Category Archives: Editor Letter

June 2017 Kid's Directory

It is officially summer, Northwest Arkansas! I love many things about the South but the summers have never been something I was fond of. Humidity, scorching heat, legs sticking to the car interior even with the air conditioner on full blast – none of these things look good on me. But as I’ve gotten older I’ve learned to embrace and even love the good and not-so-good things that summer in the South bring, like messy popsicle mouths and watching the little ones chase the fireflies around the backyard.

We have so many amazing resources up in our little corner of the natural state that it would be a shame not to take advantage of them all. Summer camps abound in our community and we decided to highlight some incredible ones for you in our last summer camp issue of the year! So bookmark these pages and let us be your family’s go-to guide for adventurous, educational or just plain fun summer camps!

In addition to June being the kick off of summer, nestled within this month is a very special holiday: Father’s Day. I like to think that my dad and my husband are the best fathers in the world, but I know I’m being a bit biased! I want to take a moment to celebrate all the dads in Northwest Arkansas and let them know they are appreciated. Whether you are a dad by birth, adoption, marriage or surrogate we thank you for all you do to support your family each and every day.

Coming up in July is our normal back-to-school preview but we are also debuting a pet-guide because we can’t forget about the furry members of our families. This guide will include pet services, shops, grooming, boarding and so much more so keep an eye out for it! If you or someone you know has a pet-related business that you would like to see featured in the pet guide let us know by emailing addi@nwakidsdirectory.com.

Enjoy your summer adventures everyone and don’t forget the sunscreen!

From my family to yours,

Addi McNeel

April 2017 Issue of Kid's Directory

The most anticipated issue of the year is finally here! You hold in your hands the 14th Annual Summer Camp Guide. We are so thankful to have been serving you for 14 years and hope to have many more camp guides in the future. Summer is almost upon us, which means it is almost time for more play, fun in the sun and more days spent together as a family.

However, parents can only be so creative with summer activities and I think it goes without saying that although we love spending more time with the kiddos, we still need the occasional break and so do our kids. Cue the summer camps! Most summer camp registrations are already open, so browse through this directory with your children and let them help pick out what looks fun and exciting for them. For a more in depth look at the summer camps offered, look to the 14th Annual Summer Camp Guide to make your choice! You’ll want to bookmark these pages because there is so much offered in the area and all different dates and times so that your child could attend more than one camp or program this summer.

We offer a big “thank you” to Dogwood Canyon, who is our 14th Annual Summer Camp Guide sponsor. Without their help, this guide would not be possible! Dogwood Canyon is a one-of-a-kind experience for nature lovers and adventure seekers of all ages. Covering 10,000 acres of pristine Ozark Mountain landscape, the park has miles of crystal-clear trout streams, dozens of cascading waterfalls, ancient burial caves, unique hand-built bridges and bottomless, blue-green pools. The walls of the jagged ravines frame a dramatic valley bursting with hardwoods, evergreens and of course, the park’s namesake – Dogwoods. There are literally dozens of activities, and all are family friendly and professionally managed. You can find out more about Dogwood Canyon and the summer programs available at dogwoodcanyon.org.

Have a wonderful April planning out your family summer activities and don’t forget to schedule out some time for yourself too!

From my family to yours,

Addi McNeel

March 2017

Spring is finally upon us! Although northwest Arkansas didn’t see much of a winter this year, I am definitely looking forward to warmer weather. As an allergy sufferer, I have to prepare thoroughly for spring and all of the pollen it brings with it. For kids, allergies can be much harder to deal with. Not only do allergies limit the amount of fun the little one can have running around outside, but the medicine can often cause them to feel drowsy and be fussy. Luckily, our little corner of the state has many clinics that deal with children’s allergies, like Bentonville Pediatrics, Northwest Arkansas Pediatrics, Harvey Pediatrics and Ozark Pediatrics, just to name a few – all of which can be found within the pages of this directory.

So once you’ve got spring allergies taken care of and your little one is ready to run, jump and play, it’s time to start planning summer camp activities! How is it already that time of the year? Time is simply flying by these days. Children grow so fast, that it’s only natural to want to pack as many wonderful memories in as possible. Many summer camp registrations open this month, so to start planning those activities that will eventually turn into fun, childhood memories, it’s important to be on the lookout for them and this summer camp preview guide is the perfect place to start.

We are blessed to live in an area full of kid-friendly summer camps and programs. There are so many different programs for children of all ages and it can be overwhelming deciding what your child would like best, especially if they’re interested in a little bit of everything. I hope this summer camp preview guide will help aid in your decision, but I also encourage you to use the contact information to reach out to these programs and gather more information – and as always, we’d appreciate it if you mention that you saw it in Kid’s Directory!

May your spring be full of warm days, less allergies, fun in the sun, and many, many wonderful memories with your family.

From my family to yours,

Addi McNeel, Publisher of NWA Kid’s Directory

February 2017

It’s that time of year again! Our annual Baby Guide is here at last! This issue is our chance to lend a helping hand to a new mom or expecting parents. While we can’t totally calm your nerves, we’re hoping that our Baby Guide will be kept handy for those times when you are trying to find the perfect place to shop, a pediatrician, dentist, or more for your new little one. Ultimately, we want to help you connect with businesses all over our community that are geared specifically toward babies!
While my husband and I are planning to have our own little one,  I am lucky to be the stepmom to a vivacious, adorable 6-year-old little girl, which is more than I could ever ask for! I look forward to the future with many plans for her and more little ones to come. Creating Pinterest boards about nurseries, clothes and educational tips has become a hobby of mine as of lately. But as for now, Kid’s Directory is my “baby” and we are so excited to see it grow!
There are many exciting changes coming to Kid’s Directory over the next year. We are an evolving magazine that includes a revamp of our social media sites and website, so that you can stay connected and up-to-date with the family business community no matter where you are!
In addition to a bigger online presence, we are currently working on a directory just for moms! 95 percent of our readers are female and almost all of them are moms! With an additional directory in the back of Kid’s Directory geared just towards moms and their interests we hope to be more informative and resourceful than ever before! Our magazine would be nothing without our community and our business partners, to whom we are always grateful and humbled by your dedication to Kid’s Directory. So if you are a business owner and would like to be a part of our special Mom’s Guide launching this year, then email addi@nwakidsdirectory.com!
Until we meet again in March, I hope your February is full of all the things that make you love living in Northwest Arkansas. Whether that is greeting a loved one into the world, finding some new favorite local businesses, or simply enjoying time with your family!
From my family to yours,
Addi McNeel
The Publisher of NWA Kid’s Directory

January 2017

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.

Thank you,

The Publisher of Kid’s Directory

December

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

November

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!

-Amenda Lacy

September 2016 Healthy Families Issue sponsored by Arkansas Children's Hospital-Lowell Clinic

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!

August 2016 12th Annual Back-to-School Issue sponsored by Providence Academy and Rhea Lana's

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!