• Above & Beyond in Northwest Arkansas
  • 2017 Spring Break Guide: Northwest Arkansas Camps & Events for Kids

The Friday 5: Fun things to do this weekend in Northwest Arkansas

Friday 5This Friday 5 is a little longer than usual, because Spring Break events are still rolling through the weekend! CLICK HERE to check out our full list of Spring Break activities and events.

monarch butterfly

Monarch Workshop at Ozark Botanical Gardens

The Botanical Gardens and the Fayetteville Monarch Project are presenting an educational workshop all about monarch butterflies! Topics will include “Monarch Life Cycle and Conservation,”  ”Monarch Gardens: Plants and Design,” a tour of the BGO Butterfly Gardens and Butterfly House, and more! This incredible event is free and open to the public, but space is limited and registration is required. Sign up early to reserve your spot!

Date: Saturday, March 25

Time: 9 to 12am

Location: Botanical Garden of the Ozarks

More info: Click here

Super Saturday: Drive-In Movie, Disney’s Carsdisney's cars

This Saturday, the Fayetteville Public Library is having a “drive-in” showing of Disney’s Cars! Help your little ones create their own cardboard box cars to bring and “park” during the movie. (Or, if you’re short on time and cardboard, maybe just have them bring a toy car.) There will be lots of popcorn! This event is free and open to the public, no registration required.

Date: Saturday, March 25

Time: 10:30am to 12pm

Location: Fayetteville Public Library

More info: Click here

2017 Egg Drop Extravaganza

First Landmark Baptist Church of Bentonville will be kicking off the Easter celebrations early with a huge egg drop from a helicopter! This free community event will include fun for every member of your family: face painting, games, candy, prizes, and age-group divisions for a fun and fair egg hunt (age groups include toddler to age 10 and special needs). Registration is required for this event, either online or day-of. 

Date: Saturday, March 25

Time: 9:30am registration; 11am to 1pm egg hunts

Location: First Landmark Baptist Church, Bentonville

More info: Click here

Snake Skin Bookmarks at Devil’s Den

If you have a kid who is fascinated with reptiles, they will love this special craft time at Devil’s Den. Park Interpreter Terry will guide kids through making a bookmark from shed snakes’ skins. The craft time is short and the weather is supposed to be pretty nice on Saturday, so make some time for a quick hike while you’re there!

Date: Saturday, March 25

Time: 1 to 1:30 pm

Location: Devil’s Den State Park, West Fork

More info: Click here

Spring Break Activities at Crystal Bridges

Crystal Bridges is hosting their FREE spring break events through the weekend, including activities like making pop art buttons, nature printmaking, coloring with an artist, and more! Check out their calendar of events for specific daily information. 

Dates: March 24-26

Times: 1 to 4pm

Location: Crystal Bridges, Bentonville

More info: Click here

Spring Break Activities at Hobbs State ParkHobbs state park kids

Like many of Arkansas’ state parks, Hobbs is pulling out all the stops for spring break! This weekend, check out one of these fun and educational events (or one of the others listed on their website):
- Exhibit Scavenger Hunt
- “Do you know your NWA mammals?”
- Nature hikes
- Leave No Trace: The 7 Principles
- Venomous Snakes of Arkansas

Dates: March 24-26

Time: Varies

Location: Hobbs State Park, Rogers

More info: Click here

Enjoy the last weekend of Spring Break, mamas!

Above & Beyond in Northwest Arkansas: First National Bank of Northwest Arkansas

Above and Beyond, Cox

Last month we launched a new category for the website called “Above & Beyond in Northwest Arkansas.” This category features stories about local companies doing extraordinary things for our corner of the state.

As mothers, we know loyalty counts, so we pay attention to companies who are loyal and give back to the communities in which they do business.

FNB Logo-StackedThis month we’re highlighting the charitable work of First National Bank of NWA. When we attend charity events in the area, we notice that someone from First National Bank of NWA is usually there, too. The bank has a reputation for supporting local non-profits, both large and small.

Here are a few bank co-workers at one of the Bowl for Kids’ Sake events.

Bowl for Kids SakeAnd here’s another shot of First National Bank of NWA in action selling food and drinks at a school concession stand in Fayetteville.

