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Eat, Play, Shop, Live, Visit, Work. Your daily stop for the latest on all things Arkansas, including your comments. Send blog tips and feedback to Associate Editor Lauren James here.
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Win 4 Tickets to Magic Springs and Bridgit Mendler Concert

Image by Tyler Rosenthal

Do you feel lucky? Because today we are giving away a family four pack to Magic Springs Water and Theme Park for this Saturday (July 19), which includes admission to the Bridgit Mendler concert on Saturday evening.

Don’t miss your chance to win four passes to Magic Springs over on our Facebook page today! Also with your admission to the park, you can see Disney star and recording artist Bridgit Mendler live in concert. Mendler’s debut single off the album "Ready or Not", became an international Top 40 hit and was certified gold. Her second single "Hurricane" has been certified gold selling over 500,000 copies.

Mendler is also an actress and has appeared on several Disney Channel series and the 2009 made for television film "Labor Pains." In 2009, she became a recurring character for the Disney Channel Original Series "Wizards of Waverly Place." In December of that year, she made her theatrical debut in the film "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel."

Nashville artist and Hot Springs native Kimiko will open the concert at 7 p.m. Mendler will go on at 8 p.m. at the Timberwood Amphitheater.

To enter, visit Little Rock Family's Facebook page and follow the contest instructions. The deadline to enter is 3 p.m. today (July 15). A winner will be announced on our Facebook page at 4 p.m. Good luck!

For more information about Magic Springs Water and Theme Park, visit

Go-and-Do: Cool Off with Show Caves in Arkansas

Image by Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

Summertime is big for outdoor activities, but with hot temperatures, people take a second to think twice about venturing outside into the heat. 

However, various show caves in Arkansas can provide outdoor lovers with the perfect adventure while staying cool. The state features eight show caves that offer you the chance to get outside without enduring the heat. Since they're subterranean, you'll encounter cooler temps than outside in the sun.

"A cave like ours, we're great family entertainment, a chance to get outdoors instead of being cooped up indoors or playing video games," Dennis Boyer, of War Eagle Caverns said in a news release. "It's nice and cool in the summertime."

Boyer said the cave's constant temperature is a cool 58 degrees.

Show caves are open for tours for individuals or groups. For more information, click here. If you and your family decide to venture out to one of the state's show caves, be sure and bring a jacket! Below is a list of show caves in Arkansas.

Blanchard Springs Caverns Fifty Six, AR. For more information, call (870) 757-2211. Website.

Bull Shoals Caverns Bull Shoals, AR. For more information, call (870) 445-7177. Website.

Cosmic Cavern Berryville, AR. For more information, call (870) 749-2298. Website.

Hurricane River Cave Pindall, AR. For more information, call (870) 429-6200. Website.

Mystic Caverns/Crystal Dome Harrison, AR. For more information, call ((888) 743-1739. Website.

Old Spanish Treasure Cave Sulphur Springs, AR. For more information, call (479) 787-6508. Website.

Onyx Cave Eureka Springs, AR. For more information, call (479) 253-9321. Website.

War Eagle Cavern Rogers, AR. For more information, call (479) 789-2909. Website.

Taste of Tuesday: Seared Sea Scallops from Cache

Image by Dean Wheeler
Cache Restaurant & Lounge's seared sea scallops

Since it opened in December, Cache Restaurant & Lounge has become one of the premier places in downtown Little Rock to enjoy fine dining. 

It's because of dishes like the seared sea scallops that Cache has risen to the high ranks of the Little Rock restaurant scene so quickly. The dish was included in Soirée's 7 Extravagant Dishes in Little Rock article by Kevin Shalin in the July issue. If you haven't checked out the dishes included in the article, we recommend you do soon!

The folks at Cache were nice enough to share the recipe to the dish and now we're going to share it with you. Before we do, just to set the stage for this exquisite dish, here's how Shalin described it: "This dish, much like the restaurant itself, possesses a modern flair with sophisticated accents."

The ingredients:

•4 U-10 scallops

•4 oz. Cauliflower Cream

•8 oz. seasonal vegetables (squash, spring onion, chantrelles mushrooms)

•Shaved black truffle

•3 Cerignola olives sliced and pit removed

The process:

Season the scallops with salt and pepper. In a nonstick skillet on high heat with a little grape seed oil, sear the scallop on each side until golden brown for a minute and a half on each side. Set aside to rest. If you add butter, add after the first flip so the butter doesn't burn. Cut free vegetables in a medium to large dice and sauté in grape seed oil and one clove garlic until tender. Finish with a sprinkling of fresh herbs, such as parley and oregano. Cut one head of cauliflower into 1-inch pieces and place in a medium saucepan. Pour in heavy cream until almost covered. Add black truffle juice or truffle oil as desired. Bring up to a boil and immediately down to a slow simmer until cauliflower is completely tender. Place in a blender and cover. Start blender slow and then move to high until puree is smooth.

