“Christmas At The Crescent” in Eureka Springs

christmas at the crescentChristmastime at this Historic Hotel of America has become one of The Ozarks region’s most popular winter holiday traditions.  Part of that tradition is the 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa’s week-long schedule of activities for visitors, residents and guests which is called “Christmas at the Crescent”.  This year’s yuletide celebration at this mountaintop spa resort runs from December 1 through December 7 located at 75 Prospect Avenue on the Historic Loop.  It is all part of the full, nearly month-long calendar of seasonal events planned here at one of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations.

“When we first started this holiday week back in 2000, it consisted of a decorated lobby and live Nativity scene which suffered not much of an impact crowd-wise due to 10 inches of snow that fell the day before we populated our Bethlehem stable,” said hotel General Manager and Vice-President of Operations Jack Moyer.  “And now, on the other end of the spectrum is this year’s expanded decorations throughout the interior and exterior of the hotel.  These include the adding of red and green spotlights running up the limestone sides of our five-story landmark hotel, and the conversion of our Fountain Garden into the Crescent’s new Winter Wonderland.”“Our landscaping team has constructed both a 30-foot illuminated Christmas tree and huge illuminated presents,” Moyer added.  “This brilliant holiday ensemble is a festive accent to our adjacent outdoor ice-skating rink making its popular return engagement from last year.  Also added for 2018 is an illuminated tunnel of lights leading guests from our Winter Wonderland to our East Lawn, site of our Christmas Forest.”

The lighting of the Crescent Christmas Forest on Saturday, December 1st at 6 p.m. has become a popular community event.  More than 30 trees will adorn the holiday focal point of the hotel’s nearly 15 acres, The East Lawn.  Each tree will be uniquely decorated one to the other since each tree represents a different local and area charity.

“Not only is our Christmas Forest a sparkling sight to behold, visitors to the forest can ‘vote’ for their favorite tree.  Each dollar donated to a specific tree counts as one vote.  At the end of the ‘election’ on December 31, each tree’s ‘votes’ will be donated to that charity.  Additionally, the top three vote-getters also receive a nice cash prize donated from the hotel,” explained Moyer.

santa's brunch

Santa arrives at the hotel on Sunday, December 2 when he is the star attraction at Santa’s Brunch.  The two elements that guests are suggested to bring to this feast of holiday culinary delights are a large appetite and a camera.  While eating to their hearts’ delight guests also getting a chance to sit on Ol’ Saint Nick’s lap for a chance to capture a photographic lifetime memory.  Santa has been known to balance an entire family on his red velvet knees for that just right shot.  This holiday breakfast feast is served from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. while Santa will be poised for photo ops from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

At noon on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, December 3-5, the hotel’s Crystal Dining Room swings open its doors for hungry lunch patrons and musical groups ready to perform for those enjoying a mid-day repast.  Representing all of Carroll County this year are the Green Forest Chamber Choir on Monday; the Eureka Springs Highlander Band and Choir on Tuesday; and on Wednesday, the Berryville High School Vocal Image, the Berryville Intermediate Bobcat Honor Choir, and the Berryville Elementary Choir.

On Wednesday evening, the Crescent will again host the Annual Holiday Community Dinner, this year benefitting the Writers’ Colony.  This casual, family-style meal welcomes the entire community to come and share delicious holiday fare while helping out this worthwhile local organization.  The meal begins at 6 p.m.

Other evening events will take place in the hotel’s Faculty Lounge Theater and will feature noted storyteller, Keith Scales.  He will be regaling a selection of Christmas ghost stories during his performance of “Frightfully Festive” on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday nights, December 2, 3 and 5.  On the evenings of December 4 and 6, same time/same place, he will be presenting “The Funny Side of The Ozarks” with lively tales of the area.  All performances begin at 9 p.m.

An afternoon event, hosted by St. James Episcopal Church, will mark its fifty-second year on Thursday, December 6.  The Annual Silver Tea will see the ladies of the church, dressed in period costumes, serving up tea and coffee from polished silver sets in the Crystal Dining Room while offering up a plethora of holiday edibles.  The event takes place from 1:30 to 3:30 and a charitable donation from each guest at the door is greatly appreciated.crescent ice skatingWeather permitting, the highly popular Crescent Ice-Skating Rink will welcome skaters for its official re-opening from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. each night starting on Sunday, December 2.  Friday, December 7, night’s open skate will feature the “Friday Night Fun Kick-Off with Santa” celebration from 5 to 6 in hotel’s Winter Wonderland.

