Category Archives: Siloam Springs

Fall Arts and Crafts Fairs in Northwest Arkansas

Northwest Arkansas is home to some of the premier arts and crafts fairs in the country! Every October, hundreds of vendors and nationally juried artisans display their wares across the region, offering handcrafted works for every taste. This is one autumn festival season you won’t want to miss!

War-Eagle-Craft-Fair-visit-rogersWar Eagle Mill Fall Arts & Crafts Fair in Rogers — Oct. 13-16 — The War Eagle Fair Show is held across the bridge from the War Eagle Mill. Professional crafts men and women offer original handmade work ranging from country decorative items to antique broken china jewelry. You can also explore the old mill and eat at the Bean Palace restaurant. wareaglemill.com

Frisco Station Mall Arts & Crafts Festival in Rogers — Oct. 13-16 — Located indoors at the Frisco Station Mall, it’s one of the largest fairs in Northwest Arkansas. Featuring woodworkers, candles, jewelry, clothing, paintings and an abundance of holiday themed gifts and seasonal decor.  nwacraftsfairs.com

The Homegrown Festival in Siloam Springs — Oct. 8 — Hosted by Main Street Siloam Springs, this festival showcases local handmade goods, curated vintage items, and food from across the region. Vendors offer an array of original and limited-run items including illustrations, printmaking, music, jewelry and accessories, pottery and more. mainstreetsiloam.org

Sharp’s Show of War Eagle in Rogers — Oct. 13-16 — This fair takes place on the fields adjacent to the War Eagle Mill, with more than 250 booths offering a wide array of handmade crafts from skilled artisans located throughout the country. Featuring holiday themed gifts and seasonal decorations, too. nwacraftsfairs.com

Spanker Creek Farm Arts & Crafts Fair in Bentonville — Oct. 12-16 — Returning and new exhibitors from all over the nation can be found at this show located on a farm setting with a great Ozark atmosphere. Spanker Creek runs along the entire south side of the fair grounds and flows into Sugar Creek on the west side. spankercreekfarm.com

Bella Vista Arts & Crafts Festival — Oct. 13-15 — Now in its 47th year, this premier Northwest Arkansas festival has steadily grown in size and reputation since 1969. Offering high quality arts and crafts that are always hand-made, this juried festival has grown to nearly 300 artisans and is conveniently located on Ark. Hwy. 279, just south of the intersection with Ark. Hwy. 340. bellavistafestival.org

Ozark Regional Arts & Crafts Festivals in Springdale, Rogers and Fayetteville — Oct. 13-15 — Recognized as one of the top 100 craft fairs in the U.S., this is touted as the largest indoor craft fair in the state! Taking place in three locations: the NW Arkansas Convention Center in Springdale, the John Q. Hammons Center in Rogers, and the Washington County Fairgrounds in Fayetteville. nwacraftsfairs.com

Pine Mountain Village Craft Fair in Eureka Springs — Oct. 14-15 — Stained glass, leather, basket makers, woodworkers, oil and acrylic painting, sculpture, and lots of other handmade arts and crafts are available. Holiday theme gifts are also in abundance, as well as seasonal decorations. eurekaspringschamber.com

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Mountain Biking World Summit Spotlights NWA Trails

The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) is holding its 2016 World Summit in Bentonville on Nov. 10-12. Yep, you read that right – its WORLD Summit. The biennial conference draws a worldwide audience of industry leaders and participants, with each host community adding its own distinct flavor.

Northwest Arkansas has been chosen as this year’s host because of the region’s impressive, ever-evolving network of bikes trails. With 200+ miles of off-road trails cropping up in locations everywhere, our mountain bike scene is booming! We have trails for every taste, and also the first off-road jump park of its kind in this part of the country.

Summit-goers can bike their way around the stunning Northwest Arkansas fall scenery and experience our distinctive downtowns, thriving arts scene and other attractions. In addition to industry specific events, the summit is also offering activities that are open to the general public geared toward visitors looking to participate in limited events. However, tickets are limited. Register now for these public events at imba.com/world-summit.

