Lake Cruise (Days for this event are listed in the schedule below) – Explore the wonders of Lake Dardanelle and the Arkansas River aboard the state park tour boat. Enjoy abundant wildlife, amazing history, and astounding views of the river valley throughout this 1 hour cruise. There is no fee for the tour, but space is limited, so you need to register. Call 479-967-5516 to register for a seat. Boarding will begin 15 minutes before the tour at the boat dock near the south boat ramp. (Weather permitting)
Trash to Treasure Tuesdays – Cardboard boxes, cereal boxes, paper egg cartons, and magazines…everyone has at least a few of these lying around their home. Lake Dardanelle State Park has creative ways to turn these items from trash to treasure. Join park personel in the month of July as they dedicate these Tuesdays to up-cycling common household trash that might be lying around your home. The workshop is open to all ages, but some crafts may require adult assistance for common household trash that might be lying around your home. The workshop is open to all ages but some crafts may require adult assistance for children 13 and younger. Workshop registration is $5 per person for each session. Pre-registration is required for 12 participants. Call the visitor center at 479-967-5516 to sign up for the workshop. The workshop will be held in the Lakeview Room at the Visitor Center.
Tuesdays & Saturdays at 1:30p.m. – What’s for Lunch? –The Lake Dardanelle State Park Visitor’s Center has 8,000 gallons of aquariums, filled with many of the fish species found in Lake Dardanelle. Join park staff in the visitor center as they feed the fish live food. See for yourself, what’s for lunch?
Saturdays at 1:45p.m. – Critter Crunch – Lake Dardanelle’s diverse habitats provide homes for many creatures large and small. Join a park interpreter in the kid’s corner of the visitor center as she tells you about some of the smaller creatures. She will also be feeding these creatures; so come discover the small native wonders we have around us.
Tuesday, July 1st
1p.m. – Trash to Treasure Tuesday
Wednesday, July 2nd
9a.m. –Lake Cruise
Thursday, July 3rd
4p.m. – Crumple Watershed– The watershed surrounding Lake Dardanelle is the backbone for the Arkansas River as the river journeys through the lake creating opportunities for people like you. Join a park interpreter amphitheater to learn about Lake Dardanelle’s vast and wide watershed. Then make your own watershed and see how the water rolls through your land!
Friday, July 4th
9a.m. – Spider Hider –What has eight legs and eats bugs? Discovery some of the fascinating things spider do. How they make their homes, find food, and even which ones are dangerous to us. Join a park interpreter in the grassy area across from the visitor center and learn about these amazing creatures.
10a.m. – Lake Cruise
11a.m. – Who goes there? – There are many creatures that call Lake Dardanelle home. Join a park interpreter at the amphitheater to discover who they are and what clues they leave behind as they move about. After looking through the clues we will head down the trail and see if we discover any new clues and find out, who goes there .
2p.m. –History in a Bag– Exploration, opportunity, and progress forged the culture you find here today. Meet a park interpreter at the amphitheater to play a game that will take you on a journey through the history of Arkansas.
3p.m. – Grab Bag Adventures – The diverse habitats around Lake Dardanelle create many opportunities for discovery and exploration. Meet a park interpreter on the Dardanelle side of the park in the grassy area near the playground to find out what is in her magic bag! We’ll play a little game to let you touch and feel your way around. Hints will be given, but you’ll be testing your sense of wildlife!
4:30p.m. –Marsh Mystery– As the Arkansas River journeys through Lake Dardanelle, it continually shapes the land and creates opportunities for people like you. We have to be careful when enjoying these opportunities that we don’t affect others. Join a park interpreter in the grassy area and help her solve a marsh mystery. Discover how you can help protect our natural areas.
6:30p.m. – Masters of the Night– Bat populations are in decline due to misinformation and fear. Meet a park interpreter at the amphitheater to discover the bat myths that have given them a bad reputation and learn about which bats you can find here at Lake Dardanelle State Park.
Saturday, July 5th
8a.m. –10:30 a.m. – Arkansas River Cleanup- Lake Dardanelle State Park is providing an opportunity on National River Cleanup Day for people to come together to make a big impact. Registration for the cleanup will start at 8 a.m. at the visitor center with the cleanup ending around 10:30 a.m. Lunch will be served to all volunteers at 11:00 p.m. Please remember to wear closed toe shoes and clothes that can get dirty and wet. Just a few hours can make a big difference. If you would like to volunteer please contact Elizabeth Drake at 479-890-7479.
3p.m. –Fashion a Fish – Learn about the wide variety of shapes and sizes of fish the live in Lake Dardanelle, due to its health and diversity. After you discover the reasons for their shapes you can create a fish of your own. We will meet in the weigh-in pavilion.