Fyt Concession640Here’s a list of some of the organizations First National Bank of NWA is currently supporting through charitable donations and/or involvement:

  • Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
  • Alzheimer’s Association
  • Boys & Girls Club of Benton County
  • Children’s Safety CenterChilireah
  • Kendrick Fincher
  • Bentonville Bright Futures
  • Children’s Advocacy Center
  • Bentonville Noon Rotary
  • The Sunshine School
  • Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Northwest Arkansas
  • Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Benton County
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Arkansas
  • Bentonville Parks & Rec
  • Fayetteville Parks & Rec
  • Downtown Bentonville Inc.
  • Rogers Noon Rotary
  • The First Tee of NWA
  • Economics Arkansas
  • Fayetteville Youth Baseball
  • Rogers High School – Great 8 Tournament
  • Rogers/ Lowell Chamber of Commerce
  • Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce

First National Bank of NWA also has employees who know the value of giving back to their own communities. They offer everyone on staff the option to set up an auto-draft from their paycheck to be donated to local charities.

Each Friday, they also collect money for “jeans day” and that money goes into an account used during the holidays to adopt a family and purchase gifts and groceries for them. (In past years, they’ve collected enough money throughout the year to adopt several families for the holiday.) This month, bank colleagues are drawing up March Madness Brackets to raise money for this year’s adoption of a family during the holidays.

If you’re looking for a bank that is truly plugged into your community, we think this one passes the test. Our thanks to First National Bank of NWA for setting such a great example of what it means to go above and beyond for our community.

Do you know of or work for a company in Northwest Arkansas that is going “above and beyond” to help give back to our community? If so, click HERE to send us an email about it. We may feature that company in an upcoming post for “Above & Beyond in NWA.”

Cox is the sponsor of “Above & Beyond in NWA,” a series of articles highlighting a wide range of local companies doing great things for those in need in our communities. The company believes that the assistance it offers to local charities is vital to the success of the company and the enrichment of the communities it serves in Arkansas.

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New in Town: Fun Ideas for Northwest Arkansas Families

northwest arkansas map

Map of Northwest Arkansas, from northwestarkansas.org

If you’re new to Northwest Arkansas — or if you’re a new mama navigating the neighborhoods for the first time with a baby on the hip — we thought you’d appreciate some local exploring options.

We asked some moms who were recently “new in town” themselves (thanks, new girls!) to tell us their favorite places to visit in the area.

You’ll find some of their comments below. Click on the name of the activity/location if you want to find out more.

If we leave out your favorite things to do in Northwest Arkansas, write a comment below and share them with the rest of us

Oodles of Outdoorsy Options:

devils den state park

Devil’s Den State Park – It’s a beautiful park with a built-in pool, picnic tables, great bridge, swimming pool and river and boat rentals. Take a picnic and the Frisbee and football and have a blast! If you’re adventurous, you can also go caving. There are also cabins and camping options.

Withrow Springs State Park. (Near Huntsville) Great camping area, swimming pool, playground, hiking trails, fishing and tennis. Canoes, too!

Lake Fayetteville. There’s a lovely park with a playground and picnic tables as well as volley ball nets. It’s on the south side of the park off of Zion Rd – Veteran’s Memorial Park.  The bike and walking trails are great and, if you have an off road bicycle, you can ride along the Botanical Gardens. The other thing you MUST do there is a round of Frisbee golf!  It’s a blast and takes you by the lake and through the park – although I find I really want to spend some time catching the Frisbee as well as throwing it once we’re done with the 18 baskets.

Speaking of Veteran’s Memorial Park, Northwest Arkansas has an abundance of small, fabulous parks with walking trails, play equipment, and picnic areas. Some of our favorites in Fayetteville are Wilson (you’ll love the rock castle, fish pond and beautiful landscaping), Gulley and Gordon Long (many trees protect the kids on hot summer days). Lawrence Plaza, just north of the Bentonville Square (at the corner of NE A and Blake streets) features a 7,000 square-foot, multi-use facility that transforms into a splash pad in the summer and an outdoor ice rink in the winter!

Gator Golf on College Avenue offers two courses and a free game if you get a hole in one on the 18th hole. You can see a great sunset from there if you catch it right and the course offers some interesting variations.

farmers marketFarmers Markets! Fayetteville, Rogers, Bentonville. There is something for everyone there including music, cookies and coffee, breakfast burritos and lots of amazing produce and flowers.  There are even a few crafts.  Just be forewarned that in Fayetteville, the animal shelter often shows their adorable dogs that need to be adopted. It might be too much to resist.

