We Heart Autumn: Top Things to Do & See This Fall

From scenic fall rides, foodie fests, art strolls and concerts at the AMP, to farmers markets, fun runs, rides and marathons, and more – experience NWA your way this autumn with our curated list of top things to do and see!          

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Major Fall Festivals & Events

The sky is the limit when it comes to the variety of fall festivals and events in Northwest Arkansas! From September through November, we’ve got the best ways to experience the tastes, sounds, culture and happenings of autumn in the Ozarks.

 

Antique Auto Fest

48th Annual Antique Auto Festival | Sept. 7-8 | Eureka Springs

The longest running car show in Northwest Arkansas! Featuring a sunset cruise, live music, food, a parade through historic downtown and awards. Trolley service, on-site camping and RV parking are available. Gate admission is free.

 

Fall Music & Art Festival | Sept. 9 | Terra Studios | Fayetteville

Bring the family and explore Terra Studios’ magical six-acre Art Park featuring live entertainment by Song Circles, heritage folk art, onsite art demonstrations, delicious food from local food trucks, craft vendors and more! 

 

Fall Music & Art Fest

Jazz Eureka | Sept. 14-15 | Downtown

Celebrating 33 years of jazz in Eureka Springs! Always packing a stellar lineup, this annual jazz fest features free performances in Basin Spring Park – plus, this year’s headliner, four-time Grammy winner Larry Carlton in concert at The Auditorium.

 

International Festival | Sept. 16 | Botanical Garden of the Ozarks

As part of national Welcoming Week, bring the family to the garden on a beautiful fall evening for the 3rd Annual International Festival! This free event, open to the community, features traditional dance performances on the Great Lawn throughout the evening, a variety of ethnic food for sale from local food trucks, and interactive displays and activities. Picnics, lawn chairs and blankets are welcome!

 
30th Annual Mountain Bike and Cross Country Festival | Sept. 15 | Devil’s Den 

Devil’s Den State Park is proud to celebrate 30 years of mountain biking in the Ozarks. This USA Cycling-sanctioned race is a point series event for the Arkansas Mountain Bike Championship Series. For more info contact Tim Scott at tim.scott@arkansas.gov.

 

Fayetteville Film Fest

Fayetteville Film Fest | Sept 20-22 | Downtown

In its tenth year, the Fayetteville Film Fest is a cultural leader in the region, bringing world-class film to the area, developing meaningful relationships with filmmakers, and nurturing the art. With young and emerging filmmakers, virtual reality film, and a red-carpet opening night street party, be sure to save the dates!

 

30th Annual Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival | Sept. 22 | Fayetteville

Each year, hundreds of college and high school teams compete in this fun and prestigious race. Additionally, hundreds of individuals take part in the fun runs and one-mile Pepper Dash. After the races are over, everyone comes together for a hot Mexican food feast!

 

Chile Pepper Festival

Bluegrass & BBQ at The Farm | Sept. 28-30 | Eureka Springs

Two nights of music and camping await at the Farm, located in the beautiful Ozark Mountains with 360-degree panoramic views. This year’s festival lineup includes Aaron Kamm and the One Drops, Opal Agafia & The Sweet Nothings, Grateful Bluegrass Boys, Whiskey for the Lady, and Circus No. 9.

 

Oz Trails Off-Road Festival | Oct. 5-7 | Bentonville & Bella Vista 

Featuring mountain bike rides with three distance options (25, 35 or 50 miles) along some of the finest singletrack in Northwest Arkansas! With an industry expo, live music, and great eats, don’t miss this change to mingle with bike-minded riders in what is being called the new Mountain Bike Mecca of America!

 

Off-Road Festival

Arkansas Apple Festival, Oct. 5-7 | Lincoln, Washington County

Founded in 1975, the Arkansas Apple Festival brings arts and crafts, fair food, kids activities and apples galore to Northwest Arkansas. Snack on free apple slices while getting a historic glimpse of what life was like in the Apple Capital of Arkansas years ago.

 

Tinkerfest 5 | Oct. 6 | Scott Family Amazeum

This celebration of creativity and curiosity brings makers, tinkerers, artists and creatives together to share their work – while inviting attendees to join in the DIY fun! Spotlighting work by Amazeum Makers-in-Residence and STEAM activities for all ages.

 

Hillberry The Harvest Moon Music Festival | Oct. 11-14 | The Farm

This four-day outdoor music festival sells out fast! This year’s lineup includes Railroad Earth, Trampled by Turtles, Sam Bush, Lettuce, The Wood Brothers, Billy Strings, Big Smith and more!

 

30th Annual Pea Ridge Mule Jump | Oct. 13 | Pea Ridge

This truly one-of-a-kind event features mules of all shapes and sizes leaping incredible heights over all sorts of obstacles! Bring the family and make a day of it joining thousands of other attendees enjoying the festivities.  

