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NLR's Northern Lights Festival Set for this Sunday

from Shutterstock


We will never say no Christmas lights.

On Sunday, Dec. 7, North Little Rock is going all out with a Northern Lights Festival at the end of the Sertoma Club Christmas Parade from 3:30-5:30 p.m.

Attendees will have access to a Toys for Tots donation station, free hot chocolate, can DIY their own ornaments and enjoy the sounds of Glory Land Choir, North Little Rock High School Choir, North Little Rock Middle School Choir, Psalm 150 Choir and more.

But at the center ring, of course, is the 20-ft. tree made entirely of LED lights. This is a certified “ooh” and “ahh” event here, people.

The parade begins at 2 p.m. at the intersection of Pershing Blvd. and Main St. and will move south down Main to enter the Argenta Arts and Entertainment District. It concludes in front of the City Services Building, and that’s where the party will be.

Count us in.

Recipe Files: Nutter Butter Santas with Heather Bennett and Alyse Eady

Image by Heather Bennett

Get crafty in the kitchen this holiday season! This is a super easy holiday cookie anyone can help decorate, including the kiddos. Youngsters will need more supervision than older children.

Editor Heather Bennett appeared on THV 11 to show Alyse Eady how to make the festive snacks; click here to watch the segment. Or, follow the instructions below.

Nutter Butter Santas

  • Nutter Butter cookies
  • White pre-made icing
  • Red sugar sprinkles
  • Red hots
  • Chocolate chips
  • Plastic spoon to spread icing
  • Large platter for a work surface for easy clean up

Directions: Spread white icing on the top and bottom third of the Nutter Butter with the underside of the spoon. Sprinkle red sugar on the top icing third for Santa's hat. Place a red hot on the plain white icing for his nose. Put a dot of icing on the underside of two chocolate chips. Then, place the chocolate chips on the cookie for Santa's eyes.

NOTE: This snack is not for individuals with peanut allergies.

North Pole to the Nutcracker: 8 Holiday Shows For Families

Image by David Knight

The most wonderful time of the year is also the most wonderful time to introduce youngsters to live music, theater and dance! This holiday season, eight fantastic shows--from Ballet Arkansas' annual performance of The Nutcracker to the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra's Swingin' Holiday Extravaganza--will liven up stages around central Arkansas. 

1. "Elf" at Arkansas Repertory Theatre: A young orphan who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts is raised in the North Pole. Unaware that he is actually a human, his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities eventually cause him to face the truth. As he embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity, Buddy strives to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. "Elf" turns one of Hollywood’s most beloved holiday hits into a hilarious and heartwarming musical that towers above the rest. Opening Night for Elf is Dec. 5 and includes a post-show reception with the cast immediately following the show. Complimentary champagne and light hors d'oeuvres will be provided. A special matinee sponsored by Little Rock Family will be at 2 p.m. Dec. 6. Regular performances are: 7 p.m. Wed.-Sun. & 2 p.m. Sun. Special Saturday matinees at 2 p.m. Dec. 6 & 27, Jan. 3. $40-$60. For info: (501) 378-0405,

2. 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,

3. Ballet Arkansas Presents "The Nutcracker" at Maumelle Performing Arts Center: Ring in the holidays with Tchaikovsky’s magical score performed live by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and a classic performance by Ballet Arkansas. With enchanting costumes and original choreography, the tradition of "The Nutcracker" will create unforgettable memories for children of every generation. $20-$52. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12 & 13; 2 p.m. Dec. 13 & 14. For info: (501) 666-1761,

4. Swingin' Holiday Extravaganza at Pulaski Academy Connor Performing Arts Center: Popular singers Destan Owen and Mandy Gonzalez return to lead a celebration of holiday music and festival, including traditional tunes “Jingle Bells,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” and “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year." Families will also hear music from favorite holiday movies, including "The Polar Express" and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." The exciting and uplifting swing stylings of Owen and Gonzalez are sure to bring a smile to faces of all ages this holiday season! $19-$58; children free during Sunday matinee with Entergy Kids Ticket. Peformances are: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19 & 20; 3 p.m. Dec. 21. For info: (501) 666-1761,

5. Conway Symphony Orchestra Presents "Tinsel & Tutus" at UCA Reynolds Performance Hall: Celebrate the season with highlights from "The Nutcracker" performed by the Arkansas Festival Ballet plus a special performance from the Central Arkansas Children's Choir. Enjoy exciting arrangements of holiday classics to make the Yuletide bright. $20-$38. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6. For info: (501) 450-3265,

