Time to Sell Your House?
by Cara, Wednesday, October 07, 2015

The sooner you sell your current home, the sooner you can move into your new Taylor Morrison home. Here are some quick tips to help prospects fall in love with your place.

Home Sold2

  • Establish your street creds. Clean up the yard, touch up paint, wash the windows--whatever it takes to give your home curb appeal (and keep folks from just driving by).
  • Create a warm welcome. Fresh plants on the porch, a new door mat, fix the doorbell.
  • Declutter. Pack up the knick-knacks, toys and other clutter so prospects can better visualize the space. Don’t overlook the garage, patio and basement.
  • Deep clean. Dirt is a big turn-off. Consider hiring a pro to shampoo carpets, scour grout and make everything sparkle.
  • Stage the area. Set the table with an informal arrangement. Put out a nice bowl of fruit. Use photos from magazines for inspiration.
  • Organize closets and cupboards. People will open them. Make sure they’re tidy.
  • Deodorize. Make sure your house passes the sniff test. Clean up after pets and empty the fridge.
  • Move it out. Consider renting a storage unit for all your extra stuff.

Prost! Discover an Oktoberfest Celebration Near You
by Cara, Thursday, October 01, 2015

You don’t need to hop a jet to Munich to revel in the festivities of Oktoberfest. Heck, you don’t even have to like beer!

From the Denver housing market to properties in Austin, Raleigh or Atlanta, wherever you’re at in America there’s a whole lot of fun and entertainment to be had at an Oktoberfest jubilee near you.

We’ve scoured the net and uncovered loads of great times just around the corner from every one of the Taylor Morrison master-planned communities. Scroll down, find your neighborhood and break out your favorite stein!


Arizona Loves Oktoberfest

It might be too hot in Phoenix to don your Lederhosen but that’s not an excuse for skipping out on one of fall’s most anticipated events.

Funtober.com’s Arizona page showcases dozens of parties to choose from all across the state. Don’t miss the always popular Dachshund run at Oktoberfest at Tempe Lake October 9-11. It’s Free!

Bay Area Bratwurst!

Did you know that Oktoberfest gets underway in mid-September? That’s because residents of the Bay Area really love their German sausage.

Get your dirndl in gear for one full month of activities. And if you’re a glutton for punishment get involved in the bratwurst eating contest at Pyramid's Walnut Creek Alehouse on October 17th from 4-11pm. (Even if you’re not a competitive eater there will be live music, a costume contest and tons of delicious food & drink.)


A Sacramento Tradition

The Sacramento Turn Verein is home to the area’s first, finest, and largest Oktoberfest celebration. Come for the beer, wine & German fare, stay for the live music, dancers and kid-friendly activities. It’s a slice of Munich in the heart of Sacramento.

Check out the event page and head to the Turn Verein October 9th and 10th from 6pm to midnight.

Southern California Gets Down with the Oompah Bands

Finding Oktoberfest fun in SoCal is crazy easy. Just click on your location and choose from a wide selection of top-notch beer swilling events.

Los Angeles and San Diego

But if you’re after the region’s most authentic celebration, set your sights on The Phoenix Club in Anaheim, Orange County where they fly their Oompah Band all the way from Bavaria.

The Phoenix Club has been doing Oktoberfest right for over 50 years and they’ll be serving up wonderful German food with fresh German beer on tap. Events take place every weekend from September 18 – October 31. Sunday Brunch available October 11th, 18th & 25th including free admission to Oktoberfest.


Dunkelweizen in Denver

This exhaustive list of Oktoberfest events makes one fact clearly obvious: Coloradans LOVE their brew fests!

Run the Beer Mile in Fort Meyers / Naples

Looking for a unique way to spend your Saturday? Try the Beer Mile in Fort Meyers on October 24th from 5-7 pm.

“Drink a Beer, Run 1/4 Mile. Repeat 3 More Times. Try Not to Fall Down.” That’s what their website has to say!

For a more traditional family-style affair opt for the Cape Coral Oktoberfest October 16-18 & 23-25 at the German-American Social Club. Music, food, kids’ carnival and more.


Pretzels in Central Florida

Orlando is home to several exciting Oktoberfest celebrations.

The German American Society of Central Florida holds their annual all-ages event twice, on the first Saturday and the last Saturday of October. Enjoy real Bavarian beer and an authentic Biergarten atmosphere from 2pm.

