74.8 F
Fort Smith
Monday, April 15, 2024

Free Family Fun


Anything that is family friendly piques my interest. It really gets me interested if the family friendly place or event is free! I have known the Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center existed for a long time. However, I had never been aside from a trip in school many, many moons ago.

We needed to get out of the house since the baby was yelling at bubba constantly, and the bubba was yelling at, well, everyone. The Nature Center’s current hours are 10:00-4:00 Wednesday through Saturday. We went about 2:00 on Friday and were met with little traffic through the building.

Jensen was so excited about the live animals, and the salamander seemed excited about him too. We learned about how plateaus are made (a little advanced for a 3 year old and I’m certain he thought I was nuts), used the snakes in the building as a reference point for bad snakes, and got to see wild animals up close!

Can you spot the salamander?

We were free to walk around, and since there wasn’t anyone in the building with us we looped through several times. A quick trip outside, and we found several families enjoying the sunshine and lake. The deck along the back of the building was empty and we enjoyed walking around looking at the birds and people below.

A great display exhibiting owls native to Arkansas.

If you are looking for something to occupy some time and make some memories we recommend the Nature Center! The center sits on 120 acres complete with a lake and many hiking trails varying in lengths. While we didn’t get to those on our first visit we have intentions to go back and check out all there is to experience!

Things to note- social distancing is recommended, and masks are required indoors on all people over the age of TWO. Bring your fishing poles, or borrow one inside! Also inside you may purchase a fishing license. The 12 acre lake is home to largemouth bass, channel catfish, redear sunfish, bluegill, and rainbow trout.

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Madison VanRavensway
Madison VanRavensway
Don't let her quiet nature fool you. Madison is a force to be reckoned with in the outdoors, or creating amazing recipes from scratch.
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