Perhaps you’ve never heard of a small Arkansas town by the name of Bentonville, but most likely you have heard of a company by the name of Walmart. This company has it’s roots in this small town and it is a great place to visit with kids. There are many attractions that make it a nice place to stop in while visiting Arkansas.
Amazeum: A Bentonville Children’s Museum
Children love places where they can play, have fun, and learn. The Amazeum in Bentonville has some great hands on features that will entertain kids for hours (it is free if you have an ASTC membership). There is a large grocery store where they can shop for food, work the register or make and serve food at the cafe counter. The cash registers really scan the items so it’s a great way for them to learn math skills.
In another corner you will find a log cabin complete with a bed, a baby and crib, plus a broom to sweep up. Outside there is a cow to milk, apple trees with apples to harvest, and chickens laying eggs. My kids really enjoyed collecting eggs and apples, taking them inside and baking pies. There is also a wash basin, washboard, and clothes line, so they can get a real, old time, farm life experience.
Other areas of the Amazeum include, a trucking section with conveyors, circuit building, outdoor play area, stop animation film making, indoor climbing structure, and so much more. It is place kids can have fun and learn, without even realizing they are learning. It is clean and the staff is helpful and friendly.
This might be one of the best art museums to visit with kids in the country. There are a couple of reasons that I believe this, but mainly because it is totally free. Yes, that’s right, there is no admission charge to get into this place.
With kids, free is a definite bonus because sometimes they don’t want to look at paintings and sculptures for long, so you don’t have to feel cheated when you didn’t get to see them all. That’s not the only reason to go with kids, however, it is also laid out well, has interesting works, and there are some great outdoor areas to take them too.
The mix of paintings and sculptures keeps you wondering what you will see next. Even the building is like a work of art. On the trails outside you will find even more cool sculptures, picnic tables, and plenty of room to run. While there is plenty to see here it is not so big that you can’t see it all if you choose to. These are my reasons that it is the best art museum to visit with kids.
Pea Ridge National Battlefield
If you are interested in history, the Civil War or both this is an interesting site to visit. The visitors center has some great displays in regards to the battle that took place here. We enjoyed the storytelling map that lights up the areas where the fighting occurred as the events are narrated. It gives an excellent perspective of the way it happened.
Kids can participate in the Junior Ranger Program which will have them answer questions along the driving tour. There are about ten stops along the tour where you can get out and read the signs that explain what significance each one has. One of the stops has the Trail of Tears, so not all of the history is Civil War related. It is a wonderful way to learn more about this tragic piece of American History.
As I mentioned Bentonville is where the Walmart corporation has it’s roots. The headquarters is here and this is where Sam Walton opened his first 5 and 10 store. He grew the company from the ground up and it would be hard to find a person today who hasn’t heard of Walmart.
The museum itself is not big, but it is full of great information about the man who started it all, Sam Walton (plus it’s free). You enter through the gift shop, but just go right into the museum entrance. Start by watching the short film which talks about who Sam was and what he stood for.
Many of the displays have drawers to open or flaps to lift which the kids will enjoy, but there is a great deal of information to read as well. They even have his office and his truck on display just as he left them. It is very interesting to learn about his life and the building of this company that is now a household name.
Have Fun and Learn Something Too
If having fun while learning is for you then definitely visit Bentonville, Arkansas. Make sure you get an ice cream cone or a root beer float on your way out of the Walmart Museum, they are reasonably priced and delicious. We love to visit museums, especially free ones, but maybe you are into something different. Tell us about some of your favorite places in the comments or feel free to like and share this article.