Most Viewed Stories
5 ways to have an unforgettable New Year’s Eve in Atlanta
Enjoy a glamorous evening of reflection and fun without the hassle of planning.
December 15, 2023
It’s almost time to say goodbye to 2023. After a year of hustle and bustle, you deserve a fabulous, stress-free New Year’s Eve. Leave the coordinating to someone else. Opt for a night of ease with New Year’s Eve bundles that offer an immersive experience of entertainment, dining, and festive activities. Whether it was a year to forget or one for the books, you can go out in style and welcome 2024 with these five inclusive New Year’s Eve celebration packages.
Around the World Gala at Chateau Elan
100 Rue Charlemagne Braselton, GA 30517
Count down to midnight at the premium winery and resort Chateau Elan, where you can enjoy a decadent sendoff to 2023 at the Around the World Gala. The event includes a cocktail hour, five dinner stations with culinary options from all over the world (with wine pairings included), live performances, a midnight champagne toast, and more. You can opt for the Gala package alone or include an overnight stay at the Inn at Chateau Elan. Dress to impress in cocktail attire and make this night one you won’t soon forget. Learn more here.
VIP Carnival Masquerade Ball at the OMNI Hotel
100 CNN Center, Atlanta, Georgia, 30303
Vibe out and dance like no one’s watching at this one-of-a-kind Masquerade Ball. There will be plenty of music, including a live Latin band and Atlanta’s DJ EU and Friends spinning Top-40 hits from around the world. The package offers South American-inspired food stations, an open bar (plus a champagne toast), and more. The VIP package includes an overnight stay at the hotel (with valet parking for one car), so you can skip the drive home after a long night of dancing, dining, and drinking. While the event is formal, don’t forget your carnival-themed masks. Learn more here.
Skate the Sky at Ponce City Market’s The Roof
675 Ponce De Leon Ave NE Atlanta, GA 30308
For those who prefer a more laid-back celebration, enjoy ice skating and a private Igloo on the rooftop winter wonderland at The Roof. This package is an ideal option for families and small groups, with private igloos that seat up to six guests, plus an assortment of shareable food, and a dedicated server. It also comes with 50 minutes of skating time, free games, and rides at Skyline Park — and plenty of photo ops to remember the magical night forever. Learn more here.
Take a ride under the sea at the Georgia Aquarium
225 Baker ST NW, Atlanta, GA 30313
Get exclusive after-hour access to an Atlanta staple for an adults-only evening of live music, cocktails, holiday treats, and gallery exploration. Come adorned in formal or cocktail attire and see the Aquarium in a new light. Guests can choose between a general admission package that includes four drink tickets and access to the main gallery, or a VIP upgrade offering additional drinks, catering stations, admission to the VIP lounge, and a midnight countdown party. No matter the package you choose, your contribution will go to a worthy cause, as all proceeds from the night are donated to the Aquarium’s research and conservation efforts. Learn more here.
The ‘80s MTV Experience at Park Tavern
500 10th St NE (Corner of 10th and Monroe) Atlanta, Georgia 30309
Attention all dancers: This one’s for you. Enjoy two floors of music with live DJs and Electric Avenue playing your favorite hits from the ‘80s. The open bar will serve premium drink options, and you can grab a bite from several buffets that include vegetarian options, a carving station, and numerous southern favorites. In addition to the champagne toast, you get a Krispy Kreme doughnut at midnight for a sweet start to 2024. Round up 20 or more friends to get a group discount on tickets. Learn more here.
You’ll find more ways to love living in Atlanta by subscribing to the Localite newsletter.
Share this article
Looking for a dog sitter in Atlanta? Here is your ultimate guide.
Explore the best, most convenient, and locally-loved options.
Hitting the road this holiday season? If you’re unable to take your pup with you, you’ll need someone to care for them while traveling. Take a look at our breakdown of the apps, services, and locations you can use to take good care of your furry friend this year.
- Services: In-home dog boarding, sitting, walking, and training
- Locations: Available in most locations
- Pricing: Varies based on location, sitter experience, etc., but may start around $40 per night of boarding.
- Features/perks: Sitters pass a background check and are pre-vetted by Rover; receive photo updates/GPS tracking of dog walk
- How to book: Download the Rover app for iOS or Android.
Rover is among the best-known pet-sitting apps that allow you to search for and hire somebody to walk your dog, stay overnight in your home, or take your dog to stay overnight in their home. After downloading the app, enter some basic information about your pet and what you’re looking for. Then, look through sitter profiles to find the best one for you. Payments are made securely through the Rover website or app.