Take a large spoonful of cauliflower puree and spread onto a plate. Place the veggies in the center of the puree, then, place the scallops on top. Garnish with olives and truffle, sprinkle with sea salt and enjoy!

Boot Camp Starts at Vesta's Today

Image by Vesta's

Free up your schedules this week, friends! 

Today, Vesta's kicks off its Old Gringo Boot Camp sale. The trunk show features more than 50 of the latest styles from Old Gringo Boots. Customers may pick out their favorites, then pay half now and the rest later when the boots arrive just in time for football and sweater weather. Bring it! 

Then Wednesday night beginning at 6 p.m., it's a Beer & Boots party! Specials will be offered throughout the store along with door prizes and to top it all off, a pair of boots will also be given away! 

The sale runs through Saturday. For more information, click here. 


Update: Here's a clip about the sale from KATV, our content partners. 

KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Look Before You Lock and Prevent Heatstroke, Hot Car Death

In the fast-paced society that we live in, our daily routines are essential; they are what help us get things accomplished. When changes in our routine occur—even small ones—it is easy for us to lose focus and forget things, important things. No one wants to believe that they could forget about their child amid such changes, but it happens to good parents. Unfortunately, terrible stories and data prove that any parent can forget their child in the car on a hot day.

The inside temperature of your car can rise almost 20 degrees Fahrenheit in the first 10 minutes after it’s turned off. Pair that with the fact that a child’s body temperature heats up nearly five times faster than an adult and in only a few short moments a child can become dangerously overheated. Even cool temperatures in the 60s can cause the inside temperature of the vehicle to rise to well over 110 degrees inside. In 2013, a total of 44 children died in the U.S. after they were left in a vehicle, and since 1998 the number of deaths has totaled more than 600.

Children die as a result of being left unattended in a vehicle in one of three ways:

  • 52 percent are “forgotten” by a caregiver
  • 29 percent are playing in an unattended vehicle and became trapped
  • 18 percent are intentionally left alone

Why are children at risk?

  • Their small bodies absorb heat more quickly.
  • Perspiration doesn’t cool infants and children as well as adults.
  • They can’t change their environment.
  • They can’t remove clothing or get out of the vehicle.

What doesn’t work?

  • Prior air-conditioning does little to prevent temperatures from rising. In five minutes the car’s interior temperature reaches that of the outside air.
  • Leaving the windows open doesn’t prevent the child from overheating.

With hotter days on the way experts estimate that one child will die every 10 days from heatstroke in the U.S. alone after being left in a vehicle. Again, most of these children have loving, protective and attentive parents whose routines are changed up.

It is vital to take steps to protect your children from these preventable deaths and injuries. While parents believe they could never possibly “forget their child in a vehicle,” the truth is that is the most fatal mistake any parent can make. Vehicular heatstroke is misunderstood, and is not limited to any certain “type” of parent. Remember, it only takes a moment to “look before you lock.”


  • The best way to remember a child is to leave something you will need at your next destination in the back seat. This could be a purse, briefcase, gym bag, cell phone or something else you always carry. You can set the alarm on your cell phone or computer calendar as a reminder to drop your child off at childcare.
  • Teach children not to play in any vehicle. Once children get inside, they can be quickly overcome by heat and not know how to problem-solve and climb out.
  • If you see a child alone in a vehicle, the best thing you can do is to call 911 (EMS) immediately. Wait by the vehicle so EMS can find you quickly. EMS personnel are trained to assess a situation and determine if the child is in danger.
  • Know the symptoms of a heatstroke: dizziness, disorientation, agitation, confusion, sluggishness, seizure, hot/dry skin that is flushed but not sweaty, loss of consciousness, rapid heartbeat or hallucinations.

Chuy's Coming to North Little Rock

Chuy's fans in North Little Rock have reason to celebrate this morning! The Tex-Mex chain is hopping across the river to a location at 5105 Warden Road, according to our sister publication, Arkansas Business.

Chuy's will set up shop in the old home of the Little Rock Parker Auto Group's Saturn dealership. The restaurant is set to be 9,088-SF and open in February. This will be the third Arkansas location, in addition to ones in Little Rock and Rogers.

For more on the story, check out the Arkansas Business report here.

