Take a break from your busy daily life and relax in Arkansas this Christmas. Arkansas is home to numerous beautiful cities including Little Rock and Fort Smith, as well as small communities such as Roland and Hindsville, which offer lots of Christmas cheer to visitors. Choose a trendy loft in downtown Little Rock close to the Arkansas Repertory, which produces “A Christmas Story” performance, or a family home in the charming town of Hot Springs to view the stunning lights at Garvan Woodland Gardens. Throughout the state, many towns and communities offer unique and unforgettable holiday events, so book your Arkansas vacation rental today. Check out the state’s seven best Christmas getaways.

1. Little Rock

As one of the two largest cities in Arkansas, Little Rock does Christmas on a grand scale. Order tickets from the Arkansas Repertory to see a live version of America’s favorite Christmas movie, “A Christmas Story.” The Capital Hotel has a massive lighted tree in its lobby that’s worth a stop for pictures but stay for a glass of the awesome eggnog in the Capital Bar and Grill, just off the lobby. Kids love looking at the mile-long light display at Sherwood’s Enchanted Forest Trail of Lights with its festive colors and holiday scenes created by thousands of lights. Check out one of the local malls or downtown shopping for any last minute gifts or stocking stuffers.

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2. Hot Springs

Treat your family to one of Arkansas’s best light displays when you choose a vacation rental in Hot Springs. The Garvan Woodland Gardens holiday lights number over four million, and you can walk through the gardens enjoying the free cup of hot chocolate and the display every evening in December. Almost every plant, tree, fountain, and available comes alive in a riot of festive colors. Another chance to gaze at amazing lights is at the Exchange Street Parking Plaza that provides a Trail of Lights each year. Stop by the Bathhouse Row and soak in one of the thermal springs to warm up in the chilly mountain air.

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3. Eureka Springs

Settle in for a Victorian Christmas in the small town of Eureka Springs with its historic brick buildings and friendly locals. Come out for the Eureka Springs Christmas parade in early December and watch as floats, bands, and Santa Clause march up the main street in the downtown area. After announcing the arrival of the holiday season, the town creates the perfect Victorian village feel, outlining each of the buildings with white lights and placing wreaths on each lamp post. Enjoy window shopping in the downtown area as each business has a beautiful holiday display and stop by one of the many candy shops for a sweet little addition to the kids’ stockings.

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4. Fort Smith

The Christmas fun in Fort Smith kicks off each year with the Fort Smith Christmas Parade. Santa and his team of elves take center stage in this parade that includes marching bands, firetrucks, floats, and much more. Stop by the Christmas Winter Wonderland to enjoy an indoor light display that lets you stay warm while you gaze at the thousands of lights spread out over various scenes. When you’re done wandering through the displays, stop by for hot cocoa and warm cookies with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Kids love riding on the Santa Express Train and getting their photos taken with Santa.

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5. Fayetteville

Visitors flock from far and wide to visit Fayetteville and the Lights of the Ozarks festival throughout the month of December. Choose a vacation rental in the downtown area so you can walk over to the lighted displays made up of more than half a million Christmas lights. Take the family for a horse-drawn carriage ride or let little ones ride a pony. Meet with Santa, share your Christmas wish list, and have a picture taken. Warm up at the Boardwalk Cafe with a cup of warm cocoa and a pastry to keep your energy up.

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6. Fairfield Bay

Admire all the beautifully decorated Christmas trees in the small community of Fairfield Bay. At the Fairfield Bay’s Festival of Trees in the Fairfield Bay Conference Center, wander the up and down the aisle choosing your favorite among the dozen of artfully decorated Christmas trees. Some trees offer uniform colors while others feature an eclectic collection of funky ornaments, making it hard to choose just one. Stop by on the first day of your trip and pick up a slip with an item to donate to a needy family in the area at the Community Giving Tree, and then return with the item in a day or two to teach your kids the true meaning of the holidays.

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7. Bentonville

Pack your ice skates before leaving for your Christmas holiday in Bentonville. Each year, Lawrence Plaza takes its popular summertime splash zone and turns it into an outdoor ice skating rink for the public. Everywhere you go in town, you find lights, trees, garland, and the Walmart Museum hosts caroling events throughout the season, where your group can listen or sing along to all their favorite holiday songs.

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