The holidays (and all their busyness) are upon us, but there's still plenty of local fun to squeeze in. Let's get into it.
COVID forecast: Community level is low. Click here to get this week's by-the-numbers report, and click here for a simplified version of what it means for how to go out into the city safely and responsibly.
Thursday, Nov. 17
A Magical Cirque Christmas at the Robinson Center // Chances are you've never seen a holiday show quite like this. An enchanting combo of live music, cirque artists and, yes, magic will take the stage led by hostess Lucy Darling. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Learn more here.
Friday, Nov. 18
Third Friday Art Walk in Argenta // Let's go on a walk, everybody. Lace up your comfy shoes because this monthly walk invites you to stroll through the Argenta Arts District’s lineup of special exhibits and events. Highlights include a Crystal C. Mercer pop-up at Bang-Up Betty, a Friendsgiving celebration at The Hub and an exhibit opening at Acansa Gallery featuring works by artists in Birch Tree Communities who live with severe mental illness. The Art Walk starts at 5 p.m. Learn more here.
Enchanted Forest Trail of Lights Opening Night at the Sherwood Sports Complex // You're on, Rudolph. Sherwood is getting the holiday fun started by kicking off its annual drive-thru light show this weekend. The entrance is located at 420 Dee Jay Hudson Drive, merriment included. Gates open at 6 p.m. Learn more here.
Saturday, Nov. 19
Arkansas' Minority Artists & Crafters Depot at the Arkansas State Fairgrounds // Wallet at the ready. This inaugural market is all about showcasing small businesses, artists, creatives and makers in the communal spirit of "a collective gathering." The market will be held in the Arts and Crafts Building from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Learn more here.
Trucksgiving at The Rail Yard // Lawn games, live music and a whole mess of food trucks — think: Tacos Godoy, The Twisted Noodle, Tamalcalli, Count Porkula, Lili’s Mexican Street Food — to jump-start the holiday feasting? Say less. It starts at 11 a.m. Learn more here.
Holiday Open House at the Pleasant Ridge Town Center // Can’t stop, won’t stop this holiday train. The WLR shopping center is totally on board and celebrating with a day full of Santa visits, special shopping promotions and holiday window displays. The fun lasts from noon - 3 p.m. Learn more here.
Need inspiration? Soirée Holiday Gift Guide: Part I
Sip & Swap at The Hall // Style, but make it sustainable. This downtown venue is giving you an opportunity to get rid of fashions you no longer want and go home with some fresh new finds. The entry fee is $10 or a bag of clothing to swap, plus there will be food trucks on hand and the bar will be open for your sipping needs. Proceeds and any un-swapped items will be donated to community members in need. Be there noon - 4 p.m. Learn more here.
Central Arkansas Whiskey Festival at Maumelle Center on the Lake // Well, isn't this neat? Now in its second year, this fest offers tastes of all kinds of whiskey, bourbon, Scotch and other spirits, plus live entertainment. Gates open at 4 p.m. for general admission, 3 p.m. for VIPs. Learn more here.
Northern Lights Holiday Festival at Argenta Plaza // Oh, what fun, y'all. The 2022 return of this fest brings with it a holiday market, food trucks, fireworks, a trip to Santa's workshop and more. The festivities are free and run from 4-8:30 p.m. Learn more here.
Hairy Pawter Pawty at Bark Bar // Accio pups! Things are getting Gryffindorable at this Hogwarts bash. Expect costume contests, themed eats and drinks, photo stations and more. The fun starts at 6 p.m. Learn more here.
Argenta Reading Series with Jen Fawkes at Argenta United Methodist Church // This monthly Argenta meetup connects writers directly with their audience by inviting both into an intimate space. This month, award-winning author Jen Fawkes will present her work to the crowd, with Frank Thurmond performing the opening reading. The night starts with wine at 6:30 p.m., and readings start at 7 p.m. Learn more here.
Thursday - Saturday, Nov. 17-19
Holiday House at the Statehouse Convention Center // Ready, set, shop. The Junior League of Little Rock’s annual fundraiser/shopping extravaganza helps you get everything checked off your list in one place. Cruise through the dozens of merchant booths and impress everyone at Thanksgiving when you decide to sleep in on Black Friday. General shopping hours are noon - 9 p.m. on Thursday, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Saturday. There are also special events each day, and even Doughnuts With Santa on Saturday. Learn more here.
Be prepared: 8 Tips for Shopping Holiday House 2022
FOCAL Used Book Sale at the CALS Main Library // Time to tackle that reading list. The library basement is full of thousands of gently read books, and for the pocket change price tag, they are practically calling your name. FOCAL members get early entry on Thursday night. For the rest, sale hours are 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Saturday. Pro tip: Bring a backpack. Learn more here.
Friday & Saturday, Nov. 18 & 19
Prison Portrait Project at New Deal Gallery // This exhibit put on by Compassion Works for All features portraits by local artists of people incarcerated in Arkansas. Its goal is to "reflect on our common humanity" and share the experiences of people living behind bars, "not because it’s easy, but specifically because it’s hard." The exhibit debuts with a reception on Friday night from 6-9 p.m. and continues with a live storytelling event on Saturday 1-5 p.m. Learn more here.
Sunday, Nov. 20
Fall Swap 'n' Sip Brunch at The White Water Tavern // More sustainable fashion? Don't mind if we do. The past few weeks, the Tavern has been collecting gently worn clothing, shoes and accessories, and now's your chance to shop the goods and get in on brunch by Marco Samour while you're at it. Proceeds will benefit The Van, and any leftover items will be donated to Our House. Come shop 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Learn more here.
Christmas Movie Night at Dark Side Coffee Co. // The Park Hill coffee shop is bringing the holly jolly this year with weekly screenings of classic Christmas flicks, complete with popcorn and cocoa. Up first? "Frosty the Snowman" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." Showtime is 6 p.m. Learn more here.
Most importantly: 4 Ways to Slow Down & Enjoy the Holidays