• 2016 Mom-Approved Award Winners Announced
  • 2016 Northwest Arkansas Holiday Shopping Guide: Great gift ideas
  • 2016 Northwest Arkansas Holiday Events Guide

Northwest Arkansas Holiday Shopping Guide: Gifts for Friends

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friends-collage-belle-boutiqueBelle-women.kids.gifts

Left: The Amazing Taste Stemless Glass holds 20 ounces of wine and countless hours of good conversation with your bestie. We love the bright color, gold lettering and especially the sentiment of this gift. We suggest getting one for yourself, too, so you and your friend can sip out of matching glasses. Cost is only $15. (Consider pairing it with a bottle of her favorite wine!)

Right: The Blessings Artisan Trinket Dish comes with a small price tag and a huge heartfelt message for someone who means a lot to you. We love it when a gift for a friend helps remind her of how much you appreciate her. This pretty dish would be perfect to put your rings in when you take them off to wash your hands or put on lotion. It measures 5.5 by 3.5 inches. Cost is only $10.

Where to shop:

  • Belle-women.kids.gifts @ Tuscany Square
    2603 W Pleasant Grove Rd. Suite 115
    Rogers, Arkansas 72758
  • Belle-women.kids.gifts @ Wedington Shopping Center
    3575 W Wedington Drive Suite 2
    Fayetteville, Arkansas 72704
  • Belle-women.kids.gifts @ Walton Blvd
    1406 S Walton Blvd Suite 6
    Bentonville, Arkansas 72712
  • Belle-women.kids.gifts @ J Street Shopping Center
    3511 SE J Street Suite 4
    Bentonville, Arkansas 72712

How to contact: Visit the website; Follow on Instagram; Visit on Facebook; Browse on Pinterest; Follow on Twitter; See the brand on YouTube.

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Walton Arts Center

Dirty Dancing Girls’ Night Out: We love a fun Girls’ Night Out with our friends, so we’d definitely appreciate opening a gift to find tickets from Walton Arts Center inside! One of the best GNO shows at Walton Arts Center early next year is Dirty Dancing. Tickets to this show would make the perfect friend gift. You and your besties will have to wait to see the show until March (it runs March 8-12), but anticipation is half the fun, right?  At the show, you’ll be able to sing “Hungry Eyes,” “Hey Baby,” “Do You Love Me?” and  “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” together!

Walton Arts Center’s location: 495 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville

How to contactClick here to see a full listing of shows to choose from; Click here for Dirty Dancing tickets; Follow them on Facebook; Watch on YouTube; Call the theatre at 479-443-5600

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Northwest Arkansas Shopping Guide: Experience Gifts

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If your house is already full of “stuff” that the kids don’t play with nearly as much as you’d hoped, consider giving a few “gifts of experience” this year. These types of gifts will give your kids experiences, memories and skills that can last throughout their lifetime.

collage-dance1Kaleidoscope

The Gift of Dance: Our bodies are designed to move, so give your kids the gift of dance in 2017. Purchase a package of lessons, a summer dance camp or even individual lessons with a private instructor. Kaleidoscope is a Mom-Approved Winner for “Best Dance Studio” and is known not only for its outstanding instructors but also for its commitment to values that are important to parents (which means no inappropriate dance music, costumes that are too revealing, or choreography that isn’t age appropriate.) The studio offers lessons in ballet, jazz, hip-hop, tap, contemporary, acrobatics and more. (There are adult classes available, too, and this studio is home to a very strong group of male dancers.)

Having seen this place in action ourselves, the atmosphere at the studio is welcoming, upbeat and absolutely committed to the proper teaching techniques. Click here for more info about the studio.

Studio location: 900 SE Village Loop, Bentonville, Ark.

How to contact: Call studio owner Laine Harper at 479-464-5977 and ask about pre-purchasing lessons. Click here to get updates on Facebook.

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jones-center-collage1The Jones Center

Left: Did you know that you can give your kids ice skating lessons at The Jones Center? The rink is huge and the instructors are amazing. There are several different classes available for various age groups. Cost is about $50, if you register early. (The next session starts in January, so this would be a perfect Christmas or Hannukah gift!) If your kids are already great skaters, consider giving them an ice skating party with their friends. It’ll be something fun to look forward to after the excitement of the holidays is over.  Click here for info on ice skating lessons and ice skating parties.

