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Fort Smith/Fayetteville News | 5newsonline KFSM 5NEWS | Get the local news and weather where you live from 5NEWS. Covering Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Bentonville, and all of Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley.

List of family-friendly activities to enjoy in NWA and River Valley this fall

To kick off the first day of fall 2020, here is a list of fun activities happening this fall in NWA and the River Valley.
Credit: MGN

ARKANSAS, USA — Tuesday (Sept. 22) marks the first day of fall 2020, which means it is time for hoodies, pumpkins, hayrides and all things that make us fall in love with this colorful season.

More events and activities will be added to this story throughout the season, so bookmark it and check back for updates.  If you want your fall-themed event added to our list, email news@kfsm.com.

Pumpkin Patches and Corn Mazes

Farmland Adventures in Springdale has corn mazes, farm animals, pony rides, pumpkin patches, hayrides, pig races and more. For more information visit farmlandadventures.com.

Credit: Chandi Gregory

Exeter Corn Maze and Haunted Attractions is a fun, family experience located in Southwest Missouri, only 30 minutes from Northwest Arkansas. With a Haunted Barn, Zombie Paintball, Hayrides, Haunted Corn Maze, Pumpkin Jump, Cow Train, Petting Zoo, Birthday Porch, Fire-pits, Corn Cannons, Pumpkin Cannon, Paintball Shootout Shack, Movie Room, Photo-ops, Zipline, Corn Pit, Archery Tag, and  Go-Karts, Exeter Corn Maze offers something for all ages. Read more HERE.

Watch: Exeter Corn Maze 2020 Design - "What this world needs is to fill our hearts and our souls with love and kindness and spread that love wherever we go!"

Read: 10 Pumpkin Patches in Central Arkansas to Visit this Fall

At Wild Things Farm in Pocola, visitors can enjoy a hayride, pony ride, petting farm, mountain slide, corn maze, jumping pillow, hayride and fall-themed decorations. Wild Things Farm will also be selling snacks, such as roasted nuts and cider donuts. To learn more, click HERE.

Credit: Wild Things Farm

Blossomberry Nursery in Clarksville is hosting a corn maze, pumpkin patch and more from Sept. 26 to Nov. 1. They will also have a variety of mums, pansies, and flowering kale for all your fall decor needs.

The event will be held at 2662 Hwy 21 in Clarksville. For more information, click HERE or call (479) 754-6489.

Credit: Blossomberry Nursery

Halloween-Themed Scavenger Hunt 

Old Town Van Buren (OTVB) is hosting "Halloween Scavenger Hunt on Main" from Oct. 16 to Oct. 31. This event provides a way to make memories in October with pictures to remember them by. For a chance to win one of several prizes from OTVB’s downtown merchants & restaurants, take a picture of or with as many of the items on the list as possible, and post the images to social media using the event's hashtags. 

Scavenger hunt items may be outside or inside the shops and restaurants on historic Main St. and include Halloween-themed items such as ghost, scarecrow, a pumpkin that is not orange, something spooky and more. 

For more information visit the Facebook event page.

Craft fairs and Yard Sales

The Junk Ranch in Prarie Grove will be held Oct. 2-3 and will be packed with food trucks, live music and of course, junk. The Junk Ranch barn, festival tent and grounds will be filled with antiques, holiday decorations, handmade crafts, jewelry, furniture, home and body scents, plants and garden items, vintage clothing and more.

Do you prefer pumpkin spice on everything or is cinnamon more your thing? Either way, you are covered, as vendors will have all things fall and loads of vintage Christmas decor.

A pumpkin truck is on-the-scene at The Junk Ranch, making for a perfect fall-themed family photo background.

Visit thejunkranch.net for more details, or their Facebook page

Credit: The Junk Ranch


Benton County Sheriff’s Office is hosting “Costumes Candy and Cops Carnival” on Oct. 30. Families looking for socially-distanced Halloween options are sure to have a 'Boo-tiful' time at this drive-thru style trunk-or-treat event. More details can be found on the Facebook event page.

Credit: Benton County Sheriff's Office


October's crisp autumn nights will bring plenty for stargazers to see in the sky, ranging from a meteor shower to great views of the planets, but the top astronomy event of the month will come on the month's final night. 

This year, October begins and ends with a full moon! A harvest moon will light up the skies tonight and a rare blue moon is coming on Halloween.  

Read: A meteor shower, two full moons and more to see in October's sky

Farmers' Markets

Fayetteville Farmers' Market is 100% local and offers products from four counties in Northwest Arkansas. Click HERE for more information.

Credit: Fayetteville Farmers' Market

Haunted Houses

The prisoners took over at The Haunted Prison in Van Buren and escaped. For more information, click HERE.

Credit: The Haunted Prison

The Asylum Haunted House was voted the #2 Haunt in Arkansas by Scare Factor in 2017. Visit theasylumhauntedhouse.net to learn more.

Pick Grapes at a Vineyard

At Post Winery in Altus, guests can pick fresh grapes by hand for the first time in its over 140 years of business.

Grape picking hours are 1:00 p.m. to 5 p.m. and will continue for the next several weeks in the Ozarks until muscadine harvest ends.

Read the full story HERE

Credit: Post Winery

Visit postfamilie.com for more information.

Watch: Muscadine Harvest at Post Winery 

Hiking/Scenic Walks

Devil's Den State Park in West Fork offers caves and miles of scenic hiking on Fossil Flats Trailhead and Devil's Den Trail, plus rustic cabins from the 1930s. For more information click HERE.

Credit: Devil's Den State Park

North Forest Lights at Crystal Bridges in Bentonville is an artistic light and sound experience in the middle of the forest at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Five distinct installations bring the soul of the forest to life with light, sound, and sensory effects. For tickets and information, click HERE.

Credit: Crystal Bridges

Watch: North Forest Lights at Crystal Bridges 

Caramel Apples

Kopper-Kettle Candies in Van Buren has caramel apples, and they are ready to make their way to someone's home. Visit KopperKettleCandies.com.

Scenic Train Ride

Take a ride on the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad and enjoy a window seat to history as you travel through the scenic mountains of Northwest Arkansas.

For tickets, click HERE.

Credit: Arkansas Missouri Railroad

Fall Festivals/Carnivals

Visit northwestarkansas.org for NWA festivals and seasonal event information.

Camping, Cabins and Bonfires

Read: Five Perfect Fall Camping Spots in Arkansas

Whiterock Mountain Recreation Area, near Mountainburg, offers beautiful hiking trails, camping, rustic cabins and lodges, ATV trails and stunning overlooks. Visit whiterockmountain.com for more information.

Credit: White Rock Mountain Recreational Area

Petting Zoo & Drive-Through Safari

Wild Wilderness Drive-Through Safari in Gentry offers quality interaction opportunities between people and animals. They have a petting zoo, exotic animals and a safari for visitors to drive through.

The Safari is home to a variety of exotic animals in a natural environment within a beautiful Arkansas landscape and several large ponds. The 4-mile safari allows visitors to view animals in a natural environment on a self-guided tour.

Credit: Wild Wilderness Drive Through Safari

Outdoor Music and Concerts

Crystal Bridges' Friday Nights on the Lawn in Bentonville offers a free, family-friendly concert or performance and an art activity every Friday evening until Oct. 30. Bring your own blanket, or use one of their lawn chairs, and enjoy an evening outdoors with live entertainment. To learn more, click HERE.

Credit: Crystal Bridges

Apple Picking

Read: Places to pick apples in Arkansas