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Have a Merry Weekend Before Christmas


Arkansas State Parks are gearing up for the weekend and are taking their holiday host duties seriously! Make 1930s-style Christmas Ornaments, take a Christmas Eve hike or learn about how the Native Americans celebrate the return of the sun following the longest night of the year. You can also find Santa picture-ready and holiday theatre, comedy and musical performances are tuned up and ready. Whatever you decide to do, we hope you have a very MERRY weekend!

Holiday Open House (West Fork)

Head to Devil’s Den State Park and hang out with the park staff to help them decorate the park’s Christmas tree by making ornaments in the style of the Civilian Conservation Corps from the 1930s. Then enjoy some hot cocoa and cookies!

Venue: Devils Den State Park
Date: December 22
Time: 5 p.m.
Admission: Free
Contact: 479-761-3325

Photo Credit: Arkansas Parks and Tourism

Christmas Open House (Mountainburg)

If you are looking for some fun family activities to brighten a brisk wintry day, then head to the  Annual Christmas Open House at Lake Fort Smith State Park and enjoy some apple cider, hot chocolate, coffee and cookies by the fireside. You can also participate in ornament/craft making, an elf scavenger hunt, a resource related program at 3 p.m., and some seasonal music from the park interpreter at 3:40 p.m. These activities are free and are great for the whole family! And if you have an ugly sweater, wear it! Crafts and snacks are available on a first-come-first-serve basis as supplies are limited.

Venue: Lake Fort Smith State Park
Date: December 22
Time: 2 p.m.
Admission: Free
Contact: 479-369-2469

Photo Credit: Arkansas Parks and Tourism

Winter Solstice Celebration (Scott)

Celebrate the longest night of the year by joining a park interpreter to learn about the prehistoric builders of this site and their earthen calendar. To people who relied on the sun for warmth and food, this day represented the beginning of longer and brighter days to come each year. Beginning at 3:30 p.m., there will be a guided tour with the station archaeologist of the mound site to observe this extraordinary alignment. After everyone watches the sunset over Mound S, then everyone is invited to the picnic area to warm up at a fire with hot cocoa, cider, s’mores, and Native American storytelling.

Venue: 490 Toltec Mounds Road
Date: December 22
Time: 3:30 p.m.
Admission:$4 adult, $3 kids ages 6-12, under 6 free
Contact: 501-961-9442

4th Annual Christmas Eve Pinnacle Sunrise Hike (Little Rock)

The holiday season is here, and that means Christmas is around the corner and it’s time for the 4th Annual Christmas Eve Pinnacle Mountain Sunrise Hike! So grab your antlers or Christmas hats along with your friends and loved ones and hike the self-guided hike up the West Summit trail for sunrise on Christmas Eve, Monday, December 24th. Sunrise is at 7:14 a.m. and everyone must be at the park to check in at 6:15 a.m. Hiking will begin at 6:30 SHARP! This event is not monitored or put on by Arkansas State Parks.

Venue: Pinnacle Mountain State Park
Date: December 24
Time: 6:30 a.m.
Admission: Free
Contact: Click Here

Lights on Jupiter (Mabelvale)

Head to Mabelvale to view a residential display of 50,000 flashing lights spread over three houses. The lights are set to music which you can hear by tuning your car radio to 104.3 FM.  The display is free to view, but donations are encouraged. Donations are used to provide gifts for the residents of Briarwood nursing home.

Venue: 9312 Jupiter Dr., Mabelvale, AR
Date: December 21
Time: 5:30 p.m.- 9:30 p.m.
Admission: Free (Donations Accepted)
Contact: Click Here

Free Santa Photo at Outlets of Little Rock (Little Rock)

Santa has a very special gift for all the good girls and boys this year at Outlets of Little Rock. Every family who visits Santa will receive two FREE 4”x6” Santa photo prints and a digital download of a single image. Additional photos and merchandise are also available for purchase. One giveaway per family, per Christmas season. Some restrictions may apply.

Venue: Outlets of Little Rock
Date: Every Day until December 24
Time: Monday-Saturday: 10am-8pm, Sunday: 11am-6pm
Admission: Free
Contact: Click Here

Jingle Mingle (Little Rock)

Jingle Mingle is a modern classic Christmas cocktail party. This is a premium party experience, and cocktail attire is required.

Venue: 3 Statehouse Plaza, Little Rock
Date: December 23
Time: 8 p.m.
Admission: Tickets Required for entry- click here
Contact: Click Here

Second Annual: Have a Smoothman Christmas (Fayetteville)

Make plans to be at Mermaids Seafood Restaurant this weekend for live entertainment by Smoothman Music and dinner. Proceeds benefit HEROES of NWA and Shop with a Cop. There will be a cash bar available.

Venue: Mermaids Seafood Restaurant
Date: December 21
Time: 6:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m.
Admission: Tickets Required — Click Here
Contact: Click Here

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley (Fayetteville)

As the family gathers at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Darcy to celebrate Christmas, Mary – the bookish middle child of the Bennets – finally has her day. Set two years after the events of “Pride and Prejudice,” this winning sequel with period style and modern wit is sure to delight Jane Austen fans and newcomers alike. The show is appropriate for all ages but recommended for 10+.

Venue: Theatre Squared (505 W Spring St. Fayetteville)
Date: December 21- December 30
Time: Varies- Click Here for Details
Admission: Varies- Tickets Required
Contact: Click Here

A Christmas Story: The Musical (Jonesboro)

You’ll shoot your eye out with that Red Ryder BB gun! Or at the very least get your tongue stuck on a frozen flagpole at recess!  Come and laugh and singalong with Ralphie and the gang with this familiar holiday classic. This is a family-friendly event with no cursing in the show.

Venue: The Foundation of Arts (115 E Monroe Ave, Jonesboro)
Date: December 21
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Admission: Tickets Required- Click Here
Contact: Click Here

Power Hour Comedy (El Dorado)

“Power Hour Comedy w/Carter The Power” is back at the Murphy Arts District! Carter “The Power” Bryant will be your host. Wear your more extravagant Christmas outfit for your chance to win a prize!

Venue: Griffin Restaurant
Date: December 21
Time: 9 p.m.
Admission: $10 — $15 for tickets
Contact: Click Here

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There's a lot to celebrate in Arkansas. It's unique. Southern. Delightfully eccentric. Which is why we love every nook, cranny, cave and corner. In fact, some of our favorite things can't be found anywhere else. They're only in Arkansas. So we love them even more. The attractions we visit, the food we crave, the festivals we attend, the mountains we hike, the rivers we float, the stories we tell and the company we keep – it all adds up to one incredible state. And that familiar, meandering silhouette? Looks like home to us.

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