Looking for a fun activity to do while in Little Rock? Interested in nature (namely the bird kind)? Then the Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center at 602 President Clinton Ave. has a wonderful afternoon for you on December 23! Winter Bird Feeding is an activity planned with the warm-hearted in mind during this cold season. Birds search for seeds, berries and other foods all winter long. Invite birds to eat in your own backyard by making a pine-cone bird feeder and learn how to start a “Wings Over Arkansas” checklist of birds you’ve seen.
This is a free event and is fun for the whole family, so make sure that your trip to the Rivermarket includes a stop by the nature center!
Need a place to stay during your Little Rock bird-watching getaway? The Empress has rooms available, and plenty of birds to watch on the 200 ft. of veranda and the Secret Garden! Visit us at www.theempress.com or call 501-374-7966 to book a room today!!!
High Tea at The Empress of Little Rock is always a treat, but during the holiday season it is something truly special. Christmas music wafts through the parlors and dining room, along with the scent of fresh evergreens. Victorian decorations adorn each room of the mansion, creating an authentic 1880s Christmas experience for our guests.
High tea evolved from the custom of ladies of the Victorian era taking a mid-afternoon respite to an elegant and formalized excuse to showcase one’s finery while entertaining friends. High tea was traditionally more of an evening meal; today’s high tea experience showcases dainty tea sandwiches, specialty teas, elegant finger sweets, and scones with clotted cream and lemon curd. Today it’s an opportunity to don one’s gloves and pull out grandmother’s china, crystal or silver, and have a time set aside to focus on ourselves and our friends. Victorian High Tea accompanied by your host’s warm hospitality is a hallmark at The Empress.
We would love to have your family, friends or group join us for a holiday high tea that will they will talk about for years to come. Call the Empress to schedule your tea, and enjoy a complimentary tour of the home in all of its holiday finery!
Every 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!
Looking for beautiful art and local gifts? Don’t miss SoMa’s fun Holiday Pop Up Shop at Studio Main with Erin Lorenzen, The Green Corner Store, and many local artists and products! Open weekends from now until Christmas, the shop includes local artisans Robinson Lane Jewelery, Julie Holt Pottery, Eco Social Events, David Monteith, Vincent Griffin, Michael Church, Kent Walker, Loblolly Creamery, Honeysuckle Cheese, Geek Eats, Bo/Knit/A, Southern Girl Soapery, Southern Salt, Kat Wilson and more! The following facebook pages can provide more information on these fun holiday sales:
This Holiday Pop Up Shop would be a perfect addition to the Empress of Little Rock’s shopping package . Bring your purchases back to The Empress for our “elves” to wrap while you cuddle up in front of a roaring fire! Don’t forget that the Christmas decorations are now up and the Empress staff is ready to make your holiday stay merry and bright!
The Empress of Little Rock is excited to be a participant in December’s 2nd Friday Art Night with the 10th Ever Nog-off, a friendly competition for the best eggnog in town! Join us at the Historic Arkansas Museum on December 12 from 5 – 8 pm and enjoy Live music, the opening of two new exhibits, and (of course) lots and lots of eggnog!
The Noggers (to date): Cache Restaurant, Capital Hotel Bar and Grill, Copper Grill, Loblolly Creamery, The Empress, Bridget Fennell Farris; John Selig, and Stone’s Throw Brewery. There will also be celebrity tasters present.
We can’t wait for this culinary celebration of a favorite holiday drink, and friendly competition for the best eggnog in town. Three awards will be given with the prize being bragging rights: The People’s Choice (by popular vote), The Taster’s Choice (awarded by celebrity tasters) and new last year, The Not Your Great, Great, Great Grandfather’s Eggnog award for the best unconventional entry. This award alludes to past winner, Nicholas Peay’s Eggnog, a traditional eggnog which actually is Museum Director Bill Worthen’s great, great, great grandfather’s eggnog recipe.