- Services: In-home pet sitting (30- to 60-minute sessions, potty breaks, walks, overnight sitting)
- Locations: Click here to view coverage areas
- Pricing: 60-minute pet sitting for $37, 12-hour pet sitting for $100
- Features/perks: No additional charge for multiple pets
- How to book: Call 404-819-3641
Georgia Pet Watchers provides a wide range of flexible in-home pet-sitting options that you can mix and match to make the perfect schedule for your pet.
Amanda Jackson of Flowery Branch used Georgia Pet Watchers for her 7-year-old Lab mix and 5-year-old Dachshund mix.
“I was matched with a pet sitter based on what I was looking for,” Jackson says. “Before booking, she came over to meet the dogs, get to know the dogs, where their supplies are… We’ve booked with them so many times, and [the dog sitter] has always been timely, nice to the dogs, and reliable.”
Amanda also likes the online scheduling and payment system, which is “quick and easy to use.”
- Services: In-home pet sitting, puppy visits, dog walking, overnight pet care
- Locations: Services homes in Atlanta, Buckhead, Marietta, Sandy Springs, Roswell
- Pricing: 30-minute dog sitting for $27, 60-minute dog sitting for $54, overnight pet care for $120-$150
- Features/perks: Existing clients can schedule in-app, sitters can administer injections and medication
- How to book: Call 404-303-0312
Buckhead Pet Pals has cared for pets in the metro Atlanta area for over 25 years. While all pets are welcome, BPP’s in-home sitters specialize in puppies, senior animals, and animals needing medical care.
“Dog owners can expect superior customer service from the time of online registration to their return home,” says owner Shannon Centola. “Our sitters provide real-time updates via Pet Care Journals, including pictures of their pets!”
- Services: Dog boarding, luxury suites, dog daycare
- Location: 3872 College St., College Park, 30337
- Pricing: Standard den boarding for $49/night, luxury suites for $58-$88/night
- Features/perks: Staff on site 24/7, grooming and vaccination add-ons, discounted rates available for pet siblings
- How to book: Reservations are required for boarding (you’ll need to register on the site.)
Located just outside the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, Wag Atlanta offers multiple options for doggy daycare and overnight stays. If your dog gets along with other dogs, they will be allowed three to six hours of playtime daily (plus at least four potty breaks). Staff members are trained to administer medications but cannot care for dogs with more intense medical needs.
To board at Wag Atlanta, dogs must be up to date on their vaccinations. Aggressive or anxious pets, those under 16 weeks, elderly pets, and certain large male breeds will not be accepted.
- Services: Dog daycare, boarding, grooming, training
- Locations: Sandy Springs, Cheshire Bridge, Decatur, East Cobb-Marietta, Lambert Drive, North Avenue-O4W, Pharr Road-Buckhead
- Pricing: Varies based on location but starts at approximately $45 per night of boarding or $27 per day of daycare
- Features/perks: Staff on site 24/7, does not require daycare reservations, administers medication
- How to book: Create an online account or call the number for your preferred location
Founded in 1999, Barking Hound Village is one of Atlanta’s most-awarded dog care facilities. Atlanta’s Nicole Replogle has used Barking Hound for the past year for her 4.5-year-old border collie/terrier mix, Darcy.
“Darcy is always excited to see them — which is a sign they’re taking good care of her!”
Nicole also appreciates Barking Hound’s doggie cams, where she can log in and check on Darcy throughout the day, the “report card” with candid photos, and the grooming services. “They get the little details right, like sending her home with a cute new bandana each time.”
Questions to ask before choosing a pet sitter
Before choosing a pet sitter, it’s essential to research the company or individual and ensure they can responsibly care for your dog. Ask questions like:
- How many years of experience do you/your sitters have?
- What will you do if an emergency occurs when I’m away?
- How do you handle behavioral issues or a fight between dogs?
- Are you insured?
- How frequently will I receive updates on my pet?
- How much time will you spend one-on-one with my dog?
- How do you handle safety to ensure my pet’s health?
Some pet-sitting facilities, such as Barking Hound Village, will provide free tours for new clients. If you are working with an individual sitter from an app like Rover, they should be willing to meet you and your dog ahead of time.
Want to receive curated, expert tips on finding the services you need in everyday life? Subscribe to the Localite newsletter.