6. Trans-Siberian Orchestra at Verizon Arena: TSO performs their rock opera "The Christmas Attic" featuring one of the band’s most popular songs "Christmas Canon." Performances are: 4 & 8 p.m. Dec. 6. $59.50, $74.50 & $89.50. 4-10 p.m. Dec. 6. For info: (501) 975-9000,

7. "A Christmas Carol" at UCA Reynolds Performance Hall: A powerful story of redemption, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, has enchanted audiences the world over with its simple message of selfless giving. Ebenezer Scrooge, a most unrepentant, miserly fellow, is made to see the light as he survives a merciless battery of revelations by the ghosts of his own Christmases: Past, Present, and Future. This new adaptation of Dickens’ ever popular classic fills the stage with veteran Broadway actors, lush costumes, stunning sets, music, dance, and a timeless message. With beloved traditional carols of the season included, A Christmas Carol is an enchanting way to celebrate the holidays. $30-$40. 3 p.m. Dec. 7. For info:

8. "A Fertle Holiday" at The Joint: A Fertle Holiday is an original two-act comedy chronicling the Fertle Family's trouble-ridden reunion in the tiny town of Dumpster, Arkansas, as they attempt to entertain their rich relatives from San Diego. The Main Thing comedy trio brings the quirky family to life by portraying all the relatives and townspeople needed to create the illusion of a big, bustling Christmas get-together. Suitable for all ages. 8 p.m. Fri and Sat. $20. 8 p.m. Fri. & Sat. through Jan 10. For info: (501) 372-0205,

To search our full online calendar of events, click here.

15 Events for Weekend Fun: Breakfast with Santa, Nutcracker Tea, Christmas Parades and More

Image by Shutterstock

The holiday season is officially here! From Christmas parades to holiday performances, this first weekend of December is so jam-packed with wonderful family events, we couldn't list them all here. You can browse our full online calendar to see all of this weekend's events--66 and counting! Or, check out our top 15 event picks below.

And don't miss additional ideas for family fun, including where to see Santa Claus, wonderful holiday light displays in central Arkansas, Christmas parades to put you in the holiday spirit, fantastic holiday shopping events this weekend, and much, much more.

1. Big Jingle Jubilee Holiday Parade and Capitol Lighting Ceremony in Downtown Little Rock: Come see Santa, Mrs. Claus and Rudy the Reindeer in this annual parade through downtown Little Rock. Serving as this year's Grand Marshal is Miss Arkansas 2014, Ashton Campbell. Beginning at Second and Broadway Streets, the Holiday parade starts at 3 p.m. and continues south on Broadway, west onto Capitol Ave. and ends at the State Capitol. Enjoy festive entries such as marching bands, floats, cars, animals and much more. Following the parade at 6 p.m., the Arkansas State Capitol will be lit, with Secretary of State Mark Martin and Santa Claus leading the festivities, which include fireworks, music and more. Parade 3 p.m.; Capitol lighting 6 p.m. Dec. 6. For info: (501) 835-3399, FREE!

2. Breakfast with Santa at ACH Children's Hall: Sponsored by Committee for the Future, Breakfast with Santa is an annual fundraiser for Arkansas Children's Hospital. Local fire fighters from the Little Rock Fire Department cook and serve guests a meal of pancakes, eggs, sausage and fruit. Santa arrives at 7:15 a.m. aboard a fire truck! The children in attendance have the opportunity to take a picture with Santa, create holiday crafts, call the North Pole and enjoy festive music. Little Rock Family is a proud media sponsor of this event; visit our booth to decorate holiday ornaments for the children at ACH. Doors close at 11 a.m. 7-11:30 a.m. Dec. 6. $10-$15. For info: (501) 364-1476,

3. 47th Annual Christmas Frolic at Historic Arkansas Museum: Celebrate Christmas as it was in the 1800s with living history, carols, reenactments, live music, dancing and more. Visitors come from across the state every year for the famous hot cider and ginger cake, as well as Arkansas-made holiday shopping in the Museum Store. 1-4 p.m. Dec. 7. For info: (501) 324-9351, FREE!

