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As soon as the first bell rings in August, kids anxiously await Christmas break. Two whole weeks off from school provides plenty of time for staying up late, sleeping in, playing video games and hanging out with friends. Between the holiday celebrations and lazy days of vacation, family time is also important during the holiday season. You are probably looking for something to do with your kids that will pique their interests and won’t be labeled lame. Carve out a day or two and try one of these 7 Christmas break adventures to share with your family.
Nothing quite sets the scene for the holidays than a trip to view the local light displays. Don your hats and gloves, fill a thermos with cocoa and sing Christmas carols at the top of your lungs while you drive through neighborhoods looking at the Christmas lights. It’s also the perfect activity to do with teens who are afraid someone may see them hanging out with their parents. Don’t have cool neighborhoods displays in your area? Check out these displays across the state.
Bird watching is a great early winter activity. When the leaves have fallen, some bird species are easier to spot. Additionally, Arkansas’s mild winters provide the perfect climate for several species of larger. birds like swans and pelicans. Bring a camera and document your finds with a printable bird-watching journal or the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Wings Over Arkansas checklist.
Photo courtesy of Petit Jean Coffeehouse.
Locally owned coffee shops are the backbone of many communities, and kids young and old will have fun tasting coffee, hot cocoa and other fun drinks, both caffeinated and not. Research some coffee shops in your local area or head off the beaten path and check out one in another part of the state.
Main Street Coffee Trail
Petit Jean Coffeehouse
Fort Smith Coffee Co.
Iron Horse Coffee
Eureka Springs Coffee House
Mylo Coffee Co.
Magnolia Coffee House
It doesn’t take long for cabin fever to set in and after a few days of being cooped up with your kids you may be ready to head out and see something new and different. Pack a picnic lunch or head to an unknown city and try something new. We make a lot of great recommendations in these articles.
Drive through and delivery pizza joints are convenient but gathering with your family around a giant pizza as you sip on mugs of frosty root beer has a certain charm. Fortunately, Arkansas has loads of delicious, locally owned pizza parlors that all have their own unique flare, style and flavor.
Kids love trains, and there is something particularly magical about trains during the holiday season. Book an excursion on the Holiday Express Train as part of the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad, then head out to see how many Arkansas train sites you can check off. You may be surprised at how many there are!
Take one last Christmas break adventure before everyone heads back to school and work on Monday. Planning a First Day Hike is a great way to see some of the beauty of Arkansas during the cooler part of the year. Many of the Arkansas State Parks are offering guided hikes or you can try out some of these treasured trails.
Lost Valley Trail | Ponca/Boxley Valley
Single Night Backpacking Trails to Ring in the New Year
Indian Rock Cave
Glory Hole Waterfall
Villines Homestead Trail
Trails at Crystal Bridges Museum
Cover photo courtesy of Amber Linn Photography.
How are you enjoying the holiday season with your family? Leave a comment or share your Christmas break adventures in our Facebook group.
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