Share this article
7 great Phoenix restaurants that are open on Christmas Day
Where to grab some grub when it feels like everything is closed.
No matter what your plans are for Christmas Day, one thing is true for us all: We still need to eat. Whether you don’t want to cook or simply feel like getting out, there are still plenty of options. From dim sum to pizza to high-end resorts, here are our picks for great restaurants open on Christmas Day in Phoenix.
(Note: Some places take walk-ins, but it’s best to call ahead to check for availability and/or wait times.)
($105 per person; $35 for kids 4-12)
If you want jaw-dropping mountain views, romantic old Arizona charm, and one of the best meals of the year, Lon’s in Paradise Valley is your pick. Quaint Southwestern touches like adobe fireplaces and Mexican tile set the stage for contemporary American cuisine that’s never cliche. The three-course Christmas prix fixe menu is served from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. and includes staples like lobster bisque and prime rib along with winter squash agnolotti, red beet risotto with hot smoked salmon, and a Christmas spiced poached pear.
(Limited a la carte dishes from $16 to $75)
Phoenix’s Arizona Biltmore, a Waldorf Astoria resort, is a desert art deco gem that underwent a $100 million “reinvention” in 2020, so it’s a perfect time to visit again if you haven’t been in a while. McArthur’s — named after the property’s original architect, Albert Chase McArthur — has a cool, classy open-concept vibe with shuffleboard, foosball, and other fun touches. A simple two-course a la carte dinner, available 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., includes gourmet renditions of soup or salad and a steak/scallop duo or ham; more than 20 well-selected bottles of wine are $75. This is ideal for friends, couples, or singles who want a superb meal and chill ambiance.
(Full regular menu available; $85 per person for family-style menu)
Add a little spice to the season with Chef Matt Carter’s modern Latin cuisine at the Mission. It’s a treat any time of the year, from the exquisite guacamole to succulent roasted pork shoulder tacos to elevated entrees. Both locations — in Old Town Scottsdale and the larger setting at Kierland Commons — are open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., serving the regular menu or a chef’s family-style menu with a little of this and that. Pro tips: They shake up some of the finest cocktails in town here, and walk-ins are accepted at the bar.
(Meals, $27-46; kids’ menu, $9 per item)
If you have a gaggle of family to feed, particularly with little buckaroos in tow, saddle up and ride to the Rooste just off of I-10 and Baseline. The family who runs this huge hilltop eatery has been feeding hungry cowpokes for over 50 years, and it’s open from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. with a variety of entrees for everyone: Choose from sauteed shrimp, turkey, ham, grilled salmon, prime rib, or ribeye. All meals come with sides like candied yams, corn on the cob, and more, plus a kids’ menu that includes a cheeseburger, chicken fingers, or mac and cheese. The fun factor alone —thanks to an actual slide in the dining room, expansive views of the Valley and nostalgia no matter which way you turn — is worth a trip.
($78 to $95 per person; $25 for age 12 and under)
For a hip holiday, head to ZuZu at the mid-century modern marvel that is Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale. The food is just as impressive as the eye-popping design, thanks to Chef Russell LaCasce’s creations. Dinner is served from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. with a starter buffet followed by a choice of entree, ranging from Australian rack of lamb to mushroom Bolognese and more. Dessert includes a choice of Bûche de Noël, yogurt panna cotta or poached pear tart — and don’t skip it, because their sweets game is strong here.
(Full regular menu and dim sum available)
An extensive menu of tried-and-true Chinese dishes, from egg foo young to orange chicken to hot pot, will be available at this Chandler mainstay from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The usual array of delectable dim sum will be offered until 3 p.m. as well, so arrive early if you’re in the mood for steamed barbecued pork buns, egg tarts, salt and pepper squid, and much more. Prices are reasonable, family-style dinners for two to four are offered, and beer and wine are available.
(Full regular menu available)
Few meals are easier, tastier, or more affordable than pizza and wings, and luckily, the award-winning Ahwatukee Foothills location of this family-owned pizzeria will be open for dine-in, takeout, and delivery. Hours will depend on how many staff sign up to work; no one is conscripted to give up family time. Best of all, Zzeeks has 25 — yes, 25! — flavors of wings and nine types of pizza crust, including vegan, gluten-free, and keto, so everyone can get what they want. The menu also includes salads, pasta, appetizers, calzones, and desserts. You can even get beer and wine delivered.
Want dining recs delivered straight to your inbox? Subscribe to the Localite newsletter.
Share this article