Northwest Arkansas is known for having four beautiful seasons, from crisp autumns and chilly winters to warm, sunny springs – and even warmer summers. When August rolls around and the temps go up, try some of these great ways to cool down and make the most of the final days of summer!
Pure Joy Ice Cream
This Siloam Springs-based ice cream company centers all of its recipes around locally sourced ingredients to create seriously flavorful scoops! In addition to its brick-and mortar-shop in Siloam Springs, Pure Joy is served at local grocers and has mini bars at Fork and Crust Pie Company in Fayetteville and Rogers. Name a better summer duo than ice cream and pie!
This ice cream joint originated on four wheels as a food truck in the Shulertown Food Truck Court in downtown Fayetteville. Burton’s has recently opened up a new storefront in Uptown Fayetteville with a menu of 14 signature cones plus shakes and ice cream sammies, too. Nationally recognized by MSN.com as the Best Ice Cream Stand in the State and Best Food Truck by Taste of Home, you won’t be able to resist Instagramming your cone!
This old-fashioned soda shop in The Walmart Museum on the historic Bentonviille square will take you back to the good ole days! With ice cream, sweet treats and beverages, the Spark serves Yarnell’s, a family brand made in Searcy, Arkansas. Treat yourself!
Northwest Arkansas offers top-notch aquatic centers and pools where the kids can splash and play, while you relax and catch some rays. Check out this handy list of some of the best places to swim, splash or get in touch with nature.
Lawrence Plaza Splash Pad
Also check out our Naturally Fun blog for a rundown of nearby lakes and rivers!
Kick back in the air conditioning for an afternoon at a variety of new and renovated movie theaters throughout NWA. Three in particular have completed upgrades or recently opened brand new locations. Malco Razorback Cinema & IMAX in Fayetteville features expanded concessions, a bar area, reclining seats and a new IMAX theater that delivers cutting-edge 2D and 3D immersive viewing.
Bentonville’s new-ish Skylight Cinema touts reclining leather seats and full table service from The Cutting Room restaurant and bar. While AMC Fiesta Square in Fayetteville has recently added a new craft bar where you can enjoy a cocktail or mocktail before shows.
After the sun goes down, check out the region’s only drive-in theater, the 112 Drive-In, playing new releases as well as classics during popular throwback weekends.
EXPLORE COOL CAVES & CAVERNS
Tour the deep underground wonders of Northwest Arkansas in natural settings that stay at a perpetual 52 or so degrees no matter how hot it is outside!
Cosmic Cavern in Berryville has one of the longest soda straw formations in the Ozarks, along with two bottomless lakes, stalactites, stalagmites and many other speleothems. Take a one-and-a-half hour guided tour, then pan for gems and explore the rock shop.
War Eagle Cavern in Rogers features a spectacular natural entrance on the shores of Beaver lake. Follow a meandering stream straight into the mountain for an easy guided tour with wide level pathways, unique formations, waterfalls and an underground lake. Don’t miss the gemstone panning and the Lost in the Woods maze. Bring your furry companions along, too, because this cave is pet-friendly!
MUSEUM DAY: DISCOVER COOL ART, SCIENCE & HISTORY
Northwest Arkansas is home to rich collections of art and an even richer history spanning many cultures and time periods. Explore our museums to discover world-class art and interactive exhibitions, landmarks that highlight the natural beauty of the Ozarks, and artifacts that are a testament to our intriguing past!
Crystal Bridges Museum
Bentonville’s world-class museum brings together the best of art, nature and architecture for visitors of all ages to enjoy! The 120-acre setting offers more than four miles of trails with inspiring architectural works by Frank Lloyd Wright, R. Buckminster Fuller and others. Inside, Crystal Bridges houses a permanent collection of American masterworks from colonial times to present, as well as a year-round rotating schedule of special temporary exhibitions. General admission is free.
The Amazeum is a hands-on, interactive museum for children and families with a foundation in the arts and sciences. It encourages creativity and curiosity through exhibitions, educational collaborations, programs, workshops and camps. Experiences include a climbable tree canopy, indoor cave, tinkering hub and nearly one acre of outdoor space.
Scott Family Amazeum
The story of Walmart comes alive at The Walmart Museum housed in the original Walton’s 5&10 store on the Bentonville square. Visitors can experience a piece of the Walton family history in a real, functional storefront along with a replica of Sam Walton’s offices, his trusty old Ford pickup and other memorabilia.
This regional history museum in Springdale focuses on the Northwest Arkansas Ozarks, taking its name from the pioneer community of Shiloh, which became Springdale in the 1870s. Most of what you’ll see highlights the real shapers of Ozarks history – the everyday men, women and children who lived in area towns and rural communities. Along with exhibits, you can explore six historic buildings on the museum’s grounds.
Arkansas Air & Military Museum
Follow the colorful history of aviation in Arkansas and during American military conflicts. At this Fayetteville museum, see displays of original military artifacts and aviation memorabilia, including historic aircraft – many of which still fly. Static displays at the museum range from the Golden Age of Aviation to the jet age, including Vietnam-era Army helicopters and a Navy carrier fighter.
This museum displays permanent exhibits that highlight many facets of the city’s history including Native American culture, pioneer life and medicine.
Enjoy a chronological presentation of Daisy’s history and view the extensive collection of antique air guns, packaging and vintage advertisements at this museum in Rogers.
Artifacts at MONAH
Located in Fayetteville, this museum was the first home of Bill and Hillary Clinton and offers memorabilia chronicling their political lives on the local and national stage. Also featuring the First Ladies Garden and items related to Arkansas history and politics.
Take a 14,000-year journey through five different periods of Native American history laid out in chronological order, starting with the first Americans through the early European influence. View some of the finest artifacts of early man including brilliant headdresses, artistic effigy vessels, the famous Sweetwater Biface, and an Ice Age Wooly Mammoth. Located in Bentonville.
Eureka Springs Historical Museum
Built in 1889 and located in the heart of the Eureka Springs historic district, this museum highlights the colorful past of this unique town and the people who lived here through a fascinating collection of papers, photographs, mementos, official documents, home furnishings and other artifacts.
The early 1900’s home of Colonel C. Burton “Buck” Saunders in Berryville houses an extensive collection of some of the rarest firearms in the country. Pistols carried by the most infamous gunslingers, including Jesse James and Annie Oakley, as well as items memorializing America’s rich and rugged past can be found on display here.