Top ten ways to pamper your inner child

Thursday, June 26, 2008

10. Beat the heat. It's easy math, really, you, a beach towel, and a cool, clear lake. Yeah, that's easy summer livin', right there. Don't forget the sunblock, and, we beg you, wear something besides the thong.

9. Find a seat. Go to one of our great country music shows, and learn to laugh and sing along like a kid again. There's more in this world, Horatio, than the playlist on your Ipod.

8. Hit the trail. Admit it, down deep you've always wanted to be John Wayne, eyeing the countryside for bandits. There's no highwaymen on the horseback riding trails, but you can still be the Duke and enjoy some gorgeous scenery.

7. Get up before everyone else and find a place to have coffee outside. Local Flavor is a great choice.

6. Enjoy the fat. In this case, we're talking about fat tires, meaning the mountain bikes that people ride on trails like the ones at Lake Leatherwood. We can assume that all those punishing themselves up and down the Ozark hills must be 'enjoying' it.

5. Buy a new hat. Change your look, just for the weekend. Cowboy, trucker, disco queen--it's all your choice, the shops will thank you, and you'll have some fun.

4. Check out the Blue Spring Heritage Center. This attraction has stood the test of time, and people have admired this magnificent spring for decades. Earlier this spring, heavy rains caused the nearby White River to rise to unprecedented levels, and the gazebo above the spring was almost completely submerged. As the water receded, the staff took heroic efforts to clean up and restore the site, so you can once again enjoy the combination of natural beauty and cultivated gardens.

3. Eat dessert now. Your inner child wants chocolate! This minute! Find a café or ice cream parlor right now and make that tiny, tantrum-throwing voice happy.

2. Hug a tree. Okay, tree-hugging is optional, but definitely get out and explore the many, many parks in the Eureka Springs area. Take a self-guided walking tour through some of the town's hidden places, or put on the hiking boots and tackle those trails at Lake Leatherwood. This part of Arkansas can be a green, lush paradise in summer, and you can't see it all from the air-conditioned comfort of your hotel room, so get out there and play!

1. Let your imagination run free. There's so many adventures to be had in Eureka Springs, from exploring caves to learning about new cultures; relax, enjoy, and discover the bliss of just having a great time again.

The only downside to making friends with your inner child? Flinching whenever you see the first school buses of autumn.

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