Center: This could be the gift that your kids flip for — literally. Wrap up a gift certificate for gymnastics classes in 2017. (Or you could purchase a 90-minute gymnastics party at The Jones Center and invite up to 25 friends!) Kids as young as preschool up through ages 8 and older can take lessons or do parties. Click here for info on gymnastics lessons and gymnastics parties.

Right: This is a gift idea your kids will never see coming. Give them a gift certificate for a swimming party in the middle of winter! Because The Jones Center pool is indoors, it won’t matter if there is snow on the ground when your kids and up to 25 friends want to go swimming (and sliding down that awesome yellow water slide.) Again, it’s a great way to give your kids something fun to look forward to after the holiday excitement begins to fade. Click here for info about swim parties at The Jones Center.

The Jones Center location: 922 E. Emma Ave., Springdale, Ark.

How to contact: Call 479-756-8090; Visit the website; Follow on Instagram; Visit on Facebook; Follow on Twitter; See more on Pinterest; Watch on YouTube. bar-logo-jones-center

 

Northwest Arkansas Holiday Shopping Guide: Gifts for People Who Have “Everything”

everything-headerhoneycomb-collage1Honeycomb Kitchen Shop

Left: We’re betting your people don’t have this! Isn’t it cool? It’s a Himalayan Salt Plate with a stand that’s made in Northwest Arkansas. This beautiful, pink slab of salt was originally mined in the Himalayas, then hand-crafted down to individual cooking plates. The owners at Honeycomb said cooking food on salt plates actually uses less salt than when cooking with ground salt, and imparts a rich, subtle flavor you can’t get anywhere else. Use it on the grill or even freeze it to serve cold foods.  If your gift recipient enjoys hosting dinner parties, they can allow guests to cook their own food right at the table when you purchase the locally hand-crafted black walnut serving stand.  The stands are made in Rogers, by artisan wood designer Don DeSpain. Each stand is one-of-a-kind.  8×8 salt plate $29.99, 8×8 serving stand $85

Right: Rise and grind! Skip the waste and get your caffeine fix in style with Presse by bobble. The 2-piece stainless steel coffee press brews delicious coffee in just 3 minutes. Gourmet coffee couldn’t be simpler – just brew, press and go.  This is the perfect unique gift for any French press coffee lover!  $29.99

·         No plastic pod or paper filter waste

·         Made of food-grade 304 stainless steel and food-grade, high-temperature silicone

·         Makes up to 13 oz. of coffee – enough to share!

·         Top-rack dishwasher safe

·         Designed in the U.S.A.

Cooking classes at Honeycomb Kitchen Shop: Honeycomb also offers a wide range of cooking classes in a fully-functioning kitchen located right in their store. Wouldn’t a cooking class be a grand gift to give someone who has everything?  Honeycomb works with local culinary talent to host unique classes. They’ve done all kinds of classes already since opening this year, including pizza making, wine and cheese pairing, local cuisine, and even mixology classes. A gift certificate to one of their classes is a great gift for anyone interested in food and cooking. Or? We’ll just say it: a gift to yourself! Wouldn’t a cooking class be a fun date night or night out with friends? Classes typically range from $35-$50 per person.

Where to shop: Honeycomb Kitchen Shop is located at 213 W. Walnut St., in Historic Downtown Rogers.

How to contact: Click here to visit the Honeycomb Kitchen website; Follow them on Facebook; Connect with them on Instagram; Call the kitchen shop at 479-340-1022

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Community Creative Center

Painting, pottery wheel & other classes for the grown-ups: Some people are harder to buy for than others. They don’t need one more “thing” to cram into their houses — or more to the point, they don’t need one more thing to dust! That’s where gifts like classes come in. Community Creative Center is not just for kids (although they have some awesome classes and workshops to the littles, too). Maybe your mom, or your friend, or your friend’s mom has always wanted to learn to paint or throw pottery. See? Perfect gift. And it doesn’t collect dust.

Art parties for the grown-ups: CCC also has parties just for the grown-ups. Within walking distance of Dickson Street in Fayetteville, Community Creative Center is the ideal spot to gather some friends and come play in the clay. Party prices include instruction, supplies, and light refreshments for each. CCC’s adult art parties are perfect for occasions like Girls’ Night Out, birthdays, anniversaries and reunions. The group can make a mug, work on the pottery wheel, make chip & dip platters and more.

