Kids will go postal over these monthly subscription boxes, which range from books to themed crafts. When you subscribe, a package arrives on your doorstep once a month, but the contents are a mystery until your tyke looks inside. Sounds like the perfect remedy for mid-summer boredom!
There's even more packaged goods in the digital edition of Little Rock Family. Check out to see what even the littlest people at your address can receive!
Entries to win a $50,000 Energy Efficiency Makeover from the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas will be accepted until Monday (July 15).
For the sixth year, the cooperatives are offering up to $50,000 in energy efficiency improvements to one lucky winner. In addition to the grand prize winner, 16 runner-ups will receive ultra-efficient GE Hybrid water heaters.
The contest grand prize winner will receive a new high-efficiency heating and cooling system, water heater, windows, insulation, lighting, Energy Star appliances and much more. The 2012 winners, Lee and Berthella Thomas of Palestine, are enjoying many benefits from the makeover, including experiencing a comfortable home with low utility bills, energy resources stewardship and modern conveniences and comfort without having to manipulate a thermostat or do without.
To enter the cooperatives’ $50,000 Energy Efficiency Makeover, contestants must be a member of an Arkansas electric cooperative, have an all-electric home, complete an entry form, answer questions about their residence, submit a photograph of their home and be in good standing as a cooperative member.
To apply, visit ECAHomeMakeover.com.
If you're like us, you can't get enough of frozen treats in the summer -- and neither can your kids! While we're making the rounds trying to visit every ice cream parlor and sno cone stand on our list of central Arkansas cool spots, we're also concocting some frozen sweets at home. Hey, we've gotta do something with all those fresh berries we've been picking!
Luckily, we found a few recipes from Weelicious.com that look healthy and delicious. Catherine McCord, mom and founder of the family food site, has perfected several nutritious, kid-approved popsicle recipes. Here are a few to try out with our own family:
Place the kiwis and juice in a food processor and puree until smooth. Place 2 tablespoons of peas in each Dixie cup or mold. Cover peas with kiwi puree and stir to evenly distribute peas. Poke a popsicle stick in the middle of the pops. Freeze pops for 4-6 hours or until frozen through.
Combine peanut butter, honey, and 1/2 cup of milk in a bowl until smooth. Whisk the preserves and the remaining milk in a separate bowl to combine. Pour both mixtures into 2 separate liquid measuring cups for easy pouring. Pour 2 tbsp of the peanut butter mixture into each Dixie cup, followed by 3 tbsp of the fruit preserves mixture. Freeze for 30 minutes. Pour the remaining peanut butter mixture on top. Poke a popsicle stick in the middle of the cups. Freeze for at least 6 hours or more.
In a bowl, mix together the water, lemon juice and agave. Place 3-5 blueberries and 1 or 2 kiwi slices in each ice pop mold. Gently pour the liquid mixture into each mold. You can reposition the fruit after you've poured the liquid. Freeze 6 hours or until frozen through.
For more yummy recipes for the family -- including this one for Watermelon Cinnamon Granita -- visit Weelicious.com. Or, pick up a copy of Catherine McCord's cookbook, "Weelicious: One Family. One Meal."
Ah, summer. The days are longer. The smell of fresh cut grass floats through the air while sprinklers skitter and cicadas grind out their evening melodies. Children giggle and romp around with dirty feet and sticky hands from dripping, melting ice cream. OUCH! Blasted mosquitos interrupt your front yard moment of nostalgia. Then your sunburned child shrieks, “I feel like a French fry!” Oh, that familiar Solarcaine commercial quote from your youth that you taught them resurfaces. Hey, at least they were listening to you—that time.
Don’t be discouraged though. Sometimes having fun does take a little work. Spending some time on prevention and preparation can keep the good times rolling throughout the dog days of summer. Here’s a quick reference list of tips and pointers to help your family stay on the sunny side of life this summer season.
• Use the appropriate sunscreen for your child and you. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30, which blocks 97 percent of the sun’s rays. Higher SPFs block slightly more. It should be applied every two hours when outdoors and after swimming or sweating.
• Stop. It is not for babies under six months though. Keep them in the shade and covered as much as possible.
• The AAD suggests people older than six months should apply sunscreen and wear protective clothing and gear.
• There are many types of sunscreens. Sunscreens containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are most appropriate for the thinner skin of toddlers and infants because they do not penetrate the skin and are less likely to cause irritation. As little ones grow, creams are best for dry skin and the face. Gels are good for hairy areas. Sticks are good to use around the eyes. Sprays are effective to cover most areas, but be sure to not inhale it or spray on faces.
For more tips on summer safety, see the digital edition of Little Rock Family's July issue.
Big Orange is always adding something special to its menu.
This time, the burger hot spot, 17809 Chenal Pkwy., Ste. 101, Little Rock, has added Loblolly Creamery sodas to its long lineup of yummy drinks that range from shakes, floats and fresh-squeezed juices to teas and coffees.
The all-natural, hand-crafted syrups from everyone's favorite Arkansas soda shop is combined with super fizzy soda water, making for one of summer's most refreshing libations.
Check out these flavors now being served: Big Orange, Black Cherry, Root Beer, Vanilla Cream and Honey Ginger.
See what you can pair with the delicious sodas here.
An estimated 20,000 people, including visitors from most U.S. states as well as South Africa, South America, Europe and South Korea, will attend a week of Taekwondo competition and training when the American Taekwondo Association (ATA) hosts its 23rd annual World Expo conference this week (July 8-14) in Little Rock.
The World Championships officially kicked off Tuesday (July 9) with introductions from Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO Gretchen Hall, Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola, Grand Master Soon Ho Lee, Sun C. Lee, chairwoman of the Board of the ATA, and others at the top of the ATA organization.
The week of World Championships will be filled with martial arts seminars, special training sessions, exciting tournament competition and the elaborate World Ceremony. This year’s World Ceremony will be at 7 p.m. Saturday (July 13) at Verizon Arena.
The theme for this year’s World Ceremony is “ATA Strong Worldwide” and will feature international competitors, Masters and martial arts pioneers from all corners of the globe. History will be celebrated through the traditional Master’s Ceremony, honoring and recognizing the life-long journeys of Songahm Masters.
The team competition will feature the top scoring teams from all over the world who competed throughout the year and earned a spot to demonstrate their high-flying stunts and performance martial arts in a quest to be named first in the world.
This year, ATA is introducing a new competition at the World Ceremony- the Worldwide Sparring Competition. Audience members will see the combat sparring with competitors from around the world representing their countries, including Paraguay, Brazil and many more. The 2012 Pan-Am Champion, Team USA, will put their speed and accuracy to the test as they vie for the first ever Worldwide Champion title!
Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.
For competitors, these championship events mark the culmination of a year of hard work at regional and national ATA tournaments to earn a coveted spot among the Top 10 students in their respective divisions. Students will compete in divisions based on age and belt rank. They will demonstrate their skills in traditional forms, weapons, sparring, creative and ATA-Xtreme open-hand forms and weapons, and combat weapons sparring. These competitions will be held at the Statehouse Convention Center. Top Ten will be held Friday (July 12) and is free to the public.
The ATA was founded in 1969 by Eternal Grand Master H.U. Lee. The organization is internationally headquartered in Little Rock and has called the state capital home since 1977. With active membership exceeding 300,000 worldwide, including more than 60,000 Black Belts, ATA is North America’s largest martial arts organization dedicated to the discipline of Taekwondo.
For more information about ATA or the Songahm Taekwondo World Championships, visit ATAonline.com.
Get a preview below.
Finding a swimming pool in Arkansas is no problem during the summer months. It seems like every neighborhood has their own. But what about a wet place for the little ones who find that even the shallow end is a bit too deep?
We searched and found the following locations, from that municipal pool to the biggest water theme parks.
Some are free, some are not. Some may be close to your house, and some might require a day trip.
What they all share in common is that they’re great places where kids can get wet, have fun, and more importantly, keep their heads above water.
1. PEABODY PARK PLACE
The name of the nearby hotel recently changed to Marriott, but Peabody Park Place is still the same. Kids will find a splash pad with spongy turf, geysers and fountains that erupt from the ground with the push of a button. Plus, tunnels and slides nearby to play in while drying off. Free and open to the public.
2. WILD RIVER COUNTRY
The granddaddy of big water theme parks in Central Arkansas, Wild River Country begins the 2013 summer season under new management, but with familiar favorites. Little ones will enjoy the “Tad Pool,” with fountains to shoot and waterfalls to explore. There is also an “Old Swimmin’ Hole” with shallow water for youngsters to practice their swimming. Free for ages 2 and under; see www.WildRiverCountry.com for more info.
