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Old 06-26-2010, 09:29 AM
 
150 posts, read 629,959 times
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We're planning to drive from DFW are to Arkansas for a 3- or 4-night mini-vacation w/our kids (4 and 7) ... I've heard great things about Eureka Springs but Hot Springs appears to be 2-3 hours closer. Opinions? We've never been to AR ... we want to stay in a cabin, enjoy the great outdoors, look @ beautiful scenery, fish/canoe/hike, check out "town" and do a little shopping, but won't be interested in upscale shops/restaurants.

Opinions? We're planning to go end of July ... Thx!
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Old 06-26-2010, 10:08 AM
 
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ES is much more beautiful, but IMO more geared toward adults....Victorian architecture, shops, antiques, and such. Of course, there are a few kiddie things....go-carts, etc. But HS, while not as pretty as ES, has many, many kid things to do....aquarium, Mid-America Science Museum (really good), go-carts, mini-golf, Tiny Town, Alligator Farm, and, of course, Magic Springs Amusement Park (and water park also). And there are also still plenty of the outdoor things to do that you mentioned.

I may not be remembering correctly about ES and kiddie things, and I'll admit it's been a few years since I've been there, so they may have added more. If that is the case, someone will come along directly and correct me.
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Old 06-26-2010, 10:17 AM
 
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Thanks for the info! One more question ... after looking on the web and @ maps, I'm considering driving to Murfreesboro for @ least one night (about a 5-hr drive) and staying to check out the diamond digging park and water park, then going on to Hot Springs and/or Eureka Springs (still yet to be decided)... Is the diamond park worth visiting? It looks kind of like a big, hot field ... but of course digging for diamonds sounds like it would be cool. Any idea if it actually is? I don't want to waste time on something our kids wouldn't enjoy ... is that area pretty @ all? The main reason we chose AR is to see beautiful scenery... let's say we decide not to drive as far as ES ... is there a location closer to TX that is also very pretty (rivers/streams/trees/mountains(?) etc.)
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Old 06-26-2010, 10:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luvvarkansas View Post
.......aquarium, Mid-America Science Museum ..........

I concurr. We stumbled upon both of them when re-visiting Hot Springs after an absense of 20+ years. I felt that many things had gone backwards, but we were extremely impressed by the aquarium and museum.
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Old 06-26-2010, 09:12 PM
 
Location: SW MO
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I have been digging at Crater of Diamonds. It is a large, open field and will be hotter than Hades in July. Basically, you use a trowel or shovel to fill a bucket with dirt, then carry it to a washing pavillion to shake the dirt through a sieve until just the little rocks remain, then sort through the rocks to see if you found any number of gems-in addition to diamonds, they have garnets, sapphires, quartz and a few others. However, in 2 days of digging, my husband and I found zip.
What ages are your kids? The water park on the premises will be much more appealing on a July day. I think it is geared toward fairly young kids.
I agree that Hot Springs would be more interesting to kids. Eureka Springs has more bookstores, clothing shops, galleries and jewelry stores than actual activities. It is also VERY hilly. The roads are narrow and most places in the historic district you will pay to park, then walk up and down the hills. It will get tiring and sweaty very quickly.
There are some music shows and if you are Christian, the Passion Play is a great show with live animals and special effects. The Crescent Hotel is beautiful and have ghost tours there and at the Basin Park Hotel. The steam train is interesting for dinner. I have not been to the Big Cat Sanctuary but have heard it is interesting.
I believe Hot Springs is flatter, easier to walk. I have been to the Historic District there, but not the lake. There is a nice drive up the mountain and some overlooks.
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Old 06-27-2010, 04:43 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
75,834 posts, read 88,700,431 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isle_Gal View Post
We're planning to drive from DFW are to Arkansas for a 3- or 4-night mini-vacation w/our kids (4 and 7) ... I've heard great things about Eureka Springs but Hot Springs appears to be 2-3 hours closer. Opinions? We've never been to AR ... we want to stay in a cabin, enjoy the great outdoors, look @ beautiful scenery, fish/canoe/hike, check out "town" and do a little shopping, but won't be interested in upscale shops/restaurants.

Opinions? We're planning to go end of July ... Thx!
For what you want, you would probably be better off doing Hot Springs. Both are nice, Eureka Springs is prettier, but there will be more to do in Hot SPings and you can fish, canoe, whatever in either place, but with kids Hot Springs is more appealing.

As for the diamond digging, if you want to be so hot you think Dallas in the North Pole, go for it, otherwise plan that for some late fall mini trip.

I think you will be surprised at how beautiful AR is. I know our first trip to AR when we lived in the DFW area surprised the heck out of us.

Have fun,

NIta
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Old 06-27-2010, 07:22 AM
 
150 posts, read 629,959 times
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Firebll and nmnita -

Thank you so much for saving us from extreme misery! Will *definitely* pass on the diamond digging (for now anyway.) Hot Springs/Eureka Springs both sound so interesting. Now I'm going back to the drawing board ... maybe we'll spend two nights in each place. I can't wait to check out AR
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Old 06-27-2010, 01:29 PM
 
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Diamond Mine in July......hot, hot, hot!

But in fall or spring, the kids would love it, most likely. My kids did, but my kids always loved digging in the dirt. My son found a few aggregates and small pieces of crystal, and he was happy with his "treasure".

There is a nice little motel in Murfreesboro, too, the Queen of Diamonds Inn....when we stayed there it was clean and in good shape and had a nice little pool. Keep in mind that was about 12 or so years ago.
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Old 06-27-2010, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
696 posts, read 1,560,283 times
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I agree with the majority here that Hot Springs will probably be more interesting for the kids. The amusement and water park there is supposedly quite nice (it closed a while back, then changed hands and has expanded and reopened), and it's a beautiful area. There are some very nice state parks near Hot Springs that have cabins and canoes. Lake Catherine state park (absolutely beautiful, I stopped there for while traveling through the area for work and loved it) has cabins and is very near Hot Springs, and so does Lake Ouachita State Park, but it might be just a bit farther from Hot Springs. Eureka is a fun little village stuck in the middle of the mountains that is a fun place to walk around and explore, but it's more arts, crafts, and antiques, which might not hold the kids attention much.
Have fun on your vacation!
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Old 06-27-2010, 05:52 PM
 
111 posts, read 346,820 times
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I think you should go with Hot Springs just because it is a whole lot easier to get to from Dallas. It's about 4 hours. If you go to Eureka Springs you'll spend most of 2 days of your 3 or 4 in the car.
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