Hot Springs is known for having some of the most fun and quirkiest events around! We have just about every event you could imagine - a bath tub race, one very short parade, a comic & pop culture convention, the Arkansas Derby - the list goes on and on. We've narrowed down the top 10 events in Hot Springs you can't miss when visiting (some a little wackier than others!) that are the most fun a person can have. Of course, during these unsure times we like to promote safe travel, so if you can't visit now we hope you'll plan now to play later! Check out our list below and then start planning your trip to Hot Springs to experience these one-of-a-kind events!
One of the most beautiful signs that spring is finally here in Hot Springs is Tulip Extravaganza at Garvan Woodland Gardens! Tip-toe through over 150,000 Dutch tulips painting the grounds of the botanical gardens in vivid shades of red, purple, orange, yellow and pink. Depending on the weather, the tulips will begin to bloom as early as late February and remain as late as early April. Don't miss this breathtaking display of Mother Nature's beauty at Garvan Woodland Gardens this spring!
It's time to blow out the candles! 2021 marks 100 years of Hot Springs National Park and we're honoring the park with an official birthday celebration. The National Park will be hosting "Build Your Own Bathhouse with Mid America Science Museum" on March 6 from 10am-3pm, where participants will have the opportunity to "build their own" bathhouses out of cardboard. The bathhouse building will be open for anyone to join and the creations will be on display through the weekend. Additionally, the National Park will have birthday cupcakes for visitors to enjoy and virtual tours of the park on March 4. This will be one very historic party you won't want to miss!
Dust off your best hat - the Arkansas Derby is set for April 10 at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort. There's nothing like watching as your horse barrels down the stretch, shouting "Come on 7! Go 7!" amidst other race fans - it's a one of a kind experience. This million dollar stakes race is the third and final leg of Oaklawn Park's 3 year-old Kentucky Derby prep series and the centerpiece of the Racing Festival of the South! The Arkansas Derby has produced 6 Kentucky Derby winners, eleven Preakness Stakes winners and six Belmont Stakes winners. Witness history being made at this years Arkansas Derby!
We're kicking off summer right with four FREE concerts on Historic Bridge Street in downtown Hot Springs! The best block party of the year will feature LIVE musical performances every Thursday in June, starting off the month with Memphis Soul Revue on June 3rd, Arkansauce on June 10th, The Irie Lions on June 17th and wrapping up the month with Funkytown on June 24th! We'll have food, drinks, vendors and live music to enjoy for this fantastic event so get ready for a good time. All COVID restrictions applied by the Arkansas Department of Health will be followed so don't miss this fun family friendly event!
Hot Springs' longtime motto, "We Bathe the World," lives up to its meaning during the World Championship Running of the Tubs. This wacky event celebrates Hot Springs' historic past as America's Spa, with bathtubs racing down the street along Bathhouse Row, following on the spot rules created by judges while spectators hurl water balloons, shoot water guns and cheer on race participants. Bring the super soakers for this fun-filled, free family event on Saturday, June 5 and don't miss the judging of the tubs the day before on Friday, June 4.
Hot Springs has a rich history from, thermal spring water, to gangsters and even baseball history. Major League Spring Training originated in Hot Springs, bringing baseball players from all over the world to train and enjoy the culture of the city. The 4th Annual Hot Springs Baseball Weekend will be held August 27 & 28, celebrating America's Favorite Pastime. This years special guests include, famed St. Louis Cardinals centerfielder Jim Edmonds, Hall of Famers Goose Gossage of the Yankees and Andre Dawson of the Cubs along with "The Mad Hungarian" Al Hrabosky of the St. Louis Cardinals with panels, autograph signings and much more to look forward to!
Blues Traveler, the legendary rock band with 13 hit albums to its credit, will perform LIVE on World Famous Bridge Street in Hot Springs on Saturday, September 18! The Grammy Award winning band gained popularity with hit singles, "Run-Around" and "Hook," performing live since 1987. Originally scheduled to perform at the 2020 St. Patrick's Day Parade, Blues Traveler will be performing right where the legendary St. Patrick's Day Parade takes place. Don't miss an evening of live music by Blues Travelers' in downtown Hot Springs!
We know you can't wait to get your cosplay on for Spa-Con V! Spa-Con Comic & Pop Culture Convention will be held September 24 - 26 and we have a HUGE convention planned full of exciting celebrity guests, amazing expo hall vendors, workshops, panels and more special events. Past Spa-Con's have produced celebrity guests such as Stranger Things star Shannon Purser, Twin Peaks actresses Sherilyn Fenn & Sheryl Lee, Star Trek's very own Nichelle Nichols and many more. Snag your passes now for the most exciting Spa-Con to date, coming September 2021!
North America’s oldest all-documentary film festival will celebrate 30 years October 8 - 16! The Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival provides world class film screenings to Arkansans and visitors from all over the world. The 9-day multicultural and intergenerational event provides opportunities for filmmakers through panels, workshops and film professionals with a variety of documentary features and shorts. A true passion for the art of documentary film makes the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival one of a kind.
The 3rd Annual Güdrun Northwoods Mountain Bike Festival will take place November 12 - 14! Experience 3 days of shredding through the world class Northwoods Trails in Hot Springs. The Güdrun Festival traces its origin to the early days of the Attila the Hun Mountain Bike Race, which began in 1992 where the Northwoods Trails are located today. The Güdrun Festival will incorporate activities, such as: Güdrun Slow Roll, Mini- Enduro AND Enduro, Jump Jam and the Attila the Hun Mountain Bike XC Race. Wear your best viking gear and get ready to race!
Spend the most wonderful time of the year in Hot Springs, where over a million lights shine bright for the holidays. The downtown holiday light display is turned on after the Hot Springs Chili Cook Off on November 22 and stays on display until after the New Year, it's lit! Head to the botanical gardens at Garvan Woodland Gardens for a display of lights straight out of a Hallmark movie, November 20 - December 31 (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day) The largest display of lights in Arkansas, Garvan Woodland Gardens showcases a magical winter wonderland display with can't miss lights featured at Anthony Chapel, the koi pond, the dancing Christmas trees and the Sugg Model Train Garden and more!
Get ready for World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade! You may be thinking, "What's that?" The biggest, shortest, most fun parade ever! Dressed in the greenest garb we march 98-feet down Bridge Street, the shortest operating street in the world, to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Celebrity Parade Starters have included Ric Flair, Jon Heder, Gary Busey and more with Celebrity Grand Marshalls such as, Alfonso Ribeiro, Bo Derek, Ralph Macchio and more! Blarney Stone Kissing contests, the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, free concerts and of course, green beer make this event so unique.
March 17 – World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade