Archive for the ‘Area Events & Activities’ Category

The Holiday Fun Continues in Little Rock

December 11th, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

big jingle jubileeThe holiday fun continues this weekend, Dec. 12-14! Ballet Arkansas presents its annual production of “The Nutcracker” and Burns Park lights up the night with a free Holiday Lights Festival. Plus, Garth Brooks visits North Little Rock to play three highly-anticipated concerts at Verizon Arena. All these events and more are included in our top 8 picks for families this weekend!

1. Garth Brooks World Tour with Trisha Yearwood at Verizon Arena: Don’t miss the electrifying return of country legend, Garth Brooks. The star makes his first Arkansas appearance on The World Tour and his first time in North Little Rock in more than 23 years. And, believe it or not, tickets are still available! $73.25. Performances are 7 p.m. Dec. 11-13. For info: (800) 745-3000, VerizonArena.com.

2. 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. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12 & 13; 2 p.m. Dec. 13 & 14. For info: (501) 666-1761, BalletArkansas.org.

3. Holly Trolley Day in Downtown Little Rock & North Little Rock: Ride the trolley free all day and take a picture with Santa from 2-5 p.m. at the trolley barn in North Little Rock. 2-5 p.m. Dec. 13. For info: CAT.org. FREE!

4. Dashin’ Thru the Lights at Burns Park Softball Complex: Run, walk, or stroll through the Hometown Holiday Lights in Burns Park. The display is about one mile each way, and you can complete the course as many times as you like during the event. Wheelchairs and strollers are welcome at any time during the event. Leashed pets welcome after 5:15 p.m. A shuttle will be available to return participants to the parking lot. Registration begins at 4:30 p.m. $5, $10 per family. 5-6 p.m. Dec. 13. For info: (501) 791-8543, NLRPR.org.

5. Holiday Lights Festival at Burns Park Softball Complex: Immediately following the Dashin’ Thru the Lights run, families can enjoy a bright festival at the Hometown Holiday Lights. Enjoy games and activities for the whole family and don’t miss photo opportunities with Santa and Dasher. 6-8 p.m. Dec. 13. For info: (501) 791-8543, NLRPR.org. FREE!

6. Living Gift Market at Heifer Ranch in Perryville: Stroll through the show barn, decorate cookies, find unique gifts in our international gift shop and support the work of Heifer International. Warm up with hot drinks and light snacks and enjoy a roaring bonfire. Snap a pic at a photo booth with an animal, too! 5-8 p.m Dec. 13 & 3-6 p.m. Dec. 14. For info: (501) 889-5124, Heifer.org. FREE!

7. Holiday Hayride at Pinnacle Mountain State Park: Jostle, bounce and laugh your way across the fields and through the woods on a guided hayride. Then enjoy a warm campfire, stories, hot chocolate and marshmallows. Advance payment required. $12, children ages 6-12 $5. 3-5 p.m. Dec. 13 & 27. For info: (501) 868-5806, ArkansasStateParks.com/PinnacleMountain.

8. Arkansas Chamber Singers Holiday Concert: Christmas at the Old State House Museum: The annual Christmas at the Old State House concert features traditional music of the season, music of new composers and music popular during the American Civil War. The combination of the acoustical magic of the hall and the glorious voices of the Arkansas Chamber Singers promises to pack the house for all three thrilling performances! Performances are 7 p.m. Dec. 12 & 13; 3 p.m. Dec. 14. For info: (501) 377-1121, AR-ChamberSingers.org. FREE!

It’s not too late to book your suite for this weekend!  Call the Empress of Little Rock at 501-374-7966 or visit us at www.theempress.com!

 

Christmas Celebrity Karaoke

December 9th, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

KaraokePromo14Every year during the holiday season, sports radio station 103.7 The Buzz gathers a group of local celebrities to celebrate the season and raise money for a good cause.  The 2014 Christmas Celebrity Karaoke is presented by Roadrunner Convenience Stores, and benefits Youth Home.  The 10th Anniversary of this local favorite will be held at Verizon Arena on Thursday, December 18th at 7pm.

See all of your favorite Buzz personalities joined with local celebrities from KATV, KTHV,  KARK, and FOX 16 PLUS some special guest celebrity surprises!  Tickets are on sale now, find them here.

Afterwards, make sure to join your favorite 103.7 The Buzz personalities following this years’ Christmas Celebrity Karaoke at the official after party at Cajun’s Wharf! No cover charge if you show your Christmas Karaoke ticket stub at the door!

Didn’t get to attend Christmas Karaoke? You can still take part in all the Christmas Celebrity Karaoke fun at the after party at Cajuns! It’s gonna be a great night of great food and great music including drink specials all night on Thursday December 18th with the Christmas Celebrity Karaoke after-party with 103. 7 The Buzz at Cajuns!

Make sure to book your room at The Empress for your fun celebrity-filled weekend.  Call us at 501-374-7966.  Check out our packages page here to find more fun activities for you Holiday getaway!

75th Annual Arkansas State Fair!

September 26th, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

Department of Parks and Tourism Photo

Department of Parks and Tourism Photo

Along with dozens of pigs, poultry, cattle, and goats, the entire state of Arkansas will be celebrated at the 75th annual Arkansas State Fair held in Little Rock.

This 10-day family-oriented event, which will run from Oct. 10–19 this year, serves up entertainment and educational opportunities that emphasize livestock, agriculture, the arts, and technology. Throughout the fairgrounds, visitors can enjoy a variety of shows and activities designed for all ages.

At the New York Daredevil High Dive Show, spectators can see performers plunge from dizzying heights into pools of water. Visitors also can watch swine go snout to snout in a series of competitive pig races. During the Swamp Masters Gator Show, viewers can witness a man wrangle an 8-foot, 200-pound alligator.

Arkansas State Fair Photo

Arkansas State Fair Photo

To commemorate the 75th anniversary, an act unlike any other to ever appear at the Arkansas State Fair will entertain guests. Rock-It The Robot is a 9-foot-tall robot that will ramble around the fairgrounds awing crowds with its built-in sound system, light show, and dance moves.

In addition, the fair always features livestock shows, an exotic petting zoo, arts and crafts, and carnival rides. Competitive pageants and rodeo events round out the activities.

The fairgrounds are located at 2600 Howard St. in Little Rock. Tickets will be available beginning Sept. 2.

Call (501) 372-8341 for more details, or visit www.arkansasstatefair.com.

And don’t forget to book your room at The Empress, only a short drive from the fairgrounds!  Call us at 501-374-7966.

Shermans Travel Names 10 Free Attractions in Little Rock

September 4th, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

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During a visit to The Empress, there is always a wide array of events, attractions, dining experiences and outdoor activities available (and the expert knowledge of our concierge to point you in the right direction). But did you know that Little Rock had a variety of attractions that you can visit for FREE?

Travel deal and advice website Shermans Travel recently blogged about “10 Free Attractions in Little Rock”. According to writer Kimberly Button, “Long known for its political prowess as Arkansas’ capital, the riverfront city of Little Rock is now showing off a softer side, with an eclectic mix of history and nature that appeals to travelers. Surprisingly, some of the biggest attractions at this offbeat destination are also the free ones.”

Here is their list of attractions that you will be amazed at the low price (hint:free):

1. Arkansas Governor’s Mansion
There’s no escaping the fact that President Bill Clinton got his start to the White House in this city, so why not embrace it and tour his former home? Eleven governors have set up residence with their families in the circa 1950 Georgian colonial mansion. Tours must be scheduled in advance.

2. Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
The Little Rock Nine were nine African American students who tried to enter an all-white school following the Supreme Court decision of Brown v. Board of Education. It was at this high school, still open to students, that racial barriers began to crumble during the highly televised event. Ranger-led tours are free of cost, but reservations are required.

3. Historic Arkansas Museum
All things Arkansas are celebrated at this destination that showcases art and artifacts from the state from the past 200 years, including a Knife Gallery highlighting the story behind the bowie knife.

The attractions above are all within walking distance of the Empress and are amazing historic sites. The remainder of the list includes The Old Mill, The Old Statehouse Museum, H.U. Lee International Gate and Garden, Heifer Village, Clinton Presidential Park Bridge, The Witt Stephens Jr. Arkansas Nature Center, and Riverfront Park.

– See more at: http://blog.shermanstravel.com/2014/08/25/10-free-attractions-in-little-rock-arkansas/#sthash.JKEvdfOB.dpuf

Book your stay at www.TheEmpress.com
H_U__Lee_Garden_And_Gate_by_joelht74
sculpture

South Main Cornbread Festival, a Taste of the South

October 30th, 2013 by Lisa

southern-cornbread-c

Only 5 blocks from the Empress is Main Street’s own Bernice Gardens, home of the Annual Arkansas Cornbread Festival.  The event will draw people throughout the state to the South Main neighborhood of Little Rock.  Focusing on the South’s  history and  one of it’s favorite dishes (Cornbread!),  the festival brings local restaurants and amateur chefs to the table to cook up their favorite cornbread recipe to win cash, prizes and Cornbread Glory!  Join the Empress along with party goers from all over  Arkansas as we enjoy delicious cornbread, local music, and handmade craft vendors the first Saturday of every November.
Follow the Cornbread Festival on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest:

http://pinterest.com/arkcornbread13/

https://www.facebook.com/ArkansasCornbreadFestival

 

https://twitter.com/arkCornbread13

 

Contact Information

Cindy Hedges
501-663-4181

cindyhedges@me.com

Cooking Classes at Eggshells

August 27th, 2013 by Lisa

diver scallops at eggshellsLooking for something unique and interesting to do in Little Rock?  How about a cooking class at Eggshells Kitchen Company?  The very best local chefs come into Eggshells to teach you how to make a signature dish of theirs.  Recent classes included a fresh pasta class with Scott McGehee, restaurateur of Zaza, Big Orange, and Local Lime and a chicken and dumplings class from Matt Bell of the fabulous new South on Main.

The next class available is on September 9th at 6pm and sounds like a deliciously-fun good time! John Masching of 1620 Savoy will be teaching participants how to make his mouth-watering diver scallops with Sofrito, Jalapeno, Oyster Mushroom, Asparagus, Hollandaise Sauce and Bacon Lardons.  Sounds just divine, right?

You will be offered a glass of wine with this class and all the free water you can drink.  You are also welcome to bring any beverage you wish to enjoy during your lesson and the subsequent eating frenzy.

You can sign up for the class at Eggshell’s Website and the cost is $50 per person. Why not combine a great nights getaway with your favorite guestroom at The Empress?  Call us for all the room details and other great ideas to make this a really special getaway!  501-374-7966.

 

Little Rock named one of The Top 10 Most Unexpectedly Romantic

January 2nd, 2013 by Lisa

What does Little Rock have in common with Pittsburg, Providence and Long Beach?  All of these cities were included in Yahoo’s “Ten Unexpectedly Romantic U.S. Cities.  Other cities lauded were:  Minneapolis, Cleveland, Lanai City, Sacramento, Salt Lake City and Washington D.C.

Little Rock is proud to be among such company, and The Empress of  Little Rock is proud to be listed as one of the top things to do in one of the top unexpectedly romantic cities!  Yahoo! Travel’s Melissa Burdick Harmon says of the historic bed and breakfast “Arrive early at the posh, Victorian-style Empress of LIttle Rock Hotel, for a couple’s massage, some downtime in the garden, and maybe a carriage ride along tree-lined streets and past the Governor’s Mansion”.

Want to know more Little Rock Landmarks mentioned for an unforgettable romatic getaway?  It was suggested that visitors try Ciao Italian Restaurant, 1620 Savoy and The William J. Clinton Library and Museum.   You can see the article from Yahoo! Travel here.   The Empress would also like to suggest a hike up Pinnacle Mountain, a visist to Cedar Falls at Mount Petit Jean or a drive along Arkansas’ backroads to enjoy the amazing fall foliage.  Check out Packages from The Empress that includes these favorites, such as the Gone With the Wind PackageValentines Day Packages or the Romantic Waterfall Package.

