Keeping Hot Springs Weird: Spa City’s Most Eclectic Events
Hot Springs is home to its fair share of quirky, zany and downright eccentric oddities — but that’s part of what makes the Spa City such a great destination. Make sure your visit includes one or more of these uniquely Hot Springs activities.
Steuart Pennington Running of the Tubs
This zany Hot Springs tradition is going on 12 years of tub-running fun. The event features costumed teams in wheeled bathtubs running through historic Bathhouse Row. Audience members are encouraged to get in the spirit by bringing water guns and wearing house slippers, shower caps and robes while watching the parade. Held each year in June. HotSprings.org
Low Key Arts
Low Key Arts is a 501c3 community arts organization bringing unique festivals to the city. Their repertoire includes Arkansas Shorts – A Night of Short Film, The Valley of the Vapors Independent Music Festival, The Hot Water Hills Music & Arts Festival, Inception To Projection Filmmaking Program and the KUHS 97.9 Radio Project. Events held year-round. LowKeyArts.org
The Gangster Museum of America
Step into a time machine and head back to the 20s, 30s and 40s when mineral water, gambling and bootlegging brought visitors from all over the world to Hot Springs. The Gangster Museum of America offers a historic and entertaining glimpse into how some of the nation’s most notorious criminals lived and played in this quaint mountain town. Open year-round. TGMOA.com
Hot Springs Horror Film Fest
Hot Springs Horror Film Fest is an annual independent film festival that is hauntingly fun for locals and visitors alike. The international film fest screens and honors films from around the globe, including plenty of fantasy, thrills, intrigue, slashers and more. Held each year in September. HotSpringsHorrorFilmFestival.com
Superior Bathhouse Brewery
Superior Bathhouse Brewery is a craft microbrewery located in the historic 1916 Superior Bathhouse on Bathhouse Row in Hot Springs National Park — and the only brewery in the country located inside a national park. Weekly tours offer viewing the distilling processes and samples while enjoying the historic bathhouse surroundings. Open year-round. SuperiorBathhouse.com
Maxwell Blade’s Odditorium & Curiosities Museum
This “Odditorium” features a collection of over 300 rare and strange objects from all over the world, and is housed in a building that was once one of the only drive-through mortuaries in The South. Some of the oddities include voodoo dolls, a silver Inca skull discovered in 1913 at the base of Machu Picchu, the huge rings of sideshow giants, a Fiji mermaid, and one of Edgar Allen Poe’s inkwells. Open year-round.