things to do in fort smith arkansas with kids

8 FUN Things to Do in Fort Smith, Arkansas with Kids

So, here you are. Your kids are restless and you’re looking for something fun to do. You want something out of the ordinary. You’re looking for unique. You want something that’s fun for you and them. You want to make memories! Is that too much to ask?

Well, If you’re looking for a town full of history and adventure, you’ve found it. There are so many things to do in Fort Smith, Arkansas with kids that will make memories for a lifetime. I’ve rounded up a list of my favorites here to make it easier for you. Woo hoo!

Also, check out my interview with my friend Emily about all of her favorite things to do in Fort Smith. She’s a Fort Smith local and shares all the best spots with us for any activity!

8 Adventurous Things to Do in Fort Smith, Arkansas with Kids

1. Be amazed at the Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center

This nature center has so much to offer to kids. It’s a perfect place to immerse in nature and explore something new.

My kids love looking at aquariums and this nature center boasts a 1,200-gallon aquarium with native Arkansas fish! It’s mesmerizing!

Also, be sure to enjoy the trails outside. It’s the perfect place for a fun walk anytime of the year here in Arkansas!

visit the Janet Huckabee Nature Center with kids in Fort Smith, Arkansas

The Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center is built on 170 acres of land that was part of Fort Chaffee. In addition to the spacious building surrounded by hickory and oak trees, the grounds are home to a series of trails and Wells Lake, a popular fishing destination. The trails around the lake feature exhibit signs highlighting the lake, grounds and animals using the area. Visitors also can watch for wildlife attracted to feeders and a circulating stream near the corner of the building.

Exhibits play a large part in the nature center. Visitors will discover representations of the Ouachita and Ozark mountains, a life-sized oak tree exhibit crawling with game and non-game animal displays and a 1,200-gallon aquarium with native Arkansas fish.” Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center

2. Get wet at Parrot Island Water Park

The Parrot Island Water Park is the place where kids’ dreams are made! This place has a two land FlowRider®, wave pool, water slides, a lazy river, kids’ aquatic play area, and so much more.

On top of all that, they even have cabanas, food (because you know your kids get hungry after all that playing), drinks, complimentary inner tubes, and a gift shop!

So, if you’re in Fort Smith on one of our sweltering summer days (you know, the days that are 100 degrees with 100% humidity), take your kids on over to the Parrot Island Water Park. It comes highly recommended by the locals!

Official Website

fun things to do with kids in Fort Smith Arkansas - parrot island water park
Make those memories!

Don’t miss: [BEST] ATV trails Near Fort Smith, Arkansas

3. Go crazy at Spartan Adventure Park

Spartan Adventure Park is one of those ultimate places to go with kids no matter the weather. The advantage with this adventure park is that it’s all indoors!

What is Spartan Adventure Park?

Well, it’s “Fort Smith’s Ultimate Indoor Trampoline and Adventure Park!”

Your kids can zip line, attempt the climbing wall, jump on the trampolines until they need a long nap, play Spartan Dodgeball, prepare to be an Olympian on the Rings Course, play basketball, and conquer the ropes course.

Spartan Adventure Park has everything your kids need to burn off energy to ensure that you can enjoy a nice quiet afternoon cup of coffee at home while they nap.

Am I the only one who looks forward to naptime and an afternoon cup of coffee?

Official Website

If you need a cool place to stay while you’re in town, Fort Smith has an incredible Airbnb that you’ll love!

4. Ride the trolleys at the Fort Smith Trolley Museum 

Thanks to Daniel Tiger, my kids love trolleys. The Fort Smith Trolley Museum is an unforgettable destination for all trolley lovers.

It’s also a “working museum” so your family can watch the work and restoration in progress!

The Fort Smith Trolley Museum now has 4 of the original 58 Fort Smith streetcars – Fort Smith Light & Power #10 and Fort Smith Light & Traction #’s 205, 221 and of course, the fully restored #224. A 1904 Hot Springs Street Railway double-truck car (#50), which is similar to cars that operated in Fort Smith, is currently being restored.

In addition to the trolleys, the Museum is home to a rail collection.


What are you waiting for? It’s time to ride the trolleys!

100 South 4th Street
Fort Smith, Arkansas, 72901
Phone Number: 479-783-0205
Official Website

Fort Smith Trolley Museum with Kids
Trolley in Fort Smith. This beautiful photo was captured by Jim Strain.

5. Watch a live show at the Fort Smith Little Theatre 

For a special treat, take your kids to the Fort Smith Little Theatre for a live show! In the past, they have even done Annie!

Check their website for kid-friendly productions!

6. Visit the Fort Smith Public Library

My kids love the library. I remember loving the library as a young child too. In fact, I still love it!

I think it’s the magic and wonder that lines the shelves that is so intriguing. The options for adventure are endless at the library.

The Fort Smith Public Library has made the experience even more special for kids with storytimes, summer reading programs, and children’s computers with online educational programs.

From babies to teens, there is something for all ages!

Did I mention they have a coffee shop? It’s called Dewey’s Café and you won’t want to miss it!

All your favorite coffees, teas, and specialty drinks along with great sandwiches, salads, baked goods, and snacks are available at Dewey’s Café at the Main Library. Owned and operated by the Fort Smith Public Library and open all the hours the Main Library is open, all sales at Dewey’s directly benefit the library.

The café is a great place to grab a coffee or a bite to eat while meeting with friends, reading, or studying. Open Mic Night is a regular event every third Thursday at 7 p.m. (except in December).

Fort Smith Public Library

(479) 783-0229
3201 Rogers Avenue
Fort Smith, AR 72903
Official Website

fort smith public library with kids
Fort Smith Public Library. Photo by Terry Olsen

7. Soak up the outdoors at Lake Fort Smith State Park

For outdoor adventure, take your kids to Lake Fort Smith State Park! My kids love going to state parks. Arkansas has so many (including amazing state parks for camping) and Lake Fort Smith State Park is one that shouldn’t be missed.

A beautiful multi-use area on the banks of Lake Fort Smith, this is a scenic, well-maintained park in the Boston Mountain Valley of the Ozarks with camping, fishing, kayaking, hiking, and mountain biking. For backpackers, it is the western terminus of the 240-mile Ozark Highlands Trail. The park offers 30 campsites (20 Class AAA and 10 Class B), 10 cabins, a swimming pool, marina with boat rentals, pavilion, picnic sites, and group facilities. The visitor center houses a replica pioneer log cabin and covered wagon with exhibits and programs on the area’s early history. Park interpreters lead guests on nature hikes and lake tours year-round.

Arkansas State Parks

15458 Shepard Springs Road
Mountainburg, AR 72946-0004

Be sure to check a few things off your EPIC Arkansas Bucket List while you’re in town!

lake fort smith state park with kids
Lake Fort Smith. Photo by Mike Goad

8. Check out all the cool things at Ben Geren Park

Ben Geren Park includes tennis courts, softball and soccer fields, pavilion rentals, a safe shelter, community building rental, disc golf courseand walking and fitness trails. Also on the grounds is the Parrot Island Waterparkmountain bike trails and the Ben Geren Golf Course.

7200 Zero
Fort Smith, AR 72903

Ben Geren Park with kids in fort Smith Arkansas
Image by Joshua Choate from Pixabay

Fort Smith has so many fun things to do with kids! I know you’ll find something you will love.

Buy me a coffee and say thanks!

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