23 Things to do in Little Rock Arkansas with children and family. Family friendly places to explore and things to do in Little Rock.
We received orders to Little Rock in 2016. To get ourselves excited for our new adventure we started Googling everything we could find about Arkansas. Where to swim, family hikes and what to do in Little Rock with small kids.
Be sure to check individual websites for up to date hours of operation and visiting guidelines.
Since we’ve been here for several years, we now have our own ultimate list of things to do in Little Rock Arkansas with kids.
THINGS TO DO IN LITTLE ROCK ARKANSAS
MUSEUM OF DISCOVERY
The Museum of Discovery is a great place to brings your kids and family from out of town. Located in the heart of downtown this museum is constantly changing and giving kids new things to… well… discover.
With a dedicated section for children ages 5 and under, it gives little ones a place just for them. Be sure to get tickets to the Tesla Coil and see their live demonstration from one of their very friendly and informative staff members.
Taking exit 141A you’ll come around a circle exit. At the bottom head over to the River Market Parking Deck. It does cost per hour to park but you can get your parking validated at the front desk of the Museum of Discovery.
Be sure to check their website for current hours of operations. At this time they are closed due to a burst pipe and renovations.
RIVER MARKET DISTRICT
The River Market District is a food lovers paradise! Inside the market you can find Thai cuisine to delicious burgers and everything in between.
During the summer on the weekends, be sure to visit the open air pavilion farmers market overlooking the Arkansas River. Here you’ll find farm fresh produce and homemade arts and crafts.
Junction Bridge is a beautiful blue and gray bridge that can be seen from the highway as you’re heading south over the Arkansas River on I-30. Currently a pedestrian bridge, this bridge once served as a railway until 1984.
This bridge now connects the market district with North Little Rock. Take a stroll across and check out the views of downtown and the Arkansas River.
ARKANSAS INLAND MARITIME MUSEUM
Have you visited a submarine lately? At the Arkansas Inland Maritime museum you can experience a guided tour of the submarine USS Razorback. The USS Razorback conducted five combat patrols during World War II and was present in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese surrender was signed.
This submarine sits right in the Arkansas River and can be seen (and walked to) from Junction Bridge.
HISTORIC ARKANSAS MUSEUM
You may have seen the Historic Arkansas Museum getting off the highway in downtown Little Rock, not knowing the history and beauty behind that white picket fence. The museum portion is free to the public but they do offer guided tours of the historic houses.
Walking through the glass doors to the historic houses you are transported to a different time. Inside one of the homes a women tells of her experience living in the 1800’s. Her story and how she tells it is educational and emotional. A beautiful heart wrenching reenactment of living in that time.
Be sure to call ahead to see if tours of the historic houses are still available.
Visitor parking is available right on site.
THE WITT STEPHENS JR. CENTRAL ARKANSAS NATURE CENTER
Behind the Museum of Discovery, along the Arkansas River, you’ll find The Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center. Here you’ll learn about the outdoor recreational activities the Natural State has to offer. After a 10 minute movie presentation you’ll walk through exhibits that teach you more about the role fish and wildlife play in Arkansas.
HEIFER VILLAGE AND URBAN FARM
Heifer International is dedicated to help end hunger around the world. They work with 21 different countries to help local farmers to be able to sustain a viable farming business. This strengthens their communities as they teach generations to come.
Here in Little Rock you can tour Heifer Village interactive museum and learn more about what they do. Also on the grounds is a 3 acre urban farm where you can meet alpacas, turkeys and chicken.
Be sure to check their website for current hours of operation due to Covid.
CLINTON LIBRARY AND MUSEUM
Located at 1200 President Clinton Ave. in Little Rock, the Clinton Library and museum offers exhibits, special events and a replica of the oval office.
Just outside the museum you’ll find the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge. A pedestrian bridge that spans the Arkansas River. You’ll also find the William E. Clark Presidential Park Wetlands. A small boardwalk that circles the wetlands to the side of the Arkansas River.
The Metro Streetcar is one of the best ways to get around downtown. You can pick up the yellow trolly at one of several locations downtown. This transportation is free and fun to take family visiting from out of town.
Be sure to check their map here for an updated list of designated stops.
If you’re not jumping around at trampoline parks with your kids, you’re missing out. Forget what other people might think and embrace your inner child with your kids! Little Rock has a couple of trampoline parks to enjoy.
