How To Spend a Weekend in Bentonville, AR with Kids

Octopus Mural in Bentonville Arkansas
Octopus Mural in Bentonville Arkansas

Looking for a fun weekend getaway for you and your family? Then look no further than Bentonville, AR! Our family spent three days exploring all the city has to offer and in my humble opinion, it’s the perfect destination for an extended/holiday weekend. 

Want to replicate our weekend of fun? Follow this jam packed itinerary for a fun weekend in Bentonville, AR with kids!

FRIDAY

Downtown Public Art Walk

Public art is such a dynamic reflection of a city, its culture, and its sense of community. We absolutely love all things street art and Bentonville did not disappoint.  In fact, the city is home to 100 public pieces of art and that list continues to grow. Take the kids on the hunt for the blue octopus of Bentonville, the boombox of 8th Street, and the heart(land) of Main Street by following Bentonville’s Public Art Map.

Osage Park

Bentonville is home to some beautifully landscaped (and awesomely family-friendly) parks. If you’re looking for a place to enjoy nature while letting the kids blow off some steam, Osage Park is it. Located in the heart of Bentonville, it’s 12 acres of wetland boardwalks and outdoor recreation. The family can learn archery at The Quiver Archery Range, play a round of pickleball, and grab some treats from local eatery food trucks in the parking lot.

Osage Park

Scott Family Amazeum

End your first day in Bentonville by exploring the Scott Family Amazeum.  It’s an entire educational funhouse dedicated to children but I guarantee it is tons of fun for everyone in the family. All of the exhibits in this 50,000 square feet megaplex are interactive and designed to spark curiosity and learning. Here the family can climb a giant beanstalk, explore an “underground” cave, learn the science of water (and splash in it), and so much more.

SATURDAY

Bentonville Farmer’s Market on the Square

Start your second day in Bentonville, AR with a visit to their Saturday morning farmer’s market in quintessential downtown. Not only are there wares from local farms and eateries but crafts from artisans all over the city. From Gifted Color’s adorable paint and crayon kits to home scents from The Evergreene Heart, there’s plenty to see and do here for the family.

Walmart Museum + Spark Soda Fountain Cafe

If you visit Bentonville without paying homage to Walmart, did you even go? Check out the Walmart Museum in downtown Bentonville where you can learn all about the history of the store, its founder, and its future plans for the city. You can even see old sales pages and find out the cost of bread in the 1970s.  Best of all, admission to this fun museum is completely free!

When you’re done exploring the Walmart Museum, pop into the Spark Soda Fountain Cafe. It’s right at the exit to the museum and features 10 flavors of ice cream (including a custom flavor only found there). The family can also dine on cafe classics like nachos, soft pretzels, and popcorn.  Even more impressive– The prices are as classic as the food with a single scoop of ice cream only costing a little over $1.00!

Walmart Museum

Coler Mountain Bike Preserve

Burn off all that ice cream at the Coler Mountain Bike Preserve. With more than 17 miles of biking trails with all kinds of jumps for all ages, it is the perfect place to shred some dirt under your bike wheels. Bentonville is, after all, the mountain bike capital of the world. But it’s all totally walkable if you’d prefer to explore on foot too. While you’re there, stop by Airship, an open air coffee shop with plenty of drinks and eats to refuel for the day.

SUNDAY

Crystal Bridges Museum

The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is more than just an art museum, it’s an immersive creative experience for the entire family. We, of course, enjoyed every part of our visit to Bentonville, but this was hands down our favorite. You’ll want to give yourself at least a half day to fully enjoy the museum so this activity is on a day of its own.

The museum is built within 120 acres of Ozark forest so there is plenty to see and do here. The venue itself is beautifully designed with space for families to wander and explore. The exhibits are carefully curated so that you feel something new with each room you walk into.  Be sure to grab the art coloring sheets at the entrance to the museum so that the family can tap into their artistic creativity as you roam. You can also stop by The Studio, a creative hub designed especially for kids with drop in art making classes, a reading nook, craft tables, and more.

Appreciation of nature is a big part of the museum (just like the city itself) so there are also more than 5 miles of kid-friendly walking trails to explore around Crystal Bridges. These art trails feature interactive art exhibits within the beauty of the great outdoors. There is also an app with information on the local flora, Arkansas quartz crystals, town springs, and waterways.

Did I mention that general admission to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is free? Well, it is!

We The People Mural at Crystal Bridges
Crystal Bridges Museum of Art

The Momentary

Your final day in Bentonville is all about art as we continue the artistic experience with a visit to The Momentary. This contemporary art space is a satellite campus to the Crystal Bridges Museum and is an interesting space to explore especially for older children. All of the exhibits are housed in and around this converted warehouse giving it the feel of an art themed playground. They also offer special music, film, and even culinary performances at The Momentary.  

MUST EAT PLACES IN BENTONVILLE, AR

A weekend in Bentonville isn’t complete without the eats!  Here are some must try eateries in the city:

  • 8th Street Market: Visit this food court in downtown Bentonville to experience food from all over the world. From artisan chocolates to delicious tacos, there’s something for everyone in the family.
  • Louise at Thaden Field: Snag a seat by the window at this boutique restaurant for a special view with your dinner. Housed at an actual aviation center, the kids will love watching planes take off and land during your meal.
  • Buttered Biscuit:  Treat yourself (and the family) to the delights of a Southern breakfast with classics like chicken and waffles, strawberry cheesecake pancakes (a personal favorite), and biscuits with gravy.
  • Onyx Coffee Lab: Enjoy an expertly crafted coffee creation at Onyx Coffee Lab. Their Onyx Delight with honey, cinnamon, and vanilla was hailed as one of the best espresso drinks my husband Phil has ever had. There’s also pastries and non-espresso drinks for the rest of the family.

With this weekend itinerary, you and the family are sure to have an amazing time exploring the city. Whether you’re looking for a weekend of art, food, fun or all of the above, Bentonville, AR is the perfect weekend getaway for your family! 

Author Bio: Montoya Hudson is a travel-loving wife, mother, and stepmother who raises her beautiful tween queens in Houston, TX.  She is the primary voice behind her family's travel platform The Spring Break Family where they share practical tips for families, heritage travel, and ways to make travel educational. You can follow their adventures on Instagram: @thespringbreakfamily.