  • Opening Ceremony: Wednesday 11/9 – $30
  • Youth Expo: Thursday 11/10 – $15
  • Adult Expo/Show at The Railyard Bike Jump Park in Rogers: Friday 11/11 – $25
  • Youth Expo/Show at The Railyard Bike Jump Park in Rogers: Friday 11/11 – $15
  • Adult Epic Ride: Saturday 11/12 – $45
  • Family Ride: Saturday 11/12 – $20

Visit Northwest Arkansas for the ultimate urban off-road biking experience! For more info on where to find mountain bike trails across our region, visit nwatrails.com and oztrailsnwa.com.

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Best Summer Ever: Summertime Must-Dos in Northwest Arkansas

Looking for ways for you and your family to have fun this summer? Search no further! This roundup of fun summertime activities, attractions and events will help you make every day in Northwest Arkansas extraordinary!

Splish Splash!

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Rogers Aquatic Center

When the warm, sunny days of summer come calling, Northwest Arkansas has plenty of splash zones to keep you cool! The Fountains at Lawrence Plaza in Bentonville, the Rogers Aquatic Center, The Jones Center in Springdale and The Family Aquatic Center in Siloam Springs, just to name a few!

Fore!

Tee off at award-winning golf courses across the region with Bermuda fairways and other scenic features such as rolling hills, surrounding hardwood forests and pristine streams. Courses in Bella Vista Village and Holiday Island, along with Stonebridge Meadows in Fayetteville, Prairie Creek Country Club in Rogers and The Creeks in Cave Springs are great places to start!

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Ozark Mountain Ziplines

Soar!

Northwest Arkansas has the high-flying excitement daredevils crave! The Skydive Skyranch in Siloam Springs has licensed parachute instructors to accompany you on tandem skydive adventures. Or, zip through the Ozark hardwood forest at Ozark Mountain Ziplines in Eureka Springs.

Bravo! Brava! Bravi! 

Opera in the Ozarks kicks off its 2016 Summer Season on June 17 and runs through July 15 with 22 fully staged and costumed performances of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Britten’s Albert Herring and a double bill of Puccini’s Il Tabarro and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci. Featuring the talents of 75 singers and musicians from across the country, enjoy performances at beautiful Inspiration Point in Eureka Springs and Arend Arts Center in Bentonville!

Roar!

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Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge

Visit Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Eureka Springs to bond with exotic cats who’ve been rescued from across the nation. Meet with a curator, take a tour of the habitat areas, or stay overnight in an onsite safari lodge! Turpentine Creek is dedicated to caring for abandoned, abused and neglected tigers, lions, leopards and cougars.

The Great Outdoors!

Northwest Arkansas is an outdoor paradise in the summertime, with plenty of fun to be had at state and national parks, and area lakes and rivers. Click HERE to discover more!

 

Take it Off-Road!

Northwest Arkansas is the ultimate off-road/mountain biking destination with 200+ miles of trails for all tastes and terrain preferences – and the first freestyle jump park of its kind in this part of the country. Click HERE to learn more!

Indulge in Art!

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Crystal Bridges

Art lovers rejoice! Northwest Arkansas’ art museums, galleries and art districts host the finest in local, regional and world-class art in nearly every medium imaginable. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, 21c Museum Hotel, Fayetteville Underground, Windgate Visual Arts Galleries at JBUEureka Springs Downtown District and Arts Center of the Ozarks, to name a few.

 

Father’s Day: Hook, Line and Sinker!

Grab your fishing pole and take Dad to the Father’s Day Fishing Derby at War Eagle Mill east of Rogers on June 19. Prizes given for the biggest, smallest and ugliest fish, with a special Father’s Day lunch to follow at the Bean Palace Cafe!

Be Amazed!

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Scott Family Amazeum

Pay a hands-on visit to the Scott Family Amazeum in Bentonville where you’ll engage in exploration, learning and more. The 50,000 square feet of exhibit and learning spaces includes a Tinkering Hub, a climbable tree canopy, a water area and exploratory wet lab, and an outdoor playscape. Fun for all ages!

Yee-haw!

