If you look closely, you can see signs of spring in Northwest Arkansas — violets and daffodils are blooming, the skies are clear and bright, birds are singing up a storm. Spring will be here any day. So it’s time to plan ways to enjoy spring with your family. It’s good for your physical and mental health to get out and revel in the beautiful Arkansas Ozarks.
Outdoor activities are good for you
Studies have shown that moving outside is even better for us than moving indoors. There’s something about fresh air that encourages mental and physical wellbeing.
Northwest Arkansas provides many opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.
Farmers’ markets are perfect for healthy families — you can walk around in the fresh air and pick healthy produce at the same time. Kids are more likely to eat veggies if they help choose and prepare them. You might be more motivated to include fresh produce in your menus when you pick up beautiful farm-fresh goodies yourself. You can find farmers’ markets all across Northwest Arkansas.
Enjoy the Razorback Regional Greenway. It stretches throughout Northwest Arkansas from Mt. Kessler in Fayetteville all the way up to Bella Vista. Constant improvements and additions are being made, including spurs, connections, and art displays. Run, jog, walk, or bike with your family. It’s a wonderful way to get moving!
There are plenty of great family hikes in and around Northwest Arkansas: Devils Den, Hobbs, Ozark Highlands Trail, Buffalo National River area, Mt. Kessler, and plenty of great little trails tucked away in town. Hiking is something that the entire family can do together regardless of age or level of physical fitness.
Public runs, from the Kids Hogeye Run to the Cow Paddy Run, and public cycling like the Fayetteville Slow Ride and Rogers Cycling Festival are open to spectators and participants.
Sporting events let you get outside and enjoy time with your family even when you don’t feel like exercise. The Naturals have a full spring schedule and many more events from lacrosse to golf will take place in Benton and Washington counties. It’s easy to end up scarfing down lots of junk food when you’re a spectator, so plan to balance ballpark goodies with healthy meals the rest of the day.
Northwest Arkansas has lots of festivals in the spring, from Springfest to Yogafest to Artosphere Arts and Nature Festival. Festivals can include lots of walking, and dancing too!
Remember that spring weather is often unpredictable. Check forecasts before you go, and pack rain gear, dry clothing, and extra insulation if the weather is uncertain. Sunscreen is important, too. Avoid sunburn with hats and long-sleeved shirts if you’re going to be out for a whole day.
Accidents do happen. MANA’s Northwest Arkansas Pediatrics Acute Care can usually arrange same-day appointments for kids if you need medical attention.