If you weren't in the holiday spirit before, this weekend should change that. 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, Dec. 1

Barrel Tree Lighting Party at Rock Town Distillery // Starting strong with the holly jolly, this SoMa distillery is throwing an all-out bash starting with the lighting of its stacked barrel "tree" and followed by an outdoor screening of "The Santa Clause." The night also includes movie-themed charcuterie boxes, treats from Cheesecake on Point, boozy sips and a donation bin for the Arkansas Foodbank. It starts at 5 p.m. Learn more here.

Need your own? Head to one of these Christmas tree farms in central Arkansas.

 

Friday, Dec. 2

Howliday Barket at Bark Bar // Fido's gone festive. Get Lassie in her favorite holiday getup and stop in for Santa photos, menu specials and lots of vendors to peruse. It goes down 4-9 p.m. Learn more here.

SoMa After Dark on South Main Street // ICYMI, this monthly neighborhood bash has made its return, and area businesses are once again offering later hours and special activities. Highlights this month include the third installment of The Bernice Bazaar: Holiday Edition, storytime with Santa at Community Bakery, pop-ups at South Main Creative and a holiday open house at The Green Corner Store. It begins at 5 p.m. Learn more here.

Artisan Craft Fair at Blue Yoga Nyla // The yogis are bringing the fun this weekend. An annual tradition, this NLR studio will be filled with local makers' booths, plus food, Santa visits, charitable fundraising and raffles. It starts at 5 p.m. Learn more here. 

Home for the Holidays at the Albert Pike Masonic Center // Benefiting Our House, this seventh annual fundraiser is back and promises guests a night of food, drinks, auctions and lending a hand to one of the city's nonprofits helping our homeless neighbors. The party starts at 6:30 p.m. Learn more here.

"Guys & Dolls" Opening Night at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre // The holidays at The Rep? We're there. 601 Main St. is going all out with this legendary musical that features iconic songs like "Luck Be a Lady" and "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat." Showtime is 8 p.m. Learn more here. 

 

Thursday & Friday, Dec. 1 & 2

Holidays in Hillcrest on Kavanaugh // Cocoa on deck. The Hillcrest Merchants Association returns with this annual bash, making it a two-part holiday celebration. Part one is on Thursday with extra festive First Thursday fun and markets. On Friday, things get cranked up a Christmas notch with the annual tree lighting ceremony, caroling, photo ops with Santa and more. Learn more here.

Shop on: Soirée Holiday Gift Guide: Part II

 

Saturday, Dec. 3

A Very Merry Breakfast at The Bible Church of Little Rock // This is how you start a Saturday. A fundraiser for the local foster-care-focused nonprofit The Call, this event is serving up breakfast, crafts, games, caroling and a special appearance from Santa. Time slots begin at 8:30 a.m. Learn more here.

Jingle Bell Run at Two Rivers Park // Still feeling a little slow from last week’s smorgasbord? Same. Get moving at this holiday 5K benefiting the Arkansas chapter of the Arthritis Foundation. Themed costumes encouraged, of course. The race starts at 9 a.m. Learn more here.

Ferndale Country Christmas Parade & Craft Show on Kanis Road // And after breakfast and a 5K, it's time for more merriment. This annual holiday market takes place at the Ferndale Extension Building and Pleasant Grove Baptist Church at 10 a.m., and the parade kicks off at 1 p.m., heading west down Kanis from Roberts Road. Learn more here.

Lighting Ceremony at the Arkansas State Capitol // The Big Jingle Jubilee Holiday Parade isn't on the calendar this year, but that means what used to be the big finale is now the main event. The fireworks will be back, as well as the beautifully lit capitol building, accompanied by Santa visits, caroling and more. The show starts at 5:30 p.m. Learn more here.

Cattle Baron's Ball at Barton Coliseum // Where heels aren't required and cowboy boots are encouraged. With the tagline "give cancer the boot," this annual event is a relaxed evening benefiting the American Cancer Society with great local eats, auctions and "country music glam." Doors open at 6 p.m. Learn more here.

The Nutcracker Circus at the Maumelle Performing Arts Center // You've never seen the Sugar Plum Fairy quite like this. Hosted by Arkansas Circus Arts, this production returns to the stage to take a holiday classic to new heights with a variety of aerial and acrobatic performances. The one-night-only show begins at 6:30 p.m. Learn more here.

I Want Your Midnights: A Taylor Swift Dance Party at The Rev Room // Swifties, assemble. This touring party offers a night of photo ops, lip sync battles, trivia, costumes and, of course, dancing to and scream-singing all your faves from Tay. It all starts at 7 p.m. Learn more here.

 

Sunday, Dec. 4

Brunch with Santa at Rusty Tractor Vineyards // Well, this is quite the merry menu. This annual RE501 Gives Foundation event comes complete with eats from food trucks like Say Cheese and Fork in the Road, some one-on-one time with the big guy and mimosas for the grownups. It starts at 11 a.m. Learn more here.

Holiday Open Houses at Downtown Museums // Every year, some of downtown's most notable museums and historic locales open their doors to visitors, showcasing stunning holiday decor, highlighting their latest exhibits and offering seasonal treats and activities for all ages for one day. The best part? Since they're all relatively close, you can hit them all in one afternoon. Here's when and where:

Dodgeball Santa at Flyway Brewing // Who's ready to dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge? Local groups are teaming up and going head to head in this second annual dodgeball tournament to benefit the Salvation Army. Come watch the fun and get in on food from Brood and Barley, cocktails, mocktails, s'mores, music and more. The throwdown goes down at 2 p.m. Learn more here. 

Making spirits bright: Try these 4 holiday mocktail recipes.

North Little Rock Sertoma Christmas Parade // Argenta will be hopping with holiday excitement Sunday afternoon. With the theme "beloved christmas characters," this parade packs in tons of floats, marching bands and festive spirit, all stretching down Main Street from Pershing to Washington. The parade starts at 2 p.m. Learn more here.

River City Men's Chorus "Holiday!" Concert at Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church // The chill in the air has us thinking it’s lovely weather for a Christmas concert together with this local talent. The chorus will perform old and new favorites alike, guaranteeing to leave you caroling long after the free concert ends. Showtime is at 2 p.m. Learn more here.

 

Friday - Sunday, Dec. 2-4

Arkansas Craft Guild Christmas Showcase at the Arkansas State Fairgrounds // 'Tis the season to be crafty. You’ll find quality art and fine crafts galore by members of the Arkansas Craft Guild and their guests. Browse the work of dozens of artists with items including everything from pottery and fiber art to jewelry and soaps. Shopping hours are 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sunday. Learn more here.

Holiday Hangout at The White Water Tavern // And now for a break from your regularly scheduled programming. Do your holiday celebrating a bit differently this weekend with three days of music and a whole lot of artists. Learn more here.

Need a breather? Go Inside the December Issue of Soirée.