 

Oktoberfest Pub Crawl: Tap into History | Oct. 19 | Downtown Siloam Springs

Beer, food, friends and history. What could be better? This annul pub crawl includes downtown bars and restaurants with a stop at the Siloam Springs Museum to learn about the history of this Benton County city with a creek running through its downtown. 

 

Eureka Oktoberfest

Eureka Springs Oktoberfest | Oct. 20

Nestled in the Ozarks, the Victorian-styled arts enclave of Eureka Springs loves to throw a party! This annual festival held in the middle of downtown includes the finest craft brews from more than 25 local breweries.

 

MINIs in the Ozarks | Oct. 25-28 | Eureka Springs

Each fall, MINI car enthusiasts from all over the country gather for a fun-packed weekend in Eureka Springs, taking in the stunning autumn scenery and relishing in the curvy roads of Northwest Arkansas. 

 

MINIs in the Ozarks

Ozarktober Fest | Oct. 25-28 | Downtown Springdale

Celebrating the rich culture of the Ozarks, sample the area’s wonderful traditions set among amenities that are unique to Springdale. Ozarktober Fest features local food, live music, lore, microbrews and a free Halloween fest for kids.

 

Outerbike Bentonville Expo | Oct. 26-28 | Bentonville

One of four national Outerbike events this year, Outerbike Bentonville brings the industry’s newest bike demos for attendees to try out on local trails. When you’re not riding, check out the latest and greatest bike innovations and partake of free beer – part of the day’s pass!

 

IMBA Dirty 30

IMBA Dirty 30 | Oct. 26-27 | Bentonville

Help the International Mountain Bicycling Association celebrate its 30th anniversary! Part of Outerbike Bentonville, this festival includes multiple group rides, an awards ceremony and a Saturday night party. 

 

Eureka Springs Zombie Crawl | Oct. 27 | Downtown

A parade of hungry zombies will make their way down Spring Street, followed by apocalyptic vehicles, spooky street performers and Halloween floats. Don’t miss Eureka’s biggest parade spectacle!

 

Zombie Crawl

Fall Diversity Weekend | Nov. 2-4 | Downtown Eureka Springs

The LGBT community and friends celebrate fall in Eureka Springs! Hotels, restaurants and nightclubs offer a wide variety of entertainment, including live music, DJ dance-till-you-drop parties, glam drag shows, costume contests and more.

 

NEW* Kessler Mountain Jam | Nov. 3-4 | Fayetteville

Formerly hosted in Bentonville as the Slaughter Pen Jam, Kessler Mountain Jam is a mountain bike festival with live music, food and family friendly activities. Open to all riding abilities and sanctioned by USA Cycling.  

 

Ozark Folk Fest

71st Annual Ozark Folk Festival | Nov. 9-11 | Eureka Springs

Celebrate the longest-running annual folk festival in America! Featuring the Barefoot Ball, free folk music and dancing in Basin Spring Park, and the Hedgehoppers in concert at The Auditorium.

 

Back 40 Fall for All | Nov. 10 | Bella Vista 

Mark your calendar for this community festival celebrating the Back 40 Trails — a favorite for biking, hiking, running, and enjoying nature at its best. With activities in the morning and food, music and an expo in the afternoon, it’s fall for all, y’all! 

 

Antique Festival

 
Antique Festival of the Ozarks | Nov. 16-19 | Eureka Springs

Enjoy antique shopping from dealers across the country in beautiful Eureka Springs during the peak season of fall color. 

Fall Arts and Crafts Fairs Return!

Arts and crafts lovers rejoice as autumn brings the much-anticipated return of Fall Arts and Crafts Fairs to Northwest Arkansas! 
The Ozarks have long held a rich arts and maker culture, and every October we are home to some of the premier arts and craft fairs in the country. 
With contemporary, country-styled, holiday-themed and Indie wares, too, these arts and crafts fairs are held region-wide, offering handmade, authentic items for every taste, style and budget. 
 
HERE ARE SOME OF THE POPULAR FAIRS:
The Homegrown Festival – Oct. 6: Held in historic downtown Siloam Springs, this arts and crafts fair has a contemporary bent with one-of-a-kind and limited-run items including illustrations, printmaking, clothing, music, jewelry and accessories, homemade, salvaged and repurposed goods and lots of hand-picked vintage. There’s also live music, food trucks and kayaking along Sager Creek.
 
Spanker Creek Farm Arts & Crafts Festival – Oct. 17-21: Located on a farm setting with a true Ozark atmosphere, Spanker Creek welcomes returning and new exhibitors from all over the country to the fair now in its 12th year. Just north of Bentonville, Spanker Creek runs along the entire south side of the fairgrounds and flows into Sugar Creek on the west side. 
 
 
WAR EAGLE MILL CRAFTS FAIRS: The picturesque War Eagle Mill east of Rogers is the site of three longtime arts and crafts fairs that draw tens of thousands of crafters each year! 
War Eagle Mill Arts & Crafts Fair – Oct. 18-21: Celebrating its 46th year, this fair features the work of professional crafts men and women offering original, handmade work such as country decorative items, folk art, watercolor and oil painting, pottery, stoneware, wreaths, potpourris, dried arrangements, quilts, miniatures, country clothing, wearable art, candles, homemade soaps and more.
 
War Eagle Fair  – Oct. 18-21: A tradition dating back to 1954, War Eagle Fair’s mission is to keep true handcrafted arts alive and well in the Ozarks. Explore the wares of more than 250 booths sure to be filled with unique, handmade products set up along the banks of the War Eagle River.
 
Sharp’s Show of War Eagle – Oct. 18-21: This fair takes place on the fields adjacent to the War Eagle Mill, with more than 250 booths. Find stained glass, leather works, baskets, woodwork, paintings, sculpture and more. Holiday themed gifts and seasonal décor are also prominent. 
 
Bella Vista Arts & Crafts Festival  – Oct. 18-20: This premier juried festival has grown to nearly 300 artisans since it began in 1969. Offering high quality arts and crafts, this fair strictly requires that all items for sale be handmade by the artisan.
 
Ozark Regional Arts & Crafts Show: Two Locations Fayetteville, Oct. 18-20 and Springdale, Oct. 19-20: Recognized as one of the top 100 craft fairs in the U.S., this fair is the largest indoor craft fair in the state! Featuring 650+ booths in two locations: the Washington County Fairgrounds in Fayetteville and the NWA Convention Center in Springdale. 
 
It’s Fall Y’all Craft Fair – Oct. 18-21: Four fun-filled days of shopping with local artisans and small business owners await at the Benton County Fairgrounds with family friendly fun, giveaways and food. 
 
Frisco Station Mall Crafts Fair – Oct. 18-21: Indoors at the Rogers mall, this fair sells baskets, woodworking, potpourris, candles, jewelry, clothing, wreaths, oils plus holiday gift items and seasonal décor. 
 
 Heart of Rogers Craft Fair– Oct. 19-20: The 4th Annual HeART of Rogers Craft Fair held in historic downtown spans the gamut from upscale items, fine aft and locally handcrafted items not typically found anywhere else. This year the fair will be held inside two venues: the lower level of the beautiful, newly-restored Haas Hall Academy building that was once the Historic Lane Hotel, and at the First United Methodist Church’s Fellowship Hall.  
 

19th Annual Bikes, Blues & BBQ in the Ozarks

The 19th Annual Bikes Blues and BBQ motorcycle rally rolls into town on Sept. 26-29 with four days of action-packed festivities and motorcycles and guests from all over the country!
 Bikes, Blues and BBQ is the largest charitable motorcycle rally in the nation, benefiting children, women and underserved residents in Northwest Arkansas. In 18 years, the rally has generated approximately $2 million in proceeds for local charities.
 
New this year, Bikes, Blues and BBQ includes the Ink & Art In the Ozarks tattoo and art expo, plus new mapped rides (see below) that let riders experience the rolling hills and natural beauty of the region – with plenty of stops for great food and sightseeing along the way.
 
Bikes, Blues and BBQ brings tens of thousands of motorcycles to Fayetteville and Northwest Arkansas. Riders and spectators alike come together for revving and rocking with live music stages, beer gardens, the KCBS Arkansas State BBQ Championship, lawn mower pulls, a car and truck show, the Stokes Air Battle of the Bikes, karaoke contests, tons of vendors, VIP rides, the Fayetteville Firefighters Poker Run, and the Parade of Power along Dickson Street.
Even if you don’t ride, comes see the spectacular that is the festival: Harleys, crotch rockets, tricked-out custom jobs, metric bikes, cruisers, vintage stock and sport bikes — and some of the best people watching around!
 
The Dickson Street Entertainment District is the heart of the festival, but other primary venues include the Washington County Fairgrounds, the Baum Motorcycle Village, and the Dickson Street Main Stage and Beer Garden.
 
Throw Open the Throttle: This year, Bikes, Blues and BBQ has curated a series of mapped rides along select highways and byways in Northwest Arkansas and surrounding areas. Categorized by distance (five to 100 miles, 100 to 200 miles and 200 to 300 miles), these rally rides will take you and your friends along the famous Pig Trail, to War Eagle and Eureka Springs, through old town Van Buren, and to Roaring River State Park and beyond. 
 
While you’re tooling around, head up to Rogers for the 2018 Bikes on the Bricks in historic downtown for a vintage motorcycle show, a scenic guided ride and more. 
 
BIKES, BLUES AND BBQ MUSIC LINEUP
On the live music stage, Bikes, Blues and BBQ presents a kickin’ lineup of local and regional bands, ready to rock ‘n rumble as part of the event schedule. 
Wednesday
5:30 p.m. Ouachita River Band
7:30 p.m. The Boston Mountain Playboys
9:30 p.m. The Squarshers
Thursday
4 p.m. Gary Hutchison
5:30 p.m. Boss Tweeds
7:30 p.m. Fayetteville Funk Factory
9:30 p.m. The Mixtapes
Friday
5:00 p.m. Vintage Pistol
6:30 p.m. Leah And The Mojo Doctors
8:30 p.m. The Nace Brothers
10 p.m. Goose
Saturday
6:30 p.m. Fayetteville Funk Factory
8:30 p.m. The Mixtapes
10:30 p.m. Dead Metal Society
For more info about the festival, visit bikesbluesandbbq.org
 
 

Razorbacks Kick Off Football Season in Renovated Stadium

Razorback Football Stadium Rendering

The Arkansas Razorbacks will kick off their 2018-19 football season with a new head football coach and a newly renovated Razorback football stadium!

Season action from the Razorback basketball team is right around the corner, too, with 2018-19 tickets on sale now.

For decades, the University of Arkansas’ Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium — one of the most storied football venues in college athletics — has attracted students, locals, visitors, families and alumni alike.

Now, the home of Razorback football has undergone a major renovation and expansion and will debut the $160 million project at the Hogs’ first home football game on Saturday, Sept. 1, against Eastern Illinois.

 

Stadium SEC Club  Rendering                    

Stadium Field Club Rendering

Encompassing the legacy of the late athletic director Frank Broyles and other Razorback greats, the new renovation project will take football gameday experiences and traditions to the next, new level!

Some of the new changes and amenities include 38 new stadium suites, 20 field-level loge boxes, 44 second-level covered loge boxes and premium club seating.

 

Razorback fans can now access all sides of the stadium by utilizing the new 360 degree concourse. The Level 1 Concourse lets guests get to where they want to in the stadium easier than before. 

 

A new video board has been added, as well as additional and expanded entrances, additional elevators and restrooms, and new concessions. A new game day locker room and training room were added for the football team, and safety and security systems throughout the stadium have been  enhanced.

 

For the 2018-19 season, the Razorback football team will play seven home games, including the season opener on Sept. 1, and matchups against North Texas on Sept. 15, Alabama on Oct. 6, Ole Miss on Oct. 13, Tulsa on Oct. 20, Vanderbilt on Oct. 27, and LSU on Nov. 10.

 

This season is also the first at Arkansas for new head football coach Chad Morris. Morris has an extensive resume that includes 16 years as head coach at the prep level, four years as offensive coordinator at Clemson University, and most recently, three seasons as head coach at Southern Methodist University.

 

Razorback Basketball

Razorback basketball fans know how to make Bud Walton Area at the University of Arkansas campus come alive!

 

Known as the Basketball Palace of Mid-America, the state-of-the art Bud Walton Arena is charged with excitement from tip-off to the final buzzer. The men’s basketball team opens its regular 2018-19 season at home on Nov. 12 against UC Davis. With Hogs hoops action through March 2019, there’s plenty of time to get in on the action.

 

Coach Mike Anderson

 

The Hogs basketball team is one of eight record-setting SEC teams to reach the NCAA Tournament last season, and Razorback fans can expect more of Coach Mike Anderson’s “fastest 40 minutes in basketball” this year.  Basketball fans will have a chance to cheer on their beloved team at Bud Walton in Fayetteville at 21 home games during the 2018-19 season.

 

For tickets and more info about football, basketball and other Razorback sports action, visit arkansasrazorbacks.com.

New Mountain Bike Hotspots

Lake Leatherwood

With internationally ranked trails, first-in-class parks and courses, and infrastructure that keeps on growing, Northwest Arkansas is a mountain bikers’ paradise! Here are some of the newest hotspots to come online (or that are coming soon!) across the region.

 

Fitzgerald Mountain Trails:

Near Bayyari Park in east Springdale, this promises to be the city’s largest trail system when complete later this year. The Walton Family Foundation and the NWA Trailblazers are developing 10 miles of mountain bike trails on Fitzgerald Mountain, several of which opened on June 29. These first miles of trail to open feature natural rock formations and premium cut singletrack that make for a fun ride for intermediate to advanced shredders.

