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Old 02-15-2016, 09:09 PM
 
16 posts, read 9,891 times
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I am a stay-at-home mom of four school-aged children in MN. We love the Midwest. Tons to do here, AMAZING schools, we have great friends. But, it is sounding more likely that my husband may get transferred to North Little Rock. His company is growing down there. I would love any help on the best places to raise families within a half hour (that's the longest commute he would be up for) of North LR. So far it seems like maybe Conway or Greenbrier? Schools and parks and trails and convenience are the biggest things we are looking for. Schools being #1. My oldest will be starting middle school and youngest will be in kindergarten. We love biking, hiking, shopping, trying new restaurants, rollerblading, being active and outdoors. Neither of us knows anything about AR and it scares the bejeebers out of me to move somewhere blindly with four little kids. I know a grand total of 0 people in the entire state :-(
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Old 02-15-2016, 09:34 PM
 
276 posts, read 416,287 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggie731 View Post
I am a stay-at-home mom of four school-aged children in MN. We love the Midwest. Tons to do here, AMAZING schools, we have great friends. But, it is sounding more likely that my husband may get transferred to North Little Rock. His company is growing down there. I would love any help on the best places to raise families within a half hour (that's the longest commute he would be up for) of North LR. So far it seems like maybe Conway or Greenbrier? Schools and parks and trails and convenience are the biggest things we are looking for. Schools being #1. My oldest will be starting middle school and youngest will be in kindergarten. We love biking, hiking, shopping, trying new restaurants, rollerblading, being active and outdoors. Neither of us knows anything about AR and it scares the bejeebers out of me to move somewhere blindly with four little kids. I know a grand total of 0 people in the entire state :-(
It seems like you may be looking for a small town? Greenbrier is probably the outer limit of what you want as far as distance from NLR is concerned, but if you are looking for a small town that's a reasonable commute to a bigger city it could be a good fit. Conway is closer and it is a good place to live. Cabot probably fits your needs too and it would be closer than Greenbrier. Maumelle is much closer, actually adjacent to NLR and LR, and probably has everything you are looking for. Good luck with your move if it turns out you have to make it. Who knows, you might end up liking Arkansas.
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Old 02-16-2016, 04:45 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
62,248 posts, read 68,241,115 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggie731 View Post
I am a stay-at-home mom of four school-aged children in MN. We love the Midwest. Tons to do here, AMAZING schools, we have great friends. But, it is sounding more likely that my husband may get transferred to North Little Rock. His company is growing down there. I would love any help on the best places to raise families within a half hour (that's the longest commute he would be up for) of North LR. So far it seems like maybe Conway or Greenbrier? Schools and parks and trails and convenience are the biggest things we are looking for. Schools being #1. My oldest will be starting middle school and youngest will be in kindergarten. We love biking, hiking, shopping, trying new restaurants, rollerblading, being active and outdoors. Neither of us knows anything about AR and it scares the bejeebers out of me to move somewhere blindly with four little kids. I know a grand total of 0 people in the entire state :-(
Maggie,

I can't tell you too much about North Little Rock as we live in NWA, but I can tell you, your best approach for yourself and your kids is a positive attitude and approach the move with excitement instead of dread. Yes, I do think, from what I know Conway is a good place for families.
When we had 3 young children, the oldest only 5 we were transferred as well, but I actually looked forward to meeting new people and exploring new territory. We had 5 great years in our new location and from there, many more moves. If you get involved in the community, kids activities, church if this interests you, in no time you will have a great life experience.

Will it all be peaches and cream? No and will you miss your old friends and family? Sure you will, especially in the beginning, but AR. isn't a foreign country. People are just the same everywhere; mostly really nice, some are jerks. We have lots of things to do here, less cold weather, lots of people from other parts of the country and the world. We don't marry our cousins, drink coffee out of beer cans, park our cars on the front grass (well that depends) and we do have most of our teeth. Little Rock has a wonderful children's hospital as well. Yes, lots of people here do talk with southern accent, especially in the Little Rock area, but lots of people from MN have accents.

Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 02-16-2016, 07:16 AM
 
16 posts, read 9,891 times
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Default Thank you!

