Best of the Fests: 23 October Festivals and Fairs in Central Arkansas
Get festive with your family at one (or more!) of these fall festivals. The events range from traditional harvest fun to a bullying arts and film fest to a kids music extravaganza!
Rest up, because you'll probably want to go festival hopping this weekend, Oct. 3-5, as there are 12 amazing festivals for families. Bounce from the Big Rock Mountain Bike Festival to the Asian Festival to the Main Street Food Truck Festival to Harvestfest.
Keep reading for details on all 23 festivals this month!
Through Oct. 25
Conway ArtsFest in Various Locations in Conway: A citywide celebration of the arts includes film, literature, gallery installation and family fun. Family events include Art in the Park at Simon Park -- a day of youth performances, hands-on activities and an art marketplace -- and "The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley" stage show at UCA. Visit the website for a complete list of events. For info: ArtsInConway.org.
46th Annual Hot Springs Arts & Crafts Fair at Garland County Fairgrounds in Hot Springs: At this fair, you’ll find 400 exhibitors, food vendors, pony rides, and a children's area with a petting zoo, bounce houses, and station for kids to pan for gold. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Fri. & Sat.; noon-5 p.m. Sun. For info: (501) 623-9592, HotSpringsArtsAndCraftsFair.com. FREE!
Hot Water Hills Music & Arts Festival in Downtown Hot Springs: This festival is a quirky mix of music, art, food, drink, contests and kids’ activities. Ongoing each day, you'll find a cardboard city, straw bale fort, crystal digging, buble station and The STAR Galler playhous. Plus, visitors can participate in hands-on activities to make upcycled pumpkins, sock puppets, marble painting, music making and more. Bring a lawn chair and join the fun! $7. For info and the full schedule: HotWaterHills.com.
Amazeum’s TinkerFest at Old High Middle School in Bentonville: Engage your child’s imagination through activities, such as launching a rocket, making jewelry from unexpected materials, creating fabric from recycled plastic, playing a fruit piano, constructing machines that draw, painting with light and more. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. For info: (479) 696-9280, Amazeum.org. FREE!
Big Rock Mountain Bike Festival at Boyle Park: Presented by the Central Arkansas Trail Alliance and ArkansasOutside.com, this active event includes a kids’ obstacle course, easy trail rides led by experienced mountain bike leaders, a women’s mountain biking clinic, a “bunny-hop” clinic and other games and contests. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. For info: (501) 707-5989, ArkansasOutside.com. FREE!
Chili Fights in the Heights: This family-friendly festival with chili, music and more is held on the streets of the Heights Neighborhood. Cooking starts at 1:30 p.m. with awards presentation at 6:30 p.m. Chili tasting kits are available for purchase for $4. All proceeds benefit the Arkansas Foodbank. 1:30 p.m. Free admission; chili tasting kits $4. For info: (501) 565-8121, ChiliFights.com.
Fall Festival & Silent Auction at Little Rock Montessori School: Families can play games and hop in a jump house. Don’t miss the cake walk, concessions, and a silent auction (bidding ends at 1 p.m.). Children may wear costumes, but no scary or violent costumes, please. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. $10 per family. For info: (501) 225-2428, LRMontessori.com.
Fall Harvest Home Festival at Plantation Agriculture Museum in Scott: Local farmers and vendors from around Arkansas will be on hand to sell their goods and produce. Fall festivities will include a pie contest, a pumpkin decorating contest, apple bobbing, three-legged racing and other old-time games and activities. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. For info: (501) 961-1409, ArkansasStateParks.com/PlantationAgricultureMuseum.
The High Cotton on the Bayou Festival at Scott Plantation Settlement: This event includes plantation building tours, blacksmith demonstrations, live music, butter churning, Dutch oven demonstrations, early period games and crafts. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. $3, kids ages 6-17 $1, kids under 6 free. For info: (501) 351-0300, ScottConnections.org.
HarvestFest in Hillcrest: Head to Kavanaugh Blvd. in Hillcrest for this day-long event that includes live music, a fashion show, activities for kids, street festival and cheese dip contest. Visitors can also attend a bird walk in Allsop Park at 7:30 a.m., and enjoy a pancake breakfast at Pulaski Heights Presbyterian Church from 9-11 a.m. A portion of the HarvestFest proceeds will benefit local organizations. 7 a.m.-10 p.m. For info: HarvestFest.us. FREE!
Little Rock Asian Festival at Mosaic Church: Sponsored by Asian Pacific Resource & Cultural Center, this festival celebrates the Asian Pacific heritage with fun, food, entertainment, games, and more. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $3; kids under 12, military, fireman & seniors free. For info: (501) 374-2001, click here.