Pea Ridge Battlefield – Walking trails and step back in time. Take the guided tour via CD and hear the battle come to life.

Prairie Grove Battlefield Park – Bring your hand-held GPS, stop by the gift shop for the first set of coordinates and find answers to a sheet of clues they provide. Beautiful walking trails, stroller-ready.

botanical gardensBotanical Gardens of the Ozarks in Fayetteville. Lots of events for both adults and kids.  The firefly festival in summer is a great kid event.  They also have evening events for adults like “Chefs in the Garden” and a Holiday Farmers’ Market. While the farmers’ market continues, we like to just go on Sunday mornings and walk around when admission is free.

Fayetteville bike trails - These are great for a family outing or couples only.

Tanyard Creek trail in Bella Vista - Great walking trail with streams, a swinging bridge and a waterfall!

Terra Studios in Durham – The kids loved walking around the gardens and paths and looking at all of the strange and unique pottery creatures.  You can also watch pottery and bluebirds of happiness being made.  Before you leave have a snack in the coffee shop and sit in a really cool booth.

Corn mazes, pumpkin patches and u-pick! There are three corn maze-focused attractions (they all have lots more than the maze) in the area, including Ozark Corn Maze in Cave Springs, Farmland Adventures in Springdale, McGarrah Farms in Pea Ridge, Dickey Farms in Springdale, Vanzant Fruit Farms in Lowell and Lost Corn Maze in Siloam Springs.

Attend a Northwest Arkansas Naturals baseball game!

Modern Mission Outdoor Laser Tag is similar to paintball, but without the projectiles. Off Joyce Avenue in Fayetteville.

The Pinnacle Hills Promenade Mall is an outdoor mall in Rogers. Lots of shopping, restaurants and a movie theatre.

Baby, it’s cold (or hot) outside:

amazeum boltScott Family Amazeum. The Amazeum features approximately 50,000 square feet of exhibit and learning spaces inside the museum to bring learning to life and enhance family involvement, while evoking a sense of curiosity and discovery through hands-on activities. So much fun!

Ozark Bowling Lanes in Fayetteville might fool you from the outside, but they have redone the inside and it is really a very nice bowling alley.  There are also pool tables if you need a little variety or for your friends who aren’t as fond of bowling as you might be.

Fast Lane Entertainment on N. Dixieland in Lowell is also lots of fun when you’re looking for arcade games, bowling and laser tag. They’ve got ginormous pizzas, a varied menu for adults and glow-in-the-dark bowling.

Fun City Pizza in Springdale (next to Babies ‘n Beyond) is another great place to let the kiddos play — and it’s brand new. They have arcade games, big slides and tunnels for the kids to play on, indoor mini golf, pizza and salad bar for guests. No admission fee!

The Starlight Skatium is a skating rink on College Avenue in Fayetteville. It’s a great place for birthday parties and for taking the parents wayyyy back.

pacman

Arkadia Retrocade in Fayetteville (Evelyn Hills Shopping Center) is another place where parents can go way back! These video games are vintage. $5 cash admission at the door for all-day, old-school video game play. Check out the Facebook page for hours.

Books! Of course the Fayetteville Public Library is world class! It has two floors of books, materials and movies for the whole family. There is a whole section dedicated to the children and a coffee shop where mom can take a break and relax. There’s are also great libraries in Rogers, Springdale (just outside this library’s windows there’s a wonderful park and duck pond for kids to enjoy!) and Bentonville.

kid reading at library

The Jones Center for Families in Springdale is absolutely amazing!  It has a small water park and pool along with other activities like indoor ice skating, and a playground, basketball, volley ball and 9-hole disc golf. Year-round fun.

Shiloh Museum of Ozark History in Springdale. Kids can spend hours in this museum.  They love the hands-on exhibits. They also have a great history camp in the summer for kids.

Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville. There are beautiful trails to wander along, art to enjoy, a library and even a cafe. The 120-acre site of the Museum complex is located within walking distance of the Bentonville town square. General admission is free; special exhibits are free on Thursdays.

crystal bridges

Northwest Arkansas Mall in Fayetteville.