4p.m. – Unclean Scene– The Arkansas River journeys through Lake Dardanelle, creating opportunities for you and providing habitat to many wildlife. Caring for our water resource is a challenge for each of us, but through conservation we can learn ways to protect our precious water. Join a park interpreter on the Dardanelle side of the park in the grassy area near the playground to discover solutions in preventing water pollution.
5p.m. – Talking Turkey – The Native American tribes that historically inhabited this area were heavily dependent on nature for their livelihood. Join a park interpreter at the amphitheater as she explains the importance the wild turkey had to the Native Americans who traveled through and settled this area. Learn how historical Native American uses for the turkey differ from the uses of today. Discover why turkey, is not just for dinner.
7p.m. – Insect Orchestra – Have you heard the music that the insects here at Lake Dardanelle make in the evenings? Join a park interpreter at the amphitheater to learn more about how insects make their music and help us create our own “insect orchestra”.
Sunday, July 6th
10a.m. – Bird Beak Buffet – You can learn a lot about a bird by just looking at their beaks. Meet a park interpreter in the grassy area across from the visitor center to see the different ways birds use their beaks to eat.
11a.m. – Lake Cruise
2p.m. – Pioneer Play –You will discover what pioneer kids did to pass the time while the exploration and progress of their parents forged the culture you find here today. Meet a park interpreter in the grassy area across from the visitor center to learn about pioneer play.
3p.m. – How Can I Help? – Fishermen love coming to Lake Dardanelle, but they don’t love the mess some fishermen leave behind. Join a park interpreter in the grassy area across from the visitor center and explore some of the ways you can help keep the park clean and the fishery healthy.
4p.m. – Game Scene Investigation: G.S.I. – When you walk around in nature and you see a track, do you take the track at face value as just a foot print, or do you look around to see what the big picture holds? Join a park interpreter in the grassy area across from the visitor center and see what you can determine about the game scene in the area.
Monday, July 7th
3p.m. – Lake Cruise
Tuesday, July 8th
1p.m. – Trash to Treasure Tuesday
Thursday, July 10th
Dusk – Sunset Cinema– Frozen – As the sun sets on beautiful Lake Dardanelle, enjoy the lights rising on a big-screen outdoor movie. Bring your family and some lawn chairs and blankets, or plop right down on the lush green grass across from the visitor center. This event is sponsored by the Russellville Advertising and Promotions Commission, the fee is $1 per person over 12.
Friday, July 11th
6p.m. – Reptilian Riddles– Many creatures call Lake Dardanelle home. Many of these amazing creatures are reptiles. Join a park interpreter at the amphitheater to discover some of the things that make reptiles unique.
Saturday, July 12th
4p.m. – The Stories of Lake Dardanelle – Exploration, opportunity, and progress forged the culture you find here today. Meet a park interpreter Meet a park interpreter on the Dardanelle side of the park in the grassy area across from the playground to hear some stories of the past that create the wonderful and unique culture in the River Valley. Bring blankets and chairs to sit on the grass, as you see these stories come to life right before your eyes!
7p.m. – Evening Kayak Tour– As the Arkansas River journeys through Lake Dardanelle, it continually shapes the land and creates numerous opportunities for people to enjoy from fishing to kayaking. We’ll be paddling our kayaks through some seldom closely seen shoreline of this beautiful 34,000 acre lake. Sign up at the visitor center (479-967-5516) at least one day in advance. The fee is $12 for adults, $6 for children 6-12 years old, 5 years and under ride free. We will meet at the visitor center front desk.
Sunday, July 13th
10a.m. – Sense of Place – When we first encounter something new, we use our 5 senses to learn about our new encounter. We have everything we need to begin discovering things about the world around us; we have been doing this since the day we were born. Nature is no different. We can use our senses to explore nature; we don’t have to have the latest and newest equipment. As we grow up we sometimes forget the “simple” observations that taught us so much when we were young. Join a park interpreter at the amphitheater and we will find our sense of place once again and see what new and amazing things we can discovery using our senses.
Tuesday, July 15th
9a.m. – Lake Cruise
Friday, July 18th
7p.m. –Trail of Tears–Native Americans, removed from their homes, made decisions here that changed their lives. For this reason, Lake Dardanelle State Park is a registered Trail of Tears site. Meet at the front desk of the visitor to get a glimpse of what life on the trail was like for those who traveled it. The new video “Trail of Tears” is wonderfully made video about a truly dark time in Cherokee history as well as U.S. history. After the video you will get the opportunity to challenge yourself with the Cherokee Eye Spy game in the visitor center.
