Something about a new year makes everything seem fresh. We get to restart, recharge and enact wonderful change in our life. Personally, I’ve always favored New Year’s Eve to any other holiday because not only do you get to reminisce on your favorite moments throughout the year, but you are also celebrating a new milestone in your life – another year of moving forward. Change is something that should be embraced and celebrated, because it keeps things from getting stagnant, and allows for wonderful growth in all aspects of your life.
One milestone I will be celebrating in the coming year is getting to be the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of NWA Kid’s Directory. As a journalist, I’ve worked hard to be in a position where I can truly be a helpful resource for my community, and what better way to do that than to connect families with great businesses? Embrace the New Year with me by using this guide to help better your family life this year! Looking for pediatricians? Maybe dance academies or local children’s boutiques? If you can imagine the business, you can find it in our pages. We are here to serve the Northwest Arkansas family community and make referencing businesses as easy as flipping through a magazine.
January is our non-profit guide. We love highlighting all of the wonderful non-profits in our area that make your life as a parent easier and make our community an even better place to live and have a family.
In the New Year, we are also changing up a few things to improve Kid’s Directory’s layout. We will now be a true, reference guide. By sectioning off parts of the magazine for specific businesses, you can now easily and readily find anything you might be looking for.
I am very thankful to be a part of this community, and even more thankful that I get to work with businesses and help serve families all over Northwest Arkansas through Kid’s Directory. I look forward to a new year and wish you and your family many blessings of happiness and good fortune.
The Publisher of Kid’s Directory
It is the most wonderful time of the year, right? This is definitely one the most magical times of the year with all of the holiday celebrations, the community decorations, and the songs of the season. It is also the time where parents are on the hunt for gifts for their kids and family members. This month can also be stressful with illnesses that start being shared. Here at Kid’s Directory we have you covered. Flip through our pages for ideas about gifts and experiences for everyone on your list. We also have a listing of dedicated health professionals that are ready to making you feel better as fast as possible so that you don’t miss out on any of the holiday celebrations and breaks. It is also the season of giving. Organizations benefit from the generosity of others during the holidays. Check out some of the organizations that are making a difference in our community. Last but not least, celebrate with your families. Attend some of the parades and festivities. Shop our local stores for unique and personal gifts. Northwest Arkansas has a lot to offer. During the last few days of 2016, make it a point to take advantage of these activities. These are the memories that your family will remember for years to come. Sincerely, The Staff of Kid’s Directory of Northwest Arkansas
All of us in Northwest Arkansas are excited for the changing of the season. We are lucky to live in an area that kicks off the season with glorious colors as the leaves change in the Ozarks. The temperature cools while football, tailgating and s’mores take center stage. The Fall family schedule has fallen into place. Personally I’ve learned to treasure the moments we get to share with family and friends. It seems that in the rush of everyday life we forget to stop and appreciate our world around us — our beautiful surroundings, our family and friends, and the activities and offerings NWA provides to us. We should truly be thankful for the opportunities in our area!
We are excited at Kid’s Directory of NWA to have also made some changes in ownership. This publication is well established in its second decade. It is the premier go-to-resource for all things family. Want to know where to take your kids when visiting our revived Downtown districts? Need fun options for weekend birthday celebrations? Want to learn more about non-profits and how your family can support the community in which we live? We want you to be able to turn to our Directory so your family can fully embrace what NWA has to offer!
So flip through our magazine and follow us on social media. We are gearing up to show you all of the opportunities our beloved Northwest Arkansas has to offer!
Enjoy our November issue — these businesses are thankful for you as customers and are ready to celebrate the holidays with your family!
Maintaining good health is an important concern for families. With picky eaters or a child who loves screen time, how do we find balance? What about the foods we’re inundated with that are processed, filled with growth hormones and preservatives and WAY too much sugar? How can we motivate our kids to be more active? Where do we find reputable health care providers including specialized therapists?
While we certainly can’t answer all these questions, our hope is that by providing a resource for keeping your family healthy, we are helping your family take steps in the right direction. It’s why we bring you the Healthy Families Guide every September and we’re thrilled that Arkansas Children’s Hospital-Lowell Clinic chose to sponsor it! They provide pediatric sub-specialty healthcare for clinic visits and follow-up medical care through ACH in Little Rock. They can be reached at 479-750-0125 for more information.
