Holiday shopping: local edition

Holiday shopping in Little Rock's River Market
Holiday shopping in Little Rock's River Market

Each year, small and locally owned businesses come together to provide an alternative to “Black Friday” madness with an event called “Small Business Saturday.” This year in Little Rock, two downtown neighborhoods are turning out to make shopping small a big event. The River Market District is encouraging folks to “think big and shop small” with an outdoor, block-party-style marketplace.

The 300 and 400 blocks of President Clinton Ave. will be closed off and filled with local vendors, there will be live entertainment and karaoke, Lost Forty will be on hand to help with a little extra holiday cheer, and there will be a kids holiday craft area. Down the street in SoMa, quaint and quirky shops like ESSE Purse Museum and Store, Moxy Modern Mercantile and the Green Corner Store are running specials including discounts, door prizes, free gifts and more. While you’re traveling between the two neighborhoods, don’t forget to stop by Bella Vita Jewelry for a mimosa while you shop!

Gifts from the heart and made by hand are meant to be cherished for a lifetime—but not everyone has the hand-crafter’s touch.

Fortunately, Arkansas is teeming with talented artisans, and the holiday season brings them together with numerous craft fairs and holiday marketplaces. Shower your loved ones with home-state pride by shopping for local treasures at these Arkansas-made events. The Arkansas Craft Guild’s 39th Annual Christmas Showcase will take place December 1-3 at the Statehouse Convention Center in downtown Little Rock.

Holiday lights in Little Rock's River Market

This event features more than 100 artisans creating both traditional and contemporary art and fine crafts in every imaginable medium. Local makers will return to South on Main for the Art of the Bar event on Sunday, December 10. This snazzy evening event features special cocktails and nibbles, door prizes, photo fun, and, of course, the best in local arts and crafts. On December 16, Plantation Agriculture Museum State Park in Scott will host its Holiday Crafts Open House, featuring gift shop discounts and family craft-making.