Fayetteville is a city known year-round for being warm and welcoming, so when the holiday season rolls around, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a corner of our fair city that isn’t aglow with celebration!

Enjoy some extra joy everywhere you go with seasonal celebrations, parades, twinkle lights, special menus, themed drinks and pop-up bars, and holiday markets covering our event calendar through the end of the year. Holiday happenings are an excellent excuse to explore the city on your own, plan a perfect date night, entertain your parents, or get the kids out of the house – all paired with a healthy dose of cheer!

Whether you’re experiencing the magic for yourself this year or bringing some family to town for Christmas, you’ll find a sampling of festive events below to help you discover why holidays are happier in Fayetteville, AR:

Keep It Classic

Lights of the Ozarks
Now - January 1st
Historic Downtown Square

The quintessential holiday experience in Fayetteville! If you’re spending any time in Northwest Arkansas this holiday season, a trip to see Lights of the Ozarks is practically mandatory. See the Square come to life with more than 500,000 lights, dedicated food truck vendors, hot cocoa vendors, drinks in the ORA, and special visits from Santa. The much-adored annual holiday celebration of lights begins with the Lighting Night and Parade (in 2023, on November 18th) and continues through the New Year, with lights illuminated each night from 5:00pm to 1:00am.

Thanksgiving Dinner Buffet
November 24th
Ella's Table

Leave the cooking to someone else this year! Ella's Table, located within the gorgeous Inn at Carnall Hall on the University of Arkansas campus, has planned an exquisite holiday dinner for Thanksgiving Day. Maximize your family time and enjoy an incredible meal all in one, with no dishes? We're in!

The Nutcracker by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet
November 25th-27th
Walton Arts Center

The magic of The Nutcracker returns to Fayetteville for another year! As one of the most popular Christmas stories of all time, this beautiful production is a treat for all ages and the perfect start to the holiday season.

A Christmas Carol by TheatreSquared
December 1st-24th
Fayetteville Public Library

A theatrical re-imagining of Charles Dickens’ classic for all ages, performed at the Fayetteville Public Library. Brimming with stage magic and holiday cheer! TheatreSquared has long produced their own version of this classic tale, making a visit to this show a Fayetteville tradition in its own right.

Las Posadas
December 10th
Community Creative Center

Everyone is welcome to join in on this celebration of Las Posadas, a tradition widely enjoyed in Mexico and by Mexican communities in the United States. Featuring food, drinks, traditional sweets, classic musical performances, and piñatas, attendees at this free party will get a taste of Las Posadas while celebrating their creative side!

New for 2022

NWA Festival of Trees
November 30th - December 10th
Mount Sequoyah

A display of festively decorated trees and wreaths will adorn the main room of Historic Parker Hall on Mount Sequoyah during the inaugural NWA Festival of Trees. A series of planned holiday activities and public events will take place during the festival, which wraps up with a Holiday Cocktail Reception to celebrate 100 years of Mount Sequoyah!

Holiday Markets

Fayetteville doesn't hold back when it comes to holiday shopping markets! This year, we have so many that we gave the holiday markets their own list. Browse your gift-shopping options here.

Fayetteville’s Traditional Fun Runs

Turkey Trot-n-Trek 5K
November 24th
Beginning at Ozark Natural Foods

Now in its second year, the Turkey Trot-n-Trek returns in 2022 with a family friendly event featuring a little something for everyone! A 5K “trot” and a kid-friendly 1K “trek” are available, so the race is inclusive of families and little ones. It’s a great way to move your feet before you gather to eat!

White Elephant 5K
December 10th
Beginning in Fayetteville’s Historic Downtown Square

The City of Fayetteville hosts this jolly holiday race that weaves through iconic Fayetteville landmarks, past the Lights of the Ozarks, Santa Claus, holiday music, and includes some “white elephant” surprises.

