Tag Archives: things to do in Arkansas

Alligators in Arkansas?


Spring break usually means vacation time for some, but to me, it’s time for catching up on college homework, as it does tend to pile up for us non-traditional students. It also means finishing tasks around the house that also needs my attention, such as taking my car into the shop to fix a burned out fuse, as well as having them take care of a recall. Then there’s the usual, dentist and doctor appointments that I can finally make since I have some time off. Or the opportunity to go into work early. All and all, for me, spring break just means staying busy, instead of relaxing on a tropical beach somewhere, listening to the waves crash onto shore, while I work on my tan.

But, it isn’t all work and no play, I do find some time for fun.

Yesterday, I took my daughter to the Alligator Farm in Hot Springs. She’s been begging me to take her to the zoo, yet most of the things she enjoys is out of order and under construction at our local zoo in Little Rock; the train, petting zoo, etc. Plus, they no longer have giraffes, which is my daughter’s favorite.

I had thought about taking her to Turpentine Creek, which is a wildcat sanctuary in Eureka Springs, but that’s a four hour drive (back roads and road construction) and it was supposed to rain yesterday. It was also slightly chilly, so taking her into the Ozark Mountains to walk around looking at wildcats wasn’t something she would enjoy.

The alligator farm was a relatively short visit. There wasn’t much going on, but on the positive side, it wasn’t crowded. Since alligators are cold blooded reptiles, they were being kept indoors where it’s much warmer. They have spacious yards outside, yet it is still too cold for them to be moved outdoors.

Along with the numerous amount of alligators, they also had a pair of Arctic Wolves, a mountain lion, turkeys, mallards and wood ducks, peacocks, a macaque, three lemurs, an emu, a couple of donkeys, and a handful of fallow deer, goats, and sheep.

Mini me was infatuated with the alligators, yet knew not to poke her fingers through the fence to try to pet one. Although, there was a guy holding a young alligator for visitors to pet (it had a rubber band around it’s snout so it wouldn’t snap anyone’s fingers off). Of course after I touched it’s belly, she saw that it was okay and touched it twice, which was long enough for me to snap a quick picture.

It was a fairly inexpensive trip, yet we always enjoy getting out of the house, no matter the price. I think that any young child or adult would enjoy taking a few minutes out of their weekend to visit the Alligator Farm. It’s easy to get to, plus it’s located five blocks away from downtown Hot Springs, where there is plenty of other things to see and do for couples and for families.

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Quartz Crystal Mining


My youngest sister came up from Georgia this past May for a short visit. While she was here it was her birthday and she wanted to go dig for quartz crystals. Here in Arkansas there are many places to dig and keep as many crystals as you can load into your car.
I’ve seen a few guys trying to carry a huge boulder size quartz rock to their car. Though with each tiring effort, they managed to put it into their car.

I also noticed a lady, standing near her car with about ten quartz rocks the size of bowling balls, as well as a few buckets full of dirt and rocks. Like I said, if you can manage digging for them and getting them into your car, it’s yours to keep, but for a small fee, which is the admission price for the entire day.
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Some places I’ve found charge $10 or more. One place charges $20. I was lucky to have found one that charged $8, the only problem was the road getting to the place was badly washed out and in some areas the road was sharply inclined that if I were to let off the gas, my car would roll backwards or I wouldn’t be able to continue the climb without backing all the way down the hill and giving it another charging start back up.
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 Once we got up the hill and to the actual digging site, I paid for our admission, found a parking spot, then got our tools and buckets out, and headed towards the digging area, which is a huge red hill of lovely clay mud, mostly dried clay rock. I didn’t care to look for the biggest quartz rock, however, I had set out to find the shiny points to which I planned to use for necklace pendants.
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After twenty minutes of digging, my sister was bored and hot and decided to go sit in the car. Meanwhile, I continued to dig and scavenge as much as I could. I found quite a lot of clear rocks, some small and some half the size of my hand. I was enjoying myself. It’s the archaeologist in me I think. I did get somewhat cover in the red clay, mostly on my shoes, but that wasn’t what bothered me. What bothered me was the eight-legged residents. I made sure not to bother them as much as I could.
I had enjoyed myself so much, that a few weeks later I made another trip back to the same crystal mine and had found more of what I was looking for on that trip than I did on the previous trip.
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If you are interested in purchasing a small clear crystal rock or pendant, I have them listed on my Etsy page.
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Little Rock’s Turkish Food Festival


Yesterday, my daughter and I ventured out to Little Rock where they were having a Turkish Food Festival at the Raindrop Turkish House. They had bouncy houses for the kids, cultural music and dance, arts and crafts booths, henna tattooing, and plenty of food booths with all types of Turkish food and deserts.

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I stopped at one table, where a guy was writing peoples names in Turkish style calligraphy on a large piece of colorful paper. I had him write my daughter’s name for me of course. We moved on to another booth, where a guy was painting colorful pictures on a giant plate. I couldn’t help but stare as he dabbed his pen every so carefully on the plate. I was mesmerized by the beautiful artwork he was doing, as well as the other pieces of artwork they laid around him, on top of his table.

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We ventured to the desert booth and I had my daughter pick out something, then walked outside to see what else we could find to fill out plates. We watched a small group of young women, dressed in beautiful cultural costumes, dance to some cultural music, then listened to a Mariachi band play.

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Digging for Diamonds


There is a small town in the Southwestern corner of Arkansas, called Murfreesboro where you can dig for diamonds, for a small price, and keep what you find. It’s the 8th largest diamond mine in the world, but it’s the only diamond mine open to the public. Crater of Diamonds became a State Park in the mid 1970’s. Since then people have been finding diamonds of many sizes; at least two diamonds a day can be found.

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This Spring Break, I took a few friends to hunt for diamonds. It was their first time and my second time. Though we found many color rocks, such as Jasper, quartz, and calcite, but no diamonds. The park has a desk, made specific to help you go through your finds and tell you what each rock is and if you have found a diamond or not. They also have a museum to help you distinguish what the diamonds look like there at the Crater of Diamonds State Park.

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The digging areas are marked where all of the diamonds have been found, and a bulletin board showing how many diamonds were found on what day and how big the were; this bulletin board is updated daily. You can rent sifting screens, shovels, and buckets or you can bring your own. They have water tubs,that make sifting through some of the tougher clay, much easier. It also helps the shiny rocks become more noticeable.

Even though the only shiny rocks I found were quartz crystal and calcite, I still enjoyed myself and didn’t mind get dirty. I’m hoping to make another trip in May with my youngest sister when she comes up from Georgia to visit.

Note: Even though they say they plow the 37 1/2 acres weekly or daily, the best time to go digging for diamonds is right after it rains. This allows some of the sediments to wash away and help the diamonds become more noticeable. The best clothes to wear for digging diamonds are, a pair of boots (trust me on this one) and a pair of jeans and a tee that you don’t mind getting dirty. You can bring a sack lunch, umbrella, and a lawn chair out on the field with you and they are pet friendly (I’ve seen many dogs out there having a great time).

For more information about the park, prices, location, etc. visit their website.

One Word Photo Challenge: Yellow


I had forgotten to add this to my other One Word Photo Challenge posts. This is a trolley that can take you on a tour of Little Rock. I’ve often seen it drive by when I’m down on President Clinton Avenue, adjacent to the river and river market. For more information on it, click here.

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