Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Week End Field Trip/Get-Away: Little Rock River Market

I spent the last four days in downtown Little Rock with my son while he participated in the Southwestern Division American Choral Directors Association High School Men's Honor Choir.

Admittedly, downtown Little Rock, AR is not an area that comes to mind when I am looking for a week-end getaway that is fun and educational. However, I was surprised to discover a wealth of activities that fit that description.

The River Market area has a paved walkway along the river, located behind shops and restaurants. Along the walkway is a fun playground, sculpture garden and outdoor stage.

This slide is situated so children can use one of  many tunnels with rock climbing walls and ropes to return to the top of the hill.  Fun times!

If you are adventurous, you could rent a bicycle or Segway and follow the trail across the Dam and to the other side of the river.
This pedestrian bridge crosses the river.
We stayed in the Marriott Courtyard which is across the street from the Museum of Discovery. As part of a fun night for the choir participants, we visited the Museum of Discovery. This is a fun hands on science center that is appropriate for all ages. The high school students, adults, and younger students all enjoyed trying the science activities. Even though we only had a couple hours to explore, we could easily have stayed half a day.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has an interesting museum, the
 Central Arkansas Nature Center, that includes live alligators and other wildlife examples, including snakes, turtles, and fish. This is free and very interesting.

Heifer International, a non-profit working to end world hunger, has an educational activity center less than a mile from the River Market, behind the Bill Clinton Presidential Library. I did not visit either of these attractions, but would recommend them.

For  history and architecture, visit the State House Museum (free), the Pike-Fletcher-Terry House, the Capitol Building, and many other buildings in the area.

old state house museum

Even though most things are within walking distance of the downtown hotels, the River Market area has two electric trolleys for a reasonable fee – all day $2 or 3 days for $5.

If you are looking for a week-end getaway, you will find plenty do at the Little Rock River Market and downtown area.

If you prefer the great outdoors, I will be reviewing some favorite Northwest Arkansas areas soon.

What is your favorite week-end field trip location?
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