Hidden Gems: Visit These 5 Metro Little Rock Parks & Playgrounds
Summer is drawing to a close, but there is still time for kids and families to get outside and squeeze in a few days of fun before school begins.
Everyone knows the big names in central Arkansas parks: North Little Rock is home to Burns Park with its long list of playgrounds, trails, tennis courts, baseball fields, picnic areas, golf, archery, camping, and more; and Little Rock offers War Memorial Park which features a playground, splash pad, fishing pond, golf course, and easy access to the Little Rock Zoo. But where can you go when you’re looking for a smaller, more manageable park? Here are five alternatives.
Corner of Crestview Drive and Cherry Hill Drive, NLR
As one of the smaller parks on the list, Crestview Park offers a quiet getaway for families with smaller children that may be intimidated by larger numbers of kids or older children. The playground is fully fenced with recently installed equipment that has plenty of slides and obstacles to climb. It is nestled on a hillside above I-40 and easily accessible from JFK Blvd. Down the hillside, there are picnic tables, small trails, and two sculptures by Dionicio Rodriquez, the same sculptor of the works at the nearby Old Mill.
2801 River Road, NLR
This is a park for the more active and adventuresome kids. Its main feature is a skate park with a large skating bowl and street course. It also includes a playground, picnic area and plenty of open space. Riverview Park is situated directly on the Arkansas River and located along the Arkansas River Trail. While bikes are not allowed in the skate park, they can be ridden down the River Trail to Burns Park and the old Big Rock Quarry or even up the adjacent hill into nearby Emerald Park.
Julius Breckling Riverfront Park
202 E. LaHarpe Blvd., LR
Located along the Arkansas River and stretching 11 city blocks, Riverfront Park can easily provide a full day of fun and adventure for the entire family. Take a family bike ride along the River Trail or stroll through the sculpture garden. The kids can head down to Peabody Park to explore the many tunnels and slides or play in the splash pad. Enjoy a visit to the many adjacent attractions like Museum of Discovery, The Witt Stephens Jr. Nature Center, Old State House Museum or William E. Clark Presidential Wetlands. Or, visit the actual “Little Rock” at Le Petite Roche Plaza before heading into the River Market to grab a bite to eat.
1401 Florida St., LR
Need a quick getaway from the hustle and bustle of midtown shopping? Head over to Meriwether Park. Only minutes from Park Plaza Mall, this neighborhood park features a rocket slide, several swings, tennis courts, and a paved trail for walking and biking. Enjoy a relaxing picnic in the shade or venture on to the large open field with kites and frisbees. This park also has a full baseball backstop where a large group of friends can undertake a “Sandlot”-style ballgame.
Play Tubes at Rock Creek
11500 W. 36th St., LR
If the summer heat is too much to handle, take the playtime indoors at the Play Tubes located at the Church of Rock Creek. This indoor, air-conditioned play area is free and open to the public. It features tubes and tunnels for climbing, several slides of different sizes, a play house and rope bridge. Older kids can explore the upper reaches of the structure while smaller kids can play in the toddler area at the bottom. Hours can vary so always check ahead of time. There is also a café that is often open for snacks and drinks.