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Christmas Parades and Events in Our Region

by Madelyn McConnell

While some might argue that Pumpkin Spice never really goes out of season, you have to admit that when the leaves fall and the wind turns cold, our thoughts turn to wearing fuzzy slippers by the fire while sipping a hot mug of peppermint cocoa. But if you’re willing to leave the house, a winter wonderland of holiday activities is on the calendar across Northeast Oklahoma and Northwest Arkansas, and we have a great list of options for you to choose from! 



Children’s Concert at Crystal Bridges
When: December 5, 6:00 – 7:00 PM
Where: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
Contact & More Info: 479-657-2335
Join Van Cliburn pianist Jenny Lin for this family concert inspired by her book, Melody’s Mostly Musical Day. Follow a child’s musical day from breakfast to bedtime featuring works from Mozart to Chopin to Gershwin to Chick Corea. This concert for the entire family was developed with Steinway and incorporates live music, props, storytelling and screening of the illustrations for each musical selection. Register at the number provided above.

A Morning with Santa
December 8, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Where: Bentonville Community Center, 1101 SW Citizens Circle
Contact & More Info: 479-696-0200
Santa Claus is coming to the Bentonville Community Center! There will be a photographer on site to take free photos of families with Santa, and you’ll also be entertained with choir music, refreshments, and assorted holiday fun! The event is free to members / $5 for non-members.

Bentonville Christmas Parade
December 15, 11:00 AM
Where: Downtown Bentonville
Contact & More Info
Thousands of people will line Main Street for the annual Christmas Parade, will you be there? Enter a float for your group or organization, or just bring the family and enjoy the show and music. From the fire station, the parade will make its way up Main Street to the Square, where it will turn left on 2nd street and end on the corner near Preacher’s Son. Don’t forget your camera!

Winter Break Wonders at Crystal Bridges
December 22 – January 4, 2019, 1:00 – 4:00 PM (11:00 AM – 2:00 PM December 24)
Where: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
Contact & More Info
Make memories at the museum over the winter school break! You’ll be able to create with artists, make buttons in the gallery, and listen to fun music together as a family with special activities each afternoon, including artmaking, creative play, puppets, dance, and more. Free, no registration required.

Zing in the New Year at the Amazeum
December 31, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Where: Scott Family Amazeum
Contact & More Info
Activities throughout the day include a photo booth, creating wishing balloons to be released during our countdown, the Hershey’s S’mores Pit (weather permitting), and a final end-of-day parade to say goodbye to 2018.


Christmas Parade
December 7th
Where: Downtown Decatur
More Info:


The Little Craft Show – Holiday Edition
November 30 – December 1
Where: Fayetteville Town Center
Contact & More Info
The eighth annual Little Craft Show returns to downtown Fayetteville with over 100 of the best independent artists, crafters and makers from across the region. This is your chance to snag a thoughtful and truly one-of-a-kind gift for your loved ones this year. In addition to the amazing shopping, you’ll also find delicious local food, a free photo booth, and tons of giveaways.

Holiday Decorations Make & Take Workshops
December 1 & 8, 1:00 – 3:00 PM
Where: Community Creative Center, 505 W Spring Street
Contact & More Info
Get the family together (6-yrs. old and up) to create ceramic holiday ornaments (12/1) and gingerbread houses (12/8). Local artists will be available to help folks of all experience levels make memories and mementos at this fun event. All supplies provided. $20 per person.

Polar Express Pajama Storytime and Bookfair
December 7, 7:00 PM
Where: Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 2646 East Joyce Boulevard
Contact & More Info
No one will fault you for trying to kill two birds with one stone as you do a little shopping while also getting into the spirit of the season with this beloved Christmas story. Free hot chocolate and a cookie from our Café and the invitation to wear your favorite cozy pajamas make it a shopping experience like no other!

Wampus Wonderland
December 7 (6:00 – 9:00 PM) and December 8 (10:00 AM – 4:00 PM)
Where: Hilton Garden Inn, 1325 N Palak Drive
Contact & More Info
A Saturday show will be free to the public but for the first time ever, a second show is being added on Friday for those interested in an exclusive shopping event and party.

A Very SoNA Christmas
December 15, 2:00 PM & 7:30 PM
Where: Walton Arts Center
Contact & More Info
The Symphony of Northwest Arkansas will present a collection of favorite sacred and secular music celebrating the magic and beauty of Christmas. The performance will feature the SoNA Singers, regional high school choirs, and special guest soloists. Single ticket prices $32, $44, $55, available online.

The Snowman: A Family Concert
When: December 16, 2:00 PM
Where: Walton Arts Center
Contact & More Info
Your favorite holiday treat returns to Walton Arts Center for a fifth year! Experience a very special screening of the award-winning film “The Snowman” as Symphony of Northwest Arkansas musicians bring to life the extraordinary score in an afternoon that is sure to enchant your little ones. Tickets available online.

Fort Smith

Fort Smith Symphony: It’s Time for Christmas
December 1, 7:30 PM
Where: ArcBest Performing Arts Center, 55 South 7th Street
Contact & More Info
This concert features a wide variety of music for the entire family performed by the full Fort Smith Symphony orchestra. Special guests include the Fort Smith Chorale, the Fort Smith Symphony’s Kool Cats Jazz quartet, as well as instrumental and vocal soloists. Expect to hear traditional holiday favorites such as Sleigh Ride, Silent Night, The Nutcracker, The Messiah, as well as music from film scores of Jesus Christ Superstar, The Polar Express, and King of Kings.

Santa Cares
December 2, 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Where: Central Mall, 5111 Rogers Avenue
Contact & More Info
Families with special needs can experience the time-honored tradition of a visit with Santa during an event created just for them! Children within every spectrum of special needs and their families are invited to a private photo session with Santa Claus during dedicated hours. Please reserve your complimentary ticket online. ONE TICKET per group/family, please.

Junior League of Fort Smith Holiday Home Tour 2018
December 2, 1:00 PM
Where: JLFS Headquarters, 311 Garrison Avenue
Contact & More Info
The Junior League of Fort Smith invites you to the 2018 Holiday Home Tour! During this unique event, you will have the opportunity to take a self-guided walking tour in several beautiful homes all throughout the Fort Smith area. For an added level of festivity, check out the exclusive VIP Toast & Tour Brunch prior to the tour. Tickets available online at the link provided.

Christmas Parade in Old Towne Van Buren
December 8, 6:30 – 8:30 PM
Where: 614 Main Street, Van Buren
Is there such a thing as too many Christmas parades? We don’t think so. Bring the family and get ready for holiday sights and sounds that will get you in the spirit as only floats and music and twinkly lights can.

2018 Christmas Honors
December 8, Family Time 8:00 – 10:30 AM / Public Ceremony 11:00 AM
Where: Fort Smith National Cemetery, 522 South 6th Street
Contact & More Info
Help transform Fort Smith’s National Cemetery as wreaths are placed on headstones to honor soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Each December, thousands of community volunteers from all over the region come together to transform the Fort Smith National Cemetery by placing one wreath on each of the thousands of headstones in honor of every man and woman’s service to our country. See website for details about wreath assembly and event schedule.

8th Annual Polar Express Trolley Ride
December 8 3:00 -7:30 PM
Where: Fort Smith Trolley Museum, 100 S 4th Street
The eighth annual Polar Express is coming! Enjoy free readings of the beloved book, “The Polar Express” along with free hot cocoa and cookies (while they last), a free ride on one of the museum’s vintage streetcars, a gift shop to browse for holiday gifts and the children get to meet Santa and have their picture taken with him. Both streetcars will be running again this year. A map of all the event locations is available on the website provided.

2018 Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis
December 9, 3:00 PM and 7:30 PM
Where: ArcBest Performing Arts Center, 55 South 7th Street
Contact & More Info
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis has been America’s favorite holiday tradition for more than 30 years. Bring the whole family to experience the magic as the spirit of the season comes alive with the signature sound of Mannheim Steamroller. Tickets available online.

Christmas in the City
December 14, 3:00 PM – 8:00 PM and December 15, 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Where: Fort Smith Convention Center, 55 S 7th Street
Contact & More Info
Welcome the sights & sounds of the Christmas season and enjoy shopping, drawings, good food & live music. You can also vote for your favorite ugly sweater contestant, to benefit local charities and sign up for a karaoke and lip sync contest. Photos with Santa will happen Saturday from noon to 3:00 PM, with photos available for purchase.


Breakfast with Santa 2018
December 1, 8:00 AM
Where: Gentry High School Cafeteria
Contact & More Info
The Lady Pioneer Volleyball team will be hosting Breakfast with Santa! The festivities include donuts, milk, holiday crafts, a cake walk, face painting, AND visiting with Santa, his elves, reindeer, and the Grinch!

Gentry’s Holiday Open House
December 8, 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM and December 9, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Where: The Carl Gym, the intersection of Collins and Main, Gentry
Contact & More Info
You can shop over thirty vendors selling boutique clothing, jewelry, crafts, and woodwork. Save a few extra dollars for the raffles, door prizes, food, & activities. There will also be a coat and glove drive, so clean out those closets before you go!

Christmas Around the World Parade
December 8, 6:30 – 7:30 PM
Where: Main Street
Bring the kids and enjoy an old-fashioned small-town Christmas parade in downtown Gentry.


Gravette Christmas Parade and Celebration
December 1, 4:30 – 6:30 PM
Where: Downtown Gravette
Contact & More Info
The theme of this year’s parade is ‘Sounds of the Season’ and trophies will be awarded to entries for best use of lights, best use of the theme, and most festive entry. Before the parade, warm up in the library with hot cider and cookies. Immediately following the parade, the Gravette Historical Museum will present an open house featuring Santa, cookies, and other activities including the police versus fire chili cook-off. Proceeds from the cook-off go to the winner’s charity of choice. The GPD is cooking for Shop with a Cop and the GFD is cooking for Christmas for Kids. 

