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Jennifer Maciejewski

Feb 202017

ga renfest grouponThe Georgia Renaissance Festival returns from April 15-June 4, 2017. We go every year, and the girls & I always have a fabulous time.

There’s quite a bit to do at the GA Ren Fest, my favorite being watching the shows. There’ll be jousting, the Barely Balanced Acrobatic Show, The Tortuga Twins, Hey Nunnie Nunnue, the Geoff Marsh Fire Circus, Maypole dancing, photos with the King & Queen and the Fairy Queen, wandering minstrels, & the list goes on.

Even a few years ago was still fun, despite the fact that strong afternoon thunderstorms forced us to leave several hours early (we could have waited it out, but by then my youngest was over-tired & soaked, so it was a good time to go). Last year, we had perfect weather, and the shows didn’t disappoint.

Planning to go? You have options to get discount tickets to explore the GA Ren Fest on the cheap, no coupon code required:

The Georgia Renaissance Festival is located at 6905 Virlyn B. Smith Rd., Fairburn. Parking is free.

–Jennifer Maciejewski

Feb 202017

Free-PaintingIf you’re looking for ways to get creative on the cheap, you’ve got a few options. Throughout the month, you’ll find free & cheap crafts at Michaels & Home Depot, free events at Bass Pro Shops, free decorating classes at Pottery Barn, free cooking techniques classes at Williams-Sonoma, free mini-model builds at Lego stores, & more.

Here’s the schedule of free crafts & events for the next few days:

And mark your calendars for other upcoming free & cheap craft days:

–Jennifer Maciejewski

Feb 162017

Hamilton will be at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta from May 22-June 10, 2018.

That said, you need to know about this fact in February 2017 because the only guaranteed way to get seats for Hamilton is to buy Broadway in Atlanta’s 2017-2018 season ticket package, and those tickets are on sale now. And if its run on Broadway is any indication, Hamilton will be a hard ticket to come by in Atlanta.

I just bought mine. I opted for Tuesday night season tickets, as those tend to be the best deal. And while it’s not cheap (especially since you’re buying tickets for seven different shows), you are getting your tickets at a discount when you purchase season tickets–subscribers saved an average of 41% for the 2015-2016 season.

The season:

  • The King & I: September 26-October 1, 2017
  • The Color Purple: The Musical: October 24-29, 2017
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies, The Phantom Returns: November 28-December 3, 2017
  • Rent: February 20-25, 2018
  • A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder: March 13-18, 2018
  • Something Rotten!: April 17-22, 2018
  • Hamilton: May 22-June 10, 2018

The Fox Theatre is located at 660 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta.

–Jennifer Maciejewski

Feb 162017

tiovivo high atlIf you haven’t been to The High Museum of Art in a while, now’s an awesome time to go. There are quite a few special exhibitions on display that look like they’re well worth the trip.

Arbus, Avedon, and Winogrand: Photographs from the Collection will be on view through February 26, 2017. I saw it a few weeks ago, and it’s a fascinating exhibition. Per the summary: “Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, and Garry Winogrand were innovative photographers of the American social scene in the 1960s and 1970s. All three supported themselves through New York City’s burgeoning print industries in advertising, fashion, and journalism. The breadth of editorial assignments allowed them to plumb personal interests and build distinct, stylistically coherent bodies of work. Arbus focused her penetrating lens on those at the margins of society, Avedon directed his powerful vision to studio portraits of prominent individuals, and Winogrand canvassed the streets to capture candid expressions of anonymous passersby. Together, their work changed the course of modern photography, and through their high-profile shows at The Museum of Modern Art, each built a legacy that has been inspirational to generations of photographers.”

The A Conspiracy of Icons: The Art of Donald Locke exhibition, on view through April 24, 2017, highlights Locke’s multicultural exploration through a selection of paintings and sculptures. And you’ll find five images making up the Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. exhibit on view outside of the Greene Family Learning Gallery through March 12, 2017. Plus, five of Hale Woodruff’s Talladega Murals will be on view in the High’s Anne Cox Chambers Wing through May 7, 2017–the sixth is part of the Cross Country exhibition, which opened on earlier this month.

Speaking of, the Cross Country: The Power of Place in American Art, 1915–1950 exhibition is fantastic. On view through May 7, 2017, Cross Country brings together 200+ works by 80+ artists. The exhibition is arranged geographically, and it highlights artists “who channeled the power of American places outside of city limits between 1915 and 1950. Shortly after World War I, the U.S. population became increasingly urban rather than rural, but where artists lived did not necessarily dictate where they worked. In addition to developments in infrastructure and industry—such as the automobile and the interstate system—grants, commissions, the lure of newly established art schools and artist colonies, and various Depression-era government agencies stimulated artists to explore far-flung locales.”

For a hands-on experience, check out Tiovivo: Whimsical Sculptures by Jaime Hayon, on display in Sifly Piazza through March 5, 2017. The large-scale outdoor works are always worth exploring, especially if you have little ones with you.

