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Ahoy Mates! Arkansas Spots for Pirate-Loving Kids


Shiver me timbers; it’s almost “talk like a pirate day!” (Sept. 19) And for kids who love pirates, this is an important day. Of all the favorite random holidays we celebrate around our house, we love when we get to pull out our best pirate accents and share the cheesiest “walk the plank” jokes.

Just like kids who love trains or dinosaurs, many spots around Arkansas will fascinate kids who love pirates!

Arkansas Adventures for Little Pirates

Spanish Treasure Cave | Gravette
Touring this cave is the best adventure for a little matey because the lost treasure is hiding! Hosts take visitors through this old cave discovered by Spanish conquistadors, finding skeletons and learning about structures inside the caves and the critters who’ve called it home. Don’t miss the chance to learn more about crystals and geodes in the gift shop and sift for gems.

Pomeroy Planetarium | Monticello
Learning to read the night sky is an essential skill for pirates and crewmates. Staff offer classes to the public on various astrological topics during the academic school year. The planetarium is an integral component of the Arkansas Museum of Natural Sciences.

Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf | Hot Springs
An 18-hole putt-putt golf course with a pirate ship, cave, and lots of water among a shipwreck area. It is an excellent spot for a family outing or visiting other adventure spots in Hot Springs, like the Gangster’s Museum, Historic Hot Springs Baseball Trail, or the Alligator Farm.

Devil’s Den State Park | Winslow 
Learning to read a map is a vital skill for a pirate, and this is the perfect place to take a map reading class with a park interpreter. With easy kid hikes and places to explore, you can quickly use what you learn and easily put it into practice before you leave the premises. The park is a great spot to visit in the fall as the leaves change colors around you.

War Eagle Caverns | Rogers
A pirate loves finding spots to hide out, and that’s precisely what happened here. Outlaws and bandits used the bluffs of this region to hide out. Other caverns like Mystic Caverns and Blanchard Springs offer great places to learn more about what happens underground when the lights go out!

Hunt Nature Center | Springdale
The latest Arkansas Nature Center is perfect for getting lost and exploring. Young visitors can check in at the welcome desk for the scavenger hunt outline and complete activities during a visit in exchange for a prize. Children learn much about the region’s marine life and the secret hideouts of the elk, bats, deer and bears.

Digging for Treasures with Little Pirates

Ka-do-ha Indian Village | Murfreesboro
This spot was originally Caddo Indian land, later used by explorers and Civil War soldiers. The village hosts burial mounds, a gem mine and open-field metal detecting. A small museum shares the story of the daily life of the Native Americans who originally owned the land. Do not miss the Treasure Fest October 14-15, where $5,000 in golden coins and 10 $1,000 cash prizes will be buried on-site for the seeded treasure hunt.

Crater of Diamonds State Park | Murfreesboro
It is the only public access active diamond mine in the U.S. and one of the only places worldwide to dig and find gems in their active source location. Visitors regularly find treasures, and you get to take anything with you!

Mount Ida is the quartz capitol of Arkansas and a great place to look for gems. While several spots offer opportunities for digging and mining, rock shops and large quartz cover the roadsides of this town with displays for visitors to view and buy. Did you know Arkansas Quartz, from Mount Ida, is displayed at the American Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C.?

Ron Coleman Mining | Jesseville 

Hands-on quartz crystal mining and digging for families. Multiple ziplines across the mining site and an on-site R.V. park add to the fun. Take the tour, learn behind-the-scenes tips for exploring crystal veins and view specimens worldwide. It always helps pirates know when they are looking at the real thing once they find a treasure!

Water Adventures for Little Pirates

Blue Zoo Aquarium | Rogers

A unique family experience with under-the-sea adventures with feeding opportunities in the bird room with the stingrays and tortoises. All visitors can view the aquariums, play at the water tables, view the snakes and lizards, and play on the game wall. If you time your visit just right, you may be able to visit with a pirate or mermaid among the fish!

Parrot Island Waterpark | Fort Smith

Tropical-themed water park, perfect for celebrating and working off your booty! With several sections for older and younger children, a family with children of all ages will find fun around every corner. The park is typically open May through Sept., with cabanas for private pirates.

Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum and U.S.S. Razorback | North Little Rock

While the museum tells the story of war water vessels and the Arkansas River, the featured attraction is the U.S.S. Razorback, the longest-serving submarine in the world. The 311-foot vessel was in Tokyo at the peace treaty signing that ended World War II.

Funny Jokes for Little Pirates

What is a pirate’s favorite restaurant? 

What’s a pirate’s favorite drink?
High – C

What’s a pirate’s favorite fish?
A swordfish

Why did the pirate stop learning the alphabet?
He couldn’t find the sea (C)

What’s a pirate’s favorite letter in the alphabet?
Arrrrr (R)

How do you save a dying pirate?

What does a pirate say when his leg is stuck in the freezer?
“Well, shiver me timbers!”

Why did the pirate join the gym?
To improve his booty!

How much did the pirate pay to get his ears pierced?
A buck an ear! (buccaneer)

Why did the pirate go to the Apple Store?
He needed an i-patch.

What’s a pirate’s favorite exercise?
The plank!

Meet the

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Keisha (Pittman) McKinney lives in Northwest Arkansas with her chicken man and break-dancing son. Keisha is passionate about connecting people and building community, seeking solutions to the everyday big and small things, and encouraging others through the mundane, hard, and typical that life often brings. She put her communications background to work as a former Non-profit Executive Director, college recruiter and fundraiser, small business trainer, and Digital Media Director at a large church in Northwest Arkansas. Now, she is using those experiences through McKinney Media Solutions and her blog @bigpittstop, which includes daily adventures, cooking escapades, #bigsisterchats, the social justice cases on her heart, and all that she is learning as a #boymom! Keisha loves to feed birds, read the stack on her nightstand, do dollar store crafts, cook recipes from her Pinterest boards, and chase everyday adventures on her Arkansas bucket list.

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