Get ready for authentic rodeo action at the 72nd Annual Rodeo of the Ozarks in Springdale on June 22-25. With more than 500 of the best cowboys and rough stock, Rodeo of the Ozarks is one of the top outdoor rodeos in the nation!

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Home Run!

Take the gang out to Arvest Ballpark in Springdale to see the Northwest Arkansas Naturals in prime home-turf action. The Naturals are the AA minor league affiliate for the 2015 World Series champion Kansas City Royals!

 

Bang! Bang!

Start summer off with a bang as more than 400 youth compete at the Daisy National BB Gun Championship Match on July 1-4 in Rogers. Contestants compete with a muzzle-loaded, single shot BB gun named the Daisy AVANTI Champion Model 499 in four positions. Also, see where it all started at the Daisy Airgun Museum!

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Siloam Springs Farmers Market

 

Farm Fresh!

Take advantage of Northwest Arkansas’ booming farmers market scene flush with bountiful summer harvests, local arts and crafts, and community activities for the whole family. Check out these markets: Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville, Holiday Island, Siloam Springs, Eureka Springs, Bella Vista and Huntsville.

 

 

Spelunk!

Discover the underground wonders of the Arkansas Ozarks on a guided tour of the beautiful War Eagle Cavern on Beaver Lake east of Rogers where there’s also gem panning, the “Lost in the Woods” maze, a trading post, nature paths and more. Or, take a walking tour at Cosmic Cavern in Berryville near Eureka Springs, one of the state’s most beautiful natural attractions with a nine-foot soda straw formation and two bottomless lakes.

Get Festive!

It’s a festival frenzy this summer in Northwest Arkansas with community celebrations of nearly every kind, in every city, most every weekend! Click HERE to learn more!

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Art of Wine Festival

Cheers!

Raise your glass at the 16th Annual Art of Wine Festival on June 9-11 at Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville. With three days of epic events for wine novices and connoisseurs alike, and with hundreds of wines on hand, you’ll discover new vintages and sample cuisine from the area’s finest restaurants.

Bounce to the Beat!

The Walmart AMP kicks off its 2016 summer concert series with big names in music like Miranda Lambert, Meghan Trainor, Sammy Hagar, Widespread Panic and more! Click HERE for details.

Botanical Garden of the Ozarks

Bloom!

The region’s fabulous heritage and display gardens exemplify the natural and historic beauty of the Northwest Arkansas Ozarks. They are truly a sight to behold! Click HERE for more info!

Discover!

Take journey through the past at Northwest Arkansas’ history museums – from Native American artifacts and aviation history, to Ozarks pioneers, healing springs and the railroad. The Shiloh Museum of Ozark History in Springdale, Museum of Native American History in Bentonville, Rogers Historical Museum, Arkansas Air and Military Museum in Fayetteville and the Eureka Springs Museum to name a few.

 

Outdoor Drama!

Experience the epic drama of Jesus Christ’s last days on earth at The Great Passion Play in Eureka Springs. Recognized as America’s #1 Attended Outdoor Drama, The Passion Play is a voyage through time you won’t forget!

Summertime Festivals in NWA!

Make the most of your summer days and nights during this busiest of busy festival seasons in Northwest Arkansas! With festive events for everything from music, arts and culinary, to sports, cars and celebrating diversity, there’s a festival at every corner!

Eureka Springs Blues Weekend – June 16-19

Feel the rhythm with the who’s who of the blues at the Eureka Springs Blues Weekend June 16-19, featuring top acts from across the country! With headliners taking the stage at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge and lots of other great music at venues throughout Eureka’s historic downtown and beyond, let the smooth notes carry you away for a bluesy summer weekend! For more info, visit eurekaspringsblues.com.

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Bentonville Art & Culinary Festival

Bentonville Art & Culinary Festival – June

This month-long festival celebrates art and food in all its forms with free and ticketed events throughout downtown Bentonville. Highlights include the Art Market, with visual work in watercolor, pastel, wood, photography, collage, ceramics, precious stones, glass and sculpture; culinary events like Farm to Table Among the Wildflowers and PigNic; a Kids Art Park and more! More info at downtownbentonville.org.