Want to explore the High Museum of Art on the cheap? Take advantage of a discount ticket deal (or, even better, free admission) to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, no coupon code required.

The deals:

1) Bank of America cardholders get free admission on the first full weekend of the month, thanks to the Museums on Us program (discount applies to cardholder only). The next free admission weekend will be March 4 & 5, 2017.

2) On Second Sundays at The High Museum of Art, museum admission is free from noon-5:00 p.m., and there’ll be special activities & workshops. The next Second Sundays free admission day will take place on March 12, 2016.

3) All active & veteran military personnel as well as one guest will receive free admission to The High Museum of Art & free parking in the Woodruff Arts Center deck with proof of service. Proof of service includes valid military, retiree, military/retiree dependent identification card or a DD Form 214 (Report of Separation).

4) While they last, $30 buys two tickets to The High Museum of Art + a $20 gift card to Fifth Group Restaurants (South City Kitchen, La Tavola, The Original El Taco, & more), thanks to an offer on Poshdealz.

5) Friday, March 10, 2017 is Teen Night at The High Museum of Art. There’ll be live music, gallery tours, a poetry slam, hands-on art-making workshops, theatre performances, & more. Admission is $5 with a high school ID.

And mark your calendars for upcoming exhibitions:

  • On view March 4–May 21, 2017: Daniel Arsham: Hourglass
  • On view March 4–June 11, 2017: The Spirit of the Place: Photographs by Jack Leigh
  • On view April 1, 2017–January 21, 2018: Painter and Poet: The Wonderful World of Ashley Bryan
  • On view June 11–September 3, 2017: Andy Warhol: Prints from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation
  • On view November 18, 2018–February 17, 2019: Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors

Want a little something extra while you’re there? Head out for an event at The High. Here are a few:

  • Friday, February 17, 2017: Friday Jazz featuring Beverly Watkins
  • Friday, March 3, 2017: First Fridays. During March’s event, there’ll a drop-in art-making workshops, Talk A Curatorial Conversation on Cross Country: The Power of Place in American Art (1915–1950), drawing in the galleries, & more.
  • Friday, March 17, 2017: Friday Jazz featuring David Potter
  • April 1-2 & 7-8, 2017: Studio Spring Break at The High. From 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. each day, there’ll be art-making workshops & more featuring a “Build It” theme. Free with museum admission.
  • Friday, April 21, 2017: Friday Jazz featuring Jason Collier

The High Museum of Art is located at 1280 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta.

–Jennifer Maciejewski

Feb 142017

shaky-knees-2017If you missed out on the Early Bird ticket deal or if you didn’t have room in your schedule for a three-day music fest & were planning to skip out, you’ve got new options for attending the Shaky Knees Music Festival:

For a limited time, you can snag Advance tickets to the Shaky Knees Music Festival, happening at Centennial Park from May 12-14, 2017. Three-day general admission tickets are $185 + fees each and one-day general admission tickets are $99 + fees each at the Advance rate; prices will likely go up again closer to the event, so get yours while they’re (relatively) cheap.

As for the lineup, I’m looking forward to 2017’s mix of performers. Friday features LCD Soundsystem, Cage the Elephant, Pixies, Highly Suspect, & more. On Saturday, the XX, Nick Murphy, X Ambassadors, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Shovels and Rope, Bishop Briggs, & others will take the stage. And on Sunday, Phoenix, The Shins, Ryan Adams, Third Eye Blind, Bleachers, J. Roddy Walston & The Business, Saint Motel, Warpaint, & Fruit Bats, to name a few, will close out the weekend.

The Shaky Knees Music Festival will take place at Centennial Park, located at 265 Park Ave W NW, Atlanta.

–Jennifer Maciejewski

Feb 142017

adventures-of-mighty-bug-puppetry-arts-goldstarThe Adventures of Mighty Bug will be at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta through March 12, 2017.

It looks like it’ll be a cute show. Per the summary: “Scorpiana is on the loose and threatening the insect citizens of Bugville! Is our hero Mighty Bug up for the challenge? Find out in this science-filled, comic-book-style adventure!”

All-inclusive tickets to most Family Series performances at the Center for Puppetry Arts are regularly $20.50 for nonmembers & $10.25 for members. Your ticket includes admission to the show, the Create-A-Puppet workshop, & admission to the puppetry museum.

Want to see it on the cheap? You can get discount tickets to The Adventures of Mighty Bug, thanks to these deals:

While you’re at the Center for Puppetry Arts, make time to explore the World of Puppetry Museum, which features the Jim Henson Collection as well as The Global Collection, showcasing puppets from around the world. Not only will you see awesome puppets (they have Fraggle Rock, Muppets, Sesame Street, Dark Crystal, & Labyrinth characters, to name a few, all of which makes me happy!), but the new museum includes interactive spaces where you can try your hand at puppetry.

