Spring break is just a few weeks away — and yes, it snuck up on us, too — so we're packing up the kiddos and heading to Hot Springs. Whether you drive down for a day of fun or stay all week, the list of things to explore is endless. From sunny afternoons at Garvan and adventures at the Mid-America Science Museum to cheering on the ponies at Oaklawn, come along for a short road trip and enjoy all Spa City has to offer families.
Arkansas Alligator Farm & Petting Zoo
847 Whittington Ave.
The Gangster Museum of America
510 Central Ave.
The Galaxy Connection
536 Ouachita Ave.
Garvan Woodland Gardens
550 Arkridge Road
Josephine Tussaud Wax Museum
250 Central Ave.
The Maxwell Blade Theatre of Magic
817 Central Ave.
Mid-America Science Museum
500 Mid America Blvd.
T-Rex Fun Spot
1117 Central Ave.
Looking to get your hands dirty? Arkansas is home to some of the only diamond-producing sites in the world where visitors can dig for and keep any diamonds or other stones they find. Ready to unearth something special? Look no further than this list of Hot Springs-area crystal mines to find a sparkling souvenir.
11 Logan Gap Road, Mount Ida
Private Pocket digs are available at Avant Mining allowing for more exclusive dig spots like Lemurian Zone and Zigram Mine. Daily public quartz digs start at $10 at the Ocus Stanley on Fisher Mountain (be sure to bring your digging tools and gloves!), and $1,000 - $10,000+ guided digs are also available.
Coleman Rock Shop & Crystal Mines
5837 AR-7, Jessieville
Known for: clear and white quartz
Twin Creek Crystal Mines
Collier Springs Road, 60 Twin Circle #177, Mount Ida
Known for: phantom and clear quartz, sand crystals
Crystal Seen Trading
2572 Hwy. 270 E., Mount Ida
Known for: agape crystals
Wegner Quartz Crystal Mines
82 Wegner Crystal Ranch Road, Mount Ida
Known for: phantom and smoky quartz
Looking for a break from the break? Slip away to Hot Springs before lunches have to be packed Monday morning and enjoy a quiet weekend at Mountain Harbor Resort, sip a margarita (or two) at La Hacienda or indulge in luxury at Oaklawn.
Mountain Harbor Resort & Spa
994 Mountain Harbor Road, Mount Ida
Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort
2705 Central Ave.
If you haven’t visited Oaklawn since its 2021 expansion, you're missing out. The seven-story hotel boasts views of the racetrack on one side and the lakes on the other, a luxury swimming pool and the world-class Astral Spa. The casino offers endless fun, and dinner at The Bugler is a must. Catch live racing March 23-26 with the $150,000 Purple Martin Stakes Race on Saturday, and don't miss Bret Michaels in concert at the Oaklawn Event Center.