Get ready to rock. Riverfest sets up on the banks of the Arkansas River, plugs in a few amps and turns downtown Little Rock into Rock City, this Friday (May 24) through Sunday (May 26).
The adult lineup will please locals’ eclectic music tastes with acts ranging from Lupe Fiasco to Dierks Bentley and Daughtry to Darius Rucker. There’s plenty to entertain young revelers, too. Here are seven things families won’t want to miss:
At the Kidzone Area, located near the Peabody Playground & Water Park in Riverfront Park, families will find tons of nature-themed crafts, including a butterfly finger puppets and paper cup flowers. Kids can also have their faces painted, beat a drum with Bongo Willie, make chalk art, rock climb, blow bubbles and more. In between hands-on activities, tots can splash around in the area’s water feature.
Nearby, mini mosh pits are sure to form at the KidZone Stage, which features a packed lineup of kiddie performers. Little rockers can catch a set by the young act, Jamiah on Fire & the Red Machine. Or get a dose of humor from ventriloquist Wayne Francis, the Kazoobie Kazoo Show with Rick Hubbard or Tommy Terrific's Wacky Magic. At 8 p.m. Sunday, Grammy-nominated band Trout Fishing in America hits the stage, pauses briefly for the 9 p.m. fireworks show, and continues to thrill youngsters until way past bedtime.
See the full schedule here.
Families can romp around this totally free area located on the grounds of the Clinton Presidential Center and Heifer International. The zone offers even more activities and entertainment, including several events for canine companions: Watch amazing pups catch flying discs during a K-9 Friz-B Crew performances; a Super Retriever Crown Championship Series, the Weenie Dog Derby. The Family Zone is open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday (May 25) & 1-7 p.m. Sunday (May 26).
Don't leave the Family Zone without visiting the Family Stage, where you catch high-flying acts from the Jesse White Tumblers and the Kenya Safari Acrobats; both groups will perform throughout the weekend. Plus, your children can cheer on local acts like the Mabelvale Elementary School Drum Line, the I Can! Dancers, All Star Cloggers and students from the LR School of Dance.
For the full schedule, click here.
Also in the Clinton Presidential Park and Heifer International area, festival-goers can visit seven countries for free at the International Village. Children can pick up a passport at the Customs Office and get a new stamp at each country’s tent for a special prize. Each stop also offers opportunities to learn about the nations’ traditions and make crafts.
Creative kids can make wooden bead bracelets in Kenya, craft lanterns in China, shake a rain stick in Chile, find a shamrock in Ireland, make tiara full of jewels in England and more.
This parade of costumed pups is a must for little dog lovers. On Sunday (May 26) at 10 p.m., stake a spot anywhere on 3rd St. from Rivermarket Ave. to Heifer International. There, you can scope out the promenade of pooches dressed up in creative outfits that fit the Hollywood theme. All the four-legged fun will benefit several local canine-focused organizations, including All About Labs, Canine Companions for Independence, Little Rock Animal Village and Out of the Woods.
Click here for info on how to register.
Still have some extra energy? Sign up for this family-friendly fitness event that takes you on a course through downtown Little Rock. Participants are encouraged to dress up as rock stars, cartoon characters or another favorite idol. The race begins at 9 a.m. on Sunday (May 26), but when you register in advance you'll receive a three-day admission pass to the entire festival ($30, children under 11 $10).
Click here for info on how to register.
Bonus event: Riverfest Cheese Dip Classic
Calling all Cheese Dip lovers! Hosted in conjunction with the World Cheese Dip Championship, this inaugural events brings the favorite dish to festival-goers. Attendees will be able to taste entries in the Amateur and Professional divisions ($5, children under 11 $2) from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday (May 25).
Don’t get me wrong, I love wedding planning, and I wasn’t stressed, I just wanted a weekend away with my friends. We did as much as we possibly could while we were there. We went sightseeing, ate LOTS of food including at Emeril Lagasse’s restaurant (I took a break from Weight Watchers) and even went sky diving! Sky diving was one of the most exhilarating experiences I’ve ever encountered. I guess you could say it was on my list of “crazy things to do before I get married” and I’m SO glad I went!
