Last week, my family was invited to Hot Springs, Arkansas for a day trip of sorts! We stayed for 2 Nights; however, we were there for one full day exploring the town! We are so excited to have rediscovered this beautiful town plus it is so close to us that we can go back for many more visits!
The last time I went to Hot Springs was when I was a kid. My dad took us there to go crystal digging. Let me say this…I was not a fan at all! I loved the town, but I hated digging for crystals! It was July and HOT! Plus, I didn’t like getting dirty and that was just dirty. My sister and dad absolutely loved it though and we came home with so many crystals! We had them all in our flower beds and gardens for years! I am sure my dad probably still has some of them.
All that to say, it was time to go back! Only this time, I was taking my own family and enjoying it with my son and daughter.
We started off our day at Garvan Botanical Gardens, the most beautiful gardens I have ever seen! This was by far the highlight of my time there. The gardens were gorgeous! They were nestled among beautiful stone paths and wonderful bridges, waterfalls, and streams.
We took the tour on a golf cart, but the majority of the visitors walk the paths. It is quite a walk too and extremely hilly so if you go be sure to wear good shoes! It will be worth it though. I could of stayed there for days!
We are hoping to go back this Christmas too. During the holidays, the gardens are lit up with lights! They were decorating the trees and installing a HUGE Christmas tree while we were there as they prepare.
I love the activities they have for the kids too. Each child gets an adventure back pack that they can use for their visit complete with binoculars and all the tools you need for a nature hike. Along with that they get a nature bingo sheet and can look for items throughout the gardens to complete their bingo. When you arrive back to the main building, you turn in your bingo and are able to pick out a prize. The bingo game makes it into a fabulous learning experience for the kids.
Did I mention the views? I literally could of just found a spot their and nestled up with a good book and stayed for a week! They told us that they have over 8,000 mums planted there! It was like fall flower heaven!
After the gardens, we headed to the science museum, which was hands on and perfect for kids to explore and learn! My son loved that plus, being able to see the Tesla exhibit!
Next up, The Purple Cow!
We must get one of these in Broken Arrow! It was AMAZING! The food was fabulous and the service was just as great!
We were already stuffed, but then the manager insisted we try the Purple Vanilla Milkshake. Who could resist? I don’t know if it was the fact it was purple that made it the best vanilla milkshake I have ever had or what…but it was so good! I could go for one right now. It was thick and creamy!
My son was so excited to have his own milkshake too. This was his first time to have a real ‘soda fountain’ style milk shake!
Once we rolled our way out of The Purple Cow, we headed to the Alligator Farm! We were later told that this particular farm had been there for over 100 years! It was literally your classic road side attraction from the good ole’ days!
It was very interesting as we were able to go inside and feed several animals, then it was just swarming with alligators! It was a little spooky with all of them just laying around. They actually looked like stones. It was so fun to see though.
We were not able to attend the feeding but we heard that was something to see too!
Our evening ended with a Maxwell Blade Magic Show which my son loved as he is really into magic lately! It was an old theater style show complete with popcorn and pop plus family friendly! My little girl even enjoyed part of the show too!
Finally for dinner, we headed to McClard’s BBQ and had the biggest plate of BBQ I have ever seen!
It has always been very important to my husband and I that each year we do at least one if not more family vacations whether it’s just a few days or weeks! We want to be sure that we take our kids and go somewhere outside of their normal surroundings every now and then just to learn about other parts of the country.
As we headed back home my husband immediately said that he could not wait to come back and what an easy drive it is from home. It took us just about 4 1/2 hours which is perfect when you travel with young kids. Plus, we had TONS of fun! That was all in a day too! We are anxious to come back again and maybe even get a nice getaway for just us soon too!
Have you been to Hot Springs before? If so, what are some of your must see spots while visiting?
Disclosure: This is not a sponsored or paid post; however, the trip was compensated. The post is my own as I am truly excited to share about our little day trip!We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.Disclaimer: This post contains links to products that I recommend. Many of those links may be affiliate links. In using those links, it does support the ongoing post and recipes shared on this website.