Since I have family in Little Rock, Arkansas we tend to visit a lot! We love it there. Although the summers are hot and muggy there are plenty of things to do that are super fun!
This large museum is great for history buffs and learners alike! It has lots of information regarding the Clintons and other presidents throughout history. They have memorabilia and full size replicas. You could spend a quick hour or several depending on your desire for knowledge. They have a rotating temporary display on the 1st floor that is always fun and interesting. Currently it is about rocks and politics. When I went last it was dinosaurs. We had a blast exploring all over with the kids and adults alike.
-Other fun things nearby: Just outside the Clinton library is a large hill that we like to use for box sledding. Since Little Rock doesn’t get enough to snow for sledding, if any, we will go box sledding here. If you flatten large cardboard boxes and sit on top, they tend to slide right over the grass as if it were snow! The kids have a blast and could keep going for hours. We usually use lunch or ice cream as a way to pull them away! Watch out for this hill on muddy days, however. It can be a mess.
If you are a biker, a roller-blader, a walker, a runner, or a scenic sight seer you will enjoy the Big Dam Bridge. At 4,226 feet (1288 m) in length it is the longest pedestrian/bicycle bridge in North America that has never been used by trains or motor vehicles. It has some fun views as you go across of the Arkansas River and Murray Lock and Dam between Little Rock and North Little Rock.
One of my favorite places when we are there is the Promenade on Chenal. They have movie theaters, great shops and great restaurants all in an outdoor shopping center. When the weather is nice any time of year it is a great time to spend a few hours at the Promenade. One of the best local restaurants is Local Lime Tacos and Margaritas. They are famous for amazing salads and fancy fajitas. They also have many different kinds of salsas for those who love to taste new flavors. It is totally worth a visit!
Almost every time we go to Arkansas we like to hike Pinnacle Mountain. It is a short but strenuous hike. Truly the hike is not too hard until you lose the dirt trail and have to follow the yellow paint lines across the giant boulders. This doesn’t happen until you have completed about ⅔ of the mountain. Total time to the top is about 30 minutes to an hour depending on your speed.
Pinnacle Mountain is only about 1,000 feet in elevation, so it was grandfathered in to the classification of a mountain. If you want a fun hike, but don’t have the knees or agility for the giant boulders, I suggest stopping when the big boulders come near the top and heading back down. Many times I have seen the same hiker going up and down and up and down the trail for their morning exercise. Since I always have my kids we are much slower. I would not recommend this for kids under 5 unless you are willing to carry them for a large portion. Once I was alone with all 5 of my kids and my littlest was about 3. She was great until we hit the boulders and then she would go no farther! I carried her for a while, but that was really hard and dangerous feeling. So I told my big kids to stay together, reach the top, take a picture and come back to get me! That way everyone was happy. There are also two sides of the trail. You can go up one side and down the other, but once you reach the bottom you have to walk all the way around the mountain to get back to your car. Or you could go back up and down again! We love to hike this trail, but always bring LOTS of water. If you hike in the summer time get up as early as you can to avoid the worst heat of the day. It is hot in the summer even in the early morning, but it is better than noon. You will be dripping and not really even know it.
Although it is NOT in Little Rock, you can get to the caverns with a 3 hour drive and I would say it is worth it! We fed the kids breakfast and left super early in the morning. I always bring along a mid-morning snack like trail mix and mango strips. We spent the entire morning adventuring into the caves. We went in November and not all of the adventures or caves are open and available at that time of year because of the cold. We went in two different caves, one with bats and one without. They were amazing! I really enjoyed both. The caves are created by ground water so expect a few spots of slippery water. They were really so beautiful. Also when you go in the cave with the bats, DO NOT TOUCH anything. Seriously. The bats poop constantly and everywhere and you do NOT want to touch it if you can help it. I wore some gloves and then took them off inside out to keep the yuck inside. Then I just washed them at home. We also had a HUGE lunch packed thanks to my brother and spent time at a park nearby to eat a late lunch and run around. But it got really cold really fast so we ate and left as soon as possible! But I would highly recommend heading to the Caverns if you have the time.
These are just a few of my favorite things to do while in Little Rock. Do you know of more fun things that I should include on the list? Are you looking for more fun suggestions? Check out our other blog posts.
Tammy is a master Jedi planner and organizer able to battle the fiercest traveling adventure for anyone. She is married to a traveling junky and has 5 kids and one on the way. In her spare time she plans vacations to build memories, strengthen families, and challenge companies. She can also be found running, reading, cooking or sleeping. (one of her favorite past times).