Spring Break on a Budget

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Spring break is approaching quickly, and many parents are scrambling for ideas on short, local day trips.

Our state is unique in it’s offerings of family friendly fun adventures. For example, the Ozark Mountain country of Northern Arkansas has beautiful vistas, lakes and natural springs that make it a great place for family vacation or staycation.

In Hot Springs, visitors can tour historical spas on bathhouse row, enjoy quaint shopping and take a dip in the waters that made Hot Springs America’s original spa town. The history of this town goes back to the 1830s, when people came from across the country to bathe in what they believed to be healing waters. Now, it is an urban national park. Also located in Hot Springs, an educations museum the whole family is sure to enjoy. –Mid America Museum.

Another destination idea is Eureka Springs. This is a fun town filled with shops, spas and plenty of whimsical places to stay, eat and play. For great family vacation or staycation, try renting a local cabin. Nearby, you can tour caves, go horseback riding and even try out your driving skills at a 4×4 adventure park.Wheelin’ World

While in Eureka Springs, don’t forget to check out The Great Passion Play. This outside event is America’s number one attended outdoor drama. The play has featured the story of the last days of Jesus continually since 1968. The large grounds where the play is performed is also home to several other Biblical-themed attractions including a huge statue of Jesus, replicas of Holy-Land sites and Sacred Arts Museum. –The Great Passion Play

For the family who enjoys outdoor adventures, consider caving. There are many more controlled experiences in Arkansas for a great family staycation or vacation experience. Try the Blanchard Springs Cavern, which is operated by the U.S. Forest Service. The lighted rooms and paved pathways make for a family friendly cave experience. Cosmic Caverns gives visitors a glimpse of a large underground lake. War Eagle Caverns offers visitors the opportunity to pan for gemstones.

If exploring caves is not your thing, why not try your hand at digging for diamonds? Crater of Diamonds State Park actually allows visitors to mine for diamonds, and many people find them. This spot is the only diamond mining spot in the world where you are allowed to keep what you find. The park also has campgrounds and a water park which make it a great option for family vacation travel.

For those history buffs in the family, give the William J. Clinton Library and Museum a try. Your kids will get the chance to see what it feels like to sit in the Oval Office at the William J. Clinton Library and Museum in Little Rock. The museum at this site takes visitors through the events of President Clintons two terms in office. For a fun family experience, try the third floor exhibits that show what family life was like in the White House for the Clintons. The complex includes a large park.

And lastly, those history buffs can follow the Civil War History of Arkansas. The trail and a series of podcasts describing the war in this border state are available at the states travel and tourism website.

Whatever it is you and your family decide to do throughout the week long break, just remember that being together and making those memories is what it’s all about!

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