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Winter is finally (hopefully) behind us. The kids are tired of being cooped up in a classroom, but spring break is on the horizon. With the weather warming, it is the perfect opportunity to get outside and explore The Natural State. Arkansas is full of fun and exciting things to do, and there are budget-friendly activities around almost every corner. Check out these Arkansas spring break ideas for families on a budget.
Photo courtesy of Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism
You don’t have to go far to go birdwatching. You can observe birds in your backyard or a nearby park. Without any special equipment, you can enjoy the outdoors and learn about some of the local wildlife. Check out our Guide to Birding in Arkansas to get started.
According to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas, there are more than 1,800 miles of public hiking trails across the state. Therefore, it’s likely that there is a trailhead located within a short drive of your home. Hiking is an excellent activity for kids but may require extra preparations to ensure the group’s safety. These 10 Tips for Hiking with Kids in Arkansas will help you have a great adventure. Not sure where to hike? Check out these trails:
Lost Valley Trail
Spring Hiking in Arkansas
Sugar Loaf Mountain
Kids love to ride bikes. Making circles around the driveway is fun, but if you want an experience they won’t soon forget, head out to a local bike path or biking trail. Coler Mountain is perfect for kids, as are the Searcy Bike Trail and the city trails in Fayetteville. If your family is a bit more experienced, you can check out these mountain biking trails:
Mountain Bike Trails in Central and Northeast Arkansas
Mountain Bike Trails in Northwest Arkansas
Museums are both educational and fun. They are also great for those inevitable rainy days when outdoor activities are a wash. Arkansas has paid museums like the Jacksonville Museum of Military History, Amazeum, Museum of Discovery and the Arkansas Air and Military Museum. There are also loads of free museums like these 15 Free Museums that your whole family will love.
You can certainly head to your local cinema to catch the latest flicks. Arkansas still has several smaller, historic theaters where you can watch a movie while enjoying the nostalgia of an old-fashioned theater experience. Many offer first-run movies and classic favorites, and the popcorn is always plentiful.
Load up the tent and a few sleeping bags and spend a night under the stars. Grab a site at one of the beautiful Arkansas State Parks or Corp of Engineers parks across the state. Plenty of private campgrounds with lake and riverside views, swimming pools, boating, fishing and other amenities exist.
12 Campgrounds in Central and Northeast Arkansas
17 Arkansas RV Parks
Mini golf is fun for all ages, and you don’t have to travel to Branson to find a course. There are putt-putt courses across the state like these 9 Great Mini Golf Courses. The price is affordable, usually less than 10 dollars per person, so you can take the whole family without spending a fortune.
Bowling is one of the fastest-growing family sporting activities in the state. Not only is it affordable, but it’s also fun, accessible for all ages and abilities and can be as competitive as you want. Bowling is so popular family bowling centers across the state can hardly keep up with demand. Several have recently undergone renovations, and each offers a unique experience. Check out these family bowling centers to find one in your area.
A family that loves to seek adventures will want to try ziplining. Ropes courses that traverse through the trees are both physically and mentally challenging but can bring your family together as you make your way through the treetops. Many parks require reservations, so check out our Arkansas Zip Line Parks and Canopy Tours list and be sure to call ahead.
Planning an Arkansas spring break staycation is the perfect way to experience the state without wandering too far from home or spending too much. You can spend spring break in your backyard or check out local culture, food and fun.
9 Things to Do in Craighead County
9 Things To Do in Van Buren County
Top 8 Things To Do In White County
Things To Do In Independence and Stone Counties
Visiting Jackson and Woodruff Counties
Visiting Poinsett, Cross and Mississippi Counties
If you like the idea of camping but want something more luxurious or just want someone to do all of the work for you, renting a bell tent is the way to go. Bell tents can be set up right on your property and are the perfect way to enjoy outdoor life while still hanging on to some modern luxuries. If a bell tent isn’t quite what you are looking for, you can also plan a memorable slumber party for your kids by renting indoor teepees.
You don’t have to wait until the dog days of summer to get out on the water. In early spring, marinas across the state are restocking, de-winterizing and getting ready to welcome those looking to enjoy lake life. Rent a pontoon or houseboat for an exciting time on one of Arkansas’s beautiful lakes.
You would not believe some of the unique lodging locations in Arkansas. From haunted hotels to historic railcars and treehouses to underground caves, you will indeed find a place to stay that is unlike anything you could imagine.
8 Unique Getaways in Arkansas
9 Unique Cabins in Arkansas
10 More Unique Getaways in Arkansas
17 Arkansas Lodges and Resorts
20 Unique Arkansas Airbnbs: Boats, Yurts & Farms
Coolest Arkansas Airbnbs
Historical Getaways: Inns & Bed and Breakfasts
Historic Motor Courts of Hot Springs
How do you celebrate Arkansas spring break on a budget? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments.
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