From historical sites to a surprising variety of cultural attractions and much more, finding things to do on your Springdale, Arkansas trip shouldn’t be a problem.
Coming in just behind Fayetteville, Springdale is the state’s fourth-largest city, and was given its name in 1872 with the addition of a new post office.
The city is nestled deep in the Ozark Mountains, which are the region’s oldest and most undisturbed tracts of forested mountains.
The mountains, rivers, and lakes that dot the areas are magnets to local hunters, fisherman, and all-around outdoor enthusiasts.
Below are 14 of the best things to do in Springdale.
1. Shiloh Museum of Ozark History
For those Arkansas visitors who aren’t exactly knowledgeable about the local history, a visit to the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History would be a great way to get up-to-speed and have a wonderful time in the process.
The museum is located on West Johnson Avenue in Springdale. Its exhibits, artifacts, and displays will take guests on a historic trip back to a time when the area around Springdale was the wild frontier, much of which hadn’t been explored or settled.
Much of the museum’s focus is on the lives of the residents, many of whom lived in rough conditions and underwent amazing hardships to eke out their livings in the then-dangerous area.
2. Springdale Farmer’s Market
There’s no better place to go when visiting a new area than the local farmer’s market.
They’re great places to meet locals, pick-up lots of unique products you won’t find anywhere else and have a good time.
Springdale Farmers Market has been the area’s go-to open-air market for nearly 20 years and is generally open from May until October.
It’s located on East Emma Avenue near the Jones Center, which is just off Highway 265.
The market is known for its fresh fruits and produce, baked goods and other prepared foods, and locally-made body and health products as well.
3. Arts Center of the Ozarks
The Arts Center of the Ozarks is located on South Main Street in downtown Springdale and is the city’s preeminent destination for the performing arts.
From classical to folk music, and from theater to musicals, the center hosts a diverse array of productions throughout the year, so it’s a favorite place for those with varied interests.
Its relatively small size fosters personal and intimate experiences that are often missing when visiting larger venues. Since it’s primarily managed and produced by locals, it’s a great way to support them and have a few hours of entertainment in the process.
4. The Jones Center
The Jones Center is central Arkansas’ number one destination for indoor recreation that’s available year-round regardless of the weather.
The center sports an ice-skating rink, two swimming pools, a full gymnasium and fitness center, and rooms that are available to rent as well.
Throughout the year, the staff offer educational and instructional classes for children and adults; they also host family-friendly events on a wide array of topics.
The best way to keep informed is by checking their website regularly. If you’re in town for just a day or two, it’s possible to purchase an inexpensive day-use pass.
5. Ozark Climbing Gym
Indoor rock climbing has become very popular in recent years, mainly because it’s excellent exercise, relatively inexpensive, and you don’t need to subject yourself to the harsh elements to have a great time.
For those who speak the technical jargon, Ozark Climbing Gym is more accurately described as a bouldering facility, but regardless of your fitness or skill level, they have a coach and climbing area that’ll be right for you.
Indoor climbing is very safe since everyone wears a rope and harness. The facility is a great place for birthday parties or team building exercises.
It’s located on East Robinson Avenue.
6. The Grove Comedy Club & Entertainment Complex
If you’ve spent a long day in the beautiful Arkansas wilderness or hoofing it around town seeing all the sights, then an evening at the Grove Comedy Club and Entertainment Complex would be a great way to end the day.
With live entertainment of all kinds, The Grove is known for its good food too. For those who still have some energy left in their reserve tanks, there are even outdoor activities like beach-style volleyball.
Though it’s primarily known for its comedy acts, the complex is also a favorite live music venue. It’s located on South Bloomington Avenue in the nearby town of Lowell.
7. Core Brewing and Distilling Company
Craft brews and spirits are gaining popularity all over the country.
They’re made locally by local artisans and entrepreneurs and are usually heartier and tastier than most of the nationally distributed mega-brands.
