12 Things To Do With Family in North Little Rock, Arkansas

Last Updated on February 13, 2024 by Emily Johnson

North Little Rock is located directly across the Arkansas River from the state capital, Little Rock. It’s a vibrant city with plenty to see and do for families. From unique museums and cultural attractions to outdoor adventures and amusement parks, there are activities that will appeal to all ages. Families visiting North Little Rock will enjoy making memories exploring this charming city and the surrounding area.

With so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide how to spend your time. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the top 12 things to do with your family in North Little Rock. It includes some of the can’t-miss attractions that both kids and parents will love.

Tour the Old Mill

The Old Mill is one of the most iconic and photographed attractions in Arkansas. This replica of an 1880s water-powered grist mill was constructed in 1933 to provide a picturesque backdrop in the opening scene of Gone With the Wind.

Though no longer functioning, exploring the Old Mill and its lush gardens feels like stepping back in time. Kids enjoy feeding the ducks in the adjacent pond and playing hide-and-seek behind the big stone walls while parents appreciate the beautiful architecture and history. Be sure to snap that quintessential photo in front of the classic red mill.

See Exotic Animals at the Little Rock Zoo

The Wilbur D. Mills Zoo in North Little Rock provides up close encounters with exotic creatures from around the world. Home to over 200 animals across 58 species, kids go wild exploring the zoo’s many exhibits. Hand-feed a giraffe, watch the gorillas swing through their forest habitat and see the rare snow leopards in this 33 acre urban jungle.

Special events and keeper chats let visitors learn more about their favorite animals. Catch a ride on the Endangered Species Carousel for extra family fun. With reasonable admission prices and compact layout, the Little Rock Zoo makes for an excellent family outing.

Dare to Be Scared at Fear Factory

For families that enjoy thrilling adventures together, the Fear Factory is the ultimate haunted attraction. This scary scream park features interactive haunted houses, escape rooms, augmented reality experiences and more.

Navigate creepy mazes, face your fears in blackout basements and try to escape sinister scenarios in this 30,000 square foot complex dedicated to heart-pounding fun. Designed for maximum scares, this intense amusement park attraction also provides no scare daytime visits for younger guests. The Fear Factory dares you to face your fears with your family. Are you brave enough?

Enjoy Interactive Exhibits at the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum

The Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum brings to life the history of the state’s relationship with America’s rivers. Highlights include intricate ship models, a collection of artifacts salvaged from Arkansas’ waterways and numerous hands-on activities. Pilot a barge simulator, load cargo like a longshoreman and explore a full-sized towboat.

Special family events and programs let kids experience maritime history first-hand with riverboat art projects, story time aboard a boat and even sleepovers on the towboat. Costumed interpreters add to the experience with educational demonstrations. Adults appreciate the valuable history while kids have a blast with the interactive maritime fun.

Get Close to Nature at Murray Park

Murray Park provides opportunities for families to enjoy the outdoors together with hiking trails, playgrounds, gardens and more. Kids will stay busy at the large Rotary Adventure Playground complete with a kid-sized rock wall. Newly updated walking trails ranging from .8 to 2 miles in length circle the park’s two fishing lakes and beautiful botanical gardens.

Bird watching is popular with over 100 species sighted in the park. Other facilities include shaded picnic pavilions, a dog park, athletic fields and a charming stone and iron gazebo available for events. Rent a pedal boat and explore the islands in the lake before letting the kids burn off extra energy at the playground. With entry and parking free of charge, Murray Park is an affordable outdoor option for family recreation.

Tap into Your Creative Side at Just Us Ministries Center for the Arts

The Just Us Ministries Center for the Arts provides kids and parents a welcoming place to explore their creative talents across visual arts, music, drama and dance. Family art classes allow parents and children as young as three to take workshops together in their fully-stocked Pottery Studio and Create Arts Studio. Kids thrive in the lively, judgement-free environment where professional artist-teachers encourage freedom of expression through open-ended, process-focused arts instruction.

Music lessons in piano or voice inspire kids to develop their talents. Parents enroll kids in performing arts camps over school breaks where students write, produce and perform their own plays. Field trips to world-class arts venues like Crystal Bridges Museum round out their cultural arts offerings. Release your inner artist as a family at Just Us Ministries.

Tour Historic Curran Hall

Step back in time with a tour of Curran Hall, a stately antebellum plantation home perched high atop a hill overlooking the Arkansas River. Built in 1842, this historic house museum transports visitors back to a prosperous farmstead before the Civil War. Costumed docents share stories of the prosperous Curran family as you explore period bedrooms, common rooms and outbuildings still displaying many original furnishings.

Unique architecture and brickwork impress parents while kids learn what daily life on an 1840s farm was like. Special events like balls, Civil War reenactments and campfire tales offer one-of-a-kind experiences families won’t soon forget. The elevated location provides stellar views of the river below with plenty of room for little ones to play outside between tours.

Enjoy Classic Amusements at Funland Amusement Park

Funland Amusement Park promises old-fashioned family fun with thrill rides, classic carnival games and more. Dating back to 1937, history buff parents will enjoy recalling childhood memories while creating new ones with their kids today. Signature attractions include the 1961 Mad Mouse Rollercoaster, Tilt-a-Whirl, Ferris Wheel and Arkansas Twister spinning ride.

Test your skills to win stuffed animal prizes playing fan favorites like Skeeball, the Claw Machine and Ring Toss in the massive arcade. Affordable ride wristbands maximize the fun while all-you-can-eat picnic buffets make mealtime easy for families on-the-go. Close out your day soaring above the midway on the new Funland Flyer for incredible aerial views. Funland Amusement Park delivers classic thrill rides and games the whole family will love.

See a Show at Arkansas Repertory Theater

Introduce kids to the magic of live theater at the Arkansas Repertory Theater in downtown North Little Rock. As the state’s largest professional nonprofit theater, families have the opportunity to enjoy award-winning musicals, comedies and dramas at affordable rates. Subscription packages and group discounts make it easy to enjoy multiple shows.

Kids love getting dressed up for a sophisticated night out with parents while munching popcorn and sipping sodas in the historic theater. Favorites like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory bring beloved stories to life onstage through extravagant sets and effects. The Rep’s educational programs let students go behind-the-scenes, attend dress rehearsals and interact with actors to learn about play production. A family theater outing provides lasting memories and may even reveal a budding star.

Pedal Along the River Trail

The Arkansas River Trail stretches over 20 miles from downtown Little Rock to Pinnacle Mountain State Park, offering smooth pavement perfect for family bike rides. Bring your own bikes or rent from one of the many convenient trailheads and bike shops along the route. Travel at your own pace stopping for a picnic at riverside parks or breaks to enjoy the views of the epic Arkansas River bridges overhead.

Interpretive signage helps kids learn about the environs and river ecosystems. Search for Blue Herons fishing along the sandy shores and watch motorboats cruise beneath crossings like the epic Big Dam Bridge, the longest pedestrian/bike bridge ever built. With mostly flat terrain and plenty of access points, families can tailor the River Trail to match their cycling abilities for an enjoyable ride suitable for all ages.

Learn Tales from an Oil Boomtown at Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources

Housed in a historic antique oil refinery, the Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources tells the story of the crude oil and brine boom that struck Arkansas in the 1920s. Kids enjoy exploring the Cool Pool interactive museum, riding through North America’s deepest water well and building their own oil pipeline. They learn how technologies like drive pipes, steam engines and oil derricks revolutionized the petroleum industry in Arkansas.

Fun family events like evening flashlight tours, summer camps and hands-on oil and mineral classes make science come alive. The site’s walking trails, picnic pavilions and native wildflower gardens provide scenic outdoor recreation spaces for families between learning. For an intriguing look into Arkansas’ role in the early oil economy that kids and adults will remember, be sure to visit the Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources.

Appreciate Wildlife at Arkansas Game & Fish Nature Center

Combining an aquarium, zoo, botanical garden, wildlife sanctuary and conservation education facility all-in-one, the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission Nature Center provides families an enriching look into native habitats and species. This 152-acre complex houses diverse ecosystems from the Ozark Mountains and Ouachita Mountains to bottomland forests, wetlands and tallgrass prairies.

Kids squeal with glee watching playful river otters, peering into beehives and feeding the brightly colored lorikeet birds in an exotic walk-through aviary. Five miles of nature trails allow families to venture into the forests to spot deer, birds of prey and other native Arkansas wildlife in their natural habitats. With hands-on learning labs for fish, bugs and backyard birds plus a gift shop stocked with nature-themed toys and trinkets, kids build a meaningful appreciation for Arkansas’ environments when visiting the Nature Center.

Conclusion

Whether you prefer cultural attractions, history museums or outdoor adventures, there is something sure to amaze every member of the family in North Little Rock, Arkansas. From riding thrilling amusement park rides or soaring across the river on one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world to exploring hands-on museums and feeding exotic animals, memories will be made that will last a lifetime.

Take time to tap into your creative side through art and performing arts experiences that encourage kids to stretch their talents. Learn about maritime life, oil booms and even get close to nature in a fun way. When visiting North Little Rock with your family, be sure to check out this list of top attractions perfect for kids and adults to enjoy together.

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