Main Street Food Truck Festival in Downtown Little Rock: Snack on delicious fare from more than 30 food trucks and mobile eateries. Plus, shop craft vendors, enjoy local musicians and street performers, and sip a brew at the beer gardens. The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure will cross Main Street 7-10 a.m., and many of the trucks will open with early bird specials. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. For info: (501) 375-0121, MainStreetFoodTrucks.com. Entry FREE!
Oktoberfest & StoryFest at Fairfield Bay Conference Center: Fairfield Bay offers two festivals in one weekend! OktoberFest includes German food, a motorcycle rally, car show, arts and crafts, live music and dancing. OktoberFest hours: Noon-10 p.m. Fri. & Sat.; motorcycle rally 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat. Free admission for OktoberFest. StoryFest celebrates the rich and diverse art of professional storytelling. Join the festivities at 9:30 a.m. and dive into all-day storytelling sessions, featuring the talents of Bill Lepp and Tim Tingle. $10-$15 for StoryFest. For info: (501) 884-4202, FairfieldBayConferenceCenter.com.
Fall Festival at Crater of Diamonds State Park: The state park grounds will transform into an old-fashioned carnival with games, food, craft vendors, live music, bounce attractions and a spooky hayride. 3-9 p.m. $4, includes 10 game tickets. For info: CraterOfDiamondsStatePark.com.
Oct. 11, 18 & 25
Hay Days Celebration at Wildwood Park for the Arts: Celebrate fall with hay rides, storytelling, pumpkins and other fall fun activities. Noon-4 p.m. Oct. 11, 18 & 25. $5, includes hayride and pumpkin patch. For info: 821-7275, WildwoodPark.org.
Fountain Fest at Arkansas Arts Center: Join the AAC Contemporaries for the second annual Fountain Fest, an outdoor party around the Carrie Remmel Dickinson fountain. This year's event features community-contributed photos using the hashtag #inspirationoverflow, as well as music, BBQ and libations. Funds raised will go toward purchasing artwork and to fund Contemporaries projects that support the AAC. 5:30 p.m. $25-$30. For info: (501) 372-4000, ArkansasArtsCenter.org. PARENTS NIGHT OUT!
Pooches & Pumpkins at The Good Earth Garden Center: Snap family photos in themed areas, bring your pup for a pet costume contest, snack on free hot dogs, ride along for a hayride, and enjoy balloons, face painting, and live music. Kids and pets in costume receive little pumpkins while they last. 11 a.m.-3 a.m. For info: (501) 868-4666, TheGoodEarthGarden.com. FREE!
Oct. 18 & 19
Farm Fest at St. Joseph Farm in North Little Rock: A celebration on the picturesque 63-acre farm includes a pumpkin patch, sorghum-Sudangrass maze, livestock barn, craftsman fair, local food, and live local music. Visit the website for more information on times and specific events. $10, kids 4 and older are $5, kids 3 and under are free. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Oct. 18 & noon-5 p.m. Oct. 19. For info: (501) 681-9073, StJosephFarm.com.
Kidstock at Hillary Rodham Clinton Children's Library & Learning Center: Bring your blankets and chairs to this family-friendly music festival. Musical groups include Sugar Free Allstars and Ellis Family Band. The fun continues with tree painting, yoga, sack races, bubbles and more. 4-6 p.m. For info: (501) 978-3870, CALS.org. FREE!
Barktober Fest at MacArthur Park: Paid admission includes food/beer/wine and leashed-dogs welcome. For info: MacArthurParkLR.com.
Stand Up to Bullying Arts and Film Festival at CALS Ron Robinson Theater: In observance of National Bullying Awareness Month, Songbird Multimedia and Central Arkansas Library System present a unique performing arts festival to feature music, plays, art show, free film screening and essay contest about bullying. The award-winning documentary, "Bully," directed by Lee Hirsch, begins at 1 p.m. Events at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. for teens include essay readings and performances. Pay what you can for admission to 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. events. for info, click here.
Fall Carnival at St. James UMC: Enjoy inflatables, candy, games and prizes. 5-7 p.m. For info: StJamesLR.org. FREE!
Trunk or Treat and Fall Fest at Chenal Valley Church: Come for trunk-or-treating for candy and treats, lots of fun carnival-style games with prizes, face painting, photo booth, and more. Fun for all ages but geared for toddlers through 6th graders. 6-6:30 p.m. Trunk or Treat; 6:30-8 p.m. Fall Fest. Free admission and games. For info: (501) 868-9808, ChenalValleyChurch.org. FREE!
For more October events, browse our full online calendar here.