The Top 5 Amusement Parks in Arkansas

Published on January 24th, 2022

The land of glorious hot springs, friendly faces and dense, lush southern forests, Arkansas is truly a premier destination — and something of a hidden gem, as well. As if you needed another reason to visit, it’s also home to some excellent and highly underrated amusement parks, including high-flying roller coasters, splish-splashy water parks, and more. Here are the best five in the state:

1. Magic Springs Theme and Water Park – Hot Springs

2. Holiday Springs Water Park – Texarkana

3. Burns Park Funland – North Little Rock

4. Park at West End – Fort Smith

5. Parrot Island Waterpark – Fort Smith

Arkansas Amusement Parks

Ready to get wet and wild or fly high in the sky? Here’s how to access all the cool to-dos at Arkansas’s top amusement parks.

1. Magic Springs Theme and Water Park – Hot Springs

Magic Springs, Hot Springs Arkansas
Image via hotsprings.org

The only combination amusement park of its kind in all of Arkansas, Magic Springs Theme and Water Park is tucked into the already-happening destination town of Hot Springs, which, of course, is immediately adjacent to Hot Springs National Park. Also known locally as, simply, Magic Springs, this theme park offers some 38 attractions including five roller coasters and almost a dozen water rides, and has been in operation for more than four decades.

Whether you’re zooming down the High Sierra Slide Tower, watching the kids expel their energy at the Grizzly Creek Family Splash Zone, soaring up and over the surrounding landscape on The Gauntlet or taking a family-friendly plunge on the Log Flume, there’s no shortage of things to do for adventurers of all ages — and thanks to the company’s hotel and ticket packages, you can save a bundle by bundling your family vacation expenses. Birthday celebrations and other group ticket rates are available, too!

RV Camping Near Magic Springs Theme and Water Park

Given how sought-after a destination it is, it’s no surprise that Hot Springs is surrounded by excellent RV parks and campground options! Here are just a few to check out while you plan your trip:

  • Lake Hamilton RV Resort offers an incredibly convenient location that’s both within easy reach of all things Hot Springs and tucked on its very own scenic lakeshore, making for the perfect combination of on-site fun and off-site amenities. Monthly rates are also available for those hitting the road for longer periods of time (or full-timers).
  • Young’s Lakeshore RV Resort is another lakeside gem that’s also close to all the downtown to-dos, offering 50-amp service and month-long stays as well. Free wifi and boat ramp access is provided, and laundry facilities and a bath house are available on-site.
  • Finally, for those looking to get away from it all a bit, we recommend Piney Acres — which is just far enough outside of town to provide some rest and relaxation while still making it easy to get in on the fun. Long-term RV storage is also available here!

Psst: Looking for the perfect home away from home? Check out these Hot Springs area RVshare rentals!

Planning Your Trip to Magic Springs Theme and Water Park

As mentioned above, if you’re looking for hotel accommodations, bundling packages make it possible to save a good amount of money on your trip. Otherwise, check out the ticket section of the park’s webpage for the latest details on prices and availability — as well as any discounts that may be available for seasonal pass-holders or those traveling in large groups.

2. Holiday Springs Water Park – Texarkana

Holiday Springs Water Park
Image via the Holiday Springs Water Park Facebook Page

From zippy water slides to a languid lazy river, Holiday Springs Water Park is the premier water park attraction in Arkansas — and an excellent place to beat the high summer heat. Tall, colorful water slides curve down into shimmering cerulean pools, and kid-friendly shallows make it possible for parents to kick back and let their kids get the wiggles out without worry. Rent a private cabana and call it a day (or a weekend) — and it’s all conveniently located in Texarkana, convenient to both Arkansas and Texas residents (as well as visitors from Louisiana and much further afield!).

RV Camping Near Holiday Springs Water Park

With its centralized location, Texarkana has plenty of excellent RV campground options to choose from — the ten best of which we’ve gathered here. Plus, below, find a few options to get your brainstorming gears in motion if you’re planning a trip sometime soon:

  • A Good Sam park, Sunrise RV Park offers all the comforts of home including hot showers, laundry facilities, free wifi and a picnic table at each site, not to mention 30/50 amp service. Located just a little ways northeast of town, it’s a great combination of convenient location and away-from-it-all serenity.
  • It’s a standby for a reason! The Texarkana KOA Journey offers all the basic amenities you’ve come to expect from this chain as well as some fun family extras, such as a dog park and a pool. Come on over and cook up some s’mores with the fam!
  • For a unique area stay, check out the Four States Fairgrounds RV Park, which is open year-round and often puts you right at the heart of whatever event is taking place at the fairgrounds during your visit. Better yet, the park’s rates are super reasonable at about $12-$20 per night — and yes, that includes full hookups!

