Wildwood Park’s 104 bucolic acres are home to woodland trails, manicured gardens, and the 625-seat Lucy Lockett Cabe Festival Theater. In service of the center's continuing mission to encourage lifelong learning and fertile imaginations, the expansive grounds host myriad events that marry culture and art, from annual festivals to year-round children’s education programs. Beyond artistic pursuits, visitors can simply savor the center's natural splendor by taking in the sights of the Richard C. Butler Arboretum, wending through the Carl Hunger Wildflower Glenn, or spotting ballerinas in the wild at the park’s eight-acre swan lake. The nonprofit park maintains its gardens, education projects, and other artistic hallmarks purely through help from its community, including volunteers, individual donors, and arts organizations.
The Arkansas State Parks fete vibrant visitors and loping locals alike with a dizzying array of landscapes, natural and cultural resources, and myriad learning opportunities at parks scattered throughout the state. Familial units with children 18 and under can flex their pass muscles multiple times throughout the year at a wide range of museums, gleaning valuable state knowledge while conversing with park guides or well-read white-tailed deer.
Cary and Gina Martin were on a bus tour of Minneapolis–Saint Paul when Cary was struck with a thought: why not bring these types of tours to Little Rock? Gina quickly got on board, and Little Rock Tours and Travel was born. Initially, both Martins kept their jobs in broadcast journalism–Cary was a news anchor and Gina was a reporter, which inspired them to incorporate video clips into the tours. Eventually, Cary and Gina left their day jobs to run their business full time, but this journalistic aspect of the tours remains one of its strongest draws. Little Rock Tours and Travel also plans sightseeing tours, including trips to local casinos and DeGray Lake Resort State Park as well as dinner cruises down the Arkansas River.
When the Little Rock Zoo opened its gates in 1926, it contained fewer animals than many people's homes. At the time, its inhabitants were, in total, a circus-trained brown bear and an abandoned timber wolf. From its formative days, the Little Rock Zoo has expanded dramatically, now home to more than 700 animals from more than 200 unique species. Visitors can witness lions, tigers, and jaguars up close; interact with exotic birds; and carefully navigate spider monkeys' webs. In addition to conserving wildlife, the zoo also preserves a unique antique carousel, one of only four in the world to feature an undulating wooden track rather than conventional moving poles.
Stretched across a 30-acre produce farm and peach orchard, Scott Pumpkin Patch marks autumn's arrival with a seasonal slate of family-friendly activities. Every year, the family-owned operation presents visitors with wholesome, hands-on amusements, including an animal barn, a playground, and scenic tractor rides that coast leisurely around the property. Before heading home, families can stock up on keepsakes, such as photos snapped at themed displays or a perfect pumpkin picked according to its size, weight, and silky singing voice. The onsite farmers' market stocks edible souvenirs, too, ranging from fresh picked pecans and peanuts to jams and jellies.
Arkansas Extended Learning Center culls a massive, seasonal lineup of informative classes, recruiting chefs, artists, athletes, and other professionals to share their wisdom with students of all ages. Pupils can pick up new hobbies such as fly-fishing or digital photography, or sharpen nascent abilities in fields such as cooking and wine-tasting. Otherwise, they can tone up their physiques in fitness and dance classes, discover a new way to communicate in foreign-language workshops, or learn how to cut their way out of a hedge maze during gardening and landscaping tutorials.