It’s easy for winter boredom to kick in. The holidays are over and the cold weather is making everyone restless. And while Little Rock and North Little Rock are packed with family activities and events, sometimes you want to try something new.

Areas like Hot Springs, northwest Arkansas and Memphis are popular for their countless activities, restaurants and entertainment venues. But sometimes two or three hours in the car is more than the kids (and mom) can handle.

In part two of our Short Drives Series, we’re giving you options for family fun in two cities that that are only about 25 minutes away: Benton and Bryant. So during your next free weekend, spend a day enjoying new-to-you fun just down the road.

1. Benton Aquatics Center

Swimming in the winter? That’s right. This indoor aquatic center is the perfect way to stay active when you feel like the cold is trapping you indoors. The leisure pool features two lap lanes, a guest seating area, a children's play area, a two-story water slide and more. There’s also a competition pool with a climbing wall, diving board, basketball goals and other fun attractions.

Hours are posted online at Daily admission is $4 for youth 17 and under and $5 for adults; monthly and annual memberships are also available. The Aquatic Center is located within the River Center at 1069-1585 Airlane Drive in Benton.

2. The Royal Theatre

This performance venue boasts a number of shows perfect for kids in its current season.

Coming up, that includes “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” from April 14-24, “Disney Cinderella Kids” from May 4-6 and “Singin’ In the Rain Jr.” from July 12-15.

Introducing kids to plays and musicals at a young age can prompt an early interest in creative arts.

Ticket prices vary but details for each show are available at

The theater is located at 111 South Market St. in Benton

3. Dale’s Donuts

This small town donut shop was named one of the best donut shops in Arkansas by Best Of AmericanTowns in October 2017! They’re also known for having a delicious cinnamon roll. Plus, bring the kids and they’ll get a half dozen free donut holes with your purchase. They can even sit at the kids’ table to enjoy their treats.

The shop is located at 919 Military Road in Benton and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 5:30-11:30 a.m. Call (501) 776-2710 or see their Facebook page for more information.

4. Salty Harbor Mini Golf & Fun Park

Salty Harbor Mini Golf & Fun Park has a course filled with water features and small obstacles.

There’s nothing like a game of mini golf to get the family’s competitive juices flowing. Take advantage of a warmer winter day and spend an afternoon at Salty Harbor. Mini golf is perfect for all ages - from preschoolers to grandparents, everyone can play. The park also has a fun “Wipeout” inflatable course, inspired by the intense obstacle course game show formerly on ABC.

Salty Harbor’s hours vary by season, so check online at before visiting. Mini golf is $7 per round for adults and $5 per round for kids ages 4-12. Prepaid value passes and season passes are also available. The “Wipeout” inflatable course is $3 per person. Salty Harbor Mini Golf & Fun Park is located at 17250 Interstate 30 in Benton.

5. Larry’s Pizza in Bryant

Larry's Pizza offers a dinner buffet two nights a week.

There are several Larry’s Pizza locations scattered throughout central Arkansas, but the Bryant location is special. The restaurant is home to a game room just for kids (or the young at heart who want to play, too). A lunch buffet is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and a dinner buffet is open Tuesday and Friday from 5-8:30 p.m.

Follow along on the restaurant’s Facebook page for special holiday events like a Halloween trick-or-treat and different evenings when a percentage of proceeds support local organizations. Visit for more information. The restaurant is located at 4500 Highway 5 North in Bryant.

See Part I of Little Rock Family's Short Drives Series: 5 Conway Destinations for the Whole Family