What’s New for 2016 in Central Arkansas
An Enchanting Evening Small Farm Winery
The art of commercial wine making returns to the Little Italy community; this winery is the first licensed small farm winery manufacturer in over 70 years in this historic wine making area. It uses local Arkansas grapes in addition to classics like Pinot. A wine tasting yurt with a hexagon deck takes advantage of the views of Lake Maumelle and Pinnacle Mountain.
CONTACT: 29300 Ark. 300, Roland, AR 72135, 501-330-2182, www.AnEnchantingEvening.com/winery.htm.
Arkansas Heritage Farm Exhibit at the Little Rock Zoo
Opening Spring 2016. A new interactive exhibit features farm animals such as chickens, sheep and goats that the public can touch and feed. Also added is a large walk-through barn for animal holding along with a smaller barn that features a hand-washing station attached to the outside. A big chicken coop on the east of the large barn features chickens of various breeds including rarer heritage ones. The exhibit has interactive graphics to educate visitors on the importance of agriculture to the state and to showcase Arkansas’s rich agricultural history.
CONTACT: 1 Zoo Dr., Little Rock, AR 72205, 501-666-2406, www.LittleRockZoo.com.
Bald Knob Rock ‘n’ Roll Highway Museum
Features photos, signs and memorabilia from the town’s rich past, especially the musical heritage of the area. On display is the bar that once graced the Wagon Wheel in Bald Knob, on top of which a young Elvis Presley danced early in his career.
CONTACT: South Elm St., Bald Knob, AR 72010, 501-724-3140.
Little Rock Creative Corridor
Four blocks of Main Street are being developed into a multi-use area that includes residential, tourism, work, dining and cultural arts. One of the first completed projects is Beneath the Surface, a 30×142-foot mural by artist Matt McLeod painted on the side of Bennett’s Military Supplies at 6th and Main Streets. It is the view above a koi pond pulled from one of McLeod’s paintings.
CONTACT: Main Street, Little Rock, AR 72201, CreativeCorridorLittleRock.wordpress.com.
Little Rock Rangers Soccer Club
Accepted into the National Premier Soccer League in 2015, the Little Rock Rangers Soccer Club will begin play in May of 2016 at War Memorial Stadium. An entirely amateur team, the Rangers will play in the South Region of the NPSL.
CONTACT: 501-379-9917, info@LittleRockRangers.com, www.LittleRockRangers.com.
New Water Slides at Wild River Country
Approximately $1.4 million worth of new slides have been added to North Little Rock’s Wild River Country. One is the AquaLoop, where visitors are dropped one at a time down a nearly vertical shaft and into an inclined loop. Another is a speed slide with humps that make you feel like you’re losing gravity. The final addition is Free Fall Plus.
CONTACT: 6820 Crystal Hill Rd., North Little Rock, AR 72118, 501-753-8600, www.WildRiverCountry.com.
North Little Rock Heritage Center
Housed in the 1895 Argenta Fire Station, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It contains collections of North Little Rock’s and Argenta’s early materials, memorabilia, photographs and temporary exhibits. The North Little Rock History Commission provides educational programs and services along with research.
CONTACT: 506 Main St., North Little Rock, AR 72114, 501-371-0755, www.NLRHeritageCenter.org.
Quapaw Quarter Historic Building Markers
Aluminum 14”x12” signs display the building name and date of construction while recognizing historically and architecturally significant structures located anywhere in Little Rock. They must have been well-maintained or undergone exemplary rehabilitation. The first marker is at historic Curran Hall, Little Rock’s Visitor Information Center.
CONTACT: 615 E Capitol Ave., Little Rock, AR 72216, 501-371-0075, www.Quapaw.com.
RiverCenter Community Center
Expected to be completed in 2016, this Benton facility will double as an events space and host larger happenings such as concerts and sporting activities. Riverside Park, where the RiverCenter is located, also includes the 50,000-sq.-ft. Boys and Girls Club, the 18,500-sq.-ft. senior wellness center, an aquatic area, basketball courts, plus soccer and softball fields. The “green” complex has cisterns to collect rainwater to irrigate an educational garden.
CONTACT: 501-776-5970, www.Benton.ar.gov/parks-recreation.
A new 13-mile bicycle and pedestrian spur links the Arkansas River Trail with the David D. Terry Lock and Dam. The trail begins at the Clinton Presidential Center in downtown and loops east and south around the Bill & Hillary Little Rock National Airport before going through part of the Little Rock Port. It ends at Dam Site 6 West Park at the lock and dam.
CONTACT: 501-372-3300, info@ArkansasRiverTrail.com, www.ArkansasRiverTrail.org.
“Wish You Were Here” Life-Size Postcards
Life-size postcard frames in Little Rock used to take photos and selfies; the Junction and Big Dam Bridges plus the Clinton Presidential Library provide backdrops.
CONTACT: 501-376-4781, 800-844-4781, LRCVB@LittleRock.com.