you can help your relationship with yourself shift into a more loving place.
Hit the Refresh Button with Painting with a Twist
Remember that being kind to yourself doesn’t have to be an uphill battle, since even a night out can be an opportunity for self-care! And what better way to spend a night out than to join a fun and relaxing painting event at Painting with a Twist!
When you book an event at a Painting with a Twist studio, you’ll treat yourself to tons of relaxing fun. Because after all, you deserve it! Choose a painting that speaks to you, pack your favorite bottle of wine, and enjoy a date night out with yours truly — yourself!
As the weather gets cooler and the days grow shorter, the temptation to stay inside and be cozy only gets stronger by the minute! If fall weather has you wanting to shut out the world, you can still enjoy yourself from your home’s comfort. Grab your favorite sweatpants and get inspired with these perfect cozy activities for staying in!
Plan a Cozy Girls’ Night In
Maybe you don’t want to head out on the town for dinner or drinks, but that shouldn’t stop you from seeing your best gals! Invite your girlfriends over for a girls’ night in—comfy clothes required, and makeup optional! Make your own gourmet meal together or bake up a tasty dessert to share while you catch up on one another’s lives. If you have the space in your home, turn your gathering into a sleepover. Nothing says cozy like not having to drive home!
If you and your girlfriends are crafty, create something together that will add warm and cozy fall vibes to your homes — like a fall wreath to hang over your fireplace or a fall-themed sign for your front porch! If you want a little extra help, sign your crew up for a virtual private paint party with a Painting with a Twist artist!
Perhaps you’ve been dying to shop for some new fall wardrobe staples but can’t bring yourself to hit the mall. Why not host a clothing swap? Have your girlfriends come over and bring clothing, shoes, and accessories they no longer wear, and trade away! Light a pumpkin spice candle for ambiance and get all the benefits of browsing a cute boutique from your living room.
Cozy Night In Essentials for Friends and Family
Want to include the kids in your cozy night in? If the weather is mild in your region, gather up supplies for s’mores, and invite your friends and their kids to a backyard bonfire. Yes, you’re technically “outside,” but it still counts for a cozy night in if you never leave your own yard, right?
Would you rather stay exclusively indoors? Order pizza or takeout from your favorite restaurant (warm soup on a chilly fall night SCREAMS cozy!), then settle in around the kitchen table or on the living room floor for a round of board games. After dinner, whip up a fall treat like pumpkin cookies with brown butter icing, build a pillow fort, and curl up inside to enjoy your tasty treat together.
Romantic Night In Activities for Couples
There’s something about fall air that lends itself to snuggles and cozy nights spent with your better half. Rather than dropping a ton of cash on a fancy night out, stay home and enjoy each other’s company with a quiet, cozy date night in!
Host a wine tasting night for two with a cheese plate, assorted finger foods, or even locally made goodies to support a small business while you enjoy your evening. Many stores carry half bottles or even wine cans, so you won’t have to worry about half-empty bottles!
If you’re looking for an interactive activity to explore your creative sides together, purchase an at-home paint kit which can serve as your date night in a box!
Want to take full advantage of outdoor fall activities this year? Spend an evening making a fall bucket list with your partner or spouse, and include things like picking pumpkins, trying out a corn maze, or seeing a scary movie at a drive-in theater together. You don’t have to leave the house tonight, but hey, it never hurts to have those fun date night ideas for later, right?
Cozy Night In Ideas for Much-Needed You Time
Feeling introverted? That’s okay, too! Unplug from social media and give yourself the gift of sweet solitude. Hanging out at home alone doesn’t have to be a drag; In fact, it could be just the recharge you need. You could curl up and finish reading that book on your bedside table, take a yoga class online, or even unwind with a DIY painted masterpiece. Whatever you do, set the mood with chill lighting, comfy lounge clothes, and feel-good music. Ahhh, can’t you feel the relaxation already?
Enjoy All the Best Cozy Activities for Fall
Fall is the perfect time to slow down and reconnect with those you love. You shouldn’t have to leave your house to make plans with friends! Instead, invite everyone to a Twist at Home party with Painting with a Twist. You can pick up all the supplies you need from your local studio or have them shipped to your door, so you can stay in and still have a great time.
Our expert artists will guide you through creating your very own masterpiece, and you’ll be free to relax in the comfort of your home with your loved ones. Get ready for laughs, memories, and a creative pART-y with a Twist at Home kit!
