10 Things to Do in Little Rock with Kids

Top Destinations Mar 13, 2024

Situated on the banks of the Arkansas River, Little Rock is a city bursting with charm and a surprisingly vibrant array of activities for families. Often overlooked in the hustle of more prominent tourist destinations, this quaint capital city of Arkansas offers a unique blend of history, nature, culture, and fun, making it an ideal spot for families seeking adventure, education, and relaxation. Here, in this hidden gem of the South, the phrase "Things to Do in Little Rock with Kids" opens a doorway to an array of experiences that cater to the curiosity and enthusiasm of both young minds and their guardians.

1. Pinnacle Mountain State Park — Pulaski

Pinnacle Mountain State Park, located in Pulaski County, is a natural gem that embodies the essence of Arkansas's stunning landscapes. This expansive park, covering a sprawling 2,356 acres, offers a myriad of activities that are particularly appealing to tweens, those energetic youngsters who are often in search of adventure and discovery. In this serene haven, families can engage in a host of activities, each offering a unique way to connect with nature and with each other.

Pinnacle Mountain State Park - Source: Encyclopedia of Arkansas

For families seeking a more leisurely pace, the park's network of trails caters to all interests. The Base Trail, encircling the mountain's base, is a particular favorite, providing a less strenuous but equally scenic hiking experience. Additionally, the park’s arboretum trail is an educational journey through Arkansas's native plant species, offering an opportunity for tweens to learn about the region's biodiversity.

2. The Wonder Place — Breckenridge Village

The Wonder Place, nestled in the heart of Breckenridge Village in Little Rock, Arkansas, stands as a vibrant beacon of joy and learning for toddlers. This unique facility, designed with the developmental needs of young children in mind, provides an enchanting world where imagination and education intertwine, creating an unforgettable experience for the littlest visitors and their families.

The Wonder Place - Source: Tripadvisor

Upon stepping into The Wonder Place, toddlers are greeted by a kaleidoscope of colors, shapes, and textures, all meticulously crafted to stimulate their senses and ignite their curiosity. This indoor play area, spanning a generous space, is segmented into various zones, each offering a different theme and learning opportunity.  

3. Museum Of Discovery — River Market

In the heart of Little Rock's vibrant River Market district lies the Museum of Discovery, a place where young minds are ignited and the wonders of science and history come to life. This interactive museum is a treasure trove of knowledge, designed to engage, educate, and inspire children through hands-on experiences that make learning not just fun, but an adventure.

Museum Of Discovery - Source: Museum Of Discovery

One of the museum's most captivating features is its interactive science exhibits. These are not static displays to be observed from a distance; they are immersive experiences that encourage children to become active participants in their learning. The Tornado Alley exhibit, for instance, allows kids to experience the power of a tornado in a safe and controlled environment, teaching them about weather phenomena and the science behind it. Similarly, the Earthquake Table shakes things up by simulating earthquakes, providing a tangible understanding of seismic activity.

4. Arkansas River Trail

The Arkansas River Trail, a majestic ribbon winding through the heart of Little Rock and beyond, stands as a testament to the city's commitment to outdoor recreation and natural beauty. This expansive 88-mile trail offers an idyllic escape for families seeking to immerse themselves in the scenic splendor of Arkansas while engaging in healthy, enjoyable activities together. Stretching from the Big Dam Bridge to the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge, the trail is a unifying thread that connects various parks, communities, and landmarks, making it a vital part of the Little Rock experience.

Arkansas River Trail - Source: Arkansas Tourism

As families embark on this journey, they are greeted by the diverse landscapes that define the Arkansas River Trail. The trail offers a mix of urban and natural scenery, providing a dynamic backdrop for biking and hiking adventures. For families with children, the trail is a safe and accessible way to explore the outdoors. The majority of the path is paved and relatively flat, making it suitable for bicycles, strollers, and even rollerblades. This accessibility ensures that everyone, regardless of age or ability, can enjoy the trail's offerings.

5. Little Rock Central High School Historical Site

Little Rock Central High School, standing in stoic grandeur, is more than just an educational institution; it's a pivotal landmark in the annals of American civil rights history. This historic site, located on Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive in Little Rock, Arkansas, is not only a functioning high school but also a national historic site that commemorates the 1957 desegregation crisis, a watershed moment in the struggle for civil rights in the United States.