 

Lake Leatherwood Downhill Runs: New downhill trails – perfect for enduro-style racing – opened at Lake Leatherwood recreation area on June 24. These downtown runs feature steep ramps and sharp curves and cater to advanced mountain bikers. In August, Lake Leatherwood hosted its first Arkansas Enduro Race Series. Shuttles are in operation to take riders back up to the top when they’re ready for another run!

 

Passion Play

The Great Passion Play: The Great Passion Play with its Christ of the Ozarks statue in Eureka Springs has completed the first phase of mountain bike trails on its 700-acre wooded complex. Trail builder Tony Boone and the Carroll County Ozark Off Road Cyclists are helping lead the project that began in 2016 primarily as nature trails for hiking. Since then plans have snowballed to encompass a network of singletrack for all skill levels. Completion is set for 2019!

 

Runway Bike Park and Pump Track: The new mountain bike skills park at the Jones Center in Springdale will feature skills trails, a children’s bicycle playground and the Velosolutions Pump Track designed for mountain bikes, BMX’s, skateboards and all things wheels. Set to open this fall, the Runway’s pump track will be the site of the 2018 Red Bull Pump Track World Championship Final on Oct. 13. Pump it up!

 

Mitchusson Park

Mitchusson ParkA new mountain bike skills course opened at Mitchusson Park in Huntsville in May with cool stunt features designed to mimic natural elements found in the region. The centerpiece is an “s” shaped pump track, with outlying features to help cyclists build fun bike-handling skills. Volunteers played a huge role in the project by hand-building several natural rock-gardens course features. 

 

City Lake Park in Siloam Springs:  Three miles from downtown, City Lake Park has opened three new intermediate-level mountain bike trails: Simon’s Descent (a flow trail), Wango Tango and Gatsanula, and a beginner’s trail called Osage Flats. The 165-acre park will also include multi-use trails, raised-bed hiking trails and a new bicycle skills course and pump track.

 

City Lake Park

These new trails and courses join hundreds of existing miles of off-road and mountain bike trails just waiting to be explored across NWA!

Follow this link for a list of top mountain bike trails.

Or visit oztrailsnwa.com for more info.

 

Crystal Bridges Debuts A New Understanding of Indigenous Art

Contemporary Indigenous art comes front and center at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art with Art for a New Understanding: Native Voices, 1950s to Now – a new, free exhibition coming to the world-class Bentonville museum.

 

Art for a New Understanding opens Saturday Oct. 6, 2018, and will be on view through Jan. 7, 2019.

This major exhibition presents more than 80 works of art from the 1950s to today, including paintings, photography, video, sculptures and performance art all created by Indigenous U.S. and Canadian artists.

 

                

 

Visitors to the exhibition will discover new stories in the artworks that fill the museum’s galleries with rich colors, images of community and joy, and thought-provoking moments of reflection.

Featured artists include Shan Goshorn, an artist who creates social critiques through basket weaving, Spiderwoman Theater, three sisters who challenge heavy topics with humor and heart, Athena LaTocha, an artist who created a large-scale mural based on her Northwest Arkansas environmental experience, plus many more.

 

                   

 

The exhibition will be accompanied by a multi-author catalog that offers a comprehensive consideration of contemporary Native North American art and features new essays by art historians, cultural critics and artists, as well as excerpts from key texts from the last 50 years of scholarship and criticism.

Crystal Bridges has been recognized as part of the inaugural Sotheby’s Prize for the breadth and depth of ambitious exhibition research that comes with Art for a New Understanding. The Sotheby’s Prize jury said this exhibition will be a turning point in our understanding of this field.

 

                    

 

Following its run at Crystal Bridges, Art for a New Understanding will travel to other major museums in the United States and in Europe.

Don’t miss the chance to broaden your definition of contemporary art with a new understanding of Indigenous art!

 

                    

Visit CrystalBridges.org for more info.

 

Photo Credits:

Top (from left) Dana Claxton, Headdress, 2015; Melissa Cody, World Traveler, 2014.

First row (from left) Brian Jungen, Prototype for New Understanding #2, 1998; Fritz Scholder, Monster Indian, 1968; Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, Scorched Earth, Clear-cut Logging on Native Sovereign Land. Shaman Coming to Fix, 1991.

Second row (from left) Oscar Howe, Dance of the Heyoka, ca. 1954; Shan Goshorn, Removal (Ancestral Homeland and Indian Territory), 2012; Spiderwoman Theater, Australia3ladies.

Third row (from left) Anna Tsouhlarakis, Let’s Dance!, 2004; Andrea Carlson  Ink Babel, 2014; Dana Claxton, Headdress, 2015.

Fourth row (from left) Lloyd Kiva, New Cherokee Syllabary, ca. 1945–60; Kent Monkman, History is Painted by the Victors, 2013.