And finally, the Honorary Consul of Germany in Orlando hosts Downtown Oktoberfest October 21st, from 6-11 pm on Livingston Street between Rosalind Avenue and Ruth Lane in the heart of Downtown Orlando.

A Taste of Bavaria in Sarasota

Buy your tickets now for Mr. Beery’s Oktoberfest on Saturday October 3rd. $30 per guest includes a souvenir 1 liter beer stein filled with any Oktoberfest beer on tap and a plate of authentic German food from Geier’s Sausage Kitchen!


Tampa Oktoberfest Named Top 5 in the Country!

From October 9th through the 11th at Curtis Hixon Park, you too can experience one of the best Oktoberfest festivals in the United States. Dance, sing and enjoy a cold one!

Double down on your beer swilling fun at Tampa Downs October 23-25. Admission is only five bucks and there’s something for everyone including Stein-Holding, Log Sawing, Keg Tossing and Barrel Rolling.

From Atlanta to the Blue Ridge Mountains

Head out to Helen for a true taste of Bavarian charm. Oktoberfest at the Helen Festhalle runs from September 17th through November 1st. Band schedule available here.

Take part in 45 years of tradition and don’t forget to stick around for the Chicken Dance!


German Traditions in Chicago

Browse this incredible selection of Oktoberfest events or head to the historic Naper Settlement for the region’s most authentic celebration of German heritage.

Live Oompah music and German beer and food will be served under the tent October 2nd and 3rd. Family-friendly activities will be available on Saturday from noon to five.

Cold Beer in North Carolina

Charlotte knows how to rock out when it comes to Oktoberfest. Come to the 17th Annual Charlotte Oktoberfest at the NC Music Factory and discover a modern take on an Old World tradition. Doors open at 12:30 and festival runs till 6 on October 3rd.

In Raleigh you’ll find a much more authentic affair at Triangle Oktoberfest October 3rd and 4th. Festivities run from noon to ten on Saturday and noon to six on Sunday. Enjoy wiener dog races, live music and the Kinderplatz play zone for kids.


Do Oktoberfest BIG in Texas

Everyone knows that Austin loves to party! So get your dancing shoes on and head to AustOberfest on Saturday, October 17th.  Check out this amazing selection of sausage vendors.

In nearby downtown Fredericksburg you’ll find a small town that loves showcasing its German heritage. The Fest takes place on MarktPlatz, October 2-4. Expect the best Oompah in Texas as well as tasty German food and drink, artisans, a children's area and family fun.

Houston’s a big city and so you’ll have several awesome events to choose from.

The following weekend, October 2-4, King’s sets up the best Biergarten in town. Buy tickets online as event generally sells out ahead of time.

And for the kids, take them to Galveston Oktoberfest October 23rd and 24th.

Break out the Pom-Poms - It's Football Season!
by Cara, Tuesday, September 29, 2015


The end of summer means 3 things. The weather gets cooler, the kids are back in school and weekends are filled with pigskin fever. At Taylor Morrison we love football season and we know you do, too. To help get you pumped for watching your favorite gridiron heroes, check out the latest news from teams playing in your neck of the woods.

Oh, and before we forget. Check out these scrumptious game day snack ideas we posted last year during the playoffs. Delish.


All Eyes on Carson Palmer in Phoenix

Living in Phoenix you’re still reeling from the Cardinals’ tragic downfall following last season’s injury to Carson Palmer’s ACL. But #3 is back and poised to have the best season of his career. Rising star John Brown appears ready to make the leap in his 2nd season at wide receiver while Larry Fitzgerald continues to build his legacy.

If the Cards have any hopes of unseating the NFC West Champion Seahawks they’ll need to get it going on the ground as well and Andre Ellington looks like the man for the job. Pound the rock, play great D, there’s a legitimate shot Arizona could get their second crack at bringing home a Lombardi.


Football by the Bay

Super Bowl 50 is coming to San Francisco and the Bay Area is buzzing with excitement. While it may be a stretch to see either the Niners or the Raiders playing in the big game, there are plenty of reasons to be excited about the 2015 campaign.

49er fans are waiting on the edge of their seats to see what post Harbaugh football looks like in San Francisco. With a more mature Colin Kaepernick and Carlos Hyde fully embracing his new role as the team’s #1 back, we’ll see plenty of fireworks on offense from the red & gold.

Across the Bay Bridge change is on the horizon for the Raiders. The AFC West will be as tough as ever but David Carr and super rookie Amari Cooper will bring more wins to Oakland than the city has seen in quite some time.

