A venture to this state park is on the must-do list for many, the park being the only spot in North America where you can dig for diamonds and other gemstones and keep your finds.
For me, most of the fun of playing in the rain is actually getting soaking wet. However, if I was 6 years old again and had indulgent and whimsical parents, the most fun part would definitely be dressing up in the pirate-themed rain coat/galoshes/umbrella/backpack ensemble they would have bought me at the new children's boutique InJoy. (There are also ladybug and mermaid collections, but my 6-year-old self definitely would have gone for the pirates.)
InJoy opened a few months ago in the shopping center at Markham and Bowman that also houses Hobby Lobby and Kids Furniture. It carries higher-end clothing, accessories and gifts, including formalwear, for infants through boys' size 7 and girls' size 12.
Other than the rain gear, I liked the offbeat vinyl bibs (design themes include the Beatles and sushi) for $20 and kids' tote bags with crab or penguin zippered pouches on the outside, perfect for the pool or beach ($9). The spring dresses for girls are bright and fun, and just about everything with long sleeves is 30 percent to 50 percent off. Definitely worth a trip if you're in the neighborhood. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday except for Wednesday, when the store closes at 6 p.m.
• Sephora finally opens its second Little Rock location, in Park Plaza, on March 20. There'll be prizes for the first 100 shoppers, so take an early lunch and check it out. If you're not familiar, Sephora is a cosmetics store that puts user-friendliness above all — shoppers are allowed and encouraged to try on and experiment with anything and everything. The JC Penney location at Shackleford Crossing includes a Sephora boutique inside the store as well.
• The Station Grocery and Deli (1001 Kavanaugh Blvd.) is now open, and it's one of those tiny grocery stores that makes you wonder why you need a supermarket — it's only got three or four shelves and a few cold cases, but seems to cover all the bases and then some. And there's more than just food: A very well-edited selection of magazines, for example, with titles that will appeal to the liberal/intellectual/health-conscious/foodie/environmentally concerned customer who's most likely to shop at a place that specializes in organic and locally grown groceries. Also handmade soaps and beeswax candles and other assorted gift items. Hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
• Speaking of new stores in Hillcrest, Private Collections, the consignment furniture/home decor store lately of Warehouse Row in Riverdale, has moved up the hill to the former Grady Smith Salon space at 2017 Kavanaugh.
• Help save the planet for a measly five bucks: Boulevard Bread in the River Market is selling reusable padded-cloth sleeves for coffee cups. Say good-bye forever to those throwaway cardboard rings.
• Finally, the Easter Bunny arrives at Park Plaza Saturday, March 21. Happy hopping.
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