Shop Central Arkansas Like a Local This Holiday Season

Holiday Lights
Holiday Lights

If you haven’t started your holiday shopping (like me!), it’s not too late! And don’t feel pressured to rush to a big box store – there are tons of locally owned businesses within central Arkansas that can fulfill your every gifting need, and with that wonderful Southern hospitality to boot! I’ve compiled a list that’s sure to satisfy all of the pickiest present-openers on your list.

For one-stop shopping, the Box Turtle in Little Rock’s Hillcrest Historic District carries eco-conscious and locally sourced items including women’s clothing, gifts, toys, candles and more, all in a three-story restored home. Also in this neighborhood is Haus Werk, featuring gifts for men, women, children, the home and even pets! Grand on Oak in Conway also offers women’s clothes and accessories, gifts and more. Little Rock’s Downtown River Market District is home to several gift shops including 4Square Cafe & Gifts, which carries locally-made items, gift baskets and food items and River Market Books & Gifts, a great destination for collectible books (pro-tip: stop for lunch at Bookends Cafe, located inside River Market Books & Gifts).

Lost Forty Brewery

Arkansas’s foodie scene has exploded over the last few years, and many businesses in the Central Arkansas area are perfect places to score an edible gift for the culinary enthusiasts on your list. Pick up a growler or gift certificate from local breweries including Blue Canoe Brewing Company and Lost Forty Brewery in Little Rock or in North Little Rock at Diamond Bear Brewing and Flyway Brewing. Find that perfect bottle of wine for the holiday hostess in your life at Stratton’s Market Fine Wines & Spirits in the River Market or pick up some artisan cheese from Kent Walker, also in Little Rock. Dandelion Specialty Grocery provides organic herbs, spices and teas and Eggshells Kitchen Company in the Heights offers gadgets for any culinary adventure and supplies local food products and mixes.

For women’s fashions and accessories, look to the locally-owned boutiques and shops in the area, such as Benton’s Blush Boutique and Southern Savvy and The Hype in Greenbrier. In Maumelle, get guidance from the friendly staff at Essential Frills. In Little Rock and North Little Rock, trendy accessories and clothing are endless at Steamroller Blues in the Heights, Fringe ClothingIndigo and Maddox. Find designer labels and classic fashions at B. Barnett and Feinstein’s. For the sharp-dressed men this season, check out Little Rock’s selection of fine menswear and accessories at Mr. Wick’s and Bauman’s. Barakat Bespoke in the River Market offers custom tailoring and unique gift packages during the season.

In Little Rock, you’ll find the perfect gift for the kids at The Toggery at Pleasant Ridge Town Center and The Toggery in the Heights. For holiday goodies for the fur-babies, Just Dogs! Gourmet, Doggy Daddy Store and The Dog Bowl are located in Little Rock. Across the Arkansas River, Bow Wow & Meow Bakery & Boutique in North Little Rock features treats, clothing, toys and more for the pets on your good list.

ar cycling fitness

Many Arkansans take pride in staying fit and healthy so they can enjoy the state’s abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities. For the road and trail runners in your lives, check out The Sporty Runner in Conway or Go! Running, Rock City Running and Fleet Feet Easy Runner in Little Rock. For the bikers, Little Rock is also home to Spokes and Chainwheel and Sherwood hosts a branch of Arkansas Cycling & Fitness. For a gift that keeps on giving, check out the Little Rock Climbing Center‘s membership packages or specials. Bobby’s Bike Hike in Little Rock is offering holiday gift certificates, t-shirts and more, so be sure to check their website for special deals on their signature tours and rentals.

And for great gifts for co-workers or those looking for something retro, check out Galaxy Office Furniture & Design in North Little Rock.  Pick up some vintage-inspired stocking stuffers from Pickles Gap Village and Rocket Fizz Soda Pop & Candy Shop, both located in Conway.

We all have those on our list that seem impossible to please. For such friends and family as these, I suggest something truly unique and made in Arkansas. The Freckled Frog in Little Rock features handcrafted items including jewelry, pottery and clothing from Arkansas artisans. Check out the Museum Store at Historic Arkansas Museum for baskets, textiles, quilts, treats, woodwork and more, all Arkansas made.

Shopping the Historic Arkansas Museum Store in Little Rock