 

 

Performing Arts: Broadway and Beyond

Get ready for tons of musicals, renowned dance companies, entertainment greats, up-and-coming artists, comedians, and dazzling must-see productions as Walton Arts Center — and other performing-arts venues and troupes in NWA — kick off new seasons and shows this fall!

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Walton Arts Center: From the heart of Fayetteville’s entertainment district, Arkansas’ performing arts powerhouse will present nine dynamic series during its 2018-19 Season! Tickets sell fast, so get yours now at waltonartscenter.org.

 

                             

1. Broadway Series
Jersey Boys: Oct. 5-7 They were four guys from Jersey with a sound nobody had ever heard… and the fans loved it! Go behind the music and inside the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons with the Tony Award-winning true-life musical phenomenon Jersey Boys!
School of Rock: Oct. 23-28 – Based on the hit film, this hilarious new musical follows Dewey Finn, a wannabe rock star posing as a substitute teacher who turns a class of straight-A students into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band! 
On Your Feet!Dec. 4-9  From their humble beginnings in Cuba, Emilio and Gloria Estefan came to America and broke through all barriers to become a cross-over sensation at the very top of the pop music world. 
Falsettos: Feb. 8-9, 2019 – The Lincoln Center Theater Broadway Production of Falsettos revolves around the life of a charming, intelligent, neurotic gay man named Marvin, his wife, lover, about-to-be-Bar-Mitzvahed son, their psychiatrist and the lesbians next door. 
A Bronx Tale: Feb. 26 thru March 3, 2019 – Broadway’s hit crowd-pleaser takes you to the stoops of the Bronx in the 1960s, where a young man is caught between the father he loves and the mob boss he’d love to be.

                             

Waitress: April 9-14, 2019 – Brought to life by a groundbreaking all-female creative team, the irresistible new hit tells the story of Jenna – a waitress and expert pie maker who dreams of a way out of her small town and loveless marriage.
Cats: May 28 thru June 2, 2019 – A record-breaking musical spectacular by Andrew Lloyd Webber that has captivated audiences in more than 30 countries and 15 languages, Cats tells the story of one magical night when an extraordinary tribe of cats gathers for its annual ball to rejoice and decide which cat will be reborn.
Les Misérables: June 18-23, 2019 – Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Misérables tells an unforgettable story of heartbreak, passion and the resilience of the human spirit. Featuring the beloved songs “I Dreamed A Dream,” “On My Own,” “Stars,” “Bring Him Home,” “One Day More” and many more.

                        

2. The 10×10 Arts Series
Mwenso & The Shakes: Sept. 14
Jessica Lang Dance: Sept. 20
Ragamala Dance Company’s Written in Water: Oct. 14
The Story of Everything, Kealoha, Slam Poet: Nov. 1
Hot Club of San Francisco’s Cinema Vivant: Jan. 10, 2019 
And more!
                         
3. Night Out Series
THE ILLUSIONISTS – Live From Broadway™: Oct. 17-18
The King’s Singers: Dec. 11
Hot Club of San Francisco Swing Dance Party: Jan 11, 2019
Dorrance Dance: Feb. 12, 2019
Cirque Éloize Saloon: Feb. 19, 2019
One Night of Queen: March 14, 2019

                            

4. American Music Series
Indigo Girls: Oct. 2
Take Me to the River: Live from New Orleans!: Oct. 21
Mission Temple Fireworks Revival featuring Paul Thorn & Band, Blind Boys of Alabama and The McCrary Sisters: Nov. 17
Monterey Jazz Festival 60th Anniversary Tour: March 31, 2019
Boz Scaggs: Out of The Blues Tour 2019: April 7, 2019
Joan Baez Fare Thee Well…Tour 2019: April 20, 2019

                            

5. Starrlight Jazz Club Series
George Brooks’ ASPADA: Oct. 12
The John Patitucci Electric Guitar Quartet: Dec. 1
Alfredo Rodríguez and Pedrito Martinez Duo: Feb. 8, 2019
Peter Bernstein, Larry Goldings & Bill Stewart Trio: March 15, 2019
Benny Green Trio with Veronica Swift: April 19, 2019
And more! 

                       

6. West Street Live Series
An Evening with Jimmy Webb: Oct. 11
John McCutcheon: Nov. 29
Ruthie Foster: Jan. 3, 2019
Gretchen Peters: March 7, 2019
Royal Wood: April 18, 2019
Molly Tuttle: May 2, 2019
                          
7. Family Fun Series
Trike Theatre’s Peter Pan: Nov. 2,3,9 & 10
Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s The Nutcracker: Nov. 23-25
Walton Arts Center and SoNA Present The Snowman: A Family Concert: Dec. 16
Air Play: March 8, 2019
Terrapin Puppet Theatre’s You and Me and the Space Between: March 28, 2019

                         

