2-Day Dip in the [Hot] Springs

Day 1 You'll See:baby-purple-martin-631150_1280

Day 2 You’ll See:


Hot Springs, Arkansas, is the perfect place to take your group if you are looking for a fun getaway filled with hidden treasures, natural adventures, and gorgeous scenery. In this classic southern city filled with gorgeous forests, thermal baths, and historic downtown shops and eateries your group will find the most affordable and unique vacation opportunities. Head over to a hands-on science museum, an island full of birds, a magic shop that will blow your mind, or a water park that will cool you off and splash you right into some Hot Springs fun. You can even mine for your own quartz, learn about the gangsters of this town, or have an aerial adventure like no other as you zip across the Arkansas skyline.



Mid America Science Museum- Welcome to Arkansas’ largest hands-on science center, as well as the first Smithsonian affiliate in the state, the Mid America Science Museum. Here your group will find over 100 engaging hands-on exhibits that cover the wonders of energy, matter, life, and perception. This museum seeks to spark curiosity and enhance scientific understanding through inquiry, observation, and discovery. Some of the most fun exhibits that have been drawing a crowd since its opening are the informational Arkansas Underfoot,  high flying and exciting Bob Wheeler Science Skywalk, and the expansive  Oaklawn Foundation Digital Dome Theater. Check out the Ball machine, an elaborate billiard ball track, the sand pendulum, the vertical wave machine, the loopy lasso, or the magnetic runaround. All of these exhibits will show your group the basic concepts of physics through wave motion, kinetic energy, and gravity. When your group is done playing around be sure to stop at the Creek Walk Cafe for some lunch or head outside to enjoy the beautiful wooded park and picnic areas. Your group can also stop by the gift shop to pick up some great educational and scientific gifts!

Bird Island Tour - At Lake Ouachita, near Arkansas' Mountain Pine and Hot Springs, your group will find the exciting and bustling region known as Bird Island! This Important Bird Area, as designated by the Audubon Society, is home to Lake Ouachita’s famous "tornado of birds." Here your group will see 30-50 thousand purple martins in late July and early August which convene here after nesting, before their long and tiring migration to South America. Your group will be able to see the large swarms of blackbirds, purple martins, egrets, herons, ibis, crows, and other wading birds. The main attraction, the purple martins, are colony nesters who are known for their graceful flight and insect consumption. A tour of this island will take about 1.5 hours and show your group the low flying birds by bird island, cascading into the groves of cypress trees around sunset everyday. You can also head over to the visitor center for more detailed information and bird related books and gifts. Don’t forget your camera for this stop, you’ll want to capture the magic of Bird Island yourself!

Maxwell Blade’s Theater of Magic -  Your group is in for a real treat at what many locals consider the greatest show in Arkansas, and what draws thousands of guests annually, the Maxwell Blade’s Theater of Magic! Maxwell Blade is an ex-punk rock band member who slowed down his lifestyle and dedicated it to the art and show of magic! During one of these amazing shows your groups will see illusions, comedy, and astounding showmanship. Audience interaction is a huge part of these shows, the intimate setting being the reason Blade switched to this business, so be prepared to get involved! The stage inside is styled after an intimate Victorian Style magic parlor with only 112 seats at maximum capacity. The show is 1.5 hours long and leaves guests amazed, amused, and inspired. There will be concessions throughout the show, as well as a gift shop packed full of magic kits and tricks. The theater now also holds a museum, the Odditorium and Curiosity Museum, with over 300 unique items such as two headed animals and the world’s smallest people clothes. Your group is truly going to enjoy whatever Maxwell Blade does for you, his zany, unique, and intimate personality truly connecting you to magic!



Magic Springs and Crystal Falls Water and Theme Parks - Get ready for some good old fashioned family fun at these two sister parks, Magic Springs Theme Park and Crystal Fall Water Park. Built in 1978, these weekend only parks have been drawing crowds left and right, voted in Better Homes and Gardens as one out of three of the best family friendly theme parks and by AAA as a "Southern Treasure." There are over 80 attractions in Magic Springs, the only theme park located within a beautiful national park. While here your group will have the chance to let loose and ride some serious roller coasters, some of the most popular including the Arkansas Twister, the Gauntlet, the disorienting X Coaster, and the thrilling Diamond Mine Run. For more of an exciting ride head over to the WIld Thang or The Hawk! Crystal Falls water park is where the crowds flock to beat the summer heat, home to the most fun water rides in the state. Crystal Lagoon has three body slides, four tube slides, a lagoon, and a extremely fun 1,000 gallon bucket that drops water on guests every 10 minutes! Once your group has had enough fun (like that’s possible) head over to any of the grills, cafes, or concessions for some delicious food.



