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We took a quick getaway down south to explore Northwest Arkansas and discovered a whole world of family-friendly activities that kids will love in the burgeoning areas of Fayetteville and Bentonville. Here are our top things to do with kids in #NWA!
Courtesy: Scott Family Amazeum
Having opened in July 2015, families are flocking to the Scott Family Amazeum in Bentonville. Kids can explore Arkansas-inspired caves, crawl through the 30-foot-high Canopy Climber, create a masterpiece in the art studio, and get down to work in the Hershey's Lab and 3M Tinkering Hub!
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Courtesy: Visit Bentonville
Tucked inside the first Walmart location is the quaint Walmart Museum, which offers a glimpse into the humble beginnings of the brand and the life of founder Sam Walton. Shop for knicknacks, penny candy, and souvenirs at the front, and when you've finished your tour of the museum, head next door to the authentic soda fountain for a sweet treat!
Courtesy: 21c Museum Hotels
Located just down the street from the Walmart Museum is the avant-garde 21c Museum Hotel Bentonville. A cutting edge art gallery can be found on the first floor, along with The Hive, the hotel's gourmet restaurant with James Beard semifinalist Matthew McClure at the helm. The hotel's playful vibe carries through to its staff, who place the 21c mascots—giant green penguins—around the hotel, within the restaurants, elevators, and sometimes right outside a guest's room. You never know when they'll pop up!
Courtesy: Monica Moore/Botanical Garden of the Ozarks
Experience the most vibrant, natural wonders of Northwest Arkansas at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks. With local flora bursting with color, the Garden gives visitors a true sampling of the region's hidden gems.
Courtesy: Fayetteville Visitors Bureau
The Razorback Regional Greenway Trail, spanning 36 miles, is the most scenic route for navigating Northwest Arkansas. Ambitious cyclers can take the mostly flat path all the way from Bentonville into Fayetteville, but with children in tow, we'd recommend choosing a 5-mile stretch. Fall foliage shines on the Greenway Trail, but bicyclists can enjoy the path's creative art installations all year. Insider tip: For bike rentals, we recommend Phat Tire Bike Shop!
A stay in Fayetteville is all about proximity to the bustling culture of Dickson Street. Luckily, The Chancellor Hotel offers visitors a chic spot to rest their heads, and it's in walking distance from shopping, restaurants, and art galleries!
Dickson Street is the heart of Fayetteville, with boutiques, bars, and good ol' southern charm. Sip on coffee at Arsaga's, stock up on new threads at Riff Raff and Fayettechill, or dine at one of Dickson Street's myriad restaurants!
Courtesy: XNA/Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport
Before you depart Northwest Arkansas, take some time to square off in a giant game of chess! The Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA) has larger-than-life game boards and pieces throughout their terminal, which make waiting for your flight seem way fun. Insider tip: This small, regional airport lends itself to quick security procedures and a less hectic environment.
Local Jennifer Irwin teamed up with the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce and Fayetteville Public School District art teachers to write and illustrate "Goodnight Fayetteville," a charming children's book showcasing "the unique sights and sounds that make Fayetteville, Arkansas a wonderful place to live, work, and play." Pick up a copy at a local bookstore, or order online so you can read and remember your trip to NWA long after you've traveled back home.
RELATED: Find great day-trip destinations for your family.
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Melanie Baker hopes her aura is purple, and maintains a strict sushi diet. Big fan of mini-horses, Spotify, and pretending to be fluent in Spanish. She has 19 siblings and counting. See More.
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