Northwest Itinerary E:
Corridor of Holiday Lights
The string of cities along the Interstate 49 corridor brings you bright lights amid big city fun. Fayetteville and Bentonville, in particular, are experts at putting you in the holiday spirit. Start off right by attending the Lights of the Ozarks ceremony on the Fayetteville square on November 17. If you miss the incredibly warm and fuzzy lighting of the square, you can catch it any night through New Year’s. This is the 22nd year for this popular event, which has expanded to include Dickson Street. Another option is in Bentonville for their lighting ceremony on November 17, along with a parade and ice skating on an outdoor rink.
- Roll into Fayetteville in time for an early lunch. Your dining options are numerous and diverse. Choose something Uptown by the Northwest Arkansas Mall; a local joint in the Midtown, or classic eateries Downtown.
- Spend the afternoon visiting the Clinton House Museum (where Bill and Hillary Clinton were married and lived), the Arkansas Air & Military Museum, nearby artsy Terra Studios, or one (or two) of the microbreweries on the city’s new Ale Trail.
- Grab an early dinner and head to the Fayetteville Square to enjoy the festivities of the lighting ceremony, which includes a parade, caroling and pony, camel, and carriage rides. Before the activities get started you can enjoy the unique boutiques with storefronts on the square, along with great art at Art Ventures.
- After you admire the Fayetteville Christmas lights, savor some end-of-the-evening beverages at several area restaurants and bars along Block Street (which leads onto the square) or Dickson Street just a few blocks away.
- Spend the night at The Chancellor hotel, located just off the square, or at numerous other lodging options in Fayetteville.
- Make your way north on I-49 to Bentonville.
- Your first stop is Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. The museum’s permanent collection spans five centuries of American masterworks from the Colonial era to the current day. The museum’s restaurant, Eleven, is a great place for lunch or dinner. Don’t miss shopping in the museum store.
- While Bentonville also has a variety of restaurants to choose from, you could head to the square for an early meal at one of the exciting new offerings. Take the time to stop in Walmart Museum or some of the shops.
- The Lighting of the Square takes place at 6 p.m. on November 17. Don’t miss ice skating at Lawrence Plaza just off the square from November 18 -January 15. And if you can’t make the lighting ceremony, note that the Bentonville Holiday Parade is one of the largest daytime parades in the state starting at 11 a.m. on December 9.
- When you’re ready for bed, walk on over to 21C Museum Hotel, a boutique hotel that’s home to The Hive restaurant and iconic Green Penguins. If you don’t stay here, at least go see the contemporary art museum.
- Bentonville has numerous lodging options as well. numerous lodging options as well.
- Spend your morning at the Museum of Native American History before heading home.
- Note: The Holiday Hoopla in Rogers kicks off December 1. So you can add this to your itinerary if you’re visiting after that date and have three wonderful city light displays to enjoy. Add Siloam Springs to the mix if you visit December 2 or after.
For more information regarding Fayetteville Christmas lights, contact Hazel Hernandez at 479-521-5776 or visit TheLightsoftheOzarks.com. For Bentonville, contact Bianca Montoya at 800-410-2535 or visit Bentonville.org. For more information on Rogers, call Jessica Rush at 479-936-5487 or visit MainStreetRogers.com.