Posts Tagged ‘Lodging in Little Rock’

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.

ACANSA Arts Festival has Something for Everyone…

September 23rd, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

acansas logoStarting on September 24th and lasting through the 28th, the ACANSA Arts Festival will feature 26 visual and performing works by both established and emerging artists in diverse venues throughout Little Rock and North Little Rock. Enjoy both sides of the Arkansas River during the five days of “Southern Celebration of the Arts” with exhibits, workshops and performances by Arkansas artists as well as exciting opportunities to experience performances by world renowned artists.
The name ACANSA comes from the native Quapaw tribe, that was often referred to as the “people of the southern place” or “Acansa” in the Siouan tongue. The arts festival has adopted this name to honour their commitment to celebrating the uniquely rich cultural vitality of the region, one that has helped make this area part of the “New South” culture, one that is vibrant, cosmopolitan and filled with charm, hospitality and natural beauty.
We hope that arts and culture lovers who come to enjoy the festival will also enjoy the architectural wonder that can be found throughout Little Rock’s Quapaw Quarter, and especially in the historic Hornibrook Mansion, also known as The Empress of Little Rock. Come stay with us and enjoy arts and culture during the day and a cultural landmark at night!

Find more information about the festival here.

Find it for Free at a B&B!

September 10th, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

pumpkin puff pancakesLittle Rock is an amazing city with several amazing hotels…BUT, what those amazing hotels don’t offer is a wide range of amenities that come FREE with every stay at The Empress of Little Rock.  What?  You didn’t know that B&Bs offered special services that you don’t see in hotels?  What are these services?

How about a concierge?  Instead of relying on a guidebook, let our innkeeper give you the insider’s scoop on all of the best that the area has to offer. Maybe a gourmet breakfast appeals to you?  The Empress is known for her amazing 2 course candle-lit breakfasts in our grand dining room.  Afternoon or late night snacks while you are kicked back watching tv?  Don’t pay for chips in a vending machine, at The Empress we offer ice cold water and juice, biscotti, trail mix and crackers to all of our guests for FREE.  Tired of paying $6 per glass for wine at the hotel bar?  The Empress offers a wine hour every evening and will serve you a glass at no charge!

There are many other things that you can get for free at a bed and breakfast, such as parking, wi-fi and even new friends!  We invite you to get out of the hotel rut and try a bed and breakfast today…you won’t be sorry!  To book a room at The Empress, call us now at 501-374-7966…or check out all of our unique rooms here.hd-packages

Ahh…to be young…

July 26th, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

The Blair’s granddjena blairaughter Jena has spent the summer busily working at The Empress.  She has been a huge help, doing everything from answering phones and taking reservations to cleaning rooms and checking in guests.  Another great thing she brings to the table is the optimism and ingenuity of youth.  A great example of this young, fun attitude is a recent birthday celebration we had for Shana, Sharon’s executive assistant.  A birthday of a staff member is always celebrated with a card and a cake (or sometimes cupcakes!) and it fell on Jena to order the cake and buy the card for this particular celebration.  The cake was ordered in plenty of time (and, being from Community Bakershana birthday picy, was absolutely DELICIOUS) but the card was forgotten until the last minute.  Instead of a last minute dollar store run or a quick search for appropriate clip art, (solutions we old people would embrace)  Jena wasted no time in breaking out her youthful creativity and art skills  and quickly created a card using nothing but paper, pens, sharpies and a lot of imagination.  Shana pronounced it the best card to ever be presented at The Empress (and the cupcake wasn’t all that bad either!).

Tour an Award Winning Distillery in Little Rock

July 23rd, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

rock town Want to know where your bourbon comes from? How about your Gin? Just want to know how a distillery functions? Well Little Rock’s Rock Town Distillery is the place to learn all about what you pour over rocks…or do you take your shaken? Located in downtown Little Rock, this artisan craft distillery welcomes visitors to learn more about their products during a tour and taste. Enjoy the lively tour, which introduces you to the “grass to grain” approach of using local grains, and then take the opportunity to taste Rock Town’s spirits. What kind of spirits? How about Brandon’s Vodka and Gin, Young Bourbon (this one won Best American Bourbon in London’s World Whiskies awards!), Hickory Smoked Whisky, Riverboat Rum, Arkansas Lightning and Apple Pie Lightning.
rocktown tour After your taste and tour, get a cab (or a sober friend) to take you back to The Empress. We are sure Mr. Hornibrook (the house’s original owner, who also happened to be a successful saloon owner) would appreciate your choice of activities.
The tasting room is open Wednesday through Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Forty-five minute tours are 4 p.m. during the week and 1:30 and 3 p.m. on weekends. Tours explain the process of making spirits, from selecting the grain to filling the bottles. Tastings are restricted to ages 21 plus. $7/adult. RockTownDistillery.com.

Cultural Cuisine at Forty Two

July 17th, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

Want a uniquforty two atw wineglassese and fun-filled dining experience while staying at the Empress?  How about an opportunity to explore the world, while leaving your passport at home?  Forty Two, the restaurant at the Clinton Presidential Center, offers this opportunity at its Around the World dining event.  Every third Thursday of the month, they invite guests to explore the sights, sounds and flavors of countries across the globe.  A different country is featured every month, giving diners the chance to have their taste buds take a tour from Italy to India, without having to leave Little Rock.

