Little Rock is a place rich in history and activity. From the establishment of the state capitol to the numerous museums and educational opportunities to the Arkansas River’s natural beauty, there is plenty to do for the entire family.
This means that the best things to do with kids in Little Rock are great activities that will help your family make memories to last a lifetime!
No matter the age of your children, or if the grandparents want to join, there will be something for the whole family to enjoy.
These family-friendly attractions and things to do in Little Rock with kids will fill your family vacation with memories to last throughout the years.
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The Best Things to Do in Little Rock with Kids
Here we go!
Little Rock Zoo
The Little Rock Zoo is working to motivate people to find value in the natural world and spread education about the need for conservation. The Little Rock Zoo offers the usual exhibits of animals of all kinds. This makes it perfect for a day of family fun!
The zoo also offers several educational programs to encourage engagement through hands-on activities, animal encounters, talking with experts, and other inspiring experiences. The Little Rock Zoo also works with several conservation programs to help animals worldwide.
The zoo hosts various events throughout the year, such as 5k races, laser shows, and even Halloween events. The entire family will find activities they will all enjoy while also finding plenty of opportunities to learn and fuel your mind.
Pinnacle Mountain State Park
Pinnacle Mountain State Park is a diverse state park consisting of the Big and Little Maumelle Rivers, the Arkansas Arboretum, 15-miles of trails, and Pinnacle Mountain in the center. The park offers a visitor center with educational information, picnic areas, and larger pavilion areas.
This state park highlights the diversity of Arkansas geography. Guests can explore the waters of the rivers or scale Pinnacle Mountain to take in all the breathtaking views from the mountain tops.
The Pinnacle Mountain State Park also hosts regular events such as Sunrise of the Summit. Participants will take the moderately strenuous hiking trails with a park interpreter to learn more about the trail and around the park and then witness the beautiful sunrise from atop the mountain.
If you’re looking for a kid-friendly day outside, Pinnacle Mountain State Park will provide a fun day of outdoor adventures for the entire family.
Big Dam Bridge
The Big Dam Bridge spans the Arkansas River through the Murray Lock and Dam. The Big Dam Bridge is the longest pedestrian and cyclist bridge in North America, so prepare for a biking adventure!
This bridge was built specifically to accommodate pedestrians. The Big Dam Bridge connects the riverside trails in Little Rock and North Little Rock and 70,000 acres of parklands. It is an excellent opportunity for the entire family to experience the beauty of the scenic, panoramic views.
This is especially great for families looking for biking adventures and opportunities that provide great views!
Two Rivers Park
Two Rivers State Park is maintained by Pulaski County and the city of Little Rock. The 1000-acre park is at the confluence of the Arkansas River and the Little Maumelle River.
The park features many fun things to do, including bike trails, walking trails, gardens, and a pedestrian bridge that connects the park to the Arkansas River Trail. With its location on the rivers, the Two Rivers Park has canoe launch spots, fishing streams, and even horseback riding trails.
The Two Rivers Park is another beautiful location to show the entire family the beauty of Central Arkansas.
River Market District
The River Market District is along the Arkansas River and features various food vendors, stalls, and shops. The market district is within the heart of downtown Little Rock, making it a popular destination to experience the culture of the town.
The River Market District features a hall for live entertainment and music from local artists. It is a location for the entire family to find food they will enjoy, listen to the music of all genres, and enjoy the views of the Arkansas River.
Julius Breckling Riverfront Park
The 33-acre Julius Breckling Riverfront Park is one of the best public parks in the United States. The urban parkland is used for outdoor events, leisure activities and offers an insight into the history of Arkansas.
The park features the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge, the Little Rock Civil War Marker, Riverfront Park History Pavilion, the Junction Bridge, La Petit Roche Plaza, the Medical Mile, Peabody Splash Park, the First Security Amphitheater, Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden, Clark Presidential Park Wetlands, and the Central Arkansas Nature Center.
It’s also just a four-minute drive (or ten-minute walk) from the Clinton Presidential Center. More on that below.
With its convenient location to the Riverfront Market and downtown Little Rock, the Riverfront Park is a great way to get the entire family outside to explore.
The Arkansas River Trail
The Arkansas River Trail is an 88-mile loop that spans Little Rock, North Little Rock, Maumelle, and Conway. The trail system contributes to community efforts for outdoor recreation, conservation, health, and the Natural State’s diverse geographies. There are 38 parks, 6 museums, and over 5000 acres of parkland connected through the trail system.
The Arkansas River Trail highlights diverse habitats and landscapes while promoting outdoor activities, like cycling, jogging, and hiking. It is an excellent opportunity for the entire family to enjoy the views of the Natural State along with one of the most extensive trails in the state.
