20 Things To Do In Arkansas With Kids

It’s that wonderful time of year again! Spring break will be here in just one week! My big kid and I have been counting down the days ever since Christmas break. Don’t get me wrong. We ADORE our school, so much, but I just want all my babies home with me.

We don’t do a big spring break vacation but we always try to do something fun. This year I’ve decided we should play tourist in our own state. I’ve lived here all my life and there are still things I haven’t done! It’s time for an Arkansas staycation, and I have a great list of things to do in Arkansas with kids! A lot of these are Central Arkansas based, but check back for my big Arkansas bucket list coming soon! Sign up for notifications here. There’s so much the natural state has to offer!

Why choose a staycation? Glad you asked. I’ve given it a lot of thought!
1. It’s cheaper!
We like to take a bigger, more involved vacation in the summer when it’s actually warm. This way we save most of our travel money for that trip.
2. It’s easier!
No packing and being away from home for long periods of time.
No finding someone to take care of your pets.
No being in the car for days on end.
3. You give your kids a sense of pride in their home state!

I remember last year when we visited the state capitol for the first time. My 8 year old could not believe that we had such a cool place in our backyard and had never visited. That’s really when my desire to explore all that our state had to offer started. There is so much to do with kids in Arkansas!

 

 

So now that I’ve convinced you that no matter your state you should totally consider a staycation, I’ll get to the list of fun to be had for my friends in the Natural State.
Whether you live in Arkansas or you’re just planning a trip, have a look at this round up of kid friendly Arkansas activities to try out!

INDOOR FUN
The weather doesn’t always cooperate, and by that I mean Arkansas weather has more mood swings than me the week before my period. 70° one day and 30° the next doesn’t give you a lot of confidence planning outdoor activities. Rain or shine the places listed below are sure to be a big hit for all age groups.

1. The Museum of Discovery
Visiting the museum is always a fun activity during any weather. My kids go all the time and still find new things to do. During spring break they will have even more to offer.

  • Monday you can meet Jet Propulsion from PBS Kids Ready Jet Go! You can say hello and take a picture with the character, as well participate in hands on space activities!
  • Tuesday you can meet Nature Cat the star of PBS Kids’ Nature Cat! Have your photo taken, enjoy hands on activities while learning about the great outdoors, and meet some of natures coolest animals! The animals are my personal favorite part of the museum.
  • Outside of these two special events they will also have hands on science demonstrations all week. As well as animal showcases.
  • AND if you haven’t made it by yet to check out the new Tapes and Tunnels exhibit spring break week is your last chance! This is probably one of the most creative things I’ve ever seen. My kids LOVE IT!

2. 3rd Realm
My kids received passes to 3rd Realm for Christmas and we’ve been saving them up just for spring break. If you want to absolutely wear your kids out one day take them to one of the many jump zones in Central Arkansas.

3. Art Lab
Another experience gift the kids received this year for Christmas were passes to open studio time at the Art Lab. Open studio time allows kids to try out so many different art mediums they might not otherwise! They have sensory stations, chalk and felt boards, legos, play doh, watercolor, and tempera. We have heard great things about this place and cannot wait to give them a try!

4. Heifer international Urban Farm *free
I cannot say enough wonderful things about this amazing place we have right in our backyard!

This really should be on the outdoor fun list, because of the beautiful gardens, and the best part, ANIMALS!! Pigs, goats, llamas, you name it and you can see it.

However because of the amazing indoor learning exhibits I’m going to include it here. Every time we’ve ever visited they’ve had extra crafts and things set up for the kids. Really a fun place to visit.

5. Old State House Museum *free
We haven’t been here in years but we’ll be visiting it this spring break. It is the original state capital and full of history. So right up our alley!

6. The State Capitol *free
I said it above but we visited here recently and had the most fun. I know there is no way we saw everything there was to see on our first trip so we will definitely be back.

On our last visit the kids and I visited the state treasury and were allowed to hold $500,000! It was crazy. They are the only treasury in all 50 states that allows you to do this. So fun!

7. Arkansas Art Center *free
We’ve been here for plays but have never taken the kids in to see the exhibits.

They may not have a ton of “fun” here, but you’re never too young to be exposed to the arts. I know my big kid will love it, so we may have to time it after one of the more active stops so the toddler will relax and nap.

8. The Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center *free
This is one of my favorite free things to do in central Arkansas. It’s the toddler’s fave too.

They have snakes, and turtles, and a huge exhibit showcasing the different fish and animals that live in the Arkansas river.

This isn’t a place you spend the day at, so tack this onto one of the other places you are visiting downtown. It’s right next door to the Museum of Discovery so we usually swing through after visiting there.

9. Historic Arkansas Museum *free
This one can go indoor or outdoors, they have a really cool homestead type replica that you can explore. During holidays and special events they have people dressed up doing reenactments. Probably another quick one you’d want to tack on to something else.

10. President Clinton Library
This is a little more for the older crowd, but even holds the attention of the toddler for a while. It’s really cool seeing the replicated Oval Office and all of the artifacts!

Check the website because they have some pretty cool exhibits that come through.

11. Bass Pro Shop *free
My kids love wandering around this store. There’s so much to see, (live and stuffed animals, old fashioned toys and candy), and if I let them they’d stay for hours. Not a bad way to burn an hour.

 

OUTDOOR FUN

Here in Arkansas when you get a pretty day there’s nothing more amazing than getting outside and really enjoying it!

12. Ride the Trolley *free
This is a great way to explore Little Rock and it’s absolutely free through the end of 2019.

13. Grass Sledding *free
Grab a cardboard box or the sleds you didn’t get to use this winter and head downtown! Park near the Clinton Library and find your favorite hill.