Jingle Bell Jog 5K
December 17th
Beginning at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks

The Jingle Bell Jog will celebrate 10 years of holly jolly running during this year’s event! Runners and walkers of all levels are encouraged to wear their silliest (or ugliest) holiday garb - anything that sparkles and jingles is especially encouraged. Elf ears, holiday headbands, festive leggings, light up necklaces - the tackier, the better! The whole family is invited to participate in this all-ages event.

Gather With Friends & Family

Lights of the Ozarks
Now - January 1st
Historic Downtown Square

The quintessential holiday experience in Fayetteville! If you’re spending any time in Northwest Arkansas this holiday season, a trip to see Lights of the Ozarks is practically mandatory. See the Square come to life with more than 500,000 lights, dedicated food truck vendors, hot cocoa vendors, drinks in the ORA, and special visits from Santa. The much-adored annual holiday celebration of lights begins with the Lighting Night and Parade (in 2023, on November 18th) and continues through the New Year, with lights illuminated each night from 5:00pm to 1:00am.

Stewart Family Christmas Light Display
Now-January 3rd

This local family owned and operated display features over 3,000,000 lights and several hundreds of inflatables.

Winter Nights
December 1st-23rd
Walton Arts Center

A new holiday tradition has landed in downtown Fayetteville! Head to Walton Arts Center to enjoy the holiday lights and decorations with a reserved firepit or dome at the new Winter Nights. Games and activities will be available in Joy Pratt Markham Gallery, just inside the doors. Treats and warm drinks will be available for all, including alcoholic beverages, because Winter Nights is located within Fayetteville's Outdoor Refreshment Area

Holiday Themed Trivia
December 6th, 13th, and 20th
Puritan Coffee & Beer

Popular Dickson street stop Puritan Coffee & Beer has themed their popular trivia nights for the next few weeks. Test your skills at The Grinch & Elf, The Office: Holiday Edition, and Christmas Vacation themed trivia nights to keep the spirit going all month long! 

Santa Drop
December 10th
Arkansas Air & Military Museum

Don't blink! Santa will once again be skydiving from the air during "the most magical 90 seconds in Fayetteville" at the Arkansas Air and Military Museum. It's not the typical Santa experience, but it's sure to be one you'll never forget! After the parachute descends, share your Christmas wishes with Santa and snap a photo.

Holiday Hangar Dance
December 17th
Arkansas Air & Military Museum

The lights and space in the hangar at Fayetteville's Arkansas Air & Military Museum make a stunning backdrop for the annual Holiday Hangar Dance. Jingle Bell Rock in your best holiday garb, where you'll also enjoy dinner, dance lessons, and a silent auction.

Drink & Be Merry

Holiday Cocktail Conversations
December 9th
Urban Cellar Winery

Experience award-winning Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey in the form of both cocktails and history! Explore a tasting, signature cocktails, and a special whiskey-infused dessert at NWA's only urban winery for a fun and unique holiday event. Appetizers and hors d'oeuvres will be available and all attendees will go home with a customized gift bag.

All season long

Head to Fayetteville's one-and-only pinball bar anytime this month, and you'll be immersed in all the holiday decor! Get in the spirit with a specially crafted holiday menu full of fun and festive drinks and play a temporary line up of themed pinball machine games while they last.

Maxine's Tap Room
All season long

Longtime Fayetteville favorite Maxine's never lets a chance to celebrate a holiday slip by! Christmastime is certainly no exception, and you'll find Maxine's rolling out all the holiday stops, including hot specialty beverages, head-to-toe bar decorations, and a festive menu for the season.

Live Performances

Million Dollar Quartet Christmas
December 2nd-3rd
Walton Arts Center

Croon along to holiday hits with Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins & Elvis Presley at the Walton Arts Center! You'll take a cheerful journey to a Sun Records Christmas with all the sounds of the season included.

