2018 Northwest Arkansas Summer Activities Guide

We made it to summer!

Let me lift my coconut La Croix in cheers to us!

While we’re all cheering for lazier mornings and slower paced summer days, we’re often still scrambling to schedule our kids summer activities to avoid the dreaded:

“I’m so bored!”

Fortunately, here at NWAMB, we’ve made a fun flowchart for your summer activity woes. Whether you want to spend money or not, whether you’re looking for educational or mindless entertainment, whether you’re desiring technologically interactive or carefree and old school, we have activities for just about anything you’re looking for. Bookmark, tag, and keep this chart handy and post pictures and tag us along the way as pursue your most favorite summer adventures!


  • Set up your sprinkler for some easy water fun!
  • Does your car need a good wash? Get out some clean wash clothes and a bucket of soapy water and let your kids wash the car! They can wash their bikes, the garage door, and themselves while they’re at it, too!
  • Want to get a little outdoorsy? Plant some flowers, some oregano, or other easy veggies and show your kids how to water and grow their own plants!
  • Need some fun (and cheap) and creative ideas for multiple ages? Check out this super easy Summer Water Play Activities for All Ages!



It’s an Outdoor Day!

  • Head to the playground! Here are our favorites in Bentonville,  Rogers, and  Fayetteville.
  • Get out into nature! Arkansas has thousands of miles of hiking and bike trails, with new trails being built everyday! Whether it’s a leisurely family hike, a mountain biking trek, or even a walking trail, NWA has over 200 miles close to home. If you’re up for a day trip, check out this roadmap for all the trails located in the State of Arkansas.
  • Curious just about historical parks and sites? The Ozarks of Arkansas are full of historical landmarks, archaeology and historical buildings. Plan weekly adventures and hit all of these historical sites this summer!

Cleaning Day!

  • Go clean those rooms, kiddos! Woohoo!!
  • Make a game of it and time yourself. See who can clean the fastest; who can find the most toys under the bed, and or who can hang their clothes up the fastest! Reward them with homemade ice cream sundaes, rice krispy treats or even popsicles!
  • Have a picnic snack! Fill up some snack cups or baggies with snacks, and grab a blanket. Find a cozy, shady spot and enjoy a little outdoor nourishment!
  • Let the kids cook! Give your kids as much freedom as their development allows, and they might surprise you with what they are capable of! 
  • Need some recipe inspiration? Try these amazing  grilled pesto chicken skewers, or grab some coconut milk, pineapples and rum extract and make virgin pina coladas!
  • Berry Picking? We have a host of berry farms around NWA that grow all the favorites. Check out this cute list of berry farms that are ripe for the pickin’.
  • Ride bikes in your driveway or go for walk/roll around the block.
  • Play hide-and-seek, Kick the Can, Capture the Flag, or another classic neighborhood game.
  • Books on a Blanket: gather up your favorite books and a picnic blanket, and head outside for story time in the breeze. 
  • Toys outside: Let your child choose some (washable) inside toys to take outside to play with. Farm animals in the grass? Monster trucks in the dirt? Baby stroller on the sidewalk? The possibilities are endless!

Go ahead and mark your calendars now for these awesome local events!

Screen time! Follow your family’s rules for how much time each child is allowed. 

  • Movie Day! Pick a movie everyone can agree on and snuggle up. ( Tip: To take it up a notch, all local Malco theaters sell their popcorn by the trashbag size (yes! TRASHBAG) for $20! Grab some movie theater popcorn, go to Walmart and grab $0.99 boxes of movie theater candy and provide the full experience).
  • Computer game! Check if your child’s school has apps or programs they use to help your child practice reading or math skills. 
  • If you have an iPad, smartphone, or tablet, choose a favorite game or app to enjoy.
  • Alone time for everyone! Go to your rooms, read a book, and enjoy some peace and quiet.
  • Gather around the table and play some board or card games!
  • Get out some polish and paint your fingernails or toes in a fun summer color.
  • Art time! You can choose markers, crayons, pencils, paint, glue, scissors, or any other materials you have. Make your own creation. 
  • Everyone loves snail mail! Remind your kids of the art of letter writing. Choose a friend or relative and make a card you can mail!
  • Everyone get on your swimsuits! It’s time to clean the floor! Fill up a bucket with soapy water, grab a wash cloth, and get scrubbing! Depending on the type of flooring you have, you may want to use a vinegar-water solution in a spray bottle, or a store-bought cleaner that is appropriate for your floor. Stay away from nasty chemicals for this activity, though! 
  • Wood floor problems? Not to fear! Have them clean the bathroom floors or entryway tiled areas. (Bonus way to make it more fun–put on a book on tape or allow them to use an ipod or Mp3 player with stories on tape). 
  • Play hide-and-seek! It’s the game that’s fun for the whole family!
  • Dance party! Crank up the tunes and bust a move.
  • Indoor camping! Set up a small tent or build a fort, and then fill it with books, games, and toys. When the sun goes down, turn out the lights and use flashlights! 
  • Get your zoom on at Fast Lanes!
  • There’s no better place to spend the day inside than at the Amazeum.
  • Catch a flick at one of our local theaters!
  • The Ozark Climbing Gym in Springdale is a fantastic place for kids to get exercise and have a blast! Only have toddlers? No problem! Check out open gym at local pediatric gymnastics places. 
  • Drive to the Prairie Grove Battlefield and do the guided walking tour and take a tour through the Morrow and Latta houses which served as Confederate headquarters during the battles at Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove. Word on the street is there may even be a geocache or two on the grounds just waiting to be found!
  • Are you an animal lover? Check out Gentry’s Drive Thru Wilderness Safari. They have the car tour and then petting areas throughout the grounds. Pack a picnic lunch and eat at the pavilion!

Use our hashtag #NWAMBfamilyfun to keep us connected to all your summer fun!

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