My kids have never had more fun than when I let them go barreling down the steep hills along the river walk. Bonus, it’s fun for the mommas too!

14. Walk the William E. “Bill” Clark Presidential Park Wetlands *free
You can see amazing birds, turtles, and fish in their natural wetland habitat. Do this one after a trip into one of the museums so the kids can get some energy out.

When it’s not very busy my two love to run up and down the boardwalk.

15. Pinnacle Mountain *free
Even if you’re not up to climbing they have a super fun playground and several walking trails.

16. Walk the Big Dam Bridge *free
One of those things that’s right down the road that we’ve never done. It’s not just a bridge, there are lots of trails and nature to explore.

Absolutely doing this with the kids this year!

 

IF YOU FEEL LIKE A DRIVE

17. Crater of Diamonds State Park is something I have always wanted to do and just haven’t. This is one of the only places in the world where the public can go and search for diamonds and it’s right here in our home state!! That is crazy.

I would say be prepared to spend the day if you’re going!

18. Blanchard Springs Cavern near Mountain View is “one of the most spectacular and carefully developed caves found anywhere” according to the website.

When I was looking for recommendations of what to do during spring break this one came up over and over.

I have been assured that even if you are claustrophobic like me, that it is very open and doesn’t make you feel like you’re going to suffocate and die. I remember touring a cavern when I was little and it was really fun, I’m hoping to give my kids the same experience.

19. Stone Drive In
After you tour the caverns it’s just a 20 minute trek to go back in time and see a drive in movie! You don’t even need a DeLorean! Just your SUV or Mom van!

This is something I have always wanted to do and I am so excited to take the kids! Sit in your car or bring ball chairs for this blast from the past!

20. Petit Jean State Park *free
This has been a favorite spot of ours for years. We used to take the big kid up a couple times a year, but life gets busy and we haven’t had a chance to get back up there since the toddler was born.
There are so many trails to try out and now that the kids are older I’m excited to finally get to hike one! If it’s been raining recently the waterfalls will be flowing!
We love going into Mather Lodge for lunch, and to see the amazing view. And no trip up to Petit Jean is complete without stopping for fudge and ice cream at The Outpost. After all the walking and exploring you’ll do you deserve a treat.

*Bonus*

March 18th the Arkansas Travelers will host their Copa de la Diversión reveal! Stop by the ballpark for lunch to see their new “identity” for select games this season and check out the new merchandise!

Also on March 24th they are having a HUGE kick off party at the Southwest community center from 2pm-5pm. This is a FREE event with free food, bounce house, games, and thousands of dollars given away in tickets and merch!

CAN WE FIT IT ALL IN?
Absolutely not! But we’re going to try to hit up at least one thing on what’s turning into our “Arkansas Bucket List” each day during break.
With maybe one day for just being lazy. Cause y’all know I love being lazy.

What we don’t get to do on Spring Break we will save for the summer. Once spring break is over summer will be here before we know it!

Friends, no matter what you do on Spring Break I hope you have a wonderful time relaxing with your family, and please tell me in the comments what your plans are! Arkansas friends, is there something missing from my list? Tell me in the comments what’s on your list of must do Arkansas activities!

  1. Ashlee

    March 22nd, 2019 at

    Arkansas hasn’t been on my list of places to visit but it being to child friendly, I would definitely think to take a trip. There is so much to do which is great. Thanks for sharing! (:

    Ashlee | ashleemoyo.com

  2. Tara

    March 22nd, 2019 at

    I would love to see the drive ins. The last one I saw was in upstate NY about 18 years ago. I don’t mean a Sonic, but a real old school drive in.

  3. Samantha

    March 22nd, 2019 at

    I have never been to Arkansas. But someday would love to use these tips for my visit out there!

  4. Lisa @ Midwest Glam

    March 23rd, 2019 at

    Sometimes a staycation is more fun than an actual vacation. Way less stressful. The Crater of Diamonds State Park sounds like so much fun. I bet my son would love it.

  5. Lambam

    March 23rd, 2019 at

    I would love to visit one day with my kids . Thank you for sharing.x

  6. Laura

    March 23rd, 2019 at

    I have never been there, but it seems there is lot of things to do. Thank you for sharing x

    Laura
    https://pinkfrenzymissl.blogspot.com/

  7. Everydaydonia

    March 23rd, 2019 at

    This is so nice! I can’t wait to visit and try all these things. I bet my kids would never forget too. Thanks for sharing

  8. Vanessa

    March 23rd, 2019 at

    Everything you mentioned seems like so much fun. I’ve never considered Grass sledding, but I bet it’s just as enjoyable as snow sledding…not to mention warmer. Great job!

  9. Vivienne

    March 23rd, 2019 at

    Great staycation ideas of places to go to in Arkansas! I’ve never been to AK, but your post is helpful for when and if I ever do visit your beautiful state. 🙂

  10. Janiel Green

    March 24th, 2019 at

    When I lived in Dallas, I drove through Arkasas and truly felt shocked at how much I loved it. There are so many things to do there, and am hearing of more and more to do. So thank you for just adding to my list of things to do when I come back!

  11. LunaCat Studio Photography

    March 25th, 2019 at

    The 20 things to do in Arkansas look really great, thanks for this post!

  12. MogulHQ

    March 25th, 2019 at

    Thank you I have just added Arkansas to my bucketlist lol. Would love to go and visit the caves sounds amazing!

  13. Samantha

    March 27th, 2019 at

    That art lab sounded like great time! Thank you so much for sharing!

  14. Nafisa

    March 27th, 2019 at

    I don’t have kids but love the ideas you shared. Would be valuable in future

14 Comments on 20 Things To Do In Arkansas With Kids

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