3. MAGIC SPRINGS WATER & THEME PARK
Splash Island at Magic Springs & Crystal Falls is the park’s newest multi-million dollar attraction. More than four stories tall, Splash Island has water wheels, water curtains, climbing nets, waterfalls, 10 waterslides and a “tipping bucket” that dumps 1,000 gallsons of water on its visitors every 10 minutes.
4. WAR MEMORIAL PARK
Open for its second summer, War Memorial Park’s splash playground offers rocks, nets, nooks and crannies to climb on with fountains, mist and plenty of water to keep kids wet. A covered slide and a view of Coleman Creek nearby also entice visitors. Free and open to the public.
5. JACKSONVILLE SPLASH ZONE
This city park in Jacksonville boasts two water slides, a water tunnel, the umbrella-shaped Rain Drop and Dew Drop water showers, and the kids-only Tea Cup. One of the two swimming pools is kid-friendly, with a depth of just 30 inches, perfect for little ones just learning how to use their sea legs. Free for ages 2 and under.
6. DIAMOND SPRINGS WATER PARK
Even if you don’t find a diamond in the rough at the adjacent Crater of Diamonds, this aquatic playground will keep you in a mining mood. With waterfall hideaways, geysers shooting from beneath the surface, sprayers, waterspouts, cascades, two water slides and more, your little swimmers will dig this place. Admission free for ages 2 and under.
7. ARKADELPHIA AQUATIC PARK
Ask your kids if they’ve ever slid down a frog’s tongue. If the answer is no, be relieved and then take them to Arkadelphia’s Aquatic Park. You’ll find a larger-than-life amphibian to play upon, arching sprays, floating play pieces, a pool with zero depth entry and an open-flume waterslide. Youngsters are guaranteed a hopping good time.
8. DICKEY-STEPHENS PARK
While the older kids (of all ages) keep tabs on the Arkansas Travelers, Dickey-Stephens Park offers younger visitors a cool distraction at its Kids Korner. Except for one traditional playground set, everything's inflatable. Children will find three giant balloon slides with water greasing their path below. They will have a challenge climbing up the inflatable stairs, but there are plenty of park employees around to supervise and keep watch. Admission to Kids Korner is $3, on top of the admission charged at the gate.
See more watery surprises in this month's digital edition of Little Rock Family.
It might be summer, but there isn't any traditional slowdown in activities yet. Here are five fun and inexpensive adventures you and your family can take during the month of July.
1. Go bowling.
When it’s too hot to even think about outside activities, enjoy the AC at Professor Bowl West, Conway Family Bowl or Allfam Bowling Center in Cabot, where children ages 15 and under can enjoy two free games every day of the summer. Shoe rentals still apply, but can you complain?
2. Watch a film.
Thrifty families know that you can find cheap and free movie screenings all summer long—you just have to know where to look. Three local spots offer up options for families this summer: Movies in the Park at the First Security Amphitheatre and Dickinson Chenal 9 Theatre at The Promenade at Chenal show movies for free, while Regal McCain Mall Stadium 12 charges a $1 donation, a portion of which benefits the Will Rogers Institute. Get more info about these programs and others in the area here.
3. Read a book.
The Central Arkansas Library System and Laman Library encourage kids, teens and adults to “Dig into Reading.” When they do, they’ll receive fun prizes. Plus, participants are invited to attend storytimes, performances and workshops each week. Get more information here.
4. Soak up some culture.
Downtown cultural centers like Heifer Village and the Clinton Presidential Center offer up affordable family fun while the kids are out of school. Through August 31, the free “Heifer Hour” features a craft, game, children’s book or outdoor activity for children in grades K-5 at 11 a.m. each Tuesday and Saturday. Also on Saturdays, the Clinton Center puts on its Super Summer Saturday programs, free with the price of admission.
5. Take a hike.
Get out on the trails and enjoy Arkansas’ natural scenery. In central Arkansas, you’ll find plenty of spots to spend an afternoon. Pinnacle Mountain State Park boasts 13 trails, five of which are marked “easy.” Or, take a day trip to the beautiful Petit Jean State Park where you’ll find more than 20 miles of hiking trails.
Learn more about these five fine things and browse our Family Fun section in the July issue of Little Rock Family. Click here to read the free digital edition.