Arkansas Air & Military Museum. Follow the colorful history of aviation in Arkansas and American military conflicts through numerous displays of original artifacts and aviation memorabilia

Got any fun ideas we missed and you’d like to share? Click on the comment button below and let us know! For other suggestions by NWA mamas, click here to read our 5 Minutes with a Mom feature. The featured moms usually mention their favorite places to play here. Plus you might just meet a new friend!

Summer Camp Spotlight: Modern Mission Outdoor Laser Tag/Indoor Battlefield

Editors’ note: Modern Mission is a sponsor in the featured section of our 2017 Northwest Arkansas Summer Camps & Activities Guide. This story offers additional information about the camps and contact info.

modern mission summer spotlight bannerSummer Camp name:

Modern Mission Outdoor Laser Tag/Indoor Battlefield

Age Group:

Ages 7-12

Coupon Code:

Save $25 off your summer camp price by using code mama25

modern-mission-logoWeeks camp will be in session + hours:

Week one will be June 5th-9th; week two will be June 19th-23rd; and the final week will be July 10th-14th. Choose one or all three. Each week of camps will run M-F 8 a.m. to noon.

About the camps:

Modern Mission campers will learn how to shoot a bow, outdoor survival tips (including starting a fire in wet weather, identifying edible insects, etc.) and the value of teamwork.

Modern Mission will also have special guest speakers at camp throughout the week, including Sheriff Tim Helder and local K9 unit under Officer Chris Krodell. There will be plenty of time for Archery Games, Bubble Soccer, and play on the Indoor/ Outdoor Battlefields.

When you make a reservation for your child, they will be registered for the entire week. For ages 7-12.

Click here to see read more about Modern Mission camps!

modern mission summer camp 2017

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2017 Spring Break Guide: Northwest Arkansas Camps & Events for Kids

Spring Break Slider 2017

Happy Spring Break, everyone!

Featured Spring Break Camps/Activities for NWA Kids:

Community Creative Center Camp ccc

CCC’s Spring Break camps, March 20-24, will celebrate art around the world. Throughout the week students will explore art in a variety of cultures and be inspired to create beautiful works of art using paints, pastels, and clay.

Campers will make colorful Aztec rain sticks and take part in the ancient tradition of sculpting Caddo head pots out of red clay. Inspiration will also come from Japanese cherry blossoms, New Zealand koru plants, and the cave art of France. Projects are designed to maximize the fun for campers of all ages. Community Creative camps will fill quickly, so early registration is recommended.

Rogers Activity Center Camps rac building croppedSpring Break Camp at RAC will be March 20 – 24 & 27 from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. as needed.

The fee is $20/day (RAC membership is required and early registration is recommended because space is limited. For students Kindergarten-7th grade) Each day will bring new activities or field trips and each will have ample supervision. The fee includes morning and afternoon snacks as well as lunch.

RAC is a DHS licensed childcare facility and is Better Beginnings certified so you’ll feel good about your leaving your kids to have fun there.

Activities will include: Skating, Bowling, Movies, Chuck E. Cheese’s, and the UofA Agriculture Department will stop by to visit campers.

Click here for more information on the RAC camps!

Rogers Activity Center

Rogers Activity Center Spring Break Camps, all day March 20-24 & 27

Scott Family Amazeum

spring break camp, amazeumCamp Theme: Under the Big Top. The Amazeum is turning into a circus for Spring Break. From jaw-dropping acts to delicious carnival foods, ringmasters will show you the ropes as you find your place under the big top.

The week will be full of so many fun things, including a giraffe in the lobby! The Amazeum’s tinkering peeps were inspired by giraffe-momma-to-be April, so they crafted a lifesize giraffe of pool noodles. They need helping naming this new creation!

Explore the science behind this mysterious world of wonder and discover the imagination, creativity, and STEAM principles used to create a spectacular show. *Advanced registration and payment required.

Camp runs from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. March 20-24.

The Jones Center bar-logo-jones-center

Parents and kids can enjoy special events all Spring Break week in addition to the extended public hours. Ice Rink hours will run from Noon-8pm & Indoor Pool hours will be Noon-7:45pm.