If you’re only planning to visit the World of Puppetry Museum, admission is free for members & $10.50 for nonmembers. Tickets are timed for museum admission, and everyone must procure a ticket to tour the museum (for members, “procure a ticket” = make a free reservation for timed entry). While you’re there, you can add on a Create-a-Puppet workshop ($4.50 for members & $6.50 for nonmembers); to-go kits are available.

And on Fulton County Free Museum Saturdays, Fulton County residents, students, and Fulton County Government employees will receive free Museum admission, plus you’ll save 25% off of tickets to a Family Series performance (includes show ticket, Create-A-Puppet workshop, & museum admission). The next Fulton County Free Museum Saturdays event will take place on April 8, 2017.

The Center for Puppetry Arts is located at 1404 Spring St. NW at 18th St., Atlanta.

–Jennifer Maciejewski

Feb 142017

Atlanta Ballet’s production of Firebird will be at the Cobb Energy Centre from April 14-16, 2017.

Per the summary: “Atlanta Ballet presents the sensational Firebird, choreographed by Yuri Possokhov, with Stravinsky’s famous score played live by the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra. This captivating ballet tells the story of a beautiful, mythical bird who comes to the aid of two lovers after a sorcerer casts a cruel spell. The ballet’s vivacious whimsy and striking staging will make you fall in love. Also on the program is Allegro Brillante by neoclassical master George Balanchine and Petite Mort by Jirí Kylián, two pieces that together demonstrate the awe-inspiring range of Atlanta Ballet’s dancers.”

Planning to go? You can see Firebird on the cheap, no coupon code required:

Cobb Energy Centre is located at 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta.

–Jennifer Maciejewski

Feb 142017

Atlanta Ballet’s production of Gennadi’s Choice will be at the Cobb Energy Centre from March 17-19, 2017.

Per the summary: “The Atlanta Ballet’s new artistic director Gennadi Nedvigin personally picked three exciting pieces for the acclaimed company’s latest production at Cobb Energy, including a world-premiere commission by American Ballet Theatre dancer-choreographer Gemma Bond. Her work Denouement features live piano and cello accompaniment and follows three couples, whose choices at life’s pivotal moments send them off on different trajectories. Also on the bill are the North American debut of Vespertine by the Royal Ballet’s Liam Scarlett, which blends the baroque and the modern, and selections from Marius Petipa’s Paquita, a 19th-century work famed for its beauty and technical difficulty.”

Planning to go? You can see Gennadi’s Choice on the cheap, no coupon code required:

Cobb Energy Centre is located at 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta.

–Jennifer Maciejewski

Feb 132017

From March 25-April 2, 2017, you can see the Atlanta Opera’s first-ever staging of Donizetti’s bel canto jewel, Don Pasquale, at the Cobb Energy Centre.

Not familiar with the work? Per the summary: “In this unique interpretation of the classic comic opera, the setting has been updated to the glitz and glam of 1950s Hollywood. Don Pasquale, a one-time silent-era movie star who’s now elderly and washed up, becomes fed up with his rebellious nephew Ernesto and decides to marry and produce an heir so he can disinherit Ernesto. Complicated schemes and shenanigans ensue, with multiple lies, a fake wedding, and a rendezvous at the famed Hollywood Bowl taking center stage. Bass-baritone Burak Bilgili, last seen in Atlanta in 2013’s The Italian Girl in Algiers, returns in the title role.” Don Pasquale will be sung in Italian with English supertitles.

Want to see Don Pasquale on the cheap? While they last, you’ve got a few ways to save:

  • For a limited time, you can save about 50% on tickets to Don Pasquale, thanks to a deal on Goldstar. As of today (February 13), tickets are available for most performances from March 25-April 2, 2017.
  • For a limited time, you can save about 50% on tickets to Don Pasquale, thanks to a deal on Poshdealz. As of today (February 13), tickets are available for the 8:00 p.m. performance on March 31, 2017.
  • Tickets start at $35, but for a limited time, you can use coupon code “PASQUALEGS” to save 20% on tickets in sections B-E for performances on March 25, 28, & 31, 2017.

The Cobb Energy Centre is located at 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta.

–Jennifer Maciejewski

Feb 102017

I’m a member of the Atlanta Botanical Garden, and this exhibition is one of the main reasons that I renew each year:

From February 11-April 9, 2017, Orchid Daze will be on display at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Orchid Daze remains one of my favorite things to see at the ABG. The Fuqua Orchid Center is home to one of the largest collections of species orchids in the U.S., and during Orchid Daze, you’ll see a gorgeous mix of orchids since they pull together thousands of blooms to create the displays.

Admission to Orchid Daze free for members and included in garden admission. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a discount for nonmembers. Garden admission is regularly $21.95 for adults & $15.95 for children ages 3-12. Since membership starts at $75 for individuals, $99 for dual membership, and $109 for a family membership, it’s your best bet if you plan to visit multiple times each year.

The Atlanta Botanical Garden is located at 1345 Piedmont Ave. NE in Midtown.

–Jennifer Maciejewski