Saturday, July 19th
12:30p.m. – Eagles Measure Up – The winter months give us the opportunity to see more eagles than normal, as we get migrating eagles in from the north. These amazing birds are incredible not only for their beauty and speed but for their size as well. Join a park interpreter in the grassy area across from the visitor center and discover how you measure up to an eagle.
4p.m. –Wearable Water Cycle – As the Arkansas River journeys through Lake Dardanelle it continually shapes the land and creates opportunities for people like you. Discover the many stops a drop of water makes on its journey through the water cycle. The possibilities are endless. Join a park interpreter on the Dardanelle side of the park in the grassy area near the playground and dive into this incredible journey.
7:30p.m. – Creatures of the Night – Lake Dardanelle is home to many creatures. Discover some of Lake Dardanelle State Park’s nocturnal residents. Join a park interpreter at the amphitheater and learn what animals come out when we go to sleep. We will be outside so dress for the weather.
Sunday, July 20th
9a.m. – Lake Cruise
2p.m. – In-seine Adventure – The Arkansas River creates many opportunities for enjoyment as it journeys through Lake Dardanelle. What all lives in the Lake besides fish and turtles? Well, here is your chance to find out. We will seine for macro-invertebrates and see who is living in the lake. Come prepared to get wet and wear water shoes, we will meet at the kayak beach near the visitor center.
Friday, July 25th
3:30p.m. –Lake Cruise
7p.m. – Native American Games– This area historically was inhabited by Native Americans. They settled this area before the removal. They made decisions here that changed their lives. Have you ever thought about what their daily lives were like? Have you ever wondered how Native Americans spent their free time, back in history, way before this area was a state park? Are you curious about how their hunting skills were perfected? Meet a park interpreter at the amphitheater to learn some of the games Native Americans developed, played, and perfected. All ages welcome!
Saturday, July 26th
10 a.m. – Un-nature Hike– The diverse habitats at Lake Dardanelle provide opportunities to explore nature. However, sometimes you find things in nature that simply aren’t natural. Meet a park interpreter amphitheater to take a walk down the Meadowbrook Trail to see just how many un-natural things you can find.
2:30p.m. – River Ramble– As the Arkansas River journeys through Lake Dardanelle, it continually shapes the land and creates opportunities for people like you. The river is always changing it hasn’t always looked the way it does today. Join a park interpreter in the grassy area across from the visitor center and learn some of the hazards and bounty the river has in store. You will have to navigate your way to safety in order to reap the rewards in our fun river ramble.
4p.m. – “Little Brother” –Have you ever thought about how people survived before there were stores to buy what they needed? Join a park interpreter on the Dardanelle side of the park in the grassy area across from the playground to learn about how the Cherokee used parts of a deer to get what they needed to survive.
6:30p.m. – Noticing Nature Scavenger Hunt–There is great diversity in habitat and animals at Lake Dardanelle, making it easy to explore and enjoy nature here. We will see how many of the nature items on our list you can find. There will be some interesting things on her list, so bring your thinking cap, be ready to get creative with your answers, and let’s go nature hunting. We will meet at the front desk of the visitor center.
Sunday, July 27th
11 a.m. – Animals Play Too! – Animal children like to play. Their games teach them how to take care of themselves in the tough world they live in. Join a park interpreter at the amphitheater to discover some of these playful animals and how you can get a better glimpse of animal playtime.
3p.m. – Wetland Address–Wetlands are one of the many areas of opportunity that the Arkansas River provides as it journeys through Lake Dardanelle and continually shapes the land. We will talk about why wetlands are a great place to live and who lives there. We will discover how well you know the animals that live in and around the wetlands surrounding Lake Dardanelle. Meet a park interpreter in the grassy area across from the visitor center.
Monday, July 28th
10a.m. – Lake Cruise
Thursday, July 31st
4p.m. – Lake Cruise
Dusk – Sunset Cinema- Despicable Me 2 – As the sun sets on beautiful Lake Dardanelle, enjoy the lights rising on a big-screen outdoor movie. Bring your family and some lawn chairs and blankets, or plop right down on the lush green grass across from the visitor center. This event is sponsored by the Russellville Advertising and Promotions Commission, the fee is $1 per person over 12.
Borrow a Park Adventure & Creativity Kit – (P.A.C.K.) you get all the tools you need for adventure and creativity neatly packaged in a backpack along with an adventure guide full of ideas on what to do with all the items. Our P.A.C.K.’s can be checked out at the visitor center for a $ 10 fee. You keep the pack for 24 hours and get to keep many of the items for future adventures.
Remember that all our programs count toward earning your State Park Explorer Certificate. If you would like more information on this program ask one of our Park Interpreters.
For more information about any of these programs, either call the Lake Dardanelle State Park at (479) 967-5516 or visit their website.