The air is crisp, the chunky sweaters are out, and pumpkins are everywhere you turn — fall has officially arrived! And while it seems like it took forever for autumn to get here this year, it certainly won’t hang around long. Make the most of the season by adding these eight fall bucket list ideas to your fall to do list!
Go apple picking – and make some yummy fall treats with your loot!
Nothing says fall more than picking apples. Plus, apples you pick yourself seem to taste better for some reason! Head to a local apple orchard with your friends or family, and get picking. Then, try out a new recipe together! From fresh apple cider to apple cobbler to candy apples, there’s no shortage of quintessential autumn goodies to whip up with the apples you bring home.
Get lost in a corn maze.
Grab your little ones or your besties and get lost in the tall stalks. A quick Google search can help you find corn mazes in your area, and some places even offer night mazes to make things even trickier. Corn mazes are fun for all ages and hilarious for anyone directionally challenged! Pick up a pumpkin spice latte on the way to really get into the spirit.
Have a bonfire and make s’mores.
There’s something so peaceful about gathering around a crackling fire as the temperatures drop. If you’re lucky enough to have a spot in your backyard for a bonfire, this makes for the ideal autumn evening! Roast up some marshmallows for s’mores, and don’t forget to come prepared with your best ghost story.
Paint an autumn inspired masterpiece at Painting with a Twist!
Bring out your artistic side this season by attending a fall event at your local Painting with a Twist. An instructor will guide you step-by-step as you paint pumpkins, fall landscapes, or another fall-themed work of art. Bring your favorite bottle of wine – plus your date, your squad, or the whole family – and we’ll provide the rest! You’ll leave with a one-of-a-kind, festive new piece of fall décor to remember the special event.
Snuggle up for a cozy Halloween movie night.
Fall is the perfect time to break out your favorite Halloween movies – whether you’re a horror movie buff who opts for the heart-pounding thrillers or a bit of a scaredy cat who would rather watch that not-so-spooky kids movie for the 100th time. There’s nothing better than putting on your comfiest pajamas, popping some popcorn, and settling in for a movie marathon to celebrate the season.
Enjoy the colorful foliage on a hike.
Even if you hike the same trail year-round, hiking it while the leaves are changing colors is a special experience. Take a solo scenic drive to the woods for a little solitude and serenity, or pack some lunches and bring the whole family to make a day of it! The poet William Cullen Bryant really was spot on when he called autumn “the year’s last, loveliest smile.”
Carve or decorate pumpkins.
Is it really even fall if you haven’t carved pumpkins? Visit a local pumpkin patch and carve up your spookiest jack o’ lanterns to display on your front stoop, or bring out the arts and craft supplies if you have young children and want a no-carve option. Paint, glitter, stickers, googly eyes, and pom poms all make excellent pumpkin accessories, so get creative!
Visit a farmer’s market, and make a warm, comforting batch of chili.
Dropping temperatures don’t just mark the beginning of autumn, but also the beginning of comfort food season! Try out a new chili recipe this fall, and get bonus points if you make it with ingredients from a local farmer’s market. Serve it up with warm cornbread for the ultimate fall meal.
Ready to get the most out of this fall season? Plan a fun, fall getaway with friends at Painting with a Twist! Grab your friends or family, and bring along your best pot of chili, some delicious baked apple treats, or even some cozy, fun cocktails for a night of fall painting. Our studios offer a wide selection of autumn-inspired paintings to get you in the fall spirit. View upcoming events near you, or plan a private painting party with your fall crew for a unique experience that’s just for you!
You can’t believe another year has flown by. Your beloved fur baby has aged another year! And as a proud dog owner, you HAVE to do something to celebrate their birthday. But celebrating your dog’s birthday might be harder than it sounds. After all, they can’t exactly give you a list of their demands. So, if you’re feeling fresh out of party ideas, then check out these 6 fun and easy ways you can celebrate another year with your best friend!
How to Celebrate Your Dog’s Birthday
Whether you’ve been with your pup since the beginning or you adopted them later, each year you get to spend with your dog is special. But if you’re unsure when your dog’s exact birthday is, no worries! Instead of celebrating the day of their birth, substitute it by celebrating Gotcha Day — the day that you adopted your best friend. So, no matter if it’s their birthday or Gotcha Day, they’ll be grateful for any special attention you give them! And these six dog birthday celebration ideas are sure to please.
