Easter is coming! There will be baskets full of brightly-colored, highly-sugared candy and eggs to dye, using all the coffee mugs in the house. Across Northwest Arkansas, parents will be dressing up their kids in fancy frocks for photos taken in the front yard with the spring flowers.

But what if the flowers in your yard have already bloomed and faded? And what if you want to have your own basket of candy, but your refined palate doesn’t particularly love super-sweet jelly beans and sugar-coated marshmallow baby chicks? Whether you have human kids or fur-kids, we’ve got you covered.

For photos to send to the grands and post online, here are a few location suggestions:

Botanical Garden of the Ozarks – flowers galore, interesting garden structures, and you support the nonprofit when you pay to enter. Adults are $7.00, Children (5-12) $4.00. 

Wilson Park Castle in Fayetteville – the area surrounding the stone castle (originally named Seven Points by artist Frank Williams) is a wonderland with a frog pond and little bridge, sculpted benches in the shape of flowers and plants, and flowers aplenty.

Wilson Park castle

Downtown Bentonville Square – this perennially-blooming location features a fountain in the center, surrounded by flower beds. Saturdays are farmers’ market days around the square – so keep that in mind when you’re making your plans.

Crystal Bridges Trails – the gardens and trails around Crystal Bridges are planted with native species, so you won’t find tulips here, but the dogwood and redbud trees in the woods should be blooming, and the public art installations provide picturesque spots to stop and snap a photo. 

Murals and Street Art – Fayetteville and Bentonville are both home to some amazing artists doing their best to add interest and color to their towns. In Fayetteville, Jason Jones and Olivia Trimble have both done their part with a wall-sized works in front of the Fayetteville Town Center and on the north face of a garage space at Uptown Apartments.  Uptown Quilt mural

Bentonville’s Public Art Advisory Committee manages official city-sanctioned art, and there are several cool things listed here. For explosive color, you can’t beat Bottle Rocket Gallery’s exterior wall painted by local artist, Kenneth Siemens (aka @LeftyEyeball)

Lake Atalanta in Rogers – this long-time favorite spot for recreation in Rogers recently underwent a significant remodel and the result is a lovely lake-front park with benches and vistas that are perfect for a nature-filled photo.

If you’re looking to fill your Easter basket with grown-up treats, check out these “sweet spots”:

Handmade Market and Blackboard Grocery in Fayetteville both sell several locally and Arkansas-made chocolate brands, and a wide assortment of other sweet and savory edibles from Arkansas and beyond.   Chocolate at Handmade Market

Buy direct by visiting KYYA Chocolate in Elm Springs. They sell bars, truffles, chocolate syrups, and an assortment of other sweet goodies, including some amazing dark chocolate varieties they make from beans they source themselves from cocoa farmers around the world. 

Punch up your beverages with some Pink House (pH) Alchemy syrups, shrubs and bitters. You can mix them into cocktails, or make fun kid-friendly sodas with flavors like Dark Cherry Grenadine and Hibiscus Rose added to sparkling water. Pink House Alchemy syrups

Several local coffee roasters would be happy to caffeinate your basket – choose from Arsaga’s, Kennedy, Mountain Bird, Mama Carmen’s, or Onyx. 

No matter what your tradition, spring in Northwest Arkansas is a great excuse to get out of the house and see some of what our local communities have to offer. Take photos, eat (and drink) local, and count your blessings – it’s pretty clear our regional basket is full of them.