Willow Springs Water Park holds the distinction of being the oldest water park in Little Rock, Arkansas. Today, Willow Springs Water Park features several picnic pavilions, an expanded kiddie pool area, a 400 foot water slide and a stage pavilion for live entertainment. In addition, the current owners, David and Lou Ann Ratliff have added a playground and party deck for children, and a launch pod and water trampolines. There are numerous areas for recreation, a comfortable restaurant and picnic pavilions for families and for event rentals.
The park originally opened in 1928, primarily to serve servicemen stationed at nearby Camp Robinson. Over the years, the park has gone through several hands, and undergone numerous improvements. Until 1960, the park consisted of a swimming pool and a skating rink. In 1960, the park changed hands and the new owner installed the first ride, a Toboggan Ride. In 1982, the park added the first water slide, and over the course of the next few years, converted the old skating rink to a picnic area for families.
Visitors at Willow Springs Water Park are welcome to bring their own food and drink, though no glass or alcohol is allowed. In addition, guests of the park can dine at the Upper Deck Caf‚, which was remodeled in 2006 to include a reading area and a view of the pool. The most recent additions to the Water Park include more picnic areas, a log roll and four horseshoe pits near the amphitheater.
Willow Springs Water Park has been a traditional family outing place for decades, and is a part of the history of Little Rock. The "pool'' is a sandy bottom lake that is fed by a spring. The water is chemically treated and ph-balanced for cleanliness. It is pumped into the lake at the rate of 300 gallons per minute, at 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The bottom depth ranges from 6 inches to 5 1/2 feet. The pool includes numerous rafts, floats and spray heads to add to the enjoyment of visitors in the water, as well as areas for volleyball, basketball, tetherball and soccer.
The park is available for event rentals at varying rates for birthday parties, company picnics, corporate events and team building exercises. Picnic pavilions can be rented for birthday parties and group events. Willow Springs Water Park offers group rates and all-summer passes.
Willow Springs Park is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Sundays from 12:00 noon to 8:00 PM. Extended hours are available by arrangement for events. Admission is relatively inexpensive, with rates starting at $7 for children. Discounts are available for groups. For more information about the park's fees and hours, contact Willow Springs Park at 501-888-4148.
Read about other Little Rock tourist attractions:
- Convention Center in the Heart of Little Rock
- Robinson Center - Little Rock, Arkansas - conference center and performance hall
- Central High School - Little Rock, AR - the site of the Little Rock Nine
- Historic Arkansas Museum - Little Rock, AR - a museum preserving the history of Arkansas prior to the Civil War
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