The holidays are here once again! As we prepare for this joyous (and hectic) season when family comes in from out of town, the kids start their winter break, and the search begins for gifts and year-end celebrations, it’s nice to know that there is one place in Bentonville that checks every box, offering events and activities to entertain everyone in the family. At Crystal Bridges, guests are welcome to experience art, architecture, and nature, both indoors and out on the trails in a winter wonderland.
This post offers a one-stop place to find everything you need to know (hours, events, etc.) to visit the museum with your family and friends this holiday season:
The museum is open throughout the holidays, closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day
We will be closed on Thanksgiving Day (November 28), Christmas Eve (December 24, which is a Tuesday), and Christmas Day (December 25). The museum will be closed on Tuesday, December 31 (New Year’s Eve) but North Forest Lights will be open in the evening for a special New Year’s Eve celebration (scroll down to learn more).
Apart from those days, the museum will be open during regular hours:
Monday – 11 am to 6 pm
Tuesday – CLOSED
Wednesday to Friday – 11 am to 9 pm
Saturday and Sunday – 10 am to 6 pm
Visit Crystals in Art and have a cocktail
If you haven’t seen our newest temporary exhibition, Crystals in Art: Ancient to Today, the holidays are the perfect time to admire beautiful crystal specimens and artworks from ancient times and today.
Want to dive deeper into the conversation of crystals?
On December 12 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Stanford University professor Marisa Galvez will present an interactive discussion on crystals, from medieval times to today, over cocktails! Dive into the fascinating influence of crystals in poetry, art, literary passages, and lyrics. The evening will include a live demonstration of some selected medieval Troubadour songs and contemporary music (Messiaen and Brandon), performed by local musicians Nophachai Cholthitchanta (clarinet), Eun Seo (violin), Dominique Na (cello), Tomoko Kashiwagi (piano), and Lia Uribe (bassoon). The event is free and open to everyone. Register here.
Have a cozy date night at one of our culinary events
Baby, it’s cold outside! Bring your date indoors and enjoy a unique date at one of our culinary events this season, where you’ll enjoy food, wine, and conversations about the intersection of art and cuisine. Here are the upcoming dates:
CR(EAT)E » Distant Sipping
Sunday, December 8, 6:30 to 9 pm
Join us for special evenings featuring multi-course meals with wine or custom drink pairings. While you dine, enjoy intriguing conversations with featured guests about the intersection of art and cuisine. This evening, experience the art and community of wine making as a myriad of vintners introduce special wines for each course remotely from their vineyards, via video messages. Sponsored by Flintco and Onyx Coffee Lab. $105 ($84/members), register online or with Guest Services.
DISH » Kat Wilson
Thursday, December 19, 6 to 7:30 pm
Specialty drinks and light fare set the tone for a lively evening of conversation, with creative, trendsetting women dishing on arts and culture. This evening, enjoy an in-depth conversation with acclaimed photographer Kat Wilson, whose work has been featured at Crystal Bridges, and get a glimpse into her work as both a modern artist and social activist. Sponsored by Onyx Coffee Lab, Arvest Bank, Cindy Flynt Walters and Betty Flynt, inVeritas, and Premier Dermatology & Skin Renewal Center. $50 ($40/members), register online or with Guest Services.
Shop for everyone on your holiday list at the Museum Store
The Museum Store is the perfect place to shop for everyone on your holiday gift list. From art-inspired gifts to artisan-crafted, one-of-a-kind treasures, there’s something special to be found for the art, architecture, or nature lover in your life.
Check out our 2019 Holiday Gift Guide for some inspiration, and stop by during one of the store events happening this December to participate in some great discounts:
Museum Store Sunday
Sunday, December 1
On Museum Store Sunday, over 450 museum stores will offer relaxing, inspired shopping inside your favorite museums and cultural institutions, including the Museum Store at Crystal Bridges! Enjoy a special shopping experience in a one-of-a-kind environment, showcasing broad assortments of highly curated, unique gifts, high-design home décor, fine art prints of some of the museum’s most popular works, handcrafted jewelry, and elegant accessories. Shop knowing you are supporting the mission and programs of Crystal Bridges.
Member Double Discount Days
Over this four-day period, our members will receive a discount of 20% off all Museum Store items. This includes our regional art which is rarely discounted. Be sure to stop by and shop for those special people in your life. Please note: Discounts do not apply to Chihuly Studio Editions.
Bringing the relatives? Take advantage of our evening hours
Seeing the museum after dark is a whole new experience. The galleries illuminate against the Ozark forest, painted in a new light. Eager to bring your visiting relatives to Crystal Bridges but don’t want to get lost in a crowd? If you prefer to walk through the galleries in a more peaceful setting, our quietest hours are in the evening – we’re open until 9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday!
If you’re planning to experience Crystals in Art and North Forest Lights during your visit, this post provides tips and a sample itinerary to see everything in one afternoon.
Bring the kids to Winter Break Wonders and Family Sunday
Entertain your kids during their winter break by bringing them to the museum for Family Sunday and Winter Break Wonders, family-focused events that offer artmaking projects, performances, and activities for kids and adults of all ages.
Family Sunday: Winter Showcase
Sunday, December 15, 12 to 5 pm
Celebrate the season with a showcase of local holiday-themed performances from communities around Northwest Arkansas and activities for the whole family to enjoy! Sponsored by Northwest Arkansas Naturals, Mark & Diane Simmons, and Procter & Gamble. The event is free, and no registration is required.
Winter Break Wonders
December 21 to January 3, 1 to 4 pm
Make memories at the museum over the school break together as a family. Join us for special activities each afternoon, including artmaking, creative play, puppets, dance, and more. The event is free, and no registration is required.
Try your hand at artmaking in the Studio
Have you visited the Studio yet? Located just off Walker Landing at Crystal Bridges, the Studio is an artmaking space where kids and adults alike can try their hand at creating their own masterpiece, take a break from the galleries, and engage in fun art activities together. Learn more about the Studio and its current activities.
Ring in the New Year with the whole family at Noon Year’s Eve (Eve)
Ring in the New Year (without staying up past bedtime) at our fifth annual family celebration, Noon Year’s Eve Eve – this year we’re celebrating a day early! We’ll have fun art projects, performances, a Coca-Cola toast at noon, and a family dance party on Monday, December 30 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is free, and no registration is required. Sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company and Mark and Diane Simmons.
Experience a magical New Year’s Eve in North Forest Lights
Recently announced: North Forest Lights will be open on New Year’s Eve! From 8 p.m. to midnight, enjoy live music by The Vine Brothers Acoustic Variety Show, performances by Sacred Somatics circus arts, plus artmaking, including a keepsake paper lantern. Enjoy a complimentary drink and treat at the food truck, where a full menu plus drinks are available. Throughout the evening, celebrate the new year with a special countdown each hour on the hour, creating a magical New Year’s Eve, only at Crystal Bridges. All ages welcome. Tickets to New Year’s Eve in North Forest Lights can be purchased here.
We look forward to welcoming you at the museum! Happy Holidays!