Something I have noticed in my 30’s: We are all MUCH too busy. I confess — I am queen of busy. But I’ve made a promise to myself to never let friendships fall to the wayside because of kid and life happenings. If a friend makes time for me, then I make time for them — simple as that. Because at the end of the day, besides a significant other or your close family, who else can you turn to when life hands you lemons?
I cherish my girlfriends more than words can express, so when a few of my former college roomies turned BFFs reached out to plan a girl’s night out, I knew I wanted to do some planning to ensure we have an amazing time.
After some brainstorming, we chose Ann Arbor, Michigan. Why? It’s centrally located, has loads of shopping and it’s heaven for foodies like us. Also, it’s a place I go with kids often, but have had little time to explore on my own in recent years.
We haven’t had a night away in quite some time, so of course, we had an absolute blast!
Girls’ Night Out in Ann Arbor
We began our adventure at the Hilton Garden Inn Ann Arbor. This hotel was great for a few reasons: It’s a short ride into downtown, it’s next to Briarwood Mall, and it’s easy to get to. They also have a very affordable Ladies Night Out package, which includes a $25 transportation gift card for getting to and from town, sparkling wine and a decadent treat upon arrival, drink vouchers for each guest, and a late check out of 2 p.m.
Can I also mention that I slept amazing in the bed? Huge bonus for this mama!
The hotel was incredibly clean! Also, they had wine available in the lobby. ‘Nuff said.
After checking in, we headed into town to do what us gals do best: Shop! Ann Arbor is home to tons of unique boutiques. We were glad to be here before the holidays because we found some amazing gifts. There were so many fun stores, but a few of our favorites were Mudpuddles Toys in the Kerrytown Market & Shops, Thistle & Bess, Peaceable Kingdom and Rock Paper Scissors. See all shops here. There truly is something for everyone! We found it best to park and just walk everywhere.
No shopping is complete with a little sampling of the local grub though, right? We popped over to Zingerman’s Bakehouse for some post-shopping treats. My favorite was a soft ginger cookie. The vibe was fun, and we all admired the amazing graphic design elements used throughout.
Fun Fact: Bob Seger’s song Mainstreet was actually written about Ann Arbor.
Top Left: How amazing is this Golden Girls-inspired print my friend bought at Thistle & Bess? Top right: Rock Paper Scissors has an amazing array of fun signage, stationary, unique gifts and more. Bottom left: Kerrytown Market & Shops has tons of fun shops and foodie-inspired things to check out. Bottom right: Inside the adorable and eclectic Zingerman’s Bakehouse.
After shopping, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for going out on the town. We had an Uber driver pick us up for safe traveling to MANI Osteria, and wow…This may have been one of my favorite meals ever! They have really delicious gourmet pizzas, but our favorite thing hands down was the pickled tomatoes, which essentially was a build-your-own bruschetta. Us gals will be dreaming about that for weeks!
Ann Arbor has nearly 300 restaurants and has everything from microbreweries to Ethiopian, Cajun, Japanese and everything in between.
After dinner, we walked to Arbor Brewing Company to play some darts and sample some of their delicious brews. The atmosphere was very chill, which was what we were in the mood for after a long afternoon of shopping.
Pizza from MANI Osteria and some brews from Arbor Brewing
Before we knew it, the bar was closing and we were taking an Uber back to the hotel. Still can’t believe a few 30+ year olds with a few kids can still close a bar down. That, my friends, is a true testament to how much fun we had. 😉
We may only get to see each other once every few months, but true friends are there no matter what. Cheers to great girlfriends, and spending time in a wonderful city. Can’t wait to visit again soon, Ann Arbor!
Learn more about planning a night out in Ann Arbor by going to the following pages:
Check out the Ladies Night Out package available at the Hilton Garden Inn Ann Arbor here.
Where are your favorite places to shop and play in Ann Arbor?