This past summer, we spend a fun weekend exploring Little Rock Arkansas. I was happy to find tons of family friendly places to visit and things to see and do. You can check out our full adventures here and see other family friendly spots, places to eat, and places to stay. We spent a lot of time in two spots: The William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library (read about why kids will love it here) for lots of presidential trivia and the Museum of Discovery for lots of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) fun.
The Museum of Discovery is located downtown in Little Rock on Presidential Clinton Avenue, close to many other attractions, restaurants, and the popular River Walk complex. The museum participates in the Association of Children’s Museums reciprocity program, which means if you’re visiting from out of town and have a membership at your local children’s museum you can visit for a discounted admission fee. The museum also offers $1 admission on the last Sunday of the month. The Museum is closed on Mondays when schools are in session and has limited hours on Sundays.
Traveling with Kids:
Metered parking is available on the street and at the Riverwalk Parking Garage on 2nd & Sherman. Bring your parking ticket to the museum and they will validate it- $2 for three hours reduced rate.
You are able to leave the museum and return same day.
No need to bring the stroller; kids will be too busy exploring to sit down.
Restrooms are located on the main level.
There is a lunch room with tables and chairs if you want to bring a lunch; there is no food served at the museum.
There are over 90 (YES, 90!) interactive exhibits to explore, divided into six sections. Here are some of our favorite activities:
Discovery Hall has tons of exhibits that challenges like shooting ping pong balls, bowling, and laying on a bed of nails. Each challenge has an explanation of how and why the challenge uses various science principles.
Wow Gallery has space for coloring personalized virtual diamonds and learning all about how diamonds are formed.
Room to Grow is the space to be for the six and under crowd. There is a paddled juggle gym, music station, and a pet clinic so realistic, we did a double take.
Amazing You is filled with both physical and mental exercises like Mindball (compete with someone to see who can control a ball’s movement with brain waves), balance exercises, and a rope the length of your intestines stretched out (30 feet!) to teach visitors all about various body functions.
The Tinkering Studio offers opportunities to work with a variety of tools to make your own creation or add your own spin on a model display.
Earth Journey explores the geological features of Arkansas and has a massive Arkansas river map puzzle.
Other Exhibits to Check Out:
The Tornado Alley Theater recreates what it felt like to be in the devastating tornadoes that hit Little Rock area in January of 1999. The actual news footage plays in a small room that simulates the experience. Warning: There are VERY loud noises, and the room and seats shake and the room gets very dark. The entire experience is about 5 minutes. I would not suggest it for little kids.
There are many interactive science demonstrations with staff throughout the day. My husband, who is a physics teacher, thought they did a great job of explanation complex concepts like vortex and torrid shapes.
The Telsa Theater (for an additional charge) showcases the world’s most powerful Bi-Polar Coil (as verified by the Guinness Book of World Records).
Disclaimer: I was provided media passes to visit the museum. All opinions expressed are my own.