Eureka Springs Family Vacations
You have young kids and summer is approaching, which means planning a vacation is on your horizon. Frankly, it can be an overwhelming task. How do you please everyone? How do you keep everyone happy and entertained? Easy, Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
Nestled in the heart of the Ozarks, the drive to reach this town is a vacation all on its own. With hills, curves, twists, rivers and animals along the way, the kids will easily stay distracted.
You know their inquisitive little minds work a million miles a minute and between the natural springs (over a dozen around town), the hidden walkways, and brightly colored houses they will not need much convincing that the town in magical.
Things to Do & Places to Visit:
- Two Dumb Dames this fudge factory was started by a mother and daughter candy-making duo and has been passed down through the generations. They make all their own candies with family recipes in small batches to ensure they serve their customers only the freshest.
- Check out the store East By West on 9 Center Street. They adopt and rescue rabbits and train them to work at the store. After you make a purchase, these bunnies hand out receipts, cards, pens and packages. When they are not working, they are visiting with customers on the floor. Your kids will love them and you will be equally charmed.
- Of course, a vacation calls for at least one proper photoshoot. While Eureka has copious photo-ops, one of the most eye-catching backdrops is the Rainbow Staircase. This staircase connects North Main Street with Center Street. You may have even seen it on Pinterest—it is a popular pin!
- Maybe your kids are getting tired of walking or you would like to see more of the town without weaving through the streets yourself. A Tram Tour or a Trolley ride might be just the thing. With a trolley pass, you have the option of purchasing an all-day pass, which allows you to hop on the various routes that take you not only around town but also along the city limits. The open-air tram tour will give your time to view the historic district of Eureka with tour guides that are either natives or longtime residents (AKA they know everything).
- Just a short drive from Eureka is the Cosmic Cavern. This cave stays 64 degrees year-round and features two bottomless cave lakes. The cave tour lasts about an hour and fifteen minutes and is full of amazing formations— some are even transparent! After the tour let your kids pan for gems or dig for fossils.
- Another attraction a short drive from Eureka is Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. Turpentine rescues animals throughout the U.S. and has a reputation for compassionate care. This facility is one of biggest that is open to the public. The majestic lions, tigers, bears and more will mesmerize your whole family. A little tip, go around feeding time. The animals are guaranteed to be up and moving and sounds they make are impressive.
With all these things to do and places to visit you and your kids will love nothing more than a nice dip in the pool at the end of the day. Check out the Crescent hotel to find great deals. You will not even have to leave for dinner. The Sky Bar Gourmet Pizza sits at the top of the Crescent with a panoramic view of the Ozarks and is open late.
This guide may just be your ticket to planning the best vacation with the least amount of stress.
Bonus: Eureka Springs is dog-friendly! Many stores keep water dishes supplied during the summer months and several hotels welcome your furry friends including both the Crescent and the 1905 Basin Park Hotel.
You look outside your windows and you see gray skies and flurries beginning to fall for the umpteenth time this side of 2017 alone. We look out our windows and we see clear blue skies, beckoning sunshine and record high temperatures.
We think it is time for you to pack up and vacation in a new area of the country, one you may not be familiar with—Northwest Arkansas.
Not only does Northwest Arkansas currently have the bragging rights for beautiful weather, but our bucket list will amaze you! We wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t want to go home after a visit to our neck of the woods.
Even more specifically, you will want to check out Eureka Springs, AR. With a rich American history and stories to keep your head spinning, you will be hard pressed to find another town with as much personality.
Bucket List: Exploring the Ozarks
- Crystal Bridges: Museum of American Art
Have you heard of Wal-Mart? You can thank the founder’s daughter, Alice Walton, for the creation of the most recent major art museum in the United States. Located in Bentonville, AR this museum is nestled in a breathtaking valley complete with several bridge pavilions. Other museums can seem stuffy and overwhelming, but with a mix of intimate and wide, floor-to-ceiling window galleries that make you feel as if you are standing on water, you will be sad when the exit appears. Admission is free and the outdoor gardens and hiking trails will keep you enthralled all afternoon!
The Buffalo National River Region is home to all things outdoors: fishing, hiking, biking, riding, floating, etc. Whether you are looking for a leisurely stroll in which to visually digest a beautiful landscape or you want to work up a sweat exploring the woods and hiking to peaks that overlook waterfall this area has it all. Maybe you have a passion for photography and are eager for new subjects. Bring your camera and check out the elk that feed in the fields along the Buffalo National River between Ponca and Boxley, just after sunrise and then again in the late afternoon.
