From farmers markets and food truck festivals, to attending HarvestFest, here are our favorite Heights and Hillcrest activities.
1. Support local farmers while stocking up on outstanding produce.
The Hillcrest Farmers Market, in the 2200 block of Kavanaugh in front of Pulaski Heights Baptist Church, is open year-round. Locally grown veggies, fruit and flowers are available alongside pasture-raised meat, poultry and dairy, eggs and locally produced jams, jellies, cheeses, bread and candy. Shopping is outdoors when the weather allows, but it moves inside at the same location if it’s raining. The market is open each Saturday, 7 a.m.-noon in the spring and summer and 8 a.m.-noon in the fall and winter. 661-1129, PHBCLR.com
The Heights is home to the fantastic Westover Hills Farmers Market on Tuesdays, 4-7 p.m from May to October. Here you can find every imaginable kind of locally grown and made produce, from eggs, butter, meats and cheeses to homemade pecan pralines, goat’s milk fudge and gluten-free cakes. Located at 6400 Kavanaugh, at the corner of McKinley and Kavanaugh. 663-6383. Find them on Facebook at Westover Hills Farmers Market.
2. Show your body some love at Roots Juices.
Rather than overloading on caffeine, why not start your day right by drinking three pounds of fruits and vegetables from your local spot in the Heights? Their juices are pressed daily and are packed with nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants. Your body will thank you. RootsPressedJuices.com
3. Have a girls’ night out at the Painted Pig.
Every third Thursday of each month you can unleash your creativity by painting pottery, making mosaics or creating a glass fusion project. There is no cover charge and all you pay for is your project. Light snacks and refreshments are also provided. You can also book painting parties for grown-ups and kids. Remember, painting is the new meditation. PaintedPigStudio.com
4. Sample sweets at Izard Chocolate.
This Hillcrest chocolate store is perfect as a post-date dessert spot or just to satisfy your chocolate craving. These “bean-to-bar” chocolates are Fair Trade, organic and incorporate local ingredients when possible. Izard’s owners are promoting a message of sustainable chocolate-making around the world. So you can indulge in a chocolate-dipped caramel, safe in the knowledge that you are doing the world a favor, right? IzardChocolate.com
5. Shop at third Thursdays.
As if you needed an excuse to shop, every third Thursday of the month stores in the Heights make it even more appealing with extended hours (stores are open until 8 p.m.), music, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and drinks and special offers and sales. Check the "In the Heights LR" Facebook page for additional information.
6. Enjoy the fruits of others’ labor at Chili Fights.
Every October, teams of chili aficionados battle it out to win the honor of “champion of the chili.” Cooking starts at 1 p.m.; tasting and voting start at 4. In order to take part as a spectator, you just need to purchase your chili-tasting kit for $5, with all proceeds going to the Arkansas Food Bank. Live music, kid-friendly activities and shopping opportunities abound, making this a fun community event not to be missed. ChiliFights.com
7. Cheer on the Little Rock marathon runners.
The city’s marathon (held each year in early March) runs its most difficult leg up Kavanaugh Boulevard. You don’t have to run to participate; you can provide a much-needed morale boost by standing on the sidelines and cheering on the brave souls, then reward yourself after all that exertion with brunch at one of Kavanaugh’s many restaurants. LittleRockMarathon.com
8. Get back to nature on the Allsopp Park trails.
This five-mile loop through woodland is perfect for mountain biking or walking and provides a much-needed dose of nature. The park also boasts numerous facilities for sports such as softball, baseball and tennis, as well as restrooms, picnic tables, pavilion, playground, and paved and earthen trails. LittleRock.org/ParksRecreation/Trails
9. Support local crafts at Homemade in the Heights.
Anything and everything that can be homemade is on show at this fun day out in April. Crafters, creators, and vendors offer everything from handmade clothes, pottery and jewelry to delicious homemade cakes, food and beverages. There is also face-painting for the kids and live music. Come look, shop and have a wonderful day taking in what the locals have to offer. Check the "In the Heights LR" Facebook page for additional information.
10. Partake in a post-Halloween tradition.
Each November — after the jack-o-lanterns have served their purpose — Hillcrest residents are invited to roll, toss, shove and hurl their old pumpkins down the hill at Midland Street. This has become a hugely popular spectator sport, with the loudest cheers erupting for contestants who manage to pulverize their pumpkins and awards given for the three longest rolls. Bring lawn chairs be prepared to spend the day. Competition gets fierce! A $5 entrance fee is charged to support the Camp Aldersgate Foundation. Check the “I Love Hillcrest” Facebook page for additional information.
11. Celebrate the arrival of fall with HarvestFest.
Voted one of the best festivals in Arkansas, this one-day event each October, put on by the Hillcrest Merchants Association, brings friends and families together to celebrate the best of fall. The day starts with a farmers market in front of Pulaski Heights Baptist Church and bird walk in Allsop Park, followed by a pancake breakfast, children’s activities, cheese dip competition, car show and, in the evening, a fashion show. All day long vendors sell food and arts and crafts, and local breweries show off their creations at the beer garden at the corner of Kavanaugh and Beechwood. HarvestFest.us
12. Indulge in Little Rock’s renowned food trucks.
Every second Wednesday of each month an ever-rotating assortment of the finest food trucks — many of them award-winning — provide the perfect excuse to skip the dishes and eat out. Sample everthing from Nepalese dumplings at Katmandu MO MO and Asian-Southern fusion at Southern Gourmasian to grilled perfection at Blackhound Bar-B-Q and dessert at Honey Pies. Find them from 5 – 8 p.m. at 6400 Kavanaugh Boulevard, or at Westover Wednesdays Little Rock on Facebook.
13. Get kitted out and meet the locals at Go Running!
More than just a running kit shop, this store is the axis around which the running community in the heights rotates. Every Thursday evening local runners get together for a group run, and the store hosts countless in-store complimentary running and stretching clinics. The owners have a long running legacy and love to help both amateurs and pros improve their enjoyment of the sport. GoRunning.com