Spring has sprung! As I drove home from Little Rock today I was amazed at all of the blooms on the Bradford Pear trees. Everything has that wonderful green glow to it. The warm weather and the soft rain showers have been encouraging all the tender plants.
My husband and I took a walk through the orchard this morning and admired all of the little buds, some about to flower, and said a little prayer that we won't get a late frost that will kill them off. I really look forward to having some pears, peaches and apples later in the year. As I sit here typing there is even a lone mosquito buzzing around the room! All signs point to the immanence of spring - one of my favorite times of the year. Besides all of the planting, pruning and gardening and besides all of the spring cleaning and the repairs that need to be made to the chicken coops there are a ton of wonderful, outdoor activities to participate in here in Arkansas.
A favorite activity in our house is attending the horse races at Oaklawn in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Let me tell you that the horse races are so much more than gambling! Sure I've been known to place a few bets here and there and even won $100 once when I had no idea what I was doing. But the horse races are a really great, family-friendly, activity even if you never place a single bet.
Before the race begins the horses are brought into the corral where you can view them up close and personal. You get a chance to see their size and their color. This seems to be a favorite viewing spot of the children in the crowds. When it is time for the race to begin make your way outside to the stands. It is really easy to get right up to the fence for a front row view of the start and finish of the race. But sometimes the excitement is on the track so you may want to climb the bleachers to get a full view of everything that is going on. Each race is quick and full of excitement. Bets start as low as $2.00 but even if you don't bet you can pick out a favorite horse and cheer it on to the finish line.
Another great part of the races is the corned beef sandwiches that they serve in the concession stands. They are a little pricey (sandwiches and sodas for three people was about $30.00) but are oh-so-good and are just part of the experience. If you have never been to the races I would highly recommend it! Live racing will continue every Thursday - Sunday until April 16th. Saturday post times are usually at 1:00 and it is usually 1:30 on the other racing days. You can visit http://www.oaklawn.com for more information.
Now it is your turn! What is your favorite spring time activity in Arkansas? Send us an email at email@example.com if you want to contribute a story to the blog!