new years eve

New Year’s Eve can be a fabulous celebration.  But let’s face it, sometimes planning what to do is a challenge.  The weather can be miserable in our area.  Or going into the City can be a nightmare – between the parking, the people, and the ridiculous price increases, it can turn what should be an enjoyable celebration into a struggle.  Never mind trying to find something that’s family-friendly . . . that seems like an exercise in frustration!

What if we told you that there are multiple options for a wonderful New Year’s Eve right in our own community?  Enjoy food, family and friends right in town.  No parking hassles and no worries about bad weather!


If you’re looking for a family-friendly solution, Michael’s Red Hots has you covered!  They’ve recently renovated their event space, and it’s amazing.  Multiple big-screen televisions, a full bar, boozy slushies for adults, and of course Michael’s great food (available for an additional charge).  Tickets include light appetizers, kiddie cocktails, a live DJ with dancing, games and raffle prizes, a balloon drop, champagne & sparkling apple juice toast at 6 pm, party favors and more!

According to Laurie Gens, Michael’s Events Manager, “Last year was our first ever Family New Year’s Eve Party so we did not know what to expect.  We wound up selling out days in advance with a wait list.  This year, with the addition of the banquette seating as part of our renovation, we are able to accommodate more families to celebrate with us!”

“With our new look and more sophisticated atmosphere this New Year’s Eve party will be even better!  The addition of our larger dance floor now located in back where the ceilings are higher, elevated DJ booth, dessert bar, custom lighting and sound system and 180″ projection screen will enhance the party!”

“There is nothing like Michael’s Family New Year’s Eve party on the North Shore.  We identified an untapped need for the entire family to celebrate together before it is too late in the day.  It is a unique event where the entire family can adorn celebration hats, beads and tiaras, while dancing, winning raffle prices and enjoying a balloon drop.  Most importantly, the food is loved by both kids and adults!”

For more information, please visit Michaels

Full Bar & Buffet

If you’re looking for a traditional New Year’s Eve experience, the Panda Bar offers a full bar and buffet for New Year’s Eve celebrations.  For only $87, enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet and a full open bar with music by DJ Versage!  Great for a date or a get-together with friends, the Panda Bar is a fun celebration right on the corner of Elm Place and Second Street in Downtown Highland Park.  We love that we can get the full New Year’s Eve experience right in our backyard!

For more information, please visit Panda Bar




Crafting and “Maker” initiatives have become popular across the country.  “Maker Labs” give everyday people access to equipment such as 3D printers and other tools to create anything their imagination can develop.  Imagine having access to modern crafting as a child!

In Downtown Highland Park, we are fortunate to have Workshop HP, a community space where children (& adults!) can come together to craft.  The classes at Workshop HP are about “making stuff”, where one learns to persevere and develop grit.  A hybrid of crafting, technology and contemporary themes, Workshop HP classes empower kids to solve problems and develop creative confidence.

During Winter Break, rather than listen to “I’m Booooooooored!”, sign up your child for a drop-off class.  It’s a win-win for adult and child!  Crafting is shown to have a relaxation effect, giving kids a productive way to de-stress while learning and having fun.  Using imagination, experimenting, and creating – everyone is capable of crafting!

An added bonus are the holiday gifts at Workshop HP.  If you need a hostess gift or a gift for someone who has everything, Workshop HP gifts are unique treasures.  Gifts are locally sourced or are Global Goods Partners gifts, and feature beautiful handmade details and there are even craft kits for kids.

If you’re away for the Holidays, never fear!  Winter after-school classes start in January and typically last for 9 weeks.  Classes are for ages 7+ (though some may be slightly older) with a maximum of 12 students per class.

Check out the wonderful teachers at Workshop HP and experience Empowerment Through Craft!

Pulse Fitness – Transform Yourself

Pulse Fitness (Open 11/14)

Is the cold weather slowing you down?  Or maybe you’ve got big plans for Spring Break.  Or perhaps you want to move beyond those last ten pounds post-baby (it’s okay – many of us have been there!) or you want to regain your fitness.  If you’re tired of feeling tired, Pulse Fitness is rounding up anyone looking to transform themselves – just in time for New Year Resolutions.  The Pulse Fitness team and those that exercise there will be your champion and your biggest fan.

In November, “The Box” on First Street in Highland Park evolved into Pulse Fitness – a place where fitness is physically and mentally challenging and personal transformation occurs every day.  All instructors are National Academy of Sports Medicine certified and will help you with your personalized comprehensive solution.

Did you know that 70% of exercise programs fail?  Not at Pulse Fitness!  You can transform yourself with their 21 Day Detox Plan, Boxing, Team Weight Loss, or Bootcamp classes.  Have you ever walked into a fitness class for the first time and were actually welcomed?!?!?  Class members at Pulse offer support and camaraderie so that you’re never without the team you need to achieve your goals, whether it’s weight loss, strength or overall fitness.

Even better, the Pulse team will find the coach that best fits you and your needs.  Patrick was a paratrooper and MMA competitor, teaching members grit and individual nutrition.  Aimee is a former teacher, connecting with kids of all ages to help them feel confident and self-assured through fitness.  Erik is a multi-sport athlete, sharing his knowledge of physiology to improve clients’ health and wellness.  Lastly, Jennifer, a Tae Kwan Do black belt, brings cardio fun to her classes so that time flies by – it’s always great when your workout is fun and fabulous!

Curious?  Know that you can do it – you can be part of the 30% with a successful fitness plan.  Find your inner tough and visit Pulse Fitness to get the results you deserve!

Antiques Roadshow at Posh Essentials

Posh Essentials

Are you a secret fan of Antiques Roadshow?  Do you wonder if the vase from your Great Aunt is worth anything other than as a sentimental paper weight?  The fabulous Posh Essentials is hosting a fabulously fun “Treasures in Your Attic” event on Thursday, 12/8/16 from 2 – 5 pm.

Posh Essentials is a special boutique, owned by women for women.  Posh Essentials offers a stunning collection of lingerie, sleepwear, yoga wear and other boutique gifts.  “We love bringing customers together for fun, creative in-store events to mix, mingle and browse.” said Pamela Hillman of Posh Essentials.  “We can’t wait to host a mini ‘Antique Roadshow’ at Posh and see all the unique items people bring to discover its history and value.”

Posh Essentials is joined by Arthur Feldman, a professional appraiser with over 25 years of experience.  Mr. Feldman has worked in curatorial and directorial capacities at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.  among others.  “I am delighted to be able to participate in the ‘Treasures in Your Attic’ event,” says Arthur Feldman of Arthur M. Feldman Gallery.  “I enjoy participating in programs such as this and sharing my expertise to educate and interact with a whole new group of people in a new environment.  Every object or collector has a story to tell and I take joy in placing these stories in historical perspective and suggest current valuation.”

Steven Greenfield from Allura Fine Jewelers will be available to appraise any jewelry you may have.  Inherited a funky bangle bracelet or an interesting ring?  Steven is a Gemologist and is an expert in diamonds, pearls and colored gemstones.  He specializes in Georgian, Victorian, and Art Deco jewelry.

Enjoy light bites, drinks and shopping discounts and discover whether the items from your closet are trash or treasure!  You may find an unexpected surprise . . .