As always, don’t forget to check out these Texarkana-area RVshare rentals, too!

Planning Your Trip to Holiday Springs Water Park

Like many other water parks, Holiday Springs Water Park is open only seasonally, so do make sure to check the dates before you confirm your trip. The hottest months of the summer are sure to be the most crowded, so if you’re looking for a slightly more relaxed experience, perhaps consider the earlier or later part of the season when things may be just a little cooler. Additionally, be sure to check the website to see how you might save on the price of entry by buying season passes ahead of time!

3. Burns Park Funland – North Little Rock

Burns Park Funland arkansas
Image via nlrpr.org

Offering all the proximity you could ask for to Arkansas’ capital city of Little Rock, North Little Rock has plenty of attractions all its own — not the least of which is Burns Park Funland, also known as Funland Amusement Park. Seasonally open from approximately mid-April through the end of October, this amusement park is small but mighty, offering a beautiful, classic carousel; miniature, kid-friendly Ferris wheel; bungee jumping opportunities; a mini roller coaster; bouncy slides and so much more. Better yet, almost all of the attractions at this park are gentle enough for younger children, making it a stand-out for families traveling with little ones.

Funland Amusement Park is open over the weekends as well as by appointment on Fridays for groups (such as field trips and daycare cohorts). Prices vary depending on how much you want to experience and how you make your purchase; get a single ticket ride for just $2 or a day pass to all the rides for $12, or graduate up to the $40 season pass if you plan on visiting frequently. Pavillion rentals are also available to make your private event fun and comfortable, no matter how long it lasts.

RV Camping Near Burns Park Funland

As the capital of the state, Little Rock is brimming with RV camping opportunities — a few of the best of which are below.

  • For a truly unique, in-the-center-of-it-all experience, Downtown Riverside RV Park can’t be beat. You’ll be right in the heart of town, with many sites offering waterfront views to boot — and rates are shockingly affordable starting at $25 for back-in sites.
  • For campers looking for the opposite experience — something a little bit off the beaten path — we’d like to recommend Maumelle Park, which offers a very different experience of that self-same riverfront. A public campground, you’ll find here affordable rates and a comfortable, down-home atmosphere. Showers and 50 amp service are also available for those of you looking to travel in the lap of luxury!
  • Finally, the Little Rock North / Jct. I-40 KOA is always a worthwhile alternative to consider, stocked with all the basics you need as well as a few extras like an on-site hot tub, bicycle rentals, snack bar, and more. Plus, generously sized sites allow for rigs up to 95 feet in total length!

As always, here are the best local RVshare rentals to consider in the area.

Planning Your Trip to Burns Park Funland

As mentioned above, do keep in mind that this park is open only seasonally, and then, only on the weekends. If you’re traveling with a big enough group, we highly recommend making a reservation for a Friday visit so you and your crew have the whole park to yourself!

Additionally, don’t miss out on other Little Rock area attractions while you’re here — we’ve penned a guide to all the great restaurants, museums, cultural attractions, state parks and more that await visitors.

4. Park at West End – Fort Smith

The Park at West End Fort Smith
Image via fortsmith.org

As its name suggests, the Park at West End is located on the west end of Fort Smith, close to where the river carves the border between Arkansas and Oklahoma. Small but mighty, the Park at West End features classically designed rides and an old-school feel, with a Ferris Wheel towering over a beautiful walkway populated with a vintage carousel, restored railcar diner, double-decker bus concession stand, splash pad and more.

Our favorite feature of this one-of-a-kind amusement park? Admission is totally free — though Ferris wheel rides will set you back a single dollar per person. The park is open seasonally with specific hours changing depending on when, exactly, you visit; full details are available at the website, but generally speaking, you’re looking at April through October, with the most expansive hours available from May to August.

