Another holiday season is behind us, and while it might feel like a great time to take it easy, there are many fun, family-friendly arts and culture activities coming up. Most of central Arkansas’s museums and attractions hold regular (and, often free) events for kids year-round. There are also some special annual events. As the new year progresses, more details and events will surely be announced, but here’s a little preview of what to expect in the coming months.
Arkansas Arts Center
In conjunction with its Mark Rothko in the 1940s: The Decisive Decade, Portraiture Now: Drawing on the Edge and Face to Face: Artists’ Self-Portraits from the Collection of Jackye and Curtis Finch, Jr. exhibits, the ArkansasArtsCenter is hosting a Family Festival: Rothko’s Colors and Perfect Portraits on Jan. 18, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The event is free for members, $5 per nonmembers and $20 per nonmember family.
Upcoming Children’s Theatre performances include “Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type” on Jan. 24 to Feb. 9, “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” on March 7-28 and “Sleeping Beauty” on April 25 to May 11. Tickets are $12.50.
A two-day Spring Break workshop for ages 6-9 will also be held in tandem with “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” on March 24-25, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Students will experience painting, printmaking, clay, paper maché and other art mediums, and see a performance of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” Tuition is $116 for members and $145 for nonmembers and includes the cost of materials and admission to the play. Registration ends March 17. Space fills up fast.
For more information about these events and programs, visit www.arkarts.com or call 501-372-4000.
Arkansas Symphony Orchestra
The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s Masterworks IV: Bohemian Rhapsody, with special guest pianist Norman Krieger, is Jan. 25-26. Shows are Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. at RobinsonCenterMusic Hall. Tickets are $14-$53, but kids can get free admission to the Sunday performance with a paid adult. Another show is the Pops Series III: Best of Broadway on Feb. 15-16.
The Intimate Neighborhood Concerts Series I: Bohemian Festival will be held at St. James United Methodist Church in Little Rock on Jan. 16 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $29. The River Rhapsodies Chamber Series: Dvorak’s Piano Trio will be Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. at the Clinton Presidential Center Great Hall. Tickets are $23.
Call 501-666-1761 or visit www.arkansassymphony.org for more details about these performances.
HeiferVillage hosts free monthly interactive events, called Heifer Hour. They are held on the second Saturday of each month, from January to May. On Jan. 11, the theme will be “Not a Cup But a Cow,” and youngsters will learn about how a cow can change a family’s lives forever and about milk-giving animals through a game, called “How Much Milk?” On Feb. 8, kids can create their own pop-up books and learn about Heifer International’s first shipment of 17 heifers at “17 Cows and Counting.”
Beyond Hunger: Communities of Change, a celebration of how communities change the world, is March 22, featuring activities for all ages and a visit from a Heifer Ranch ambassador. The Spring Fling 2014 is March 24-29. Kids can spend Spring Break at HeiferVillage and make crafts and take part in scavenger hunts.
Visit www.heifer.org or call (501) 907-8800 for details.
Museum of Discovery
The Museum of Discovery’s Robots + Us exhibit wraps up on Jan. 26, and a new one begins on Feb. 8. TechCity highlights the engineering it takes to make a city work, and runs through May 11. The museum will also host African Rhythms, by African drum master Zinse Aggine, on Feb. 20-22.
The museum’s Spring Break with Sid the Science Kid is March 27-28, and is a partnership with AETN. Kids can also learn about nanoscience with fun and interactive stations across the museum at NanoDays on April 24-26.
Museum admission is $10 for adults, and $8 for ages 12 and younger and seniors 60 and over. For more information, call 501-376-7050 or visit www.museumofdiscovery.org.
Old State House Museum
The Old State House Museum hosts free monthly Little Beginnings Toddler Programs for children ages 2 to 4 accompanied by a parent. Each month the class highlights a different topic and promotes learning through hands-on activities, music making, movement and storytelling. Programs will be held on Jan. 15, Feb. 19 and March 19 from 10:30 to 11 a.m. On Feb. 8, there will also be a Valentine Fair, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Call (501) 324-9685 or visit www.oldstatehouse.com for more information.
Wildwood Park for the Arts
The LANTERNS! Festival is scheduled for Feb. 14-16, beginning at 6 p.m. each night. This year’s festival is held in conjunction with the first full moon of the lunar year and the Chinese New Year. Visitors can walk along paved pathways lit by fire pits and luminaries, and enjoy entertainment representing eight cultural experiences around the world, including Mexico, eastern Europe, Shakespearean England and more. There will be games and other activities.
Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 6-12 and free for kids 5 and younger. For more information, visit www.wildwoodpark.org.