Thanks a bunch for your reply. It was very direct and helpful and I appreciate it a lot. I'd never show my negativity in front of the kids, but I do tend to show it to my hubby who is just trying to take care of us by securing a good job. We are Christians and have moved around a fair bit since getting married (NC, IL and MN now for 8 years). Every time we've gotten connected with a church and started getting involved in a school, relationships have begun to blossom. I'm sure it would be no different in AR and I need to ditch my stereotypes about the state.
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Old 02-16-2016, 07:47 AM
 
Location: Western Colorado
8,447 posts, read 9,238,115 times
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Drive rush hour from Conway to the Rock? UGH. I would suggest Sherwood or Maumelle, NLR has some great neighborhoods too. Heck even Little Rock has great friendly neighborhoods. You'll find people open and friendly. Humidity is gonna be tough though. Good luck in your move.
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Old 02-16-2016, 08:25 AM
 
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You might consider moving to Bryant. It is about 25 miles south of LR and gets high marks for their schools. Great area for shopping with the huge outlet malls just up the road along with Bass Pro Shop. It has a Target and Best Buy which is pretty much all I need. lol Plenty of places to eat. Also you are only 40 miles from Hot Springs which makes for an easy weekend fun trip. Lots to see and do there.
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Old 02-16-2016, 10:44 AM
 
3,969 posts, read 4,885,552 times
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From what I've heard, North Little Rock is where you'd want to live anyway (as opposed to "allover" Little Rock). It sounds like you'd be happier in the thick of things instead of stuck off in a small town. For hiking and being in the outdoors, there is just no limit to the places you could be within about 3 hours from NLR....state parks, lakes, rivers, campgrounds, etc. And you will have longer stretches of warm weather to do it all in than you have in MN. You may appreciate that after your first winter here...as a matter of fact, you would probably be outside in shorts in Arkansas' winters!
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Old 02-16-2016, 11:31 AM
 
6,209 posts, read 5,584,328 times
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You're likely to be very pleasantly surprised by the physical beauty and variety of Arkansas. As you enjoy the outdoors, you will be ideally situated for hiking, camping, caving, boating, swimming, and more. Little Rock itself has some very nice neighborhoods, with lots of trees, blooming shrubs (azaleas, camelias, and more), which make springtime gorgeous here. It also has a museum district downtown, with lots of interesting shops and small restaurants nearby. North Little Rock is smaller, but includes Burns Park, which is quite large and offers many activities.

Church affiliation and activities are a big part of many Arkansans' lives, so if you find a church which is right for your family, you'll be welcomed to a ready-made selection of activities.

I can't speak for schools, as my Arkansas connections are ancestral and cousinly rather than residential these days, but I am sure some of the Arkansans living in the Rackensack State (historic nickname for AR) will address this. Conway is home to several colleges, Hendrix College being the best-known. I do have a number of young relatives who all attended public schools in various parts of Arkansas, and all of them were accepted to college and did well there.

There are festivals and other weekend celebrations in Arkansas throughout the warmer months and well into the beautiful fall. Weekend outings to places like beautiful Petit Jean (pro. "Petty Gene") State Resort Park or Hot Springs will be easy from the Little Rock area (and even closer to NLR). The Ozarks are farther away, but still accessible within half a day's drive, and include not only mountains but caves, clear spring-fed rivers and lakes, waterfalls, boating of various kinds, hiking, and more.

Arkansas also has a rich traditional music heritage, both bluegrass/old time, British balladry, and blues. You'll find festivals celebrating all of these. Arkansas is also known for traditional crafts, particularly in the Ozark area. Many of these crafts are identical or similar to the traditional crafts of the southern Appalachians, which is not surprising, as many of the early Ozark settlers came from the "other southern mountains".

Good luck on your upcoming move. The Arkansas tourism department has lots of free maps, brochures, and other materials available, if you want to get a good preview of coming attractions.
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Old 02-16-2016, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
62,248 posts, read 68,241,115 times
Reputation: 30764
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggie731 View Post
Thanks a bunch for your reply. It was very direct and helpful and I appreciate it a lot. I'd never show my negativity in front of the kids, but I do tend to show it to my hubby who is just trying to take care of us by securing a good job. We are Christians and have moved around a fair bit since getting married (NC, IL and MN now for 8 years). Every time we've gotten connected with a church and started getting involved in a school, relationships have begun to blossom. I'm sure it would be no different in AR and I need to ditch my stereotypes about the state.
You are on the track to enjoying your possible new life and if you liked NC at all, you should love AR. I personally am a strong believer in church involvement, but I am not here to suggest it is for everyone or it is the only way to make the adjustment. It has always helped us I can say. Weather wise, AR isn't as humid as NC and we have 4 wonderful seasons, but yes, summers can be a little uncomfortable. I am sure you know that.
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Old 02-16-2016, 05:26 PM
 
Location: Ozark Mountains Arkansas
1,203 posts, read 658,970 times
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Hi Maggie
While I can't offer any help on locations since I'm not familiar with Little Rock, it sounds like you have made out of state moves a few times and know what to expect. It is tough when you don't know anyone. We moved here in October and didn't know anyone (we moved to Jasper) but the people here have been so friendly and welcoming.

However if you love where you live now, you may need to consider staying if it is an option. If it's not, then you make the most of your new location and find the many positives it can have.
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