Survive a Siloam summer

Now that the main school year is over, most students have gone on home, leaving a few stragglers in town. Some of these students are staying for one more intensive month of study to get a few more credits out of the way during May Term. Still others are scattered across the small city, for the rest of the summer.

In a small town like Siloam Springs, what things might be available for college students to do during the summer months? When so many classmates are out of town, what attractions in the Siloam Springs area might students have overlooked? Below are some ideas of things to do during a Siloam summer.

– Watch a movie in the park.
Spend an evening out of doors watching Rango or Cars 2, among others. Parks and Recreation will be hosting several movies on different Fridays this summer in Henry Park at 9 p.m. See the Siloam Springs website for a full list of movie titles and dates.

– Spend an afternoon at the aquatic center.
The Family Aquatic Center opens Saturday, May 26. Passes cost $3 for anyone over three years old. After 5 p.m., tickets are half price. Their normal hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

– Canoe down the Illinois.
The Outfitters Directory lists AR 59 Canoing & Rafting as providing canoe, kayak and raft rental along with campgrounds. If you like the outdoors, this might be the option for you.

– Go on a “safari.”
For those who have gas money, Gentry offers the Wild Wilderness Drive-Through Safari. The zoo has a drive-through area where, among other things, visitors can see American bison. Look through the displays with porcupines, zebras, and more as well as walk through the petting zoo with pygmy goats and kangaroos. Adult admission is $10, according to the safari’s website.

– Take some friends bowling.
What about bad weather, or students who aren’t as up for all the outdoor activities? Students can always watch a movie at the Siloam Springs 6. The theater prices normal matinee tickets at $6; otherwise, students pay $7. But they can also take a trip to Arkoma Lanes for bowling. The bowling alley has 16 lanes, and adult pricing is $2.85, or rent a lane for $16 per hour or $12 before 5 p.m., the website lists. Shoes costs $1.50 for students.

– Listen to live music.
On the second Saturday of each month this summer, Parks and Recreation will host a different musical talent at Twin Springs Park. The Gallier Brothers will perform in June, Betse Ellis in July and Dave Para and Cathy Barton in August.

– Tour Crystal Bridges.
For those with an interest in culture, take a visit to the newly built Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville. The museum makes a circle with four main exhibits: colonial, 19th century, modern and contemporary. General admission is free. Hours are Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The museum will also have a temporary exhibit this summer, The Hudson River School: Nature and the American Vision. This exhibit requires advanced reservation and a $5 entry fee.

– See a play.
Sager Creek Arts Center will hold “The Family Nobody Wanted” on June 1, 2, 3, 8 and 9. The play follows a couple who, after discovering they can’t have children, adopt one white boy and afterward 12 children of different races.

– Cross one off the bucket list?
So Siloam Springs has parks, a bowling alley and an aquatic center. But skydiving? At Cecil Smith Airport in Siloam Springs, legal adults can skydive for $195, according to their website. If you have the resources and the guts, it just might be worth it.