This was Palmer Square’s Fifth Annual Girls Night Out, which was the perfect mix of food, wine, music, shopping, gifts, prizes and touch of pampering to make the ladies in attendance let their hair down and have fun. The bonus this year was having a lounge, which I thought was genius, and it was a great place for me to see a number of girlfriends I didn’t even know were attending!
Parking was free at the Hulfish and Chamber Street garages for all who RSVPd. The festivities began at 4 PM. There were sidewalk sales, tastings, and demos,and music was playing in the air, so the mood had been set for a magical evening.
Registration tables were located at Palmer Square South. The band played on stage to the left of the tables. I showed my printed receipt, and received a listing of all stores with special offers and giveaways and a green band to participate in them, a food ticket for the Taste of the Square tent, a purple band for the New Jersey Life Health & Beauty Lounge, a parking voucher, and three raffles tickets. There was a registration table for ‘walk-ins’; however, it was limited to shopping discounts.
Next I was on to the Taste of the Square tent located right behind the registration tables. Here’s what was served: The Princeton Soup & Sandwich Shop – carb-free turkey & cheese and ham & cheese roll-ups, and cocktail franks with condiments; Teresa Caffe – beet gazpacho with an olive oil drizzle and cocktail shrimp served in flower-shaped stemware; Winberries – chicken salad sliders; Carter and Cavero field green salad with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and a raspberry balsamic vinaigrette; Lindt – iced mochas (truffles after they ran out); Chez Alice – lemon squares, chocolate chip cookies, M&M cookies, and fudge brownies, and water bottles were available upon exiting.
A sampling of the deals and giveaways: Olssen’s Fine Foods had a cheese tasting, $5 Skinny Girl Margaritas at Winberie’s, free wine tasting at the Corkscrew, buy one entrée, get one free after 8 PM at Mediterra, the Bent Spoon was giving away mini cupcakes, and more. There was a total of 34 participating merchants offering demos, discounts or gifts with purchases.
I made my way to the lounge that was in a vacant space near Kitchen Kapers. Mediterra served tapas, a photographer was on hand to take group or individual portraits to compete for a spot in the magazine’s September issue, there were raffles for several prizes, a DJ spun tunes, Salon Pure was heat styling hair, and I ran into so many friends that I lost track of time, and left shortly before they closed.
For next year, it’s a good idea to arrive early so you can have more time to shop and take advantage of the many discounts. I went with a small group of friends, but this event can be enjoyed even if you go alone. Chances are, you’ll bump into someone you know.
As for this year, I would say it was a huge success! The demos were great, there were a lot of good discounts and gifts, the rain held up, the food was delicious, everyone who registered for the very popular lounge went home with an orange New Jersey Life Health and Beauty gift bag filled with two Lindt truffles, a bag of Pretzel Crisps, and a copy of their latest issue, and the lounge raffle prizes were really nice. I’m counting the days until Girls Night Out 2012!