By Tam McClure
Arkansas is made for year round tourism and events, from holiday shows, to hunting, to opening day at Oaklawn; fall and winter are a great time to travel the Natural State. So turn on your GPS and start planning getaways all through the fall and winter season. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.
Nov. 18: 7th Annual Dancing into Dreamland – Experience the magic of a vintage ballroom from 7-10 p.m. at the Dreamland Ballroom, located on the third floor of Arkansas’ Flag and Banner at 800 W. 9th St. in Little Rock. The fundraiser helps restore the historic building and it’s rich history. Special guest performance by Amy Garland and the Dreamland Songbirds this year plus one hour of competitive dancing. A panel of local judges will determine the first-place dance winners, and the audience will text vote for people’s choice. Admission is $69. Tables and sponsorships are available. www.dreamlandballroom.com
Nov.-Dec.31: Approximately 60 communities light up the holiday season during the Arkansas Trail of Holiday Lights. Each locale offers parades, open houses, tree and courthouse lightings, concerts and visits from Santa.
Nov. 25-26: Annual World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest and Wings Over the Prairie Festival in Stuttgart is in it’s 81st year! Each fall the World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest; World’s Championship Duck Gumbo Cook-off and annual Queen Mallard pageant headline the event plus plenty of things for the whole family to enjoy!
Dec. 9-11: Ballet Arkansas Presents: The Nutcracker in Little Rock. Dancers from Ballet Arkansas perform the holiday classic accompanied by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.
Dec. 6: Little Rock’s Historic Arkansas Museum Annual Christmas Frolic & Open House – The family friendly event is held from 1-4 p.m. and celebrates Christmas as it was in the 1800s with living history, carols, reenactments, live music, dancing and more.
Jan. 23: Is National Pie Day and what a great way to spend a winter’s day. Take the afternoon to search for a big slice of Arkansas made pie! The Jan. 22, 2010 edition of USA Today highlighted the Top 10 pie spots in the nation. The Family Pie Shop in DeVall’s Bluff was the pick for Arkansas! Can’t make it to DeVall’s Bluff? Here are a few other Arkansas pie lover’s dream locations (in no particular order): Boardwalk Café in Jasper, Bobby’s Country Cookin’ in Little Rock, Café 1217 in Hot Springs, Cotham’s in Scott, Mud Street Café in Eureka Springs and many more!
Jan. 13: Opening Day at Oaklawn in Hot Springs– Have a day or a weekend at the races in January! For those planning ahead call 1-800-oaklawn, ext. 340 for seating reservations Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., beginning the Monday before Thanksgiving until Opening Day. Dining reservations may be made beginning Jan. 4, 2017.
Feb. 10-12: LANTERNS! is a multicultural celebration of the first full moon of the lunar year. Little Rock visitors can stroll through Wildwood Park for the Arts lit with thousands of luminaries, guests visit exotic locales such as Italy, Mexico, China, the UK, and even the moon! Event features live entertainment, food, drink, games and more. The event is held for 3 nights from 6-10 p.m. www.wildwoodpark.org