Core Brewing and Distilling Company is part brewery, part bar, and part tasting room; it is open for tours on Saturday afternoons.
Guests will get a fascinating insight into the worlds of brewing and distilling, and get to sample some of the products as well.
Located on Lowell Road, it’s a great place to watch a game or just relax and chat with friends.
8. Arvest Ballpark
Central Arkansas is home to a minor league baseball team called the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, and despite the distance between them, they’re a farm team for the Kansas City Royals.
If you’re a baseball fan but would rather not pay $9 for a beer and $8 for a hot dog like you would at major league games, the Arvest Ballpark is a great place to see an exciting game full of talented athletes without breaking the bank.
The season includes more than 130 games and lasts from early April into the long Labor Day weekend.
The park is located on south 56th Street in Lowell.
9. Tontitown Winery
Tontitown Winery is one of the region’s premier destination for live outdoor entertainment, gourmet food with a twist, and a host of amazingly delicious varietals of locally-made wine.
If you’re looking to experience all the best that central Arkansas has to offer, there’s no better venue.
The winery hosts a diverse line-up of performers, so it’s usually something different every weekend, especially in the spring, summer and early fall when the weather is at its best.
They’re located on Barrington Road in nearby Tontitown. Whether you’re a wine aficionado or just looking to breathe some fresh air and meet a few locals, it’s the place to be.
10. Arkansas & Missouri Railroad
The Arkansas and Missouri Railroad is a bit of history that’s still operating much the way it was in centuries past.
Trains are fun for everyone no matter their age or interests, and there’s really no better way to see the sprawling country than through the window of a romantic train car.
Most trips are relatively short at about an hour and go to a nearby town and back. The railroad is especially festive during the holiday season when the cars and locomotive are decorated.
The rides are great any time of the year, but consider a mid to late fall trip when the Ozark’s trees are turning vibrant colors and shedding their leaves.
11. Botanical Garden of the Ozarks
Located on North Crossover Road, the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks is the only place of its kind in the region.
Comprised of a dozen individually themed gardens that are full of an amazing variety of plant, tree and wildflower species, the gardens are full of both native and non-native species.
Of course, the gardens are the highlight, but the butterfly house often steals the spotlight, especially when the weather outside isn’t particularly inviting.
The facility hosts events and shows throughout the year and portions are even rentable for birthday parties and weddings.
Check out their website for specifics.
12. Me and the Flea Market
For those hard to find items that you can’t locate elsewhere, a trip to the city’s flea market would be a wise stop.
In addition to rare and unique items, flea markets are full of antique gems. If you’ve got the patience to search and engage in a little friendly wheeling and dealing, you may walk away with a one of a kind piece.
Me and the Flea Market is located on North Thompson Street and is a particularly good place to visit if you’re looking for used tools, housewares, clothes and vinyl records, but the sky is the limit.
13. Sassafras Springs Vineyard
Sassafras Springs Vineyard is one of the Ozark region’s most popular wineries.
In addition to their delicious wines, they also grow their own grapes in a scenic vineyard and have facilities that are available to rent for weddings, family reunions, and birthday parties.
Check out their website for a schedule of their daily tastings, and keep in mind that they’re closed on Mondays.
Friday and Saturday nights are reserved for live entertainment; if the weather cooperates, it’s possible to eat outside on their patio.
If you’d rather just a snack with your wine, cheese and meat trays are available.
14. Parsons Stadium
Though it’s usually associated with the Rodeo of the Ozarks, Parsons Stadium hosts a lot of other great events throughout the year.
For the adrenaline junkies out there, there’s the Ozark Demolition Derby and assorted monster truck shows.
Though they won’t win any awards for their cultural or intellectual value, most folks enjoy drinking a cold beer or four and watching crazy people in beat-up cars attempt to T-bone their competitors, so it’s good wholesome family-friendly fun.
If you’re lucky enough to catch the rodeo here, be sure to stick around for the impressive fireworks display at the end.