If you’re looking for a place to visit in Arkansas that isn’t Little Rock or Hot Springs, then this is the town for you. Van Buren is an exciting place with plenty of things to see, do and eat. Whether you’re visiting or just passing through, there’s no shortage of fun things to do in Van Buren!
Van Buren City Park
Take a walk through the park!
Van Buren City Park is on the south side of town, just off Highway 67. The park features a small playground, picnic tables, and one pavilion that can accommodate up to 75 people. It’s open year-round for your enjoyment and has no entrance fee!
Van Buren Historic Downtown
Ready for some good old-fashioned retail therapy? You’ll find plenty of opportunities in Van Buren, where the historic downtown offers a wide array of shops and restaurants. If you’re looking for something specific, there’s also a Walmart located nearby.
If you’re feeling hungry after all that shopping, there are several excellent dining options within walking distance of the Courthouse. The Old Time Soda Fountain serves up classic diner fare like burgers and shakes; Flemings offers upscale options like filet mignon; and if you want to try your hand at making your pizza from scratch (or just eat one), head over to Papa Gino’s Pizzeria & Italian Kitchen.
You could spend hours exploring the shops on Main Street or strolling through City Park—but if you want even more activity than that, consider taking a hike on one of Van Buren’s many trails!
Crawford County Courthouse
If you’re looking for a place to kick back and enjoy the history of Van Buren, then the Crawford County Courthouse is worth a visit. Built-in 1873, it’s one of the oldest courthouses in Arkansas. The building has been renovated several times over its lifetime (most recently in 2001). While touring this beautiful building you can see exhibits that display artifacts from Crawford County’s past: old maps, photographs, and other historical items.
Museum of Military History
The Museum of Military History is located in the Crawford County Courthouse and houses a variety of military artifacts from all branches of service. The museum is open 9-5 Monday through Friday and 1-5 on Saturdays. The museum is closed on Sundays, so if you’re looking to visit it late at night—or after hours—you’ll need to find another location for your war games.
The museum is free to the public, but donations are always welcome!
The Heritage Trail is a multi-use trail that runs through the city of Van Buren. The 10.5-mile long trail was completed in 2016, connecting to the Crawford County Trail System, which will eventually extend throughout several counties in Arkansas.
The path loops around Van Buren, allowing you to experience each of its four quadrants as you ride past historic houses and landmarks like The Little Red School House and Shiloh Cemetery (not to mention beautiful views).
VAN BUREN CITY LAKE PARK
Van Buren City Lake Park is a popular spot for the community to relax and enjoy the day. It’s open year-round, with hours from 6 am to 10 pm. The park has a playground, boat ramp, fishing pier, picnic tables, and more. If you want to make your fun at this free park then bring some fishing gear and cast a line into Van Buren’s City Lake (or nearby).
Houghton-Lee House Museum
The Houghton-Lee House Museum is a beautiful example of late 19th-century architecture and home to one of the most interesting American historical figures. The house is located in downtown Van Buren, where you can take tours through the house grounds and learn all about the history of Arkansas.
In 1886, when this building was erected, it was considered one of the finest homes in Fort Smith—the largest city in Arkansas at that time– because it had running water, electricity, and gas lighting! A fire destroyed all but two rooms on December 15th, 1945; however, now visitors can see what remains from that era as well as learn about Thomas Houghton Lee’s contributions towards creating Arkansas’ first legal codebook back during Reconstruction times!
Hazel Valley Ranch
Hazel Valley Ranch is a great place to take your family! It has a small petting zoo, a large playground, a large pond, and a large parking lot. Hazel Valley Ranch is open year-round!
The Golden Needle Quilt Shop
The Golden Needle Quilt Shop is a great place to buy quilts. The store has a wide range of quilts for sale, from traditional to modern and everything in between. In addition to quilts, the shop also sells clothing, accessories, and home decor items that fit the aesthetic of its namesake.
Located in Van Buren, the Golden Needle Quilt Shop is open Monday through Saturday 9 am – 5 pm.
Old Frisco Station Museum
Located at the corner of Main and 6th Street in Old Frisco, this museum is a great way to learn about the history of this small town. The museum features exhibits on everything from old mining equipment to items used by residents throughout the years. You can also tour the beautiful Victorian-style home that houses the museum, which was built in 1892 and sits on 2 acres (1 ha) of land! With so many things going on in this building, it’s easy to see why it has become one of Van Buren’s most popular attractions.
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10 am-4 pm; Sunday 1 pm-4 pm
Admission: $5 per person; $10 per family
The Rialto Theater Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown Van Buren
The Rialto Theater Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown Van Buren is a great place to see live shows. The theater has been around since the 1920s and has hosted many famous performers. The Rialto hosts performances from Broadway and off-Broadway productions, as well as concerts, plays, and festivals.
This historic landmark is located in the heart of Van Buren’s downtown area—if you want to get some culture while enjoying a meal or a drink at one of its many restaurants or bars, this is your best bet!
Northridge Plaza Shopping Center
Northridge Plaza Shopping Center, located on Northridge Avenue in Van Buren, is a one-stop shop for all your shopping needs. Whether you’re looking to buy the latest fashions or pick up some groceries, they’ve got what you need! With stores including Laundry Depot and The Completely Functional Hardware Store (a name that will make more sense once you see the store), this is one of the best places to shop around town.
Northridge Plaza Shopping Center is open from 9:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 12:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m., Sunday. They even offer free Wi-Fi so that you can browse their large selection of products while enjoying your favorite tunes! The only downside about this place? It closes at 6 pm sharp so don’t show up late because we won’t let them stay open past their closing time just because we asked nicely enough times over text messages with texts from my mom saying things like “I love u” or “love ur mom.”
Stilwell Historical Site – George M. Murrell Home
You can get an education on Van Buren’s history at Stilwell Historical Site, a National Historic Landmark that sits on the original site of George M. Murrell’s home. He was a prominent businessman and philanthropist in Van Buren who donated land for city parks and provided funding for other public works projects.
The house is located at 124 East Washington Street and was built in 1906 by the architect J.R. Riddle, according to its NRHP nomination form. It remains one of the oldest homes in Van Buren today, having been renovated in 2005 with period-appropriate details like mantels and crown moldings while preserving its historic integrity as much as possible.
There are many fun things to do in Van Buren, Arkansas!
There are many fun things to do in Van Buren, Arkansas! The Van Buren Downtown Historic District is a great place to explore and learn about the history of this small town. There are also plenty of restaurants and shops to peruse when you’re done exploring.
If you’re looking for something more adventurous, then go visit the Museum of Military History which teaches visitors about Arkansas’s participation in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. You can even see an original military tank at this museum!
For more information on these activities please check out our website [link]
There are many fun things to do in Van Buren, Arkansas!