Santa’s arrival and tree lighting at the mall
Don’t miss Santa’s spirited arrival at Northwest Arkansas Mall with holiday festivities including dance performances by Ballet Westside, the celebrated tree lighting, and the annual reading of the “Night Before Christmas” Story beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22.
Lights of the Ozarks
The annual Lights of the Ozarks display begins at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23. The display includes nearly a half million LED lights that transform the downtown square into a winter wonderland through the remainder of the year. The 2013 event marks the first season of an expansion of the display which now includes decorations on Block Avenue and Dickson Street.
The parade begins in front of the Fayetteville Public Library at 6 p.m. and heads east toward the downtown square. After circling the square, the floats will follow the parade route down Block Avenue, down Dickson Street, and up School Avenue to return to the library (see parade route). Make sure to head back to the square after the parade wraps up, because Santa Claus will be on hand for photos.
The displays runs through Dec. 31 and includes nightly romantic carriage rides, camel rides, pony rides, and refreshments from Jammin Java’s satellite location inside the Old Post Office building.
Pictures with Santa
Capture your favorite traditional holiday pictures with Santa in Northwest Arkansas Mall’s cheerfully decorated Center Court beginning the evening of Friday, Nov. 22 through Christmas Eve. Remember the moment with a keepsake digital photo package available in various sizes and price points.
Santa and his reindeer are also scheduled to be out on the downtown square every evening from 6 to 9 p.m. through Dec. 23, weather permitting.
Choirs on the square
Nearly a dozen local choirs are set to perform on the north side of the downtown square on various nights this holiday season. Performances are scheduled on the evenings of Dec. 3, 10, 13 and 17. See the full lineup.
The popular Gardenland Express event returns this year with model trains from the Sugar Creek Train Club and the Northwest Arkansas Garden Railway Society on display amidst a winter wonderland of lights, hot chocolate, and barrel train rides with Santa. Event times are 1 to 3 p.m. on Dec. 1, 8 and 15; and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 7 and 14.
Christmas Parade of the Ozarks
The annual Christmas Parade of the Ozarks begins at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, presented by the Springdale Benevolent Foundation and the Rodeo of the Ozarks. The Christmas spirit will come alive amidst rolling parade participants. The streets will be decked and Christmas music will fill the air.
The parade will feature bands, floats and loads of holiday cheer, and will include a special appearance by Santa, according to the event website.
Children’s Christmas Train
Children and parents can hop aboard a restored 1940s era train for a ride on the Children’s Christmas Train benefitting Northwest Arkansas children’s charities on Saturday, Dec. 7. The 40-minute ride to Johnson and back on the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad will include carolers, humorous skits, and even a visit with Santa himself! This popular event sells out quick so make sure to purchase tickets early. For more, visit childrenschristmastrain.org.
Holiday Hoopla kick-off
Santa will make his first appearance in downtown Rogers at a new event called Holiday Hoopla which kicks off at 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30. Expect live music, dancers, and a light display including a 22-foot-tall Christmas tree.
Rogers Christmas Parade
The Rogers Christmas Parade begins at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2 with nearly 100 floats, marching bands, decorated cars, scouts, dogs, choirs and more – each covered with bright Christmas lights. Expect a blizzard of fake “snow” on this year’s entries as they each try to win one of four special awards for the theme “Winter Wonderland.”
Santa on the Caboose
When Santa visits downtown Rogers, he hangs out inside the Frisco Caboose to hear what all the girls and boys want under their tree. He’ll be there from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Saturday in December. Don’t forget to bring a camera!
Lighting of the Square
The holiday season officially begins in Bentonville with the Lighting of the Square at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23. The Lighting of the Square will be followed by the Christmas Tree Lighting at the Ice Rink at Lawrence Plaza at 6:30 p.m.
Ice skating and movies at Lawrence Plaza
Lawrence Plaza will transform from a splash park to an ice skating rink beginning at noon Saturday, Nov. 23 (see rink hours). Prices are $3 per person for each skate session. Skate rental is $2 per session. Family season passes are available for $50. “Frosty’s Flicks” family movie night begins at 7:45 p.m. each Saturday from Nov. 23 through Dec. 21. First up is Polar Express (see schedule).
Bentonville Christmas Parade
The Bentonville Christmas Parade begins at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. Participants from the area will compete for best float and best walking group. Come early and stay late for the live music, food, and festivities surrounding the event.