Follow the Hornets in Sacramento

Sacramento State University enjoyed a successful 7-5 record in 2014 and they got off on the right foot in this season’s opener with a convincing 41-20 shellacking of Eastern Oregon. 200 pound QB Daniel Kniffin engineered nearly 500 yards of total offense in the victory.

The going gets tougher next week when the Hornets visit Husky Stadium in Seattle but all signs point to another winning season for Sacramento’s favorite college football team.


Pac-12 Action in Southern California

College football reigns supreme in Los Angeles with the Trojans and Bruins ruling the roost.

USC is ranked #8 on the AP Poll, returning key starters such as QB Cody Kessler, WR JuJu Smith-Schuster and CB/WR Atoree’ Jackson. Jackson is a unique player, doing double duty on both sides of the ball. He makes game changing plays from the defensive backfield, on special teams or lining up as a wideout. ESPN.com said this squad has the talent to potentially go 15-0 and win the National Championship.

UCLA is equally vaunted, currently boasting a #13 ranking with many analysts predicting a finish in the Top 10. They return most of their dominant defense and only have one true question mark, who will replace Brett Hundley at quarterback?

Down the 5 in San Diego, Bolts fans are ecstatic to hear that Philip Rivers will finish out the rest of his career in a Chargers uniform. The jury is still out on RB Melvin Gordon and whether or not he’s got the star power to become an every down back in the NFL, but San Diego seems to find a way to surprise the league and sneak into the playoffs every single season.

Last Chance for Peyton in Denver?

It’s hard to believe it but John Elway has built perhaps the most talented supporting cast to ever line up with Hall-of-Fame quarterback Peyton Manning. As #18 battles the test of time, this could be the end of a championship window for the Broncos.

Every house in Denver will be waiting with baited breath to see if Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware and Malik Jackson are able to put their predicted beating on opposing teams’ quarterbacks.

We’ll also have our eyes on old man Manning’s arm strength!


Touchdowns in Florida

Before Blake Bortles headed off to play for the Jacksonville Jaguars, the UCF Knights were a force to be reckoned with. Last season his successor, Justin Holman, struggled with his accuracy and the run game fizzled with the loss of 1,100 yard rusher Storm Johnson.

In 2015 the buzz has returned to Orlando much in part to an improved and often dominant defense. The Knights should easily win 8 games and compete for the division title.

In Tampa the Buccaneers have hinged all future hopes on #1 pick Jameis Winston. He’s got a big target to throw to in 2nd year receiver Mike Evans and will hopefully get run support from Doug Martin, a player looking to shed his “bust” moniker after a disappointing run following a stellar rookie season. It’s still rebuilding time for Lovie Smith but things could get exciting for Bucs fans in a weak NFC South.

And don’t forget. On Saturdays in Tampa it’s Go Bulls time!

More NFC South Action in Atlanta

It’s been a couple of rough and tumble seasons since the Falcons rolled all the way to the NFC Championship in 2012 but QB Matt Ryan has announced his renewed confidence in the team’s offensive line and a healthy Julio Jones is ready to put up monster numbers in the Georgia Dome.

The real question for the Falcons this season will be in the backfield. Devonta Freeman looked to be the man but Tevin Coleman has been named the starter for week one. We know the offense can throw – but can they run?

We’ll find out soon enough.


Da Bears – Life in Chicago Means Football on Sundays

There are two types of Bears fans – those who still hold out hope for Jay Cutler and those who are ready to move on and roll the QB dice in the draft.

Chicago’s signal caller still shows flashes of brilliance but it’s not hard to do so with stars like Alshon Jeffery lining up on the outside and sure handed Matt Forte rolling out into the flats.

The Bears will score and the Bears will win – the only question is whether they’ll win enough to compete in the always challenging NFC North.

Another Playoff Appearance for Superman in Charlotte?

The Carolina Panthers enter this season with big problems at wide receiver. Rising star Kelvin Benjamin is out with an injury and it’s hard to say who exactly will be Cam Newton’s top target on passing downs.

But Luke Kuechly and the defense are sufficiently overpowering that the Panthers have a real shot at repeating in the NFC South. Now that DeAngelo Williams is with the Steelers it’s up to Jonathan Stewart to prove he’s a reliable every down back.

NC State Could be ACC Dark Horse in Raleigh

There are a lot of reasons to be excited about Wolfpack football in 2015 and it all starts with a fantastic running quarterback named Jacoby Brissett.