Branson is known across the Midwest for their shows and quaint historic sets. Spend a day or two wondering through history and enjoying unique talents and shows, and rather than spending your nights in a motel, stay in Eureka Springs’ one-of-a-kind historic landmarks the Crescent or Basin Park hotels. Only an hour away from Branson, you will be able to enjoy the scenic drive in between attractions.
Even Buzzfeed knows Eureka Springs needs to be on your bucket list!
Two words …Chef Owned. One of the best perks of vacation is not cooking, take advantage of that in Eureka Springs; we are home to over 59 restaurants. After a full day of exploring you will be hungry and ready to relax with a glass of wine and a delicious plate of food. So whether you are in the mood for Italian, tacos, a juicy steak or a good ole’ bar, we have a place for you! The dining establishments here are owner operated and it’s not uncommon to see the owner checking in with guests and catching up with the locals. The people here are friendly and enjoy engaging with visitors.
With cold weather in your parts, it’s not likely you’ve been able to get many rounds of golf in lately. If you are looking for a challenging 18-holes or want a fun filled 9-holes to ease back in, come check out the local club at Holiday Island Country Club or nearby Branson Hills Golf Club, Pointe Royale Golf Course, Thousand Hills Golf and more.
Now that you’ve read our bucket list, consider this your personal invitation to join us for a relaxing vacation in the land where spring has already sprung.
Check out value dates available in April.
Eureka Springs is a favorite place for family vacations where the amount of fun is only limited by your imagination. Lively, playful, and intriguing activities and attractions are waiting for you and your family this spring so march on over and join the fun!
Here are a few family friendly activities:
Walk on the wild side – Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is home to lions, tigers, bears and more.
Photograph a ghost – visit America’s Most Haunted Hotel and take photographs of the most haunted areas then look for orbs.
Zip through the trees – Eureka Springs Ziplines…well, its more fun than we can put into words.
Discover the “wild west” of Eureka – take the Hell Raisers, Hoodlums & Heated history tour to learn about bank robberies, the Doolin-Dalton gang and more.
Meet an Illusionist & a Medium- Intrigue Theater is one of the best shows you will see. This nationally acclaimed duo with intrigue the whole family.
Fun for the girls – Mom, take your girls to the spa. Catch up while you get your nails done. If it’s the first time for her, let the spa know so they can make it extra special. Look for spa specials and save a little money too.
No one does fun like Eureka Springs! Discover the Top 5 Extraordinary Things To Do for family fun:
Basin Spring Park is located in the heart of the Eureka Springs Historic District and is the perfect place to hang out while you are deciding what to do next. Here you are close to great food like The Balcony Restaurant and some really neat Eureka Springs attractions like Downtown-N-Underground and the Hell Raisers Hoodlums & Heated History Tours. Live music plays in the bandshell and local street acts can be found performing in the park and up and down Spring Street. There is no better place than this to watch one of Eureka Springs’ famous parades.
Kids of all ages are amazed by illusions and will be completely mesmerized by Intrigue Theater. The young Sean Paul can be compared to a modern day Houdini and he is making a name for himself as a world class illusionist. After seeing the show, head over to the magic shop next door to the Basin Park Hotel and let the young ones try their hand at some classic slight of hand tricks and illusions.
Tour America’s Most Haunted Hotel. The Crescent Hotel has been featured on popular shows like Ghost Hunter’s and Bio Channel’s My Ghost Story. Crescent Hotel Ghost Tours provide exclusive access to some of the most famous ghost sighting locations and allow you to take photos to try and capture a mysterious image of your own.
#4 Learn a Great Lesson
Eureka Springs is truly unique and stages the “Largest Attended Outdoor Drama in America”. Home to the Great Passion Play and the monumental Christ of the Ozarks, Eureka Springs is one of the most inspiring places for Christian families. The Great Passion Play takes visitors back to the 1st century to be inspired by the story of Jesus. The grounds also house a replica of Moses’ Tabernacle and provide an opportunity for visitors to meet Biblical characters who bring the scriptures to life.
The Ozark Mountains are a perfect setting for an extreme canopy tour. Exhilarating Ozark Mountain Ziplines offer 120-1800 ft long trips across scenic canyons and suspend you up to 200 ft above the ground.