8. Kids Series
Claire Parsons’ And Then…: Nov. 8
The Polar Express: Dec. 21
Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar and
   Other Eric Carle Favorites: Jan. 13, 2019
Trike Theatre’s Go, Dog. Go!: Jan. 19 & 26, 2019
Tall Stories’ Emily Brown and The Thing: May 10, 2019
                          
9. LOL@WAC Series
Late Nite Catechism: Sept. 6-9
The Pump and Dump Show: 2018 Parentally Incorrect Tour: Sept. 22
The Rocky Horror Picture Show Halloween Party: Oct. 31
Dixie’s Tupperware Party: Feb. 19-24, 2019
Jay Leno: March 30, 2019

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MORE PERFORMING ARTS…

  • TheatreSquared: Northwest Arkansas’ professional regional theater company kicks off its 2018-19 season with Once on August 22, followed by productions of Skeleton Crew, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, Every Brilliant Thing and more. 
  • Arts Center of the Ozarks: This arts organization in the heart of downtown Springdale will open its 2018-19 theater season on Sept. 7 with Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite, followed by Tradition of the Mask: Africa in the Ozarks, Braum Stoker’s Dracula and more. 
  • Arkansas Public Theatre: Housed in the venerable Victory Theater in the Rogers Historic District, the APT community-based performing arts troupe opens its Season 33 in September with Sunset Boulevard, the first of eight season productions, featuring music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. 
  • Symphony of Northwest Arkansas: Under the direction of Maestro Paul Haas, Northwest Arkansas’ professional symphony orchestra will present six mainstage concerts at Walton Arts Center for the 2018-19 Season, starting Nov. 3 with Masterworks I: Bernstein & Brahms, followed by the return of A Very SoNA Christmas on Dec. 15, and The Snowman: A Family Concert on Dec. 16. 
  • Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra: Under the baton of Music Director Stephen Byess, the APO will present its 2018-19 Season beginning on Sept. 29 with a Halloween Fantasia concert, followed by the much-loved annual Christmas with the APO concert on Dec. 15 at Arend Arts Center. 
 

Dog Days of Summer: Cool Ways to Beat the Heat!

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!

  1. COOL EATS

    Pure Joy Ice Cream

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!

 

Burton’s Comfort Creamery
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!

 

Spark Café

Spark Café and Soda Fountain
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!

 

  1. SPLASH ZONES

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!

 

  1. Skylight Cinema

    MOVIE DAYS

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.

 

  1. EXPLORE COOL CAVES & CAVERNS

Cosmic Cavern

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!

 

  1. 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 of American Art

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.
Scott Family Amazeum
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.  
The Walmart Museum

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.
Shiloh Museum of Ozark History
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

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.
Siloam Springs Museum
This museum displays permanent exhibits that highlight many facets of the city’s history including Native American culture, pioneer life and medicine. 
Daisy Airgun Museum
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

Clinton House Museum
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.
Museum of Native American History (MONAH)
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

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.
Saunders Memorial Museum
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. 

Fourth of July Fireworks Celebrations in NWA

Fireworks at the Walmart AMP

No matter where you are in Northwest Arkansas this 4th of July holiday, there is sure to be something festive happening nearby! Whether you like to spend your time attending a community gathering or watching a fireworks display with friends and family, don’t miss these Independence Day celebrations throughout the four-county NWA region!

 
BENTON COUNTY

 

An Evening at Orchards Park | Bentonville
Date: Wednesday, July 4 / Time: Music at 7 p.m. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m.
Location: Orchards Park
Main events: Fireworks display, live music by Funk Factory and Arkansas Winds Orchestra
For more information, visit the event page on Facebook.
 
 

City of Bella Vista Fireworks

Bella Vista Independence Blues Festival
Date: Tuesday, July 3 / Time: Music at 5 p.m., fireworks at dark 
Location: Loch Lomond Dam
Main events: Fireworks show, live music by The Cate Brothers Band and The Downtown Livewires
For more information, see the event page on Facebook.
 
Fireworks at the Crosses | Rogers
Date: Sunday, July 1 / Time: 5 p.m., fireworks at dark
Location: Cross Church at Pinnacle Hills
Main events: Fireworks show, live music and food vendors
For more information, visit crosschurch.com.

 

SoNA Performs at the AMP

 
An American Salute with Fireworks and the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas | Rogers
Date: Wednesday, July 4 / Time: Gates open at 6 p.m. Music starts at 7:30 p.m. Fireworks begin at dark
Location: Walmart AMP
Main events: Fireworks display featuring a performance by Symphony of Northwest Arkansas (SoNA)
Time: Gates open at 6 p.m. Music starts at 7:30 p.m. Fireworks begin at dark
Tickets: General Admission/Lawn: $3, Covered seats: $10-13
For more information, visit waltonartscenter.org/AMP.