4. 105.1 The Wolf & KSSN 96's Toy Hill Toy Drive at the Metroplex: Help provide Christmas presents to children in central Arkansas. 105.1 The Wolf's Bob Robbins and the KSSN 96's staff encourage you to bring new, in-package toys to benefit the Marine Corps Reserve's Toys For Tots program. Seventy-two music-filled events begin at 5 p.m. Dec. 5. The Dec. 6 event includes food, a fire truck, ambulance, U.S. Marines, and toys. Parades expected to arrive at Toy Hill beginning at 11 a.m. Free lunch and entertainment for all who come with new toys for Toys for Tots. Dec. 7 event includes food, U.S. Marines, Fraternal Order of Police parade at noon and a motorcycle parade at 2:30 p.m. Free, donations requested. For info: (501) 217-5141,

5. Nutcracker Tea at The Capital Hotel: Join the cast and characters of Ballet Arkansas's annual holiday classic, The Nutcracker, as they take you on a narrated journey from Clara's house through the Kingdom of Snow and into the Land of the Sweets. You'll meet your favorite characters along the way and get to snack on delicious sweets with the cast after the performance. 2-4 p.m. Dec. 7. $38, children $25. For info: (501) 223-5150,

6. Santa at the Center at William J. Clinton Presidential Center: Enjoy holiday activities, including art projects, special entertainment, tasty treats and free photos with Santa. Free for all ages, but regular admission fees apply to tour the library. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 6, 13 & 20. For info: FREE! (For more Santa events and sightings this weekend, click here.)

7. Little Rock Family Day for "Elf" at Arkansas Repertory Theatre: Join Little Rock Family at The Rep for fun holiday activities before showtime! Make holiday crafts (including Elf-themed ornaments) and pose for pictures with Santa Claus. Plus, you can satisfy your sweet tooth with the brand-new Rep-permint Chunk ice cream flavor (sweet cream mixed with peppermint chunks and marshmallows!) made by Lobolly Creamery. Free activities will be from 1-2 p.m.; Elf matinee begins at 2 p.m. Dec. 6. Admission to event free; tickets to the show additional. For info: (501) 378-0405,

8. North Little Rock Sertoma Club Christmas Parade and Northern Lights Festival in North Little Rock: Beginning at the intersection of Pershing Blvd. and Main St., the parade will head south into North Little Rock's Argenta Arts & Entertainment District and conclude in front of the City Services Building (120 Main Street). Stick around for the Northern Lights Festival and the lighting of the city’s new 20-foot tree made of LED lights. Enjoy live music from local choirs, free hot chocolate, photos with Santa, and free holiday crafts. Parade begins at 2 p.m.; festival starts at 3:30 p.m. Dec. 7. For info: FREE!

9. Conway Symphony Orchestra Presents "Tinsel & Tutus" at UCA Reynolds Performance Hall: Celebrate the season with highlights from "The Nutcracker" performed by the Arkansas Festival Ballet plus a special performance from the Central Arkansas Children's Choir. Enjoy exciting arrangements of holiday classics to make the Yuletide bright. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6. $20-$38. For info: (501) 450-3265,

10. Hike in the Hills at Pinnacle Mountain State Park: Challenge yourself with a guided hike to one of the seven peaks of Pinnacle Mountain State Park on this off-trail expedition. Wear sturdy shoes and bring lots of water. 2-4:30 p.m. Dec. 7, 14 & 21. For info: (501) 868-5806, FREE!

11. Tree Trimming at Laman Library in North Little Rock: The annual holiday celebration includes making an ornament to take home! 2-3 p.m. Dec. 6. For info: (501) 758-1720, FREE!

12. Children’s Crafts: Going Wild for a Natural Holiday at Garvan Woodland Gardens: Bring the kids or loads of fun making striking ornaments of natural materials with the Gardens’ resident artist Suzie Burch. Watch as she transforms pine cones, tree bark, berries, feathers, and other found objects into beautiful hand-made works of art, then try your own. Each ornament will be on display in the Gardens until New Year’s Eve! Registration required and children must be accompanied by an adult. 3-5 p.m. Dec. 6. $10, members $5. For info: (501) 262-9300,

13. I CAN! Dance with the Stars at Maumelle High School: Support the contestants in this showcase of talent and progress. Dancers with special needs perform with local celebrities and special guests, including KARK's Aaron Nolan, Ms. Wheelchair America 2015 Samantha Schroth, Director of Arkansas' Department of Higher Education Shane Broadway and others. 10 a.m. Dec. 6. For info: (501) 888-4140, FREE!

14. Old Fashioned Christmas at the White County Pioneer Village in Searcy: Visit the Pioneer Village, an 1880s-inspired village, to celebrate an "Old Fashioned Christmas." The Village will be decorated with handmade decorations. Visitors will find costumed guides serving cider and sugar cookies. Santa, with his sleigh full of toys, will hear your Christmas wishes. Free admission and parking; donations are appreciated. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 6. For info: (501) 580-6633, FREE!