Eureka Springs’ Five and Dime Players take the stage in the hotel’s Conservatory on Friday night, December 7 for their presentation of a live Holiday Radio Show.  Ticket holders will enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres at 6 o’clock with the “curtain” going up at 7 for 90 minutes of seasonal fun and songs.

“Our ‘Christmas at The Crescent’ this year will allow our guests to ‘Live The Legend’ here at our hotel, the symbol of Arkansas hospitality since 1886,” concluded Moyer.

For more information, go to ChristmasAtTheCrescent.com.

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Spring Trip Ideas

Spring is here and its the perfect time to visit Eureka Springs for an affordable and stress free getaway.  Stroll through downtown, visit the natural springs, discover hidden stairs, streets, and historic remnants as you explore town. Visit the many unique galleries and dine around at Eureka’s fabulous chef owned restaurants. A popular destination for couples, active seniors traveling in the southern Ozarks region.

Planning is part of the fun. Eureka Springs is full of quirky shops and galleries, unique dining, and one-of-a-kind experiences.  No longer seasonal, Eureka Springs is now open Year-round so great ideas can quickly transition into stress fixes.  From Ghost Tours, Big Cats, Thrilling Zipline Adventures and Tram Tours, make sure to visit a one stop show for your attraction ticketing ahead of time. Plan Your Trip.

Excitement is abundant in Eureka with the many festive parades, events, nightly music and colorful characters that make up the local scene. Be in the know of what there is all to do on your trip.  Eureka Springs Things To Do. 

Relaxation is the key to your visit.  Take a day to relax in one of Eureka Springs’ spas. Spend quality time with a good book or good company over a cup of joe.  Try Daily Roast downtown by the Flat Iron or Arsagas’ coffee at Brews on Spring Street.  Relax over a regional microbrew at Brews, or sip and sample some delicious wine at Eureka Springs StoneHouse or sit out on the SkyBar deck with the best views of the Ozark hillside. Enjoy some live music or hang with the locals at Chelseas.  Sleep in late and ask for a Sunday Stay Later at one of Eureka Springs’ most preferred accommodations and enjoy some extra time while saving some money on your room with seasonal, “online only” Hot Deals found at ReserveEureka.com.

Nature escapes surround Eureka Springs.  This is your destination to get away and be immersed in nature.  You can find yourself taking a leisurely stroll through the many walking paths in downtown that allow you to explore the natural springs and historic architecture that surrounds this Ozark Mountain village.  Hiking enthusiasts will enjoy exploring two parks nearby town, Black Bass Lake or Lake Leatherwood.  Great views, easy to moderate hiking and a lot of trails to choose from.  Fishing, Kayaking or Mountain Biking are also favorite outdoor activities.  For all trail information visit EurekaSpringsTrails.com

Outdoor Enthusiasts, the greater Eureka Springs’ area offers convenient accessibility to a wealth of outdoor activities such as Beaver Lake, Table Rock Lake, Kings River, White River, Thorncrown Chapel, Blue Springs Heritage Center, Black Bass Lake, Lake Leatherwood, the Hogscald and Big Clifty areas, Holiday Island golf course and marina, numerous providers offering scenic horseback rides, Starkey Park Marina, Beaver Dam Site Park, Beavertown Bridge, the 12,000 acre Hobbs State park, Madison County Game Refuge, War Eagle Mill, War Eagle Cavern, Onyx Cave, Cosmic Caverns, Roaring River State park and Trout Hatchery, The Mark Twain National Forest with its miles of ATV trails, Buffalo National River, Dogwood Canyon, and the Pea Ridge National Military Park. All are examples of the excellent outdoor adventures waiting to be experienced and all of these places are just a short drive away when anyone chooses “America’s Victorian Village” as their vacation hub.

View Crescent Hotel April Hot Deals

New Things Happening in May

Eureka Springs, the “Extraordinary Escape” located in the Arkansas Ozarks, is alive and welcoming the year ‘round, but in spring it becomes ever so bold.  Why?  Because in spring this historic village begins to strut its stuff.  And in 2017, that includes new stuff at great attractions such as The Great Passion Play, Intrigue Theater, America’s Most Haunted Hotel, Phunkberry, May Festival of the Arts, as well as Main Street Eureka Springs.

