The end of the year is upon us, and with the fall and winter seasons come new ways to engage with Crystal Bridges, both onsite and online. The museum will be open throughout the holidays (closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day) for you and your family to enjoy, or you can participate in artmaking activities and conversations on art, writing, healing, and more online. Regardless of your plans this holiday season, use this blog to plan your winter adventures with Crystal Bridges.
If you plan to visit, free timed-entry tickets are required. Admission is still free for all, but please reserve your tickets to help us maintain proper social distancing at the museum. Tickets can be reserved HERE.
If your desired time is booked, you can also visit our new satellite contemporary art space, the Momentary, located 1.5 miles south of Crystal Bridges.
Please review our health and safety guidelines here before your visit.
It is one of the most magical times of the year to walk the grounds at Crystal Bridges. From the moment you drive onto Museum Way, you will be greeted with burning red trees, and the forest grows with color as you drive further into the woods. We have over five miles of walking and biking trails around the 120-acre museum campus, and over 30 sculptures line the trails, allowing you to experience art in nature. The trails are open from sunrise to sunset daily, and tickets are not required if you are only planning on walking the trails.
Download our free CB Outdoor app featuring interactive trail maps, art and plant guides, and audio tour information about the Crystal Bridges’ grounds. Available for Apple and Android devices.
We will be closed on Thanksgiving Day (November 26), early closure on Christmas Eve (December 24), and closed on Christmas Day (December 25).
Apart from those days, the museum will be open during regular 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 want to be extra mindful of keeping everyone distanced in public spaces? If you prefer to walk through the galleries in a more peaceful setting, our quietest (and least crowded) hours are in the evening – we’re open until 9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday.
You don’t have to travel far to see the beauty of the United States. Visit national parks, the American Southwest, desert and wilderness spaces, and more in our newest exhibition as you move back and forth in time with Ansel Adams and 24 of his contemporary successors. In addition to admiring the photographs themselves, explore the history and production of pre-digital photography through this unique exhibition. Get your tickets here.
Have you seen the lights yet? Enjoy an enchanted, nighttime walk through the woods featuring dynamic, nature-inspired lighting elements and immersive soundscapes. Now, you can purchase tickets Wednesday through Monday starting at 6 p.m. (The museum is closed on Tuesdays.)
To ensure a safe and stress-free experience for all visitors, new COVID-19 safety measures have been put in place throughout North Forest Lights, and face coverings must be worn at all times.
Upgrade Your Experience: Book a North Forest Snow Globe! Something enchanting is coming to the Ozarks. Set in the middle of North Forest Lights next to Dale Chihuly’s Sole d’Oro sculpture, the North Forest Snow Globe Experience includes three hours inside a cozy, see-through snow globe dome with lights, music, and faux fur blankets, specialty cocktails, bites, and a Snow Globe Concierge. Tickets to this snow globe experience also include entry to North Forest Lights and a shuttle pick-up to bring you to your snow globe upon arrival.
This is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the holidays in a safe, socially distanced environment. Snow globes are sure to book up quickly, so don’t miss your chance to experience a unique special occasion under the stars immersed in North Forest Lights!
The chilly weather outside makes for the perfect time to enjoy a drink made by our specially trained baristas. Enjoy coffee indoors or take it out on the trails with you as you explore.
This season, the Coffee Bar is serving seasonal drinks such as Cinnamon Spiced Mocha, Peppermint White Mocha, Gingerbread Latte, Maple Leaf Latte, and Peppermint Hot Chocolate.
Crystal Bridges invites you to experience the first-ever digital Van Cliburn Concert Series, presented in two parts and free to view. Renowned national pianists have been paired with Northwest Arkansas talent curating musical selections that will take you on a journey through isolation, hope, yearning, and the American Spirit from the comfort of your home.
In Part I on December 3, acclaimed pianists Lara Downes, Arturo O’Farrill, and Anderson & Roe Piano Duo invite you into their homes across the country for an exclusive and intimate performance. In Part II on December 10, local pianists Tomoko Kashiwagi, Claudia Burson, and Matt Nelson, will present pre-recorded performances of their music, played on the Van Cliburn piano in Crystal Bridges’ Great Hall. Enjoy the two-part concert series from the comfort of your home. With musical selections from the Great American Songbook specially chosen for this moment of social distancing, join us for this transformed concert experience.
This Digital Van Cliburn Concert Series is presented in memory of Ellis Marsalis, Jr. It is free to view.
The Museum Store is the perfect place to get all your holiday shopping done. Find unique gifts and artisan crafts for everyone on your list. Check out our Museum Store staff’s 2020 holiday gift guide here for some inspiration.
Give the gift of Crystal Bridges! Want to give a gift that lasts all year long? Gift memberships to Crystal Bridges are also available in the Museum Store. Memberships last a full year and include benefits such as free admission to temporary exhibitions, invitations to members-only events, discounts on purchases at Eleven, the Coffee Bar, and the Museum Store, and more! Inquire at the Museum Store or purchase a gift membership online here.
You can also make a plan to shop during one of the store’s upcoming events:
Museum Store Sunday | Sunday, November 29, 10 am to 6 pm
Museum Store Sunday is celebrated by museums the world over! Our store offers a special shopping experience in one-of-a-kind stores, showcasing a broad assortment of highly curated, unique gifts. From books, to jewelry, to children’s products, to home accessories, there is something for everyone. You can also enjoy 10% off Ansel Adams merchandise during the event! Shop knowing you are supporting the missions and programs of each participating museum and cultural institution.
Member Double Discount Days | December 11-14
If you are a Crystal Bridges member, enjoy 20% off purchases at the Museum Store on these days!
Socially distancing? You can also give the Museum Store a call and place your order for curbside pick-up at 479.657.2310.
Crystal Bridges is currently offering an array of online programs designed to connect and engage people in a virtual atmosphere with artmaking activities and conversations. Check our calendar for upcoming events and consider registering for an event. We update our events regularly, so please do check back. Many are free; some come with art materials for a fee. Virtual artmaking programs are also a great way to connect with friends and family far away!
Special thanks to our sponsors:
Ansel Adams in Our Time is sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company, Stout Executive Search, ConAgra Brands, Reed and Mary Ann Greenwood, Harriet and Warren Stephens, Stephens Inc., Harrison and Rhonda French Family, Marybeth and Micky Mayfield, Donna and Mack McLarty, Mark McLarty, Catherine and Stephan Roche, Lamar and Shari Steiger, Mark and Diane Simmons, Rebecca Hurst and Jim Smith | Smith Hurst, PLC, Jim and Susan von Gremp, Galen, Debi, and Alice Havner, Jeremy L. Goldstein, Dewitt and Cindy Smith, and Anonymous. The exhibition is organized by Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
North Forest Lights is sponsored by the Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation, Terri & Chuck Erwin, and Arvest Bank. Created and produced by Moment Factory.