Adventureworks Zip Line Tours - Adventureworks Zip Line Tours is an exciting aerial adventure park in Catherine’s Landing near Hot Springs and the Ouachita Mountains. This thrilling zip line park offers your group an unbelievable adventure with a bird’s eye view of the beautiful Arkansas forest filled skyline. Your group will soar through the open Arkansas air on steel cables, secured in a safety harness and attached to a strong zip pulley system. This track in particular is made up of 12 ziplines, over a mile of adventure. While in the air you’ll see the native trees, plants, and wildlife of Arkansas, and the best part is this adrenaline producing park is open year round, no matter the season. Some of the guests favorite parts of this adventure include the water dip above the creek, the 50 mph race section, and the famous Sky Bridge. The Big Sky Bridge takes you across a creek below to an 80 foot observation tower built around a giant oak tree. The most fun part is, you’ll have to walk across a suspended bridge to get there! Get ready to cross flying off your bucket list, as you and your group have the time of your lives on this incredible aerial adventure!

Hills at Belvedere - Welcome to one of the state’s most beautiful and historic structures, the Hills and Belvedere. This former country club has been reused and remodeled into a 15,000 square foot venue used commonly for special events. This gorgeous, open, and airy building is more often than not used for weddings and wedding ceremonies. A look outside will show your group an incredible golf course, but not just any old golf course. While there is an impressive and comprehensive nine hole golf course outside, there is also a crowd drawing 18 hole foot golf course. This sport comprising of a combination of golf and soccer is growing in popularity around the nation, and now the 21 inch diameter hole in one markers are attracting plenty of Arkansas locals. This park was the brainchild of Robert Raines, a local prominent businessman who bought it recently after a long love affair with the original 1940s Belvedere building. This breathtaking complex is only minutes from Central Avenue and is guaranteed to thoroughly impress your group!

Gangster Museum of America - Nestled deep in the Arkansas mountain town of Hot Springs, your group is about to be taken back in time at the Gangster Museum of America. This 10,000 square foot museum takes you to the days of the '20s, '30s, and '40s, days when illegal gambling, bootlegging, prostitution, and thermal baths made Hot Springs America’s first resort. Your group has a choice of taking a 45 minute historian guided tour of the museum or explore the six galleries and 45 years of history yourselves. There are photographs, artifacts, and video presentations of eyewitness accounts to the glory days in "spa city." Head over to the Felony Theater to watch a high-definition short film on an underground Hot Springs City that has been closed to the public for years. On a tour you will even get a live musical tribute performance to the city's most infamous gangsters. These stories of how the most notorious criminals in America coexisted with the quiet mountain town will excite and inform your group to the max. You will have the chance to head over to an antique casino, hat shop, or gift shop before you leave as well.

Ron Coleman Crystal Mines - Ron Coleman Crystal Mines is a family owned and operated public mine opened in 1963, located in Jessieville, Arkansas. This mine is the largest producer of natural Arkansas quartz in the United States, as well as the premiere destination for hands-on mining and precious gem gifts. This location has a huge mine, gift shop full of decorative quartz and other minerals, a wholesale shop for buying in bulk, an RV resort for overnight stays, and a large and exciting digging area. This mine is so full of the precious quartz that the company guarantees its guest finding a mineral worth the price of admission, or they will have their choice of one for free in the gift shop. It is highly recommended that your group take a guided tour which begins with a short history of the mine and a quick tour of the gallery. You will ride in an army truck down through the mine, view crystal veins and water sources, and end in the processing area in which the crystals are cleaned and sorted. For your convenience there is a shuttle that takes visitors to and from Hot Springs, so let loose and enjoy the thrill of digging up some precious gems!