1. Take a trip to the park.
Your dog is pretty simple to please. A nice treat, a full bowl of food, and an occasional walk are usually enough to keep your companion happy. So, why not kick things up a notch on their big day by heading to your local park! A change of scenery is all they’ll need to feel like it’s truly the best day ever. Plus, they can tire themselves out so you can both get some post-outing chill time.
2. Make a dog-friendly cake.
What’s a birthday without cake? And after all, there’s no reason your dog can’t enjoy a delicious treat on their birthday! All you’ll need is a few simple ingredients and a little prep time. Additionally, try skipping the sugary frosting and using whipped cream or peanut butter instead. Remember, they’ll love it no matter what, so there’s no need to make the cake super fancy, just make sure your vet approves.
3. Let your dog pick their own present.
There’s nothing worse than picking out the perfect dog toy only for them to never play with it! Instead, let them pick out their own toy! Take a trip to your local pet supply store and give them space to sniff out the perfect chew toy that’ll never leave their side.
4. Set up an overdue playdate.
Has it been too long since your dog has gone on a playdate? Can’t remember the last time he got to give the neighbor’s dog a good sniff down? If your dog is overdue for a playdate, then take this opportunity to make it happen! Meet up at a park, in the neighborhood, or at your place if you’ve got the space. Launch a couple of tennis balls and chew toys, and let the party begin.
5. Cuddle up for a movie night.
Your life can get busy. And as much as you hate to admit it, your puppy pal can easily get the short end of the stick when it comes to attention. Sometimes, all your best dog friend needs is a little TLC from you. If that’s the case, opt for a night with a full bowl of leftovers, some tummy scratches, and cuddling up to a movie — or perhaps a nature documentary will be better received. Make it extra special by letting them up on the furniture they usually aren’t allowed on.
6. Capture their youth in a painting.
There are many ways to pamper your pup on their birthday. And while you want them to celebrate, you also want to celebrate them! If you’re looking for fun things to do for your dog’s birthday that are fun for you, then try immortalizing their adorable face in the form of a painting! Sign up for a Paint Your Pet event at Painting with a Twist, and we’ll make it easy to create a masterful work of art depicting your best friend.
All you have to do is sign up for one of our Paint Your Pet events from a Painting with a Twist studio near you. Once you’ve signed up, send us a picture of your fur baby and one of our in-house artists will sketch out your pet for you. Then all you have to do is paint in the details any way you’d like! While your dog may not be able to truly appreciate your artistic flair, you can appreciate them in a one-of-a-kind painting for many years to come!
Although autumn will be here before we know it, there are still plenty of summer days left to enjoy! If you haven’t done as much this season as you would’ve liked, don’t panic — we’ve rounded up a number of ways you can celebrate the end of summer before it slips away!
8 of the best late summer activities
The end of summer can be a bit bittersweet, but the best remedy for those melancholy feelings is to make the most of the remaining days. So, pull out your calendar, call up your friends, and check out these end of summer tips to help you maximize the weeks ahead.
1. Host a cookout for family and friends
Not only are cookouts synonymous with summer, but activities centered around good food and good community are always a hit! Even if you’ve already hosted a cookout this season, consider squeezing in one more before the leaves start to change. Take this opportunity to try out some end-of-summer grilling recipes or a new side dish you’ve been meaning to make, and have your family and friends over for a memorable evening.
2. Throw a themed cocktail party
Themed parties can be a lot of fun, and themed cocktail parties can definitely kick things up a notch — so why not invite a few people over for a special happy hour! If you need a little inspiration for end-of-summer cocktail party ideas, a tiki or tropical theme is a classic; check online for fruity drink recipes like Mai Tais and Hurricanes, and be sure to stick a tiny umbrella in everyone’s glass for extra flair.
3. Soak up some sun by the water
Whether you live near a big body of water or have access to a community pool, try and soak up some sunshine before we wave goodbye to summer. One of the things we miss most during the fall and winter months is relaxing in the sun and cooling off in the water. So, before the season comes to a close, grab your friends and your sunscreen, and enjoy the warmth.
4. Watch an outdoor movie
Watching an outdoor movie at the local drive-in is a great summer activity the whole family will love. It’s arguably a cozier setup than a traditional theater, and you can even pack your own snacks to munch on!
If you don’t have a drive-in nearby, it’s still possible to have the same effect in your own yard. Spread out blankets on the lawn, and project your favorite movie onto the side of your house for a DIY movie night under the stars.
