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Little Rock Family Blog

Events, activities, news, insight and opinion from the trenches of parenthood by Little Rock Family Magazine Editor Heather Bennett and her editorial staff. Share tips, news and feedback with Heather here.
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Registration Open for Night to Shine Special Needs Prom at Geyer Springs First Baptist Church

Image by Shutterstock

Time to put on those boogie shoes! Geyer Springs First Baptist Church is excited to host the Night to Shine prom for individuals with special needs on Friday, Feb. 13.

The church is one of 50 host sites in cities across the country that were chosen the Tim Tebow Foundation, the sponsor of Night to Shine. The foundation provides financial support, as well as a planning packet and promo kit to help the host sites put on the local events.

The goal of the event is to provide a full prom night experience for individuals with special needs, ages 16 and older. Geyer Springs FBC's Night to Shine event will be held at The Center at Bishop Park (6401 Boone Road, Bryant). Every participant will be given the red carpet treatment, including limo rides, as well as hair and makeup! In addition to dancing, there will be food, a photo booth and professional prom photos. Plus, there are plans to have a sensory room for prom attendees who need a quiet space away from the party atmosphere.

Registration is open to all individuals with a disability or special need; there will be space for 500 prom attendees! To register, visit GSFBC.org/NightToShine.

Interested in volunteering at the event? Let them know you can help out by registering here.

Honoring Dr. King: 9 Central Arkansas Events to Celebrate MLK Day

Image by Brandon Bourdages/Shutterstock.com

On the third Monday each January, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is honored for his leadership in the civil rights movement and his passion for equal rights. This year, the federal holiday is Jan. 19. Dr. King would have turned 86 on his birthday, Jan. 15. Celebrate his legacy by participating in one or more of these central Arkansas events.

A Day of Service-A Day On, Not A Day Off at Benton Events Center: The Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission hosts this two-part event in observance of the holiday. The celebratory component of the event begins at 10 a.m. and includes keynote speaker, "Young and the Restless" actor Eric Braeden, and an appearance by Miss Arkansas 2014 Ashton Campbell. Immediately following, the AMLKC hosts a service event that includes feeding the homeless, health screenings, job counseling, and hygiene kits. Attendees can also participate in an American Red Cross blood drive and a Coats for Kids collection that welcomes gently-used coats for children. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Jan. 19. For info: (501) 683-1300, ARKingDream.org. FREE!

Annual Interfaith Prayer Breakfast at St. Mark Baptist Church: Dr. Christopher Davis, senior pastor of St. Paul Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee, is the guest speaker, along with his hosts Pastor Phillip Porter (St. Mark Baptist Church) and Mr. DuShun Scarborough (AMLKC). The breakfast is free and open to the public. Seats must be reserved in advance by Jan. 6; contact Mr. Scarbrough at 683-1300 for information. 7:30 a.m. Jan. 19. For info: (501) 683-1300, ARKingDream.org. FREE!

Free Bus Rides Sponsored by AMLKC and Central Arkansas Transit: Free bus rides are offered throughout the CAT Metropolitan area. Citizens are urged to “Get On the Bus” and ride to community service projects. Jan. 19. For info: (501) 683-1300, ARKingDream.org. FREE!

Martin Luther King, Jr. Festivities in Downtown Hot Springs: The celebration begins at 10 a.m. with a parade in Downtown Hot Springs, followed by programs at the Hot Springs Convention Center inside Horner Hall. Jan. 19. For info: (501) 762-6103, HotSprings.org. FREE!

MLK Birthday Bash at Mabelvale Elementary School: The Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission and Mabelvale Elementary School present an artistic and educational component of the MLK holiday. The event provides opportunities for students to present performing arts and literary presentations honoring the legacy of Dr. King. 1:30 p.m. Jan. 15. For info: (501) 683-1300, ARKingDream.org. FREE!

MLK Challenge at Mosaic Templars Cultural Center: Youth ages 12-18 are challenged to take on a day of community work to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Participants will travel to various community sites to complete a range of service projects. To reserve a space for a child, please visit the website or call the MTCC. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Jan. 19. For info: (501) 683-3593, MosaicTemplars.com. FREE!