NC State will need to find a way to improve their play in the trenches, however, if they harbor any hopes of challenging Florida State, Clemson and Louisville for the crown. Last year their run defense left much to be desired – with luck opposing backs won’t chew up yardage at will.


You Know Texas Loves Their Football

If you’re in Austin you know nothing is more thrilling than spending your Saturday afternoon at a jam packed Texas Memorial Stadium to watch the Longhorns. 100,000+ screaming fans and one of the most highly regarded and historic football programs of all time.

Texas has been in a bit of a funk (for Longhorns standards) over the past five years but Charlie Strong is looking to bring back a legitimate offensive identity, starting in 2015.

And in Houston it’s all about the stellar Texans defense led by the All-World JJ Watt. But this time round he’ll have plenty of help harassing opposing quarterbacks with a healthy Jadeveon Clowney lined up on the other side. Clowney never got a chance to live up to his hype last year due to an early season injury – this year he’ll be part of a defensive squad out to prove that Houston can win without a premier signal caller lining up under center.

*This blog represents the personal opinion of this independent blogger only and does not necessarily represent the shared views of Taylor Morrison or its affiliated and related entities. The contents are offered for general entertainment purposes only for fellow professional football enthusiasts without guarantee or representation as to its accuracy or completeness. Any teams referenced herein are the registered or unregistered trademarks of the teams indicated. All other National Football League trademarks, tradenames and indicia are owned by the National Football League or its affiliates. This blog is not intended as an official blog sponsored or endorsed by the National Football League, which if of interest is found at http://blogs/nfl.com/.


We’re thrilled to announce the addition of four enticing new divisions to the Taylor Morrison family. Now residents of Illinois, Georgia and North Carolina will have access to our signature quality homes in the hottest sought-after locations.


We loved what Orleans Homes was doing, and their well-designed homes were a match made in heaven with our brand. We acquired a number of beautiful communities to put even more Americans into the home of their dreams.

Here’s a sneak peek of what to expect from the new kids on the block:

Chicago: The Jewel of the Midwest


For those who love Chi-town but prefer the tranquility of suburban life.

Check out affordable upscale courtyard townhomes or browse our collection of impressive estate-sized homes.

Atlanta: Southern Charm


Feel the pulse of one of America’s most vibrant cities.

Find out why everyone’s flocking to be part of the action.

Charlotte: Friendly & Charismatic


One word describes these nine communities: Impeccable.

And if it's a charming home you're after, this is where you’ll find them.

Raleigh: Great Place to Raise Kids


BusinessWeek Magazine rates Raleigh as "One of the Top Places to Raise Kids in 2013."  With all the beautiful tree-lined streets, we can see why.

Got Questions?

We’re here to help

Need a Coffee Break? We've Got you Covered
by Cara, Monday, September 21, 2015

At Taylor Morrison, we like to build communities near the things that make your life a little easier. So you’ll be happy to learn that you’re never far from that essential part of life, a good cup of coffee. Whether it’s your morning eye opener, or a convenient place for a casual meet-up with pals, a quiet spot to study or just somewhere to grab a quick nosh, the neighborhood coffee shop is (pardon the pun) a real perk! Here’s a curated list of local coffee shops well worth discovering. Bonus: some of the shops on our list offer open mike nights--a great way to sample your local music scene or try out your act on a friendly crowd. Do you have a favorite spot for great coffee? Tell us!

What’s Brewing in Your Area?

Residents of our Chandler communities are big fans of Provision Coffee, a full-service artisanal coffee, craft beer and wine bar in Gilbert. The Places to See in Arizona website has an extensive list of what they consider to be the best coffee shops in the state. Check out Arizona Coffee for a caffeinated tour from Ahwatukee to Yuma.

Coffee House5

Residents of our Silver Trails communities sing the praises of Catahoula Coffee Company in Walnut Creek, the 2015 City Voter choice for best Bay Area coffee shop.

Folks in Sacramento love Dutch Bros Coffee and you’ll find 11 stores in the area, including one at 8610 Elk Grove Blvd. It’s a great 24-hour option for residents of our Elk Grove communities, Madeira and Marquesa.

Do you live at Echo 56, Capella or Saviero? Be sure to stop by Orange County coffee lovers #1 pick, Kean Coffee, with locations that include Tustin and Newport Beach

Coffee House2

Arvada is one of Denver’s fastest growing suburbs and home to our Leyden Ranch Roaring Fork Collection. That’s real close to Two Rivers Colorado Coffee Company, a small-batch roaster that supports independent coffee farmers around the world.

