Wildwood Park’s 104 bucolic acres are home to woodland trails, manicured gardens, and the 625-seat Lucy Lockett Cabe Festival Theater. In service of the center's continuing mission to encourage lifelong learning and fertile imaginations, the expansive grounds host myriad events that marry culture and art, from annual festivals to year-round children’s education programs. Beyond artistic pursuits, visitors can simply savor the center's natural splendor by taking in the sights of the Richard C. Butler Arboretum, wending through the Carl Hunger Wildflower Glenn, or spotting ballerinas in the wild at the park’s eight-acre swan lake. The nonprofit park maintains its gardens, education projects, and other artistic hallmarks purely through help from its community, including volunteers, individual donors, and arts organizations.
Cary and Gina Martin were on a bus tour of Minneapolis–Saint Paul when Cary was struck with a thought: why not bring these types of tours to Little Rock? Gina quickly got on board, and Little Rock Tours and Travel was born. Initially, both Martins kept their jobs in broadcast journalism–Cary was a news anchor and Gina was a reporter, which inspired them to incorporate video clips into the tours. Eventually, Cary and Gina left their day jobs to run their business full time, but this journalistic aspect of the tours remains one of its strongest draws. Little Rock Tours and Travel also plans sightseeing tours, including trips to local casinos and DeGray Lake Resort State Park as well as dinner cruises down the Arkansas River.
The Little Rock Carriage Company's stable of american belgian draft horses pull ornate ivory carriages on leisurely tours of downtown Little Rock. Wooden-spoke wheels rotate the rhythms of a horse-hoof percussion quartet as 30-minute carriage rides promenade past MacArthur Park, the River Market area, and enduring views of equine tails. Riders can opt to include additional riders ($5 fee/person) to accommodate perpetual third wheels or hire Tony Bennett to commentate the sights in song.
The Quapaw Quarter Association's building stewards preserve the historical architecture and nostalgic tales housed within neighborhood haunts. Mosey through five stately stops during the 2011 Spring Tour of Historic Homes, including two houses designed by Arkansan architect Charles Thompson. Featured in the book "Daughters of Painted Ladies," Thompson's spectacular Ragland House boasts a distinctive domed two-story tower, and his Rogers House’s towering Ionic columns offset walls of brick, wood, tile, and saltwater taffy. Stroll around the smaller Urquhart Bungalow's gilded age light fixtures and extensively landscaped front yard, or examine the intricacies of the Turner-Mann House's hand-painted borders and quarter-sawn oak floors. The tour also includes a new renovation: the Bowman House, where cypress and walnut balustrades offset inner spaces that served as a practice facility for the 1896 Olympic hide-and-seek team.
Though supported by a tight-knit community of members, Sparrow Flying Club opens its cockpit doors to the public for scenic flights and pilot training. Its fleet of primarily Cessna aircraft ranges from simple, two-seat sport planes to more complex aircraft; patrons can rent them out for private use, or join an instructor in the cockpit to train for either a private pilot license or a sport license, which requires fewer hours. Each of the club’s locations—one home base at Conway Airport and two satellite locations at other airports—boasts training rooms and runways amply sized for takeoffs, landings, and timed cheetah sprints.
The purveyors of pulse racing behind Haunted House for Relay For Life stir up scares to benefit the American Cancer Society and Relay For Life. For four ghoul-drenched nights in late October, a guide leads thrill-seekers through hair-raising sights such as ghosts, goblins, and possessed hair dryers. The spooky event's affiliation with Relay For Life ensures that some of the proceeds go directly toward supporting a worthy cause—celebrating the lives of those who have battled cancer while raising funds for the American Cancer Society.