At the beginning of the month, send a holiday scavenger hunt list to family members, including aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins and all of the kids, too. Encourage every family member to look for the items on the list throughout the month. When they find one of the festive items, they should document it with a photo. The goal is to photograph as many of the items as possible, and the family member with the most items checked off their list wins!
When your family gathers for a holiday celebration, each family member can share his or her photos. Or, for a twist, have everyone share their photos on social media all month long. The winner can be rewarded a small prize, gag gift or homemade treat. But the bigger prize will be bringing the family together for the holidays, sharing silly scavenger hunt stories and creating new family traditions.
Here are a few items to start your photo scavenger hunt list. Add some of your own ideas, too, and be sure to include a few family jokes!
Thanksgiving's almost here and we can barely form sentences because all we can think about is food. Lucky for us, Arkansas is home to some of the best eats in the world, amen?
We may be torturing ourselves by going through Sweet Love's Instagram feed. Cakes and sweets and cakes and pies and cookies and cakes and oh my goodness. Let's just say it's worth pang of jealousy.
Enjoy some of our fave posts and go give them a follow for more!
Happy Thanksgiving from Little Rock Family! We hope you have a wonderful holiday sitting around the table with loved ones. And after all of the pie and turkey, we hope you'll make some family memories at one of the many activities in central Arkansas this weekend. It's a fun-filled weekend that includes the opening of The Velveteen Rabbit at Arkansas Arts Center Children's Theatre, decorating the Christmas tree at Laman Library's Argenta Branch, and the illumination of multiple holiday lights around town!
Plus, if you're still feeling stuffed from Turkey Day, you can find ways to work off a few calories with our list of fun (and active) ideas for family workouts (hint: how about some skating or trampoline parks?). Or, if you're ready to snag a Christmas tree and decorate your home for the holidays, check out our list of local Christmas tree farms. Speaking of Christmas, Santa is all over town, waiting to hear Christmas wishes--click here to see where you can find him.
Last, but not least, you may notice central Arkansas shining a little more brightly this weekend--many of our favorite holiday light displays are returning! And, several new holiday lights will illuminate, too. See a few lighting ceremonies below and check out our full list of holiday lights here.
1. The Velveteen Rabbit at Arkansas Arts Center Children's Theater: A Christmas-themed childhood favorite comes to life on stage. Families will recognize the heartwarming story of a stuffed rabbit and his quest to become real through the love of his owner. The Velveteen Rabbit is written by Alan Keith Smith and based on the story by Margery Williams. $12.50; AAC members are $10. Performances are: 7 p.m. Fri., 2 p.m. & 4 p.m. Sat.; 2 p.m. Sun. Nov. 28-Dec. 21. For info: (501) 372-4000, ArkansasArtsCenter.org.
2. Holidays in the Park in Riverfront Park & First Security Amphitheater: Downtown Little Rock is transformed into a winter wonderland of lights this holiday season. Enjoy this festive light display that operates to music and dances on the Amphitheater Stage; shows run nightly from 5-10 p.m. Nov. 29 - Jan. 3. Celebrate this addition with a holiday party in the Rivermarket Pavilion 3-5 p.m. Nov. 29, complete with a visit from Santa, games, crafts, holiday cookies, beverages and more. 3-10 p.m. Nov. 29. For info: (501) 375-2552, Rivermarket.info. FREE!
3. Children's Department Tree Trimming at Laman Library North Little Rock Argenta Branch: The Children's Department needs help decorating their tree! 10:30-11:30 a.m. Nov. 29. For info: (501) 687-1061, LamanLibrary.org. FREE!
4. 7th Annual Celebration of Lights & Light the Night Sale at The Promenade at Chenal: Shoppers will delight in the animated tree and light display and free Promenade Express train rides all day. Other exciting events include free photos with Santa & Mrs. Claus (1-5 p.m. Nov. 29, 1-6 p.m. Nov. 30), Plays with a Purpose presents "The Gift of the Magi" in the courtyard at 1 & 4 p.m., and the tree lighting presentation at 5 p.m. Plus, don't miss the special sale event, refreshments, and free gifts for the first 100 kids. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Nov. 29. For info: (501) 821-5552, ChenalShopping.com. FREE!
