12 Things To Do With Family In Texarkana, Arkansas

Last Updated on February 15, 2024 by Emily Johnson

Nestled in the southwest corner of Arkansas, right on the Texas border, lies the charming city of Texarkana. This unique town is essentially two cities in one, straddling both Arkansas and Texas, with a rich history and plenty of family-friendly attractions to offer visitors.

From museums and parks to theaters and restaurants, Texarkana provides an abundance of exciting things to see and do for families. The pleasant climate also makes it an ideal place to get out and explore the area year-round. Read on for the top 12 things to do with family during your next trip to Texarkana, Arkansas.

Explore Hands-On Exhibits at the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub

The Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub serves as both an entertaining family destination and an interactive museum that promotes innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity. Families can partake in a variety of exhibits and activities like computer programming classes, 3D printing, robotics, woodworking with high-tech CNC machines, coding puzzles and more.

Kids will especially love interacting with humanoid robots Baxter and Sawyer or racing solar-powered cars that they build themselves. The Innovation Hub aims to prepare local youth for careers in STEM while providing a unique and memorable experience through hands-on learning. With rotating exhibits and special events, there’s always something new happening here for visitors of all ages to enjoy.

Walk or Ride Through Spring Lake Park

For outdoor family fun, head over to the scenic 70-acre Spring Lake Park situated right near downtown Texarkana. Here you’ll find plenty of amenities including picnic areas, playgrounds, an 18-hole disc golf course, baseball fields, tennis courts, walking trails and more across the grounds. Families can rent out paddle boats and traverse across the lake for a unique perspective and some relaxed sightseeing.

Or bring your own fishing poles and bait to reel in largemouth bass from the stocked waters – just make sure to obtain the proper fishing permit beforehand. The local wetlands also provide excellent bird and wildlife watching opportunities for nature enthusiasts of all ages. With lush greenery and flowers surrounding the peaceful lake, Spring Lake Park provides a beautiful natural backdrop for a family outing any time of year.

Learn Local History at the Texarkana Regional History Museum

To gain some perspective on the local history and culture of Texarkana, spend an afternoon at the Texarkana Regional History Museum. Featuring artifacts, multimedia exhibits, microfilm research stations and more, the museum provides an in-depth look at the pioneers, artists, musicians, athletes, entrepreneurs and everyday citizens from the Four States area who helped shape Texarkana’s past and identity.

Families can learn about important industries like lumber and railroads that drove early development here. Or discover how Texarkana played a strategic role during significant events like World War II or the Civil Rights Movement. With collections spanning from the late 18th century onwards, kids and adults alike will enjoy uncovering secrets from the region’s intricate backstory at this intriguing local museum.

See a Show at the Perot Theatre

For some family-oriented entertainment, look no further than the magnificent Perot Theatre located downtown. This extraordinary performing arts center hosts a wide selection of events throughout the year including children’s plays, musicals, ballet, concerts and more.

Originally built in 1924 and recently renovated, the theater features stunning Italian Renaissance-style architecture, sparkling chandeliers, fabric wall murals imported from Europe and excellent acoustics – allowing guests to truly experience productions in an unforgettable artistic setting.

Before or after a show, make sure to check out the Perot’s pretty garden terrace and have younger kids pose by the fun musical note-shaped sculpture. With affordable tickets and stellar programming options, families will undoubtedly appreciate a memorable evening out here at this historic cultural gem.

Enjoy Fun Times at Ralph’s Fun Zone

For a dose of arcade entertainment, head to Ralph’s Fun Zone featuring lots of exciting games and activities for all ages. Kids can enjoy coupons and discounted “Megapasses” for unlimited access to standard amusement rides like bumper cars, a carousel and a Ferris wheel (perfect for young children under 54 inches tall).

Adults and bigger kids can take on more thrilling attractions like the 60-foot high Rocket Blastoff, the 100-foot free-fall sensation known as Extreme Blastoff or the dizzying Tilt-a-Whirl. The venue also has carnival-style concession stands, prize games, go-karts, mini golf, batting cages and laser tag – providing hours of high-energy fun at affordable rates. With so much to see and do under one roof, Ralph’s Fun Zone gives families a nearby place to gather and make happy memories together.

Explore a 19th Century Plantation at the 1881 Davis Plantation

Step back in time into the late 1800s at the 1881 Davis Plantation – a living history farm and museum located in Arkansas just minutes outside of Texarkana city limits. Families are invited to take interactive guided tours and meet authentically-dressed interpreters demonstrating various antebellum roles and tasks.

Learn what life was like for both plantation masters and the enslaved individuals who worked the cotton fields prior to emancipation. Visitors can wander through the furnished Davis manor house filled with period relics, take selfies outside reconstructed slave cabins, visit heritage livestock breeds in the barnyard, play traditional games like checkers or graces and more.

Educational programs focus on African American history and seek to honor the resilience, courage and abilities of those who endured bondage on the plantation. With indoor and outdoor exhibits across 30 acres, the 1881 Davis Plantation creates an immersive window into a pivotal era that still profoundly impacts race relations in America today.

