This post is sponsored by Crystal Bridges. All opinions are my own.
If you live in St. Louis, you’ll find that people always ask where is a fun weekend getaway that’s a 4-5 hours away. Most of the time you’ll get Kansas City, Branson, Chicago or Nashville, but have you ever considered going south? I’ve had the privilege of going to Bentonville, Arkansas a few times over the past few years from blogging and I always love visiting. This quaint little town while home to the headquarters of Walmart has a true hometown feeling. There is a great food scene, it’s super family friendly and home to one of the most amazing museums I’ve ever been to, Crystal Bridges.
Our goal as a family this year was to do a lot more summer travel and our first stop when school got out was Crystal Bridges. Hattie and I along with our cousins had a fun girls weekend. If you’re thinking a museum isn’t very kid friendly, then think again. We made a whole day out of the museum and left the girls educated, asking questions and more interested in art.
What is Crystal Bridges
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is an amazing museum tucked into 120-acres of wooded miles of trails with a world class collection of American Art and gorgeous architecture. This museum is perfect for children and adults. The cost, for the museum and trails, is completely free too. We had the opportunity to spend a day at the Museum, and it did not disappoint.
The museum is the newest American Art Museum to open in more than a generation. Since they opened in 2011, there have been over 4.2 million visitors to see what Crystal Bridges is all about. With over 4 miles of walking trails, there is something for everyone, and the museum’s mission is “to welcome ALL in a setting that unites art and nature”.
In addition to the the permanent, there are a large variety of temporary exhibitions each year. Spoiler alert- one was our absolute favorite of the whole trip! Let’s dive into our favorite parts of the museum.
4 Kid Friendly Activities
While the museum is open to all, there may be some areas that are more suitable for children. Here are some of our favorite places.
The Studio – Let your child’s creative juices run wild. We went a couple of times in here letting the girls create art, put on puppet shows and have some quiet coloring time. This is a great place to pop into after you’ve been walking outside for a bit. There is a family restroom as well. There is also someone on site to help with anything that we may need.
Color Field – This outdoor sculpture exhibition was probably our favorite stop of the day. We took the long loop around to experience all of the bright and fun art. We even got to meet one of the artists who was there. The Color Field was a walk in the woods with unique and creative art all along the way.
The girls got to get their photo taken with the artist Typoe. He was thrilled the girls loved the bright colors. It was so warm and inviting to see.
Scavenger Hunts – When you get to the Museum and check in, be sure to pick up a family guide. There is a scavenger hunt and well as opportunities to encourage your kids to keep their eyes open in the museum. The girls loved having an interactive activity while walking through the art.
Forest Concert Series – After a quick rest and dinner, we headed back to Crystal Bridges for The Forest Concert Series. The girls had a blast. A short walk back into where the Color Field was and there was a full stage set up and we got to see Yarn live. The girls had a great time dancing to the music. During the summer, there will be a concert every Saturday at the North Forest between now and July 27th. Tickets are $12. Bonus, there is a food truck and a Popsicle stand for a sweet treat.
This was a great way to end our day. The girls had a great day learning and appreciating art.
Other Things to Do in Bentonville
We had the opportunity to experience Bentonville in addition to spending the day at Crystal Bridges. Here are some other things we checked out!
- The Walmart Museum – Stop by and learn a little more about Walton’s 5 & 10 gallery and have a scoop of ice cream at the Spark Cafe Soda Fountain.
- Bentonville Town Square – we were down over the weekend and Bentonville has an amazing Farmer’s Market. We had a chance to walk through and it looked amazing. I wish we could have stayed longer, because there was so much to see!
- Lawrence Plaza Splash Pad – After a busy morning of learning, the girls needed to run, and they had a blast at the splash pad. One block from the hotel, it was the perfect way to burn some energy.
- 21c Museum – We stayed at this amazing hotel. The museum is for a mature audience, but the hotel was lovely and very accommodating.
Overall, we left a little piece of our heart in Bentonville. If you’re looking for a fun, family friendly trip, then definitely consider making a trip down. Have you been to Bentonville, Arkansas and Crystal Bridges before?