BIG ROCK FUN PARK
Mini golf, bumper boats, go carts, giant maze, arial rope course, arcade games, batting cages and indoor laser maze!
Thew… that was a lot. I’m talking about the Big Rock Fun Park. Where you can pick your favorites or do them all!
When you skate at Arkansas Skatium you don’t need to choose between ice skating or roller skating, here they have both! Come with your friends and enjoy open public ice and roller skating or sign up for lessons. With a pro shop on site they have everything you need to get started.
THE PROMENADE AT CHENAL
The Promenade at Chenal is a gorgeous shopping area with amazing restaurants to match. With store like Kendra Scott, Lululemon and The Children’s Place just to name a few.
After a little shopping, grab a bite to eat at one of their fine restaurants. Our favorite being The Big Orange with local ingredients and great atmosphere.
THE WONDER PLACE
Designed for children 8 and under, The Wonder Place is an indoor play place for kids to use their imagination and get creative.
Explore the large tree house, go fishing in the giant water table with rapids or shop at the mini Little Rock River Market and so much more! This indoor kids paradise is designed just for them.
THE BIG DAM BRIDGE
The Big Dam Bridge is the longest pedestrian bridge in North America. At 4,226 feet long, 14 feet wide and 90 feet above the Arkansas River, this bridge might just make you a little nervous as you cross from Little Rock to North Little Rock.
Whether you’re biking, jogging or just walking, this bridge is an impressive sight to see.
LITTLE ROCK ZOO
Did you know the Little Rock Zoo started in 1926 with just two animals? Since then it has grown to over 500 animals representing over 200 different species! Start your adventure at Lorikeet Landing and head towards the gorillas or make your way to the penguins and big cats.
Be sure to catch their show at the amphitheater on the weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day. There you’ll see a few different animal friends and meet a bird who recycles.
Burns Park is located in North Little Rock, but with 1700 acres this park can’t be ignored. It boasts a gorgeous 18 hole golf course, 18 hole disk golf course, tennis courts, trails and playgrounds. Let’s not forget to mention a beautiful red covered bridge.
If that’s not enough for you they also have a seasonal amusement park called Funland. This small park has a carousel, train and slide along with a couple other kiddy rides.
OUTLETS OF LITTLE ROCK
If you’re looking for a day of shopping be sure to check out the Outlets of Little Rock. This may look like a strip mall from the highway but once you walk in you’re met with an open air mall with great atmosphere.
With discounts on stores like Banana Republic, Nike, Express Factory Outlet, along with a store called Beef Jerky Express. It’s not just shopping, it’s an experience.
PINNACLE MOUNTAIN STATE PARK
Stop at the visitors center of Pinnacle Mountain State Park and make your way over to the trailhead that overlooks the Arkansas River. This expansive view is breathtaking especially in the fall after a few good days of rain. Be sure to grab a map and start your morning exploring this state park.
LITTLE ROCK CLIMBING CENTER
If your kids are 5 and older then the Little Rock Climbing Center might be a great way to get their energy out. First time climbers will be given safety training and climbers of all experience levels are welcome here.
So if you’re looking to try something new and out of the box, head over to the Little Rock Climbing Center.
THE PAINTED TREE
Before moving here I never quite experienced shopping like they have at the Painted Tree. This place is a shoppers paradise! Home decor, clothing boutiques, hand crafted gifts and so much more. Each booth is owned by an individual and it’s their personal store.
Not only are you shopping and supporting local business, the quality and unique gifts are one of a kind. It’s my favorite place to find Christmas presents for family members back home.
If your kids are a little older and looking for a family challenge, then head over to the Mystery Mansion Escape Room.
Although these rooms are designed for adults, the staff at Mystery Mansion have been pleasantly surprised with how well children 12 and up can think outside the box. Something that may come in handy when looking to beat the clock and escape the room.
So bring your big kids and make a reservation at the Mystery Mansion.
THE OLD MILL
The Old Mill is famous for being in the opening credits of the popular 1939 film, Gone With The Wind. This beautiful park is located in a residential neighborhood in North Little Rock.
But with its large trees, stone pathways and concrete bridge made to look old and rustic, you’ll forget where you are and just enjoy this three acre work of art.
Of course there are many places to see, stores to shop and thing to do in the Little Rock area. With each family visit and beautiful weekend weather, you’ll find us exploring new places in this huge state of Arkansas.
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