Festival hopping and holiday shopping

October 15-21, 2018

By Monica Madey


Recently I was enjoying dinner with family at the newly relocated Ira’s on Main Street in downtown Little Rock. The locale combined with the anticipation of the coming season led us – more specifically, our parents – to reminisce about the days before Park Plaza Mall, when all your holiday shopping was done downtown among the cheery spectacle of department store windows. “You’d park your car and walk up and down the street,” explained one old-timer. . . Fast forward a few decades, and malls, too, are a thing of the past – at least in the context of bulk holiday shopping. Why face the crowds when you can browse in the comfort of your home?


Online shopping may be the order of the day, and certainly boasts of many conveniences, but let’s not kid ourselves; it’s not nearly as fun. I for one am positively indignant that as a millenial I was denied the chance to press my crusty little nose against the protective barrier of an attractive model train set. But while department store displays may not be what they used to be, I would submit to you that holiday shopping needn’t be any less fun. Indeed, the onus is on “IRL” retailers to create an experience worth changing out of PJs for. Here’s my tip: for an extra shot of holiday cheer this year, look for seasonal festivals that tout an enticing list of art and craft vendors. You’ll have fun and fulfull your unique gifting needs all in a one-stop-shop. Beat that, Amazon.


War Eagle Mill Fall Arts and Crafts Fair

Thursday, Oct 18 - Sunday, Oct. 21

War Eagle Mill

11045 War Eagle Rd

Rogers, AR 72756

I have been a life-long fan of this sprawling, lively craft fair. First of all, there’s no better place to stoke your festive spirit. Nestled deep in the War Eagle Valley among lavish fall foliage, with an historical mill as its centerpiece, the War Eagle Craft Fair is unparalleled. Browse wares from hundreds of artisan vendors while you snack on freshly roasted spiced pecans. For something more substantial, choose from dozens of food stalls or the famed Bean Palace Restaurant on the top floor of the mill. Cross off your Christmas giving list with high-quality, handmade pieces of pottery and stoneware, seasonal wreaths, quilts, clothing, candles, jewelry, bird feeders, collectables, and so much more. Just be prepared for large crowds and field parking.


Arkansas Cornbread Festival

Saturday, Oct 27,

11:00 am - 4:00 pm

South Main St. (SoMa)

Little Rock, AR

Founded in 2011, the Arkansas Cornbread Festival has become a mainstay of the fall season in Little Rock. What better foodstuff to call the community together than this hallowed stick-to-your-ribs staple? But the festival is about so much more than cornbread, although the competition is fierce among local restaurants and amateurs alike. In addition to tasting and voting on sweet and savory morsels of cornbread, you and your family can look forward to local music acts and wide variety of art and craft vendors.


Holiday House

Wednesday, Nov. 7 - Saturday, Nov. 10,

6:00 pm - 9:00 pm (9:00 am - 4:00 pm Sat.)

State House Convention Center

101 E Markham St.

Little Rock, AR


The Junior League’s massively popular fundraiser is back for it’s 28th year. Check the website for the complete list of vendors as well as a schedule of special events, including VIP parties and private shopping opportunities.


Vintage and Craft Market at the Bernice Garden

Saturday, Nov. 10,

10:00 am - 4:00 pm

1401 Main St.

Little Rock, AR

This popular SoMa neighborhood market will close its fifth year out with a second seasonal event. While the September market was fall-oriented, this final market is focused on the holidays, with plenty of local vintage collectors’ items and crafts from some of your favorite makers. Look for restored furniture, jewelry, and children’s clothes and accessories, too.


Arts Center Museum School Sale

Saturday, Nov. 17,  9:00 am - 3:00 pm

(Member Preview Party Friday night)

Hall of Industry, Arkansas State Fairgrounds Complex

2600 Howard St

Little Rock, AR

This sale provides a marketplace for students of the prolific Museum School. This is the place to find unique works of art for your seasonal giving – or indeed, to add to your own collection.



Nov 3, 11:00 am - 9:00 pm (Farmers’ Market, Doggie Walk, and

Pancake Breakfast start earlier - see schedule of events at http://harvestfest.us)

Hillcrest Historic District

Kavanaugh Blvd.

Little Rock, AR

HarvestFest is the premier event of the Hillcrest Merchants’ Association, and y’all, it is a blowout. Get ready for all-day fun in the fall sun with professional music stages, a delectable array of food trucks, and some of the most popular vendors in the state. Be sure to hit Bang-Up Betty and Bella Vita for jewelry for the badass babes in your life; Crying Weasel Vintage for the sweetest reworked threads; AR-Ts, Luna Tick Designs, and ArkieStyle for punkyA, eclectic shirts; and Dower for the finest hand-stiched leather bags I’ve ever felt. Check the HarvestFest Facebook page for regular updates. For a complete list of vendors – and believe me, it’s bounteous – visit http://harvestfest.us


The Little Craft Show

Saturday, Dec. 8, 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Lost 40 Brewery

501 Byrd St

Little Rock, AR

Hosted by one half of the team that is to bring Handmade by Few later this month, this event marks the first of its kind in Little Rock. They have partnered with Lost 40 Brewery to offer a cozy place to browse over 60 of the best local, regional, and national artists and crafters just in time for the holidays. With incredible food, activities, and giveaways all day, you won’t want to miss this new event.

The Little Craft Show - multiple dates and locations   




Saturday, Nov. 17

12:00 pm - 6:00 pm

The Record

104 SW A Street

Bentonville, AR 72712



Friday, Nov. 30

5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

and Saturday, Dec. 1

10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Fayetteville Town Center

15 W Mountain St

Fayetteville, AR 72701


(Photos Courtesy of Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism)


  • War Eagle Mill Fall Arts and Crafts Fair
    War Eagle Mill Fall Arts and Crafts Fair
  • Vintage and Craft Market at the Bernice Garden
    Vintage and Craft Market at the Bernice Garden
  • Arts Center Museum School Sale
    Arts Center Museum School Sale