Things to Do in Northwest Arkansas: The Amazeum

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The Scott Family Amazeum Children's Science and Discovery Museum

Betonville, Arkansas


After a decade of planning, the much-anticipated The Scott Family Amazeum has opened its doors. The museum is named after former Walmart CEO, Lee Scott and his wife Linda, who gave unwavering support and leadership through the 10-year planning process.

“Our board finds it most fitting to honor their gifts in this way,” says Molly Rawn, who serves as the director of development and communications at the museum.

As a 501c3 nonprofit organization, the Scott Family Amazeum was funded through years of fundraising, including a 1-to-1 matching contribution of up to $10 million by the Walton Family Foundation. The Amazeum website recognizes other major donors such as The Hershey Company, Walmart Stores and Nickelodeon, all of which have distinguished activities within the museum.

Opening Day Huge Success Says Amazeum Staff

July 20, 2015

Last week’s opening of the Scott Family Amazeum is big news for the Northwest Arkansas community. The museum is fun, educational, well-designed, interactive, brand new and high-tech; but the most notable quality about the Scott Family Amazeum is that it holds the position as the first children’s museum in Northwest Arkansas.

" Yesterday, there wasn't a hands-on children's museum in Northwest Arkansas. Today there is and you are a part of that,” said Executive Director Sam Dean as the Amazeum staff prepared to open its doors last Wednesday.

The initial response by the community to the opening of Amazeum has been, well, amazing.

“Our opening day was great!” reported Amazeum marketing manager Dana Engelbert. “We had a steady stream of guests all day long. We estimate our first day attendance to be nearly 1,300. With the member preview events and other events during the opening week, we saw more than 6,000 guests.”

Located on the corner of Museum Way and Northeast J Street, near the entrance to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, the new Amazeum is yet another sign of Northwest Arkansas’s promising future and another landmark in its burgeoning culture.

The nearly 50,000-square-foot center entertains the curiosity and creativity of young minds while teaching art, math, engineering and science through hands-on experiences . The conceptual vision of Amazeum is to expose children to the inquisitive, entrepreneurial spirit which has enabled Northwest Arkansas build a tenacious and prosperous community.


In addition to connecting children to their Northwest Arkansas heritage, the exhibits and activities are designed so that each child may have a unique interactive experience that appeals to his or her interests and curiosities.

After watching children and parents enjoy the exhibit during opening days, marketing manager Dana Engelbert comments on the ways in which visitors gravitate to their favorite spots.

“Each guest here seems to make this a very personal experience. Each person has their own favorite spot or activity, and those will probably evolve over time for each person,” Engelbert says.


Have you visited the Amazeum yet?

If so, tell us about your favorite spot in the comments section below!

For those of you who haven’t visited the museum, here is a little more information:


Amazeum Exhibits:

3M Tinkering Hub - materials, books and projects for tinkering with science, technology, engineering, art and mathmatics (STEAM)

Art Studio - a glass-walled painting room, hands-on exploration of clay and mixed media arts


Canopy Climber - indoor climbing area with leaf-shaped platforms; pathways give treetop access to other exhibits

Cave - a darkened labyrinth beneath the Canopy Climber with crystalline rock walls, blind cavefish, bats and a giant birds nest 

Cloud Theater - sitting room with ethereal music and time-lapse images projected on the ceiling

Emerging Explorers - playrooms with exploratory activities designed for infants and toddlers

General Mills Lift, Load & Haul - child-scaled distribution center with conveyors, pulleys, chutes and a real truck cab 

Hershey's Lab - inspired by the Chocolate Lab in Hershey, Pennsylvania with interactive experiments

Homestead Cabin and Farm - a role-play area with an old-fashioned log-cabin set on a farm and garden 

The Market sponsored by Walmart - a role-play market with shoppers, bakers, butchers, cashiers and more

Nature & Weather - experience the forces of nature with the Touchable Tornado, Topographic Sandbox and Tectonic Basin


Nature Valley Water Amazements - interactive water experiments with spinning vortexes, rain tunnels and a pipe-work area 

Nickelodeon Play Lab - film stop-motion animation, create musical compositions and activities with Nickelodeon characters, including a giant Sponge-Bob puppet

Outdoor Playscape - an open acre play area with a stream, rope structure, rock wall, plant maze, butterfly garden and picnic area

Other programs and events include youth camps, Teacher Professional Development workshops, Unfield Trips and Tinkerfest. There is also a gift shop, cafe and private party rooms for rent.


Museum Highlights

Free parking

Strollers and service dogs welcome

$9.50 admission for 2 years old and over

Memberships available - includes exhibit previews, members-only events, pricing discounts and free general admission to more than 350 science museums across the world

Downloadable map at


Amazeum Hours

Monday: 10 a.m.-7 p.m

Tuesday: CLOSED

Wednesday: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

Thursday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Friday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Saturday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Sunday: 1-5 p.m.


Join the Amazeum Fun on Social Media!


Last modified onTuesday, 15 March 2016 13:25