Looking for some fun and family-friendly things to do with your kids in Little Rock and North Little Rock? These “twin cities” offer plenty of options to keep children of all ages entertained and engaged.
From exploring a submarine to enjoying hands-on activities at a science museum to running off energy at a local park. There are plenty of great kid-friendly activities in Little Rock.
Great Things to do With Kids in Little Rock
Museum of Discovery
The Museum of Discovery has been ranked the 6th best science museum in the United States. It is full of interactive exhibits that allow kids to learn and explore. The exhibits cover a range of topics, including science, art, and music.
There are lots of great exhibits but I want to mention just one. Be aware that some kids will love the Tornado Alley Theater but if might be a little too intense for a more sensitive child.
Little Rock Zoo
Little Rock has had a zoo since 1926 when it began with just two animals which were a timber wolf and a circus trained brown bear. Today the zoo has nearly 500 animals which represent more than 200 species.
The Little Rock zoo is also an important place for conservation learning.
Children will also enjoy the petting zoo with farm animals, the little train ride, the carousel, and the gift shop and restaurant.
Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts
Beginning in April 2023 the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts will be located in a stunning new building.
This Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts has been producing exceptional live theatre for children and families for more than 40 years. We have been to many of their plays and performances and they are always excellent. These productions often include music, dance, and even puppetry.
You will definitely want to check the website to see what is happening at the children’s theater if you are looking for something special to do with your young ones.
The Museum of Fine Arts also offers a variety of classes for youth. These are interactive programs that range from photography, to working with clay, to tie dye and much more. They are for all ages, even beginning with preschoolers.
Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum
You might be surprised to learn that there is a submarine in landlocked Arkansas, but there is!
It is still afloat on the north side of the Arkansas River. This Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum is an interesting and educational place for older children and teens.
Do note that for safety reasons children under the age of 5 are not allowed to enter the submarine. This is due to a steep climb down a ladder from the deck of the submarine. In other words, this isn’t a good tour for anyone with mobility issues.
However, the submarine tour is fascinating and most older children will love navigating the ladders and seeing how the sailors lived and worked on the submarine.
The Wonder Place
The Wonder Place is a creative play space for the younger set. It is an indoor experience that is meant for children 8 years and younger. There’s a pretend grocery market, a music tree, a fun water table, and an art studio.
There is even a playground for children ages 0-2 that will allow the littlest explorers to safely test their new walking and climbing skills in a safe space.
Central Arkansas Nature Center
The Central Arkansas Nature Center in located in downtown Little Rock near the Museum of Discovery. They feature the wildlife in Arkansas. The grounds have beds of native plants as well as feeders that attract a variety of birds.
In the main building you will see a reproduction of an old trapper’s cabin as well as a series of living habitat exhibits.
This will be a quick stop, but if your child likes nature they will enjoy popping in.
Pinnacle Mountain State Park
This is a fun state park for all ages. Located in west Little Rock Pinnacle Mountain State Park is a great place for families with plenty of fun activities.
There is a nice playground as well as large open spaces where children can run to their heart’s content. The 1/2 mile Kingfisher Trail is a favorite for those with small children because it is paved and stroller accessible. Children will also love seeing the huge cypress trees and looking for wildlife on this trail.
Older children might enjoy the hike to the top of the Pinnacle mountain. Just be aware that this is a steep climb which involves a scramble through a rock field and definitely no guardrails at the top.
Ride the Trolley
One of the fun family friendly things to do with kids in Little Rock is to ride the trolley. Officially called the Rock Region Metro Streetcar, it circles through both downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock.
Do check their website before you plan your ride as some ongoing construction on nearby Interstate 30 may change the routes or the stops. This is a fun and inexpensive way to get to certain downtown destinations or just to take in the sights!
The Old Mill
The Old Mill in North Little Rock is a great quick stop for children. They will be able to explore this replica of an Old Mill while imagining that they are back in the “olden days.”
They can also follow the beautiful paths and cross the various bridges while the adults enjoy the artistry of this gorgeous location.
Two Rivers Park
Two Rivers Park in west Little Rock is located near Pinnacle Mountain State Park. Although there is no playground this is still a great park for children.
Most of the paths here are paved and flat so this is a perfect place for parents with children in strollers. In addition, kids that are old enough to ride a bike or use a scooter will love this park. There are also wide open fields for kids to run and play.
You will often see deer if you visit in the morning or at dusk.
Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
This is an important educational site for both older children and adults and a place that all visitors to Little Rock should see.
At the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site you can take a tour that will tell you the story of the Little Rock Nine who integrated Central High School in 1957 while angry crowds were held at bay by the National Guard.
Be aware that you will need to make a reservation to take the tour. Also know that Central High School is not a museum. It still operates as a high school, so you will be viewing it from the street rather than going inside.
Big Dam Bridge
The Big Dam Bridge is both a pedestrian and cycling bridge which offers stunning views of the Arkansas River and the dam below. It is actually the longest pedestrian and bicycle bridge in North America that was built specifically for that use. The bridge connects miles of cycling trails in Little Rock and North Little Rock.
This is a great place for a family bike ride or stroll. If you go at dusk you can also see the beautiful LED lighting display on the bridge.
There are also a few other pedestrian bridges in Little Rock that families will enjoy.