In case you haven’t heard, Arkansas Children’s Hospital Northwest is coming to Springdale in July 2018! This expansion will “advance pediatric healthcare in the region and provide care close to home for the more than 200,000 children. Current plans include 233,613 square feet of inpatient beds, emergency care, diagnostic services and clinical space. The campus will also include walking trails, gardens, a helipad and refueling station.” (source: ACH NW website) Learn more about this exciting project at www.archildrens.org/northwest.
Our Around the Town feature this month is dedicated to the first day of school. It sure was fun seeing everyone’s pictures on social media. My favorite ones are the college age kids who send their mommas a selfie because they know she’s kept the tradition since they started school and would be heartbroken if it wasn’t continued! We know they all grow up too fast so we’ll treasure every milestone!
Kid’s Directory NWA celebrates 14 years in business next month and we commemorate it by bringing you our Birthday Bash Issue! From birthday cakes to gifts and photographers to party venues, it’s a one-stop shop for all your party needs. Contact sales@nwakidsdirectory to find out how your business can be included.
It’s impossible for me to close this letter without reminding you to take advantage of the beauty of our state in the fall. Pumpkin patches and corn mazes are opening this month, we have the most amazing walking/running/biking trails in the state, outdoor craft fairs will be abundant, and our area is full of state parks to explore. You don’t have to spend money to be healthy. Get out there and enjoy fall y’all!
I have the same feeling every year when it’s time for school to start. Dread. It seems silly. I love my kids’ elementary school. They’ve loved all their teachers and the staff, and they are cared for as if they were that person’s child. They have really good friends there too. Honestly, the dread comes from not seeing them as often in the day and sticking to rigid schedules of making lunches, bedtime routines, before and after school activities. You get the idea.
To add insult to injury, we have one entering junior high school this year. Many unknowns await us and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t anxious for her. She sailed through middle school these last two years and had a wonderful experience but this is a new playing field. It’s a scary and exciting time and one that’s sure to bring the start of a new normal at our house.
I share my stories because I can relate to most of you. I remember being the first time mom of a Kindergartener. (one more to go!) I know how it feels to send them to a new school where parents aren’t informed of every detail because it’s time for your child to learn their own way. And trust me, I’m taking notes from parents who have already graduated kids from high school and college. Gulp!
The flip side is that it makes me happy to watch them grow, learn and experience new things. I’m sure you share that sentiment. And whether this is your first or last year to send kids off to school, somewhere in between or you’re a homeschooling mom, this 12th Annual Back-to-School Issue will help guide decisions and smooth transitions for your family. Look to the quick-reference guide on pages 46-57 for businesses that provide all your back to school needs.
We get to offer double thanks this month to Rhea Lana’s and Providence Academy for their joint efforts in sponsoring this issue! The owner of Rhea Lana’s is Ashley Noland and her kids attend Providence so they have a great partnership and it made for a fun photo shoot!
Rhea Lana’s is NWA’s premier children’s consignment event where you can shop for or sell all your children’s clothing, toys, furniture, books, games, baby equipment and more all in one convenient spot. Their back-to-school event is August 21-27 at 1106 N. Old Missouri Rd (just north of The Jones Center), Springdale. Visit www.rhealana.com for more information.
Providence Academy is a premier private, independent, college-preparatory school serving Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, and Bentonville. Their mission is to partner with parents to equip students with a biblical worldview, all to God’s Glory. Plans for a new permanent campus on 66 acres in Lowell are underway. Learn more at www.providence-academy.com or make plans to attend one of their informational meetings.
Our final issues rounding out 2016 are the September Healthy Families Guide, the October Birthday Guide and the November and December Holiday Gifts and Events Guides. Contact our sales staff to learn about advertising opportunities.
Wishing you a great school year!
I can imagine what you’re thinking when reading our cover. Are they crazy? Back-to- School Preview in July? Unfortunately, that’s not a typo. Mid-August will be here before we know it and we need to start preparing for it now. How can you plan ahead? For starters, look at pages 2-38 for businesses that offer school-related services or products. It may be after-school activities, school physicals, clothing, hair cuts, tutoring, child care or schools but we’ve kept them all together for quick reference. We’ll have even more to share in our BIG August Back-to-School Issue!
Last month I traveled with my oldest daughter to New York City with the University of Arkansas Children’s Choir for their final concert tour of the year. We planned, talked and saved for it nearly all year and it seems impossible that it’s already a thing of the past. We saw and did more in five days than most would see in over a week there. What an amazing experience with my girl!
I didn’t value or appreciate studying history as a kid, but as an adult I find it fascinating. I’m especially grateful for our country’s history and had time to reflect upon the importance of it on this trip. I visited NYC a couple of times about 20 years ago but obviously the landscape has changed greatly since September 11, 2001. After visiting the United Nations, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and while standing at the 9/11 Memorial looking at the name of one of our relatives, I have a deeper understanding of how blessed we are to live in the United States of America.
No doubt our freedom is paid with a high price and living here isn’t always the easiest. Just read stories of immigrants who came to Ellis Island or look at the number of people who lost their lives on 9/11. But so many have fought to keep us free and fought to build or rebuild their lives here and make a better life for their families. It makes me proud. And I want to honor their sacrifices by doing what I can to continue their legacy.
It seems fitting that we visited so many historical sites and now we get to celebrate our independence this month. Makes we wonder how much sweeter it will be this year. I hope you have a fun, memorable and safe 4th of July with your family and friends and that you’ll remember why we celebrate. Please check our community calendar in the middle pages for lots of fireworks’ events throughout NWA.
Summer is officially HERE!!!! Not because the calendar says so but because our kids are out of school. Some of you may already have your summer completely planned but then there are those of you like me who have plenty of gaps in between camps and trips. Too much time on our hands is the only thought running through my mind! The comforting comes in knowing there are more opportunities in our area than we can do in just a few months. So I’m keeping this issue on hand as I look for spontaneous outings with my kids and hope you’ll do the same. Sometimes those end up being the most memorable anyway.
Here are a few other fun and free ideas:
- plan family game nights (board games or make up your own ie minute to win it, scavenger hunt)
- play water wars
- visit the library or park
- make an obstacle course (think Ninja Warrior or Summer Olympics)
- camp in your backyard or living room
- host a karaoke or dance party
- color your entire driveway with sidewalk chalk
- visit local farms or farmer’s markets
- make puppet shadows and catch fireflies
- volunteer at charities
At the NWA Boutique Show, we hosted a 2016 Cover Kid Contest and we’re happy to show off our winners on this month’s cover! Channing, Collins and Carrington are some sweet sisters who also happen to be super adorable. We enjoyed our time with them and thank their mom for entering her precious girls and Amber Lanning once again for her photography magic.
We never want to overlook one of our favorite super heroes – our dads. Being a dad is no doubt a tall order and I feel certain it’s one of the reasons God gave men broad shoulders. You have much to bear. Your families depend on you for more than bringing home a paycheck. They mostly need your unconditional love and undivided attention. No wonder you’re tired and overwhelmed. But, please remember how much we love you and we are especially thankful we get to celebrate you this month!
Sadly, summer will be over too soon and we’ll have to switch gears again. What a change the fall brings. Breathe a little easier knowing we’re walking this journey with you and work to help ease fears and frustrations. Be watching for our August Back-to-School Guide which serves as a perfect resource for all your back-to-school needs (supplies, extra-curricular activities, clothing, check ups, etc).
We had a BLAST at Champions for Kids RazorFest! Not only did we have gorgeous weather, but watching kids as young as two and several brave adults (including our own Katinka Sweet) ride the mechanical hog provided by 16:9 Entertainment was family fun at its best! Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth to ride the hog, register for our giveaway to see Disney’s Beauty and the Beast at Walton Arts Center and share about the fun you were having with your family. It was a picture perfect day!
Now our focus shifts to one of the most important people in our lives. MOM. Much has been said, sung and written about mothers but we choose to honor them with this special issue dedicated to some especially over-achieving ones aka mom entrepreneurs. Please check out the Moms-In-Business Guide sponsored by Bethany Opp Web Studio beginning on page 36. Bethany offers responsive web design, WordPress training, site management and client support to small business owners and teams. See her ad on page 7 for one month of FREE maintenance and client support! Contact her at 530.921.3807 or www.bethanyopp.com to learn more about her services. Let’s help show all these moms how much they’re appreciated by inquiring about their services or referring them to a friend.
As a mom, if you’ve ever questioned how you can manage raising kids in the midst of what seems like constant chaos (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t?), Allie Casazza shares an insightful blog post, “How to Be a More Present Mom: Living on purpose in the middle of the chaos” on our website this month. Allie says, “Here’s the thing – chaos isn’t going anywhere unless you tell it to. So if you’re tired of living every day in survival mode, tired of being tired, and feeling totally overwhelmed, here are my very best tips for a mom life well lived.” Visit our website at www.nwakidsdirectory.com for the complete article.
To all NWA mothers, whether you’ve come by that name naturally, through adoption or fostering or by acting as surrogate mom, we wish you a blessed Mother’s Day!