Whether you take off for the afternoon or plan extra vacation days before or after institute, there is a LOT to do in the NW Arkansas Area. Here are our top “must-do’s” as you plan your institute experience.
1. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art – Bentonville
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art welcomes all to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of nature. We explore the unfolding story of America by actively collecting, exhibiting, interpreting, and preserving outstanding works that illuminate our heritage and artistic possibilities.
General admission to Crystal Bridges is sponsored by Walmart. There is no cost to view the Museum’s permanent collection, which is on view year-round.
2. The Scott Family Amazeum – Bentonville
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. Interactive exhibits engage visitors with the land, industries and people who built the Arkansas culture and sustain it today. Exhibitions include the 3M Tinkering Hub; General Mills Lift, Load and Haul; Market Sponsored by Walmart; Nature Valley Water Amazements; Nickelodeon Play Lab; Hershey’s Lab and more.
3. Natural Falls State Park – West Siloam Springs
Located near the Oklahoma/Arkansas border in the scenic Ozark Highlands region of northeast Oklahoma, Natural Falls State Park features a 77-foot waterfall cascading through rock formations and creating a hidden, serene atmosphere at the bottom of a narrow V-shaped valley. A railed observation platform allows hikers to overlook the falls and another observation deck with seating is located at the foot of the falls offering two vantage points to enjoy one of the most scenic wonders in the state. The beautiful scenery looks familiar to many visitors because scenes from the 1974 movie, “Where the Red Fern Grows” were filmed in the park.
4. Bentonville Square – Bentonville
The Bentonville City Square is located in the middle of downtown Bentonville, near the corner of Central and Main. It serves as a true city center, near trails, parks, retail, restaurants and museums. The Walton Five and Dime museum is located on the west side of the square. Two blocks north on Main Street is Compton Gardens, with access to the beautiful Crystal Bridges Trail, overlooking the Crystal Bridges Museum.
5. Arkansas Music Pavilion – Rogers
The Walmart AMP (Arkansas Music Pavilion, the AMP) – is known as Northwest Arkansas’ premiere outdoor concert venue. The AMP has been one of the top 100 amphitheaters in the nation and has produced headlining concerts for the past 10 years. The new venue opened in June 2014 and accommodates 9, 500+ people, with 3,200 covered seats and additional general admission seating on a sloped lawn. The new Walmart AMP has upgraded air-conditioned concessions and restrooms, a permanent pavilion and the biggest stage house in Arkansas. Check out their website for scheduled performances and tickets.
6. Wild Wilderness Drive-Through Safari – Gentry
Wild Wilderness Drive-through Safari is a family travel destination in Gentry, Arkansas. The 400-acre safari is home to a variety of exotic animals. For these animals, we provide a natural environment with a beautiful Arkansas landscape and several large ponds.
The safari consists of a 4-mile drive-through, petting parks, and walk-through areas for interaction with our animals. Pony and camel rides operate on a seasonal basis and add to the uniqueness of the park.
7. Arvest Ballpark – Home of the Naturals – Springdale
Arvest Ballpark, at the corner of 56th and Watkins (click here for a map) is the hub for summertime entertainment in Northwest Arkansas. The home for Northwest Arkansas Naturals baseball, the ballpark brings you 70 home games of summer fun and family entertainment each summer while at the same time serving as a spectacular regional venue that has hosted festivals, fairs, and charitable events throughout the years.
8. Siloam Springs Kayak Park – Siloam Springs
Positioned along the scenic Illinois River, this family-friendly, alcohol-free park features an engineered river for skilled kayakers as well as beginners with length of rapids approximately 700 feet and Class II and III difficulty. The park has specially designed riverbank access so families can enjoy the beautiful waters of the Illinois River. Additionally, there is a climbing boulder, a picnic area, accessible walking trails, rain garden and designated changing area. At this time there is not a commercial outfitter at the facility.
9. Devil’s Den State Park – West Fork
Devil’s Den State Park is an Arkansas icon. It is a beloved natural and historic treasure where over the decades park visitors have made memories to cherish a lifetime. Nestled deep in an Ozark valley, Devil’s Den connects you to picturesque Lee Creek Valley and the craftsmanship and conservation legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), the “Tree Army” of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. Devil’s Den is the perfect blending together of nature and CCC-Rustic-style park architecture that mirrors its natural settings.When you experience a park like Devil’s Den, you, too, will understand why these parks built in the 1930s by the CCC are among America’s most popular park facilities. Devil’s Den is a CCC masterpiece in a picturesque Ozark Valley. Lee Creek flows through the park, and the Ozark National Forest surrounds it.
The Razorback Regional Greenway is a 36-mile, primarily off-road, shared-use trail that extends from the Bella Vista Trail in north Bentonville to south Fayetteville. The trail links together dozens of popular community destinations.