 

A five-course tasting menu provided, with a bargain price of only $27.95, giving visitors the unique chance to sample distinctive flavors from around the world while enjoying a beautiful waterfront Arkansas setting.  Enjoy the culture of Melbourne, Australia on July 17th, and then come back for Jeonju, South Korea on August 21st!forty two plates

Reservations are required, as this event is extremely popular and seating is limited.  See more at Forty-Two’s website.  Or you can call them at 501-537-0042 to make your reservation.

 

 

 

Green Thoughts about Rising Food Costs

July 17th, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

Homemade loaves of bread

Fresh out of the oven!

I’m guessing you’ve already figured out foods are going up in cost rapidly.  What a challenge it has been to continue to provide a rich and varied menu that makes a meal special and stay within a budget.  In the last couple of years, we’ve been looking at ways we can improve the experience while cutting the costs, from food to cleaning.  With nine guest rooms, it doesn’t take long to add up.  So here’s a couple of things we’ve come up with that we feel good about that might work for you also.

1-Make you own bread (bread makers make it easy and you know what’s in it) .  But mixes are very expensive.  We decided that making our own mixes made sense and making 10-12 at a time and putting them in zip lock bags allowed us to buy flour in bulk.  We can rinse and reuse the bags, so we don’t add more plastic to the environment.  It costs less than $1 a mix making that many at a time, including your time.  Our guests love the smell of fresh baked bread wafting thru the house.  But they really love the 1″ thick slices of decadent french toast and the cheese strata made with the heels and tops of the loaves.

2-We have our own “Victory Garden” where we raise our own herbs, squash for our golden breakfast pie,  cucumbers for our tea sandwiches, figs we use as fresh fruit and we even created a new fig soup for the fall, and now we have our first crop of grapes.  We’ve also added a persimmon tree, and we have blackberry canes as well.

Tune in for more “green” ideas and how our experiements have worked out.  We’d also love to hear about what unusual thing you’ve done to reduce costs and be “green”

July 4th Brunch at The Empress

June 10th, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

June 10,2014 by Lisa

little kids 4th image

Join us for a tradition at The Empress, Brunch potluck with Mimosas on the grounds, July 4th at 9:00 a.m.  Bring a breakfast dish to share and we will enjoy good times and friendly conversations.  Brunch starts at 9 am.  Coffee, mimosas and  juice  for the kids will be provided by The Empress! Orange juice for the mimosas is sponsored by the Downtown Neighborhood Association.   We can’t wait to see you.  Afterwards, treat yourself to a free day at the Clinton Presidential Museum and then listen to the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra serenade you as fireworks explode at POPS at the River!  Weekend getaway package specials are also available  at 501-374-7966!

Happy Independence Day!!

So Much to Celebrate in May!

May 1st, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

Swing Garden at The Empress

 

IMG_20140421_134907_305

Welcome to May!  Especially after  cold winters  like the past one, we’re excited to WELCOME SPRINGTIME!!  May is a month full of  holidays, so The Empress staff wants wish all of you the best as you celebrate Mother’s Day, as well as  Cinco de Mayo and most of all remember our nation’s service men and women on this Memorial Day.

Looking for the Best things to do with  Mom on this Mother’s Day?  The Empress is once again hosting Mother’s Day Grand High Tea. Step her back in time to the Victorian Era where  beautiful big hats & gloves  were the norm.  Or book her one of our beautiful Spa Suites and let us arrange for her hour long relaxing message with Leslie.

History buffs, this one’s for you. Located in downtown Little Rock, the Quapaw Quarter Spring Tour of Homes May 10 & 11th, The tour contains Little Rock’s most historic homes and mansions, some predating the Civil War and many on the National Register of Historic Places.

Wanting to celebrate  Cinco de Mayo?  Visit South Main Street restaurants for your Cinco de Mayo  celebration.

Travel Rally Day!  Tuesday, May 6th from 2:00-2:30 The Bernice Garden, South Main District (SoMa)  1401 S. Main St. National Travel & Tourism Week (May 3-11)

Riverfest Weekend in the Rock!    Music lineup  includes: Chicago, Cello Green,  Hank Williams Jr,  The  Fray, Three Days Grace, Lee Brice, Buckcherry,  Easton Corbin,  Robert Randolph,  Jamey Johnson & The Wallflowers. The Family Zone will offer free entertainment for families!  In the Family Zone, you will find tons of activities and entertainment including the Family Stage, the Super Retriever Crown Championship Series, the Weenie Dog Derby, the K-9 Friz-B-Crew, Ruff on the River Pooch Parade, the Rock ‘N Ride Poker Run, the Rock ‘N Stroll Fun Run 5K, Arkansas Renewable Energy, International Village activities, a Baggo Tournament and much more. Or you may choose to visit part of history at The  Clinton Center while at Riverfest!  End your weekend with the Fireworks Show on Sunday, May 25 at 9:00 p.m.  Music will be simulcast throughout Riverfront Park and broadcast on The Point 94.1. You don’t want to miss Arkansas’ most spectacular show!

Mark your calendars  now to enjoy Springtime in May with us at The Empress,  call Lisa  and book your  reservation now.

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Pop Up In The Rock

October 15th, 2013 by Lisa

Last year, the Pop Up Project Street took over South Main in Little Rock.  For one weekend, Main Street was transformed with bike lanes, outdoor areas, farmers markets and food trucks.  Expect more of the same this year at 7th and Ringo on October 26th. 

Pop Up in the Rock is an urban demonstration of what is possible on a given street and within the city.  There will be demos of transportation, including walking, cycling, public transit and automobiles.  Also included are activities for families.
 
Below is a map of some of what you can expect on the big day:
 
popupintherock