15. 23rd Annual Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis at the Clinton Presidential Center and Park: Each year, hundreds of families, company teams, pets, and individual participants join in the fun, don festive costumes, and help raise funds for the Arthritis Foundation in support of programs and services statewide. There is a one-mile option, as well. Wear your favorite holiday costume, put jingle bells on your shoelaces, and get ready to walk or run. Dogs are welcome to participate. $30 for 5K; $25 for 1 mile. 11 a.m. Dec. 6. For info: (501) 664-4591, click here.

6 Holiday Shopping Events This Weekend

Image by Shutterstock

Mark a few more items off your Christmas shopping list this weekend (Dec. 5-7)! There are six special holiday sales, including huge events like the annual Arkansas Craft Guild Christmas Showcase and the Holiday Shopping Expo at the Arkansas State Fairgrounds. Plus, don't miss sales at some of our favorite schools: Pick out handmade ceramics from ACCESS students or stop for a free photo with Santa at Pediatrics Plus' sale.

ACCESS Gardens & Ceramics Holiday Sale at ACCESS Schools: Set your alarm and rise early to get the best of ACCESS ceramics. Shoppers will find platters, bowls, mugs, coasters and more colorful pieces created by ACCESS students. The once-a-year sale begins at 7:30 a.m. and ends when the items sell out. Dec. 5. For info: (501) 217-8600,

Arkansas Craft Guild’s 36th Annual Christmas Showcase at the Statehouse Convention Center: This holiday shopping extravaganza features quality art and fine crafts, both traditional and contemporary, by members of the Arkansas Craft Guild and their guests. More than 100 artists offer a unique array of fine handcrafted work, including pottery, woodworking, fiber art, glass, photography, jewelry, gourmet foods, and more. $5; free admission 8-10 a.m. Dec. 6. Show hours are: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Dec. 5, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 6, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 7. For info: (870) 269-4120,

Holidays at Hurricane at Hurricane Creek Elementary School in Benton: This 5th annual community event hosts more than 60 vendors from across central Arkansas showcasing jewelry, home and holiday decor, children's items, fashion, handbags, plus much more. A bake sale and silent auction are also part of the two-day shopping tradition. The event kicks off with a Ladies Night Out 6-9 p.m. Dec. 5 & the doors open to everyone 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 6. Entry is $3; children 12 and under free. For info: (501) 653-1012, or click here.

Holiday Shopping Expo at Arkansas State Fairgrounds: Support local vendors and small business owners while shopping for family and friends. We will have a variety of products and services, ranging from handmade, direct sellers, and wholesale items. Admission free. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 6. For info: (501) 504-5177,

Living Gift Market at Heifer Village: Visit with the Heifer Ranch animals, create fun crafts to take home and find the perfect gift in the Shop@Heifer. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 6. For info: (501) 907-8800,

Photos with Santa at Pediatrics Plus in Little Rock: Have your child's picture taken with Santa Claus and enjoy shopping at vendor booths at the Pediatrics Plus location on Aldersgate Road. Admission free. 9 a.m.-noon Dec. 6. For info: (501) 821-5459,

For more holiday shopping ideas, browse our Holiday Gift Guide here.

Weekend To-Do List: 9 Things to Make Room For on Your Calendar

Image by Big Jingle Jubilee Holiday Parade


It’s the first week of December and holiday celebrations are in full effect! Here's your weekend to-do list, complete with plenty of merriment. Enjoy! 


Thursday ( Dec. 4)

Shop N Sip in Hillcrest, Little Rock: On the first Thursday of each month, the shops in Hillcrest are open late. Come enjoy shopping, live music, food and drinks from 6-9 p.m. Holiday goodness abounds. 

Trucks & Trees at The Good Earth Garden Center, 15601 Cantrell Rd, Little Rock: You are just a tease, Good Earth! They were done with Trucks & Trees, but decided to schedule a last minute food truck meet-up with The Pie Hole. We hear there will be triple layer pumpkin pie (WHAT).Come get your Christmas tree, roast some mallows and feed your face from 5-8 p.m.


Friday (Dec. 5)

Hillcrest Christmas Tree Lighting, Little Rock: Live music, homemade cookies, hot cocoa and Santa, what else do you need? Complete with photo ops, the big man himself will light the tree at 6 p.m. and the festivities start at 5:30 p.m.

“Sacred Images: Icons of Sylvia Inzerella” Opening Reception at Argenta Gallery, 413 Main Street, North Little Rock: Artist Sylvia Inzerella has been studying the ancient art of iconography for over 15 years. Her unique style manages to deviate from traditional iconography while still employing time-honored materials and methods. A free opening reception will be held from 5-8 p.m. with the artist’s work available for sale. For more information on the Argenta Arts District, click here.