5. Have a painting party with your girlfriends
Socializing with your girlfriends is one of the best ways to spend a night out, and a painting party is a really fun and easy get together for the end of summer. The team at Painting with a Twist will take care of all the details while you sip on a glass of wine and explore your creative potential. Whether you make something to hang in your own home or to give to a loved one, painting is an incredibly soothing way to close out the season.
6. Look for somewhere new to bike or hike
When you’d prefer something a little more active, you can spend a Saturday tackling new terrain. With just a short drive out of the city, you’re likely to find ample trails or paved paths to explore. Since the colder months typically see us spending more hours inside, now’s the time to take advantage of the weather as much as you can — so dust off your bike or your hiking shoes, and get into the great outdoors.
7. Have a backyard camping adventure
Are you struggling to come up with end-of-summer party ideas for kids? You might not need to look further than your own backyard! Creating a backyard campsite lets you make amazing memories right at home and can be a lot of fun at any age. Enhance the evening by playing lawn games, building a bonfire, making s’mores, and naming constellations while the choir of insects sing you to sleep.
8. Take a weekend road trip
If you’re looking to get away before the school year begins or you start a new routine, hitting the road with your best pals might be just the thing. Whether you plan a specific route or make impulse decisions on which direction to go, a proper road trip should leave room for a bit of spontaneity, as well as plenty of stops to take photos and commemorate that time together.
End Your Summer On a Creative Note!
The countdown to the end of summer is upon us, but there’s still opportunities to savor the season. From cookouts to cocktail parties to lounging by the pool, there are tons of ways to have fun before autumn arrives! And if you’re looking to socialize while also tapping into your creative side, make sure to sign up for a painting event at a Painting with a Twist near you!
You’ve been looking for a way to take a load off lately. Between work, family, and your own personal to-do list, it is definitely time for a break! And when it comes to letting loose, you know that there’s nothing better than calling up your friends, popping a few bottles of wine, and enjoying some of that refreshing summer air by hosting a painting party in your backyard!
You can see it now. Unflattering, gut-busting laughter, wine glasses filled to the brim, and the most amazing paintings your yard has ever seen. So choose a date, rally your party crew, and use these simple tips to plan the perfect DIY backyard paint party!
Bring Out the Games
Although your painting event will mostly consist of wine and masterpieces, keep a few additional activities stashed away in your back pocket. Plan activities that get the squad up and active by incorporating traditional outdoor games like Cornhole, giant Jenga, or outdoor Twister.
If you prefer more laid-back options, try board games or party game apps. You could even go the Never Have I Ever/Truth or Dare route. The best part — many of these options are flexible and can be played inside in case of bad weather.
The Ultimate Playlist
What kind of music couples best with your wine and paint? No one knows your squad better than you! Make a playlist that channels your besties’ inner backup dancers or indulge your nostalgia with songs from those crazy college days. Or, maybe the music you select will calm the space with rejuvenating energy. Once your playlist is golden perfection, connect to a speaker and let the wine do the rest.
Wine. Lots of Wine.
Speaking of wine… these great backyard party ideas seem pointless without it! Go to your favorite wine spot and stock up on all of your friends’ favorites. Cab, Pinot, Sangria — the options are endless! And if you have a friend that isn’t quite into the wine scene, throw in some fun and easy cocktails, virgin daiquiris, or sparkling grape juice so they feel included.
Don’t Forget the Food
Backyard painting parties may not necessarily be major food events. Especially since your hands will be busy with wine and paint. But simple foods like baked goods, fruit and veggie trays, and fancy meat and cheese plates can elevate your party without the stress of cooking a meal.
If you want to go even further, though, assign your friends a food from each meal group (appetizer, main, dessert, etc.) and have a potluck. Getting food catered from your favorite restaurant is also a great idea, but whatever you decide, don’t forget to grab food coverings so pests don’t raid the feast before you do.
Make sure to have trash bins readily accessible and a place or table to put dirty dishes as the night goes on. Trash can compile pretty quickly at a party, so prepare your space ahead of time, and your future self will thank you!
Prepare the Yard
Arguably, the most important step when planning any large or small backyard party is grooming the yard. You want to make sure your friends aren’t trekking through the wilderness just to enjoy the party. So, mow your lawn, trim the shrubs, and clean any outdoor furniture.
Lighting and Shade
What time of day will your paint and twist take place? The crew needs to know! If your backyard paint and twist party is planned for the evening, you may not need to focus as much on shade. Instead, add lighting if you don’t already have it.