Community Creative Center’s location: 505 W. Spring St., Fayetteville

How to contactClick here to see a full listing of adult classes; Click here for more info about art parties; Follow CCC on Facebook; Connect on Instagram; Call the Community Creative Center at 479-571-2706

Northwest Arkansas Calendar of Events: December 2016

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Grandma’s Story Quilt

When Grandpa is sick, he loves to get covered up in Grandma’s quilt and tell its stories. The audience sits on the bed and helps Grandpa bring the familiar story to life. A lively tale is sewn into Grandma’s quilt and is activated through interactive storytelling, puppetry and music.

  • Performances @Trike Theatre: November 29 – December10 @ 9:30am & 11:00am
  • Performances @Arts Center of the Ozarks: December 13 – 17 @ 9:30am & 11:00am

This performance is part of the Little Trike Series: professional theatre geared towards children ages 2 to 5, introducing them to theatre in an engaging, interactive and lively environment.

Date: Nov. 29-Dec. 10 & Dec. 13-17 (see above for locations)

Time: 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Location: See in description above

More info: Click here to buy tickets. Click here for more info.

Learn How to Buy a Telescope, and then View the Heavens with the Sugar Creek Astronomical Society at Hobbs State Park

Hobbs State Park and the Sugar Creek Astronomical Society extend an invitation to the public to learn more about our night skies. December nights are great for observing the sky due to atmospheric clarity. The public lecture, starting at 4:30 pm, will be given by Scott Roberts, former Meade Instruments Vice President and founder of Explore Scientific. He will present a special program on “How to Purchase a Telescope”.  Roberts will explain how to determine the type of scope you need for your viewing style, what questions to ask when you go into the store, and what things like focal length mean.

Following Scott’s lecture, about 5:30 p.m., there will be a public night sky viewing. Members of Sugar Creek Astronomical Society will bring their telescopes to share their love of the night sky with the public. A waxing crescent moon will make for a wonderful object to view this night.   It will also be dark enough to allow for wonderful viewing of planets and deep sky objects. Cost: Free

Date: Dec. 2

Time: See in description above

Location: Hobbs State Park visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection

More info:  Call 479-789-5000. To learn more about upcoming Friends of Hobbs speakers and other park programs, go to the web site: http://www.friendsofhobbs.com/

ArtShare (for youth with autism and their families)

Join us for ArtShare, a fun event for youth with autism and their families. The Museum will open early for families to explore the galleries, participate in hands-on activities, and create art. Ages 5+.Free, register online. Sponsored by Loreen Arbus. Great Hall and Temporary Exhibition

Date: Dec. 3

Time: 9-11 a.m.

Location: Crystal Bridges Museum

More info: Click here

The Compassion Experience: An interactive tour of life in the developing world

This free event features an interactive journey through the true stories of children living in developing countries like the Philippines, Kenya, Uganda and the Dominican Republic. In over 2,000 square feet of interactive exhibit space, visitors will step inside homes, markets and schools — without getting on a plane. Each child’s story starts in poverty but ends in hope. Family friendly.

Date: Dec. 9-12

Time: 11 a.m. to 6:40 p.m.

Location: Pinnacle Hills Promenade Mall

More info: Click here

Preschool Playdate » Blue

blueDon’t be blue about winter, celebrate the color at Preschool Playdate! Enjoy art projects, story time, and creative play inspired by the beautiful hue of blue. Playdate begins with an 11:30 a.m. performance in the Great Hall. Free, no registration required.

Date: Dec. 8

Time: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Location: Crystal Bridges Museum

More info: Click here

Family Workshop » Hip Hop with CONTRA-TIEMPO

Join instructors from Los Angeles based dance company, Contra Tiempo in this hip-hop dance workshop that will have the whole family moving!  $10 per family ($5 for Members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335. Great Hall

Date: Dec. 10

Time: 10:30 a.m. to noon

Location: Crystal Bridges

More info: Click here

Celebrate Squash class

Despite its name, winter squash is about as fall as you can get. With 11 varieties to choose from—including pumpkin— fall is the perfect time to celebrate squash and its wonderfully delicious flavor profiles and superior health benefits. Roast it, steam it or puree it—come learn all about this favorite fall food and why it’s truly good4u. Cooking demo included in this free nutrition class.

Date: Sunday, Dec. 11th

Time: 3-3:30pm

Location: Natural Grocers, Fayetteville

More info: Click here

Gingerbread Party

Graham crackers and candies and icing, oh my! It’s always lots of fun building gingerbread houses. Visit SPL to make your own.

Date: Dec. 14

Time: 4:30 p.m.

Location: Springdale Public Library

More info: Click here

Winter Break Wonders

winter-break-wondersVisit the museum over school break. They’re planning special family-friendly activities each afternoon, including art making, music, puppets, dance, and more! Check the museum website for a schedule of each day’s activities.Free, no registration required. Museum-wide

Date: Dec. 17-Jan.2

Times: 1-4 p.m.

Location: Crystal Bridges Museum

More info: Click here

Quick Class: Extraordinary Cranberry

Come learn all about the tiny, mighty, Extraordinary Cranberry! That’s right, the benefits of America’s original superfruit go beyond bladder health to support the gut, heart, immune system and blood sugar stability—perfect for the season of indulging. Cooking demo included in this free nutrition class.

Date: Sunday, Dec. 18th

Time: 3:30-4 pm

Location: Natural Grocers, Fayetteville

More info: Click here

School’s Out activities, Springdale Public Library

Play board games, make ornaments, and enjoy other fun activities at the library.

Date: December 19 – 23

Time: 2 p.m.

Location: Springdale Public Library

More info: Click here

School break movies at FPL

zootopiaMovies include BFG, The Secret Life of Pets and Zootopia.

Date: Dec. 21-23 & 26-30

Time: Varies

Location: Fayetteville Public Library

More info: Click here

Brown Bag Ice Age Movie Marathon

Get out of the house! Bring a sack lunch and watch the movies (PG)! Drinks provided.

Date: December 26 – 30

Time: Noon

Location: Springdale Public Library

More info: Click here

 CLICK HERE to see the big list of holiday events in Northwest Arkansas!

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Northwest Arkansas Shopping Guide: Gifts for Razorback Fans

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razorback-collage1Valere Rene

Left: The Tusk Men’s 1/4 Zip Sweatshirt has been crazy popular since it was launched earlier this month. It’s made of a comfy sweatshirt material in athletic grey with a cardinal-colored Tusk embroidered on the left chest. This is an exclusive Valere Rene brand you won’t find anywhere else. Cost is $54. And we love this embroidered Tusk visor in classic khaki! It’s great for him OR her. #fearthetusk Only $28!

Right: Here’s a great top to wear when you’re cheering on Big Red at any U of A game — no matter what the season. The Big Red Tusk Slouchy Tee is slightly oversized, features a subtly speckled fabric in 100% cotton and is so soft and comfy. And that Tusk baseball hat! It’s prefect for the girl — or guy! — on your to-buy-for list. Embroidered Tusk on classic distressed black hat. Sure to become a favorite. Closure is velcro. Cost is only $28 for each item.

Where to shop: The Valere Rene store is located at 210 S. 1st St., Rogers, Ark., and you can also find select Valere Rene items at boutiques and salons throughout Northwest Arkansas. Click here for a list of retailers.

How to contact: Visit the website; Follow on Instagram; Visit on Facebook; Browse on Pinterest; Follow on Twitter; See the brand on YouTube.

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revised-collage-lauren-jamesLauren James

Left: Moms don’t play favorites with kids but we definitely do when it comes to sweatshirts. This Shaggy V-Neck Sweatshirt by Lauren James has quickly attained “favorite” status in closets all over Northwest Arkansas and nationwide. It is just.so.soft, and the super light grey color lets the embroidered Hog stand out proudly on the left chest. Throw on a red scarf and you’re ready to hit the Hogs basketball game. Cost is $75.

Right: Is it possible to have a crush on a sherpa pullover? Because I think I’ve developed a thing for the Arkansas Linden Sherpa Pullover. (My friend Lillian bought one recently and says she is in LOVE with it and may not take it off all winter. I can see why.) The sherpa is double-sided, girls, so you can imagine how it feels against your skin. It also has side zippers so you can get comfy when sitting, and it even has a hidden mesh credit card pouch on the bottom hem. Genius! It’s available in different colors and — if you’re an Auburn fan or an LSU fan living in Hog country — there are even other collegiate team insignias available. Cost is $109.50 with the embroidered Hog. (If you want this pullover without embroidery, cost is $99.50.)

Where to shop: 623 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville, Ark.; Also sold at many retailers in NWA and across the nation. Click here for a list of retailers.

How to contact: Visit the website; Call 1-844-355-7591; Read the Lauren James blog; Follow on Instagram; Visit on Facebook; Follow on Twitter; See more on Pinterest.

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