Screening of "King" at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site: Older teens and adults can watch this documentary showing continuously throughout the day. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. For info: (501) 374-1957, NPS.gov/CHSC. FREE!

Storytime: "Martin's Big Words" at Barnes & Noble in North Little Rock: Celebrate with a special storytime featuring "Martin's Big Words" by Doreen Rappaport. 4 p.m. Jan. 19. For info: (501) 771-1124, BN.com. FREE!

Storytime at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site: A Reading of "My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." written by Martin Luther King III will be followed by activities for all ages. 10 a.m. Jan. 19. For info: (501) 374-1957, NPS.gov/CHSC. FREE!

For more central Arkansas events, browse our full online calendar here.

Folk Tales and Foxtrots: 5 Stage Performances to See in Central Arkansas this January

Image by David Hohn

Did this season's wonderful holiday performances (including "Elf" at The Rep and "The Velveteen Rabbit" at the Children's Theatre!) get your family excited about live theater experiences? Keep everyone's interest piqued this January with five shows opening in central Arkansas. Plan an adult-only date night to the Rep's thought-provoking production or round up the whole kid crew for one of the family-friendly shows!

Opening Jan. 16

"Frost Bite Me!" at The Joint in Argenta: Beat the winter blues with this hilarious comedy revue by The Main Thing, a trio of comedic actors. The show is loaded with sketches, funny songs, and commercial parodies targeting cold weather, driving on snow and ice, the flu, and everything else that makes winter dreary. The show is suitable for all ages. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Fri. & Sat. $22. For info: (501) 372-0205, TheJointArgenta.com.

"Ballroom with a Twist" at Maumelle Performing Arts Center: Ballroom with a Twist features Cheryl Burke, of Dancing with the Stars fame, in a dancing and singing spectacular. Professional dancers bring a frenzy of sizzling dance moves, including the Samba, Waltz, Foxtrot, Quickstep, and Jive. As if the dancers aren’t enough to keep you entertained, several of your favorite American Idol finalists will also be joining the bill with their hit songs. Audience Recommendation: Celebrity Attractions recommends Ballroom with a Twist for audiences of all ages. This is only to be used as a suggestion as every child is different. $42-$63. Showtimes are: 8 p.m. Jan. 16, 2 & 8 p.m. Jan. 17, 2 p.m. Jan. 18. For info: (501) 244-8800, CelebrityAttractions.com.

Opening Jan. 21

"The Whipping Man" at Arkansas Repertory Theatre: An extraordinary tale of loyalty, deceit and deliverance, "The Whipping Man" by Matthew Lopez opened off-Broadway in 2011 to critical acclaim, winning the 2011 John Gassner New Play Award from the NY Outer Critics Circle and becoming one of the most produced plays in the country. The play takes place on Passover 1865; the Civil War has just ended and the annual celebration of freedom from bondage is being observed in Jewish homes across the country. One of these homes sits in ruins. As Jewish confederate officer Caleb DeLeon returns from the war, badly wounded, to find his family missing and only two former slaves remaining, Simon and John—the two men are forced to care for him. Note to parents: some elements are graphic; recommended for ages 12 and older. $30-$40; Pay What You Can Night is 7 p.m. Jan. 19. Showtimes are Jan. 21-Feb. 8: 7 p.m. Wed., Thu. & Sun.; 8 p.m. Fri. & Sat; and 2 p.m. Sat. & Sun. For info: (501) 378-0405, TheRep.org.

Opening Jan. 22

ASO Presents: Mozart's "The Magic Flute" at Albert Pike Memorial Temple: The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, in partnership with Opera In The Rock, and sponsored by Landers FIAT, opens the 2014-2015 Intimate Neighborhood Concerts series with Mozart’s two-part opera, "The Magic Flute." The fully staged performance includes a full cast and exciting performances in an acoustically-unique venue. The production has an estimated length of 2 hours and 30 minutes including intermission. $25; students are $10. Performances are: 7 p.m. Jan. 22 & 23. For info: (501) 666-1761, ArkansasSymphony.org.

