Little Rock Zoo#11 in Best Things To Do in Little Rock
Price & Hours
The Little Rock Zoo opened in 1926 with just two residents: a timber wolf and a bear. In the ensuing years, the zoo has grown to incorporate more than 700 animals and multiple habitats to keep those critters happy and healthy. Visitors can see and learn about sloths, monkeys, zebras and reptiles among other critters. Behind-the-scenes tours as well as education programs are also offered to provide further information about the zoo's animals and how to conserve nature. There's even a train and carousel (though both cost $3 per person to ride). The zoo also hosts several events throughout the year such as Wild Wines, an annual food, wine and music event held at the zoo.
Previous travelers said that the zoo was worth visiting and is a great activity for the kids. However, many caution future patrons that the zoo is undergoing a renovation, so certain exhibits may be closed and the animals may not be out and about.
The Little Rock Zoo is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for most of the year. It closes Tuesdays and Wednesdays from November through February. To enjoy a visit without the zoo's typical crowds, plan to stop by on a Monday or Tuesday or during the fall; school groups typically visit the zoo on Thursday and Friday mornings in the spring. Tickets cost $12.95 for anyone 13 and older, $9.95 for children ages 3 to 12. Children younger than 3 visit free. Parking is available on-site, but costs an additional $3. Snack bars, a gift shop, a cafe and restrooms are available at the park. The zoo is located 4 miles west of downtown. Visit the zoo's website for more information.
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#1 Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
In 1957, nine Black students enrolled at Little Rock Central High School. The school had been all-white since its construction in 1927. Minnijean Brown, Elizabeth Eckford, Ernest Green, Thelma Mothershed, Melba Pattillo, Gloria Ray, Terrence Roberts, Jefferson Thomas and Carlotta Wells were the first Black students at the school following the 1954 Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education, which ruled that school segregation was unconstitutional. The day the students went to school, they were met with a racist mob of white students as well as about 270 soldiers who barred the entrance to the high school. It took almost two weeks before the Little Rock Nine were able to access the building. Though they were able to enter the school, they faced physical and verbal abuse throughout their high school careers. The Little Rock Nine's historic and brave acts helped to spur the civil rights movement and brought national attention to the U.S.'s racist practices.
Today, Little Rock Central High School is a National Historic Site and is still a working high school. The associated visitor center sits kitty-corner to the school and features exhibits about the desegregation crisis as well as a book store. There is also a Commemorative Garden. Tours of the exterior and interior of Little Rock Central High School are also available, but must be reserved in advance through the National Park Service.
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