ACANSA Arts Festival Announces Performances, Tickets Now on Sale

Image by Allen Clark

Acapella group Street Corner Symphony will perform in Little Rock during ACANSA Arts Festival in September.

Soirée is the proud sponsor of ACANSA, central Arkansas' inaugural arts festival taking place September 23 through September 28. 

The festival will bring together acclaimed regional performers and noted artists from Central Arkansas’ local visual and performing arts scene. 

Located on both sides of the Arkansas River, ACANSA Arts Festival will feature 26 performances across a diverse array of venues, including Argenta Community Theater, Wildwood Park for the Arts, Scottish Rite Temple Auditorium, Clinton Presidential Center, MacArthur Park, and Connor Performing Arts Center at Pulaski Academy to name a few. 

“Central Arkansas will prove to be an excellent host for ACANSA, showcasing some of the region's best artists and performers along with our community’s finest venues,” said Founder and Board Chair Charlotte Gadberry. 

Festival events will include concerts, recitals, and dramas along with free outdoor performances, family events, educational outreach events, and gallery viewings.  Among the many artists coming to Central Arkansas during the inaugural festival are American mime artist and actor Bill Bowers, internationally acclaimed organist Hector Olivera, contemporary modern dance company Dallas Black Dance Theater, and a capella group Street Corner Symphony, runners-up on the second season of NBC's The Sing-Off.

Additionally, the Festival will showcase a noteworthy roster of collaborative programs featuring local talent, such as:

  • ·      Disfarmer, performed at Argenta Community Theater – written by award winning Arkansas playwright Werner Trieschmann and directed by Arkansas Repertory Theater’s Producing Artistic Director Bob Hupp
  • ·      Central Arkansas’ Own – a concert with The Arkansas Chamber Singers, Opera in the Rock, and The Muses
  • ·      A Pointe of Chorus – performances by Ballet Arkansas and Arkansas Festival Ballet, with an opening musical performance by Arkansas guitar trio Finger Food

“There is something for everyone,” said Executive Director Renay Dean. “ACANSA is going to be five great days and nights of entertainment. Expect a wide variety of sights, sounds, and movement!”

ACANSA Arts Festival ticket options include individual performance tickets ranging from $20 to $30 dollars, select VIP tickets for $50 dollars, a limited number of student tickets for $10, a Silver Festival Pass for $250, and a Gold Festival Pass for $350. The Silver and Gold Festival Passes enable guests to experience the full five days of ACANSA Arts Festival, including access to all performances. The Gold Festival Pass also allows guests to attend VIP receptions and enjoy VIP preferential seating and parking where applicable.

For more information, visit or give them a follow: (, Facebook ( and Pinterest (


Ballet Arkansas Adds Dancers, Announces Details for Upcoming Season

Image by Jason Masters

Professional company members of Ballet Arkansas include Laura Horak, Toby Lewellen, Katchiri Tillman, Paul Tillman, Leslie Dodge, Sean Porter and Anna Kirkes.

Ballet Arkansas recently announced its adding four new dancers to the company along with details for three events taking place at a variety of venues in central Arkansas as part of their 2014-15 season.

On Aug. 23, Ballet Arkansas will present "Visions: A Choreographic Competition" at Ron Robinson Theater, 100 River Market Ave. The event will feature choreographers Sayoko Knode, Jerry Opdenaker, Brandon Ragland, Chris Stuart and Hilary Wolfley. The performances will be judged by Ballet West Artistic Director Adam Sklute.

Ballet Arkansas will present a performance of "The Nutcracker" from Dec. 12-14 at the Maumelle Performing Arts Center, 100 Victory Lane in Maumelle. For those who would like to participate, auditions for The Nutcracker will be held at 10 a.m. Aug. 9 at Shuffles and Ballet II1521 Merrill Dr. A $20 audition fee is required.

The third performance is a choreography titled "Who Cares?" which will appear April 17-19, 2015 at Arkansas Repertory Theatre, 601 Main St. The choreography is by famed 20th-century choreographer George Balanchine, who also choreographed The Nutcracker and is known as "the father of American ballet."

The new dancers joining the company are Tony Sewer from Milwaukee Ballet II, Megan Hustel from the University of Utah and Hannah Bradshaw from Columbus Ohio's BalletMet Trainee Program. All hail from outside Arkansas and bring with them solid backgrounds in training and performance. Additionally, Georgia Quinn, a Little Rock native and former Ballet Arkansas Youth Division member who received her training from Jenny Cockrill at Dance Dynamics in Little Rock will be joining the company this season as an apprentice. 

For more info on the upcoming season, contact Ballet Arkansas by phone at 501-223-5150 or visit their website and Facebook page.

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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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