Thankfully, lighting can pose as its own set of decorations, so get creative! Illuminate your yard with simple accessories such as; solar lights, fairy lights (in mason jars if that’s your jam), a transferable fire pit, or kill two birds with one stone by decorating your yard with citronella torches to keep the pests away and get some killer ambience.
If the event is planned during earlier hours, ditch the lighting and pay more attention to shade. Open the awning, provide hand-held fans, or spread umbrellas throughout the yard so your guests have a place to go if the heat becomes overbearing.
Take a Seat
Next, you need to determine if you’re using that infallible lawn set or going the casual route with decorative quilts or blankets. The choice is yours, but make sure everyone has a seat, and be sure to grab table covers if you choose the former.
Plan for Rain
There are two options when bad weather threatens to rain on your parade. You can carefully craft a Plan B or completely ignore any attempt by mother nature to ruin the fun. If you’d prefer tuning out the rain, prepare ahead of time by tying tarps to the trees and posts in your backyard. Or, organize the perfect escape by planning additional indoor activities, and make sure you have a checklist of things for everyone to grab before heading inside.
Dress to Paint
If one thing’s for sure at your painting party, you know you’ll be painting! So, tell your guests to bring aprons ahead of time. An even better idea is to have them wear clothes they don’t mind getting a bit messy. Once the paint gets on your clothes, it’s pretty tough to get it out! It’s a good idea to not wear your best attire.
You’re almost ready for your ultimate backyard painting party! All that’s left now are a few small items you may want to consider before the big day. Mini-easels are easy to find and a great way to elevate your painting experience. With our Take Home Twist Kits, you won’t need to worry about the canvas, paint brushes, or paint. However, we do recommend grabbing napkins, water cups, and paper plates for mixing. All of which can double for your food and beverage set-up. Aren’t you resourceful!
It may be hard to believe, but it’s already time for kids across the country to start preparing for a new school year. But as more students participate in distance learning this year, things might feel a bit different than you’re used to. And though they’re not in a physical classroom, teachers still deserve the same amount of recognition for all their hard work! In the midst of so many new guidelines to navigate, showing your remote teachers how much you care can really go a long way.
Easy Back to School Gifts for Teachers
Teachers are heroes — for parents and kids alike! But no matter how grateful we feel for them, it can be tricky to find the right way to express our appreciation. The following are some memorable gift ideas for teachers that combine practical and personal elements the recipient will love!
Gifts for first time teachers.
The first year of teaching is arguably the most challenging, so even the smallest gesture might mean a lot to someone in this role. Some good gift ideas for new teachers include an iced coffee tumbler to keep them fueled during the day, a nice bottle of wine to help them unwind in the evening, or a day spa gift card for an even deeper level of stress relief.
Gifts for kindergarten teachers.
Like all educators, kindergarten teachers work hard and can feel tired after a full day. A gift centered around comfort and relaxation would be quite welcomed! Items like an essential oil set, a weighted blanket or soft throw, or some cozy socks or slippers are great ways to help your teacher find calm and balance throughout the school year.
Gifts for English teachers.
English teachers are all about the written word, so why not incorporate a fun literary quote or personalized monogram into their gift? Whether you want to customize stationary paper, wall calendars, tote bags, or notebooks, there are plenty of online resources to help you add a thoughtful touch to an otherwise ordinary item.
Gifts for high school teachers.
High school teachers typically spend a lot of time reading essays and grading papers, so consider giving them something to spruce up their desk space. A cute succulent, a stylish desk organizer, or even a new desk chair would all make good gifts for teachers in high school to use in either their classroom or home office setup.
Gifts with DIY flair.
Sometimes, the most cherished gifts teachers receive are those made by their students. A homemade gift could look any number of ways, but some affordable options are a hand painted vase filled with fresh flowers, a gift basket filled with themed goodies (at-home spa day or Saturday movie night), or an original framed artwork to show off. Since every DIY gift is one of a kind, anything you make will be inherently special and meaningful.
Gifts for the teacher who has everything.
For educators who’ve been in their field a long time, it may seem like they already have everything they need. In that case, you could go the route of funny back to school gifts for teachers who’ve seen it all. Try a gift card to a smoothie shop with a note wishing them a ‘smooth’ school year. Or, if you want to err on the side of sincere rather than silly, you could also make a donation in their name to a local cause or organization, like a neighborhood food bank or animal shelter.
