Weekend Plans: Chinese Lantern Festival, Nog-off and More


The Annual Bernice Garden Tree Lighting Ceremony will ring in the holiday season once again. The festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. and the Tree Lighting Ceremony ends around 7:30 p.m. SoMa neighborhood businesses will stay open until 8:30 p.m for Holiday Open House. Enjoy holiday shopping, dining and sip some hot chocolate in the popular Little Rock neighborhood. SoMa’s beloved Cosmo and Santa Claus will make appearances. The event is free to the public.


The 13th Ever Nog-off! has paved the way for “knock-off Nog-offs” across the country. The original Nog-off, the friendly competition for the best eggnog in town, is back with some familiar and winning favorites, along with new competitors hoping to make their culinary mark. Head out to the Historic Arkansas Museum at 200 E. 3rd St. in Little Rock during 2nd Friday Art Night to sample the variety and vote for your favorite eggnog. The event is free and will run from 5 to 8 p.m.

Friday – Sunday

Each year, approximately 200 members from the community take part in the Ballet Arkansas Nutcracker production and perform the timeless holiday tale with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. There are four performances this weekend at Robinson Center: Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets range from $23 to $73.


The Little Rock Marriott is hosting its first annual Breakfast with Santa at 3 Statehouse Plaza in Little Rock from 8 to 11 a.m. Enjoy games, food and prizes. All proceeds will be donated to CARTI and Give Kids the World. Tickets are $16 for adults and $8 for children 12 and under. For reservations call 501-399-8026 or email Santa@littlerockmarriott.com.

The Outlets of Little Rock is also hosting a holiday breakfast from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the food pavilion. The Snow Queen, the Ice Princess, Ice Cutting Man and Santa will be on hand while you can enjoy a light breakfast compliments of Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center and Auntie Anne’s|Cinnabon. Children 12 and under are invited. The address is 11201 Bass Pro Parkway in Little Rock and the event is free.


River City Men’s Chorus’ annual holiday concert is a not-to-be missed tradition and the highlight of each season. In their 15th anniversary season, they continue the proud tradition with exciting new arrangements of holiday favorites and a taste of some new ones, too. This year’s concert will be at Second Presbyterian Church, 600 Pleasant Valley Drive in Little Rock from 3 to 4 p.m.


The Arkansas Chinese Lantern Festival brought to us by Tianyu Arts & Culture, Inc., starts at the the Arkansas State Fairgrounds, 2600 Howard St. in Little Rock this Friday. The event is open nightly from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. and will run through Jan. 14, including holidays. See handcrafted, whimsical lanterns created by dozens of Chinese artisans who travel around the world. The festival will feature more than 30 sets of lanterns, including a dragon that is about 200 feet long and three stories high. Arkansas will be the festival’s 17th stop in the U.S. This will be the festival’s first time in the Natural State. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children ages 5 to 7.

The Santaland Diaries at the The Arkansas Repertory Theater offers an adult alternative to snowflakes and candy canes. Inspired by a collection of holiday stories by popular humorist David Sedaris, and adapted for the stage by Joe Mantello, this semi-autobiographical play offers an irreverent alternative for holiday theater-goers. The official opening night is Friday night and the show runs until Dec. 23. This Friday night the performance is at 7 p.m., Saturday there are two shows, one at 6:30 p.m. and one at 9 p.m., the Sunday matinee is at 2 p.m. and the evening show starts at 7 p.m. The show contains adult language and is not suitable for children.

AY Magazine Publisher Heather Baker told Fox16 News all about these weekend events Thursday morning.

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