Eureka Springs Fat Tire Festival – July 15-17

This spirited mountain biking festival is a three-day affair with plenty of races, fun and music the whole family can get a kick out of. Based at Lake Leatherwood, this festival also includes an auction and raffle, prizes, a beer garden, free food and a Saturday Social. For more info, visit fattirefestival.com.

Highberry Music Festival – June 30-July 4

The 7th Annual Highberry Music Festival is moving to Mulberry Mountain in nearby Franklin County (just across the county line, about 45 mins. southeast of Fayetteville) just off the Hwy. 23 “Pig Trail” Scenic Byway. This four-day music and camping festival features more than 30 bands on multiple stages and other performance spaces – including Yonder Mountain String Band, Keller Williams, Papadosio, Buckethead, Dopapod, Wookiefoot, TAUK, and the Jeff Austin Band, just to name a few. More info at www.highberryfestival.com.

Hot Dam Blues Festival – July 3

This inaugural blues festival in Bella Vista will feature entertainment by Jim Mills and the Hellbenders, Joe Giles and the Homewreckers, and the Cate Brothers. Stick around afterward for a spectacular fireworks display. With local food trucks and a beer garden, this festival is a great way to ring in the Fourth of July. For more info, visit bellavistapoa.com.

Rogers Cycling Festival – July 22-24

The 2nd Annual Rogers Cycling Festival returns to historic downtown Rogers with your favorite activities from last year, plus an expanded menu of cycling events. The festival is complete with opportunities for all skill levels, whether you are a street cyclist or an off-road enthusiast. Events include Race for the Spike, the Frisco 5 Card Poker Ride, the Hot & Hilly Mountain Bike Challenge and more! More info at rogerscyclingfestival.com.

Eureka Springs Indie Film Festival – August 5-6

Independent filmmakers and their fans unite for this celebration of the art of filmmaking in Eureka Springs. Sit back, relax and watch documentaries, student films, films made on mobile, and films made by women during a weekend that is certain to inspire, enlighten and entertain. For more info, visit esfilmfest.org.

Natural State Cycling Criterium Series – August 5-6

With $35,000 available in prizes, this event held in Bentonville and Rogers will bring cyclists from all over to compete. Racers with good technical skills and excellent drive will wow the crowds as they zoom by in this entertaining road criterium event. For more info, visit naturalstatecrits.com.

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Siloam Springs Dog Day of Summer

Siloam Springs Dog Day of Summer Festival – August 6

Join in on the furry fun on the first Saturday of August in downtown Siloam Springs. The festival cheerily showcases pets and their people with a dog parade, dog contests, dog training demonstrations, and pet-themed vendors in Twin Springs Park. For more info, visit mainstreetsiloam.org.

Summer Diversity Weekend in Eureka Springs – August 5-6

A weekend of celebrating diversity in the Ozarks! Stroll hand-in-hand exploring art galleries, gourmet food shops, boutiques, sidewalk cafes, turn-of-the-century neighborhoods and urban trails. This two-day celebration features several show-stopping events that add to the usual vivacious life and festivities around town in Eureka Springs. For more info, visit outineureka.com.

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Tontitown Grape Festival

118th Tontitown Grape Festival – August 9-13

The rich tradition of northern Italy is alive in Northwest Arkansas, and you can experience it for yourself at the Tontitown Grape Festival. From grape stomping to making thousands of pounds of homemade pasta – everything at the festival is done by locals. Be ready to eat: the spaghetti dinners are famous, and the chicken is breaded and fried fresh! More info at tontitowngrapefestival.com.

Eureka Springs Multi-sport Festival – August 12-14

A three-day multi-sport festival in and around Eureka Springs and at Holiday Island consists of a triathlon on Friday afternoon, road bike rides and races on Saturday and running races on Sunday. Participants can enter individual events or take “The Eurekan” challenge. For more info, visit eurekasportsfestival.com.

