Good food, adventure, kid-friendly activities, best places to stay. All the best Hot Springs, Arkansas family vacation ideas are right here!
Arkansas is the best state to take a mini vacation in because we have so many great things to do right at your fingertips. Whether you’re looking for something thrilling or relaxing, we have it. If you want a nice rest in the country or a city bustling with activities, we have that too. We are also a state that is full of kid-friendly things to do.
Today, I’m going to share the best family vacations ideas from one of my favorite cities: Hot Springs, Arkansas!
If you’re looking for the best Hot Springs Arkansas family vacation ideas, the best restaurants in Hot Springs, or just the best kid-friendly activities, you’re in the right place!
Hot Springs, Arkansas Family Vacation Ideas
Hot Springs has always been one of our favorite cities to relax, sightsee, and take a break from everyday life. If you want to do that too, here’s how:
1. Stay at Hilltop Manor in Hot Springs
“Gaze at the waterfall from the extensive front porch. Wander the estate, exploring walls and buildings that have existed for over one hundred years. Meander through the grove of Magnolia trees and stop to smell a rosebud. Enjoy a glass of wine or roast some marshmallows by our outdoor, stone fireplace. Come stay in a well-appointed suite and watch a movie on the large flat-screen television, soak in the JACUZZI® jetted tub, and enjoy your gas operated fireplace. –Hilltop Manor
Be sure to visit one of Arkansas’s glass chapels while you’re in town. It’s a beautiful place to take photos or soak in the beauty!
2. OR camp at Lake Catherine State Park!
Lake Catherine State Park will always hold a special place in my heart as one of the best state parks in Arkansas for camping.
The campsites are well spaced out, the lake is beautiful, and the hiking is amazing. For a special treat, don’t miss the visitor’s center/ gift shop! Don’t forget to check it off your EPIC Arkansas Bucket List!
This peaceful park is located on Lake Catherine, one of five lakes in the beautiful Ouachita Mountain region. The only full-service marina on the lake is here at the park and open in the summertime for bait, snacks/drinks, and fuel. Boat rentals are available year-round.Arkansas State Parks
The park has 20 fully equipped cabins. The park offers 70 campsites, six primitive tent sites, one Rent-A-Camp, and one Rent-A-Yurt. Park interpreters offer hikes, lake tours, and programs year-round. Guided horseback rides are offered seasonally.
You will also love: The Truth about Lake Balboa in Hot Springs Village!
3. Lunch: Superior Bathhouse Brewery
Ok, maybe you’re cringing about taking your kids into a “brewery.” Don’t worry. It’s not as crazy as it sounds. It’s a very low-key and classy place. We were seated at a sunny table by the front window.
We ate, talked, and laughed while watching people stroll along the sidewalk outside. I still have an image of my 6-year-old daughter burned into my memory. She was laughing at a joke I told her while holding a cracker from the dip we had ordered. For some reason, she loved those crackers!
P.S. Their soft pretzels are amazing!
Read this: An Honest Review of Superior Bathhouse Brewery
“We are the first brewery in a U.S. National Park and the world’s first to utilize the thermal spring water as our main ingredient. After lying vacant for 30 years, we re-imagined the Superior Bathhouse into a brewery, craft beer tasting room, full service, family-friendly restaurant, and event venue.”Superior Bathhouse Brewery
You will also love: 14 AMAZING Restaurants in Hot Springs, AR
4. Dinner: Rolando’s Restaurante
Be sure to eat on the back patio and try LULA’S ENCHILADAS.
In the heart of the historic bathhouse district in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Rolando’s Restaurante’ is located in an 1800’s era building. This location features an outdoor patio that accommodates 60 people.Rolando’s Restaurante
Does pizza sound good? You will LOVE the 4 BEST pizza restaurants in Hot Springs!
5. Become a Junior Ranger!
If you have young children, be sure to let them become a Junior Ranger while you’re at Hot Springs National Park! My daughter did this, and she is still proud of it years later.
The NPS Junior Ranger program is an activity based program conducted in almost all parks, and some Junior Ranger programs are national.National Park Service
Interested youth complete a series of activities during a park visit, share their answers with a park ranger, and receive an official Junior Ranger patch and Junior Ranger certificate. Junior Rangers are typically between the ages of 5 to 13, although people of all ages can participate.
Don’t miss: 9 UNFORGETTABLE Activities for kids in Hot Springs, Arkansas!
6. Visit the Mid-America Science Museum
Don’t be scared off by the word “museum.” It’s not that stuffy museum you have pictured in your head.
The Mid-America Science Museum is a fully hands-on place for children (and adults) to learn, explore, and create. Simply put, it’s nothing short of amazing.
“A pioneer in hands-on science learning, Mid-America Science Museum has been a resource for innovative STEM education since its opening in 1979. Located less than a mile from Hot Springs National Park, Mid-America Science Museum is surrounded by a beautiful natural setting. The newest permanent addition to Mid-America Science Museum is the Oaklawn Foundation DinoTrek. Arkansas’ first permanent outdoor dinosaur exhibit, guests may now hike among the dinosaurs dispersed throughout the museum’s 21-wooded acre outdoor landscape. “Mid America Science Museum
Read: Mid-America Science Museum Review & Why We LOVE It!