What is There to do in Little Rock, Arkansas with Children?

Diana Bocco

Little Rock, the capital of Arkansas, is home to almost 200,000 inhabitants. The largest city in the state, is has become well-known for its many amusement parks and other children's attractions. Little Rock was founded in 1722, after French explorers landed in the area on their way south. The name "Little Rock" refers to an actual small rock near the area of that landing. The rock became a landmark used later on by other explorers to find the city, and the name eventually became the official classification of the place.

Children can adopt an elephant at Riddle's Elephant and Wildlife Sanctuary.
Children can adopt an elephant at Riddle's Elephant and Wildlife Sanctuary.

People visiting Little Rock with children should head to one of the six major amusement parks in the area, four of which are water-based. Wild River Country, Arkansas' largest water park, features river rapids, a wave pool, and a 600-foot (183 m) winding tube ride. Magic Springs and Crystal Falls is a combination water and amusement park together. Besides water rides and pools, the park features a number of extreme roller coasters, a runaway train, and a shooting tower.

There are six major amusements parks in the Little Rock area.
There are six major amusements parks in the Little Rock area.

Another great place for those visiting Little Rock with children is Riddle's Elephant and Wildlife Sanctuary, an amazing experience for both children and adults. Established on 330 acres of protected nature, the sanctuary offers visitors a half-day tour or a weekend experience, where children can learn to bathe, feed, and care for elephants in need of rehabilitation. After visiting Little Rock with children, the family can take home a piece of the sanctuary by "adopting" an elephant and receiving updated information about it year-long.

Those wishing to head indoors when visiting Little Rock with children can head to the oldest museum in Little Rock: the Arkansas Museum of Discovery. The museum houses a large collection of dolls and Kewpie figurines, along with an important number of masks with religious and historical significance. Permanent exhibits in the museum include the Bug Zoo, science-lab Imagination Station, and other hands-on exhibitions.

In October and November, people visiting Little Rock with children can also enjoy one of many corn mazes around the city, many of which are Halloween-themed and operate after dark. Year-round, the Pickles Gap Village gives those visiting Little Rock with children the chance to experience an old-fashioned village with plenty of country-themed attractions and shops, featuring everything from handmade quilts to a petting zoo.

Little Rock is the capital of Arkansas and has a population of close to 200,000.
Little Rock is the capital of Arkansas and has a population of close to 200,000.

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Discussion Comments


The elephant and wildlife sanctuary would definitely be interesting to me and for most children I bet. However, before taking a child to a place where animals have been injured and are being rehabilitated, or where animals are caged or fenced in you should consider how this might affect the child.

I took my children and some of their friends to the zoo when they were younger. Most of the children had a good time watching the animals. However, there was one little girl who did nothing but cry, and she wouldn't tell us why she was crying.

The little girl's mother told me the next day that her daughter had told her that she was crying because she felt so sad for the animals because they were so far from their homes and they had to be fenced in so they couldn't go back home.


One of the best attractions the state of Arkansas has to offer is the hot springs. People have been going there for ages to dip in those healing waters. In the small community where I grew up, going to the hot springs was almost like a religious experience to many people.

However, I don't guess the the hot springs hold much interest for today's children who need to be entertained all the time. So, if you have children then it sounds like Little Rock would be a better place for to visit. Leave the hot springs to the adults.


I had no idea that Little Rock, Arkansas offered all of the entertainment activities listed in this article. I would have never thought of this as a place for parents and children to go for a fun time.

When I think of Little Rock, I still think of it as the place where they had such a tough and public time tackling desegregation. Well, I'm sure some things have changed since then, and the city has definitely grown. After all, that was a long time ago.

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