We get it. Sometimes you want to go to a nice brunch at a nice restaurant, and sometimes you’d rather not spend a dime on your downtime.
Some of our guests come prepared to shell out big dollars and the trendiest restaurant in town and then spend time at the mall and the cute boutiques in the heights. Others want to explore the great outdoors and the wonderful things offered on a more frugal budget.
Whatever mood you find yourself in, Little Rock is always ready with great things to do. Here are some of the best free (or next to free) activities in the “the rock”.
History buffs will love the lineup of Little Rock’s most historic homes and mansions in the Quapaw Quarter, many on the National Register of Historic Places. Stroll the neighborhood or take the annual spring tour of homes.
Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library & Learning Center
Let your kids expand their minds at the state-of-the-art Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library & Learning Center complete with a computer lab, teaching kitchen, 165-seat theater and community room — in addition to a collection of more than 21,000 books, CDs and DVDs.
With high-rises on one side and the Arkansas River on the other, Riverfront Park offers 33 acres of wetlands to stroll, a sculpture garden and a splash pad for cooling off on steamy summer afternoons.
Tour one of the most famous nonprofit charity’s breathtaking LEED Platinum building with interactive exhibits describing how individuals can help bring an end to hunger, poverty and environmental issues. Heifer International Headquarters also has a café and fair trade shop.
The Little Rock
Where did Little Rock get its name? Visit Riverfront Park’s La Petite Roche. The rock outcropping you’ll find is what early explorers dubbed “Little Rock.” They did so, not to name the city, but to help distinguish it from the “Big Rock” they found upstream. Nevertheless, the name stuck.
Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center
What’s a trip to the Natural State without a little nature? Explore the Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center and join in on geocashing adventures and alligator feedings, or get outfitted to enjoy some top-notch fishing.
The best view in central Arkansas is free. You just have to hike Pinnacle Mountain for it. Don’t worry. It’s one of the most popular activities in Little Rock. The state park boasts eight hiking trails in total, with two leading to the summit (a 1,011-foot peak).
Clinton Presidential Center
A building that refuses to be ignored, the Clinton Presidential Center houses a museum, presidential archives and full-scale replicas of the Oval Office and the Cabinet Room. Visit for free on Presidents’ Day, July 4, the Saturday before President Clinton’s birthday (Aug. 19) and the Saturday before the library’s opening anniversary (Nov. 18). On Veteran’s Day, all active and retired military, and their families, get in free.