Family-Friendly Fun in Downtown Texarkana
by Nichole Holze
Downtown Texarkana is experiencing a renaissance. With an influx of new businesses and public art, Texarkana’s historic downtown is a fun attraction that’s just a short drive away. These new sights and old favorites are musts when you visit.
Go on a mural scavenger hunt.
There are tons of murals in downtown Texarkana. In addition to the murals in the Kress Gap on Broad Street, new murals are popping up everywhere. One of our favorites is “The Colors of Life” by local artist Joseph Raymond.
Check out the sculptures.
In 2013, internationally renowned sculpture artist George Tobolowsky installed his exhibition “Bending the Rules” around Texarkana. In 2018 he expanded on this and added new sculptures in “Bending the Rules II.” Just a few months ago the exhibit was updated once again with new sculptures around downtown as part of “Bending the Rules III.” Our favorite is at the corner of 3rd and Main Streets. It makes for a great photo-op with the largest TXK in town as your backdrop!
Tour the Regional Arts Center.
The Regional Arts Center is home to the Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council and hosts exhibits and events year-round. The Youth Juried Art Exhibition is on display until June 15 and features art from local area students—including my daughter! Other events include their First Fridays and Speaker Series. The building is open for self-guided tours, or you can ask for a guided tour.
Visit the 1894 Market and Gallery.
This fun art gallery is part of “Downtown Live” events on the second Friday of each month. They’re also offering make and take art events for kids on June 11 and July 9. Be sure to register in advance by calling 870-330-5003.
See artists at work at Downtown Live on second Fridays.
On the second Friday of every month, start your evening at one of downtown’s great restaurants. Then, stroll through businesses and art galleries. Be on the lookout for live music and live painting!
Scope out cars at the Four States Auto Museum.
The Four States Auto Museum will host a kick-off for the 45th anniversary of Smokey and the Bandit’s legendary run on May 22 featuring food, music, vendors and raffles, plus a car show with the participating Bandit Run vehicles. Admission is free from 12-4 p.m. The museum is also open on weekdays, and admission is free.
Watch a show at the Perot Theatre.
This beautiful and historic Perot Theatre has events year-round. Check perottheatre.org for upcoming events, or call 903-792-4992 to schedule a tour. Built as a Saenger Theatre in 1924, this grand theatre was restored in the ’80s thanks to a donation from Ross Perot and his sister Bette and renamed Perot Theatre in honor of their parents.
Eat local and shop local!
Check out the cute boutiques and great restaurants in downtown Texarkana. You just might be surprised how much there is to do in the area.
How to spend a Saturday downtown
Get up early and hit up the Texarkana Farmer’s Market in its new location! Don’t forget a cooler if you plan on buying some fresh produce.
After the market, see if you can find George Tobolowsky’s newest sculpture installations entitled “Bending the Rules III.”
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, enjoy lunch from one of our downtown favorites: Pecan Point.
After lunch, meander over to the Kress Gap through the newly paved alleyway across from Pecan Point. Grab some photos at the murals (be sure to tag the artist if you post on social media!).
We love to hit up Graham Slam Bakery just after lunch, before they close, to stock up on some treats to take home! And if you hit up downtown at night, be sure to catch a glimpse of the silver moon sculpture on the roof of Silvermoon Children’s Theater.
For even more information, check out www.visittexarkanadistrict.com.
About the Author: Never afraid of a long drive, Nichole is a homeschooling mom to two and wife to Ryan. Coffee, always, and black, please. You can probably find her scheming up their next road trip while hiking in the woods. Experience-based learning and good books abound in their home school as they chase the spark of curiosity where it wanders on the road less traveled. Read about Nichole’s shenanigans on her blog at luckeywanderers.com.