Friday, September 10, 2010

Atlanta Botanical Garden: "Cocktails in the Garden"

Cocktails in the Garden, Levy Parterre
Cocktails in the Garden
"Cocktails in the Garden" is a weekly event for members of the Atlanta Botanical Garden—one of the many events—as well as the general public (including my beloved fellow tourists). It's one of the most beautiful ways to spend an evening in a city that boasts frequent sunsets of gold, bright pinks and orange.

The cocktail social also frequently features special events, music via DJ, cooking demonstrations in the outdoor kitchen, and specialty cocktails that visitors can carry with them while exploring the Garden's splendor and mingling with other garden enthusiasts.

Tonight wasn't my first time visiting the Garden, but it was my first time attending the Cocktails in the Garden event. I was amazed at the number of bars set up throughout the Garden…no lines to wait in! The variety of beverages (cash bars) was also impressive. They offer wine, cocktails, beer and currently is offering frozen "mudslides" in celebration of their current exhibit "Chocolate: Seed to Sweet," as well as non-alcoholic beverages.

Cooking Demonstration an Tasting presented by Goin' Coastal Restaurant
Goin' Coastal Cooking Demonstration
Popular restaurants, a different one every week, offers tastings from their menus which they prepare in the outdoor kitchen adjacent to the Edible Garden—a well-attended diversion from cocktails . This week, "Goin' Coastal," a "sustainable seafood joint," was offering bites including a savory “She Crab Soup,” and perfectly seasoned "Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes." Goin' Coastal has two locations—Virginia Highland and Canton.

The Garden had considerably more guests than I expected for cocktails, but not so many that it was crowded. Navigating the sunset soaked gardens was pleasant, relaxing and vibrant, depending on which part of the Garden one found oneself in. The largest gatherings were on the Canopy Walk and the Levy Parterre Garden.

It turned out that the friend I visited the Garden with this evening is a friend of one of the Garden’s managers who told us about upcoming special events at the other September "Cocktails in the Garden" socials, including:
Glass Art Pumpkins
Special events at the Atlanta Botanical Garden are some of the city's best kept secrets…secrets that should spread a thousand times as wide as the Garden grounds themselves, which is of considerably size! Check out their website for details about future "Cocktails in the Garden," black tie events, children's programs, cooking demonstrations, concerts, volunteer opportunities and gardening tips.

Will I have another round of Cocktails in the Garden? Absolutely. With so many attractions during the month, every Thursday in September is now blocked on my calendar. I was also told that October is the Garden's busiest month of the year and that they have quite a few special events lined up, including the popular "Scarecrows in the Garden." One learns very quickly that there's no excuse for being bored in this city!

Visiting Cocktails in the Garden

Date toured: Thursday, September 9, 2010
Hours: 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. Thursdays in September (returns in spring 2011)
Location: 1345 Piedmont Avenue, NE (map and directions)
Cost: Members free, Guests $15 (cash bars)
Parking:
  • Drop-off (0-15 minutes) free
  • 16-30 minutes ($0.75)
  • Each additional 30 minutes ($1.00)
  • Multi-visit parking passes available at the Gift Shop
Website: http://www.atlantabotanicalgarden.org/

Atlanta Botanical Garden at Sunset
Sunset at the Garden

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