Rogers Frisco Festival – August 26-27

Frisco-Festival

Rogers Frisco Festival

This family-friendly, end-of-summer festival honors the town’s rich Frisco railroad heritage. Signature events include the Chili-salsa-peno Competition, a Kids’ Zone, the Frisco Chicken BBQ, the Frisco Idol voice competition, car shows, and non-stop main stage entertainment including Friday and Saturday night street dances. More info at mainstreetrogers.com.

Eureka Springs Bluegrass Festival – August 18-20

Revel in the sounds of bluegrass at this family-friendly annual festival. It includes live music in Basin Spring Park, a watermelon social,  and even a chance to bring your instruments and join the pickin’. For more info, visit eurekasprings.org.

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Fayetteville Roots Fest

Fayetteville Roots Festival – August 25-28 

This four-day, urban music festival is centered on the things that make Fayetteville a beloved cultural hotspot. Local, regional and national artists play on multiple stages. The food sold is locally grown, and elements of the community represented come from local artisans, live art performances and community action groups. For more info, visit fayettevilleroots.com.

Eureka Springs VW Weekend – August 26-28

From bugs to buses and everything in between, you’ll find it at the Eureka Springs Volkswagen Festival. Parade through the Victorian downtown, or drive the hills and hollows of the Ozark Mountains at one of largest VW festivals in the Midwest! Visit eurekaspringsvwshow.com for more.

An Outdoor Paradise: NWA’s State Parks, Lakes and Rivers

In the summertime, Northwest Arkansas’ state and national parks, lakes and rivers provide the ultimate escape to some of the most spectacular mountains, hiking, biking, camping, fishing, water sports and scenery around.

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Devil’s Den State Park

Devil’s Den State Park – Washington County

This iconic park for camping, hiking, backpacking, and equestrian and mountain bike trails consists of 2,500 unspoiled acres adjoining the Ozark National Forest. A swimming pool, nature programs and cabins add to its rustic appeal. More info at arkansasstateparks.com.

Hobbs State Park – Benton, Madison and Carroll Counties

With 12,056 acres and limited development, this massive park truly explores the diverse Ozarks landscape. It offers 35 miles of hiking trails, including multi-use and ADA routes; a 17,500-square-foot visitor center with interactive exhibits; a wildlife viewing area and educational programs. More info at arkansasstateparks.com.

 

Withrow Springs State Park – Madison County

Hiking trails offer charming views and access to War Eagle Creek, where fishing for catfish, bream and bass is a favorite pastime for park visitors. Park activities include camping, swimming, baseball, softball, tennis and picnicking. Canoeing is another prized pastime, and shuttle service for canoe rentals is available. The park has a visitor center and gift shop. More info at arkansasstateparks.com.

Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park – Washington County

This expansive park was the site of the last major Civil War battle in Northwest Arkansas. Fought on December 7, 1862, the Confederate defeat here paved the way for control of the region by the Union Army. The park features a museum, visitors center, the one-mile Battlefield Trail and a five-mile driving tour. Battle reenactments take place biennially in December of even numbered years. More info at arkansasstateparks.com.

Pea Ridge National Military Park – Benton County

Protecting the site of the American Civil War Battle of Pea Ridge (March 7-8, 1862), this national military park is one of the best-preserved Civil War battlefields. Spanning 4,300 acres, it includes a visitors center and museum, a driving tour, approximately 2.5 miles of the Trail of Tears, restored battlefields, and more. And with the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service this year, it is the perfect reason to visit today! More info at nps.gov.

Beaver Lake

Beaver Lake

Beaver Lake – Benton, Carroll and Washington Counties

A glistening treasure for boaters, water sports enthusiasts, anglers, hikers, campers and birdwatchers, Beaver Lake is NWA’s largest lake with key access points in or near Rogers, Eureka Springs and Springdale. There are 28,000 acres of clear water surrounded by beautiful forests, bluffs and meadows. Campgrounds, resorts, marinas, restaurants and outfitters are plentiful in this prize of a lake. More info at arkansas.com.