Monday – Spring Break Kickoff The whole family will enjoy an afternoon of inflatables and games in the gymnasium, as well as the entire afternoon to swim and ice skate. Location: Gymnasium Cost: $3 per person beach ball

Tuesday – Beach Party Dress up in beach attire and prepare for a day in the water. Ice skating and open basketball will also coincide with the beach party. Time: Noon-8 pm Location: Pool Cost: $3 per person

Wednesday – Open gym time for toddlers with little activities Little tikes will have a chance to roam the gymnasium to explore different age-appropriate activities designed with their age-group in mind. Ice skating and open basketball will also coincide with the beach party. Time: Noon-8 pm Location: Gymnasium Cost: $3 per person

Thursday – Block Party (evening family festivities in plaza) Camp War Eagle will host an evening block party with games and activities for families with children of all ages. Ice skating, swimming, and open basketball will be open all afternoon (noon-8 pm). Time: 5-7 pm Location: Outdoor plaza Cost: Free (block party); all access wristband just $3 per person.

Friday – Frozen Friday with special guest princesses Ice skate with the princesses from the Disney favorite, Frozen. Kids can enjoy crafts, hot chocolate, and other winter-themed activities. Open swimming and gym time will coincide with the public ice session. Time: Princesses and activities from Noon-2 pm (public sessions from 12-8 pm) Time: Princesses and activities from Noon-2 pm (public sessions from 12-8 pm) Location: Ice rink Cost: $3 per person

BONUS Saturday – Pools, Gym, and Ice will all be open to the public from Noon-8, (ice and gym Noon-10 pm) with the $3 all-access wristband still in effect.

BONUS Sunday – Pools, Gym, and Ice will all be open to the public from 2:00-4:45 pm with the $3 all-access wristband still in effect.

Spring BreakFamily Movie Marathon Free Movie Screenings: Bring the entire family for a FREE movie every day beginning at 2 p.m. in the auditorium. Monday: Up; Tuesday: The Emperor’s New Groove; Wednesday: Big Hero 6; Thursday: The Lego Movie; Friday: Frozen

For more details on special activities planned, visit www.thejonescenter.net/spring-break-week or call The Jones Center information desk at 479-756-8090 ext. 2100.

Art Camps

Community Creative Center, Fayetteville (see above)

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville

Art Live Theatre, Springdale

Paper & Thread Studio, Fayetteville

Terra Studios, Fayetteville

Sports Camps

Rogers Activity Center (see above)

Fayetteville Athletic Club Camp

Camp Bentonville: Soccer, Basketball, Volleyball, Softball Fastpitch

Unique Camps

The Jones Center (see above)

Scott Family Amazeum (see above)

Camp Bentonville: Lego, Worlds of Amusement

Young Chefs Academy, Rogers

Ozark Climbing Gym, Springdale

Minecraft Spring Brek Camp, Springdale Recreation Center

Theatre Camps

Trike Theatre

Arts Live Theatre

Spring Break Activities/Events

Fayetteville Public Library: Movies every day at 2 p.m., March 20-24

Springdale Public Library: Monday, Friday: Crafts at 11 am, movies at 2 pm / Tuesday & Thursday: Crafts at 11 am / Wednesday: Movie at 2 pm, March 20 – 24

Springdale Public Library: Casey at the Bat! Wednesday, March 22, 11 a.m., Library Gallery. Come hear Phil Elson, “The Voice of Razorback Baseball and Women’s Basketball”, present Casey at the Bat. He’ll also answer questions and talk about the history of baseball. A simple craft project will be available.

Free Family Movies at The Jones Center. Bring the entire family for a FREE movie every day of Spring Break beginning at 2 p.m. in the auditorium. Monday: Up; Tuesday: The Emperor’s New Groove; Wednesday: Big Hero 6; Thursday: The Lego Movie; Friday: Frozen

animeRogers Public Library, Spring Break Anime Film Festival, March 18-23

112 Drive-In opening on Friday, March 17: Beauty and the Beast, Rogue One

Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park, daily Spring Break programs March 17-26

Spring Break Youth Lock-In, Fast Lane Entertainment, March 19

Spring Break Nerf Extravaganza, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, March 20

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge Kite Festival, Eureka Springs, March 25

Local Spring Break spots to visit

Hiking, Devil’s Den

Botanical Garden of the Ozarks

Terra Studios

Hobbs State Park

bumblebee-flowerClick here for more information on local getaways & places to visit over Spring Break. Click here for a list of hiking trail options.

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