Tour Historic Homes and Buildings in Downtown

Many charming buildings from Texarkana’s early days still stand within the lively downtown area, offering families a glimpse into iconic 20th century architectural styles. Must-see stops along the way include the 1884 Grim Hotel, the ornate three-story former Texarkana National Bank Building and the 1926 red-brick Texarkana Arkansas Municipal Building which now houses city offices.

While strolling down historic Broad Street, also take time to admire the 1914 art deco facade of what used to be the Donwoody Hotel or point out the 1945 memorial plaque along State Line Avenue marking where President Franklin D. Roosevelt stood when he formally dedicated the new Interstate 30 bridge linking both sides of the twin city in 1944.

For a fully-guided overview of standout local landmarks, join a weekend walking tour of downtown hosted by the Texarkana Museums System. With colorful stories around every corner, young and old visitors alike will gain newfound appreciation for the city’s distinctive buildings and heritage.

Picnic & Play at Spring Lake Park

Enjoy fresh air and greenery at the scenic 70-acre Spring Lake Park near downtown Texarkana, which offers rolling lawns, lakeside trails, playground equipment, baseball diamonds and plenty of open space for families to unwind and make happy memories together. Pack a tasty picnic lunch then claim a table or spot on the grass to dine al fresco beside the peaceful lake.

Rental concessions provide paddle boats, kayaks and fishing poles so everyone can enjoy their preferred water sport. Kids will stay active climbing the various playground structures suited for all age groups, from tot lots to challenging rope towers and twisty slides.

Those wishing to extend recreation outdoors can hike the Wetland Walk trail spotting turtles, frogs and birds or reserve a tee time for disc golf on the park’s challenging wooded course. With so many options for affordable fun and relaxation, Spring Lake Park makes for an excellent all-day retreat that both children and parents will appreciate.

Catch a Movie at South Arkansas Cinema

When families want to take in a newly released flick together without travel far outside the city, South Arkansas Cinema conveniently located on Richmond Road provides first-run film features, stadium seating, recliners and concessions at reasonable rates.

All 12 auditoriums boast state-of-the-art projection and sound equipment for an extra immersive cinematic experience. Advance online ticketing and reserved seating ensure your crew gets comfortably seated together. The theater offers family-friendly matinees at reduced prices plus summer kids film programs to keep the young ones engaged even when school is out.

Guests will find ample parking and helpful staff to make moviegoing with the whole gang smooth and enjoyable. So skip pricey cineplexes off the interstate, and support this easily accessible hometown theater right in Texarkana instead.

Tour Beautiful Gardens at The Ace of Clubs House

For a peaceful botanical outing that provides respite from hustle and bustle, bring your family on a free self-guided walking tour through the splendid grounds of The Ace of Clubs House. Nestled within a quiet residential area of Texarkana, this property centered around a restored 19th Century Victorian home contains over 20 specialized gardens showcasing a rotating array of vibrant flowers, plants and landscape features across the seasons.

Kids of all ages will delight at surprises around every bend, whether it’s gazing up in awe at towering bamboo stalks, counting colorful mosaic stepping stones leading through lush flower beds, crossing quaint bridges over koi ponds full of plump fish or spotting artistic statues peeking out from vibrant foliage.

Cool down afterward by grabbing a scoop of ice cream or coffee drinks from the on-site beehive-themed cafe. With new sights always coming into bloom at The Ace of Clubs gardens, families can return again and again to walk these welcoming pathways together.

Go for BBQ at American Pie Pizza & Pasta Factory

Good eats and good times take center stage at American Pie – a singular restaurant in Texarkana offering an unexpected yet delicious combination of classic barbecue, brick-oven pizzas, pasta dishes, salads and more.

The casual dining room filled with checks tablecloths and fun graphics sets the stage for a family-friendly meal. Kids can sip on old-fashioned scoops of phosphate soda or milkshakes while parents enjoy microbrews from the beer bar. Signature slow-cooked meats like smoky ribs,tender brisket and fall-off-the-bone pulled pork pair nicely with freshly baked pizzas or cheesy baked pastas.

Lots of hearty comfort fare at budget prices makes American Pie a foolproof family dining choice for visitors. And with live music acts performing many evenings to keep toes tappin’, the only challenge will be saving room for dessert like the restaurant’s famous “S’mores in a Cloud” – an airy marshmallow dream topped with melted chocolate and graham crackers. Yum!

Conclusion

From interactive museums and live entertainment to outdoor recreation, historic sites, gardens, restaurants and more, families visiting Texarkana can fill their itinerary with an appealing variety of attractions. The city provides opportunity for adventure and discovery through hands-on exhibits, along with quiet natural spaces to relax and play.

Indoor destinations showcase local culture, while outdoor parks give kids room to burn energy. Families can also bond over shared interests like sports, animals, arts, history, science and good food as they explore this charming and affordable Arkansas destination together. With such a wide spectrum of sights to see and experiences to enjoy in Texarkana for all ages, visitors will make treasured memories that last long after returning home.

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