- Brian Chilson
- At Midtown Shopping Center.
Play in Rocket Park.
Meriwether Park (a.k.a. "Rocket Park") in the Hall High neighborhood of Midtown offers recreation for all ages. Kids will love the refurbished playground, while adults will enjoy hitting the tennis ball on the public court (no tennis whites required!). All ages will like traveling the paved circle around the park, whether via scooter or bike or on foot. The playground itself is a nice mix of old-school, retro playground equipment (the rocket slide) and new school (a safe, sturdy plastic jungle gym). Parents will appreciate the presence of two varieties of swings — a set for babies and one for older kids. The athletic field is a great place to catch a little league game in progress, depending on the season, or — when not in use — a nice wide open space in which to run free.
Midtown has reimagined itself as somewhat of a shopping destination for the city. And Midtowne (note the "e"), an open-air shopping center on University, has gone a long way to doing just that. Whether browsing the kitchen gadgets whilst nibbling samples at Williams Sonoma or pawing the throws at Pottery Barn, good times are to be had here. Especially when you head to The Container Store to entertain dreams of bringing order out of chaos. Directly across the way is Park Plaza, the best mall of its kind in North Little Rock or Little Rock, and south of the Markham and University intersection is the new Park Avenue development that includes Target, Carter kids clothing store and more to come. Knowledge Tree, an educational supply store, is north of Midtowne and has expanded its toy offerings so is a great spot to buy birthday party gifts for kids. Tanglewood Shopping Center on Cantrell has limited retail offerings but two worth mentioning — Community Cyclist and Roy Dudley Estate Sales. Dudley is headquartered there and doesn't keep regular hours, but hosts stellar sales there at least once a month. Midtowne Antique Mall at Markham and Rodney Parham houses a multitude of booths.
Much hoopla surrounded the recent opening of the Cheddar's Casual Cafe on University, and even a few months in, the lines are still long and the parking lot full. Other options along University include Pei Wei and Cantina Laredo at Midtowne shopping center. Along Cantrell, you'll find pan-Asian at Saigon Cuisine, Damgoode Pies, Casa Manana and All Aboard, a train-themed restaurant.