One morning, my friends and I went to the Bellagio for breakfast and a shopping trip and I found a little something at Chanel (you’ll just have to wait and see what it is) to go with my dream wedding dress! I had to snap a picture outside of the store to document the moment.
I had such an AMAZING time on my trip, and I highly recommend that every bride take a break to avoid being stressed out and overwhelmed.
Since my hiatus helped me to come back refreshed and ready to plan again, I decided to compose a list of things you can do to escape from your wedding planning and festivities as well!
No matter how you relax, find some way to do so and give yourself (and everyone else) a little break. I promise you'll be glad you did!
Bride-to-be and Benton native Jordan Westbrook graduated from UALR in 2011 with a liberal arts degree with an emphasis in mass media. The former Arkansas Bride intern will be blogging about her adventures in wedding planning right here each week.
In cooperation with the 36th annual Riverfest, the Museum of Discovery, 500 President Clinton Ave., and Clinton Presidential Center, 1200 President Clinton Ave., are offering visitors special deals this Memorial Day Weekend.
Both major River Market attractions will offer $5 admission all weekend -- Friday-Monday (May 24-27) for the Clinton Center and Saturday-Monday, (May 25-27) for the museum, which will be closed Friday, May 24.
Also, for Clinton Center, Clinton Museum Store and Museum of Discovery patrons not attending Riverfest, there will be free parking and a free round-trip shuttle from the designed lot located between 4th and 5th streets and Collins Street to each of the attractions.
Besides $5 admission, which equals half-price for adults and $3 off for children, the museum is offering special programs at the museum throughout the holiday weekend to give people even more reason to visit. Museum educators also will be on-site at Riverfest doing hands-on "tinkering" activities with festival-goers at the Deltic Timber Kidzone Area from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday (May 25) and from 1 to 8 p.m. Sunday (May 26).
In addition to engaging with the 85 hands-on, interactive exhibits, museum visitors on Memorial Day Weekend will be treated to a full schedule of special programs, with "The Electric Show," "Awesome Science" and "Meet the Museum Animals" being presented in rotation, on the hour, from noon until 4 p.m. Saturday; 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday; and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday (May 27)
Also, Tommy's Terrific Magic Show, which will be presented Sunday at Riverfest, will be featured at 1 p.m. Saturday at the museum.
Here is the rundown of operation hours this weekend:
Museum of Discovery
Clinton Presidential Center
Splash Zone Water Park, 201 W. Martin St., Jacksonville, will kick off its new season from 6 - 9 p.m. Friday (May 24) with a special Schools Out Celebration.
In celebration of school letting out for the summer, Jacksonville Parks & Recreation is hosting a Splash Zone party and movie viewing of “Brave."
Attendees can splash around the water park and ride the slides then stay for a sundown viewing of the family-friend animated movie. Water park admission is $5 and the movie is free. Children must be 48 in. or taller to ride water park slides.
The event will precede the season opening of Splash Zone and concessions will be open.
Jacksonville’s premier water park features a plunge pool with two water slides, a water tunnel, the umbrella-shaped Rain Drop and Dew Drop water showers and the kids-only Tea Cup.
Hours are Monday – Friday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Saturday, Sunday and holidays Noon – 6 p.m.
Park admission is $5 ($1 extra for slides).
After Memorial Day weekend, regular summer hours will be 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday and holidays.
Call (501) 982-4171 for more information.
There's a new place in town where the Cajun flavor can really be enjoyed.
J. Gumbo's, located at 12911 Cantrell Rd., Ste. 18, Little Rock, is the first location in the state.
Open since April, the fast-casual Cajun and Creole eatery offers fresh, bold flavors of the Bayou State in every one of its dishes — from the Jambalaya to the cheesy Etouffee, Red Beans & Rice to spicy hot VooDoo Chicken.
See the full menu here.
What's great is the menu not only features vegetarian items, but also gluten-free. And, you can find all of the nutritional info about all of the dishes on the site here.
J. Gumbo's has locations all of the country. All of the big bowl entrees are based on recipes the chain's founder Billy Fox, Jr. learned in his grandmother's kitchen in his native Louisiana.
The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday - Saturday and 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. Sunday.
For more information, click here or call (501) 916-9635.
The weather is heating up and what better way to cool off than at the water park?
