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Top 5 Most Helpful Resources For New Parents In Central Arkansas

Ok, there are so many more than 5 great resources for parents in Central Arkansas - after all, we are a pretty child friendly place! But when I happen upon a mom that has recently PCS'd here (permanent change of station for non military readers) or has just found herself the proud new keeper of a newborn in addition to the toddler who now needs SOMETHING TO are my go-to recommendations!

Little Rock Family Magazine: You can pick up a copy of this free resource and information packed magazine just about anywhere around town (or find them online). Little Rock Family (via fb) is my go-to for the last minute "what do we want to do with the kids this weekend" question as well as being a great source of info about local businesses and causes. So you literally have nothing to lose - pick up a copy/follow them today. They are super awesome (and not just because some of my work found it's way into one of their cover stories).

Child walking next to the Little Rock Children's Library
Chilling on the grounds at the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children's Library & Learning Center

○ Our Local Libraries: The Central Arkansas Library System is huge and diverse, spanning multiple towns. They offer so many wonderful community resources it would be hard to list them all here but think a library JUST for children, story-time from birth to school-ages, crafting, children's cooking classes with ingredients straight from the library community garden, holiday events, equipment and toy rentals, audiobooks for road-trips - honestly it just goes on and on. Do yourself a favor and see what they have to offer.

Museum of Discovery: I can't say enough about how much we love our local children's museum. They host weekly science story-time complete with experiments that NEVER get food dye or play-dough on your own kitchen floor, yearly themed festivals, and Science After Dark - the once a month grownup date night complete with grownup drinks and SUPER fun themes. We all know how much it can save our sanity to just have a night out every now and then, right?

○ Our local parks/playgrounds! Central Arkansas has some great outdoor spaces to take advantage of. I frequent my own neighborhood park regularly but also enjoy Allsopp Park when I'm near Hillcrest and War Memorial or Riverfront Park when my kiddos need a splash pad. Burns Park in North Little Rock is huge and pretty awesome with a tank and rail car on display: not to mention the inclusive and accessible One Heart Playground. Check out more popular area parks here or at Little Rock Parks and Recreation.

○ Getting hooked into a community/finding your village: Whether this is a strong neighborhood group, a church, MOPS, your school's PTA, a private FB group for local parents, an in person support group, or your big wild family with 8 sisters, 5 brothers and 35 nieces/nephews - being part of a socially connected community means you are "more likely to thrive" "Research suggests that individuals who feel a sense of security, belonging, and trust in their community have better health." And don't we all want some of that thriving and better health?

Seriously, there are a lot of great resources and tons of fun things to do here in the Central Arkansas area that I didn't mention. These 5 will get you started though if you are new or newly looking for things to do with/for little ones in our best kept secret big-small town of Little Rock <3


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