Road Trip to Bentonville
We went for the Crystal Bridges Museum, but discovered that Bentonville is filled with an array of amazing, family friendly activities!
Arkansas is the latest state Blythe & Reese can say they have seen!
My Aunt Sarah suggested a road trip to visit the Chihuly in the gallery and the forest exhibit at Crystal Bridges Museum. Each image of these amazing pieces of art I could find on Google won me over. With the Chihuly exhibit being the reason for the visit, we quickly discovered Bentonville is a wonderful spot to visit as a family.
Bentonville is just 1 hour and 45 minutes from Tulsa. This is a perfect road trip drive for this Mom. I packed super light, and the girls only asked if we were there 50 times. It was also the first trip where the girls are 100% potty trained. Of course we stopped once because I had to go to the bathroom. Upon our arrival, our hotel was not ready for check in. So we decided to dive into the family fun in Bentonville.
The Scott Family Amazeum is located directly in front of Crystal Bridges Museum. The Amazeum is super modern and clean. This place is the best children’s museum I have visited to date with the girls. Both of my girls instantly went to 2 different directions upon arrival. Reese became obsessed with the Canopy climber (http://www.amazeum.org/exhibits/canopy-climber/). Her sweet family members went into this canopy climber over and over. This space is just stunning and sturdy. In the canopy climber you can go to the highest point of view in the entire museum.
Blythe wanted to get a Paw Patrol toy at the gift shop. Once that was taken care of, she liked the lift, load and haul area. There is a series of spots to put various blocks, lift yourself up and use your imagination. This entire area is adult friendly too. I loved seeing parents having just as much fun as their kids. Truly, the whole place is kid/parent friendly.
My uncle noticed a room where people were making what looked like science experiments. After asking at the front, we learned it is actually an area you get to create and taste candy! To get into this room, you just need to go to the front where you purchased your tickets. They will give you a pass and a time for you to create your candy! This was so creative and a hit with all of our visitors. Reese took this very seriously. JT lead our table, and the rest of us just enjoyed the taste testing.
After all of the fun, we were starving. There is a little food area, and the prices of the food are super affordable; the food itself is yummy. Everyone needed some fuel to dive back into the fun!
The girls agreed on their favorite part of the museum was the Market, which was a little Wal-Mart. This is the best pretend grocery store ever. The food is sturdy, the checkout area is digital and the kids are all happy! Reese liked to check out your food and Blythe prefered to gather the food.
Gathering food at the market
Also of course you can play in the water area, create sand art, arrange huge magna tiles…the list goes on. We for sure could have spent some more time there, but nap time had arrived.
There are still some areas at the museum we did not get to explore. But naps were calling the girls’ names. The hotel we stayed at is the Doubletree Hilton Suites. I highly recommend it if you are traveling with kids. We had a two-room suite that gave us plenty of room and space to sleep. It is a 5-minute drive from the museums.
Once we ate some carbs and took a rest, it was time for the main event. Chihuly in the Forest happens every Wednesday and Saturday nights. You do need a separate ticket to view this event. The Chihuly exhibits at Crystal Bridges are designed by Dale Chihuly. There is an exhibit inside the museum and one outside. Chihuly creates unique and vibrant pieces of art using glass, paint and neon.
Upon arrival, everyone is unloading their car with the perfect picnic gear. You are allowed to bring chairs, blankets and snack items. I also recommend bug spray and lots of water. Usually we do not put the girls in a stroller anymore, but I’m glad we chose to this time. Along the trail in the forest you pass by the stunning Chihuly glass art. This is an exhibit for everyone! I have never seen anything like it. So striking and stunning.
There is a large area set up with art for the kids. Food trucks, music and even a firefly expert who spoke before they passed out cups to catch fireflies. The first art area is to construct a custom head band. The entire place is full of people walking around with these bright yet simple headbands.
The next art station they pass out paint and a clipboard for you to create. Blythe decided to design a custom piece she liked to call Paw Patrol.
Fireflies were caught and safely released. The entire staff did an amazing job pulling off an art event in the forest. The vibe there was truly the perfect mix of summer.
Before we left town on Sunday we stopped by the Museum Hotel 21c. This is the coolest place ever. I mean I need to go back there ASAP! Modern and hip and filled with art. We explored the art while we waited for a seat. The girls’ favorite part here was the green penguins that get to eat with you. Bentonville, we did not conquer it all