Nearly 6.4 million people visit Little Rock, Arkansas each year, generating more than $6 billion in revenue for the state. Although supporting the local economy when you are traveling is important, you also need to stick to your budget. While you are setting up your travel itinerary include these free things to do in Little Rock to help save money.
Free Things To Do in Little Rock
Little Rock isn’t hurting for free things to do. In fact, there are more than a dozen activities you can do for absolutely no cost. Here are a few to consider adding to your list…
Pinnacle State Park
While you are visiting Little Rock, make time to explore Pinnacle State Park. You can visit the park free of charge and there are plenty of sites to see. Additionally, there are several other parks in the area that are great attractions, including Maumelle Park and Two Rivers Park. Do some research beforehand to plan out any trails or sites you may want to see along the way.
Little Rock Central High School Historic Site
Although you can’t enter the school itself, Little Rock Central High School has a visitor’s center. You can go and learn more about the civil rights events that occurred there and throughout Little Rock during the Civil Rights movements of the 1960s.
Big Dam Bridge
The name may make you giggle but the Big Dam Bridge is something to see! It is one of Little Rock’s most expensive bridges. What’s even better is it is also a pedestrian bridge. You can get a great view of the city from there. Little Rock is home to a few other impressive bridges as well. If you have time, make sure to see Junction Bridge and Clinton Presidential Park Bridge too.
Riverfront Park has something for the whole family to enjoy. There are a number of walking paths, water fountains, playgrounds, and sculptures throughout the park. It is also located along the river, so the views offered on some of the trails are truly breath-taking.
Arkansas State Capitol Building
Fun fact – the Arkansas State Capitol Building has actually been the stand-in for capitol buildings in a few movies. On Capitol grounds, there are two monuments: the Little Rock Nine Monument and the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial. The Little Rock Nine monument is a memorial to honor the first nine students to integrate into Little Rock Central High School. Little Rock’s Vietnam memorial commemorates the lives of native Arkansans who fought and, in some cases, gave their lives during the war.
Arkansas River Trail
Fans of the outdoors should add the Arkansas River Trail to their list of things to do in Little Rock. It is a large trail that has a number of must-see sites in the city. You can bike much of the trail and there are a number of spots to stop for picnics and other activities.
The Heifer International Campus, or Heifer Village, is an educational activity you can take part in while you visit Arkansas. There are educational programs about hunger and poverty, exhibits that feature alpacas and other live animals, as well as opportunities to learn about the agricultural systems. It is a fun thing to add to the itinerary for the entire family.
Old State House Museum
You can visit the Old State House Museum free of charge while you are in Arkansas. The building has stood there since 1833 and has seen a lot of history. Donations to the institution are welcome but not required upon visiting.
Arkansas Art Center
Another great activity among the list of free things to do in Little Rock is to visit the Arkansas Art Center. The center is home to many local pieces and art history. Admission is free with the exception of some ticketed events and exhibits.
Mosaic Templars Cultural Center
The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center is a center in Arkansas that celebrates African American history and culture. Specifically, it is dedicated to telling the stories of African Americans in Arkansas. Additionally, there are a number of exhibits and events held at the center. Admission is free, but donations are welcome. Some events may also require payment.
The Old Mill
You may recognize The Old Mill if you visit it while you’re in Little Rock. It is most famous for its appearance in the film Gone With the Wind. Not only is it an awesome photo op, but The Old Mill is a great spot to take a break, have a picnic, or just relax.
Historic Curran Hall
Curran Hall was built by Colonel Ebenezer Walters as a wedding gift for his wife, Mary Eliza Starbuck in 1842. Since then, it has been home to a number of important families in the Little Rock area. Now, it stands as a historical center where visitors can learn more about the history of Arkansas.
Little Rock’s Medical Mile is something to behold while you’re in the state as well. Along the walkway, you will see local art in murals and statues. Each piece you see shares a similar theme: to remind you to take care of your health.
MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History
The Museum of Arkansas Military History takes a look at all of the ways the state has contributed to each American War. Exhibits in the museum include artifacts, documents, photos, uniforms, and weapons.
Historic Arkansas Museum
Another one of the free things to do in Little Rock is to visit the Historic Arkansas Museum. You can download a free guided tour to your cell phone and listen while you walk through the exhibits. There is also a Living History program through the museum that offers performances at different times during the year depicting various moments in Arkansas history.
Firehouse Hostel and Museum
If you’re interested in learning about the history of the Little Rock fire department, check out the Firehouse Museum free of charge. Additionally, if you’re looking for a place to stay, you can book a room in their hostel for about $28 per night.
Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center
The nature center is something else to add to your itinerary if you’re looking for free things to do. There are a number of exhibits there as well as walking trails where you may see wildlife.
Listen to the Arkansas Civil Rights History Audio Tour
While you are in Little Rock, download the Arkansas Civil Rights history audio tour app. It will walk you through some of the state’s most pivotal moments in history. The app is completely free.
Mount Holly Cemetery
If you are a lover of macabre or darker things in life, you may enjoy visiting Mount Holly Cemetery in Little Rock. On the second October of every year, drama students from the local high school come out to perform different monologues or dialogues from “ghosts” in the cemetery.
The Arkansas Library System
No matter where you travel, having the library as a fallback plan is always a good idea. If you have a rainy day or a lull in your activities, checking out the local library can prove to be an interesting venture. Some libraries have local art and literature on display. At the very least, you’ll be able to cozy up with a book or magazine for a while.
Cheap Things To Do in Arkansas
Not everything can be free when you are traveling through. If you’d like to add a few more low-cost activities to your itinerary, consider adding one of these…
Burns Park & Golf Course
Burns Park itself is free to visit. However, to play golf, you may need to pay a fee for some days. Inquire about any admission fees to the green before heading to the park for the day.
River Market District
If you want to do a little shopping or people watching, the River Market District is a great stop to add to your list. It costs nothing to simply visit, but you’ll want to have a little cash on hand for any souvenirs or food you may want to buy.