The holiday season is just around the corner. There are plenty of Northwest Arkansas events to check out this winter. The towns have a unique way of celebrating and ringing in this joyous and busy season. No matter where you end up on the map, you are sure to find activities for the whole family to enjoy.
Kick off the Christmas season in Historic Fayetteville at the Downtown Square and Gardens with The Lights of the Ozarks. From the last week of November through December 31st, 450,000 lights blanket the area making it quite a stunning sight to see. Nightly carriage and pony rides, holiday music and other fun activities make this an event for all ages. Grab a cup of hot chocolate or apple cider and settle in for the Lightning Night parade on the first day of the event at 6:00pm.
For more holiday happenings, Bentonville opens their Ice Rink in Lawrence Plaza on the first week of November. The town also celebrates with a block party on the first Friday of each month. The first weekend of November, Bentonville Square will host Bentonville in Toyland. Walmart vendors from across the country will showcase their newest toys. Children will have a blast getting a sneak peak at the latest and greatest toys and playing with them too. The party will also have live music, food and face painting for the kids.
Rogers, Arkansas celebrates the holidays with Santa on the Caboose on the first two weekends of December. On the corner of W. Walnut and S. First Streets, children are invited to come and visit with Santa on a real train and let him know everything on their Christmas lists. Santa will be on the caboose from 10:00am to 2:00pm. If you will be in the Rogers area, the town’s Christmas parade is on December 1st at 7:00pm.
For a taste of Paris, head to Eureka Springs for their Food and Wine Festival, the first weekend of November. The Ozarks go French as menus are paired with French wines at participating restaurants. This event started back in 1993 and is a visitor’s favorite, especially wine lovers. It is also a great time of year to visit Eureka Springs because it is a quieter season and shops are open and ready for holiday shoppers.
The perfect event for visitors with a sweet tooth is the annual Sweet Treats Cookie Tour. On the second weekend of December from 2:00pm to 5:00pm, nine of Eureka Springs best B&B’s participate in this self-guided tour. Innkeepers serve their sweetest treats while guests enjoy the beautiful surroundings and holiday decorations. Recipes will be sent home with each guest. Stick around for New Year’s and take the family to the Pine Mountain Theater Family New Year’s Eve Celebration. On December 31st, celebrations begin at 8:00pm with music and live entertainment and continue on until ringing in the New Year at midnight.
When visiting the Northwest Arkansas region, be sure to check out a stay at one of Eureka Springs most romantic bed and breakfast inns. Arsenic and Old Lace is a Queen Anne Victorian style mansion that is tucked away in the Ozark hills. Close to all the action of the Historic District, Arsenic and Old Lace is just the place to unwind after a long day of festivities.
Photo courtesy of Tanya Impeartrice