By: Wayne Hahne
With the holidays just around the corner, it is not always easy to find something to do with the entire family. Fortunately, in Northwest Arkansas, we have several events and activities that are family friendly and fun for everyone. Whether you are visiting or a mainstay in the natural state, this article will give a list of each of places to go to feel holiday cheer.
Springdale Family Christmas
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
100 East Emma Ave
The Springdale Christmas parade of the Ozarks is held each year by the Rodeo of the Ozarks. Attendees will see floats made by locals in a family-friendly fair. More information can be found on the Rodeo of the Ozarks website and their Facebook page.
Christmas on the Creek
5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
100 E. Emma Ave
Enjoy the beautiful Spring Creek while viewing the annual Christmas parade in Downtown Springdale. Caroling, small business celebrations and the lighting of the state of Arkansas largest Christmas tree will be events happening around the festival.
Children’s Christmas Train
8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
306 E Emma Ave
Take a ride on a restored 1940’s era train to raise money for the Children’s Safety Center of Washington County. Sing Christmas carols, hear stories and even see Santa himself. Children 3-12 are $10 and adults are $20 each. Find more information on the Children’s Safety Center Facebook page.
Christmas at the North Pole
1 p.m. – 7 p.m.
The Jones Center
Hosted by the Ozark Figure Skating Club, the annual Christmas show will let attendees experience Christmas at the North Pole. Tickets start at $8 for adults while children 12 and under are $5. For more information, email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lights of the Ozarks
November 18-December 31
5 p.m. – 1 a.m.
21 S. Block Ave.
Everyone likes a light show and in Fayetteville, the bar is set high for Christmas lights. Take one of the nightly carriages or pony rides throughout the square to see the beautiful lights set up for happiest season of the year. Enjoy fresh hot chocolate and holiday music while you see the decorative 400,000 lights that took 3,300 hours to completely put up. To find more, visit the Lights of the Ozarks website.
Stewart Family Christmas Light Display
November 20 – January 1
5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Enjoy over 350,000 lights and 250 inflatables in light display that everyone will remember while riding the train through the display. Bring your children to drop off letters to Santa until December 18.
Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballot Production of The Nutcracker
November 25 – 27
Baum Walker Hall at Walton Arts Center
495 W. Dickson
Enjoy one of Christmas’s most memorable tales The Nutcracker as told by Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Shown in the Walton Arts Center, admissions start at $20 and seating fills up fast. For all questions call 479-443-5600 or visit the Walton Arts Center website.
Three Decembers in Fayetteville
320 N. Garland Ave
Bring the entire family and experience a work of art that captures the joy of Christmas. Three Decembers captures the feelings that come with Christmas time. Find out more and order tickets at eventful.
SoNA Presents A Very SoNA Christmas
Walton Arts Center
Enjoy the holidays the SoNA way with A Very SoNA Christmas, one of the symphony of Northwest Arkansas’s most famous shows. Call 479-443-5600 for tickets today.
Jingle Bell Jog 5K And Reindeer
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
4703 N. Crossover Rd
Supporting the community is important; with the Jingle Bell Jog you can celebrate the holidays and support the community. Enjoy the Lake Fayetteville Trail as you partake in pastries, hot chocolate and coffee. Wear costumes and win prizes for them. On top of all that the 5K run will be available to everyone, those with the fastest will win fabulous prizes. For more information, visit the Facebook page.
Washington County Fairgrounds
Bring the family down for food and fun to the Wampus Wonderland. Experience food, indie crafters and many more enjoyable activities. To find out more about the Catty Wampus Wonderland, visit the CattyWampus website.
The 12 Gardens of Winter
December 1 – 29
5p.m. – 8 p.m.
Botanical Garden of the Ozarks
Enjoy the Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks with the 12 Gardens of Winter. See the lights and decorations while enjoying hot beverages that warms even Jack Frost’s heart. Find more information at the 12 Gardens of Winter information page from Experience Fayetteville.
Lighting of Bentonville Square
6 p.m.–8 p.m.
410 S.W. A St.
Start the holiday cheer off right with the lighting of the Bentonville Square. Enjoy the family friendly venue with live music, hot cocoa and the main attraction of beautiful lights. To find more information, go to the Downtown Bentonville website.
The Rink opens at Lawrence Plaza
Bentonville’s great ice skating rink has many events and open skate times planned starting November 19. For more information, visit the Bentonville Parks and Recreation website.
Saturdays November 26-December 17
All movies start at 6:30 p.m.
For a full schedule, visit the Bentonville Parks and Rec website (Frosty’s Flicks information is at the end of this page).
Bentonville Christmas Parade
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
410 S.W. A St.
Enter a float or enjoy the show, travel to Bentonville to see the Christmas Parade for all ages. More information can be found on the Downtown Bentonville website.
Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce Annual Parade of Lights
6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
516 Village Circle
Visit Eureka Springs and experience the magic of the yearly Chamber of Commerce Parade of Lights. The highly anticipated holiday parade unique to Eureka Springs and is free at admission. The theme of the parade this year is Toyland. More information can be found at the Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce website.
Holidays on the Bricks
November 18 – November 19
8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
113 N. 4th St.
Bring the family to something that everyone can enjoy with the Holidays on the Bricks. With live music, hot cocoa, hot dogs, take memorable photos and partake in the multiple events of the festival. For more information, visit the Main Street Rogers website.
FUMC Thanksgiving Dinner
12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
307 W. Elm St.
Enjoy music and food in a Thanksgiving dinner to remember with the community at the First United Methodist Church. For reservations, call the church office at 479-631-7997 or visit FUMC for more information.
Annual Holiday Open House
12:30 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Rogers Historical Museum
301 W. Poplar
Crafts, refreshments and Christmas cheer while touring the 1895 Hawkins House. For more information visit the Rogers Historical Museum website.
The 32nd Annual Christmas Parade “Woodland Christmas”
7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
113 N. 4th St
Dress warm and go see the 32nd annual Rogers Christmas Parade with nearly 100 floats participating. Bring the kids, have a laugh, enjoy the scenery of the Rogers Christmas parade. Find more information with Main Street Rogers or call 479-956-5487.
The Santaland Diaries
December 2-4, 8-11
8 p.m. (2 p.m. on Sundays)
116 South Second Street
Enjoy David Sedaris’s The Santaland Diaries with the Arkansas Public Theatre. Experience the evocation of a slackers Christmas as the slacker learns a lesson in Christmas time. Find more information on the Arkansas Public Theatre website or call 479-631-8988.
Christmas Movie At Arkansas Public Theatre
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Arkansas Public Theatre
Christmas Open House and Parade
Huntsville Historic Square
Enjoy the holidays in Huntsville with the open house and parade known throughout the area. With the extra hours for holiday shopping, the traditional lights of the season, one of the largest known parades in Northwest Arkansas and even have the kids see Santa at the end of the event. For more information, visit the Huntsville Chamber website.
Christmas Parade “All I Want At Christmas”
101 S. Broadway St.
Get into the holiday cheer with over 60 floats competing for prizes, music, lights, festivities and caroling that signify the coming of the Christmas season. Learn more about the event on the Arkansas.com events page.
Is there an event that we missed? Leave the details in the comments!