Central Arkansas Museums of History, Culture and Art

Visiting a museum is a fun, and often free, way to spend the day.  In central Arkansas, you can learn about everything from early Arkansas history to art and science and even browse the records of a president.  Many of our museums are also located in historic buildings that contribute their history to the museum.

These museums also make great field trip spots.

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The Arkansas Museum of Discovery

Museum of Discovery
Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau

This is a hands-on science museum located in downtown Little Rock.  It has a tinkering studio and over 90 exhibits to teach and entertain children.  Even adults can have a great time playing with some of their exhibits, and they might learn something too. Kevin Delaney, the director of visitor experience at Arkansas' Museum of Discovery, is often featured on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.  Admission is $8-10. Located at 500 President Clinton Ave., Suite 150.

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The Old State House Museum

Old State House Museum, Arkansas

The Old State House is a great museum of mostly Arkansas history.  Arkansas history is pretty interesting, and you can see many interesting artifacts in this historic building. Admission is free.  Located at 300 W Markham St, in downtown Little Rock.

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The Historic Arkansas Museum

This museum of Arkansas history is a living history museum. 

They use historic homes and artifacts to interpret history and culture.  The museum tries to demonstrate the lifestyles found in the 1800s in Arkansas.  The oldest buildings in Little Rock are part of this museum.  Admission is free, but it is $2.50 to tour the grounds.  Located at 200 E 3rd St.

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The USS Razorback and the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum

USS Razorback Reunion 2017
Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum at North Little Rock

Tour a real submarine at this museum of naval history. The submarine is the real draw here, but there is a small museum and a tugboat on display.Admission from $2-7.50.  Located at 120 Riverfront Park Dr.

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MacArthur Museum of Military History

Located in the historic tower building of the former Little Rock Arsenal, this museum was the birthplace of General Douglas MacArthur.  It's a museum with artifacts, weapons, uniforms, documents and other military items chronicling Arkansas's military history.  Admission is free. Located at 503 E 9th St.

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Mosaic Templars Cultural Center

Mosaic Templars Building

The museum of African American history in Arkansas, the Cultural Center preserves documents and artifacts about African American achievements in business, politics and the arts. Admission is free. Located at 501 W 9th St.

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Arkansas Arts Center and Children's Theater

Arkansas Arts Center
Arkansas Arts Center and Children's Theatre

The Arkansas Arts Center hosts a permanent collection of paintings, sculpture and mixed media and has special exhibitions a few times a year.  They also have a children's theater and art classes for kids and adults.  The permanent collection includes works by artists such as Rembrandt, Picasso, and Degas. Admission is free (with the exception of some traveling exhibits). Located at 501 E 9th St.

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The Arkansas Studies Institute

The Arkansas Studies Institute is the largest facility dedicated to the study of Arkansas culture and history. They have an online catalog search, a research room. The institute hosts an art gallery featuring paintings, photographs, sculpture, pottery and etching from artists throughout history. They also have a gallery where art from local artists can be purchased. Located at 401 President Clinton Avenue.  Admission is free.

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The Clinton Presidential Library and Center

William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum

The Clinton Presidential Library contains the archives of the forty-second president.  Clinton's are the first to include electronic and physical documents.  It is the biggest presidential archive to date.  The main attraction is the museum and campus. The museum features several exhibits including a mock-up of Clinton's oval office, a presidential Cadillac, and artifacts from Clinton's eight years as president.  They also usually have a fun, traveling exhibit.  Admission is $6-10. Located at 1200 President Clinton Ave.

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Esse Purse Museum

Esse Purse Museum
Esse Purse Museum

Look into a women's purse and you can tell about her. That's the idea behind the Esse Purse Museum.  One of the three purse museums in the world, the museum displays historic purses and some contents they might have contained. This is a fun, smaller museum with a unique twist on history and culture. Admission is $8-10.  Located at

1510 S Main St.

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