Food

Shop Till You Drop

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For people in Gwinnett, it”s more than just a way to spend their hard earned dough # it”s the adventure of engaging in a scavenger hunt through the many unique and obscure shopping experiences that dot the county.

Gwinnett County is blessed with a wealth of shopping venues, from three major malls to antique, gift and specialty retailers and strip malls that offer diversion as well as attainment. Visitors to Gwinnett, who last year went on a shopping spree to the tune of $962 million, have discovered what Gwinnettians already know # the county”s retail profusion makes this a shopper”s paradise.

Whatever shopping experience you”re after, Gwinnett fits the bill with distinctive places to acquire what you desire. Whether it”s a new garment to hang in the closet or a remnant from the past to hang on your wall, here are some great places to scour that will have you checking off your wish list. Get ready to shop until you drop!

THE BIG EXPERIENCE

Malls offer everything under one roof # from clothing stores to electronic retailers # and provide a horde of activities for its guests.

Discover Mills

Everyone loves a great deal, and Discover Mills is a bargain-hunter”s bliss with more than 200 outlet shops including Neiman Marcus” Last Call, Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, Liz Claiborne Outlet and BLACKLION.

But this “shoppertainment” mall, located at 5900 Sugarloaf Parkway in Lawrenceville, ensures that there”s not only plenty of great finds, but a slew of amusement for guests- including little tykes.

On Aug. 20, Discover Mills became the first area mall to launch a kid”s interactive playscape area. “A Place to Grow” offers kids the chance to take a break from shopping to enjoy a more meaningful activity # kid”s play. Puzzles and various toys adorn “A Place to Grow” while the “Up Sprouts” kids club provides events and activities twice each month for kids 2 – 8 years old.

To discover more about shoppertainment, visit Discover Mills online at www.discovermills.com.

Mall of Georgia

With its unique outdoor village, anchor store, and specialty shops like Galyan”s, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic and Build-A-Bear-Workshop, Mall of Georgia presents a world of shopping venues within its massive locale.

Located at 3333 Buford Drive in Buford, Mall of Georgia (www.mallofgeorgia.com) not only occupies visitors with endless shopping options, but also entertains them with concerts and special events year round.

From October 26-27, mall personnel will be scaring up some Halloween fun during Scare Fair 2002. Scary story times, live entertainment, pumpkin painting, a carnival and a haunted barn are part of the fright fest. Costume contests for adults, kids and pets will also be held.

Gwinnett Place Mall

With major anchor stores Macy”s, Rich”s and Parisian, and specialty stores like Brookstone, Gymboree and Yankee Candle Company, Gwinnett Place Mall is the grandfather of shopping malls.

Located at 2100 Pleasant Hill Road in Duluth, Gwinnett”s first mall is comprised of more than 200 stores and is always bursting with activity.

Radio Disney entertains moms and tots with storytime, games, songs, crafts and prizes each Wednesday through October 30 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Sports teams are invited to the mall each Tuesday through November 5 for Gwinnett Team Night. Wear your sports jersey and register to win a $100 Simon gift certificate. Check out www.shopsimon.com for a store roster and additional information.

STRIP MALLS AND SHOPPING CENTERS

They”re at the nearest intersection and close to home. Gwinnett”s landscape is packed with strip malls and shopping centers that offer convenience and a wide variety of shopping options.

The Forum

The Forum on Peachtree Parkway in Norcross, Gwinnett”s newest lifestyle center, promises an experience that combines great shopping and the aura of a European country village. Comprised of more than 50 popular fashion retailers, home furnishings and hom