Toad Suck Daze is a four-time recipient of an international “Best Children’s Programming” award – and for good reason. The family-friendly festival is committed to providing activities for kids of all ages.
Activities for children are scattered throughout the festival grounds and, in some cases, occur prior to the festival. Here is a list of free and low-cost things to do with your kids at Toad Suck Daze.
Unless otherwise noted, all activities will take place May 5-7, 2017, during the 36th annual Toad Suck Daze festival.
Sponsored by NABCO
Tuesday, May 2 | 6-8 p.m.
What is Toad Suck Daze without toads? The annual Toad Round-Up will take place Tuesday, May 2, from 6-8 p.m. at Pompe Park on Prince Street to gather toads for the festival. Kids will receive $1 for every toad they round up and hand over. (A few goodies will also be scattered throughout the park, so if your kids are averse to handling amphibians, they will still have fun looking for prizes.)
Thanks to Toad Round-Up sponsor NABCO, there will be hot dogs, hamburgers, and snacks for all to enjoy.
Toad Toters will be distributed to Faulkner County elementary schools prior to the Round-Up and also will be available at the park. Thanks to Pediatrics Plus for sponsoring and designing the Toad Toter and to International Paper for printing them!
TOADAL KIDS ZONE
Located on the lawn of the Faulkner County Courthouse, the Conway Regional/Caldwell Toyota Toadal Kids Zone is the hub of children’s activities at Toad Suck Daze. Magicians, clowns, balloon artists, dance and gymnastics groups, school choirs, and more will perform on two stages throughout the three-day festival. The area also includes a sand box, petting zoo, and pony rides. The Kids Midway is located near the Toadal Kids Zone, keeping activities for younger children all in one place.
The sandbox is bigger this year! Pile the kids into the sandbox at the Toadal Kids Zone for the Toady Prize Dig on Friday at 6 p.m.
Pets are not allowed at the festival with the exception of The Pet Show with Paw Patrol at Toadal Kids Zone. Bring the fur kids to this popular event Friday at 5:30 p.m.
Toadal Kids Zone sponsor Conway Regional Health System will again provide parents with a diaper-changing station and a breastfeeding area for nursing mothers.
Hands-on activities for kids will take place on the Toadal Kids Zone lawn. The Toadally Paint Studio is a popular activity and will take place Saturday at 11 a.m. A Lego-building station will be set up Saturday and 2 p.m. and again Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
Do you believe in magic? You will after watching magic shows featuring the Balloon Man, Checkers the Clown, and Tommy Terrific.
For a complete schedule of events at the Conway Regional/Caldwell Toyota Toadal Kids Zone, visit toadsuck.org/toadal-kids-zone.
On your mark, get set, TOAD!
As the home of the World Famous Toad Races, the Walmart/Sam’s Club Toad Dome will be hopping with excitement all weekend long. With the exception of the Jump for Education Race and the VIT Race, Toad Races are open to people of all ages; just line up, grab a toad, and be prepared to do the Toady-Woady! The top winners from each of the five qualifying heats will advance to the Championship Toad Races on Sunday at 3 p.m.
The Jump for Education Race is designated for students who placed in toad races held at their respective elementary schools. The VIT Races are for invited guests, which include elected officials, pageant titleholders, and other “Very Important Toads” in the community.
In addition to the World Famous Toad Races, kids can visit Conway Corp’s Power Zone for hands-on fun. See what tools Conway Corp’s electric crew uses to keep power on in Conway. The Power Zone will be open Saturday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Other activities scheduled at the Toad Dome include a Tricycle Race on Saturday at 10 a.m. followed by a Baby Crawl at 10:30. At 11:15 Saturday morning, MedExpress will present a book reading with Miss UCA.
For toad-racing times and a complete schedule of events at the Walmart/Sam’s Club Toad Dome, visit toadsuck.org/toad-dome.
AETN CHARACTER MEET & GREET
Sponsored by Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield is bringing your favorite PBS Kids characters to Toad Suck Daze!
Peg + Cat, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Curious George, and The Cat in the Hat will be at Simon Park on Saturday from 10 a.m. until noon for a free meet-and-greet. The characters will also be back on Sunday from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.
Sponsored by Arkansas Federal Credit Union
The young and the young at heart can enjoy amusement rides, games, and carnival food in the Arkansas Federal Credit Union Midway. Most rides cost between $3 and $5.
MARDI DAZE PARADE
Join the Toad Master, Croaker, Toad Suck Drum and Kazoo Band, Toad Suck Queens, and many others for the Mardi Daze Parade. The walking parade will start at the Faulkner County Courthouse at 10 a.m. Saturday. If you’d like to participate, fill out a registration form by Wednesday, May 3.
KIDS CRAWL, DRAG & SQUIRT
Organized by the Conway Fire Department, Crawl, Drag & Squirt is an obstacle course that promotes fire safety. Elementary students across Faulkner County have participated in preliminary Crawl, Drag & Squirt competitions at their local schools. A final preliminary competition will take place during Toad Suck Daze on Friday at 5 p.m. at Central Fire Station.
The Crawl, Drag & Squirt finals will occur at 11 a.m. Saturday on Front Street. Thank you to the Conway Fire Department for providing this fun and educational activity for elementary students year after year!
BOY SCOUT PINEWOOD DERBY
Toads won’t be the only ones racing at the festival. The Foothills District of Boy Scouts of America will host their pinewood derby district meet at Toad Suck Daze. After the meet on Saturday at 1 p.m., there will be an opportunity for open racing. The races will take place on Front Street.
The Conway Kiwanis Club organizes the Toad Suck Daze Run, which includes a 10K, a 5K run/walk, a wheelchair event, and a Tadpole Trot for children ages 4-12. The Tadpole Trot races take place Saturday around 10:15 a.m. at John McConnell Stadium at Conway High School.
The Tadpole Trot includes three distances separated by age and gender. Distances are 200 meters, or half of a lap, for children ages 4-8 (each of the age groups will run a separate race). Nine- and 10-year-olds will run 400 meters, or one lap, and 11- and 12-year-olds will run two laps totaling 800 meters.
The school with the greatest participation based on the percentage of their enrollment will receive a traveling trophy and $200 toward the school’s physical education program. Conway Christian School was the big winner in 2016.
To register for the Tadpole Trot, visit toadsuckrun.com or sign up the day of the race from 6:30-9:45 a.m.
TOUR DE TOAD FAMILY RIDE
This year is the 10th annual Tour de Toad, a charity bike ride that raises funds to increase adult literacy in central Arkansas by donating all proceeds to Literacy Action for Central Arkansas. Cyclists can choose between three routes, including a 10-mile family ride. Registration is available here.