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Ouachita Stories


Small town, shmall town

Here are the top things to do when you live in Arkadelphia

Students take photographs in front of a mural in downtown ArkadelphiaJuly 19, 2022 - Madison Cresswell

Growing up in North Little Rock, Ark., I was concerned about moving to a small town like Arkadelphia. Will I ever get out of my room?  What would I do on the weekends?

To my surprise, this small town comes with lots of fun things to do and some of the most exciting weekends! Here are 10 fun things to do in and around Arkadelphia!

  1. Spend the day at the lake. When the weather is nice, you can find college students spending a lot of time at Lake DeGray. Whether you are swimming, fishing, hammocking or cooking out, you can make wonderful memories with your friends. Just don’t forget the sunscreen!
  2. Take advantage of Ouachita’s RecLife activities. Ouachita’s RecLife office provides weekly indoor and outdoor activities that are specifically planned for students! You can go mountain biking, take a canoe trip, play disc golf or join an intramural sports team. Every student can take advantage of these activities with little to no cost.
  3. Explore downtown. From the outside looking in, downtown Arkadelphia may seem small, but it has such a unique charm! You can browse the boutiques, grab a meal in a local eatery, take pictures with the murals and bargain hunt at the local thrift shops.
  4. Channel your inner ghostbuster. If you like a thrill, you can visit Union Station or the Gurdon Light right outside of town. Stories say that both places are haunted. Are you up for the challenge?
  5. Host a bonfire. There are several places in Arkadelphia where you can make a fire with some friends, cook s’mores and gaze at the stars! Ouachita RecLife can help you plan with safety in mind.
  6. Adopt a dog for a day. The Humane Society of Clark County is wildly popular among college students. You can go to the shelter and play with all the puppies and kitties and even adopt a dog for a day! It is not uncommon to see several puppies around campus on a Friday afternoon.
  7. Make a Hot Springs trip. Luckily for Arkadelphia residents, a Hot Springs getaway is less than an hour away! You can see a movie, go bowling, play mini golf, visit Magic Springs or explore Hot Springs National Park and Garvan Woodland Gardens.
  8. Discover locally-owned shops and eateries. Have a thing for trying unique, one-of-a-kind bakeries? Grab some friends and run over to the famous Juanita’s Candy Kitchen, Samantha’s Sweets (good luck making your choice!) or German-inspired Ludwig’s Bakery for mouth-watering treats. Or, if music or knitting are hobbies of yours, drive over to Main Street and visit Knit Unto Others and Shuffield Music Company.
  9. Enjoy the free productions, concerts and exhibits offered on campus. On weeknights and weekends, Ouachita’s campus regularly presents musicals, concerts and plays and hosts well-known speakers, musicians and visual artists. Whether you need a date night idea, girls’ night out or just want to experience something new, you have lots of great options. And with your student I.D. it’s usually FREE.
  10. Experience Ouachita traditions. Ouachita has some long-standing, crowd-drawing traditions! Participating in Tiger Tunes in the fall, the Battle of the Ravine football game every November, Tiger Traks in the spring, and so many other campus activities will be the highlight of your time in Arkadelphia. Ouachita’s social clubs also host fun events, from formal dances and dinners to casual bonfires. Trust me, no matter what time of year, there’s always something happening!

As a student at Ouachita, you will never lack entertainment or activities! You just have to keep an open mind ­– and know where to look – because Arkadelphia is what you make it.

Madison Cresswell

By Madison Cresswell, a 2021 communications & media/multimedia journalism and political science graduate from North Little Rock, Ark.