It’s the Thought That Counts!
Teachers are incredible people who deserve to feel seen and valued, and giving a gift at the start of the year is an awesome way to show you care. If your district has transitioned to distance learning, you can drop your present off at the school for your teacher to pick up, or you could always send a virtual gift card via email.
And if you really want to make a lasting impression, what better way than to create a handmade painting just for them! Join a Twist at Home event or head over to your local Painting with a Twist to get started on your back-to-school that’s truly one of a kind!
While it may seem easy to focus on all of the craziness happening in 2020… there really are plenty of good things happening! And while they might not look like much now, we may just be talking about these top 2020 trends for years to come. Just in case you (somehow) missed them, here are some of the top pop culture moments of this year.
Tiger King Docuseries
Just when we thought 2020 couldn’t take any more unexpected turns, Netflix gave us the indescribably strange and unexplainably addicting documentary miniseries Tiger King. Trying to convince your BFF that they needed to watch it sounded something like, “It’s about this guy, Joe Exotic, who loves tigers. But he hates Carol Baskin, this other tiger lady who might’ve murdered her husband. Also, there’s a three-way marriage. Oh, and the tiger guy ran for president.”
Zoom Calls (and Happy Hours!)
If anyone is thriving this year, it’s the people who created Zoom. The “video telecommunications” platform has been a lifesaver during this era of working from home, learning from home, and, well, doing everything from home. From work meetings to post-WFH happy hours with your fellow-quarantiners, Zoom has been keeping us productive and social.
The J. Lo & Shakira Super Bowl Halftime Show
Sure, the actual football game was entertaining – but it still came second to the halftime show put on by Jennifer Lopez and Shakira. The powerhouse vocalists performed a few of their most iconic songs, from Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie” to J. Lo’s “Love Don’t Cost a Thing.” Especially poignant was their tribute to Puerto Rico, a nod to the U.S. territory’s continued recovery (and need for further assistance) after being hit by both a devastating hurricane and earthquake.
In a week, half the country went from knowing nothing about cheerleading to being panicked about Jerry’s chances for “making mat” at Nationals in Daytona Beach. The docuseries, which hit Netflix in January, followed the Navarro College Bulldogs Cheer Team journey to the National Cheerleading Championship, becoming a pop culture sensation while simultaneously educating everyone on the otherworldly athleticism of competitive cheerleaders. Oh, and if you haven’t seen it yet, you’ll need a box of tissues handy.
Kobe Bryant Tribute at the Grammys
One of the most heartbreaking losses of 2020 was the shocking death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and seven others in a helicopter accident on January 26th. As the entire nation grappled with the news, Alicia Keys opened the 2020 Grammys, airing that same day, with a beautiful tribute to the legendary basketball player.
“We’re literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built,” said Keys, on stage at the Staples Center.
After she spoke a few words, Keys was joined on stage by Boys II Men to sing a tear-jerking rendition of “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday.”
John Krasinski’s Some Good News
In a year filled with more than its share of bad news, leave it to our beloved Jim Halpert to remind us of all the good news. Krasinski filmed his YouTube web series from his house, highlighting various feel-good stories and inviting special guests, including cast members from Hamilton and Malala Yousafzai, to join him via video call. Some Good News is the chaser we all need after watching the actual news, and it’s physically impossible to get through an episode without smiling (or even crying happy tears).
The Last Dance Michael Jordan docuseries
Sports fans had reason to rejoice amid season cancellations when ESPN Films and Netflix released The Last Dance through April and May. The miniseries documents Michael Jordan’s renowned basketball career and focuses the spotlight most squarely on his final season with the Chicago Bulls. The 10-episode series aired on ESPN before being released on Netflix, and includes interviews with Dennis Rodman, Scottie Pippen, Barack Obama, and Magic Johnson, just to name a few.
Hamilton on Disney Plus
With 4th of July parades and family barbeques canceled, expectations for Independence Day were low… until Disney Plus revealed the surprise it had up its sleeve. This bold, fast-paced, and ridiculously popular Broadway musical was set to release on Disney’s streaming platform in October of 2021. However, the release was bumped up a whopping 15 months to help socially-distanced viewers find a reason to celebrate. Not a theater fan or a history buff? It doesn’t matter – somehow, this hip-hop musical has the power to draw in just about anyone.