Opening Jan. 23

"Rumpelstiltskin" at the Arkansas Arts Center Children's Theatre: Once upon a time, a miller had a lovely daughter who was kind and good, but one day she did a very bad thing: She made a promise she could not keep. The greedy king is angry, the miller is frightened, and a dwarf is simply out of control. Wheels spin and straw flies as the miller's daughter works madly to make things right again, but the only way she can is by discovering the mean old dwarf's secret true name. In that search, she discovers the only power that will help her: love. "Rumpelstiltskin" is adapted from the Brothers Grimm by Keith Smith in this musical especially for youngsters! $12.50 for children and adults & $10 for AAC members; Pay What You Can Night is 7 p.m. Jan. 22. Showtimes are Jan. 23-Feb. 8: 7 p.m. Fri. and 2 p.m. Sat. & Sun. For info: (501) 372-4000, ArkansasArtsCenter.org.

For more events, browse our full online calendar here.

Registration Open for MLK Challenge 2015 Youth Service Project

Encourage your kids to make the most of their school holiday on Monday, Jan. 19. The MLK Challenge is a service program held in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and engages youth ages 12-18 years old in volunteerism and a full day of service projects.

Hosted by the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, the program challenges its participants socially and mentally. Teens travel to various community sites including Little Rock Summer of Solutions, Millennium Adult Day Care, Oakland Fraternal, Helping Hand of GLR and Dunbar Community Gardens. They will complete a range of service projects to improve the community, some of which may require physical or outdoor labor (i.e. participants should wear casual attire that can get dirty!).

The MLK Challenge is 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Jan. 19. Participants must register prior to the event. To register online, click here. Or, call (501) 683-3592 for more information.

Watch Wizard of Oz, Back to the Future, Indiana Jones at Local Theaters

Image by Shutterstock

Indiana Jones, Wizard of Oz and Back to the Future: You can share some of your favorite flicks with your kiddos when the movies show on several big screens this month!

Keep reading for our top picks for families; for even more classic movies, see Little Rock Soiree's list of upcoming films here.

Ron Robinson Theater

"Raiders of the Lost Ark" (PG): Harrison Ford makes his first appearance as Dr. Henry “Indiana” Jones, Jr., the 1930s archaeologist/adventurer with brains, brawn and an acute fear of snakes. In this tale, he’s on a quest to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis get their hands on it. $5. 7 p.m. Jan. 22.

"Anastasia" (G): In this 1997 animated film, a young girl heads from Russia to Paris, hoping to learn if she really is the long lost princess Anastasia, only to find unexpected love complicating matters of identity. $5. 2 p.m. Jan. 24.

For more info on special screenings at Ron Robinson Theater, click here.

B&B Little Rock Chenal 9 Imax

"Back to the Future" Trilogy (PG): The unlikely duo of teenager Marty McFly and not-exactly-mad scientist Dr. Emmett Brown find themselves traveling through time, getting in all sorts of trouble and of course, saving the day. $5. Part I: 4 & 7 p.m. Jan. 8; Part II: 4 & 7 p.m. Jan 15; Part III: 4 & 7 p.m. Jan 22.

For more info on special screenings at B&B Little Rock Chenal 9 Imax, click here.

Colonel Glenn 18 + Xtreme

"The Wizard of Oz" (G): Fathom Events, Turner Classic Movies and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment invite you on magical journey down the yellow brick road when The Wizard of Oz returns to select cinemas. The fantastical 1939 musical starring Judy Garland will be shown in the same aspect ratio as when it was originally released in cinemas. 2 & 7 p.m. Jan. 11 & 14.

"How the West Was Won" (G): The western frontier, river pirates, California gold mines, the Civil War, the railroad and outlaws: This 1963 film (with an all-star cast, we might add) has it all for any lover of Westerns. 2 p.m. Jan. 25.

"Funny Girl" (G): See Barbra Streisand in her Academy Award-winning role as Fanny Brice, an entertainer in vaudeville and the Ziegfeld Follies. The musical features songs like "People," "Don't Rain on My Parade" and the title track. 2 p.m. Feb. 1.

"Breakfast at Tiffany's" (NR): Your teens are in for a treat with this Audrey Hepburn classic, based on the novel by Truman Capote. (Note: For those unfamiliar with the storyline, Audrey Hepburn's character is a high-class escort; this movie may not be appropriate for some teens.) 2 p.m. Feb. 8.

For more info on special screenings at Colonel Glenn 18+ Xtreme, click here.