The Junction Railroad Bridge is a pedestrian and cycling bridge connecting Little Rock and North Little Rock. The Junction Bridge has been a backdrop of Little Rock and North Little Rock for over 100 years. Originally built as a railroad bridge in 1884, it was rebuilt in 1970 and converted for pedestrian use in 2008.
The Junction Bridge’s southern end sits on the geological feature that gave Little Rock its name. The Junction Bridge is a historic part of the central Arkansas region that can provide learning opportunities for all visitors.
Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum
The Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum is the only place where visitors can see 2 floating Naval vessels used in World War II. Visitors can see the tugboat Hoga and the submarine USS Razorback.
The USS Razorback is 90% operational and maintained as authentically as possible. The museum itself features exhibits on several Naval vessels and a collection from the Arkansas River Historical Society.
The museum also has a Riverwalk with memorials and a Peace Garden. This museum offers an opportunity to learn how these fantastic Naval vessels served in World War II.
Little Rock Central High School Historic Site
The Little Rock Central High School is one of the most essential historical landmarks to the state and the nation. Park-rangers are on site to help answer questions and lead you around to different exhibits as you learn more of the Little Rock Nine story.
This activity is better for older children because older children will be able to grasp the high school’s historical significance. While there are kids activities that you can do here, be thoughtful of what you’ll say to younger children to help them learn this important history.
It’s also one of the National Park sites in Arkansas, so it’s a true can’t-miss!
The Arkansas State Capitol
Going to any state’s capital is an opportunity to learn more about that state’s history and structure. The Arkansas State Capitol is no exception. Visitors can experience the fantastic interior design and history of the building itself.
Tour guides will help give visitors insight into Little Rock and the creation of the capital. The Arkansas Capitol building is located in downtown Little Rock, atop a slight hill, providing excellent downtown and the Arkansas River views. The entire family will learn about the history of the state capital while enjoying the beauty of Arkansas.
Old State House Museum
The Old State House Museum is housed within the original capitol building of Arkansas. Built in 1833, this building is the oldest standing state capitol building west of the Mississippi River.
The Old State House Museum works to present, preserve, and collect the history of Arkansas throughout history. Permanent exhibits of the museum include the 1836 House of Representative Chamber and features about Arkansas’s First Ladies, including the state’s most famous first lady, Hilary Clinton (née Hilary Rodham).
Tours are regularly held if you are looking for a guided tour, but visitors can also walk through on their own for self-guided tours. It is an opportunity for all visitors to learn about the complex history of Arkansas’ statehood.
Clinton Presidential Library
The Clinton Presidential Library and Museum feature archival collections and research facilities as part of the commemoration of President Clinton’s time in office. The collections include exhibits of documents, photographs, and interactive presentations. Timelines and highlights can be found throughout the buildings to display life in the White House.
Educational programs and events are held as part of the Clinton Foundation and the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. The entire family will find something interesting to take back with them about the life and time of the Clintons in the White House.
Don’t miss the full-size replica of the Oval Office, one of the highlights of any visit here!
Mosaic Templar Cultural Center
The Mosaic Templar Cultural Center was a black fraternal order founded by two former slaves in 1883. The organization initially provided insurance for illness, death, and burial services to African Americans when little services were offered.
Now in the current day, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center is a division of the Arkansas Heritage Museum with a mission to collect, preserve, interpret, and celebrate African American history and culture within the state.
The center is an excellent place for visitors to learn about the community’s achievements and contributions that African Americans have brought to the state and to the country.
H.U. Lee International Gate and Garden
The H.U. Lee International Gate and Garden are a tribute to the Eternal Grandmaster and founder of ATA International H.U. Lee. The garden also serves to educate visitors about South Korea and salute martial arts.
Eternal Grandmaster Lee contributed vastly to the advancement of martial arts worldwide, even originating the American Taekwondo Association in Little Rock.
The gate and garden are a mixture of Arkansas and South Korean symbolism to signify the connection of the two locations through H.U. Lee’s work. For those who enjoy martial arts, it is a significant location in the progress of the sport.
Still, the International Gate and Garden is a location any visitor can find significance and beauty.
One of Arkansas’s hidden gems, Heifer International teaches visitors of all ages about the global issues of hunger and poverty.
The Heifer Village offers educational programs and activities. Guests are invited to explore exhibits and learn about the lush wetlands created from a former industrial waste site.
Heifer International also features a 3-acre, fully functioning Urban Farm modeled off of the work of Heifer Farmers around the world. Guests can meet animals, tour the greenhouses and gardens, and learn about the first commercial renewable energy aquaponics farm in the world.
