Things to do with kids in Arkansas
Arkansas is a great place for family-friendly activities! All over the state, there are opportunities for kids of all ages to learn and have fun at the same time. Here is our list of favorite things to do with kids in Arkansas. What are yours?
Things to do with kids near Little Rock
Little Rock and its surroundings is a great place for kids to find fun!
The Wonder Place
The Wonder Place is a charming and award-winning indoor play space for children 8 and under. The large indoor space has multiple rooms with different themes (market, vet clinic, playhouse, etc.) for imaginative play. My favorite, of course, was the little theater — complete with costumes hanging on the wall and and a curtain! They also have a really cool water play table, as well as an area for eating and serving. In addition to offering day passes, there are membership passes for those who play often. The Wonder Shop, their small toy shop, is beautifully curated with a selection of high end arts and craft supplies and toys to inspire engaging and creative play.
The Museum of Discovery
The Museum of Discovery is Arkansas’s premier science center. It’s mission is to ignite and fuel a passion for science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) through dynamic and interactive experiences. In February 2021, the museum sustained significant damage due to flooding from burst water pipes and closed for a period of renovation and repairs. It has now reopened and is available for in-person and virtual visits, field trips, and birthday parties. Additionally, the museum offers periodic discovery camps for children.
Little Rock Zoo
The Little Rock Zoo is a 33 acre “natural living classroom” featuring more than 500 animals, as well as outdoor playgrounds, a train, and an antique carousel. Although the Behind the Scenes tours are currently on hold, the Zoo offers daily Keeper Chats and Feedings, periodic Zoofari Day Camps for kids during school breaks, as well as special events designed to enhance the experience. Refreshments are available for purchase at the recently re-opened Africa Café, as well as at kiosks in the park.
Magic Springs is a theme and water park near Hot Springs. It is open seasonally between May and October. Magic Springs offers a variety of roller coasters and thrill rides, slower-moving family friendly rides, water slides and activities, and a large wave pool. If traveling with a larger group or young children who may need a break during the day, there are Cabanas that can be rented for the day that offer a nice bit of shelter from the sun and a quiet out of the way spot to relax.
Loblolly Creamery is frozen magic in a cone! This bright and whimsical scoop shop serves fresh, small batch ice cream made in-house from scratch in a variety of new and classic flavors. In addition to ice cream, the Creamery serves house-made baked goods (like macarons!) and adorable marshmallow and cocoa kits. Who can resist unicorn hot cocoa with rainbow marshmallows?
Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts – Coming Soon
We are very excited for the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, which is scheduled to open in MacArthur Park in Little Rock in Fall of 2022. In addition to the museum, dining, and shopping which will be part of the new campus, the new AMFA will also host a Children’s Theatre.
Wildwood Park for the Arts
Wildwood Park for the Arts is a 105 acre park. It features botanical gardens and a 625-seat theatre complex. In addition to hosting a variety of events and performances during the year, Wildwood Park hosts a summer camp, Wildwood Academy of Music and the Arts (WAMA), for young musicians, and naturalist camps for kids during school breaks.
Arkansas Repertory Theatre
The Rep is an intimate, 377-seat theatre dedicated to producing diverse, high quality theatrical productions that are “created, rehearsed, and built” in Downtown Little Rock. In addition to maintaining a season of 5-6 productions during the year, The Rep provides opportunities for advanced theater education for area teeenagers. It has an audition-only Teen Ensemble pre-professional performance company featuring top high school-age singers, dancers, and actors in the area, as well as a High School Musical performance class.
The Robinson Center is Central Arkansas’ premier entertainment and events center. It’s a great location in Little Rock to see Broadway shows, concerts, and special events.
Is there anything more magical for a little kid than meeting his or her favorite, princess, super hero, mermaid, or fairytale character? Fancyful parties can make it happen! In addition to appearances at parties and business events, Fancyful offers personalized video messages and FaceTime calls. They also host seasonal special events (especially at Christmas!) and often make public appearances at local events (watch their calendar on their website for more information).