Games, contests and activities for the entire family are on the agenda for Island Festivalat DeGray Lake Resort State Park in Bismarck on July 4. A scavenger hunt and an underwater treasure hunt are on the schedule as is a fireworks display over the lake at night.
DeGray Lake Resort State Park Phone: 501-865-5851 Website: www.degray.com
Love searching for clues and solving mysteries? July 12-16 at the Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources in Smackover hosts CSI Camp: Murder in the Oil Field. For a week at the museum, day campers will conduct their own CSI (crime scene investigation). In the dramatization, a body has been found in the oil fields of south Arkansas. What happened and who was this person? Campers will work with the tools used by real experts to solve this mystery. Space is limited and reservations required.
Dumas is the place to be on July 22-25 as the town hosts the 31st annual Ding Dong Days. The festival features activities for kids of all ages, including games, arts and crafts, live music, face painting and a pancake breakfast. Dont miss the Ding Dong eating contests that offer categories for kids and adults.
Beat the July temperatures by heading to one of Central Arkansass water play areas. The original of the bunch is Willow Springs Water Park, which has been around since 1928. It features a sandy bottomed lake which is chemically treated for purity. Attractions include a 400-foot water slide, a large kiddie pool, two log rollers and water trampolines, water basketball, thether ball and volleyball, plus many more water activities. Lifeguards are on duty and lifejackets are available. You can have a picnic or eat at the Upper Deck Café. Great for group gatherings, parties and family get-togethers. The park is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and noon til 8 p.m. on Sunday.
Over in North Little Rock, Wild River Country lays claim to being Arkansass largest water park. Rides such as The Cyclone, Vertigo, Pipeline, Sidewinder and the Accelerator await visitors. The Vortex, White and Black Lighting, Lazy River, River Rapids and Wave Pool are others. All of the mentioned attractions are good for all age-groups. Theres enough to keep you busy for a whole day. A snack bar, gift shop and two special birthday party packages are available
In Fort Smith, The Park at West End, an old-fashioned amusement park, is located downtown adjacent to the Arkansas River bridge. The Ferris wheel is a restored late-1930s model that was once displayed at the 1935 San Diego Worlds Fair. It is an original from the Eli Bridge Company. While George Washington Gale Ferris designed the first Ferris wheel, the Eli Bridge Company developed a practical and portable wheel.
Another main feature is a hand-painted carousel from Treviso, Italy. A 1957 Pullman dining car serves as a diner, and a 1963 British Leyland provides standard amusement park concessions. A Penny Arcade or retro games adds to the nostalgia, as does the tunes playing on the parks calliope circus wagon.
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