Ice Skating, Train Excursions, Reindeer Games: There’s Fun for Everyone This Season!

From Christmas festivals and ice-skating under the stars to the A&M Railroad holiday train and a Night of a Thousand Santas – festivities across Northwest Arkansas are sure to put you in the brightest of spirits!

The Rink at Lawrence Plaza – Join in on the holiday fun at the Lawrence Plaza Ice Rink (the area’s only outdoor ice rink), open Friday through Sunday until Jan. 16, located just off the Bentonville Square.

Dine at one of the trendy restaurants downtown, enjoy the specular downtown holiday lights display, then lock arms with your honey or kiddos and skate the night away under the stars. Or, grab your friends and drop in on hockey night for a friendly face-off with other hockey fans in Northwest Arkansas.

Lawrence Plaza

The Ice Rink at Lawrence Plaza

Don’t know how to skate? Lawrence Plaza has you covered with lessons for all ages. The rink is also available for private parties if you’re looking for a fun place to host your next holiday bash!

The whole family will want to watch their favorite Christmas movies during Frosty’s Flicks. Skate around the rink while holiday classics like “The Grinch,” “Frozen” and “The Santa Claus” play on the big screen. Kids, be sure to drop off your letter in Santa’s Mailbox by Dec. 17 and get a reply by Christmas! For more info, visit bentonvilleusa.org.

The Eureka Springs Christmas Festival – Let the magic of Eureka Springs pull you into its enchanted holiday spell! This year’s Christmas Festival features family fun, lighted tours, historic hotel celebrations, Santa strolls and more! Highlights include:

Crescent Xmas

Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs

  • The 15th Annual Christmas at the 1886 Crescent Hotel – Thru Dec. 11 – One of the Ozarks’ most popular winter holiday traditions! Arrive at the doorstep of this delightfully decorated mountaintop hotel and be swept away by the spirit of Christmas. crescent-hotel.com/blog
  • Night of a Thousand Santas – Dec. 11 – Meet at Basin Spring Park to get your Santa gear (or wear your own!) and stroll along with Santas of all stripes and participate in reindeer games at local pubs! Play along with the “Bad Santa” Instagram game along the way for a chance to win prizes! eurekaspringsdowntown.com
  • Light the Hills: An Illuminated Evening in Downtown Eureka Springs – Dec. 12 – Bring the entire family on this magical guided tour with luminaries lining the path downtown from Sweet Spring to Grotto Spring. Yuletide stories and stops on local Victorian porches for hot cocoa and goodies will delight young and old alike. eurekaspringsdowntown.com

Arkansas & Missouri Railroad Holiday Express – All aboard for this holiday train-ride excursion! On select dates through Dec. 23, train riders can depart from the Emma Street Train Depot in Springdale and ride to local destinations and back aboard a restored 1940s era train. Enjoy candy canes, hot chocolate and cookies, and more. On Dec. 19, the Pajama Train excursion from Springdale to Fayetteville lets kids stay in their PJ’s, meet Santa and bring in the holiday spirit! amrailroad.com

RogersSantaCaboose31st Annual Rogers Downtown Tree Lighting & Christmas Parade – Dec. 4 – Enjoy a Nutcracker performance by Ballet Westside at 6 p.m., followed by the lighting of the Christmas Tree at 6:30 p.m., and the festive Christmas Parade that will wind through the Downtown Rogers District beginning at 7 p.m. – this year’s theme is “Twas the Lights before Christmas.” Also, boys and girls are invited to visit Santa on the Caboose on Saturday, Dec. 5, 12 and 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Frisco Caboose in Downtown Rogers, where you can take family photos and deliver holiday wishes to Santa on a real locomotive! visitrogersarkansas.com

Light Up Siloam Springs – Dec. 5 – Historic downtown Siloam Springs will be aglow with glimmering lights at the annual Light Up Siloam Springs Celebration and Christmas Parade! At dusk, the Mayor of Siloam Springs will wave a magical candy cane to light up downtown, followed by Santa’s much-anticipated appearance as holiday floats make their way down Broadway Street! mainstreetsiloam.org

christmas parade (1)

Light Up Siloam Springs

For more information, including details on these and other holiday happenings throughout the four-county region, visit NorthwestArkansas.org.

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