|LITTLE ROCK - WHAT TO DO|
|Written by Administrator|
Area Activities in Little Rock, AR
Little Rock has a wealth of attractions and activities for all - many just minutes from the Convention Centers.
Looking for great theatre? We've got it! Family activities? We've got it! A fabulous hiking or fishing activity? We've got it! Romantic? We've got it! This section provides an overview of the attractions available just minutes from our downtown Convention Centers. For a more complete listing of activities and attractions, please visit our Calendar of Events.
The Arkansas Skatium is Arkansas' only ice and roller skating facility. You can roller skate, ice skate, or both. There is also a figure skating club, as well as youth hockey leagues and recreational adult hockey leagues. Broomball is also available. For more information visit www.arkansasskatium.com or call 501-227-4333.
After 34 years of affiliation with the St. Louis Cardinals, the Arkansas Travelers are now the AA Texas League affiliate of the Anaheim Angels. Prior to last season, the publication Baseball America named Saturday Night Doubleheaders at Ray Winder Field as one of the top ten must see events in all of baseball, including the major leagues. For more information visit www.travs.com.
The Georgian Colonial-style home, completed in 1950 during Governor Sidney McMath's term, incorporated brick from the old Arkansas School for the Blind, which originally occupied this site, and has been the home of all Arkansas Governors. A bust of President Clinton, who lived here during the 12 years of his Governorship, is displayed just inside the grounds. Tours are available by appointment only. For more information visit www.arkansasgovernorsmansion.com or call 501-324-9805.
IMAX Theater Aerospace Education Center
Experience movies on a screen six stories high to see the world and space through the eyes of an astronaut, or view Earth as never before in the breathtaking space film. You can explore the Grand Canyon or the inside of an atom in movies "so real you'll want to touch them." Then visit the Aerospace Education Center, the Aerospace Gift Shop and the exciting space exhibit. For more information visit www.aerospaced.org or call 501-376-4232.
Little Rock Marker
In 1722, a Frenchman named Bernard de LaHarpe was exploring the valley of the Arkansas River. At a shallow place in the river, he noticed two outcroppings of rock - one smaller than the other. The smaller of the two he called "la petite roche," the little rock. He recommended that a trading post be established there, and the area became today's Little Rock, Arkansas.
Little Rock Zoo
The Little Rock Zoo is located in War Memorial Park, between Interstate 630 and West Markham Street. The 33-acre facility was established in 1926 and now contains over 700 mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish from around the world. The annual Zoo Days Festival is held during the month of June, and Boo at the Zoo takes place during October. Located in War Memorial Park, the Zoo's landscaped, park-like grounds and neighboring facilities provide an ideal setting for family recreation. War Memorial Stadium and Ray Winder Field are located within a two block area of the Little Rock Zoo. For more information visit www.littlerockzoo.com or call 501-666-2406.
This beautiful, antebellum mansion is shaded by huge pecan trees and cooled by the breezes of Bearskin Lake. Marlsgate is a reflection of the opulent plantation era when cotton grew tall and a privileged class ruled Arkansas' delta. Marlsgate is a symbol of Southern hospitality and the 1850's era of elegance and graciousness. This 26-room mansion is open only for private parties. For more information, call 501-961-1307.
Mount Holly Cemetery
Since 1843, this celebrated burial place has come to be known as the "Westminster Abbey of Arkansas" because of the 10 Arkansas Governors, 12 Supreme Court Justices, three U.S. Senators, five Confederate Generals and other notables buried in this picturesque cemetery shaded by enormous trees. The site has become one of the few cemeteries in the United States listed in the National Register of Historic Places. For more information call 501-376-1843.
Located on the campus of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, the planetarium showcases a 40-foot acoustical plastra dome and a quadraphonic sound system; it is the largest planetarium in the state. For more information visit planetarium.ualr.edu or call 501-569-3277.
Arkansas' State Capitol was designed in neo-classical architecture similar to that of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. The exterior of the building is constructed of "Arkansas Marble," a limestone quarried near Batesville, AR. The massive brass doors and the chandeliers were designed by Tiffany's of New York. Several exhibits depicting a variety of Arkansas interests are housed in permanent display cases on the first and fourth floors of the Capitol. The State Capitol Rose Garden holds accreditation from the All-American Rose Selections, Inc., of the American Rose Society. Guided and self-guided tours of the State Capitol take between 20 and 40 minutes and are available at no charge. For more information call 501-682-5080.
