Budget-Friendly Fun for Families near North Little Rock

Awesome ways to have fun this summer without breaking the piggy bank!

By Sandra Ozaki, Publisher Macaroni Kid North Little Rock, Arkansas June 26, 2023

Saving money and time while having fun with your family sounds crazy, right? Not for those in the know! Now you and your family can get in on the best ways to have fun this summer in North Little Rock! 

First of all, if you're new to Arkansas, welcome! We have an abundance of fun activities for families with kids of all ages and our cost of living makes it easy to have fun indoors and out (because the summer heat here is no joke!)

Here are a few upcoming events and activities to do with your kids this summer in North Little Rock and surrounding towns! We'll be posting new ones as they come up so the best way to stay in the know is to subscribe to our free Macaroni KID North Little Rock weekly e-newsletter. Keep our event calendar, community guides, and more at your fingertips!

1. Sign up for Summer @ CALS and receive TWO free tickets to Arkansas Travelers baseball games! Grab tickets for Wednesday, August 2, starting July 17. Tickets can be picked up at CALS branches while supplies last.

2. $2 Summer Movies for Kids every Tuesday and Wednesday at Regal Summer Movie Express! Join the Regal Crown Club for free and get 50% off popcorn every Tuesday and earn credits toward movie-themed merchandise and more.

3. Kids Bowl Free is a nationwide summer program (some locations start earlier and run through fall) that gives registered kids, two free games per day all summer long! Restrictions may apply. And with the purchase of a Family Pass, adult family members can bowl with the kids too! Please note that registration and purchase of a Family Pass can only be done on the Kids Bowl Free website.

These are the participating locations in Central Arkansas. Register through the links below. Please check age limitations and dates/times before registering as they vary by location. Once registered you will be able to purchase an optional Family Pass.

4. Catch an Arkansas Travelers baseball game at Dickey-Stephens Park! Tickets start at just $7. Know before you go:

  • All bags that enter the ballpark must follow the clear bag policy.
  • Dickey-Stephens Park is also now a cashless facility.
  • No outside food and beverage. The park has a variety of concessions and a beer garden.
  • Otey's Splash Pad and train rides are an additional cost.

5. Watch the downtown fireworks show on Tuesday, July 4th at Dickey-Stephens Park! Gates open at 7 pm and admission will be FREE. See #4 above for information on attending events at DSP.

  • Fans will be selected to participate in on-the-field entertainment for a chance to win prizes.
  • The Arkansas Travelers Youth Foundation will conduct a charity Ball Toss before the fireworks show begins.
  • Entrance to Otey's Splash Pad and train rides will be available for purchase prior to the fireworks.

6. Visit a splash pad or water park to catch some rays and cool off! Don't forget your sunscreen and bottled water to stay hydrated. Check the UV index to avoid days and times when the sun may be too much for younger family members. All city Splash Pads are free to use. And everything is weather dependent so if in doubt, call or check online before heading out. 

  • Splash Zone in Jacksonville has a plunge pool with two water slides, a water tunnel, dew drop water showers, Splashdome, water blasters, and a dual racer slide. The umbrella-shaped raindrop is a kid's favorite! Handicap accessible. Concession stand and lockers for rent. Admission for ages 2+ is only $5 and those 48" tall may use the slides for $1 more.
  • The Splash Pad at Fifth Ave. Park in Conway opens on June 27, 2023. It features three activity bays for toddlers, families, and action! Each bay offers a variety of dynamic water elements tailored to various ages and abilities. Open 9 am to dark. Free admission.
  • Conway's first splash pad at Laurel Park is now open from 9 am to dark.
  • Lake Valencia Play and Splash Park in Maumelle is an all-inclusive playground open May-October from 9 am-8 pm. It is weather dependent so please check this Facebook Page or call 501-851-6990 before going. Scroll to the bottom here to see Splash Pad Rules.
  • War Memorial Park's Splash Playground in Little Rock features lots of places for kids to climb, a covered slide, and lots of water to keep kids busy! Open from 10 am-9 pm. 
  • Riverfront Park in Little Rock features two splash pads. One is a dedicated Toddler Playground and Splash Pad at Ottenheimer Plaza West of the Marriott Hotel and the other is the Peabody Playground and Splash in Ottenheimer Plaza next to the Junction Bridge.
  • Crump Park Splash Pad features large buckets, sprayers, and shade for parents to enjoy watching their kids play.

7. Cool off at your local library! Free air-conditioning and WiFi, plus lots of books and activities for all ages. And you only need a library card to check out items or participate in certain activities such as NLR Library's Teen Center. If you need to use a computer in NLR and don't have a library card, just ask for a Guest Pass in the 2nd-floor Computer Lab. Learn more about your local library below. And check out the Macaroni KID North Little Rock event calendar for kid-friendly events!

That's all for now folks, but be sure to check back as we add more inexpensive and free things to do with kids this summer!