Tag Archives: Nature Center

Downtown 2011!!

 

Yesterday, I shared our first stop for the annual trip downtown.  Central High was an awesome experience.  I hope you check out yesterday’s post and read all about it.

We spent 2 hours at Central and we were famished.  We headed to the Clinton Presidential Library lawn for our picnic lunch.  Remember our downtown trip is a cheap trip.  Our goal is to spend as little as possible and still have a great time exploring Little Rock.

100_4594Of course after a great lunch, what is more fun than a giant hill to run down???  The lawn is built next to the Arkansas river bank.

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After a few minutes of running up and down the giant hill, we began our adventure along the Sculptural Promenade.  Here’s a few of the sculptures we found:

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Then of course we had to visit the Nature Center.  It is free and there’s live animals!  The kids love it!!  I don’t care for the snakes!

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I spent $2.25 on souvenirs.  The girls got tiny bugs and the young man of our group got a bird whistle.  I couldn’t resist.

We left the Nature Center and went down to the playground.  The girls made comments like, “We are too big for most of the stuff.”  ((sniff))  My girls are grown up!!  Don’t like it!!  Now our little guy loved climbing and sliding and having a ball.

100_4610We walked down to the Old State House.  But we had to cross a creepy old (wooden) walk bridge over 4 lanes of traffic.  It was a little scary!!

100_4614The Old State House was the first capital building in Arkansas.  It was the headquarters for Bill Clinton’s election night.    The girls had fun.  They even pretended to be Representatives.  My little guy got creeped out and begged me to go back downstairs by the door.  He said he didn’t like the place.  So the girls explored and we checked out the gift shop.. by the front door.

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Next stop… The Peabody Hotel.  They rode the elevator and escalators.

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The kids were tired and hungry by this time.  So we walked to the River Market and had ice cream.  Ahem.. they did anyway.  I gave up such luxuries for lent.

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We spent $7.50 for the cones.  Yikes I know… but worth every bite… so I’m told.

And you won’t believe this!  We were walking to the River Market and ran into fellow Sardis peeps!!

100_4631So after the ice cream, we had to ride the trolley!  It is a 30 minute ride through the River Market area and North Little Rock.  It is air conditioned and a great place to rest tired feet. Tickets for the trolley were $4.50.

100_4643And that is when the batteries died in my camera.  But we visited the public library and then headed home.  Another great year  downtown!!  The conversation on the ride home made me smile:

Friend:  I can’t believe people told me that downtown is boring.

Daughter:  Yeah.  They just don’t know how to have fun.

Friend:  It is fun friends that make it great!

Daughter:  You’re so right!

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Friend:  I was asked how much money I was taking to Little Rock today.  When I told them none, we did free stuff.  They laughed at me and said I couldn’t have fun without spending a lot of money seeing things.

Me:  It isn’t the money spent but how the day is spent.

Friend:  Yeah, you’re right.  I love how we spend it together!

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Little Guy:  Mom, I’m hungry!  What’s for dinner?

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It was a wonderful day.  Full of good memories and BIG smiles!!

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The grand total for the day’s events… $14.25!  It was worth every penny!  Can’t wait until next year!!

God Bless….

The 2nd Half of a Great Day!

I am so glad you came back to hear about the grand day we had exploring downtown Little Rock, Arkansas.  I know, I know. how “grand” could Little Rock really be???  The first half of our day, we visited the ATA Garden, The Peabody Hotel, and the Capital Hotel.  The goal of this fine day was to entertain 4 kids and one mom without spending much money.  So far so good!!  If you haven’t already, run over to last Friday’s post and check out our morning..

Now, to finish what we started… We left off leaving the capital hotel and boarding the trolley…

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All Aboard

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Starving, we rode the Trolley back to the area where our van was parked at the Clinton Library.  We had plans to picnic on the grounds of the library.  Unfortunately, after recent rains the grounds were soupy.  But we made do…. we picnicked on the sidewalk.

Little Rock 141 Can you believe the Beatles were in Little Rock??

Look the Fab 4 are walking to the Heifer International Headquarters!!

After lunch, we walked three blocks over to the Heifer International Headquarters for a self guided tour…. which was fun, interesting and FREE!! The building is “green.”  The building is 70% recycled or recyclable material.  They collect rain water to flush their toilets.  [I checked to see if the toilet water was discolored.. I mean it is rainwater!!  Surprise!  It looks just like the water in my bowl at home!]  Impressive to say the least.

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At Heifer, the goal is to rid the world of hunger and poverty.  They have a really cool self guided tour for folks like myself to learn about other countries and how I can make a difference.

The kids really enjoyed learning about the projects like “A Classroom in a Box.”  Everything needed for a one room school house is in the box.  Amazingly enough, it was very modest.  And to think, back in the day, when I was teaching, my complaint was that I didn’t have the “tools” to teach.  I hold my head in shame!!

The kids and I enjoyed seeing the difference in the types of foods that are necessary for establishing and maintaining a living.  And we are not talking McDonald’s or Burger King.. Needless to say, after visiting, I felt as if I needed to re-examine my lifestyle and be even more conservative…as well as eco-friendly.

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Left:  Kids are learning about the classroom in a box.  Center:  Model of a home being self-sufficient Right:  Little Man learning about burgers.

After the Heifer Village, we caught the trolley to the Historic Arkansas Museum.  The galleries inside this museum is free.  The kids enjoyed a few minutes in the kid’s gallery.

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Getting Twisted playing Arkansas Twister

The Historic Arkansas Museum had a really neat knife collection and some art to view.  The museum has a nice well preserved territorial city block..unfortunately it was closed due to restoration and it also cost money to take a gander at the old buildings.  I am sure the interpretive guided tour is great but the kids really enjoyed a game of Arkansas Twister in the Kid’s gallery.  It is the Twister game on a large map of Arkansas… I liked the play on words to be honest..


We grabbed the next trolley and went to the River Market.  We enjoyed walking through the market smelling all the great food.  We stopped by the Bath Junkie for a complimentary hand scrub and to enjoy the many scents they offer to add to the creams and soaps.  Afterwards, we were entertained by bubbles and a street performer.

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We left the Market area for the river park.  The kids enjoyed the rock climbing and sliding.  It was a really cool place to play.  What really makes it cool is that the planners of the park asked children what would make a great park and they had some pretty cool ideas..

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Then we walked across the Arkansas River.  The Junction Bridge was once a train bridge turned foot bridge.  We enjoyed watching boats and the cool breeze off the river.

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From the foot of the bridge on the North Little Rock side, we walked two blocks to catch the trolley.

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Back on the Little Rock side of the river, we walked over to the Nature Center. There, we enjoyed the wildlife our Natural State has to offer.  Once again we learned lots and it was all FREE!!

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After an hour of fun, we said good-bye to all the animals and headed back to our van.

We had a wonderful day.  It was a day filled with excitement and laughter.  We learned a lot.  We were all tired when we piled back into the van, but we are already planning next year’s visit!

So did we reach our goal?  As a matter of fact, we did.  We had fun [even the teenagers] and only spent a grand total of $10.  The day only required a couple of hours on the internet Googling “free things to do in Little Rock” to plan out our agenda.  Everyone was armed with cameras and some of the coolest pix captured were from the kids..

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And of course….while dodging the pigeons under the freeway bridge we found this….

God Bless..