Wild River Country
Wild River Country is a 23-acre water theme park that will give you hours of fun in the sun. From sliding, to swimming to sunning, Wild River Country is the best, most entertaining way to stay cool in the heat of the summer. For more information visit www.wildrivercountry.com or call 501-753-8600.
William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park
Located in downtown Little Rock River Market District on the banks of the Arkansas River, the Clinton Presidential Center houses the largest archival collection in American presidential history. The Center includes a museum, an archival collection and education facilities. Within the Park, a historic railroad bridge spanning the Arkansas River is being restored and converted into a pedestrian bridge. In addition to the pedestrian bridge, the Park will contain a pavilion, an amphitheater, a children playground and walking/bicycle trail. For more information, call 501-370-5050.
The Central High Museum & Visitors Center
Central High School is the location of the historic civil rights movement in the late 1950s known as the Central High Crisis. By order of President Eisenhower, federal troops were sent to Little Rock to protect nine black students as they became the first African Americans to cross the segregation line in Little Rock following the Civil Rights Act of 1957. The Central High Museum Visitors Center reflects the civil rights event and the school's history. In 1998, the Visitors Center and school were designated as a national historic site by the National Park Service. For more information visit www.nps.gov/chsc/ or call 501-374-1957.
Decorative Arts Museum
Housed in a historic antebellum mansion, the Decorative Arts Museum features collections of contemporary objects by national and regional artists in clay, glass, fiber, metal and wood. Throughout the year, the museum hosts temporary exhibitions, such as a winter exhibition of toys designed by artists, in its eight galleries. Be sure to note a window etched with names of the Women's Committee, which in the late 1950s met secretly in the building to make plans to reopen the now-historic Central High School as well as Little Rock's other public high schools. For more information visit www.arkarts.com or call 501-372-4000.
EMOBA - Ernie's Museum of Black Arkansans
EMOBA features exhibits on the African-American experience and highlights prominent Blacks in Arkansas history beginning with the period of slavery. The museum is housed in the First Baptist Church built in 1941. The church is collegiate Gothic in design with one of the best examples of stained-glass craftsmanship in the entire city. For more information call 501-372-0018.
Historic Arkansas Museum
The Historic Arkansas Museum, in downtown Little Rock, has been compared favorable with Williamsburg, VA. It features 13 buildings from Arkansas' period as a U.S. territory, and shows both city and rural life from that era. Allow about an hour for the guided tour. A small admission is charged. The museum recently expanded 29,500 square-feet to provide for multiple exhibit halls, a theater, atrium and educational facilities. For more information visit www.arkansashistory.com or call 501-324-9351.
MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History
The MacArthur Museum, located in MacArthur Park, was created to interpret the state's military heritage from its territorial period to the present. Located in the historic Tower Building of the Little Rock Arsenal - the birthplace of General MacArthur - the museum features artifacts, photographs, weapons, documents, uniforms and other military items that vividly portray Arkansas' military history at home and abroad. For more information visit www.arkmilitaryheritage.com or call 501-372-4602.
Museum of Discovery
Learning is fun for children and adults alike at this fully interactive science and history museum. Rather than a traditional museum, where things are "hands off," visitors are definitely encouraged to touch. The Museum of Discovery is located in the Museum Center, a historic remodeled warehouse at the River Market.For more information visit www.amod.org or call 501-396-7050.
The Old State House Museum
This beautiful building served as Arkansas' Capitol from 1836 to 1911. It is considered to be one of the nation's finest examples of antebellum, Greek Revival architecture. The Old State House Museum is the centerpiece of Little Rock's convention complex, Statehouse Plaza. It now serves as a museum of Arkansas history. The President Bill Clinton exhibit showcases a replica of the Oval Office. Photographs and personal items such as President Clinton's saxophone and sunglasses are also on display. Admission is free. For more information visit www.oldstatehouse.com or call 501-324-9685.
Arkansas Art Center
The Arkansas Art Center, the state's largest art museum, was recently expanded to include more than a dozen galleries, a 389-seat theater, art research library, museum shop, restaurant, nine classrooms and studios, courtyards and much more. No admission is charged, but donations are accepted. The Arts Center is located in MacArthur Park. For more information visit www.arkarts.com or call 501-372-4000.
Arkansas Arts Center Children's Theatre
Housed in the Arkansas Arts Center Theatre, the AAC Children's Theatre is Arkansas' only year-round, professional theatre for young people and their families and serves an audience of over 115,000 each season. The season runs from September through May. For more information visit www.arkarts.com or call 501-372-4000.