5. Capital Hotel Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at The Capital Hotel: Don't miss this yummy family event that includes delicious cookies, treats and hot chocolate with the trimmings. Holiday music will be performed by U.A.L.R. flautists and carolers. After the tree lighting at 6 p.m., Santa will arrive to visit with the boys and girls! Bring your camera for pictures with Santa, too. 5-9 p.m. Nov. 30. For info: (501) 374-7474, Facebook.com/TheCapitalHotel. FREE!
6. The Polar Express at Colonel Glenn 18+XTREME: The movie theater will screen special Christmas films throughout the holiday season, including The Polar Express (PG) starring Tom Hanks. Based on the beloved book by Chris Van Allsburg, this 2004 animated film follows a young boy as he travels to the North Pole on a magical train ride. 2 p.m. Nov. 30. For info: (501) 687-0499, Cinemark.com.
7. Lighting Ceremony at Mountain Harbor Resort: The festive lighting ceremony includes live music on the stage, free hayrides to view the Christmas lights of Harbor, free cookies and hot cocoa and cider, Christmas story reading by Mrs. Claus, and the arrival of Santa on a hayride wagon to turn on all the lights of Harbor. Open to the public. Nov. 28. For info: MountainHarborResort.com. FREE!
8. 17th Annual Mountain Rendezvous at Petit Jean State Park: Experience a primitive camp and learn some of the survival skills used by Arkansas pioneers. Watch a variety of demonstrations including muzzleloading rifles, tomahawk throwing, and more. Co-sponsored by the Early Arkansaw Reenactor Association. Contact the park for a schedule as the event draws near. Nov. 28-30. For info: (501) 727-5441, PetitJeanStatePark.com. FREE!
9. Green Friday at Plantation Agriculture Museum State Park in Scott: Spend Black Friday exploring the history of cotton agriculture in Arkansas. The gift shop is located in the main museum featuring unique gifts-- and no crowds! 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 28. For info: (501) 961-1409, ArkansasStateParks.com/PlantationAgricultureMuseum. FREE!
10. Black Friday Skate at Arkansas Skatium: Work off your Thanksgiving meal while you ice and roller skate. $10 admission; skate rental free. Noon-5:30 p.m. Nov. 28. For info: (501) 227-4333, ArkansasSkatium.com.
11. Fall Hayride & Campfire at Pinnacle Mountain State Park: Jostle, bounce, and laugh your way across the fields and through the woods on a guided hayride with a warm campfire, stories, hot chocolate, and marshmallows. Advance payment is required. $12, children ages 6-12 $6. 3-5 p.m. Nov. 29 & 30. For info: (501) 868-5806, ArkansasStateParks.com/PinnacleMountain.
12. Hometown Holiday Lights at Burns Park: At this annual event, families enjoy holiday lights in a drive-through setting. More than 40 displays are set-up beginning at the Softball Complex and continuing down Funland Drive ending at Military Drive. Open 6-10 p.m. nightly except on Christmas. Donations welcome. 6-10 p.m. Nov. 29-Dec. 30. For info: (501) 791-8543, NLRPR.org. FREE!
For more events, see our full online calendar here.
It's the most wonderful time of the year! Central Arkansas is ablaze with holiday light displays. Clear, multi-colored, twinkling, single strands or huge displays--we love them all! Visit these festivals and exhibits this month for a brighter holiday season, from the classic festival at Garvan Woodland Gardens to the brand-new display in downtown Little Rock.
1. Holiday Lights at Garvan Woodland Gardens: See nearly 4 million bulbs transform approximately 17 acres into a memorable animated holiday display. As you amble through through the winter wonderland, your family can sip complimentary hot cocoa. Plus, on special Santa nights, families can have their photos taken with the big guy. Professional photographer Rebecca Peterman will be on hand to snap pictures from 6-8 p.m. Dec. 8-11, 15, 17-18, which will be available for purchase. Holiday lights are on display 5-9 p.m. nightly through Dec. 31. Admission to Gardens: $10, ages 6-12 are $5, under 6 & members are free. For info: (501) 262-9300, GarvanGardens.org.