Lake Wedington – Washington County

Surrounded by lavish hardwood forest and the 424-acre Lake Wedington Recreation Area, this 102-acre lake is regularly stocked with fish. The area is buzzing with anglers, canoeists, campers, hikers, mountain bikers, and wildlife watchers. Amenities include a swim beach, air-conditioned cabins, playgrounds, volleyball courts, trails, a boat ramp and horseshoes. More info at arkansas.com.

Photo by Marc F. Henning Fishermen on Loch Lomond in Bella Vista, Ark.

Loch Lomond in Bella Vista

Bella Vista Lakes ­– Benton County

The northernmost city in Northwest Arkansas, Bella Vista offers seven stunning lakes for fishing and water sports. Use of the lakes and facilities is available to all Bella Vista Village property owners and their guests. More info at bellavistapoa.com.

White River – Carroll, Madison and Washington Counties

Flowing through mountainous regions of the Ozarks, the White River is home to a string of pools and shoals with overhanging trees, tight turns, and gravel bottoms among bluffs, forests and peaceful pastures. Below Beaver Dam, near Eureka Springs, the White is a prime cold-water trout fishery with numerous guides and outfitters to serve tourists. More info at arkansas.com.

Kings River – Carroll and Madison Counties

A top pick for canoeists and kayakers, the Kings River provides about 50 miles of easy floating water. Rare flora and fauna are found on its rocky banks and bluffs, and deep pools provide first-rate fishing for smallmouth bass, channel catfish, rock bass and other fish. More info at arkansas.com.

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Siloam Springs Kayak Park

Illinois River – Benton and Washington Counties

This spring-fed, scenic-designated river starts in the northwest corner of Arkansas near the town of Hogeye and streams into northeast Oklahoma. Near Siloam Springs, enrichments that are part of the Siloam Springs Kayak Park have made the Illinois a lovely Class II play spot for kayakers year-round. Canoe and kayak outfitters, campsites, hiking and horseback riding trails and cabin rentals are available. More info at arkansas.com and siloamspringskayakpark.com.

Holiday Island Marina & Campground – Carroll County

Nestled amidst glorious trees and brilliant rock formations, the Holiday Island campground overlooks the impressive Table Rock Lake straddling the Arkansas/Missouri border. It hosts 31 campsites with full water, sewer and electric hookups offering both 30 and 50 amp services, restrooms, showers, a pavilion and horseshoe pits. It is within minutes of the marina, golf course and the many other amenities of Holiday Island. More info at holidayisland.us.

 

NWA Springtime Festivals in Bloom!

Spring is right around the corner, and so are these lively festivals! Here are some of the region’s top springtime celebrations happening across Northwest Arkansas in March, April and May…

Turpentine Creek Kite Festival  |  March 26

Kite Festival

Turpentine Creek Kite Festival

Join the fun and fly your own kite, or sit back and watch as they dance across the sky during the 26th Annual Kite Festival at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Eureka Springs. This year’s “Art with an Altitude” kite festival on March 26 includes contests, vendors and activities for the whole family. Experts will be on hand to help kids (and parents!) make their own kites, and share flying techniques. The festival is a fundraiser to help Turpentine Creek care for the tigers, lions, cougars and other wildlife that live at the refuge. For more info, visit turpentinecreek.org.

Springfest  |  April 16

This iconic festival started in 1983 by merchants on Dickson Street as a way to celebrate the history, culture and flavor of Fayetteville, and quickly became a late-April staple. This year’s festivities on April 16 will include local arts and crafts, a pancake breakfast, lots of live music, bed races, street food, a 5K run, and a dog parade. For more info, visit fayettevillespringfest.com.

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Springfest

Dogwood Festival  |  April 22-24

Held on the last weekend in April, this award-winning festival draws tens of thousands of people to the two major parks in downtown Siloam Springs. Exhibitors from all over the U.S. fill hundreds of booths with handmade, custom and resale items. Food vendors and regional entertainers are on hand, and the KidZone keeps the little ones happy and entertained. This year’s festival on April 22-24 includes the Dogwood 5K run and Bed Races on Broadway. For more info, visit siloamchamber.com.

