Child's Play

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07 January, 2020

Visitors to Northwest Arkansas will find plenty of family-friendly opportunities to enjoy the region with youngsters. There’s no end to the fun for the young and young at heart.

In addition to great parks and playgrounds, skate parks, walking, and biking trails, cave exploration, boating, fishing and water sports, Northwest Arkansas has a number of world-class museums and historical sites. They include an amazing interactive children’s museum—the Scott Family Amazeum—along with the Crystal Bridges Museum of Art, The Peel Mansion, The Museum of Native American History and the Pea Ridge National Military Park. In addition, there’s the Walmart Museum in downtown Bentonville with the original Five and Dime store and soda fountain.


Here is a sampling of other activities in the region:


-Batting cages and arcades at Batter Up, 1301 N Walton Blvd. 479-271-2278, and at the lanes of the Bentonville Bowling Center, 902 NW 14thSt. 479-273-2590

-Climb Bentonville - Indoor rock climbing 801 SW 14th 479-325-8521

-Great Day Skate Place - Roller skating fun! 1615 SE Moberly Ln 479-273-1800

-Lawrence Plaza - A splash pad interactive water park in the summer, outdoor ice rink opens Mid- Nov-Jan. Just north of City Square, corner of NE “A” and Blake Streets.



-Botanical Garden of the Ozarks - On 86 acres adjoining Lake Fayetteville. 4703 N. Crossover Rd. 479-750-2620

-Terra Studios Glass Art studio and gallery - Watch glass artists at work, stroll the outdoor art garden filled with magical sculptural creatures. Free admission, 10- 5 daily. 12103 Hazel Valley Rd, Fayetteville. 479-643-3185.


Indoor fun

-Arkadia Retrocade - Nearly 75 vintage arcade games. 1478 N. College Ave. 479-445-7844

-Lokomotion Family Fun Park - Like a small-town carnival, featuring arcades, mini-golf, bumper cars, go-karts, and laser tag. 4520 N College Ave, 479-582-5600

-Gator Golf - 2692 N College, 479-443-0833

-Ozark Bowling - 2300 N College Ave, 479- 442-4275

-Boingo Bounce - Toddlers have their own safe room. 240 E. Township St, 479-444-1419

-Starlight Skatium - 612 N College Ave, Fayetteville. 479-444-7827



-Arkansas and Missouri Railroad - Departs the Springdale Depot on high trestles over deep valleys and a dark quarter-mile tunnel. 134 miles round trip. Depot: 107 North Commercial Street, Springdale. 479-751-5763.


Bowling, batting, and mini-golf

-Balls N Strikes - 5414 Hailey, Springdale, 479-531-3294

-Rogers Bowling Center - 3500 W Walnut St, 479-636-2320

-Springdale Bowling Center - 1303 S Thompson St, 479-751-9207

-Fast Lane Entertainment - 299 N Dixieland St, Lowell. 479-659-0999

-Mini-golf and games at Fun City Pizza - 5320 W. Sunset #157, Springdale. 479-872-7529.

-Rodeo of the Ozarks - A pro rodeo that’s more than a half-century old. At Parson’s Field, 1423 E. Emma, Springdale. 877-927-6336.

-War Eagle Mill - A restored old mill, gift shop, and restaurant on rolling farmland, on the banks of War Eagle Creek. 11045 War Eagle Rd. 866-492-7324.

-Wild Wilderness Safari - 400-acre home to exotic and domestic animals. Drive-thru section, petting parks, and walk-thru areas. 20923 Safari Rd, Gentry. 479-736-8383.


Eureka Springs

Check out the kid-friendly shops in charming downtown filled with toys and treasures, like Kaleidokites, Mud St. Store, Happy Things and Small World.

-Eureka Springs Historical Museum - Downtown at the 95 S. Main.

-Intrigue Theater - Turn-of-the-century style magic show. 80 Mountain St. 479-244-7028

-Lake Leatherwood Park - Follow Hwy 62 W. about 4.5 miles to the park sign on the right-hand side of the road. 1600-acre city park with an 85-acre spring-fed lake. 479-253-7921.

-Ozarks Mountain Zipline - A 2-hour canopy tour. Sign in at 208 W. Van Buren: you’ll be shuttled to the zipline. 479-363-6699.

-Pig Trail Kart and Golf - A track, mini-golf course, arcade, batting cages and more. On Hwy 62 E. 479-363-6646

-Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge - Seven miles south of town on Hwy. 23, Lifetime care for abandoned, abused or neglected big cats, as well as some other big mammals and smaller wild cats.


Horseback Riding

-Bear Mountain Riding Stable - Guided, hour-long rides with incredible views. Suitable for all ages and riding levels. 5480 Highway 62 W. 479-253-6990

-Hidden Valley Ranch Stables - Horseback riding on 650 wilderness acres. Also hour-long carriage rides. 777 Hidden Valley Ranch Rd. 479-253-9777

-Steve’s Stable at Pond Mountain Lodge Six riders or less on a one-hour guided trail tour. Gentle horses. 1218 Hwy 23. 479-253-5877

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