12 Things To Do With Family In Little Rock, Arkansas

Little Rock, the capital city of Arkansas, is a great place for families looking for exciting things to see and do. From museums and outdoor attractions to sports and entertainment destinations, Little Rock offers activities that every member of the family is sure to enjoy.

This city of almost 200,000 residents rests on the Arkansas River and is surrounded by forests and parks, providing beautiful scenery as a backdrop. Families visiting Little Rock should plan time to see key landmarks, explore its rich history and culture, and experience some of its local flavor. There are activities suited for all ages and interests, making it easy to design an itinerary packed with family fun.

Whether you want outdoor adventures, interactive learning, kid-friendly restaurants, or unique attractions you won’t find anywhere else, Little Rock has something amazing in store. This article highlights 12 of the top things to add to your Little Rock family vacation bucket list.

Tour the Arkansas State Capitol

One of Little Rock’s most iconic buildings is the Arkansas State Capitol. This National Historic Landmark was built in the early 1900s combining both Classical Revival and Renaissance revival architectural styles and features many beautiful details and design elements worth admiring. Guided tours are available where your family can learn about the capitol’s history, architecture, and art.

Some key highlights include the stained-glass Great Seal skylight, a model of the USS Arkansas battleship, historical photos, expansive views from the dome observation deck, and a chandelier weighing over 1800 pounds in the Senate chamber. The building and grounds also contain numerous monuments and memorials that help communicate stories from Arkansas’ past.

Explore the Clinton Presidential Center

Families can learn about America’s history through the unique lens of Arkansas at the William J. Clinton Presidential Center. This modern complex built on the banks of the Arkansas River contains a museum, archives, gardens, and the Clinton Presidential Library. Exhibits showcase interests and achievements during the Clinton administration including policy changes, White House traditions, and news events that transpired during those years using authentic artifacts and engaging displays.

The complex also includes a replica of the Oval Office, gifts the Clintons received during their political service, and even a decommissioned Air Force One plane. The family-friendly complex brings history to life and gives kids exposure to how government works. The center offers enough variety to keep both kids and adults engaged.

Encounter Wildlife at the Little Rock Zoo

One of Arkansas’s most popular attractions is the wildest place in Little Rock – The Little Rock Zoo. Families will be in awe of the more than 700 animals that call this zoo home. Kids can visit a petting zoo barnyard, get eye-level with gorillas, watch playful penguins, encounter fierce tigers, and so much more at this 35-acre park. Unique highlights include the entire herd of Asian elephants and the herpetarium reptile house displaying giant crocodilians alongside brilliantly colored poison dart frogs.

Guests will also spot endangered species being protected through conservation efforts at the zoo including Mexican gray wolves, red pandas, forest tortoises from Madagascar, and Diana monkeys from Africa. The zoo offers education programs, adventures like behind-the-scenes wildlife tours, and even overnight camping experiences so your family can extend time learning about the amazing animals.

Zip Through the Forest at Wild River Country

For a thrilling outdoor adventure, Wild River Country waterpark has families covered. This huge 70-acre park just west of downtown has something for everyone between the islands, pools, towering slides, and even areas for younger kids. Adrenaline junkies can rocket down near-vertical slides like the Pipeline Plunge sending riders through tubes and tight twists as a four-person raft.

Other highlights are the surf-generating wave pool, a 1,000-foot lazy river float, and specially designed kids’ play areas like Typhoon Harbor. When it comes to water fun, Wild River sets the standard. Beyond the 20+ exciting water attractions, the park also offers amenities like sand volleyball, mini-golf, concessions, and private cabanas for rent when your family is ready for a break.

Tour Rivers, Parks & Gardens

Two aspects that make Little Rock shine are its beautiful parks and waterways. Families can take advantage by heading out on boat tours along the Arkansas River with companies like River City Tours offering lunch, dinner, and specialty cruises to see Little Rock’s iconic landmarks from a new perspective on the water. Shoreline sights include the Clinton Center, museums, Big Dam Bridge (the country’s longest pedestrian bridge over water), riverside parks, and even Pinnacle Mountain visible in the distance.

Families also won’t want to miss visiting Riverfront Park downtown which hosts festivals, a playground, splash pad, scenic walking path, and views of the epic Arkansas River Trail bridge. Other top green spaces to explore include the 12-acre Allsopp Park in the Heights neighborhood with native trees and wildflowers and War Memorial Park anchoring the Capitol and museums with monuments, fountains, a zoo, and space allowing kids to run free.

Learn Hands-On at the Museum of Discovery

The Museum of Discovery is Little Rock’s epic kids science museum where families can learn through interactive exhibits and programs focusing on STEAM subjects. This museum has dozens of experiences across multiple floors that turn science into family fun. Kids can climb a three-story maze, learn physics through oversized toys and experiments, explore space science concepts, and engage creativity through elaborate building projects.

