When planning your visit to Hot Springs, keep in mind - there's always something exciting happening, year round! From comic-conventions with out of this world entertainment, to mountain bike festivals, to thouroughbred horse races and of course, the World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade. We've compiled a list of the top 20 upcoming events to help you choose the best time to travel to Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas. Read on below to check out the top 20 upcoming events in Hot Springs!
Arkansas Shorts is an annual event showcasing short films in 3 categories: Those made by Arkansas Natives and current residents of Arkansas; by North American Filmmakers; and by International filmmakers. Additionally, Arkansas Shorts is a showcase for the work produced in Low Key Arts' filmmaking workshop, Inception to Projection. It is held at the Historic Malco Theatre, with films shown throughout the weekend as well as panels, workshops, and Q&A's. For more information, click here.
The Rebel Stakes is a Grade II American Thoroughbred horse race for three-year-old horses at a distance of one and one-sixteenth miles on the dirt run annually at Oaklawn Park Race Track in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The event currently offers a purse of $1,000,000. Enjoy a day at the races for the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn on Saturday, February 24! For more information, click here.
Garvan Woodland Gardens offers a spectacular sight of over 150,000 breathtaking tulips from the end of February to the end of March, depending on the weather for the peak bloom time. For more information, click here.
The World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade brings incredibly quirky, green, festive fun to Hot Springs, Arkansas every year. In its 21st year, tradition will remain in 40 floats — along with dancers, marchers, and leprechauns of course — parading down the 98-foot-long Bridge Street in historic downtown Hot Springs. This 21st year will also bring celebrity guests and musical guests you won't want to miss! There will be a lot packed into this short parade, so put this free event on your “can’t-miss” list in 2024. For more information, click here.
Horse racing at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort is cherished and traditional, and there’s almost nothing better than dressing to the nines on a fine spring morning and heading to the track for the annual Arkansas Derby. Bet on a few Kentucky Derby hopefuls in this million-dollar stakes race, but also enjoy some of your day from the infield where you will find live music, foods and beverages of the variety (including Oaklawn’s famous corned beef sandwiches), and a good ole’ time. For more information, click here.
Combining the cosmic wonder of the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse and the 20th annual Valley of the Vapors Independent Music Festival! Located at Cedar Glades Park, ECLIPTIC will offer the best opportunity to view the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse in a natural setting. ECLIPTIC will feature art installations, speakers, deejays, films, and more! Of course, it’s also the 20th anniversary of the Valley of the Vapors Independent Music Festival - so you’re guaranteed an exciting variety of noteworthy international bands and artists. For more information, click here.
On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will occur in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas. Hot Springs National Park will be one of only two U.S. national parks located in the path of totality for the eclipse. With miles of hiking and biking trails, a wide variety of restaurants, and endless exciting attractions, Hot Springs National Park will be a premier destination for the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, and for the whole family, too! For a full list of events celebrating the total eclipse, click here.
Arts & the Park is a 10-day arts festival hosted annually that includes live performances, workshops, artist talks & demonstrations, poetry, children’s activities, chalk walk, book signings, theatrical performances, culinary events, architectural tours, plein air painting, hiking and art exhibitions. Some of the past festival activities includes: Art Moves, Art Springs, A Sidewalk Chalk Event, A Children’s Book Giveaway, a Songwriting Competition, a Photography Exhibit, and Studio Tours. For more information click here.
The $100,000 Hot Springs Fishing Challenge returns, May 1 - July 31! Fish will be tagged and released on Lake Hamilton and Lake Catherine including the infamous Big Al. The Challenge provides anglers the opportunity to catch tagged fish that can be redeemed for cash prizes.
The annual free public fireworks display will be shot from the middle of Lake Hamilton from barges located on the east side of Highway 7 at the first Highway 7 bridge opposite the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel while being synced to the music on radio station 97.5 FM US97. Enjoy the shimmering sky from land or from the water!
In case of rain, the fireworks will be rescheduled for the following evenings.
To celebrate Hot Springs’ classic motto “We Bathe the World,” teams from all over get their best bathtubs all dolled up to bring to Hot Springs. Four bath attendants must push their bathtubs down Historic Bathhouse Row, while the team captain sits in the bathtub and steers. Throughout the course, teams will face various obstacles along the way, while dressed in elaborate costumes in hopes to become The World Champion Tub Runners - a sought out title, obviously. For more information, click here.
Bring your dancing shoes down for this FREE, family-friendly, block-party style music series! Free live music, vendors, games, food, and drinks! Bridge St. LIVE! every Thursday in June! This FREE themed block-party-style event in Hot Springs, Arkansas will be scheduled for every Thursday in June on Bridge Street, the location of the World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Live music, food, vendors, and a whole lot of fun. The Entertainment District opens at 5 p.m. and music starts at 7 p.m. For more information, click here.
Celebrate Hot Springs’ legendary baseball history with us at theFREE Seventh Annual Hot Springs Baseball Weekend August 23 & 24 at the Hot Springs Convention Center. A baseball card show will be held as well as panels held by baseball legends. For more information, click here.
Calling all comic book lovers, gamers, cosplayers, superfans, artists, otakus, collectors, and simply just the curious: check out this one-of-a-kind comic-con. Spa-Con — a comic-con & pop culture convention that appeals to the masses — is held each September at the Hot Springs Convention Center. Look for celebrity guest appearances and don't miss Saturday night's Cosplay Club Contest and dance party. For more information, click here.
Hot Springs' newest music festival, Big Steam Blues & Roots Music Festival, will return to Hill Wheatley Plaza in beautiful, historic downtown Hot Springs. Featuring top performers from across the nation as well as highlighting some up-and-coming regional musicians, Big Steam is sure to become an annual tradition for blues, R&B, and other traditional American music fans. For more information, click here.
Each year, with the help of a small staff and over 100 dedicated volunteers, Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival attracts thousands of visitors to the 9-day multicultural and intergenerational event. Now in its third decade as the oldest all-documentary festival in North America and one of the longest-running non-fiction festivals in the world, the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival remains a prominent champion and protector of the documentary film genre. For more information, click here.
This wicked 3-day Mountain Bike Festival is held each November, at the Northwoods Trails in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Güdrun MTB Festival incorporates activities, such as the Gudrun Slow Roll, Mini-Enduro AND Enduro, Jump Jam, Time Trial, Dual Slalom, AND the annual Attila the Hun Mountain Bike XC Race! For more information, click here.
Calling all runners! Experience the fall foliage in Hot Springs National Park with a one-of-a-kind race - the Spa Running Festival! No matter what skill level you're at in your running journey, the Spa Running Festival has a race for you, with the 5k, 10k, or the Summit2Summit Half Marathon. Runners up for a challenge can take on the Half Marathon, conquering not one, but TWO mountains in Hot Springs National Park. For more information, click here.
Celebrate the beauty of the season at Garvan Woodland Gardens holiday lights display! 210 acres of botanical gardens turned into a winter wonderland each holiday season. During your visit, stop by the Sugg Model Train, the ethereal Anthony Chapel, and of course the 4-story treehouse. For more information visit garvangardens.org.
It's the most wonderful time of the year! The Hot Springs Christmas Parade is packed with holly jolly delight, showcasing marching bands, local businesses, and of course Mr. and Mrs. Clause. Bundle up and take a stroll through the lights after the parade, as downtown Hot Springs twinkles with holiday spirit. For more information, click here.