Julius Breckling Riverfront Park
Note: Due to ongoing construction, some of the riverfront park may be closed or inaccessible.
The Julius Breckling Riverfront Park offers a bunch of activities for both children and adults. It runs for eleven blocks along the Arkansas River in downtown Little Rock and has 33 acres of urban parkland.
This path through is paved for strollers and easy access with children and can be followed from one end to the other and back. Here are a few of the highlights of the park that might be interesting for children:
- The Clinton Presidential Park Bridge
- The William E. “Bill” Clark Presidential Park Wetlands
- Riverfront Park history pavilion
- Junction Park bridge
- Peabody splash pad and park
- Central Arkansas Nature Center (mentioned above)
- Sculpture Garden
Funland Amusement Park
Funland Amusement Park, located within Burns Park in North Little Rock, first opened in 1957! I remember going there when I was a child.
Funland is a small, old-fashioned amusement park that has rides appropriate for younger kids. Among others, you will find a train, a carousel, a small roller coaster, and a miniature ferris wheel.
Do note that it is only open seasonally and on weekends so be sure and check the website for dates and hours before you go.
Burns Park is a huge 1700 acre park in North Little Rock. Besides the above mentioned Funland Amusement Park, Burns Park has two 18-hole disc golf courses, playgrounds, a pre-Civil War log cabin, a covered bridge, an archery range, and multiple walking trails.
There are also tennis courts, soccer fields, baseball and softball complexes, a golf course, and tons of open space for running and playing.
All Aboard Restaurant
All Aboard Restaurant is a fun restaurant for families with children. You order your food and it is delivered to your table via a train that runs throughout the restaurant above your head.
The fare includes kid-friendly items such as fried chicken and fish, hamburgers and sandwiches. Kids will enjoy seeing the trains and adults will be pleased with the quality of the food.
Clinton Presidential Library
In my opinion the Clinton Library is probably not a great venue for younger children. However, I do think that older kids and teens would enjoy a visit here.
One of the highlights will be seeing the full-sized replica of the Oval Office in the White House. (much smaller than I expected!) Your child might even get a chance to be inspired by sitting at the Presidential desk for a photo.
Seeing the gifts that various people and countries gave Clinton while he was in office is another section of the museum that kids might enjoy.
Historic Arkansas Museum
The Historic Arkansas Museum is a fun museum for all ages that covers an entire city block in downtown Little Rock.
It has several historic buildings. One of these is an 1850’s double dogtrot farmhouse that was relocated from the rural town of Scott, Arkansas. Some of the other buildings were original to Little Rock such as a carriage house, an old print shop, a grog shop, and some of the old homes.
Big Rock Mini Golf and Fun Park
Kids (and adults) will enjoy the Big Rock Fun Park. In addition to mini-golf there are so many fun and exciting things to do here. Some of these include an aerial adventure, a maze, go-karts, arcade games, bumper boats, and a batting cage.
Do note that several of the activities have height and weight requirements.
War Memorial Park Splash Pad
The War Memorial Splash Pad is located near the Little Rock Zoo. It was built by the parks and recreation department of Little Rock and uses natural rocks which give the play area an organic look and feel.
Year round you will find slides and swings, as well as climbing and play areas. In the summer the splash area has waterslides, waterfalls, and spray jets.
Arkansas State Capitol
The Capitol building and its grounds are a great place for kids to learn a little bit about the history of Arkansas. The Arkansas State Capitol building is modeled after the US capitol in Washington DC and has even been used in movies as a stand in!
Older kids might enjoy a tour of the building. The grounds and monuments will be interesting for all ages.
Baseball at Dickey Stephens Park
It is always fun to take in a minor league baseball game at Dickey-Stephens Park. This is where the Arkansas Travelers play.
You can enjoy a ball field hot dog and some nachos in the seats or the bleachers, but families might especially enjoy having a picnic and watching the game from the grass berms.
Urban Air Adventure Park
Urban Air Adventure Park is a fun place for kids in Little Rock. They have ball pits, go-Karts, bumper cars, ropes courses, trampolines, and so much more for kids of all ages and abilities.
Keep this in mind especially for days when the weather isn’t good for outdoor activities.
Ice Cream From Loblolly
Almost everyone loves ice cream. Loblolly is a local creamery that makes homemade, handcrafted, small batch ice cream in a variety of flavors that both children and adults will love!
The Little Rock location is located in the South Main or SOMA area.
Mosaic Templar Cultural Center
The Mosaic Templar Cultural Center has a children’s gallery called “Same, Different, Amazing!” that is geared to children from ages 0-9.
Older children will learn so much from the other permanent and temporary exhibits in the center.
Esse Purse Museum
If you have an older child or a teen who is interested in women’s history and/or fashion I think that they would like The Esse Purse museum. However, it probably wouldn’t be as enjoyable for the younger set.
The Esse Purse Museum houses a collection of women’s handbags through the decades as well as the items that they carried in those bags. In many ways it tells the story of women through the years with these exhibits.
Old State House Museum
This is another museum that is probably more appropriate for older children and teens. You can stop in here to learn more about Arkansas history. Anyone who enjoys fashion will like seeing the exhibit of the dresses of the first ladies of Arkansas.
Hope that you find this list of some of the best things to do with kids in Little Rock. Let me know of any places that I should add!
Thanks for stopping by!