(Eureka Springs, AR) — Once the turkey has been devoured and the thanksgiving leftovers have been put away, the faint sound of bells jingling begin to get louder and louder for it is the season of Christmas here in America’s “Holiday Town USA” community. The 2019 iteration of this festive time of year is more full of family activities and more fun for all ages than ever before. All weekends are packed with activities. Weekdays offer a robust calendar of daily activities and celebration, too, especially at Eureka Springs’ Historic Hotel of America, December 6-14.
Christmas in Eureka Springs: November 30 – December 1
Christmas in Eureka Springs officially begins on Saturday, November 30, when Main Street Eureka Springs hosts their “Shop Small Saturday” centered in Basin Spring Park. “In the park” activities commence at 1 p.m. run through 4 p.m. Activities include live music from mömandpöp, Christmas shopping coupon give-a-ways, Santa In The Park, and the traditional lighting of Eureka Springs’ official Christmas tree at four o’clock.
By that next day, Downtown Eureka Springs is fully decorated, and Spring Street turns into an award-winning holiday town. Shoppers scurry throughout the Heart of Eureka in this village’s downtown in pursuit of that one-of-a-kind gift and are welcomed with free two-hour street meter parking.
Weekend Two of Christmas in Eureka Springs: December 5 – 8
The second weekend (and Christmas festival week) begins with the 53rd Annual Silver Tea pouring out holiday cheer on Thursday, December 5 at 1:30 p.m. in the Crystal Ballroom of the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa. Festive decorations and tabletops full of silver tea and coffee services along with cookies and finger sandwiches are enjoyed by all for only a donation at the door.
The evening of Friday, December 6 at six o’clock the Greater Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce presents their Annual Parade of Lights. This glittering event brings people to downtown from all over Northwest Arkansas, Southeast Missouri, and beyond. Throngs of visitors line the downtown streets of Spring and Main for this yearly favorite. Floats, bands, and of course, Santa himself who brings up the rear and brings smiles to all in attendance.
The BIGGEST DAY OF CHRISTMAS – Saturday, December 7th
The “big day” is Saturday, December 7. Beginning at 1 p.m. in Basin Spring Park, Main Street Eureka Springs, FBLA students from Eureka Springs High School, and local firefighters join forces with Santa to welcome children in holiday style. Then comes what has grown to be known as “the big event”.
More than 1,000 visitors who love the historic homes and churches of Eureka Springs will take part in Eureka Springs Preservation Society’s annual “Holiday Tour of Homes”. Ticket holders get to step inside numerous domiciles festooned in holiday decor from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Many of the homes offer holiday treats and music to patrons.
Continuing that same evening at six o’clock the historic 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa hosts the formal illumination of their “Christmas Forest” where more than 30 trees, located on the hotel’s East Lawn, are decorated by local charities. Visitors to the forest may “vote” for their favorite tree for one dollar. Then that same Saturday evening at seven o’clock comes the John Two-Hawks Holiday Concert in the downtown city auditorium, The Aud. This internationally renowned Native American flutist will be joined on stage by the girls’ choir of Washington Junior High School from Bentonville, Arkansas.
Christmas at Eureka Springs’ Historic Hotel of America
This “big Saturday” also marks the continuation of activity for “Christmas at The Crescent”, a week-long festival at Eureka Springs’ Historic Hotel of America. Immersed in Christmas, The Crescent is decorated from top to bottom and acre to acre with the intention to host families who love to create holiday memories for all generations.
Those attending Santa’s Brunch on Sunday, December 8 in the Crescent’s Crystal Ballroom will enjoy not only a holiday feast but one last chance to give Santa their holiday wish list. Brunch is served from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with Santa’s availability from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Activities continue throughout the week at the hotel with a wide-ranging collection of fun holiday activities, daily Christmas concerts, VIP ghost activities, and restorative spa activities.
Two other “Christmas at The Crescent” events worth noting are the Wednesday night “Community Dinner”, a scrumptious meal served family-style; and the Thursday and Friday night performances of Five & Dime’s hilarious “live” radio drama, High Hat Christmas.
Weekend Three of Christmas in Eureka Springs Dec. 13-15
Weekend three of Christmas in Eureka Springs has both The Aud hosting numerous holiday concerts, and a downtown yuletide favorite. On Friday night, December 13 in the city auditorium is a presentation by the Northwest Arkansas Ballet Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Then, on Saturday, December 14 beginning at 4 p.m. comes “The Night of MerryMaking”, a festive, uproarious and experiential holiday event. No one knows exactly what to expect with 1,000 Santas blanketing the downtown streets, but visitors can certainly expect to see Spring Street full of “Living Windows”, three-dimensional canvases with live actors as they pose in storefront tableaux replicating artwork from Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Also included of this night of nights are mömandpöp singing, snow falling, and sidewalk Christmas carolers. After your fill of shopping and frolicking, you are invited to join the Ozarks Chorale at their annual Christmas concert at 7:30 p.m. in The Aud.
Weekend Four of Christmas in Eureka Springs Dec. 20-22
Weather permitting, the night of Friday, December 20 will see the opening of the outdoor Crescent Hotel Ice Skating Rink while The Aud continues its schedule of holiday cheer regardless of climatic conditions.
At seven o’clock the highly popular “Home for the Holidays” concert brings together a plethora of local, talented artists to perform a merry snippet from their songs of the season repertoire.
That next evening at seven o’clock, fresh off his sell-out performance in the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, renowned saxophonist Grady Nichols brings his smooth jazz to The Aud. As a Christmas present for Eureka Springs’ visitors and residents alike, the “Grady Nichols Christmas” is free to all attendees.
So, whether one visits Eureka Springs for a day of unique Christmas shopping, a weekend full of bustling holiday activity, or a full week of resort festivities at the Crescent, Christmas reigns supreme during the entire month of December, ensuring thirty-one days of lifetime memories for the entire family.