 

Fire in the Sky | Siloam Springs
Date: Wednesday, July 4 / Time: Lot opens at 6 p.m. Fireworks begin at around 9:15 p.m.
Location: Siloam Springs Municipal Airport
Main events: Fireworks show, live DJ, parachutists, concessions, inflatables
For more information, visit discoversiloam.com.
 

 

Gentry Freedom Fest

Gentry Freedom Fest
Date: Wednesday, July 4 / Time: Car show + other activities start at 12 noon, fireworks begin at dark
Location: Gentry City Park
Main events: Fireworks display, petting zoo, Kids Zone, car show, live entertainment by Mark Shields & Good Company, River’s Edge Band, Back Road Story, John King
For more information, visit gentrychamber.com.
 
Fourth Fest | Centerton
Date: Wednesday, July 4 / Time: 7 p.m., fireworks begin at dark
Location: First Baptist Church in Centerton
Main events: Fireworks display, inflatables and kid’s activities, games and music
For more information, visit the event page on Facebook.
 
Eden’s Bluff Fireworks | Lowell
Date: Wednesday, July 4 / Time: Fireworks begin at dark
Location: Eden’s Bluff, Beaver Lake
Main events: Fireworks show
For more information, visit the event page on Facebook.

 

Ventris Trail’s End on Beaver Lake

Ventris Trail’s End Fireworks | Garfield
Date: Wednesday, July 4 / Time: Fireworks begin at dark (around 9 p.m.)
Location: Ventris Trail’s End Resort, Beaver Lake 
Main events: Fireworks show choreographed to music. The best view is from on a boat from Beaver Lake.
For more information, visit beaverlakeresorts.com.

 

 

WASHINGTON COUNTY

 

Rodeo of the Ozarks

Rodeo of the Ozarks with Fireworks | Springdale
Date: Saturday, June 30 / Time: Gates at 6 p.m., the rodeo starts at 7:00 p.m., fireworks after the rodeo at around 9 p.m.
Location: Parsons Stadium
Main events: Fireworks after the last night of the 74th Annual Rodeo of the Ozarks
For more information, visit rodeooftheozarks.org.
 
 
City of Farmington Fireworks Display
Date: Saturday, June 30 / Time: Fireworks begin at dark (about 9 p.m.)
Location: Farmington High School Football Stadium
Main events: Fireworks show
For more information, visit the city of Farmington’s Facebook page.

 

4th at the Field, Arvest Ballpark

Arvest Ballpark Fireworks Spectacular & 4th at the Field | Springdale
Dates: Monday, July 2, Tuesday, July 3 & Wednesday, July 4 / Time: First pitch 6:30 p.m., and fireworks after each game
Location: Arvest Ballpark
Main events: Exhibition baseball matchups followed by fireworks
For more information, visit milb.com.
 
 
Fireworks at Mount Comfort | Fayetteville
Date: Wednesday, July 4 / Time: Fireworks begin at dark
Location: Mount Comfort Church of Christ
Main events: Fireworks display and refreshments
For more information, visit the event page on Facebook.
 
Elkins Fireworks Display
Date: Friday, June 29 / Time: 9 p.m.
Location: Bunch Park
Main events: Fireworks display, concessions
For more information, visit the city of Elkins’ website.
 

Prairie Grove Aquatic Center

Celebrate Prairie Grove
Date: Saturday, June 30 / Time: 7 p.m., fireworks at dusk
Location: Rieff Park, Prairie Grove
Main events: Fireworks display, slip-n-slide and swimming at Prairie Grove aquatic park, and an obstacle course
For more information, visit the City of Prairie Grove’s Facebook page.

 

 

CARROLL COUNTY
 
4th of July Pool Potluck | Holiday Island
Date: Wednesday, July 4th / Time: 12 noon – 4 pm
Location: Holiday Island Recreation Center
Main events: Potluck style lunch and swimming
For more information, visit holidayisland.us.
 

 

Lady Liberty in Eureka Springs

Old Fashioned 4th of July Parade | Eureka Springs
Date: Wednesday, July 4th / Time: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Location: Downtown Eureka Springs
Main events: Old fashioned parade with floats, street performers and belly dancers
For more information, visit the event page on Facebook.
 
 
Fire on the Mountain | Berryville
Date: Wednesday, July 4th / Time: Dusk
Location: Saunders Heights Overlook
Main events: Fireworks show, patriotic music simulcast on KTHS 107.1 FM
For more information, visit berryvillechamber.com.
 
MADISON COUNTY
 
City of Hunstville Fireworks Display
Date: Wednesday, July 4th / Time: Dusk
Location: Mitchusson Park
Main events: Fireworks show
For more information, visit huntsvillear.org.
 

 

Have a happy and safe holiday, everyone!