One of the best Saint Patrick's Day events in Arkansas is the world's shortest Saint Patrick's Day Parade. It's held every year on Bridge Street and it's always a good time (Hot Springs is a nice place to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day anyway). This year, Jim Belushi is going to be grand marshal. More info.
If you're looking for a more serious way to celebrate the Irish, visit an Irish pub or bar. Many of them will have entertainment or at least specials for the occasion.
The Little Rock Zoo's tiger cubs are slated to make an appearance this weekend (weather permitting). You'll get to meet Asmara, Olan, Liem and Eko for the first time Saturday at 10 a.m. I can't wait to see them. More info.
- The Camden Daffodil festival is this weekend. I'm not really sure how many flowers they'll have up with the winter weather, but it's still fun! More info. (It's Daffodil Days at Garvan Gardens too, but I wouldn't expect them to really be in full bloom). Wye Mountain was covered in ice this weekend, so give the a few more weeks!
- Visit with an Expert at Crater of Diamonds State Park - Saturday, you can learn how the experts find the diamonds at Crater of Diamonds State Park. More info.
- River City Comic Expo at Clear Channel Metroplex - Saturday, visit with vendors and special guests (a full schedule is on their site) at the Clear Channel Metroplex. More info.
- "The Wizard of Oz with Orchestra" at Robinson Center Music Hall - Saturday and Sunday, the Symphony is presenting a unique "Wizard of Oz" experience. The movie will play while ASO plays the score and accompanies the cast. More info.
The Little Rock Marathon is taking over the downtown area Saturday and Sunday. So, if you're not participating in the events or watching the events, it's probably best to stay away. Saturday's races should be done before 10 a.m. Streets will be closed down throughout the city on Sunday until late afternoon.
- Saturday is the SOMA Mardi Gras Parade in downtown Little Rock (from on Main Street from 12th to 24th street). The parade starts at noon. The races for Saturday should be over well before noon.
- The Little Rock Zoo Education Department is starting some new and interesting workshops this weekend. Raising a Wild Child is this weekend. It's designed to help parents raise children who like to go out and enjoy nature. Upcoming workshops include craft classes for kids, their normal summer camps, birding and stargazing tours, among others. Call 501-661-7229 or visit the Little Rock Zoo's website for more information.
- Winter Jam 2014 is Friday at 7 p.m. It's a Christian music tour. Admission is $10. More info.
- The Bilingual Dr. Seuss Birthday Celebration at CALS Main Library is Saturday. They'll have a guest storyteller, games and crafts.
The basic concept of these classes is that you (and some friends) look at the studio's calender and pick a painting you'd like to learn how to paint. You reserve a spot in the class, and pick out a great wine and some appetizers to bring with you. On the day of the session, you and your friends bring your wine and apps and take part in a fun class to learn how to paint, between glasses of wine. Most of the paintings are fairly simple, and the teachers are there to help those who aren't so artistic make something wall worthy.
I normally don't write about things I haven't done, and I've never done a sip and paint class. A lot of my friends have, and they love the relaxed, fun atmosphere. A few have actually hung the paintings they created in these classes on their walls at home. Recently, a friend asked me if these classes were family friendly (something she could bring her teenage daughter too) so I decided to call a few and find out. I found out that each of these studios has something unique, aside from the art pieces they do, so I compiled a list of the information I gathered.
Along with that, I've also included some paint your own pottery boutiques. I have actually visited both of the ones I listed for that. They are great fun, but maybe not as instantly gratifying as a canvas. You take the canvas home with you. You have to wait at least a week to pick up your pottery. Personalized pottery makes a great gift too.
- African Rhythms - The Museum of Discovery has African Drum master Zinse Aggine doing demos all day Friday. This music-based program teaches all aspects of culture including history, geography and social sciences in a hands-on, informal learning environment. More info.
- Primitive Pottery - This Saturday is the first part of a two part event at Toltec Mounds State Park. The second part is March 15. Saturday, you will learn about making pottery and make a piece yourself (cost is $10). March 15 is when you will fire the pottery. More info.
- Chili with a Kick - Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Dickey-Stephens Park take part in a chili cook-off. Admission is $5 for all you can eat chili. It benefits Youth Home. More info.