  • The Great Passion Play will begin its fiftieth season, on Friday, May 5, at 8:30 p.m. but with nuances for the 2017 season.  Added to the entrance way of the Holy Land Tour is a Biblical marketplace featuring carpenters, potters, and other artisans making hand-crafted items.  Also new is Noah’s Ark Park, a petting zoo with camels; llama; an assortment of miniature goats, donkeys and horses; plus, a pharaoh hound.   The play itself boasts of more than 170 actors, dozens of birds and animals, all assembled to portray the last days of Christ on a set that is three stories tall and 550 feet across and meticulous replicates Jerusalem of 2000 years ago.  The play will have evening performances on Friday and Saturday nights through the end of the opening month with two added performances on Thursday, May 25 and Sunday, May 28 for the Memorial Day weekend.  Surrounding the amphitheater are The Christ of the Ozarks, the New Holy Land, Sacred Arts Center, the Bible Museum, hiking trails, and more.  www.greatpassionplay.org/
  • Intrigue Theater has already begun its seventh season and continues to completely mystify each and every audience that witnesses their extensive journey into the art of magic and illusion.  Illusionist Sean-Paul and ghost whisperer Juliana Fay have drawn from their decades of performing around the world to transform the 1910 Gavioli Chapel into a performance venue that vibrantly enhances their innovative and brilliant homage to the Golden Age of Magic and the Ghostly Spiritualist movement of the early 1900s.  A new stage with augmented audience sight lines, a proscenium, crystal chandeliers, period stage lighting and historic props has now transformed this Victorian, limestone chapel into a showplace of mind-boggling magic, mysticism and journeys to “the other side.  The new Intrigue Theater dynamically adds to the ambiance of a town known for the unknown.  intriguetheater.com/
  • America’s Most Haunted Hotel further solidifies Eureka Springs as a town known for the unknown.  The 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa’s nightly ghost tour has for 2017 added a new history room at the tour’s origination point.  This “Faculty Lounge” honors the Crescent College & Conservatory for Young Women (circa 1908-1934).  Here patrons can look at images of the “living” co-eds prior to touring, prior to perhaps bumping into one those ladies who never left or returned to the building following graduation.  Another off-beat, recovered treasure displayed in the room is an original calliaphone invented and manufactured by the infamous Norman Baker.  It is the morgue of his Cancer Curing Hospital (circa 1937-1939) that is the pièce de résistance of the tour.  Said to be the most paranormally active area in the hotel, it culminates the tour which winds down from the fourth floor to the basement with numerous stops and stories of ghostly encounters along the way, stories that oftentimes make even the most brave feel faint.  www.americasmosthauntedhotel.com/
  • Phunkberry is Eureka Springs’ newest music festival.  This second three-day event, May 4-6, has an all new line up with the newest of now sounds focusing on the top national and regional funk and jazz bands.  Featured for 2017 is The Motet, an American funk, Afrobeat and jazz influenced group from Denver CO; The Werks, a psychedelic dance, jam, funk, rock group from Dayton 0H; and from Chicago IL comes Maniac Focus, and electronic music project of John “JmaC” McCartin.  All 16 groups will take the stage in front of thousands at “The Farm”, 160 panoramic acres atop the Ozark Mountains. phunkberry.com/
  • May Festival of the Arts honors a community that has, for more than a decade, been anchored on the “Top 25 Cities for Art” in the small cities category in such publications as American Style Magazine.  And, since Eureka Springs boasts of more than 350 working artists in a town of 2,000 where cutting-edge is a way of life, the hot and exciting nuance in this month-long fête is “The Eurekan Spectacle”, an augmented reality based experiential app that allows users to witness a Shakespearean play at various real-world locations around Eureka Springs. The Eurekan Spectacle goes live May 1.  Download instructions and a walking tour map can be found at www.eurekanspectacle.com.  Eureka’s May Festival is packed with one-of-a-kind art exhibits, demonstrations, performances, culinary arts, free music in the park, and the wildest street party thrown by artists: The White Street Walk.  www.eurekaspringsfestivalofthearts.com/
  • Main Street Eureka Springs is blessed each year with shop owners and downtown entrepreneurs who keep a watchful eye on the latest trends and products and 2017 is no exception.  A swarm of new shops and new inventories at established shops await Eureka’s nearly one million visitors starting in May.  Just as new as the merchandise downtown is the “Downtown N Underground” tour.  Its 2017 reboot features an extended route that takes strollers along the same exact sidewalks and sidetrails used by the outlaws and zealots, the famous and infamous back when Eureka Springs was considered the wild west.  The tour also includes an exclusive visit to three underground locations, private and off limits to the general public with one final stop as “guests take the stage” at the city’s historic auditorium.  eurekaspringsdowntown.com/

“If you ever wanted to see a town strut, travel this spring to the crown jewel of Northwest Arkansas, Eureka Springs,” said Bill Ott, former chairman of the Greater Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce, “and once you get here you will be strutting right along with us with no desire ever to return home.”