Fayetteville Foam Fest  |  May 7

The Fayetteville Town Center and outdoor plaza becomes a beer garden for this locals’ favorite on May 7. Benefiting Feed Fayetteville, this event for those 21 and older features local, regional, national and international brews, live music on an outdoor stage, and food trucks serving their tastiest eats. This year, bring your bike and ride in the first Fayetteville Foam Fest Fun Ride and Brewery Tour. For more info, visit fayettevillefoamfest.com

Block Street Block Party  |  May 22

Waiters races, beer gardens, live music stages, food trucks and funky characters help rock Block Street at this unique festival in downtown Fayetteville, this year on May 22. Plus, you get to visit all the great shops, bars, restaurants and other locally owned and independent businesses along Block Street leading up to the historic Downtown Square. For more info, visit blockstreetbusinesses.com.

Block Street Block Party

Block Street Block Party

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Roundup: Fun Things to Do and See in Northwest Arkansas

Whether you’re hanging with the kids while school is out for Spring Break, or looking for weekend fun during the entire spring season, here’s a list of some best-bet options:

Soar through the air on a high-flying zipline or skydive adventure: Ozark Mountain Ziplines, Skydive Skyranch

OzarkZipLines

Hike the grounds at Crystal Bridges past waterfalls, art sculptures and more along the 3.5 miles of trails winding through the museum’s wooded grounds: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Pedal the Razorback Regional Greenway along its 37 miles of multi-use trails, alongside lakes, parks, downtowns and more: NWA Trails

Hit the dirt at the region’s off-road mountain-bike trails and parks: The Railyard, Mt. Kessler GreenwaysSlaughter Pen Trails

Navigate the waters of the scenic Illinois River in Siloam Springs, engineered for skilled kayakers as well as beginners with a length of rapids approximately 700 feet and Class II and III difficulty: Siloam Springs Kayak Park

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Fancy a golf game at award-winning courses in Bella Vista and Holiday Island: Bella Vista Village, Holiday Island

Relive moments in time at a regional history museum: Shiloh Museum, Arkansas Air & Military MuseumThe Walmart Museum, Rogers Historical MuseumMuseum of Native American History, Clinton House Museum

Explore the underground wonders of the Ozarks during a wild cave tour: Cosmic Cavern, War Eagle Cavern

Taste your way through a local craft brew tour: Fayetteville Ale Trail

Walk on the wild side at a wildlife animal park: Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge Wild Wilderness Drive Through Safari

Sway your head at a headlining concert at the Walmart AMP – upcoming shows include Jason Aldean, Ellie Goulding, Journey and The Doobie Brothers, Kenny Chesney, Sammy Hagar, Miranda Lambert and more: Arkansas Music Pavilion

Opening night at the Walmart AMP Pavilion with Blake Shelton on Saturday June 7, 2014 in Rogers, Arkansas

Work your taste buds on Holiday Island at the state Chili Championship: Arkansas State Chili Cookoff

Explore the Ozarks landscape, wildlife and exhibits at Northwest Arkansas’ four state parks: Devil’s DenPrairie Grove BattlefieldHobbsWithrow Springs

Paddle a canoe along the nearby Buffalo National River, or the White, Kings or Mulberry Rivers: BuffaloWhiteKingsMulberry

Indulge in local art, culture and entertainment downtown at Fayetteville’s First Thursday and Bentonville’s First Friday celebrations: First Thursday Fayetteville, First Friday Bentonville

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Check out the blooms at a colorful display garden: Botanical Garden of the OzarksBlue Spring Heritage Center, Compton Gardens

Get creative with spring art lessons, camps and workshops: Crystal Bridges Museum of American ArtCommunity Creative Center, Arts Center of the Ozarks

Stoke your sense of curiosity and discovery at the Scott Family Amazeum through hands-on activities and interactive exhibits: Scott Family Amazeum

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Browse the season’s best at NWA’s award-winning local farmers markets: Fayetteville, RogersSiloam SpringsEureka SpringsBentonville, Springdale, Huntsville/Madison County  

 

 

 

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.

