9 cool things to do this summer in Northwest Arkansas
It's time to get outside. Northwest Arkansas is chock-full of events and things to explore this summer.
1. Kayak Lake Fayetteville.
Rent a double kayak for $20/hour and make it a date with someone who also loves the outdoors.
Read more: 5 date ideas under $25 in Northwest Arkansas
2. Cool down with a refreshing treat.
- Go for a flavor that shouldn't work but does, like the popcorn PB&J at Superfine Sweet Shoppe in downtown Bentonville.
- Get an ice cream cone covered in cereal like Fruity Pebbles (the Elton John) or other treats like Oreos and Nilla Wafers (the Michael Jackson) at Burton's Creamery in Fayetteville.
- Try out some serious ice cream concoctions at Trash Creamery in Bentonville.
3. Find a new swimming spot.
We all need ways to beat the summer heat — whether it's a neighborhood pool, a splash pad or a good, old-fashioned hose in your yard.
- Wilson Park Pool in Fayetteville offers $35 passes that are good for 10 visits. The pool also offers "dive-in" movies — next up is "Encanto" on June 24.
- Melvin Ford Aquatic Center in Bentonville is open daily with $3 day passes.
- Mount Sequoyah's pool in Fayetteville has $300 family memberships that allow unlimited visits during the summer months.
Water parks and more
- Prairie Grove Aquatic Park has multiple slides, a massive pool, diving boards and a kiddie pool, all for up to $5 for a day pass.
- Rogers Aquatics Center is a full-blown water park with a competition pool for lap swimmers. Daily admission ranges from free for kids under 3 feet tall to $12 for Rogers residents and up to $15 for non-residents.
- Siloam Springs Kayak Park is free to al — just BYO-kayak and a sense of adventure.
4. Celebrate NWA Pride.
When: June 18.
Details: Expect a parade, live performances, local vendors and more. Plus: an 18+ ticketed event called "Glitterville" at George's Majestic Lounge.
- Parade at Dickson Street and West Avenue in Fayetteville.
5. Get out of town.
If it's too hot for a hike, take a day trip to one of these ~cool~ destinations.
- Go back in time and check out stalagmites and stalactites on cave tours at Lake of the Ozarks State Park in Missouri, about 3.5 hours away.
- Head to Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks, Oklahoma, about a two-hour drive from NWA.
- We're fans of Crystal Bridges, but if you want a different collection to gander, try the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri, about 3.5 hours by car.
Related Axios guide: 3 quick weekend getaways from NWA
6. Catch a ball game.
When: Through September.
Details: Cheer on the Northwest Arkansas Naturals and head to Arvest Ballpark on Thursday for $2 PBR and peanuts or Friday to watch the fireworks show. Other special events include:
- Kids eat free (and run the bases!) on July 1.
- July 3 and 4 will have Fourth of July fireworks shows.
- And Aug. 24 is Harry Potter Night, so get your circular glasses and wands ready.
7. Attend Bentonville Film Festival.
When: June 22-26.
Details: Showings and other events will take place at various Bentonville venues, including The Momentary.
- In-person passes cost $250, or you can get a virtual one for $175.
Keep reading: More events to mark on your 2022 calendar
8. Explore Springdale's "Boardwalk."
Details: Find your new favorite food truck at the new food truck court. Our favorite so far is Pupuseria Miriams, which serves pupusas, tacos and burritos.
Hours: The Boardwalk is open from 11am-2pm and 4:30-8pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It's closed on Wednesday and Sunday.
Keep reading: More food truck options
9. See a drive-in movie.
Details: 112 Drive-In in Fayetteville is open Thursday through Sunday with two showings a night.
- This weekend, it's playing "Jurassic World Dominion" and "Firestarter."
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