 

 

Packet House serves Great Food with a side of Amazing Architecture

October 26th, 2012 by Lisa

We’ve all driven by that big old house on Cantrell by Dillard’s Corporate Offices and thought, “That house is beautiful…why isn’t anybody doing anything with it?’  Well, after a few years of sitting empty, someone finally IS doing something with it.  The McDonald-Wait-Newton House, more commonly known as The Packet House, has recently opened it’s doors to the public as a restaurant.

Wes Ellis, the Owner and Executive Chef, describes the cuisine as modernized Southern Comfort Food and the descriptor seems apt to me.  My friend and I dined at The Packet House on a recent Thursday.  We were led through the suprisingly (in my opinion) modern interior to a small room tucked into the back of the house that also led out to a deck.  The atmosphere would have been great if it weren’t for the other occupants of this room (a group of around 15 young women celebrating a birthday) with white table clothes and sparse modern deco.

My companion ordered the trout and I ordered the duck breast.  The menu descriptions didn’t do justice to the perfectly cooked duck sitting in a sweet tomato reduction with good ol’ southern hoppin’ john on the side.  Halfway through our meal we decided to switch plates and I was very pleased with this decsion as well.  His trout was pan seared with the skin still on, sitting on ratatouille and drizzled with a lemon beurre blanc.  We enjoyed a very nice bottle of Reisling with the meal, one of my new favorites that I will be searching out in stores.

Would I recommend this restaurant to guests?  I most certainly would, both for the food and for the beautiful house that it is served in!  What better place to send guests from one beautiful historic mansion than to another!

 

Tour Guide Linda Howell presents “Haunted Little Rock”

October 10th, 2012 by Lisa

The Haunted America division of The History Press has recently released “Haunted Little Rock”, a book by Little Rock’s own Linda L. Howell.  The book provides pictures, stories and eyewitness accounts of reported “hauntings” in Little Rock.  Included in the book are tales of such landmarks as Mount Holly Cemetery, Robinson Center Music Hall, Reed’s Bridge and of course, The Empress of Little Rock.

Both history and eyewitness “sightings” are detailed in the book to give readers a fun and educational read.  Did you know that Curran Hall once had a “guardian” cat named Scout whose supposed job it was to protect the premises?  Have you heard the ghost exercising in the employee workout room in Little Rock City Hall?  Several employees say that they have.    Have you seen the grave of the Indian Woman “Elizabeth” in Mount Holly Cemetery?  If so, did you know that her body isn’t really there?  The marker was moved there by request of Albert Pike, but her body is still buried somewhere on the North Little Rock side of the river.

These stories and more will entertain and enlighten you as your read more about The Empress of Little Rock and other purportedly haunted spots in Little Rock in Linda’s book, available for purchase in The Empress gift shop.  We love the beautiful picture of The Empress on the cover!  You can also join Linda for Haunted Tours of Little Rock, every Friday night in October!!!  During the tour, Linda takes you to several of the Haunted spots in her book, starting at MacArthur Museum and entering The Empress for a view of our tower card room.  It is a frighteningly fun night for all!

Haunted History Makes for Eerily Awesome Tour!

September 25th, 2012 by Lisa

According to its website, “It is the objective of Haunted Tours of Little Rock to show you places located in the city’s Historic District, The Quapaw Quarter, where our prominent citizens once lived…….and some still do.” The Empress is proud to be a part of the tour, which takes you into the Hornibrook Mansion and up to the “haunted card room”, where you might be lucky enough to play a hand with Mr. Hornibrook.  The tour also takes it’s guests to such spookily familiar places as The Arsenal at MacArthur Park, Curran Hall, The Hanger House and Mt. Holly Cemetery.

The tour will run at 7pm on Friday nights through September and October.  If you can’t make the ghost tour, join The Empress for our regularly scheduled tour, offered every day at 11:30 and 3:00.  The cost is $7.50 and includes a tour of all three floors of The Empress of Little Rock  and an overview of its history.
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