Eureka Springs Offers Holiday Fun for Everyone

Families looking for an old-fashioned, slow paced holiday experience can find what they’re looking for in the historic Victorian Village of Eureka Springs, Arkansas.   Residents share the warmth of a small-town Christmas with visitors through the many holiday events and activities.

The dozens of shops and galleries in Eureka Springs are a favorite for shoppers looking for that special, one-of-a-kind gift that can’t be purchased just anywhere.

The town begins lighting up on November 1st with both residents and businesses participating in the “Bling in the Springs” holiday lighting competition sponsored by the Eureka Springs City Advertising & Promotion Commission.   Homes and businesses city-wide will be aglow for the holidays.

The grounds of the Great Passion Play will be lit up with thousands of lights as well during “Experience the Light” which runs on Friday and Saturday evenings from 6 p.m. to 8:30pm through December 21st.   Besides the lights, they will feature Christmas music in the Great Hall and a live nativity with actors and animals in the Smith Chapel.  Admission is by donation.

The largest Snow Village and Train Exhibit in the South will be on display every weekend at the Gaskin’s Switch Village at 2051 E. Van Buren.   Presented by the Eureka Springs Historical Museum, the display takes you back to a 1930’s to 1950’s landscape of small town America.  It is comprised of over 300 buildings, including three ‘town squares’ depicting businesses of the era, three Lionel 0 scale trains, a Lionel 0 scale trolley, and numerous other vehicles and accessories of this time.

The 48th Annual Silver Tea is hosted by the women of St. James’ Episcopal Church, Eureka Springs.  On Thurs., Dec. 4th from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., the dining room of the historic Crescent Hotel will be transformed by seasonal decorations, hostesses in period costume and elegant tea tables with heirloom silver pieces displayed on stunning lace tablecloths.   A mouth-watering variety of tea sandwiches and cookies will be served in addition to coffee and tea.  Admission is by donation.

Miss Arkansas 2014 will serve as Grand Marshal of the Annual Christmas Parade scheduled for Friday December 5th at 6 p.m.  The theme for the 2014 parade is “Light the World.”  The parade is staged in the historic downtown district and is surrounded by great shops and boutiques, galleries, and restaurants.

On Saturday, December 6th, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., the Eureka Springs Preservation Society hosts the 32nd Annual Eureka Springs Christmas Tour of Homes.   Ten locations will be participating in this year’s tour, giving guests a glimpse of a bygone era.   All stops on the self-guided tour will be lavishly decorated for the season with Victorian attired docents at each site to relate the history of each home.  Tickets can be purchased at the Eureka Springs Historical Museum or Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce.

The Alliance of Better Bed & Breakfasts in Eureka Springs will host their annual Sweet Treats Cookie Tour from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, December 13th.   Visit 8 different bed and breakfasts sampling their favorite cookie and candy recipes.

Kids of all ages can see Santa in Basin Spring Park during several events.   His first visit will be on Friday, November 28th at 5.pm.     He will return to the park on Saturday, December 6th and 13th from 1-3 p.m.  for photos, a scavenger hunt, games, and goodies for the whole family!

There will be no shortage of Christmas music playing throughout town.    On December 6th, at 7 p.m. renowned Native American musician John Two-Hawks will present his 11th Annual Christmas Concert at The Auditorium celebrating the magic of this sacred season featuring the Washington Jr. High  Choir.     The Ozarks Chorale Holiday Concert and Community Hallelujah Chorus Sing is the following Saturday, December 13th, also at The Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.

For more information on these events, visit dev.eurekasprings.org or call 479-253-7333.