5 Things to Do With Friends in Little Rock (That Aren’t Dinner)

You’ve been there before. You send an excited “let’s hang out” text and get a “let’s get dinner” response, but you’re not interested. Sure, Little Rock has a great restaurant scene, but sometimes you need to shake things up a bit, whether you’re trying to protect your pockets or just soak up the Southern sun.

If you’re ready for some quality hang-out time, but are at a loss, here are five things to do in the Little Rock metro area other than dinner.


1. Hit Argenta Bead Company and get crafty. The SoMa store is so cute, and it is impossible to not be inspired. Spend some time and pick out some beads to make literally anything: earrings, necklaces, sun catchers — the bead selection is overwhelming in the best way. Now, if you’re thinking you’re not that crafty, don’t worry. The employees will help finish your bracelets, chains, pendants for as little as a dollar. (I recently had two beads turned into a pendant, and I instantly texted five of my friends and commanded that we go back together.)


2. Grab some boba at Cha Cha Boba Tea Shoppe and stroll the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden. This one I have already done twice and I’ll probably do five more times this summer. When I finish my workday, I meet my friend who also works downtown, we get our boba and walk down to the River Market. We’ve skateboarded down there, and some days we just sit on a bench or at a picnic table, getting some vitamin D and some vitamin B (B for boba, of course). Pro tip: Go later in the day unless you really enjoy this heat. 


3. Go to the AMFA. I am screaming this at the top of my lungs. I love the Arkansas Museum of Fine Art. They have a few of my favorite artists, and it’s just a blast going. On Tuesdays, they are open until 8 p.m. if you want to begin your night doing something else on this list. On Wednesdays, a DJ makes an appearance to elevate the artistic experience. Keep an eye out for any other events that they are hosting as well, from film screenings to curatorial discussions. Admission is free and many of the events are, too.


4. Swing by Blackberry Market and walk the Argenta Arts District. Now, if you decide to sit down at Blackberry Market and eat any meal, I cannot blame you. It is one of the cutest cafes with the best ambience I have seen. However, if you want to stay on your feet, grab a latte or a matcha (I recommend the strawberry matcha on their summer menu) and stroll down Main Street. There are plenty of murals and galleries to give your time to — especially if you go during Third Friday Art Walk — making for an artful day out. 


5. Make your way to the market. I know a swap meet can be a tug on the college student’s wallet, but a vintage leather jacket or an eccentric waistcoat is going to go a long way, much further than the food you purchase when having meals with friends. Forever Thrifted Vintage Market and Rose Garden Market have emerged as key community beacons for those eager to support small business and sustainable fashion. Typically hosted in the Main Street Pocket Park and the Bernice Garden, these monthly events are more than retail,they are galleries and platforms for local Little Rock artists. Take some time to support a new favorite creative.

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