10 Events for Weekend Fun: Marvel Universe Live, Arcade Contest and Eagle Activities

Image by Marvel Universe Live
Captain America

Wake your family up from their winter slumber and attend one of the fun family events this weekend! The Avengers are coming to town to save the world and Big Rock Fun Park is hosting its first Big Arcade Contest, too.

And, despite the frigid winter weather, there are multiple opportunities to discover nature and get outside. Learn about wood ducks and whitetails at indoor presentations at the Central Arkansas Nature Center. Or, bundle up and head outside for eagle-spotting and gorgeous hikes at state parks. (We advise that you consult the latest weather updates or call the park before you adventure outdoors, as weather conditions may change or become hazardous. And dress accordingly!)

1. Marvel Universe Live! at Verizon Arena: The first ever Marvel Universe Live tour will bring iconic superheroes to Verizon Arena, including Spider-Man, Iron Man, Hulk and more. The family-friendly production is a scripted, live-action spectacular showcasing the battle between good and evil. The original story is framed around the battle over the Cosmic Cube, the source of ultimate power in the Marvel universe. The Avengers, including Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Thor, Spider-Man and Wolverine battle villains like Green Goblin, Madame Hydra, Doctor Octopus, Electro and others. The special effects will include 3D projection, aerial action and impressive stunts from the performers. $21-$51. Show times: 7 p.m. Jan. 9; 11 a.m., 3 p.m. & 7 p.m. Jan. 10; and 1 p.m. & 5 p.m. Jan. 11 For info: (501) 975-9000, VerizonArena.com.

2. Big Arcade Contest at Big Rock Mini Golf and Fun Park: Take your gaming skills to Big Rock for an arcade contest! Games include air hockey, Hoop Fever, Harpoon Lagoon, Tokyo Drift, skee ball, Big Buck Bonus (Birds only), and Dance Dance Revolution. Trophies and a grand prize will be awarded. There is no entry price, for the contest, only the cost of tokens to play games. 2 p.m. Jan. 10. For info: (501) 455-3750, BigRockFunPark.com.

3. Eagle Awareness Weekend at Petit Jean State Park: Join park interpreters for two days devoted to our national symbol: the bald eagle. A variety of programs are planned, including field trips to nearby Holla Bend National Wildlife Refuge to look for wintering eagles and other birds. Contact the park for the schedule. Jan. 10-11. For info: (501) 727-5441, PetitJeanStatePark.com. FREE!

4. "The Wizard of Oz" at Colonel Glenn 18+ Xtreme: Fathom Events, Turner Classic Movies and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment invite you on magical journey down the yellow brick road when The Wizard of Oz returns to select cinemas. The fantastical 1939 musical starring Judy Garland will be shown in the same aspect ratio as when it was originally released in cinemas. Rated G. 2 & 7 p.m. Jan. 11 & 14. For info, click here.

5. Lil' Wild Ones: "Wood Duck Diaries" at Central Arkansas Nature Center:Lil Wild Ones is held on the second Saturday at 2 p.m. each month; the program includes hands-on, nature-related activities for children ages 4-8. This month, youngsters can discover the life of a Wood Duck through pictures, sound and touch. 2 p.m. Jan. 10. For info: (501) 907-0636, CentralArkansasNatureCenter.com. FREE!

6. Beginners Tea & Tatting Workshop at Plantation Agriculture Museum State Park in Scott: Join a museum interpreter to learn tatting, an age-old American art in lace-making. Enjoy sipping an assortment of hot teas, while joining others in the frolic of tatting knotted patterns. Take home new ideas and homemade memories. Please pre-register as space is limited; fee covers class and materials. $10. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Jan. 10. For info: (501) 961-1409, ArkansasStateParks.com/PlantationAgricultureMuseum.

7. Eagle Lake Cruises at Jolly Rogers Marina: Join Pinnacle Mountain State Park interpreters for a cruise on Lake Maumelle to seek wintering bald eagles. Guests may see several eagles and migratory waterfowl. Dress in layers for extreme cold and windy lake weather. Advance payment and registration is required. $15; children 6-12 $8. Cruises are scheduled for 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. Jan. 10. For info: (501) 868-5806, ArkansasStateParks.com/PinnacleMountain.