Book your room at the Empress and get a head start on the festivities by tasting some of our eggnog in front of a roaring fire in the Holiday bedecked parlor! Call now for the best choice of rooms, or check us out online at www.theempress.com
First Security Amphitheater in Downtown Little Rock is really going all out with this year’s holiday celebration and will be transformed into a winter wonderland of lights this holiday season. Visitors are invited to enjoy a ten minute light show that has been specially choreographed to music. This amazing exhibit will be on display throughout the holiday season. What else will be offered in the downtown area? There will be a meet & greet with Santa Claus, and an official lighting ceremony on November 29th. All ages are welcome to the River Market Pavilions to enjoy holiday cookies, beverages, crafts, games and much more!
And don’t forget one of our favorite Little Rock holiday traditions, the Big Jingle Jubilee Holiday Parade! The Annual Big Jingle Jubilee Holiday Parade, sponsored by the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau (LRCVB), will return to Little Rock Saturday, December 6, 2014. Serving as this year’s Grand Marshal is Miss Arkansas 2014, Ashton Campbell.
Beginning at Second and Broadway, the Holiday parade will start at 3:00 p.m. and travel south on Broadway, turn west onto Capitol Avenue and end at the State Capitol. The lighting and fireworks display will follow at dark or approximately 6 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.
Campbell will join Santa, Mrs. Claus, Rudy the Reindeer and many of their friends for this year’s highly anticipated holiday parade. Bring your camera and kids to watch decorated floats, marching bands, dancing troops and more make their way through the streets of downtown Little Rock.
Make sure to book your weekend at The Empress of Little Rock and attend one or all of these fun events! Call us at 501-374-7966 to reserve your room today!
The Holidays are quickly approaching and lighting displays will soon be popping up all over the Little Rock Metro area. Over the next few weeks we will discuss several of these displays and the celebrations surrounding them, but we would be remiss if we did not start the Holiday Celebrations Series with our own SoMa district display. Thursday, December 4th will be a very special night in our very special neighborhood. Area merchants and The Bernice Gardens welcome you to celebrate The Bernice Garden Tree Lighting and SoMa Holiday Open House. From 5-8 p.m. Santa will host an evening of music, treats, shopping and more! The fabulous Bernice Garden Christmas Tree will be illuminated at 5:30 to kick off the holiday cheer!
The Empress is the perfect spot to begin and end your SoMa holiday celebration. Lounge in front of a warm fire in our parlors or your own cozy suite, and then slip into your scarves and gloves for a short walk to Bernice Gardens. When you return to the mansion, enjoy our Victorian Holiday Wonderland as you peruse all of your new purchases. The softly playing Christmas music will help you maintain your Christmas spirit long after the celebration ends! Call today to book your suite in the nearest lodging to the party, The Empress of Little Rock.
The Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau (LRCVB) is announcing plans for a 10-day citywide celebration with many local partners taking place over November 9-18, 2014 in honor of the William J. Clinton Presidential Library’s tenth anniversary.
It’s been nearly ten years since the opening of the William J. Clinton Presidential Library on November 18, 2004; a true landmark that has drawn millions of visitors to Little Rock, and has spurred unprecedented cultural, economic and social progress.
The opening of the Clinton Center (Clinton Presidential Library, University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service and the Clinton Presidential Park) has forever changed the landscape of Little Rock, and was undoubtedly the catalyst that has propelled more than $2.5 billion in economic development to the central Arkansas area.
“The 2004 opening of the Clinton Presidential Center put Little Rock on the map as a true visitor destination,” said LRCVB President & CEO, Gretchen Hall. “Tourists from around the world have come to Little Rock specifically to see the Library, and have chosen to extend their stays to experience our wonderful city,” she added.