Coffee House1

The cup of choice near Travisso Bay is The R’s Diner in Naples, which is also a popular pick for breakfast and lunch. Over at Tortuga in Fort Myers, the top shop is The Grind, which roasts and grinds on site and also sells teas and selection of accessories.

Sanford, where Walden Cove is located, is home to a variety of coffee shops. For great scenery while you sip try Caffe Di Riverwalk. If you want to mix coffee and good tunes, definitely check out Rabbitfoot Records & Coffee Lounge.

Got a sweet tooth? You’ll want to try Jim’s Small Batch Bakery. For a full menu of whole, organic foods and fabulous coffee, Simon’s Coffee House can’t be beat.

Head over to The Grind Coffee Bar near Palms at Citrus Park  for handcrafted coffee and espresso drinks, plus a tasty menu. You’ll also find a complete list of top-rated Tampa Bay coffee shops here.

Coffee House7

If your home address is in one of our Cumming, GA communities, you’re just a short drive to the delectable treats and fresh-brewed coffee at Donut Depot Bakery.

Do you live near our Prairie Glen community? Then you’re close to the delightful Book Nook Café, located right inside the Sugar Grove Library.

Coffee House3

Rocky River Coffee, in the Harrisburg Town Center is a top gathering spot for local folks whose favorite coffee comes from an independent company. It’s close to our Bridge Pointe Kingston Series.

The Wake Zone Espresso is the wake-up call for folks in the communities of Wood Creek and Calvin Park in Apex.

Coffee House6

Residents of Crystal Falls and Travisso in Leander get their favorite cup of java along with breakfast tacos and fresh baked goods at Cuppa Austin.

Want plum good coffee served piping hot near your Alder Trails home in Cypress? Then you gotta go to Plum Coffee, a local favorite with a vintage 50s-era vibe.

The Ice Cream Sundae Bar is Open
by Cara, Thursday, September 10, 2015

There are still a few sweet summer days left before fall takes over. Stay cool with some ice cream goodness. It’s hard to go wrong when it comes to ice cream, so get creative! Here are some Taylor Morrison favorites to help get you started.

If It’s Summer It Must Be Sundae

Ice Cream Sundae1

Life should come with a cherry on top, don’t you think? Make it happen with a mouth-watering Family Sundae Bar. Your imagination—and your family’s preferences—is all you need when gathering a selection of tasty sundae toppings. Anything goes!

Go Bananas for Back-to-School

Ice Cream Sundae2

Treat the kids to something special when they come home from school, sundae style. Ice Cream with Sautéed Bananas was inspired by a banana pudding recipe. You’ll love this magical combo of banana, vanilla ice cream, wafer cookies and walnuts.

Chill With an Ice Cream Social

Ice Cream Sundae3

Throw an ice cream social with a modern twist and make it a potluck. Ask friends to arrive with an ice cream (homemade would be awesome) and a topping. The San Jose Mercury News offers up some great ideas.

Make Store-Bought Taste Like Homemade

Ice Cream Sundae4

Stir up some faux homemade ice cream in five minutes with just two ingredients. For the Creamiest Ice Cream Ever just combine your ice cream with some cool whip. You’ll have thick, fluffy and creamy ice cream in no time.

As a Southern California home builder, we know that this summer has really heated up, so it’s the perfect time for something chilly. But, really, it doesn’t matter where you live. Whether you own a Denver home, summer in Florida, or live in a townhome in Chicago, we all scream for ice cream. 

Things to Do This Labor Day Weekend
by Cara, Friday, September 04, 2015

Every first Monday of September, Americans enjoy a national holiday that celebrates the labor movement of the 1800s. The day is a big nod to the economic and social achievements workers contribute to the country. Which all sounds rather straightforward and dry. In reality, it’s the final day of a coveted three-day weekend when Americans have fun, whether it’s at a concert, a fair or neighborhood BBQ.

Labor Day in Taylor Morrison Cities




From a Shopping Day to a Hawaiian Luau to an epic annual Pool Party, folks in Phoenix know how to have a blast in and around Labor Day. Here’s an overview of the festivities.


Bay Area

Bay Area

Millbrae Art & Wine Festival ’15 – The biggest Labor Day weekend event in the Bay Area, a huge Mardi Gras-like music-art-food-fun fest.

Sausalito Art Festival – Ranked one of America’s Best Art Fairs by ArtFairCalendar.com in 2014, this premier festival features food, wine, art and fun on the Sausalito Waterfront.