2. Holidays in the Park at First Security Amphitheater: On Nov. 29, the First Security Amphitheater in downtown Little Rock will transform into a bright winter wonderland called Holidays in the Park. The seasonal lighting display, a new attraction for Riverfront Park, will be a 10-minute show choreographed to music and can be seen each night throughout the holiday season. Holidays in the Park will run on the First Security Amphitheater stage each evening from 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m. Nov. 29-Jan. 3. Families can help kick things off at the official lighting ceremony from 3-5 p.m. Nov 29. The opening night celebration includes a meet & greet with Santa Claus, holiday cookies, beverages, crafts, games and more. For info: Rivermarket.info or HolidaysInLittleRock.com. FREE!
3. Northern Lights Festival at City Services Building in Downtown North Little Rock: The city of North Little Rock is gearing up for its first-ever Northern Lights Festival on Dec. 7, where they'll unveil a new, 20-foot tree made of LED lights. The free festivities take place from 3:30-5:30 p.m. and families can enjoy photos with Santa, free hot chocolate and performances from local choirs. Plus, kids can make holiday ornaments and cards with Art Connection, Thea Foundation and the North Little Rock Mayor’s Youth Council. Families won't want to miss the annual North Little Rock Sertoma Club Christmas Parade, which takes place right before the festival at 2 p.m. The tree will be lit each evening Dec. 7-Jan. 2 and will be located in the middle of "Trolley Plaza" in front of the City Services Building (120 Main St.) at Washington and Broadway Sts. For info: NorthLittleRock.org. FREE!
4. Arkansas State Capitol in Downtown Little Rock: Following the Big Jingle Jubilee Holiday Parade in downtown Little Rock, the State Capitol will be illuminated with its annual holiday display at 6 p.m. Dec. 6. In addition to the seasonal lights, families will catch a fireworks display. And don't forget to take in the magnificent 25-foot Rockefeller pine tree and elegant decorations in the Capitol building's rotunda. The tree's topper is a blow glass piece handcrafted by Arkansan James Hayes. Holiday lights will continue to shine each night throughout the season. For info: (501) 835-3399, HolidaysInLittleRock.com. FREE!
5. Hometown Holiday Lights at Burns Park: At this annual event, families enjoy holiday lights in a drive-through setting. More than 40 displays will be set up beginning at the Softball Complex and continuing down Funland Drive ending at Military Drive. Open 6-10 p.m. nightly except on Christmas. Donations welcome. 6-10 p.m. Nov. 29-Dec. 30. For info: (501) 753-7307, NLRPR.org. FREE!
6. A Trail of Holiday Lights at Sherwood's Enchanted Forest: Drive through this mile-long trail of lights in Sherwood Forest to spot over 92 brightly-lit displays. Don't forget to pick up a complimentary candy cane at the end of the trail. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. 6-9:30 p.m. Dec. 1-30. For info: (501) 833-3790, CityofSherwood.net. FREE!
7. 7th Annual Celebration of Lights at The Promenade at Chenal: Shoppers will delight in the animated tree and light display, which is unveiled at 5 p.m. Nov. 29 and shines throughout the holiday season. Other exciting events include free photos with Santa & Mrs. Claus (1-5 p.m. Nov. 29, 1-6 p.m. Nov. 30). 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Nov. 29. For info: (501) 821-5552, ChenalShopping.com. FREE!
For more holiday light displays throughout the state, visit the Arkansas Parks & Tourism Trail of Holiday Lights website.
It's time to pig out on food, watch some football, do some shopping, and just, you know, celebrate what we're thankful for. Here are a few things happening around the city this Thanksgiving weekend that the whole family can enjoy.
Below, we also listed information on local shopping events this weekend. Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!
Thursday (Nov. 27)
Go!bbler Turkey Trot in the Heights & Hillcrest, Little Rock: It's back. Everyone's favorite Thanksgiving run is back. There are prizes for costumes, chances to win YaYa's pies, photos with Santa Claus and much more. The walk/run, sponsored by Go! Running, is free to participate in, and best of all, it's not a race. There are three courses to choose from, ranging from 3 to 6.5 miles. In place of an entry free, you're asked to bring a non-perishable food donation for the Arkansas Foodbank. For more information, check out the website or Facebook event page.
Saturday (Nov. 29)
Small Business Saturday, Little Rock: This Saturday is Small Business Saturday, and you'll have plenty of opportunities to shop locally, especially in the Hillcrest where the local merchants association has put together quite a day of offers and specials. Some of the participating stores include Hocott's Garden Center, The Full Moon, Breathe Salon, Hillcrest Artisan Meats, E. Leigh's Boutique and Shoppes on Woodlawn. For a full list of participating stores and offers, check out our shopping roundup for Small Business Saturday.
