12 Things To Do With Family In Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Last Updated on February 19, 2024 by Emily Johnson

Pine Bluff is the largest city and county seat of Jefferson County, Arkansas. Known for its rich history and Southern hospitality, Pine Bluff offers many fun activities and attractions for families visiting the area. From exploring the great outdoors to learning about the region’s culture and history, there are things to enjoy for visitors of all ages.

This article outlines 12 of the top things to do with family while vacationing in Pine Bluff. With so many options available, you’re sure to find activities that appeal to everyone.

Explore Regional Park and the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame


Regional Park is a 77-acre public park located along the Arkansas River with plenty of amenities the whole family can enjoy. Walk along the extensive trail system that winds through the park grounds. Let the kids burn off some energy at the playground and splash pad.

Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy at one of the many picnic sites and pavilions located throughout the park. Don’t miss the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame located on the park grounds. See interesting exhibits detailing the lives and careers of famous Arkansas musicians, actors, and other performers.

Tour the Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Historical Museum

Immerse your family in the history and culture of Pine Bluff at this expansive museum complex located in a historic 19th century residence. See exhibits detailing the region’s origins as a major cotton production area dependent on slave labor.

Check out historic artifacts, vintage photographs, furniture, toys, quilts, and other items illustrating the daily lives of Pine Bluff residents from the 19th and 20th centuries. Make sure to tour the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home, a 19th century farmstead authentically restored to how it looked when Cash lived there as a child in the 1930s and 40s.

Ride the Rails at the Arkansas Railroad Museum

Train lovers young and old will enjoy a day exploring the Arkansas Railroad Museum’s extensive displays and riding its trains. Climb aboard one of the museum’s vintage locomotives or self-propelled railcars for a ride along 3 miles of railroad track through forests and wetlands.

See exhibits detailing the history of railroading in Arkansas filled with uniforms, tools, engineering plans, and other artifacts. The kids can enjoy special events like Day Out with Thomas the Tank Engine and Easter Train rides. The museum also hosts kids’ birthday parties perfect for train-obsessed little ones.

Get Active at the Merrill All-Abilities Playground

This playground located at Regional Park is specially designed so children of all abilities can play. It features a cushioned rubber floor surface surrounding the equipment, wheelchair-accessible ramps, high backs on swings, and other specialized amenities.

Kids can swing, go down slides, navigate climbing pieces, play on a merry-go-round, and more. Benches are available around the perimeter of the playground if parents and guardians need a break. Since people with and without disabilities can equally enjoy this playground, it’s a great place for some family bonding time.

See Rare Birds and Exotic Animals at the Little Rock Zoo

Located just an hour away in the capital city, the Little Rock Zoo makes for a fun family day trip. Say hello to over 500 animals ranging from Asian elephants, slender-snouted crocodiles, spider monkeys, and everything in between.

Check the zoo’s schedules for any planned keeper chats, training sessions, and animal feedings your family can observe. Interactive exhibits like Gould’s Invertebrate World and Butterfly Garden allow the kids to get up close with creepy crawlies like hissing cockroaches and breathe in butterflies all around them. With plenty to see and do, your family is sure to have a “wild” time.

Explore History at the Southeast Arkansas Regional Museum

Also known as SEARK Museum, this local history museum located inside a historic armory building contains exhibits documenting the founding and development of Pine Bluff. Peruse collections of 19th century clothing, vintage tools and kitchen goods, intricate textiles made by residents, and other everyday items indicative of past life in the region.

An exhibit on influential civil rights activist Daisy Bates from Pine Bluff gives interesting insight into this community’s role in ending segregation. Make sure to also check out the museum’s events calendar for any special programs or exhibits your family may enjoy.

Tour Performance Spaces at UAPB

The University of Arkansas Pine Bluff offers several exciting performing arts spaces families can tour like the historic Watson Memorial Theater and the UAPB Convention Center. Watson Theater hosted many notable performers like Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway and more during the Harlem Renaissance.

Take a guided tour through the building full of photos, playbills, and artifacts documenting decades of performances there. UAPB’s spacious convention center with seating for thousands also hosts events ranging from concerts, comedies, musicals and more. Touring these venues lets your family imagination run wild picturing memorable shows held there. Maybe you’ll even catch one during your visit to Pine Bluff!

Go on an Animal Safari at the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge

Get up close views of rescued big cats like lions, tigers, cougars, leopards, bobcats and more at this wildlife sanctuary and animal rescue located less than an hour away in Eureka Springs. Hop on an open-top tour vehicle with knowledgeable guides to drive through various animal habitat enclosures and get incredible sights of these majestic creatures.

Between scheduled Wildlife Tours, check out educational presentations on the resident exotic cats and birds. Your family will have roaring good time while also learning about wildlife conservation efforts.

Enjoy Arkansas BBQ at One of Pine Bluff’s Legendary Smokehouses

What’s a trip to the South without feasting on mouthwatering barbeque? Luckily, Pine Bluff boasts several historic smokehouses praised for their melt-in-your-mouth smoked meats paired with classic sides like potato salad, baked beans and buttery cornbread.

Grab a seat at Brock’s Smokehouse known for smoked pork chops and chicken or takeout from White Pig Inn, a popular joint since the 1920’s, and dine alfresco along the Arkansas River. The kids are sure to love a messy barbecue meal they can really dig into. Don’t forget some sweet tea!

Partake in the Arts at Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas

This multi-use facility located in a historic building that once housed Pine Bluff High School contains galleries, performance spaces, classrooms and more dedicated to visual and performing arts. Tour current art exhibits in the loft galleries that feature works in various mediums by Arkansas artists.

Kids will love getting messy at hands-on arts instruction programs just for them. Or if performing arts are more your speed, catch a music concert, play, or dance performance on one of ARTWorks on Main’s stages. Peruse the gift shop for some locally made artisan crafts and goods after exploring the center.

Explore Monticello’s Museums and Historic Sites

The small town of Monticello located about 30 minutes from Pine Bluff offers plenty of history for families to uncover. Tour the Arkansas Railway Museum housed in an old train depot to see exhibits on the state’s railroad history and take a ride on a vintage train.

Just down the road lies the Bill Clinton Birthplace and Museum detailing the former president’s early years spent in Hope, Arkansas. Kids can even tour a replica of Clinton’s childhood home. Afterward walk downtown Monticello’s Brickfest held annually each May when artists create murals and sculptures using local bricks. Between the museums and art, a day trip here provides fun and education.

Go Camping and Fishing Along Lake Pine Bluff

Pack up the tent, rods and outdoors gear for a weekend of family camping and fishing at Lake Pine Bluff located just north of the city. This reservoir constructed along the Arkansas River provides a beautiful nature retreat right at Pine Bluff’s doorstep.

Cast out lines from the fishing jetty to reel in healthy populations of crappie, catfish, white bass and bream. Set up basecamp at Lake Pine Bluff Park where amenities include RV sites with electric and water hookups, grilling pits, picnic tables, restrooms and a swimming beach. End each day toasting marshmallows and singing campfire songs under the stars.

Conclusion


With its small-town charm yet plenty to experience, Pine Bluff truly encapsulates an authentic Southern town perfect for making family memories. From exploring important sites detailing the area’s history to adventures enjoying Arkansas’ beautiful outdoors, there are activities sure to entertain visitors across generations.

Use this guide highlighting 12 top things to do with family in Pine Bluff to plan an unforgettable and meaningful vacation all will cherish for years to come.

With incredible attractions, mouthwatering local cuisine, and that signature warm Southern hospitality, Pine Bluff is a wonderful destination ideal for bringing loved ones closer together while discovering new passions and interests.

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