8. Whitetail Headgear at Central Arkansas Nature Center: Did you know that male Whitetail Deer grow a new pair of antlers every year? Learn more about deer in Arkansas, and find out when and where to search for antler sheds. This program is geared for children elementary age and older. 2 p.m. Jan. 11. For info: (501) 907-0636, CentralArkansasNatureCenter.com. FREE!

9. East Quarry Hike at Pinnacle Mountain State Park: Often overlooked, the East Quarry peak is an interesting area for unique rocks, plants, history, and amazing landscape views. Join an interpreter for a mildly-strenuous 2.5-mile hike. Please bring plenty of water and sturdy shoes. Binoculars and camera are recommended. 2-4 p.m. Jan. 11. For info: (501) 868-5806, ArkansasStateParks.com/PinnacleMountain. FREE!

10. Heifer Hour: South America at Heifer Village: Learn about South America during this month's program. Heifer Hour is a free interactive family event with something new to learn and share. The program includes a reading and fun activities on the second Saturday of each month. 11 a.m.-noon Jan. 10. For info: (501) 907-2697, H. FREE!

For more weekend events, browse our full online calendar here.

January 2015 Editor's Letter: Past, Present and Future

Image by Karen E. Segrave

Delita Martin, with husband Cedric and son Caleb, is the subject of Little Rock Family's January 2015 cover feature.

#asset_cutline

“We shall not cease from exploration;

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.” 

-T.S. Eliot

“The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of life, the clearer we should see through it.” 

-Jean-Paul Sartre

 

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” 

-Eleanor Roosevelt

 

Let those quotes marinate in your mind a little. We are more than a magazine. We are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, grandparents. We are humans pouring our hearts and souls thoughtfully and creatively into helping others. Just one of the great things about having a mission in life to help others is that your own life becomes richer along the way, too.

Over the past two decades, the Little Rock Family “family” has worked to strengthen families and the community. We hope to continue that effort through the next two decades and beyond by learning from the past, seeing things with fresh eyes and wisdom, asking ourselves "why not?" and courageously trekking along the parenting path with all of our beloved readers. Our team has 191 years of collective experience in parent education, family matters, art, design and journalism that we pledge to dedicate to the upcoming journey.

Our January 2015 issue continues the tradition of family focused content with refreshing design and ideas. You’ll absolutely love meeting artist Delita Martin and her precious family and enjoy her hints for getting little ones’ creative juices flowing.

Our Amazing Educators winners will inspire you, just as they inspire their students. We’re wishing you a happy and healthy new year with our features on physical fitness and mental health. You’ll also get the skinny on super sledding spots around central Arkansas, and much, much more! Click here to browse the full digital edition!

Here’s one last quote from Robert Browning to consider as we embark on 2015 and many more years together. “Grow old along with me!  The best is yet to be.” We’re in this for the long haul. Our Little Rock Family is here for YOU! We wish you the happiest of new years and beyond.

Contest: Win Tickets to Monster Jam at Verizon Arena

Where will you be when Monster Jam rumbles into town this month? You may be one of the lucky Little Rock Family readers at the show when it comes to Verizon Arena January 16-17! Today, January 6, we're giving away four tickets to one of our Facebook fans!

The popular touring production features 12-feet-tall, 10,000 pound monster trucks that rip up a custom-designed track. The massive machines soar over and smash through obstacles on the course -- to the delight of youngsters, of course.

Monster Jam will appear at Verizon Arena for two performances at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 16-17. Tickets are $22-$37, children ages 2-12 $12-$14.50; tickets cost an additional $2 on the day of the performance. To buy tickets or for more information, visit VerizonArena.com

To enter Little Rock Family's contest, simply visit our Facebook page at Facebook.com/LittleRockFamily and follow the instructions. The deadline to enter is 3 p.m. today, January 6. The winner will be announced at 4 p.m. on our Facebook page. Good luck!

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About The Author
Jennifer Pyron is the Associate Publisher and Editor of Little Rock Family magazine. She is the go-to gal for family events, activities, news and opinion. She and husband Charles are the proud, exhausted, penniless parents of Charles Jr. and Emily. Plus, should you need a pop culture lifeline on "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire," you may call her.
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