Christmas in the Blitz
December 3rd
Fayetteville Public Library

The Northwest Arkansas Audio Theatre (NWAAT) is bringing a fun twist to the holiday performance to Fayetteville this year! Enjoy a theatrical presentation in the style of 1940s radio theater with this 'audio play', complete with actors, music, and sound effects. Family-friendly and fun!

Ozark Bronze Bell Ensemble
December 4th
Fayetteville Public Library

A festive concert featuring classical music and seasonal favorites performed by Northwest Arkansas' favorite handbell ensemble! The show is free to enjoy and can also be streamed and replayed for holiday vibes all season long. 

It's a Wonderful Life, Right?
December 8th-11th
Arts Live Theatre

You've never seen an adaptation of the Christmas classic quite like this one! Enjoy an original reworking of the traditional tale by indie theatre group Arts Live right here in Fayetteville, with five performances taking place over a single weekend.

A Very SoNA Christmas
December 10th
Walton Arts Center

The Symphony of Northwest Arkansas will perform a mix of sacred and secular holiday favorites for this annual concert in downtown Fayetteville. Attendees will also enjoy the stylings of the SoNA Singers, the University of Arkansas Inspiration Chorale, and soprano Lenora Green.

The Snowman: A Family Concert
December 11th
Walton Arts Center

The family tradition continues for yet another year in Fayetteville! Walton Arts Center and the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas are presenting a special screening of The Snowman, with the original score performed live by SoNA. Sure to be a merry and bright performance for all. 

Martina McBride: The Joy of Christmas Tour
December 18th
Walton Arts Center

Country music star Martina McBride is bringing her annual holiday tour to Fayetteville for a timeless night of Christmas joy! Holiday standards are paired with storytelling and a bit of glitz and glam for a fun and memorable experience.

Hands-On Holiday Fun

Holiday Guided Acrylic Painting
November 27th
Community Creative Center

No experience is required for this workshop that invites you to discover the joy of painting! Just in time for the holidays, you can learn the basics of acrylic painting while creating holiday/winter scenes.

Holiday Clay Workshop
November 27th
Community Creative Center

Crafting that’s fun for the whole family! Come and design a clay creation with a holiday twist that you can take home at the end of the class - or give as a gift.

Holiday Wreath Make-&-Take Class
November 29th
Botanical Garden of the Ozarks

Learn the fun and easy method for creating gorgeous holiday wreaths directly from the garden designer at Botanical Garden of the Ozarks! Participants of this DIY workshop will be able to create their own unique wreaths using a provided assortment of natural elements.

Gingerbread House & Christmas Cocktail Workshop
December 3rd
Eden’s Botanicals

This little workshop is ginger and spice and everything nice! Get in the holiday spirit by crafting an adorable gingerbread house using a curated kit provided by Eden’s Botanicals. A mixologist will be on site to help you create the perfect Christmas cocktail - there will also be hot cocoa available to keep you warm.

Reindeer Cake Class
December 3rd
Rick's Bakery

Follow along with local bakers as you craft a DIY reindeer-themed cake with buttercream icing! You can go it alone or bring friends and family, but either way all supplies and instructions are provided and you'll go home with a cake.

Magnolia & Noble Fir Wreath Workshop
December 7th
Eden’s Botanicals

Enjoy a complimentary holiday cocktail or mocktail while you create a holiday wreath just in time to hang it on your door! Guests will be guided through the creation of a wreath made of magnolia leaves and noble fir for a classic presentation.

Holiday Watercolor Greeting Cards
December 11th
Community Creative Center

Spark holiday joy while you get crafty! This short workshop will cover the basics of watercolor and painting winter scenes to assist you in creating your own handmade greeting cards.

Fireplace Garland Workshop
December 14th
Eden’s Botanicals

Maybe you didn’t think your mantle needed sprucing, but this event might just change your mind! Join the creative and knowledgeable staff at Eden’s Botanicals as they help you create a fresh holiday garland to take home, with a side of snacks and cocktails/mocktails.


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