20 Free (or Nearly Free!) Things to Do in Little Rock, Arkansas

Little Rock is an incredible city and there are so many things to do there. If you are planning to vacation in this part of the state, you will be happy to know that there are many fun things to do in Little Rock, AR. After you have explored the many museums, you can check out the bridges and the great outdoors. Just don’t forget to check out all the different coffee shops and eat all the delectable cuisine in between all your adventures!

Where is Little Rock, Arkansas?

Little Rock is the capital of Arkansas. You will find this extraordinary city very close to the center of the state. The location makes it possible for you to make multiple day trips to other areas of the state during your vacation there.

Little Rock Arkansas
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Best Time to Visit Little Rock, Arkansas

The best time to visit Little Rock, Arkansas is during the months of May and October. You get the least amount of rain and avoid the constant heat of the summer. These are the busiest months for tourists though, so you will find most areas quite crowded. Therefore, you may want to choose a different time of the year if you want to avoid the larger numbers of people.

Weather in Little Rock, Arkansas

The weather in Little Rock, Arkansas is rainy and warm from March through May. An abundance of heat with no rain is common during the months of June, July, and August. The fall season brings cooler temperatures once again and it can get below sixty degrees starting in November.

20 Free (or Nearly Free!) Things to Do in Little Rock, Arkansas

1. Explore the Old Arkansas State House

Old Arkansas State House
Credits: Cliff, Flickr CC BY 2.0

History is everywhere in the Old Arkansas State House. As you are exploring, you will spend your time looking at all the displays. However, you must also take a little time to appreciate the Old Greek architectural details.

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2. Wander Through the River Market

The River Market is open seven days a week. However, it is one of the best things to do in Little Rock, Arkansas on Tuesdays and Saturdays. This market seems to be the busiest on those two days. While wandering through the market is free, you must be prepared to spend a little money. After all, this market is filled with shops and restaurants. You definitely won’t be able to avoid buying at least one small thing!

3. Take a Self-Guided Civil Rights Tour

While there are many tours available in Little Rock, Arkansas, you can easily do a self-guided tour. Simply start walking around and check out all the marked sites. This is one of the best things to do in Little Rock.

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4. Hike to the Top of Pinnacle Mountain

Pinnacle Mountain

Pinnacle Mountain is a small mountain on the western side of this city. This free thing to do in Little Rock will take you about an hour to walk up and then another hour to walk back down again. If you find yourself asking the question, “What to do in Little Rock, Arkansas?”, this hike is one of your answers.

5. Visit the Jack Stephens Nature Center

Fun things to do with kids in Little Rock are everywhere. Visiting the Jack Stephens Nature Center is one of the best things to do with kids in Little Rock, AR. The Forest Department operates this nature center. Inside, you will see all the plants, animals, and the ecosystem of the state. Make sure you ask for a copy of the scavenger hunt when you arrive.

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6. Visit the Greenest Building in the Country

One of the best things to do in Little Rock, Arkansas is visiting the greenest building in the country. The Heifer International’s Green Building is a Little Rock attraction that is quite popular. Tours are offered Mondays through Fridays and allow you to see what a true green building looks like. The eco-friendly design may inspire you to make a few changes when you get back home.

7. Visit the Historic Arkansas Museum

Historic Arkansas Museum
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Living history is what you will see at the Historic Arkansas Museum. The staff plays the roles of people who lived in the area back in the early 19th century. You will see five restored buildings. One of those buildings is the Hinderliter Grog Shop. This is the oldest building in the entire city. They offer free tours on the first Sunday of every month.

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8. Have Fun at the Joe Hogan State Fish Hatchery

One of the cool things to do in Little Rock with kids is having fun at the Joe Hogan State Fish Hatchery. This amazing thing to do in Little Rock with kids will have you seeing all types of fish and other waterfowl. You must begin at the Visitor Center, so you learn about everything you will be seeing during your visit.

9. Take a Tour of the Capitol Building

The Capitol Building in Little Rock, AR looks very similar to the capitol in the Washington DC area. Free guided tours are offered on weekdays. However, you can also walk through this building on your own.

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10. Visit the Arkansas Arts Center

Arkansas Arts Center
Credits: Cliff, Flickr CC BY 2.0

This arts center is one of the best things to do in Little Rock. There are dozens of different art displays inside. Many of those exhibits are permanent, but a few are temporary. While this is one of the free things to do in Little Rock, AR, you must be aware that some of the special exhibits do have an admission fee.

11. Wander Through the MacArthur Museum of Military History

Everyone who loves history and the military will love wandering through the MacArthur Museum of Military History. You will find this Little Rock attraction inside MacArthur Park. Visiting is one of the top things to do in Little Rock, because you can see artifacts from the Civil War all the way through present day.

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12. See the River Lights in the Rock

One of the cool things to do in Little Rock is seeing the River Lights in the Rock. Three bridges, Main Street, Clinton Presidential Park, and Junction are all lit up with thousands of LED lights at night. They add extra appeal to the city after the sun goes down.

13. Conquer the Arkansas River Trail

Arkansas River Trail
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

The Arkansas River Trail connects many of the local parks in Little Rock. This is an excellent thing to do with kids in Little Rock. While this trail is fourteen miles long, you can easily walk different sections each day until you have completed it all.

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14. Go Back to School at Central High

Okay, so going back to school is not going to be high up on your list of Little Rock, Arkansas things to do. However, you can see the school from the Central High Museum across the street. This museum is located inside a restored gas station. Inside, you will see exhibits that show what happened during desegregation there back in 1957.

15. Visit the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden

You will find this sculpture garden inside Riverfront Park. This is one of the best things to do in Little Rock, Arkansas for couples. If you have someone to watch the kids, you can easily wander through this garden looking at the ninety plus works of art. There are multiple gardens that have been created to make the entire area look like it is divided into rooms.

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16. Walk Along the Big Dam Bridge

Big Dam Bridge

The Big Dam Bridge is the longest pedestrian bridge in the US. This is one of the must-see Little Rock attractions. You will find this bridge over the Murray Lock and Dam and the Arkansas River. This bridge connects fourteen plus miles of riverside trails. While you can say this is one of the best things to do in North Little Rock, it is basically the best thing to do in the entire city.

17. Visit the Firehouse Hostel and Museum

Staying at the Firehouse Hostel is not free, but the museum is. You will find this Little Rock attraction within the Historic Little Rock Fire Station #2. Inside the museum, you will see many different types of memorabilia from firefighters over the years.

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18. La Petite Roche Plaza

La Petite Roche Plaza translates to The Little Rock. One of the top things to do in Little Rock is see the rock that was discovered back in 1722. This rock was an area where boats could safely land back when this part of the country was being discovered. Its name was derived, so that everyone could tell the difference between it and the larger rock, aptly named Big Rock, upstream.

19. Relax at Lake Maumelle

You cannot do any swimming in Lake Maumelle. However, the boating and fishing in the area makes the lake one of the best places to visit with kids in Little Rock. There is also seventy miles of shoreline that you can wander along or sit to enjoy a picnic lunch.

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20. Walk Through the Local Parks


There are many parks located in Little Rock, Arkansas. Walking through them is one of the best things to do in Little Rock this weekend. Burns Park is the largest. The log cabin there was constructed prior to the Civil War. You will also find hiking trails, a fishing pier, and camping in the park. Other parks you will want to add to your list of free things to do in Little Rock, AR include Murry Park, Peabody Park, and Riverfront Park.

Expert Tips for Traveling to Little Rock Arkansas

There are tips available for everywhere you are going to want to travel and Little Rock, AR is no exception. While we could list a bunch of tips for traveling to Little Rock, Arkansas, we thought we would stick to the ones you need to know the most.

Take Your Time – It is so easy to jam-pack your days and nights. We recommend slowing down a little and not packing as much into each day. If you can, extend your trip by a couple days, so you can enjoy everything on your list of things to do in Little Rock, AR.


Consider Visiting Around Halloween – We know we told you that May and October are the best times to visit above. But if you can, we truly recommend visiting around Halloween. Little Rock has the best haunted house and there are many scary stories about the city that the locals share during this time of the year.

This City has Something for Everyone – No one in your family should be bored when you are visiting Little Rock. There is something for everyone in this city, so make sure you get it all on your list.

These are the twenty free, or nearly free, things to do in Little Rock, Arkansas. We recommend that you add them all to your list of fun things to do in Little Rock, AR. While many of them are free, you may encounter a few cheap things to do. Don’t worry, they are still priced so you won’t break your budget during your next family vacation!

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