Heifer International is working on teaching guests of all ages how to help fight hunger worldwide through sustainable, accessible means.
The headquarters are located on World Ave, making it a convenient way to get some farm education right in the city!
Museum of Discovery
As the oldest museum in the State of Arkansas, the Museum of Discovery holds the mission of igniting and fueling a passion for science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. The museum offers a variety of programs and 90 hands-on exhibits.
The Museum of Discovery provides an opportunity for children and adults alike to play and explore the world of science and technology. It also houses the Guinness World Record musical bi-polar Tesla coil.
Over the years, the Museum of Discovery has called different buildings in Little Rock home. Still, it now resides in the River Market district of downtown Little Rock. This convenient location makes it a great stop while exploring what the River Market offers all its visitors.
The Wonder Place
The Wonder Place is an indoor playground created for children eight years old or younger. With 5700 square feet to explore, children are encouraged to use their imagination and creativity throughout their visit.
Children will enjoy making their way through the Wonder Place, from hands-on play equipment to arts and crafts. It will give your little ones a great place to get out their energy while you sit back and relax for a bit.
Big Rock Fun Park
Big Rock Fun Park is a fun-filled park with dozens of activities to keep the entire family enthralled. Rope bridges and aerial adventures will test your ability to tackle obstacles off the ground.
The Amazing Maze is accessible to all and a fun way to find your way out while hitting all the checkpoints. There are also the classics like mini-golf, an arcade, bumper boats, go-karts, and laser tag. The Big Rock Fun Park is a great way to spend a day of fun with the whole family.
Burns Park Funland
The Burns Park Funland Amusement Park is a wonderful little amusement park in North Little Rock. The Funland Amusement Park features a Ferris wheel, bungee jumping, carousel, miniature rollercoaster, train rides, slides, and more.
The park is smaller and great for families with small children. There are not as many big attractions that older children or teenagers will enjoy, but children ages 3 to 11 will be likely to enjoy what Burns Park Funland has to offer.
Magic Springs (Hot Springs)
Magic Springs is Arkansas’ only theme and water park in the state. The park has regular hours throughout the summer months with plenty of rides and attractions to entertain the whole family. The rides in the park can be categorized as family rides, kid rides, and thrill rides.
The water park area is called Crystal Falls and features many slides, a surf attraction, and a wave pool. Magic Springs also hosts an annual summer concert series, with concerts being free with a day pass.
A Few More Ideas for Family Activities in Little Rock
Altitude Trampoline Park – get your adrenaline pumping with some high-flying family adventures. This is one of the best Little Rock family-friendly activities if it’s raining or if you want things to do in Little Rock with kids in the winter or when it’s cold or rainy!
Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts – If you have littles that are starting to be inspired by art, check out the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, formerly the Arkansas Arts Center.
Arkansas Skatium – This roller skating rink and ice skating rink are a great place to take your kids if you’re looking for things to do with kids in Little Rock when it’s raining.
Golf Course – While miniature golf is listed above (at Big Rock Fun Park) Little Rock and the surrounding area have multiple full-size golf courses your family can enjoy. You can test out the driving range or let them ride in your cart.
Ouachita Lake – Central Arkansas has wonderful lakes and a few great lake beaches. Why not take the family for a beach day if you want things to do in Little Rock with kids in the summer?
Wild River Country – If you want family things to do in Little Rock when it’s hot out, why not head to Wild River Country, the state’s largest outdoor water park?
Tips for Renting a Car in Arkansas
It’s awfully hard to get around Arkansas without a car. Whenever I don’t drive my own car over from Oklahoma, I will pick up a rental car at whichever airport I fly into when I get to Arkansas.
If you’re also looking to rent a car, I use Discover Cars when I rent cars on my travels. You’ll be able to pick up a car at any airport or in your hometown.
Check availability and get a quote for a rental car for your trip here.
Arkansas Travel Resources
What to Pack for Arkansas
A camera so you can take photos of the special moments from your trip. Whether you bring a point-and-shoot like my Sony ZV-1 or rely on your cell phone like my iPhone 12 Pro, make sure you have at least one camera (though I always travel with two)!
Don’t Forget About Travel Insurance!
Before you leave for your trip make sure you have a valid Travel Insurance Policy because accidents happen on the road. I have used World Nomads when I travel since 2016, and I happily recommend them.
Getting coverage is important whenever you’re more than a hundred miles from home in case of an accident, sickness, theft, etc.
Get a travel insurance quote for your trip here.
Pin this Guide to Things to Do in Little Rock with Kids for Your Arkansas Adventures!
Kirsten Hazlewood is from Paragould, AR and graduated from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, AR. She still remains in Paragould with her husband, two stepchildren, and their clowder of cats and raccoons.