Find great vacation deals on Last Minute Lodging Specials and Attraction Tickets on ReserveEureka.com!
Investigated by the Sci-Fi Channel’s Ghost Hunters, the Crescent Hotel is known as America’s Most Haunted Hotel. It has been featured on NBC’s Today Show, A&E’s Haunted Road Trips, USA Today and most recently the Bio Network’s My Ghost Story. The hotel continues to gain popularity as the legend continues.
Tours run 7 nights a week. Tickets are $19.50 per person. Children under the age of twelve are $7.00.
Tour size is limited therefore it is strongly recommended to purchase your tickets in advance to ensure a tour. Tour times are at 8pm with additional time slots made available as needed.
Visitors and guests alike flock to America’s Most Haunted Hotel to explore and take the nightly ghost tour. Staffed by members of ESP (Eureka Springs Paranormals) the tour opens behind the scenes “active areas” culminating with a thrilling visit to the Baker Hospital morgue and autopsy table.
Eureka Springs attractions make Eureka Springs a choice vacation destination. Here are some of the most popular attractions:
- Ghost Tours
- The Great Passion Play
- Ozark Mountain Ziplines at Eureka Springs
- Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge
- Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railroad
- Downtown – N – Underground
- Intrigue Theater
- Pine Mountain Theater
- Hellraisers, Hoodlums & Heated History Tour – New!
See a full list of Eureka Springs attractions. If you are planning on visiting several attractions, consider purchasing attraction ticket bundles online to save money. Many Eureka Springs lodging properties offer vacation packages that include attraction tickets.
Find more great ideas for things to do in Eureka Springs.
Stand up paddle-boarding or SUP is one of the fastest growing water sports. Now in Eureka Springs, SUP Outfitters is the Stand-up Paddle-boarding resource for Northwest Arkansas. A great activity for kids and the whole family. SUP is a great workout for the whole body but suitable for most people. Never been paddle-boarding? Don’t worry. SUP Outfitters offers lessons to get you started.
If you have experience, SUP Outfitters rents board and is a licensed dealer for the best brands in paddleboards. Explore Beaver Lake on a paddleboard with Melodye…your experienced guide. You’ll enjoy amazing views from the board and feel good about this eco-friendly sport.
Find SUP Outfitters at Starkey Marina at Beaver Lake!
Reserve your paddleboard or tour now online!
So you are taking the family to Eureka Springs. There are lots of family friendly activities to keep you busy.
- Go on a ghost tour. Kids get a thrill from exploring the places they have seen on the televised ghost hunting shows like Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures. Reservations for ghost tours in America’s Most Haunted Hotel are highly recommended. Be sure to reserve your ghost tour tickets and attraction tickets online in advance.
- Meet lions, tigers and bears…oh my. Kids love to visit Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge to see rescued big cats and bears. Dinner for the animals is around 5. It is a great time to visit. Reserve Turpentine Creek tickets online now.
- Find adventure Downtown Underground. Discover the “wild” side of Eureka and explore underground passages no longer accessible to the public with Downtown-N-Underground tours. Buy your Downtown-N-Underground tickets online.
- Experience Extreme FUN. Thrills and adventure await you on the Ozark Mountain Ziplines at Eureka Springs. Zip down one of 10 lines ranging from 120-1800 feet in length. Explore Beaver Lake with SUP Outfitters, stand up paddle-boarding for the whole family.
- Ride the train. They love the sound of the whistle blowing and the clickity-clack of the track.Kids see the train switch tracks and get to talk to a real train conductor. Ride on the ES & NA Railway.
- Take a scenic drive. Visit all 10 sites on the Arkansas Art Trail. Motorcycles from
all over the country come to ride the winding, scenic roads of the Ozarks.
- Tour the natural springs. Visit dozens of natural springs, many surrounded by beautiful little pocket parks. Many enjoy taking photos of the springs with the change of each season. The springs are open year round.
- Enjoy a movie under a blanket of stars. During the warmer months, free movies play in the open air of Basin Spring Park in downtown Eureka Springs. Plan your vacation around Eureka Springs events.
- Explore the outdoors. Eureka Springs has miles of woodland trails right in town. Hike, float, ride or bike.
- Take an architectural tour. From Thorncrown Chapel to the famous Crescent Hotel, Eureka Springs is full of amazing architecture. Take a self-guided walking tour of downtown Eureka Springs.
Discover Eureka Springs vacation packages and last minute hot deals for Eureka Springs lodging.