Homegrown Festival Is Oct. 3 in Siloam Springs

Siloam_Springs_Main_Street_logoShowcasing locally handmade goods, curated vintage items, food trucks, and live music, the Homegrown Festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 3 in downtown Siloam Springs.

Vendors will offer an array of original, one-of-a-kind, and limited-run items including illustration, printmaking, music, jewelry and accessories, handmade goods, salvaged and repurposed goods, and hand-picked vintage. The Homegrown Festival will take place on South Broadway Street and East Main Streets between 201 S. Broadway and 310 E. Main.

The fun doesn’t actually end at 5 p.m. because following the Homegrown Festival is another event, the Hometown Throw Down starting at 5:30 p.m. in the parking lot between Hoffman’s Chiropractic Clinic and TC Screen Printing. The Throw Down includes a country-style dance with live music, s’mores and a movie in the park.

For more information, visit www.mainstreetsiloam.com or www.facebook.com/mainstreetsiloamsprings.

by Jill Rohrbach

Fall Outdoor Fun

Photo courtesy ADPT

Cooler temps, fewer bugs, and changing scenery make fall a perfect time to enjoy the great outdoors. Here are just a few ideas from a long list of options for hiking, biking, riding, driving, or paddling in Northwest Arkansas.

Hiking Trails

One of the region’s newest public trailheads, Mount Kessler Greenways offers hiking, biking, and running trails in south Fayetteville. The trailhead is located off Cato Springs Road. Take exit 60 off I-49 and go south on Cato Springs Road about one-half mile and turn right on Judge Cummings Road (WC 200); the parking will be on your right. mtkesslergreenways.com

There are also a number of area state parks featuring an impressive array of trails to take you deeper into the great outdoors. They include Devil’s Den State Park, Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area and Withrow Springs State Park. For more information, visit arkansasstateparks.com.

Bike Paths

The Northwest Arkansas Razorback Regional Greenway is a 36-mile-long, shared-use trail that extends from the Bella Vista Trail in Bentonville to the Frisco Trail in Fayetteville. The paved trail contains impressive bridges, follows along several creeks, runs through farmland and wooded areas, and connects to other trails, lakes, and parks. While the greenway offers plenty of scenic beauty, it also links dozens of popular community destinations, including six downtown areas, the University of Arkansas, arts and entertainment venues, restaurants, historic sites, playgrounds, and residential communities.

The region has about 200 miles of mountain bike trails, too, complete with skinnies, a jump park, log rides and other awesome features. In fact, the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) this year recognized the region’s off-road trail systems in Fayetteville and Rogers as some of the finest in the nation! Learn more at www.nwatrails.org.

Ride a Motorcycle Route

Eureka Springs is a premier motorcycling destination in mid-America. With plenty of biker-friendly venues, it’s a great hub for riders. This 26-mile loop ride out of Eureka Springs offers great views of the water since it crosses Beaver Bridge and the Dam at Beaver Lake. It takes a little less than one hour to ride the route, which consists of Ark. 62 and Ark. 187. eurekaspringsmotorcyclerides.com

The Rogers and Fayetteville areas also offer their share of ride-worthy routes. Discover more at arkansas.com/outdoors/motorcycling/northwest.

Drive a Scenic Byway

Boston Mountains Scenic Loop consists of two state scenic byways — U.S. 71 and Interstate 49 (formerly I-540) — that provide two very different experiences through the Boston Mountains, the highest portion of the Ozarks. U.S. 71 (42 miles) is a more intimate route with plenty of curves, while I-49 (38 miles) provides stunning panoramic views and expansive bridges. http://www.arkansas.com/scenic-byways/boston/

Float a River

One of the region’s newest outdoor attraction destinations, the Siloam Springs Kayak Park is positioned along the scenic Illinois River and is open year-round. Grab your life jacket, kayak, or canoe and take a run down the engineered rapids ranked Class II and III difficulty. www.siloamspringskayakpark.com

Of course, there are many other rivers and streams — and lakes, too, for that matter — to float throughout the greater Northwest Arkansas region: from Beaver Lake to the White, Kings and Mulberry Rivers, the Buffalo National River, and more.

by Jill Rohrbach

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