Now that the cold weather has passed, the warm season of spring brings with it vibrant colors and comfortable, sunny days (with the occasional thunderstorm, but hey — April showers bring May flowers, right?). Before spring turns to summer, be sure and check off several, if not all, of the activities included on this list.
Find fresh food at the Farmer’s Market
Early to bed, early to rise; buy fresh fruit, bake great pies. Open seasonally from 7 a.m. until noon on Wednesdays and Saturdays, the Clark County Farmer’s Market is the place to find locally grown produce and crafts.
The vendors here grow 100 percent of the items they sell, so you’re sure to reap the benefits of produce that has been handled with care. Be sure and keep in mind you’ll need side items to go with what you decide to grill later in the day.
Located in Central Park, the Farmer’s Market is near a playground for the young ones, and picnic tables if you can’t wait until you get back home to snack on the goodies you’ve found.
Play a lawn game at River Park
Looking for both shade and sunlight? Look no further than the Ouachita River Park. Located at 1st and Main streets, this is a jewel of a park nestled on a bluff that overlooks the Ouachita River. Pack up your favorite lawn game — ours happens to be Bocce — and pick any spot to set up. This park is well suited for Bocce because of its varying terrain. Other fun options include croquet, giant Jenga, ladder toss or Frisbee.
Picnic at DeSoto Bluff
Pack a light lunch for everyone and head out to DeSoto Bluff. Park at the trailhead on North 10th Street, just south of KidSource Therapy, and take a brief, easy walk along the 1/4-mile paved path to a newly built pavilion at the locally famous overlook of the Ouachita River. Set up shop at one of several picnic tables available, and prepare lunch. Burgers and hot dogs on the menu? Not a problem, as there are grills available at this park.
Go junk shopping
The Caddo Valley Flea Market is a great place to wander through countless booths of general or themed merchandise. Rummage through antiques, vintage items, boutique clothing and thrift store finds.
For some unbelievable deals visit the Bee Hive, where one person’s donations await new life. The Bee Hive is open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. and carries various items from upscale, vintage clothing to used and new furniture and household items.
Or, find a garage sale! For the tech savvy, use Facebook Marketplace and search the garage sale category. Another option is to make an adventure of driving around town in search of signs pointing in the direction of the nearest garage or estate sale.
Shop and dine downtown
Dotted with boutiques and gift shops — all within walking distance — shopping in downtown Arkadelphia is a must to complete a spring day.
Spring is the perfect time to shop for a new Easter Sunday outfit, try on a prom dress or freshen up your wardrobe. At Young Forever, you can mark all three off your to-do list.
Keep the beat at Shuffield Music Company, have jewelry repaired (or shop for new) at KelZek Fine Jewelry, browse an array of fun gifts while sipping coffee at JavaPrimo, learn needlework at Knit Unto Others, or check out an assortment of gifts at either The Farmhouse or Christie’s Gifts and Consignment.
Grab a smoothie or juice at The Nutrition Den. Got a sweet tooth? Check out the baked goods made from scratch at Samantha’s Bakery & Cafe. Take in the sunshine on the patio at Slim & Shorty’s with food and drink. Treat yourself to one of many burger options at Highway 67 Grill. Stick around to catch live music at one or both of the aforementioned restaurants.
Grill and chill at Lower Lake
Whether you’re alone or have a large group to entertain, spend an afternoon at the Lower Lake Recreation Area in Caddo Valley. Listen as water from Lower DeGray Lake spills over the dam into the Caddo River. Take your fishing tackle and reel in perch or bass from below the dam.
Let the kids spend some energy at the large playground area as the adults prepare food at the covered pavilion or at one of the many outdoor grilling areas.
To get there: from Highway 7, turn south onto Lower Dam Pike (state Highway 390) and drive 2 miles to the destination.
Take a dusk stroll on Feaster
As the day dims into the evening hours, take a leisurely stroll along any section of Feaster Trail. Listen as songbirds head to roost and owls begin to wake. Enjoy the calming sounds of Mill Creek. The entire 2.7 miles of this hidden gem is paved with asphalt, making it ideal for strollers or bicycles. There are multiple places to access the trail: Baptist Health Medical Center, 8th Street, 15th Street or 26th Street.
Catch a baseball game
In a town of two colleges and a back-to-back championship-winning high school team, don’t miss out on a morning, afternoon or evening game on a baseball diamond. Catch the Tigers at Rab Rodgers Field, 939 N. 8th St., the Reddies at Clyde Berry Field, 884 N. 15th St., or the Badgers at the Youth Sports Complex off of Country Club Road.
Try disc golf at one of four spots
Arkadelphia has no shortage of disc golf courses! This fun outdoors activity can be enjoyed either alone or with the entire family, and requires little equipment (tip: start with a simple Frisbee for each player and invest in discs from the big-box retailers as you hone your skills).
Whether you’ve got an hour or an entire day to kill, spend it at one of four local disc golf courses: DeGray Lake Visitor Information Center, the Arkadelphia Youth Sports Complex, Lower Lake Recreation Center or at Ouachita Baptist University, accessible off of Feaster Trail.