Celebration of Lights at The Promenade at Chenal, 17711 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock: The fun will last all afternoon at The Promenade on Saturday and includes the lighting of the 26-foot tree, Santa and Mrs. Claus, free train rides and much more. The event is free and goes from 1-9 p.m. For more information, check out our story, go to The Promenade's website or check the social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter).
Holidays in the Park at First Security Amphitheater, 400 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock: Come Saturday, it's going to look a lot like Christmas in the River Market District. All the action will be at the pavilions Saturday night with a light show, choreographed to holiday music, cookies, beverages, crafts, games and even Santa Claus is stopping by for the kids. The event is free. It begins Saturday, from 5-10 p.m., continues Sunday and each weekend through Jan. 3. For more information, contact Diana Long at 320-3503 or DLong@LittleRock.com, or check out our story.
Thursday-Sunday (Nov. 27-30)
Collectors Show & Sale at Arkansas Arts Center, 501 E. 9th St., Little Rock: If you're needing a new piece of art for your home, come shop and browse at the Arkansas Arts Center this weekend with some of the best from the New York gallery scene. The sale is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. For more information, check out our story or the Arkansas Arts Center website.
With Black Friday, this weekend officially kicks off the holiday shopping season. There are quite a few options in the capital city this weekend. Check out our Small Business Saturday preview story here, and our holiday shopping preview here.
Forget Black Friday. Caroling is whatever. Snowmen? Yeah, right.
We all know the most pivotal part of the Christmas season is finding the right tree. Whether you cut down your own or meticulously comb through tree lots looking for the one, this is serious(ly fun) business.
So to help you avoid any Griswold-esque fiascos, we’ve rounded up some of the best local spots to find your very own tannenbaum to admire.
But before you go, make sure to call the farm or shop to confirm their supply, their hours and their specifications. These are all subject to change during the crazy seasonal issues of weather, demand and so on.
Now, to the list!
Motley’s Christmas Tree Farm
13724 Sandy Ann Drive
Hop on a free wagon ride into the tree farm to chop down your very own Christmas tree—saws are provided. Or, choose the perfect “Living Christmas Tree,” which comes in a potted container and can be planted outdoors after the holiday season. Hit the gift shop on your way out to choose from thousands of ornaments to adorn your freshly cut tree.
Open Nov. 15-Dec. 21: 1-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Closed Thanksgiving Day.
For info: (501) 888-1129, MotleysTreeFarm.com
Larry’s Christmas Trees
At the corner of Cantrell and Old Cantrell Rd.
If you’re low on time, but still want to get your hands on a great tree, stop by Larry’s. Not far from downtown and just across from the Red Door restaurant, this little lot has a great selection at great convenience. Bingo.
Open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (which will soon change to 8 p.m.) every day
For info: (501) 565-8475
Geisler's Holiday Forest
8817 Dorsey Road
This DIY farm is a family tradition for many with free hayrides, hot spiced tea and pine boughs. They also offer free shaking and netting, and will even drill the holes in bottom of your tree trunk if your stand requires it.
Open Nov. 29 - Dec. 13 or 20: 9 a.m.-dark Sat., 1 p.m.-dark Sun. Weekends only.
For info: (501) 224-3797
The Bradbury Tree Farm
9427 Donna Lane
This farm has been growing trees since 1979; venture out into 35 acres of Virginia Pine and Leyland Cyprus to chop your own tree (saws provided). Fraser Firs that have been shipped in are also available. You can also come home with a decorative wreath or a sprig of mistletoe, if the mood strikes.
Open Nov. 27-Dec. 24; 9 a.m.-7 p.m. daily.
For info: (501) 602-2449
Muddy Creek Christmas Tree Farm
22109 Easter Lance
Get a taste of the holidays as you enjoy hot chocolate and candy canes. Then, choose and chop the perfect Cypress to tote back home and decorate with tinsel and lights. You can also choose from already-cut trees, like Fraser and Douglas Firs, and fresh wreaths.
Open Nov. 22-Dec. 21: 9 a.m.-dark Sat.-Sun.