Arkansas Repertory Theater
The professional, repertory theater offers popular and avant-garde drama. The Rep presentations have met with critical acclaim. The season runs from September to July, and group rates are available.For more information visit www.therep.org or call 501-378-0405.
Arkansas Symphony Orchestra
The Symphony is now considered one of the state's major musical resources. Programs include 12 subscription concerts, a series of spotlight/pops programs, and appearances by the Chamber Orchestra and the String Quartet.For more information visit www.arkansassymphony.org or call 501-666-1761.
This talented group has presented some of the best known and best loved ballets in the world. Guest performers have included such world-famous dancers as Villella, Baryshnikov and Cynthia Gregory. For more information visit www.balletarkansas.com.
Celebrity Attractions brings musicals, plays, concerts and one-person dramas to the stage of Robinson Center. If you plan to be in Little Rock during one of these performances, you will need to make your reservations early because the house is usually full. For more information visit www.celebrityattractions.com or call 501-244-8800.
Community Theatre of Little Rock
Community Theatre of Little Rock has brought live family entertainment to audiences in Little Rock and the surrounding area for over 50 years. The volunteer staff and talent strive to offer a variety of theatrical vehicles. All shows are presented at Capitol Keyboard. For more information call 501-663-9494.
Murry's Dinner Playhouse
Little Rock's popular dinner theater offers a cabaret atmosphere with buffet dining. Live Broadway plays and musicals highlight an entire evening of quality entertainment. Performances are scheduled a year in advance - allowing ample opportunity to arrange for private parties of up to 300. For more information visit www.murrysdinnerplayhouse.com or call 501-562-3131.
This 80-seat black box theatre is situated in downtown Little Rock and features socially significant productions including plays and musicals. The entire staff and talent are all local volunteers in the community. For more information visit www.weekendtheater.org or call 501-374-3761.
Home of the Arkansas Opera Theatre, Wildwood hosts a complete season of classical, contemporary and light opera. For a truly unique meeting or party location, Wildwood's 105-acre, park-like setting can offer a pleasant retreat atmosphere. For more information visit www.wildwoodpark.org or call 501-821-7275.
Across the river in North Little Rock is Burns Park, one of the largest municipal parks in the nation. Containing over 1,500 acres of woodland running along the Arkansas River, the park has both fully developed sections - including ball fields, a tennis center and golf course, and relatively undeveloped, natural areas for hiking and picnicking. For more information call 501-791-8537.
Julius Breckling Riverfront Park
The location of an increasing number of festivals, Riverfront Park is a vital part of the redevelopment of downtown Little Rock. The park allows pedestrians access to the banks of the Arkansas River and is adjacent to the Statehouse Convention Center. Development of the park is continuing and includes "La Petite Roche," the first outcropping of rock seen by the French explorer LaHarpe in 1722, from which the city derives its name. For more information visit www.lrpr.org or call 501-371-4770.
Pinnacle Mountain State Park
Pinnacle Mountain State Park is Arkansas' only state park adjoining a major metropolitan area. A cone-shaped mountain juts its rock peak over 1,000 feet into the skies above the 1,354 acres of this heavily forested park west of Little Rock. It's bordered on the west by 9,000-acre Lake Maumelle. Facilities include a Visitor Center with natural history exhibits, film and slide room, meeting room area, vending room, restrooms and park offices; shaded picnic area, grills, large open-air pavilion with cooking fireplace and 15 tables. The park also has four nature trails, plus fishing, water sports and an arboretum. For more information visit www.arkansasstateparks.com/pinnaclemountain/ or call 501-868-5806.
Toltec Mounds State Park
Situated in the midst of the Arkansas River Valley farmlands are the remains of a large group of prehistoric earthworks known as the Toltec Mounds. Toltec is the oldest, prehistoric archaeological dig west of the Mississippi. Guided tours are available for a nominal fee. For more information call 501-961-9442
War Memorial Park
War Memorial is a true "garden spot" in the middle of the city with something for everyone. It's not only home to the Little Rock Zoo, it also houses War Memorial Stadium and Ray Winder Field, one of the finest minor league baseball facilities in the country. In addition, War Memorial has an 18-hole municipal golf course, playground and picnic areas, as well as a fishing pond. A visit here is time well spent in a beautiful, natural setting. For more information visit www.lrpr.org or call 501-663-0854.
LITTLE ROCK CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU