Family Guide to Fayetteville
It’s Razorback season in Northwest Arkansas, and if you are headed to a game with the kids in tow, or just heading north to take in the Ozarks this fall, there is plenty to do for the whole family!
By Jessica DeBari
Everyone knows about the Scott Family Amazeum and Crystal Bridges by now, so what do you do if you don’t want to drive all over Northwest Arkansas for the weekend? I live and work in downtown Fayetteville and have two little boys who need constant entertainment, so let’s walk through one of my family’s ideal fall weekends in Fayetteville:
Start your Saturday at the Fayetteville farmers market, of course! It’s open through October, and is always packed with music, food, fresh delights and happy people. The nearby Little Bread Company has the best bagels in the south, (in the opinion of this former New Yorker and bagel snob).
After breakfast, if you so happen to have an aerial enthusiast in your midst (both of my boys are obsessed with planes), head down to the Arkansas Air and Military Museum on the south side of town. With two hangars full of planes, helicopters and countless rare memorabilia, this museum will prove a fascinating experience for history buffs and kids alike.
Hit up The Farmer's Table on your way back from the air museum. With an incredible menu of fresh, farm-to-table delights, this cozy restaurant is very family friendly; it almost feels like going to eat at your grandma’s house!
If you want to burn up some energy after lunch, head over to the Mt. Kessler trailhead. This park has something for everyone, with numerous hiking trails of varying difficulty, a brand new extensive playground, and sweeping views of the Boston Mountains all around.
If the weather is nice, for dinner head uptown to JJ’s Bar and Grill, the JBGB! They have a large outdoor seating area with great, local beers and a large enclosed playground for the kids to play in, so you can actually relax while you eat and drink!
For a sweet breakfast head over to the up-and-coming Mill district with some delicious granola and fruit bowls at Mamaka, a fantastically indulgent experience in a breezy indoor/outdoor space with swings for the littles! They have smoothies that would rival the best shake joint.
The bike trails in Fayetteville are a beautiful experience, and they can get you absolutely everywhere without any traffic. If you don’t bring bikes there are several rental places, but the widest selection of bikes for the whole family is at Phat Tire.
Once you are on your bikes, head toward Lake Fayetteville on the bike trail. The trail is very safe for children. The trail follows a streambed, which keeps your ride cooler and allows for fantastic views along the way. Once at Lake Fayetteville you can either circle the lake or go directly to the Botanical Gardens, where you will find beautiful, imaginative play gardens and spaces for the kids.
For lunch, stop at Apple Blossom, a brewery and restaurant right by Lake Fayetteville. With an extensive menu of local brews and enough space and deck area for loud families and bikes, it’s one of our favorite stops on a bike-riding day.
A last stop on your way biking back to Phat Tire should definitely be the Puritan Coffee & Beer and Burton’s Creamery—they are an ice cream and brew duo newly built in the Uptown Apartments. It’s the perfect way to end a bike ride, and the kids can try out the singing swings while there!