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Five Ways to Celebrate Arkansas Statehood

Celebrate Arkansas’s 181st birthday by Historic Site Hopping

Arkansas officially became a state on June 15, 1836. In honor of that important anniversary, we offer up five ways you can celebrate Arkansas’s birthday. Make a day of it on Saturday, June 3, here in Little Rock!

1. Visit the Old State House Museum, 300 West Markham Street, (501) 324-9685

The original state capitol of Arkansas, the museum and its grounds have witnessed many of the most important events in Arkansas history. The story of the building begins with the story of Arkansas statehood. Construction began in 1833, when Arkansans first started talking about seeking statehood status. When its statehood became official three years later, Arkansas’s new legislators started working in the still-unfinished building. The Old State House Museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is free.

 

2. Visit the Arkansas State Capitol, 500 Woodlane Street, (501) 682-5080

photo from Arkansas State Capitol on PinterestThe Arkansas Capitol building is the seat of the state’s government, housing its legislature as well as the staff of six out of Arkansas’s seven constitutional officers. The neo-classical structure, designed by architect George Mann in 1899, resembles the United States Capitol and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Call ahead to schedule a guided tour. The free tours of the Capitol Building are offered weekdays 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Walk-in visitors requesting personally guided tours will be scheduled on the next available guided tour. Explore the building and grounds on your own, using a self-guided tour booklet you can pick up at the Visitor Center on the first floor or download an audio tour for your visit.

3. Join the Statehood Celebration at the Old State House Museum, Saturday, June 3

Life in 1836 is recreated with a live-action role-playing program at the Old State House Museum on Saturday, June 3, from 1 to 6 p.m. Learn about the trades and industries, wages, and forms of entertainment that were available in Arkansas in 1836. Visitors are encouraged to enter a profession and find ways to make and spend money in an 1836 economy. Living history characters (including lawyers, tavern keepers, performers and skilled craftsmen) will “help and hinder” each guest’s pursuit of earnings and entertainment. Popular activities like gambling, shopping, military drill, skilled and unskilled labor, and period games will be ongoing during the event. Younger children will love the horse race and puppet show! Admission is free.

4. Eat at Lassis Inn, 518 E 27th Street, (501) 372-8714

An inductee of the inaugural class of the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame and one of the state’s oldest restaurants, Lassis Inn is the best place in town to eat catfish. The diner has been in Little Rock since 1905 and in the same location at 27th and Roosevelt Road since the early '30s. Lassis Inn is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

 

 

5. Visit Historic Arkansas Museum, 200 East Third Street, (501) 324-9621

Visit up close and personal Little Rock's oldest standing building, the Hinderliter Grog Shop, on the grounds of Historic Arkansas Museum. Built in 1827 by Jesse Hinderliter, the building served as a tavern, restaurant, hotel and private residence. In the early 19th century, it was a hub of activity − attracting travelers, trappers, surveyors, boatmen and others. The museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. The historic grounds are open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and Sunday 1 to 4 p.m. Guided tours are available Monday and Tuesday on the hour, with self-guided tours on Wednesday through Saturday. Admission to the museum is free; admission to the historic grounds is $2.50 for adults, $1 for children under 18 and $1.50 for age 65+.