- Denise White Parkinson, "Daughter of the White River" book signing - The Butler Center in downtown Little Rock is hosting this event Saturday. More info.
- Depression Era Glass Show and Sale - The glass show is at the State Fair Grounds Hall of Industry. More info.
- Arkansas Flower and Garden Show - This large events puts you in touch with landscapers, plant sellers and educational presenters. All weekend. Admissino is $8. More info.
With all the winter weather, I'm ready to see some flowers. You probably won't find many outside (even though Daffodil Days is technically starting at Garvan Gardens this weekend). You will find some at the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show this weekend at the Statehouse Convention Center in downtown Little Rock. It's 10-6 on Friday and Saturday and Sunday 10-4.
The Flower and Garden show is a great place to see landscapers, garden decorations and learn about plants. They have lectures (see the schedule) and some of Arkansas' top landscapers will be there. Chris Olsen of Botanica Gardens will giving a lecture on the Five Seasons of Gardening.
Admission to the show is $8. I have some photos from previous years.
In honor of President's Day, the Clinton Library is offering free admission. In addition to the normal exhibits, the library has a special exhibit on "Presidential Pets" which is really fun.
The library is located downtown at 1200 President Clinton Avenue. More info.
Valentine's Day is Friday and it's about time you did something about it. I have a great Valentine's Day planning guide that will help you find the perfect gifts, restaurants and more for your evening.
The cupcake above is from Cupcakes on Kavanaugh. I think a few of those would be a great ending to a Valentine's Day meal at home. Many local restaurants are offering special menus for the big night if you don't feel like cooking. Capers, Brave New Restaurant, 1620 Savoy and SO Restaurant are a few of the more romantic places serving special menus.
The list also has florists, jewelers and more for you to check out.
****Because of the snow, a lot of these events have been cancelled and/or postponed****
Lots of neat events going on this weekend. The weather is supposed to be cleared up, so hopefully we can enjoy it!
- The Annual Arkansas Home Show is at Verizon Arena Friday, Saturday and Sunday. More info.
- The Chocolate Fantasy Ball at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel in Little Rock is Saturday. It benefits the Ronald McDonald House and is a black tie events featuring all kinds of delicious goods. Tickets are $250. More info.
- Applebee's in North Little Rock and Little Rock are hosting Flapjack fundraisers on Saturday. The NLR one supports New Heart Ministries and the Little Rock on supports Arkansas Stars. Both are $7 per person and from 8-10 a.m. More info.
- The Old State House Museum is hosting a Valentine Fair for families on Saturday. It starts at 10 a.m. and is free. More info. (rescheduled until February 15)
- Heifer Hour at Heifer Village is every Saturday and Heifer Village.
- Teas and Tiaras is at Chenal Country Club. This mother-daughter tea features crafts, tiaras, brunch and more and benefits the Waner Children's Vascular Anomaly Foundation. Tickets are $25 for little princesses and $40 for adults. More info.
- The first Annual Benton Bridal Expo at Benton Event Center is Saturday. More info.
- The Arkansas RV Show is Saturday and Sunday at the Statehouse Convention Center. More info.
The Little Rock Marathon just announced some fun events that are going to be added to this year's race. One of the added events made me sign up for the 5k for the first time ever! The coolest new event (and it has limited space) is the Capital Hotel Detour. Here's the info about the run from the website:
Here is your chance to join an exclusive group of runners by completing the inaugural Capital Hotel Hat Trick. Space is limited and will be accepted on a first come first serve basis. While there is no entry fee, a donation to Little Rock's ACCESS School is required...but no minimum.
To participate, you just need to register for the hotel's race on their website, the official Little Rock Marathon 5k on Saturday (currently $30) and one of the races on Sunday (the marathon is sold out, but the 10k and half have space). In addition, they ask you make a donation to Access Schools.
After the 5k on Saturday, you have to run a 10k starting at the Capital Hotel. The race claims finishers will receive a commemorative visor. I would have preferred medal, but maybe next year.
In addition, a lot of cool speakers are lined up and you can register for those for free. You must register to participate. Some of the speakers include local Leah Thorvilson and well known runner Bart Yasso.