Tag Archives: Arkansas

Arkansas Places to Visit: Beatles Park & Parachute Inn Restaurant

 

Y’all, Summer vacation is here!!! Okay, technically, as homeschoolers, we school year round, but we do take breaks as needed. Right now, a break is needed. lol We’ll be back at it in about a week. Hopefully. Maybe. Even when we are doing lessons in the summer, it’s a lighter load and more spread out. My mom is a public school teacher, so we also like to take advantage of her time off in the summer to spend more time with Nana. Recently my oldest four children spent a few days with my parents so that the oldest three could attend a summer farm program near their home, and our second daughter got to experience two days of Camp Nana and Camp Pawpaw. (Let’s just say, she wasn’t in a hurry to come home.)

When it was time for my kids to return to the real world (AKA home), my mom and I decided to meet up in the little town of Walnut Ridge, Arkansas. Now many, if not most of you, have probably never heard of this tiny little map dot town, but it’s near where I grew up. Walnut Ridge is a small town located in Lawrence County, Arkansas with a whopping population of about 4,700. There were a few spots around town on my list of places to visit in Arkansas though, despite growing up just a few miles down the road. I’m a big fan of exploring, big and small. There’s always something fun and interesting nearby to see, no matter where you live. Rural Arkansas is no exception.

(This post contains affiliate links. Purchasing through these links will not affect your pricing but I will receive a percentage, which benefits my family and keeps this blog growing. 🙂 )

kids in front of beatles park monument

That day we got to check off two of the items on my list of places and things to see in Arkansas. Our first stop was Beatles Park. My 7 year-old son recently discovered The Beatles through a book called The Beatles (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers) and was very intrigued. (On a side note, there is an entire series of the Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers books along with a series for artists  and inventors and scientists. I knew he’d enjoy seeing Beatles Park.

In 1964 the famous band made a couple of brief stops at the Walnut Ridge airport and caused quite a stir in the small, rural town. In September of 2011, a monument downtown,  designed to look like the cover of their Abbey Road album, was unveiled commemorating the 1964 event and a downtown street was renamed Abbey Road. In 2012, a guitar-shaped plaza was built downtown.

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We were only able to make a quick stop for pictures and to stretch our legs, but the kids had a lot of fun posing for pictures and learning that the Beatles had actually been in Walnut Ridge!

Our next stop was the airport for lunch. We went for lunch on a plane! However, we weren’t eating your typical airplane food.

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The Parachute Inn Restaurant is a fun, quirky place with Southern home-style cooking. They offer a lunch buffet but also have a full menu to choose from. Now here’s the fun part – you get to dine in a reconfigured Southwest Airlines Boeing 737! They do have regular restaurant seating just inside the door, but you’ll want to take the small step up to the left. Trust me. The seats have been adjusted and tables added to make dining booths, and the kids can hang out in the cockpit while you wait for your food. (You can check them out on Facebook for more details on their menu and directions.) This would be a fun stop on a road trip for sure!

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We lucked out; arriving right at 11 a.m. for an early lunch meant we had the whole plane to ourselves and the chicken didn’t even go out on the buffet until right after our drinks arrived! It was perfect timing! (Now don’t let the lack of a crowd worry you. They started getting busier at the end of our meal, as the lunch rush started.)

Be sure to add the Parachute Inn Restaurant to your next trip through Northeast Arkansas!

Hours:
Tue-Thur 8am-2pm
Friday 8am-8pm
Sat 11am- 8pm

10 Sky Watch
Walnut Ridge,Arkansas
72476USA
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Filed under Experience Review, Reviews, travel

01.31.12

Arkansas weather can be very strange, and this winter (if you can call it that) has definitely been a strange one. We’ve had more than one day warm enough to play outside in light jackets.

As much running as my oldest wild one does, he also loves to lie in the grass and watch the clouds and planes. These moments only last about 30 seconds each though. 🙂

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Snowball (part 2)

Saturday morning we decided to take a walk to see the other buildings on the property. Across the road from our house, was a barn and two restored log cabins from the 1870’s. They also rent the cabins.


Steven, on the porch of the first cabin



hanging out in the old barn…


the barn Mr. Scarecrow


a sign that hangs on the outside of the barn

After our short walk, we decided to take a drive to do a bit more exploring. We discovered the dead ends of a couple of gravel roads, at which people were actually living…and people think WE live in the boondocks? I’m pretty sure our house is nothing compared to the end of a gravel road, on a mountain, outside of Snowball, Arkansas!

After enjoying the scenery for a while, we headed into Marshall to grab some groceries for dinner that night. We also stopped for lunch…at a Mexican restaurant. Imagine that? :o)

That afternoon, we went for another walk. This one was quite a bit longer than the first! We decided to go up the trail, past the first cabin and the barn. We found a hiking trail off to the side and followed it up into the woods. There, we came across this cool old house!

We also saw an elk track! I think that was Steven’s favorite part of the entire trip!

That walk/hike ended with me being exhausted! Steven took a picture of me resting on a big rock before we headed back, but I’ll spare you! It’s kind of scary! haha
I’m not sure exactly how far we hiked, but it was at least 3 or 4 miles, most of it up hill. Oh, and did I mention my husband isn’t one of these always-stay-on-the-path hikers? Well, he’s not. This resulted in me getting whacked in the face/arm/leg with a branch or two, almost stepping in horse poo, almost slipping on my rear while climbing over rocks, etc. It was definitely an interesting “walk”! When we got back to the house, my sweet husband suggested we go for another drive, so that we could enjoy some scenery and I could sit down for a while. 🙂

This time we discovered the end of another gravel road…and a SCHOOL BUS tow truck! Oh yeah, now that’s custom!

When we returned to the house from our second drive, I set to work in the kitchen to bake Steven a belated birthday cake. (Note to self: next year call Courtney!) While the cake tasted fine, it certainly wasn’t our beloved Courtney Cake.

Steven enjoyed a massive piece of the cake…

After our mini birthday celebration, we headed into Marshall to see a movie…

at the drive-in! We saw Four Christmases, which was cute. Marshall has the only drive-in movie in Arkansas that is open all year.

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Filed under Arkansas, travel