Families will also encounter interesting Arkansas wildlife, dino fossil casts, inventions by Arkansas residents, and enriching rotating exhibits. The completely hands-on venue also offers clubs, summer/spring break camps, and programs for Scouts cementing it as both an entertaining and educational kid hot spot.

Watch a Baseball Game

No visit to central Arkansas is complete without taking in one of America’s favorite pastimes – baseball. The Arkansas Travelers minor league baseball team brings affordable family fun and entertainment to Dickey-Stephens Park in downtown North Little Rock during the April – September season. Families can catch future MLB stars competing while also enjoying popular ballpark food and in-game promotions.

Kids will love activities like running bases post-game, catching fly balls in the outfield, collecting autographs from players, and entertainment extras like fireworks shows. With a picturesque backdrop of the downtown Little Rock skyline, a Travelers game lets families experience baseball in an intimate setting. Games are lively thanks to loyal fans, the engaging emcee, on-field skits, and lots of cheering.

Explore History & Culture on Central Avenue

Central Avenue Historic District known as the “Main Street of Little Rock African American culture” gives families a glimpse into the city’s past. This area contains over 20 blocks packed with historic churches, businesses, architecture, and cultural attractions that share stories of Little Rock’s Black community. Families can stop in the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center to learn about influential local African Americans through interactive exhibits.

Other highlights are the Dreamland Ballroom that once hosted musical greats like Count Basie and Louis Armstrong, New Testament church’s with amazing gospel music traditions, and intriguing restored Victorian homes. The history encompasses tragedy and triumph including the 1957 Little Rock Nine school crisis but also celebrations of heritage. Walking tours make exploring deeper connections easy.

See a Performance at Robinson Center

If your family enjoys the thrill of live entertainment, Little Rock’s Robinson Center Performance Hall located downtown should be on your must-do list. This 1930s restored multi-use venue hosts concerts for renowned artists from Yo-Yo Ma to Jerry Seinfeld along with Broadway musical touring productions like “Anastasia”, “Les Miserables” and “My Fair Lady”.

Kids will love spectacles like “Paw Patrol Live”, circus shows, and magic productions. The building itself displays beautiful Italian Renaissance architecture with ornate chandeliers and Lobby murals worth admiring. Before the show, families can enjoy pre-event activities in the public plazas or dine nearby at family-friendly restaurants in the River Market entertainment district. A performance at Robinson Center guarantees a memorable night of culture and amusement.

See Wild Horses on Kessler Mountain

A unique family experience found only in central Arkansas is visiting the Kessler Mountain Regional Park to observe a herd of wild horses up close roaming in a pastoral habitat. Families can drive the park road looking for the 20+ horses peacefully grazing the meadows and forests marked with interpretive signs telling their story.

Hiking trails range from easy to challenging if you want to venture further into the park spanning over 1,000 acres in total. Seeing the majestic horses behaving naturally offers rare glimpses you can’t find in many zoos or public attractions. Rangers at the park help educate how the herd arrived likely from horses formerly used in the now restored open strip mines and unique ecosystem they interact with there.

Play Mini-Golf at Funland

Funland Amusement Park packs plenty of family fun into a compact space making it an ideal evening activity for all ages. While not a full-scale theme park, Funland offers carnival rides for kids of varying thrill levels along with plenty of arcade games boasting neon lights and plush prizes to win.

Other all-ages entertainment includes go-karts, bumper boats, climbing wall, and 18-holes of elaborately themed mini-golf spanning caves, waterfalls, and fantasy designs. Parents will appreciate that most activities are very affordably priced at just a few dollars per person. Funland makes it easy to enjoy classic entertainment the whole family will love at a relaxed pace. They also host events like kids’ concerts and movie nights.

Splash Into Arkansas Waterfalls

Your family can take in stunning natural scenery and stay cool at the same time by heading just north of Little Rock to Pinnacle Mountain State Park known for its cascading waterfalls creating swimming holes. East Quarry and West Quarry Falls both tumble over 50 feet into pools surrounded by rocky bluffs open for swimming when water flow and temperature permit.

Families enjoy paddling nearby in canoes plus hiking trails to explore the quarry batholith geology, wildflowers in bloom, upland forest ecosystem, and viewpoints overlooking scenic wetland habitat areas below the falls. The state park also contains interpretive displays, a visitor center, picnic sites with pavilions, playgrounds, and a challenging one-mile hike ascending to the top of Pinnacle Mountain if parents want an exhilarating workout.


Little Rock offers big excitement when it comes to family fun. This Arkansas capital city presents unique attractions, enriching museums, outdoor adventures, hands-on science, historic sites, wildlife encounters, sports games, live entertainment, and other experiences guaranteed to create amazing memories. Families can easily keep all ages entertained while exploring natural scenery, local culture, and regional history.

The family fun ranges from low-key parks to thrilling waterslides with many free or budget-friendly options too. From the River Market to the Clinton Center, Allsopp Park to Dickey-Stevens Stadium, there are amazing things around every corner to fill your visit with smiles. Use these 12 highlights as a launch point to start planning your Little Rock family getaway now!

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