Kings Mountain Art Fair – This Woodside three-day event celebrates arts, crafts and Labor Day and benefits the Kings Mountain Volunteer Fire Brigade and more.

Labor Day Steam Train Days 2015 – Presented by the Golden Gate Railroad Museum and Pacific Locomotive Association, the three day event offers train rides from the Sunol Station.



Gold Rush Days – Celebrate Labor Day Weekend down in Old Sacramento. Enjoy live music, performances by actors and entertainers, a farmers market, a BBQ and contests.

Hot Jazz Jubilee 2015 – The party starts the weekend on Friday September 4th with a big parade and continues with events such as a Big Band Dance and an array of band performances.

Chalk It Up – The annual free chalk-art and music festival had 35,000 viewers last year! Sponsored by local artists, the goal is to provide 25 youth art grants.

Southern California


Orange International Street Fair – Besides 42 food and alcohol booths run by local non-profits, the Fair features handmade arts and crafts, a special kids’ street with crafts and games, and local bands performing on 8 stages.

Labor Day Cruise – The giant car show, to be held Sept. 4-6, includes camping, vendors, entertainment and more and is located at the Orange County Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa.

The Taste – The Los Angeles festival celebrates with cooking demonstrations, tastings, distinctive wine and cocktail offerings and live entertainment.

Fiesta Hermosa – Located in picturesque Downtown Hermosa Beach, the event features a food court, musical entertainment, Charity Beer & Wine Garden, petting zoo and carnival rides.




Labor Day in Denver – A whole slew of Labor Day offerings can be enjoyed in Denver. Partake in Taste of Colorado, Taylor Swift in concert, the Colorado State Fair, art walks, and more – even a Colorado Rockies vs. San Francisco Giants game.


Fort Myers/Naples


Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens – Spend a day with the family seeing animals from around the world and supporting conservation at the nationally accredited zoo and historic garden.



Run JAX Labor Day 5K – Start your morning off with a fun run around Downtown Jacksonville. There will be an opportunity drawing and a huge post-race celebration. Ready, Set, Go! 



Labor Day Jamboree – If you’re bedazzled by barbershop harmony, this is the musical event for you. Shows feature the best barbershop quartets in Florida as well as a golf tournament.

Central Florida CLC Labor Day Parade –  On Labor Day, get out to the picnic and parade for all unions and the general public. Free food, music and entertainment abound.



69th Annual Labor Day Regatta – Sailors from the US and Canada sail Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico in the year’s biggest event. Presented by the Sarasota Sailing Squadron.



Florida’s Largest Home Show – The name says it all. Explore more than 900 new home product and service exhibits at the Florida State Fairgrounds, September 4-7.

Mac N’ Cheese Labor Day 5K – Finishers at the event get all kinds of goodies, such as a post race party, medal, t-shirt, Cigar City beer and free New England Ale House Mac N’ Cheese.




Stone Mountain Labor Day Weekend – An Everyday Working Heroes celebration with a laser show spectacular followed by a fireworks display Friday-Sunday nights.

Atlanta on Labor Day – Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at the Georgia Dome and Dragon Con are just a few of your options for a fun-filled Labor Day weekend.




Chicago Jazz Festival – Enjoy free admission to the traditional Chicago Jazz Festival in Millennium Park, September 3-6.

North Coast Music Festival – Don’t miss this music festival that brings together bands of all genres – electronic, hip hop, jam, indie rock and more – September 4-6.

African Festival of the Arts – Africa International House presents this vibrant annual festival in a simulated African village within Washington Park.

Taste of Polonia – A festival of all things Polish, at Copernicus Center in Jefferson Park. Take in live music, food, presentations and more.




Charlotte Labor Day Parade – Be sure to join in downtown Charlotte to honor those who fought and won the “40-hour workweek, weekends, Social Security and health care.”

Labor Day Trail Race – Run the 5K or 15K distances on the U.S. National Whitewater Center trail system along the Catawba River followed by live music, food, drink and fireworks at the Labor Day Celebration.



African American Cultural Festival – Located downtown Raleigh, September 5-6, this free event includes a Family Village, Vendor Marketplace, Art Gallery Walk and live music.

Raleigh Seafood Festival – Don’t miss out on all-you-can-eat blue crabs, seafood and merchandise vendor booths, live local music and fun for the family in Pullen Park.