Well, Magic Springs & Crystal Falls Water and Theme Park is one place to get your splash on, especially this weekend.
Why? The park is opening its multi-million dollar addition, Splash Island Saturday (May 25)-- a long time in the making. And, to enjoy it, we are giving away two day passes, for free!
To enter, all you have to do is head over to Little Rock Family's Facebook page right now and follow the directions. The deadline to enter is 4 p.m. today (May 22). A winner will be announced at 5 p.m.
One pass guarantees admission to both the amusement and water park for one day. This includes admission to the concert that day (happening every Saturday all summer long-- see full lineup here). Passes will expire one month from tomorrow (May 23).
Here are some cool stats about the new Splash Island attraction: It will stand more than four stories tall and feature 10 colorful water slides, an enormous tipping bucket that dumps 1,000 gallons of water every 10 minutes and more than 200 ways to get wet and stay cool this summer, including water wheels, water curtains, net climbs and waterfalls.
When guests need a break from the action or want to catch some rays, they will be able to relax on the ample new lounge deck surrounding Splash Island. The multi-million dollar expansion also includes plenty of new shade.
For more information, click here.
From idyllic watercolors to black-and-white photographs to unique mixed media pieces, there are a few fun artistic things to get into this holiday weekend.
Here is what made our list:
Paul Signac Watercolors and Drawings: The James T. Dyke Collection, Arkansas Arts Center -- The exhibit, which started yesterday (May 21), showcases the beautiful watercolors and drawings of late 19th and early 20th Century French artist Paul Signac. You will find brilliantly colored views of harbors and gardens, historic towns and Paris streets. The exhibit will be on display until Dec. 1.
Jazz: Through the Eyes of Herman Leonard, Clinton Presidential Center -- If you been able to check out this exhibit (it's been on exhibit since March 2), you still have time. The Clinton Center pays tribute to some of America’s greatest jazz artists including Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and Ella Fitzgerald through iconic photographs from The Herman Leonard collection and memorabilia on loan from museums and private collectors nationwide. Check it out before July 21.
The Curious World of Patent Models, Historic Arkansas Museum -- From the time the U.S. Patent Office was formed by Thomas Jefferson in 1790 and throughout the industrial revolution, inventors were required to submit a working, scale model of their invention when applying for a patent. These fascinating original antiques range from stunning, intricately crafted miniature weaving looms to motors and bridges. This interesting exhibit is on display until Sept. 29.
Prehistoric Daydreams: Recent Works of Brad Cushman and Amy Edgington, Gallery 26 -- See the beautiful mixed media paintings on paper by Brad Cushman, gallery director and curator at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and the recycled materials and mixed media, retro images and humorous pieces from Amy Edginton. See it before July 13.
American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell, Crystal Bridges --If you're going to be up in northwest Arkansas, check out this traveling exhibition before it ends May 27. It features 50 original paintings and 323 Saturday Evening Post covers that document Rockwell's engagement in American life in all its glory and tragedy over five decades. Due to the popularity of this exhibition, advance ticket purchase is strongly suggested. Purchase tickets at Guest Services or online here.
See what other galleries have exhibits on display:
We've long passed the point where the extent of two lovers' correspondence existed only in a note passed at school. With everything from texting to social media to good old-fashioned email, there are many more ways after hours your kid can fall in love – and can get hurt.
Some of the "goings-with" are part of the whole experience one has growing up. In some cases, it's better for the parent to take a step back and let the drama work itself out. But when is it appropriate for Mom or Dad to step in? Here are seven signs you can scan from the object of your budding romantic's affection that may show signs of an abusive relationship:
1. Wanting to get serious quickly and refusing to take NO for an answer
2. Acting jealous and possessive and wanting to pick partner’s friends and activities
3. Being controlling and bossy or making all decisions and not taking others’ opinions seriously
4. Always checking up on partner through texting, social media and in person
5. Using threats and put-downs when alone or with friends
6. Using guilt trips like “If you really loved me you would _____.”
7. Blaming the victim for what is wrong by saying things like “It’s because of you that I get so mad.”
To read more about what causes these signs and the ways you can get involved without alientating your sensitive teen, click here to read the digital edition of Little Rock Family.