Saturday (Dec. 6)

Big Jingle Jubilee Holiday Parade, downtown Little Rock: Grab your warmest scarf and some hot cocoa and settle in for Little Rock’s annual Christmas parade complete with Santa and Mrs. Claus, marching bands, floats, animals and more. The route runs from 2nd and Broadway, follows Broadway to Capitol Avenue, then proceeds down Capitol Avenue to the State Capitol. Festivities begin at 3 p.m. For more information, click here.

“The Muppet Christmas Carol” at Ron Robinson Theater, 100 River Market Ave, Little Rock: The Dickens classic gets a fantastical and hilarious twist thanks to the likes of Jim Hensen and his crew of Muppets. The miserly Scrooge, played by Michael Caine, is visited by three spirits on Christmas Eve in hopes of changing his ways before it's too late. Showtime is 3 p.m. For more information, click here.


Friday-Saturday (Dec. 5-6)

“Other Desert Cities” at The Weekend Theater, 1001 W. 7th Street, Little Rock: A finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Other Desert Cities examines broken relationships and a tragic past within the setting of a tense family reunion. Tickets are $16 for general admission, or $12 for seniors and students, and may be reserved online by clicking here. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.


Sunday (Dec. 7)

Say It Ain’t Say’s Sweet Potato Pie Contest at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, 501 W. Ninth Street, Little Rock: Living up to every bit of deliciousness its title implies, this event features entries that will be accepted and judged by a panel of judges on taste, presentation, creativity, crust and overall greatness, as well as a people’s choice award. So much pie. It takes place from 5-7 p.m. as part of the MTCC’s Holiday Open House. For more information, click here.


Friday-Sunday (Dec. 5-7)

“Elf” at Arkansas Repertory Theatre, 601 Main St., Little Rock: Based on the 2003 movie starring Will Ferrell, this musical adapted by Tony Award-winners Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin follows Buddy, a normal boy raised as an elf in the North Pole. When he learns of his true nature, he journeys to New York City to find his birth father and gets into all sorts of hilarious and sticky (and syrup-y) situations along the way. For more on the musical, check out our Q&A with the cast members. Tickets are $40 and $55 and can be purchased here. All evening showtimes are at 7 p.m. and matinee performances at 2 p.m. For more information, click here.

The Lost Forty Brew Debut Party is Finally Happening

Image by Lost Forty Brewing on Instagram


The sly dogs at Lost Forty Brewing have been teasing us for a while now, but the time has finally come, ladies and gentlemen.

Next Wednesday (Dec. 10), be at the Lost Forty Brew Debut Party at the Flying Saucer downtown from 5:30-9 p.m. to kick off a mini tasting tour.

This will be outsiders’ first chance to get our tastebuds on their beverages, including Lost Forty Pale Ale, Bare Bones Pilsner and their first winter seasonal Forest King Stout. As if that wasn't enough, you can also try a small batch experimental dry hopped Double IPA for one night only. Quantities are very limited (hence the small batch), so get there early. 

You can spend some time with the folks of Lost Forty and try to steal all their secrets, or you can just relax and enjoy the brew. There will be giveaways every half hour and everyone will go home with a Lost Forty nonic pint glass.

All sounds like great news, right? Yeah, except that their Brewhouse Launch Party isn’t until spring. 


You Won't Believe What's Coming to Little Rock This Summer

Image by



Just four words at the top the Slide the City webpage and we’re already losing our minds.

Slide the City is a giant, 1,000-ft. water slide that travels around the U.S., getting rolled out down the streets of a host city.

Let’s revisit that real quick: a 1,000-ft water slide in the middle of Little Rock. 

They shut down streets and turn the place into a water park. The whole day, family friendly event includes live music, food, drinks and an extremely padded slide. Slide the City also partners with a local charity in each city because they’re awesome. Rain doesn’t even stop this thing.

There are three packages for purchase that determine how many runs down the slide you get, as well as the amount of swag you receive. T-shirts, tubes, water guns and mouth guards are all up for grabs.

Registration isn’t open yet and there are no details posted yet, but it’s coming and that’s all that matters.

Here’s a little something to get you pumped.

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About The Author
What’s new in shopping, the arts, music, travel, fun parties and delicious food in Arkansas? Let Lauren James of be your guide. An avid shopper, traveler and lover of everything-arts-related, she will show you the best of what Arkansas has to offer. Make your go-to spot every day to learn the latest in entertainment, dining, attractions, activities and more.
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