By Jerusalem Jackson Greer
Summer in Arkansas can be, shall we say, hot. Really hot. Hot and humid and bright. And sometimes, you just need to find a way to stay cool. Here are my favorite ways to beat the heat when visiting Hot Springs in the summer months:
Wet and Wild
Crystal Falls Water Park at Magic Springs - The Crystal Falls Water Park at Magic Springs is a great place to cool down for all ages. There are rides and attractions for all ages, plenty of shady spots where the adults can relax while the kids swim, with a snack bar, lockers and bathrooms centrally located. Not sure? Check out this post on how Magic Springs made a theme park lover out of me.
Belle of Hot Springs Riverboat Lake Hamilton Cruise – Sometimes the best way to cool-off is not just by getting in the water, but getting out on the water. The Belle of Hot Springs is a great way to tour Lake Hamilton in a cool setting, taking in the beautiful view and cool lake breezes, while enjoying a meal with your favorite people.
Lake Catherine Water Rentals – Want to do more than just cruise on the lake? Lake Catherine State Park offers a wide variety of water-sport rentals. From kayaks to party barges to fishing boats, this state park right outside of Hot Springs has affordable rates and family friendly options. They even offer guided tours and lessons.
The Gangster Museum of America – The Gangster Museum is on our family’s to-visit list this year. My teen and pre-teen boys love the audio-visual tour combination, the antique casino, and the wild history of some of America’s most notorious gangsters that took place right in the heart of Hot Springs.
Mid-America Museum – I have been visiting this museum since I was a kid, now I bring my kids here, and hopefully someday I will bring my grandkids here as well. Filled with great interactive science exhibits, Mid-America is the perfect place to let the kids stretch their legs and their minds while taking advantage of the indoor air conditioning.
Escape Hot Springs – The latest in popular entertainment Escape Hot Springs is a fun activity when you have energy to spare, but just can’t take the heat any longer. Using a combination immersive theatre and brain games, participant’s 10 and older are encouraged to use outside-the-box thinking as they to “escape" before the one-hour time limit is up.
Superior Bathhouse Craft Beer Tasting Room – Get out of the heat and stop in this historic bathhouse on for a cold brew and a refreshing lunch. Located on Bathhouse Row in Hot Springs, Superior offers locally brewed craft beer, giant homemade pretzels, quinoa citrus salad, Panini bar, gelato and more.
Frosty Treat Drive In – This old fashioned drive-in is a non-profit that serves more than just amazing soft-serve ice cream cones and milkshakes. Frosty Treat’s also supports the local women’s shelter in Hot Springs. A long standing tradition, this treat stop will do more than just cool you down, your patronage will help save lives.
Mountain Valley Spring Water Visitor Center – This three story museum and store is on the National Register of Historic Places as part of Hot Springs’s Central Avenue Historic District. Come have a refreshing bottle of cold spring water, while touring the vintage bottle collection, Japanese ball room or relaxing at vintage soda-shop style table on the main floor.
These are just a few of the great ways that you can stay cool when visiting Hot Springs in the summertime. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
Jerusalem Greer, Longtime Hot Springs Lover