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If you’re looking for a memorable evening experience in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, consider adding The Great Passion Play and The Christ of the Ozarks to your list of family fun. Though the show is seasonal, you can visit all year long and partake in other activities.  We visited this attraction on a lovely summer night in July. While it was summertime, we weren’t uncomfortable. As the sun set, we found ourselves immersed in the story of Christ’s last week on earth. We had an amazing experience, and we hope you’ll have one, too!

We’d like to thank the Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce for sponsoring our visit! As always, all opinions are honest and our own.

Arriving at The Great Passion Play

The Great Passion Play, Eureka Springs

We arrived after an early dinner about an hour before the show. It’s a little outside of Eureka Springs proper, but it’s not too far. If time had permitted, we would’ve blocked out more time to explore. There are a lot of fun extras that you can book, too. One of the things you can get separate tickets for is The Holy Land Tour. You can also check out the Bible Museum and the Sacred Arts Museum. We didn’t have time for these; you could probably spend the entire day here if you wish! I would also check the website for any special events during the year such as Easter services and Christmas lights displays.

Before the Play

We did have some time to walk around a bit. If mobility is an issue, there were small tram drivers that asked us if we’d like a ride from our parking space to the gate. If we walked over, we could get a taste of some of the offerings.

The Great Passion Play, Eureka Springs

We walked through this entrance to The Marketplace as it was closing for the day. We did get a small glimpse.

The Great Passion Play, Eureka Springs

In this area, The Great Passion play hosts a short program called Parables of the Potter. This show is free.

The Great Passion Play, Eureka Springs

There’s even a little petting zoo in this area!

The Great Passion Play, Eureka Springs

As we exited and headed towards the show area, we passed the building where the Bible Museum is located.

The Great Passion Play, Bible Museum

We also stopped at the gift shop to get a magnet. This gift shop has a lot of variety, and we spent several minutes looking things over. It’s larger than you may expect!

The Great Passion Play, Eureka Springs

It’s worth noting that The Great Passion Play also offers a dinner buffet; this would be really handy if you’d arrived earlier to see the exhibits.

The Christ of the Ozarks

Before we parked and walked around, we actually drove over to The Christ of the Ozarks statue. On the way, you can see a few interesting extras. You can stop in at the little Church in the Grove.  This is an old church that has been relocated to the property. You can also see a piece of the Berlin Wall.

Berlin Wall Eureka Springs

Here is Kristin posing with the wall section.

Berlin Wall Eureka Springs

At the end of the lane, you’ll find the parking lot to The Christ of the Ozarks. After you park, you can explore the area at the base of the statue on foot. Click here to read some of the stats!

Christ of the Ozarks, Eureka Springs, AR

The Great Passion Play

After we explored The Christ of the Ozarks, it was time to find our seats for the show. The Great Passion Play is performed in an amphitheater outdoors under the stars. It’s pretty cool how the theatre is built into the hills, and they use the hills to their advantage for performance space for the show.

The Great Passion Play, Eureka Spring, Arkansas

Here’s a note–popcorn, ice cream, and other concessions are sold for the show, and the sellers will wander the audience to show their wares. You’ll want some cash on hand if you want to purchase without walking back up to the concession stand.

One of Kristin’s favorite parts of the production is the use of live animals. When the show begins, be sure your kids are ready for the goats to run through!

The Great Passion Play, Eureka Spring, Arkansas

Animals are used in different scenes during the play; Kristin liked being on the lookout for that.

The Great Passion Play, Eureka Spring, Arkansas

The story of Christ’s last week continues forward as the sun sets. Even in summer, it will be dark at the end of the show. I liked watching the sun go down behind the hills and trees. From our seats, we could just see the top of The Christ of the Ozarks.

The Great Passion Play, Eureka Spring, Arkansas

Here is a picture of more of the set. It’s still not all of it!

The Great Passion Play, Eureka Spring, Arkansas

When the cast is on stage together, you can see how large it is. All different ages comprise the cast, too!

The Great Passion Play, Eureka Spring, ArkansasI like how this scene is reminiscent of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper.

The Great Passion Play, Eureka Spring, Arkansas

We had a wonderful time at The Great Passion Play. The weather was perfect, and it was peaceful to watch the story unfold as the sun set behind the Ozark Hills. As a theatre teacher, I’m also curious to see the technical aspects of a show like this, so I was certainly entertained on several levels. Kids especially will enjoy seeing the story come alive right before them. If you’re planning a family trip to Eureka Springs, put The Great Passion Play on your list of family fun!

The Great Passion Play Eureka Springs
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Click on the links below for more fun ideas in Eureka Springs:

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge

The Crescent Hotel

Downtown Eureka Springs

 

23 Comments

  1. What a neat experience. I’ve been to Hot Springs but never Eureka and have always wanted to visit.

  2. That huge statue of Christ is very beautiful. The outdoor play with live animals is very unique. Nice outing for the family!

  3. I love these road side attractions and it just thrills me to no end that they have a Christ of the Ozarks! I want to explore the Ozarks one day and when I do this will have to be on my list. Thank you 🙂

  4. What a cool outdoor experience. I’ve never been to Eureka Springs, but would definitely look into this.

  5. This looks like a great experience. I had never heard of it. Thanks for the tip!

  6. This looks like a great night. I love amphitheaters, especially in nice weather. I feel like this play was more authentic for being in an outdoor setting.

  7. Lisa Manderino Reply

    At first I thought you were talking about that play in Germany but it looks like this is in Arkansas. Is it similar to the Germany rendition?

    • Stacey Reply

      I don’t know much about the play in Germany. I need to read up on that!

  8. The setting is wonderful for this type of theatre. I love that they use real animals. So fun for the kids. I’m going to date myself, but I remember President Reagan telling Gorbachov to tear down the wall. When I visited Berlin I walked the part that is still standing and it’s a very interesting sensation. To know that you couldn’t get out must have been overwhelming.

  9. Have yet been to Arkansas. This looks like a nice family activity of religious culture & history . Amphitheaters are fun

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