Options abound for outdoor fun

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Northwest Arkansas has plenty of options for recreation, especially outdoors, thanks to the scenic beauty of the Boston Mountains and the Ozark National Forest.
The easiest way to swim is Beaver Lake, but there are a significant amount of aquatic parks in the area for children and adults to enjoy.
Springdale Aquatic Center opened in May 2000 and includes a baby/toddler pool with dolphin replicas and has dual slide tubes for older ages. Swim lessons are offered during the summer at $50 per session per child ages 4 and older.
There are lockers, a small snack bar and swimming diapers are available. Admission is $2 for ages 0-4, $4 for ages 5 and older and a deck fee of $2. Springdale Aquatic Center accepts cash, check, Mastercard and Visa. It is open from Memorial Day until Labor Day.
Normal hours are Monday-Saturday from noon-6:45 p.m., and Sundays from 1 p.m.-6:45 p.m.
Siloam Springs Family Aquatic Center is just a short drive from Interstate 49 and offers a 10 percent discount on annual membership passes if purchased in the month of April.
Normal hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1 p.m.-6 p.m., Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 1 p.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday from 2 p.m.-6 p.m. There is a members only swim on Saturdays from 10 a.m.-noon.


Daily admission is $4 ages four and up, while ages three and under is $3. Children under the age of 10 must be accompanied by a parent or authorized guardian.
The Family Aquatic Center offers a June and July session of swimming lessons for $35 a lesson.
Prairie Grove Aquatic Park allows residents in western Washington County an outlet for fun and relaxation in the pool and is just 15 minutes from Fayetteville.
Normal hours are Monday-Thursday from noon-6 p.m., Friday-Saturday from noon-7 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m.-7 p.m.
There is an early season opening on Memorial Day weekend, but the full time pool season runs June 5 through August 17.
Daily admission is $4 per person ages 6 and up, and $3 for children ages 5 and under and senior citizens ages 55 and up. After 5 p.m., adults are $2 and seniors and children are just $1.
Season passes can be purchased for $185 for a family of four, and $35 for each additional immediate family member. One guest pass can be purchased with each family pass. Individual season passes are $60.
The Rogers Aquatic Center is the newest water park in Northwest Arkansas, opening last May at a cost of nearly $12 million.
A three-acre park, normal hours are Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sundays from noon-6 p.m.
Features include a leisure pool with two basketball goals and a volleyball net, as well as a lily pad walk and large play structure. There is a six-lane competition pool, a 500-foot lazy river that contains therapy jets and vortex pool, a plunge pool with a rock climbing wall, a tot pool with a big play structure, a splash pad, two speed slides off a 40-foot-tall tower, and open flume and enclosed flume slides off a a 40-foot-tall tower.
There are men’s and women’s bathhouses and lockers, family bathrooms, free parking, food service and concessions, pavilions, and an open pass with the allowance of coming and going as a person pleases courtesy of a hand-stamp.
All of these parks will be accessible or will be a short drive from the Northwest Arkansas Razorback Regional Greenway, better known as just the Razorback Greenway, a 36-mile, primarily off-road, shared-use trail that extends from the Bella Vista Trail in north Bentonville to south Fayetteville.
The trail will connect several popular community destinations including six downtown areas, three major hospitals, 23 schools, the University of Arkansas, corporate headquarters of Walmart, JB Hunt and Tyson Foods, arts and entertainment venues, shopping areas, historic sites, parks, playgrounds and residential communities. ■

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