Little Rock embraces the spirit of Christmas with a variety of seasonal events, from traditional holiday parades to craft eggnog competitions. As a cultural hub not just for the state of Arkansas but the entire South, holiday visitors can also take part in enriching events such as the acclaimed Ballet Arkansas or Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. The southern charm of Little Rock is only accentuated by the Christmas cheer that permeates throughout the city during the month of December.
Billed as the "largest holiday production in the state of Arkansas," Ballet Arkansas puts on their annual performance of "The Nutcracker Spectacular" at the Robinson Performance Hall. The classic Christmas story of Clara and her animate nutcracker toy taking on the Mouse King comes to life with the help of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, two choral ensembles, and a cast of over 250 children and adults from across the state.
Don't miss out on this traditional holiday piece which only has four showings from December 13–15, 2019. Tickets start at $23 and discounts are available for students with ID.
The historic Capital Hotel, located in the trendy River Market neighborhood, has been celebrating Christmas in Little Rock since 1876. These events are open to the entire community and visitors, not just guests of the hotel. However, advanced tickets are required for almost all of the activities and sell out quickly.
Sip on hot afternoon tea while savoring delicious sandwiches and pastries at the Christmas Tea on the Mezzanine event. It's a relaxing and festive way to gather with friends and family, and takes place December 2–6, 9–13, and 16–20, 2019.
Teddy Bear Tea is geared toward younger children, who have the option to sip on tea or hot chocolate. Kids will be delighted when Santa Claus himself shows up and delivers a teddy bear present to everyone in attendance. Sign up now for dates on November 30 and December 7, 14, and 21, 2019.
On December 23, 2019, kids can design and build their very own gingerbread houses to take home with them. The hotel provides the gingerbread, candy, frosting, and everything else needed to bring your cookie creation to life.
Sundays With Santa is a free event that doesn't require advance registration. On each Sunday in December leading up to Christmas, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. to greet children, listen to Christmas wishes, and take photos on the hotel's iconic and gorgeous indoor staircase.
If you can't have Christmas without eggnog, the Ever Nog-Off event at the Historic Arkansas Museum is a holiday must-do. Visitors can sample a wide variety of the sweet drink from classic recipes to modern twists and then vote on their favorite. Home mixologists proud of their concoctions can sign-up to compete with others for prizes like best eggnog, best "untraditional" eggnog, and best non-alcoholic eggnog judged by a panel of children.
The 15th annual Ever Nog-Off is on December 13, 2019, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., and is free to attend. The competition coincides with the monthly 2nd Friday Art Night event, and visitors can also explore nearby venues throughout downtown Little Rock for art, cultural, and historical exhibitions.
Holiday Show by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra
Each December, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra puts on a seasonal show to celebrate the holidays. This season, the orchestra will be accompanying the beloved holiday classic, "Home Alone," playing renowned composer John William's score live as the movie plays. It's a fun and entertaining way to introduce kids to the magic of the symphony.
Catch "Home Alone: Film With Orchestra" on December 21–22, 2019, at the Robinson Center in downtown. Tickets start at $16, with discounts available for students and military.
It wouldn't be Christmas without hearing the traditional carols, and the Arkansas Chamber Singers has been providing their smooth renditions since 1979. The choir is made up of 65 volunteers with a passion for singing and is praised for the quality and talent of its group.
The 40th annual holiday concert has two venues in Little Rock. See them first on December 10, 2019, at Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church. If you miss the first show, catch them again December 13–15, 2019, at the Old State House Museum in downtown. The show is free to attend, but reservations are required.
An annual tradition, the Big Jingle Jubilee is a holiday parade that features marching bands, floats, cars, a few reindeer, and the mandatory appearance by Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Families from all around Little Rock and the surrounding suburbs head to the streets to cheer on the Christmas procession and see which float will take home the top prize of best in show.
The parade starts at Second Street and Broadway, continuing down Broadway and turning right at Capitol Avenue. The parade ends once it reaches the State Capitol Building. This year's parade starts at 3 p.m. on December 7, 2019.
"A Christmas Carol" at the Argenta Community Theater
The Argenta Community Theater is hosting its annual performance of Dickens' classic holiday tale, "A Christmas Carol." Whether it's your first time seeing this play or you've seen it 50 times, the story of miserly Scrooge and his ghostly evolution never gets old. The story performed in Little Rock is adapted by an Arkansas playwright and features a cast of local youth and adult actors.
The Argenta Community Theater is located just north of the Arkansas River across from River Walk neighborhood. Get your tickets now for shows beginning December 4 and running through December 14, 2019.