Five fun fall break activities

It’s finally THAT time of year when all seems cozy, cool and scary.

To commemorate that the fall season has finally arrived, here are some activities that just you or your friends can take part in; whether it’s around our Natural State, in your own home with a pumpkin spice latte.

    1. Fun, seasonal festivals: Get ready to warm up in the springs of Eureka Springs and check out Hillberry: The Harvest Moon Festival, a predominately bluegrass-music festival held Oct. 11-13th featuring some local and out of state bands such as Railroad Earth, mandolinist Sam Bush and guitarist Billy Strings. However, if bluegrass isn’t your thing don’t worry, because you can also find entertainment at the annual Fall Fun Festival at Petit Jean State Park on Oct. 27. This festival includes family-friendly and nature-focused activities, and even welcomes costumes! If you enjoy going to festivals because of the food , the 8th annual World Cheese Dip Competition is Oct. 20 from noon to 4 at the Clinton Presidential Center grounds. This event allows you to taste and sample some of the world’s best cheese dips from amateurs and professionals. Early bird tickets can be purchased online for $10 (yes, ALL you can eat for $10!), and kids six and under get in free.
    2. Events to get you in the spooky spirit: If you’re wanting a scare, or simply wanting to explore your fear levels, then this section is for you. Starting Oct. 6 and taking place every Saturday and Sunday until the end of the month, Magic Springs hosts “Magic Screams at Magic Springs”. There are activities for all ages here as you and your friends enjoy numerous haunted houses, a trick-or-treat trail for kids, a fright flicks movie trail, family contests and more. However, if you want a real scare to get you ready for Halloween, then look no further than the Fear Factory 501, located in Jacksonville, open on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the month of October. Get ready to experience 3-D haunted attractions, petrifying monsters, settings and props. If you want to experience some real haunted action, then check out the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs. Opened as a hotel in in 1886, it is now considered one of “America’s Most Haunted Hotel[s]” where you can stay in rooms such as Room 218 that is said to be haunted by an apparition dubbed “Michael”. Ghost tours are even available, if you dare!
    3. Hiking and nature hideaways: Arkansas is known for its colorful and unique leaf foliage that can melt any visitor’s heart. You can see the changes for yourself when you visit popular parks and hiking trail areas such as Petit Jean State Park, the Ozark National Forest, Devil’s Den State Park and the Buffalo National River. Some trails that Arkansans can’t get enough of are some you may have never even heard of. Taking the Mount Nebo Rim Trail will allow you a magical vantage point to catch that picture-worthy sunrise and sunset, and you may even spot deer that live and roam freely on top of the mountain and park. A lesser-known waterfall called Pam’s Grotto Falls is just a half-mile hike in the Haw Creek Falls Recreation Area and features edgy boulders, mossy overhangs, and plenty of privacy for you to enjoy the fall air (slowly, but surely) sweeping into the state.
    4. Pumpkin patches, mazes, and more: If you’re ready to get started on your pumpkin carving and flannel-wearing ways, then don’t miss out on the opportunity to check out hot-spots around the state that offer family fun and heritage history lessons. Throughout entire month of October, the Arkansas Frontier in Quitman gives you the opportunity to not only pick your own pumpkins, but to also learn about the lives of early settlers and Native Americans of the area through replica tours while visiting the location’s farm, all for $9-$11 per person. If you’re interested in a charming sunflower maze and hayrides, then BoBrook Farms in Roland is the place to check out until Oct. 28. Mountain Home Berry Farm becomes decked out during this time of year as well, with hour-long hayride tours that stop by their petting zoo, a 1.5-acre corn maze, and even a country store featuring homemade jams and jellies, apple cider and your favorite local honey.
    5.  Homebody happiness: If going out is not your thing, there are many activities that can be perfect for a fall day indoors. Netflix bingers can rejoice as shows continue to get added throughout the month, such as the second season of Castlevania premiering Oct. 26, season 4 of Gotham (releasing on an undisclosed this fall) and the now-available-on-Netflix classic ‘80s adventure movie The NeverEnding Story. The chilly weather arriving also means that you may be back in the kitchen to make or buy your favorite fall treats. You can bake Pillsbury seasonal cookies, Halloween Jell-O molding kits, candy apples and even pumpkin-spiced marshmallows for those bonfire-roasting nights. If you simply need ideas to keep yourself or your friends occupied indoors, then easy activities such as sleepovers, lighting fall-scented candles, playing family board game, creating Halloween make-up looks and finishing up your homework under a heated blanket with your pumpkin-spiced latte beside you.

Fall suggests in Arkansas and at home could go on forever, but don’t forget to add your own spins and memories to any activity you may do with your friends, family and even by yourself this season.

Photo from hbaegleeye.com

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