It’s easy to focus on the negatives, but as this list reminds us, there are plenty of things about 2020 to appreciate – at the very least for lightening our load.
You know those friendships that can withstand whatever life throws at them? The kind where, no matter how much time has passed since you were last together, you can always pick up exactly where you left off? Friends like those are some of life’s greatest gifts!
True friends understand that a hectic schedule doesn’t have to damage your friendship, and maybe you have no problem going months — or even years — without seeing each other. But still: time spent together is irreplaceable. Isn’t it time you got everyone together for an overdue girls’ outing? Check out some of our favorite girls’ day out ideas and get ready for a day full of laughter and memory-making!
Cheap Girls’ Day Out Ideas
Go for a drive.
Sometimes, we don’t have to do anything in particular. It can be refreshing just to enjoy the company of a friend or two. For local friends, jump in the car and drive around for a while. Check out the newest neighborhoods, drive to a nearby town to window shop, or just follow a scenic route and enjoy the time to catch up.
Have a picnic.
Restaurants? Who needs ‘em? Not you! Pack a picnic lunch and meet up at a local park (or her backyard) for a wonderful girls’ outing on the cheap. During warmer months, change things up from a traditional lunchtime picnic and beat the heat with a breakfast or dinner time picnic. If it’s cold out, send your kids and significant others to one friend’s house, and have an indoor picnic (in peace!) at someone else’s home. Don’t forget dessert!
Find a sweet discount on a local activity.
With platforms like LivingSocial, Groupon, or Gametime, you can often snag deeply discounted rates from local businesses for services or activities. Depending on where you live, you could find anything from spa deals to escape room tickets.
Go thrifting… with a twist.
You could grab a drink like any other weekend. Or, you could spice up your Friday girls’ night out and make some hilarious memories with the help of your local thrift store! Assign each friend to buy an outfit for another friend in your group, and set a small spending limit (say, $5-10). The more outrageous, the better! If you’re feeling extraordinarily brave, wear your outfits to your favorite dinner spot. You’ve probably heard of this idea for a creative date night, but why shouldn’t you and your girls enjoy some thrift store fun, too? Take plenty of selfies!
Hands-On Activities for a Ladies’ Get Together
Take a class.
Trying something new can help get you out of a rut or a mental slump, and trying something new with friends can boost your benefits even more! Take a kickboxing class to blow off some steam, or try your hand at painting — with wine, of course — for an easygoing, no-stress girls’ outing.
Go on a hike.
Lots of fun girls’ day out activities require careful planning, but there’s one thing that you can do nearly any time — take a hike! When the weather is beautiful, find a new trail at a local park (or find an indoor track during colder weather!) and spend a few hours moving your body and nourishing your soul with a good friend and a healthy dose of sunshine.
Play a sport.
You don’t have to be a seasoned athlete to enjoy some friendly competition. Whether you like tennis, soccer, or softball, a casual game is a perfect idea for an active girls’ outing. You and your ladies will get in a workout, too!
Creative and Fun Outings for Women
Don’t settle for the same old girls’ day out ideas over and over! Whether you prefer a fancy Friday girls’ night out or a casual daytime outing, Painting with a Twist is your go-to for your next ladies’ get-together. Reconnect and relax with a ladies’ paint night in our laidback studio environment. Bring your favorite wine, your best stories, and your closest girlfriends, and we’ll take care of the rest! Book a private event for you and your friends or join an existing one at your local Painting with a Twist today.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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
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!
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!
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
No cell phones or tablets.
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:
In which town does the Grinch steal Christmas?
What is Scrooge’s first name in A Christmas Carol?
What’s the first rule of The Code of Elves’ in Elf?
Where does Kevin McAlister’s family go on vacation when he’s left Home Alone?
Holiday Trivia Questions About Traditions:
How many candles are in a Hanukkah Menorah?
What is another name for Santa Claus?
What’s the name for the traditional, pointy, red, holiday flowers?
What are the colors of Kwanzaa?
Holiday Trivia Questions About Food:
What are candy canes shaped after?
Which spice is typically used in both apple cider and egg nog?
Name the root vegetable used to make Latkes.
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:
Treat every day like Christmas
Holiday Tradition Trivia Answers:
St. Nicholas, St Nick, Kris Kringle, or Priznickel
Red, black, and green
Holiday Food Trivia Answers:
A shepherd’s staff
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 Themed Birthday Must Haves:
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!
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!)
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
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!
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!
“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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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?!
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!
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.
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.)