War Memorial Park

The parks department has been putting some big bond bucks into this midtown park to make it more attractive to folks who don't want to play golf (though they can, on War Memorial Golf Course) or go to football games (in War Memorial Stadium). There's a greenspace where tennis courts used to be and a new walking path surrounding it that connects with other new walking paths in the park. The playground, once known as Splinter Park, is getting a big facelift and a fancy waterspray feature for kids to run through during Little Rock's hellish summers. The biggest draw to War Memorial Park is the Little Rock Zoo, where lions have a mini-savannah, monkeys swing from rope ladders on their own island and silverbacks beat their chests. There are still a few funky and frowned-on cages from the WPA era, but the Zoo has been working with a limited budget and a few generous benefactors to get with the 21st century conservation ethic. Second biggest: The Jim Dailey Fitness and Aquatic Center, with an indoor pool for exercise, an outdoor pool to keep the kids cool, resistance machines, a small track and ferocious games of pickleball.

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