RV Camping Near the Park at West End

An important historic destination with so many fun attractions to offer, Fort Smith is stacked with excellent RV campground options. Here are just a few of our favorites:

  • Park Ridge RV Campground is tucked just a few miles northeast of town proper, and offers an excellent combination of easy drivability to town and private, tree-lined spaces. A Good Sam park, you can rely on the well-curated and -maintained amenities at this resort-style campground.
  • Cloud Nine RV Park is a bit further off, closer to Hot Springs than Fort Smith proper, but for that reason is a favorite for folks attempting to see and do it all in this part of the state. Characterized by the beautiful surroundings that are so typical of the Ouachita National Forest, this park will truly have you feeling like you went to paradise.

And you guessed it — yes, we’ve got the very best rental RVs in the area on our vast peer-to-peer market!

Planning Your Trip to the Park at West End

As mentioned above, do keep in mind that the Park at West End is only open from the late spring to early fall — and that the individual hours shift on a daily basis, too. Always check in on the website to ensure you’re planning your trip for a time when the Park will be open, as well as to keep apprised of any changes in their (ridiculously generous) pricing scheme!

5. Parrot Island Waterpark – Fort Smith

Parrot Island Waterpark - Fort Smith

Another excellent Fort Smith adventure, Parrot Island Waterpark features a vast wave pool that will make you feel like you’ve traveled to an exotic destination, as well as a variety of water slides and other attractions built for family members of all ages. All told, the park includes more than 400,000 gallons of water, which is to say, there’s certainly no shortage of fun ways to get wet and wild and beat the summer heat at this park!

Along with the attractions above, as well as a lazy river, activity pool, and children’s aquatic play area, this park offers plenty of fun on dry land, too, with manicured green spaces making for perfect spots to kick back and relax in the sun as well as cabana rentals, party pavilions, plenty of on-site food and beverage options, and the unmissable Tiki Hut Gift Shop. Best of all: lounge chairs and inner tubes are always complementary!

RV Camping Near Parrot Island Waterpark

Once again, when planning an RV trip to Fort Smith, we recommend checking out our list of the top 10 RV parks available in the area. To get a bit more specific, though, we recommend starting with these Fort Smith campgrounds:

  • Overland RV Park is technically located just outside of town in the smaller Arkansas community of Buren. We love this option for its combination of ease-of-access and away-from-it-all serenity, as well as the friendly, down-home atmosphere cultivated by its dedicated staff.
  • The Fort Smith-Alma RV Park offers a centrally located refuge for campers of all stripes, offering cabin rentals as well for those who are traveling with or alongside folks who don’t have or wish to rent an RV. The surroundings are lush and green, and the rates are fairly affordable considering how generous the amenities and campsites are. Plus, you’ll enjoy the quiet countryside atmosphere surrounding the park — and get a great night’s sleep!

And yes, as always — here are the best RVshare rental vehicles available in the Fort Smith area, so you can travel in your very own getaway bungalow on wheels!

Planning Your Trip to Parrot Island Waterpark

Like many other water parks, Parrot Island Waterpark is open only seasonally, so do check the website ahead of time and mark your calendar accordingly. Birthday parties and other large groups can be accommodated, but do be sure to check in ahead of time and ensure availability.

Parrot Island Waterpark offers both day tickets and season passes, so you can customize your price of entry based on how much time you plan on spending in the park. Additionally, be sure to check in to the many fun, special events the park hosts, ranging from teen nights so older kids can get away from it all to twilight swims open to the whole family. Discount days are also available for First Responders, Military Members and other demographics — thank you for your service!

Even More Arkansas Amusement Parks

While the parks above are undeniably the best in the state, they’re far from all that Arkansas has to offer! Here are a few honorable mentions to add to your travel itinerary as well:

  • Duncan Wall Water Park in Manila offers a fun and unique water-park-like experience to local community members looking to go for a summer swim.
  • White Hall’s Crenshaw Springs Water Park is a fully operational amusement park experience in a small-town context: private, rentable cabanas make it possible to kick back and enjoy the sun, with a variety of water attractions including a lazy river, many different water slides both enclosed and open, and, our favorite, a unique rock wall situated over a pool to make falls A-OK.
  • Finally, the Paragould Community Center and Water Park in Paragould offers not only an expansive pool with water slides, a splash fountain, Olympic swimming lanes and more, but also an excellent indoor sports center with basketball courts, racquetball courts, a walking track, aerobics rooms, and so much more.

Looking for even more to do in Arkansas? Check out these must-sees:

Whether you’re zooming over the landscape on a roller coaster or beating the heat in one of its many wonderful water parks — or something else entirely — enjoy your trip to the great state of Arkansas!

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