Rock Hill

Rock Hill

Raleigh Seafood Festival – Located in Raleigh, just an hour away. All-you-can-eat blue crabs, vendor booths, live local music and family fun in Pullen Park.




TriRock Triathlon – Swim, bike and run in downtown Austin on September 7. Featured races include the Triathlon Club Challenge and the Military Challenge.

Gymnastics Association of Texas Annual Convention – This year the convention, to be held at the Renaissance Hotel, has added a variety of Instructor Training Programs.

Out of Bounds Comedy Festival – Always good for way more than a few laughs, NY Neo-Futurists present “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind”. Plus enjoy rap battles, standup, improv and other comedy offerings.

Austin Free Day of Yoga – On Labor Day Austin area studios offer free classes for people of all ages and levels of fitness.



Houston Labor Day Cup – Come on out to this premier youth soccer tournament for three days of games, activities and family fun.

Other Options – From workouts to football to brews and bands at the beach, Labor Day events abound in the Houston area.

Grab a Basket and Head Out for a Picnic This Weekend
by Cara, Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Turn off those iPads and pack up the picnic basket for some delicious outdoor fun. We’ve scoured the web to uncover incredible al fresco dining spots near Taylor Morrison communities so grab the whole family and get a move on!

All you need is a little sun, plenty of shade, your favorite snacks and a positive attitude.

Red Rock Escapades in Phoenix

Papago is one of the most gorgeous parks in the entire valley, offering unique picnic experiences only available in the Arizona desert. Once you’ve downed your sandwiches and shared an ice cold drink, throw on your walking shoes to check out Hunt’s Tomb and Hole in the Rock, two unbelievable sandstone rock formations.

Climb to the top of the hill for gorgeous skyline views of Tempe and Phoenix.

Bay Area: Picnicking in the Shadow of the Redwoods

You don’t need to drive all the way to Northern California to experience the beauty and majesty of the west coast’s most famous tree. Redwood Regional Park is only a few miles from downtown Oakland and easily accessible from our East Bay communities. The park is a fantastic destination for spotting wildlife near the city and big groups can pre-book the larger picnic sites.

In the South Bay look no further than San Francisco’s own Stern Grove. Guide your family through a brisk nature walk before resting to snack under the eucalyptus trees.

picnic 7

Picnic Paradise in Sacramento

If you’re not already familiar with Paradise Beach you’ll want to discover this somewhat “hidden” gem. It’s the closest thing to a beach in Sacramento.

You’ll find the entrance on Carlson or Sandburg drive just over the levee from Glen Hall Park. There’s no official address but on sunny days you’ll spot area fishermen or swimming families at the oxbow bend in the Sacramento River.

Warm Southern California Sun Makes Fall Perfect for Picnics

beach scene2

In LA, folks do things to the beat of a different drum. So why would picnicking be any different? To add a dash of culture to your afternoon in the grass, head to Barnsdall Art Park at 4800 Hollywood Boulevard in Los Feliz/East Hollywood.

And in Orange County you don’t even need to pack lunch to haul the family along on a picnic rendezvous. Knott’s Marketplace provides outdoor tables and all the famous fixings from inside the park at a fraction of the price! So head down to 8039 Beach Boulevard at Buena Park and order a delicious bucket of Chicken-to-Go.

San Diegans understand that eating outside means dipping your toes in the sand at the end of your meal. But where’s the best beach if you’re looking for tables and a proper picnic setup?

The answer is simple: Moonlight Beach. This state park got its name in the early nineties as it was a popular locale for midnight picnics under the full moon.

Watching the Sun Set in Denver

denver hills

When you live in the Rockies finding an amazing picnic spot is as easy as finding a neighbor who likes the Denver Broncos. But that doesn’t mean all parks are created equal.

Daniel’s Park near Littleton is home to the area’s most beautiful sunset view of the front range, fantastic day hikes, interesting rock formations and even bison.

Florida was Made for Picnickers

beach scene

Not far from Fort Myers / Naples you’ll find one of the most pristine stretches of beach in the world – if that’s not an advertisement for picnic heaven I don’t know what is. Delnor-Wiggins Pass Park offers everything you imagine from a day in the Florida sun. Snorkeling, fishing, swimming and a leisurely stroll to collect seashells.

In Orlando, Dr. P Phillip’s Community Park is ideal for families with young children. While dad mans the grill the little ones can cool off at the splash pad!

Sarasota residents will have a hard time narrowing down their extensive choices. With so many awesome picnic destinations to run with, we’ll just go ahead and link you to the top 10.