For info: (501) 602-5943, MuddyCreekChristmasTreeFarm.com
Warner Bros. / giphy.com
Warner Bros. / giphy.com
Want more? Check out 5 Christmas Tree Farms in Little Rock and Central Arkansas from our sister publication, Little Rock Family.
You know, life isn’t a Norman Rockwell painting.
Sometimes insurmountable obstacles appear and sometimes you just want to do things a little differently. Either way, we’re all for celebrating Thanksgiving however you want, and if that includes pizza, even better. Pass the parmesan.
Here are some of our favorite restaurants that will be open on Thanksgiving day.
Capital Bar and Grill
Open 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Ok, let’s start this list off right. This menu includes fried turkey breast with savory andouille bread pudding, sorghum-glazed bacon-wrapped green beans, cranberry-orange compote and we have to stop there because we’re drooling on our keyboards.
YaYa’s Euro Bistro
Open 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Open doors, smiling faces and a Thanksgiving Day buffet that will rival your own. Load up on turkey, ham, cornbread, pumpkin pie and lots more.
Call for reservations: (501) 821-1144
Open 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Oh, Mimi. Do you mind if we call you Mimi? Keep the turkey, sides and desserts coming and we’ll call you whatever you want.
Call for reservations: (501) 221-3883
The Pizzeria at Terry’s:
Open 6-11 p.m.
There’s a reason this place is one of your favorites. Stop in for great pizza and choose from some of their seasonal drinks, like the unreal Pecan Pie Martini or the Flaming Candy Cane.
Arthur’s Prime Steakhouse
Open 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Arthur’s is the kind of place you save for special occasions and Thanksgiving in one of them. You can expect the full holiday spread, including their regular top notch steak and seafood specials.
Call for reservations: (501) 821-1838
Open 5 p.m.-1 a.m.
You know what you need before you face Black Friday? You need a little liquid courage and the Saucer has you covered. Add that to their already fantastic menu and it’s like a Thanksgiving miracle.
Know of any more great Little Rock spots with Thanksgiving hours? Let us know in the comments.
This is the week that prolific holiday shoppers live for. Between Black Friday, the slashed prices and mark downs, it's like a shopper's paradise.
Here's a list of some of the deals going on around Little Rock this week for you to check out.
The Promenade at Chenal, 17711 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock: For you Black Friday shoppers, The Promenade has you covered with several stores participating in some good deals. The Children's Place, Altar'd State, Designer Shoe Warehouse, Homegoods, Loft, Apple, Francesca's Collections, Indigo, Nike and Belle & Blush are just a few of those taking part. For the full rundown, check out The Promenade's website for deals and times.
White Goat, 5624 R St., Little Rock: You can't say White Goat isn't getting into the holiday shopping spirit, it's even created a hashtag, #blackgoatfriday, in honor of its Black Friday deals. Spend $250, get $25 off. Spend $500, get $75 off. For more information, click here.
B.Barnett, 8201 Cantrell Road, Little Rock: B.Barnett is giving you an early start on the deals, which it started Tuesday. Get 30 to 50 percent off fall and winter merchandise. For more information, check out the store's Facebook page.
Tulips, 5817 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock: Tulips definitely has the most interesting shopping opportunity of the week, and it's all online. Here's what you do, like Tulips on Instagram, then, register here. Then, follow Tulips' Instagram account at 8 p.m. Wednesday. Comment "sold" on the items you want to purchase. Be quick, because quantities are limited. Then, you'll get an invoice emailed to you, which you will have 12 hours to pay before the item goes to the next buyer in line. For more information, check out the store's Facebook page.
Barbara/Jean, 7811 Cantrell Road, Little Rock: Barbara/Jean is offering 40 percent off select fall clothing, shoes, handbags and accessories. As the store says: This is huge. For more information, check out the Facebook page.
E. Leigh's, 3001 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock: For those looking for an early start on the deals, check out E. Leigh's. The store is having a storewide, 40 percent off sale from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday. Some extras include free swag stockings for the first 75 customers to spend more than $50 and a free Kendra Scott necklace (valued at $180) to the first two customers to spend more than $500. Also, all customers will receive a 50 percent off bounce back coupon. For more, click here.
Wait! There's more! Be sure and support local shops during Small Business Saturday. There are tons of stores across Little Rock participating. For a detailed look at where to go and the specials to take advantage of, check out our preview here.