7 Things You Have to Do in the River Valley in 2018

The new year has finally arrived. Welcome to 2018. You’re going to be looking forward and making plans, I’m sure, and we’ve got some suggestions about what you can do around the River Valley this year. If you’d like to read about events in the area happening every weekend, you should definitely be following us on Facebook. We share a list of events every single Friday.


Facebook/Shell on the Border

1. Go to Shell on the Border.

If you’re interested in hacking or just want to learn more about why hackers would hold a convention in Fort Smith, there’s an event you need to attend. Shell on the Border is happening January 26-28 at 1100 Garrison Avenue, this hacker convention features a lock picking competition and a rousing game of digital capture the flag.

For more information about Shell on the Border, visit their website.



2. Have a Love Affair with Shopping at the Fort Smith Convention Center .

You can celebrate your love at the Fort Smith Convention Center on February 2nd—your love for shopping, that is. Over seventy vendors will be in attendance, and they’ll have plenty of activity booths for the kids, too, including face painting.


3. Go fly a kite.

I would personally recommend Ben Geren Park for this endeavor, but the truth is any relatively flat place will do once those spring winds start blowing.


4. Visit a local natural wonder.

Flickr/Texas Tongs

When the rains come in spring and fall, something marvelous happens to a natural wonder about thirty-five minutes from Fort Smith. Natural Dam becomes an absolutely gorgeous waterfall. Your best bet for a visit will be when it begins to warm up, just after a solid rainstorm. If you want some extra solitude, maybe take a half day during the week and drive up to find yourself a little peace.


5. Spend some time walking near the river.

Fort Smith has been hard at work developing the riverfront, and there’s no better place to spend a lovely afternoon stroll than on one of the trails down by the river.



6. Take a long drive.

Flickr/Texas Tongs

Good news: we live near some of the best scenic byways in the nation. The especially impressive Boston Mountains Scenic Byway up old 71 winds its way through the prettiest part of the interior highlands, and you can stop at Artist Point for a photo opportunity—a pictorial souvenir from your adventure on that slow, lonely highway.  This little excursion is a great plan to make for October, when the leaves are likely to be at the height of fall color.



7. Celebrate the bicentennial, every month of the year.

Fort Smith is officially 200 years old, and we’ll be celebrating the bicentennial all year long. From reenactments to art events to Wild Wednesdays at the library, you’re going to find something to do every month of 2018. For more information, view the calendar at this link. 

J.B. Weisenfels

J.B. Weisenfels is a lifelong resident of the River Valley who serves as Editorial Curator for BSavvy Magazine. She holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Writing from Spalding University and a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, where she received the Academic Excellence Award for the 2013/2014 academic year. When she is not writing or editing, she enjoys reading, writing, and having long conversations with her two children and all her very excellent friends and family members.