And in Tampa? Copeland Park offers the perfect blend of natural surroundings and modern amenities. The fitness trail winds through forests and wetlands but the center of the park features a community center, public pool and tables & grills.

Add a Museum to Your Picnic in Atlanta


You may not think of the Millennium Gate Museum as a top-notch picnic destination but after a visit you’ll soon change your tune.

The greeneries surrounding the gate offer incredible lake and fountain views so grab your blanket and head to one of Atlanta’s most iconic landmarks.

View the Planets & Chicago

The front lawn of the Adler Planetarium offers a phenomenal view of the city and believe it or not, the museum actually encourages guests to tote along their coolers for lunch in the grass.

Of course the kids will surely want to sneak inside for at least an hour or two for an interstellar adventure.

Botanical North Carolina

family picnic

It’s worth the drive from Charlotte to Chapel Hill for a stunning picnic adventure at the North Carolina Botanical Gardens. Your kids can learn a ton about the local flora and entrance to the park won’t cost you a dime!

In Raleigh, Nash Square Park is one of the few historical spaces downtown where you can spread out your goodies and enjoy an afternoon meal in the shade. There’s plenty of parking and 4 whopping acres of outdoor beauty.

Rock Hill, South Carolina

Cherry Park at 1466 Cherry Road is mostly known for hosting the region’s top softball tournaments – but with 68 incredible acres of natural space to roam you’ll find plenty of walking trails and peaceful scenery for a day at the park.

Both indoor and outdoor shelters are available for larger groups of up to 50 people.

Picnicking Deep in the Heart of Texas

picnic 4

Climb the rocks or go for a dip in the pool at Zilker Park in Austin. The park has been a family favorite for years because there are so many different spots and fun activities to choose from.

Did you know that the Hermann Park Zoo in Houston offers free admission the first Tuesday of every month from 2 p.m. until closing? Did you also know that they allow coolers and outside food to be packed into the park?

Sounds like you’ve got plans for next Tuesday.

Think Outside the Lunchbox
by Cara, Tuesday, August 25, 2015

School’s back, to the dismay of kids everywhere. Give them something to smile about and think outside the old lunch box. Let them enjoy a fun tradition that comes from Japan: bento. These compartmentalized boxes keep food fresh and show off the contents at their yummiest.

It’s popular to pack bentos with items that take on the look of things like animals, people and flowers.  Whether you own a house in Denver, CO or a house in Walnut Creek, CA, your kids will love taking a bento to school.

There are lots of recipe ideas to use or to inspire your creativity.

Robot Taco RiceLike many bento recipes, this one is chock full of fresh produce. The robot decoration is easy to make from veggies, nori and Colby cheese.

Bento box1

Cute Bento – This how-to video shows how to make a more elaborate bento, decorated with a frog, a baby chick and a bunny rabbit. Here is a photo of the final bento.

Bento box2

Shrimp Car – A healthy bento for younger kids, this one includes shrimp, grapes, carrots, yogurt and animal crackers in a car shaped box.

Bento box3

Fire up the grill for a backyard BBQ, and turn up the scrumptious with some tasty side dishes. If you bought that house in Austin or Houston, TX, where BBQ reigns, side dishes can add flare that shuts down the competition. Homeowners enjoying their Southern California homes have plenty of opportunities to have a blue-sky backyard BBQ, too. But, when it comes to this American outdoor tradition, you can live just about anywhere!

Side Dishes to Spice Up Your BBQ

Grilled Seasonal Veggies – If you want vegetables at your BBQ, get fresh from the local farmer’s market. This chart will show you what veggies are in season when.

BBQ sides1

Coleslaw – Who says slaw has to be made from the same old recipe? Have an adventure with your slaw with one of these intriguing recipes on The Kitchen website.

BBQ sides2

Corn & Squash Fritters – Bring sweet corn to the BBQ in a new way with a corn and squash fritter. The recipe includes avocado cream made with yogurt, lime juice and more.

BBQ sides3

Smoked Mac & Cheese – Mac and cheese always makes a delicious side dish. Pump up the flavor by creating smoked mac and cheese and you have perfection.

BBQ sides4

Fruit Kabobs – Dazzle your guests and thrill the taste buds with this showy but simple fruit kabob recipe.

BBQ sides5

Dipped Ice Cream Sandwiches – Complete the meal with this incredible Graham Cracker Chocolate Dipped Ice Cream Sandwiches.

BBQ sides6