Little Rock Central High School - Source: National Park Service

The history of Little Rock Central High School is indelibly linked to the story of the Little Rock Nine, a group of nine African American students who, in 1957, were the first black students to attend the school following the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. Their attempt to enter the school, fiercely resisted by many, became an international news story and a symbol of the fight against racial segregation. The site today stands as a testament to their courage and resilience in the face of overwhelming adversity and hostility.

6. River Market District

In the bustling heart of Little Rock, Arkansas, lies the River Market District, a vibrant and lively hub that epitomizes the spirit of downtown. This area, stretching along the banks of the Arkansas River, is a melting pot of culture, cuisine, and entertainment, offering an array of experiences that cater to all tastes and preferences. As a cornerstone of Little Rock's urban landscape, the River Market District is not just a destination; it's an experience, a place where the city's energy and diversity are palpably felt.

River Market District - Source: Arkansas Tourism

7. Arkansas State Capitol

Perched atop Capitol Hill in Little Rock, the Arkansas State Capitol is a grand edifice that not only serves as the center of state government but also stands as an educational landmark for visitors, especially children. This stately building, with its magnificent neoclassical architecture, mirrors the design of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., and is a symbol of the state's rich political history and governance.

Arkansas State Capitol - Source: Tripsavvy

One of the highlights for children is the chance to observe the legislative process in action. During legislative sessions, visitors can watch lawmakers debate and pass laws from the public galleries, providing a real-time civics lesson. This firsthand experience of seeing government at work is invaluable in teaching children about democracy, representation, and the legislative process.

8. Big Dam Bridge

The Big Dam Bridge, an engineering marvel spanning the Arkansas River, is a centerpiece of Little Rock's outdoor attractions. As the longest pedestrian and bicycle bridge in North America, it not only serves as a vital link in the city's trail system but also stands as a majestic vantage point for breathtaking sunset views and leisurely family walks.

Big Dam Bridge - Source: Arkansas Tourism

Situated over Murray Lock and Dam, the bridge extends from Little Rock to North Little Rock, making it an iconic symbol of connection and unity. Its impressive length of over 4,200 feet allows visitors to fully immerse themselves in the panoramic views it offers. As families embark on a stroll across the bridge, they are greeted by the expansive vistas of the Arkansas River, flanked by lush greenery and the city's skyline.

9. Julius Breckling Riverfront Park

Julius Breckling Riverfront Park, nestled along the banks of the Arkansas River in the heart of Little Rock, stands as a verdant oasis in the urban landscape. This sprawling 33-acre park, named in honor of Julius Breckling who dedicated his career to the city's parks, is a haven for families seeking outdoor fun, relaxation, and scenic beauty. With its diverse range of amenities and activities, the park is a perfect destination for families looking to spend quality time together in a picturesque setting.

Julius Breckling Riverfront Park - Source: She Studios

For children, the park offers a playground that is both fun and safe. Equipped with modern play structures, the playground caters to kids of all ages, encouraging them to climb, swing, and slide to their hearts' content. The playground is designed to stimulate physical activity and social interaction, providing a perfect outlet for kids to expend their energy and make new friends.

The Riverfront Park also features a splash pad, a favorite among younger children, especially during the warm summer months. The splash pad provides a delightful escape from the heat, with water jets and fountains creating a fun and refreshing environment for kids to play in. Parents can relax nearby, keeping an eye on their little ones as they enjoy the water features.

10. William J. Clinton Presidential Library

The William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, prominently located in Little Rock, Arkansas, is more than just a repository of historical documents and artifacts. It is a dynamic educational center that provides a unique window into the presidency of William Jefferson Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States. For families, especially those with children, the library offers an intriguing exploration into American history and politics, coupled with engaging activities and resources tailored for younger audiences.

William J. Clinton Presidential Library - Source: Library Of Congress

For children, the Clinton Presidential Library is a captivating educational journey. The library's exhibits are designed to be interactive and accessible, making the complex world of politics and governance understandable and interesting for younger visitors. The main exhibit hall features a full-scale replica of the Oval Office and the Cabinet Room, allowing children to step into a realistic setting of presidential decision-making. This hands-on experience brings the presidency to life, sparking curiosity and imagination.


In conclusion, Little Rock, a city often underestimated in its offerings, unfolds as a treasure trove of experiences for families. From the natural allure of Pinnacle Mountain State Park to the educational odysseys in its museums and historical sites, the city caters to a diverse range of interests and ages. It's a destination where the phrase "Things to Do in Little Rock with Kids" is not just a casual suggestion but an invitation to explore, learn, and create memories that last a lifetime.

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