Santa Claus is coming to The Gym!
December 1, 10:30 AM
Where: The Gravette Gym, 109 Main Street, SE
Contact & More Info
Santa Claus is coming to town!! Come get your pictures and visit in plenty of time to get your Christmas wishes on his to-do list. Pictures will be $5 each.


Cocoa in the Park
December 1, noon to 8:00 PM and December 2, noon to 4:00 PM
Where: Centennial Park, Downtown Rogers
You can enjoy free hot cocoa and candy canes in Centennial Park, stroll down 1st Street and stop to enjoy beautiful holiday decorations. There will be several photo opportunities to capture some great family memories and all donations for cocoa and candy canes will go to the Arkansas Children’s Foundation.

Rogers Christmas Parade
December 7, 6:00 – 9:00 PM
Where: Downtown Rogers
This year’s theme is Simply Christmas. Enjoy floats created by local businesses and organizations and music of the season in beautiful downtown Rogers.

Pajama Storytime and Activities Featuring The Polar Express
December 7, 7:00 PM
Where: Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Rogers, 261 North 46th Street
Join us for this beloved Christmas story featuring a young boy who is welcomed aboard on a magical trip to the North Pole where he gets to make his Christmas wish. Get free hot chocolate and a cookie from our Café, and don’t forget to wear your favorite cozy pajamas.

The Nutcracker
December 8, 7:00 PM and December 9, 2:00 PM
Where: Rogers High School
Northwest Arkansas Regional Dance Company will perform this classic ballet that’s sure to delight everyone in the family. All tickets are general admission and can be purchased at the door or in advance at Ballet Westside, 101 E Chestnut St., Rogers.

Siloam Springs

2018 Christmas Parade
December 1, 5:30 – 7:30 PM
Where: Downtown Siloam Springs
Contact & More Info
Come join the Heritage League of Siloam Springs for the annual Christmas Parade in Siloam Springs. The fifty-year-old tradition will begin after Mayor John Mark Turner welcomes the holiday spirit by kicking off  “Light Up Siloam Springs”. Parade route and more info available online.

Santa at the Library
December 8, 10:00 – 11:00 AM
Where: Siloam Springs Public Library, 205 E. Jefferson Street
Contact & More Info
Santa will be available to meet the kiddos and listen to all their Christmas wishes! Don’t forget to bring a camera to capture all the memories.



Santa Night!
December 6, 5:00 – 7:00 PM
Where: Grove Public Library, 1150 Neo Loop
Contact & More Info
This free family event has something for everyone! Have your photo taken with Santa, make a holiday craft, decorate cookies, and check out the book giveaway. Follow the event on Facebook for more details to come.

Gateway to Grand Lake Christmas Parade
December 7, 6:30 PM
Where: South Grand Lake Airport
Get in the spirit of the holiday with this fun parade featuring community organizations. There will be candy, cookies and hot chocolate for everyone available after the parade in the Ketchum High School Commons, and an awards ceremony will celebrate the best floats in the parade!

Grove Gingerbread Christmas Parade
December 9, 4:00 – 6:00 PM
Where: Grove City Hall, 104 W 3rd Street
Contact & More Info
Enjoy one of the largest Christmas parades in the area at the annual Grove Lighted Christmas Parade. Held as part of the Grove Gingerbread Christmas Festival, this fantastic holiday parade features over 75 lighted floats, bands and a variety of organizations all decked out for the Christmas season. The streets of downtown Grove will come to life on this special night to celebrate the holidays.

Jingle Bell 5K Fun Run
When:  Saturday, December 8, 7:00 – 9:30 AM
Where: 103 W 4th Street
Contact & More Info
Put on your finest holiday jogging attire and join the 2018 Jingle Bell 5K Fun Run. Medals are given for best times and plaques for best costumes! Free shirt for early registrants, so hop over there and sign up!


Jay Christmas Parade
December 8, 2:00 – 3:00 PM
Where: Main Street, Jay, OK
Celebrate the holiday season with a downtown Christmas parade! Local dignitaries, decorated vehicles and holiday-themed floats will make their way through the streets of downtown Jay in this fun event for all ages.


Twin Bridges Park of Lights
November 22 – December 30
Where: Twin Bridges Park, Fairland, OK
Contact & More Info
Dress warmly for the brisk winter chill and bring the family out for a drive through this annual Christmas lights display, set up in the Twin Bridges area at Grand Lake State Park. This holiday spectacle features a dazzling collection of over forty brightly lit holiday displays, making it one of the largest displays of twinkling Christmas lights in the area. Santa Claus will make an appearance December 15th and 22nd and free hot dogs and drinks on those nights as well. Admission is free, although donations are appreciated.

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