10 must-do holiday activities in Northwest Arkansas
'Tis finally the season, meaning it's time to partake in local holiday traditions. Here are some ideas to get you started.
1. Take in Lights of the Ozarks.
- Cost: Free.
- Details: Lights shine daily from 5pm–1am.
2. Explore the North Forest.
Take an immersive walk through "Listening Forest," Crystal Bridges’ new outdoor, nighttime experience.
- Cost: Admission to the cashless event is $27.54 and $15.30 for youth ages 7-18. Kids 6 and under get in for free. Get advance tickets online ($5 off through Dec. 7).
- Details: The exhibition, created by artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, is open Wednesday-Sunday through Jan. 1.
- If you go: Wear comfy walking shoes, and organizers suggest planing on 1-2 hours to see and enjoy the installations.
3. Partake in a Christmas parade.
One of the biggest holiday events, the Bentonville Christmas Parade, is happening Dec. 10 down Main Street and around the square.
- The parade starts at 6pm, and this year's theme is "colors of the season."
4. Go ice skating.
Glide atop the 7,000-square-foot Rink at Lawrence Plaza in downtown Bentonville.
- Details: Session hours vary weekly. Check the season calendar.
- Cost: Skating costs $7 per session, including skate rental. Get tickets.
5. Visit a winter wonderland.
Kiddos will delight in the bright and inflatable decor, along with a visit from Santa and train and pony rides at the Stewart Family Christmas Light Display.
- Cost: Admission is $8 and free for kids 2 and younger.
- Details: Hours are 5–10pm weeknights and 5–11pm weekends at 4279 E. Wyman Road in Fayetteville. Open until Jan. 3.
6. Cozy up with a festive drink.
Get into the holiday spirit with a drink (or two) at one of these cheery spots.
- Details: It opens at 5pm Tuesday–Sunday at 23 N. Block Ave. in Fayetteville. Closing time varies each night.
- What to order: A Chai Hard with tea-infused Tito's Vodka or a frozen Blue Christmas sounds delish.
- If you go: No reservations needed.
- Details: Hours are 5–11pm Monday–Thursday and 5pm–midnight Friday–Saturday at 201 N.W. A St. in Bentonville.
- What to order: Alex suggests a sweet Christmas Carol Barrel, made with tequila, coffee liqueur, spiced chocolate and dry Curaçao.
- Pro-tip: Your best bet is to make a reservation.
7. Enjoy "A Christmas Carol."
- The family-friendly play runs through Dec. 24. Get tickets.
8. Shop local for everyone on your list.
There's no shortage of local businesses offering the perfect gifts for your loved ones. Here's a sampling.
🍸 For the one who loves to host: A serving board, barware or other elevated home goods at City Supply in Fayetteville.
☕️ For the coffee fiend: Simple syrups from Pink House Alchemy in Fayetteville to elevate their at-home lattes.
💿 For the music lover: New or vintage vinyl, plus CDs, tapes, posters and more at Block Street Records in Fayetteville and Bentonville.
🕯 For the cozy one: Winter scents from The Little Candle of NWA in Rogers (Balsam & Berry, Gingerbread Cookie and Champagne Toast, to name a few).
👕 For the one with a graphic tee collection: A comfy, clever shirt referencing local spots or pop culture at Bentonville Mercantile.
🏈 For the superfan: Razorback tees, hoodies, bags and other game day gear at Stache in Fayetteville.
9. Hear the classics live.
To get your fill of holiday favorites, catch "A Very SoNA Christmas," featuring the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas.
10. Catch a holiday flick.
- Tickets cost $7 and $12, respectively.
What's your favorite NWA holiday tradition? Email us at [email protected], and we may feature your idea in an upcoming newsletter.
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