The Empress is proud to be a part of this wonderful, fast-growing city and has grown with the city this past decade. “When the Presidential Center was built, we had five room,” says Sharon Welch-Blair, owner of the Empress of Little Rock, “but we have felt the need to grow with the city and now offer an additional four spa-suites in addition to those five original rooms.” A part of the thriving SOMA district, which has also taken advantage of the economic boom in Little Rock, The Empress urges guests to come enjoy the history of Little Rock as well as the progress. “The Empress occupies the historic Hornibrook Mansion,” says Welch-Blair, “which is considered one of the finest examples of Gothic Queen-Ann Architecture in the region. We are also surrounded by the Quapaw Quarter Historic District, an area of lovely homes and buildings that have maintained their historic identity while the area has adapted to the new era.”
The video below is a timeline of the past decade and the changes that Little Rock has seen during this time. The city continues to grow and thrive and The Empress hopes to be a part of the future as well as the past!
It is the time of year for holiday parties, lavish decorations, and…shopping…!!! Lots and lots of shopping! Brown paper packages tied up with string!!! I think you get the point…
Join us from November 1st thru November 24th for a two night shopping getaway with your sister, your Mom, or your best friend, for an old fashioned Christmas Shopping Getaway-Miracle on 21st Street Shopping Package! Time to shop ’til you drop, and then join us back at The Empress for Hot Apple Cider (spiked if you like) and a massage to loosen up those muscles and rejuvenate those tired aching feet. Then enjoy a wonderful dinner at one of our many outstanding restaurants (let us make your reservations for you) Ciao, Brave New Restaurant, Ristorante’ Capeo, Bruno’s, Cache, they’re all great.
Join us for breakfast each morning and be pampered with Pumpkin Puff Pancakes with Hot Cider Sauce, or Ham Bundles with Hollandaise and then shop all over again, OR relax by the fire, sip on hot cocoa, eat peanut brittle, and enjoy the relaxation while an elf wraps your packages! The miracle will be that you ever shopped any other way!
Two nights in the room of your choice
Directions to all the best shopping in Little Rock
Two Gourmet Breakfasts to start the each day off right
one hour massage for each of you (pkgs. quoted for 2 people)
Pre-Christmas goodies!! (we make a whale of an old fashioned eggnog!!)
Holiday Gift Wrapping (gifts must be boxed; wrapping done by good naturedelves who need plenty to time to do it justice)
Prices start at $276 per person (tax and gratuity extra)
Please call for prices and reservations!! 501-374-7966
We are so excited to be selected for a feature in the Special Christmas Issue of Victorian Homes Magazine!!! The 8 page article perfectly describes The Empress as a Victorian treasure from the 19th century. It tells about the grand history of the mansion, from the original owner’s death shortly after completion in 1888, to becoming Arkansas’s first women’s college, all the way up to present day as an Award winning Bed & Breakfast.
“We’re delighted that the editors choose to feature The Empress of Little Rock, with all of her Christmas flair. From the smell of pine cones wafting through the foyer into the sitting parlors and guest suites, to fireplace mantles graciously decorated and an electric train that circles the glittering, heavily ornamented Victorian tree, we hope to give our guests a true Victorian Christmas,” says owner Sharon Welch-Blair. “We’re especially delighted they chose to highlight our Downton Abbey New Year’s Eve Wine Dinner Dance, which has been an area favorite for New Year’s Eve for years. The small intimate nature of this exclusive dinner party which is a throw back to the 19th century, is designed to celebrate a simpler but more elegant way of connecting with the good things of life we’re having trouble discovering in today’s hectic lifestyle.
This year we will decorate at the beginning of December, just in time to be showcased in this year’s Christmas in the Quarter, a tour of homes conducted around the historic Quapaw Quarter of Little Rock. We hope everyone can come experience the yards of live garland, festive Christmas music, and several Christmas trees from different eras that delight our guests every year! Join us for our daily tours at 11:30 a.m. & 3:00 p.m. during the holiday season and see what Victorian Homes Magazine was so excited to feature, a true old-fashioned Christmas in an amazing Victorian mansion. The cost is $10.00 per person.