5 Happiest Places in Maumelle, AR
Some current research indicates that about 40% of our potential happiness comes from our daily life variables—activities we engage in, people we encounter, and one’s overall world view (Berkley Wellness). That means at least some portion of happiness can become a decision—a decision to speak with people who uplift us, go places we enjoy, and do things that make us feel good. That’s part of why, wherever you live, it’s important to find places to hang out that make you happy. The kind of places that make you happy might be different than the ones that work for your neighbor, but generally, in every city or town you can find at least one place that will bring a smile to your face. Personally, I always find enjoyment in the library. The peaceful surroundings filled with thousands of books never fail to bring peace to my mind. And if there is some outdoor place to take my book, relax, and people watch, even better. Maumelle has a couple of places that fit that bill.
Though I don’t live in Maumelle anymore, I always loved it. Originally planned in the late 70’s as a bedroom community a short drive from Little Rock, the town has grown to a thriving population of nearly 20,000 people over the last forty years. It remains a sleepy town, but it now has all the basic amenities—several restaurants, a collection of industry, good schools, and a couple of grocery stores. What hasn’t changed is its laid-back vibe.
From the lakes to the dog park, here is Thriveworks Maumelle’s list of the five happiest places in Maumelle.
1) Lake Willastein
Maumelle is lucky enough to have been planned with miles of walking trails, easily accessible by nearly all residences. Many of those trails lead to the elementary school, but also to each of the recreational lakes. Lake Willastein is the largest of those lakes, and boasts not only a running and walking trail around its 1.8-mile periphery, but also a playground for kids, fishing area, military memorial, and a large group of resident geese. On July 4th, you can bring the whole family for the city’s beautiful fireworks display. Every other year, Lake Willastein plays host to a fishing tournament, an event it alternates with Lake Valencia.
2) Lake Valencia
It is located next to the Maumelle Library and the senior citizen’s center. The distance around the lake is only .57 miles, making it perfect for a lunchtime stroll. The geese from Lake Willastein can sometimes be seen here, too, and they’re always a sight worth watching. The shaded pavilion offers a great place to watch the peaceful water flow, athletes run, fishermen fish, and children play.
Remember that ideal reading-and-people-watching-outside scenario I mentioned? The Maumelle public library also has a beautiful patio that overlooks Lake Valencia. You’re welcome to grab a book from the shelf and hang out on the patio for as long as you like.
3) Four Paws Dog Park
Now, in all fairness, the dog park isn’t the fanciest one in Arkansas. In fact, it’s little more than a large fenced area—but the dogs don’t mind! On temperate days in the fall and spring, in particular, it’s quite entertaining to take a seat at one of the benches, let your dog loose, and see how quickly they make friends. In fact, dog owners at parks tend to be open to having conversations, so if you’re looking for some social interaction without too much social commitment, the dog park can be a great place for the human, too.
The dog park is located directly in front of the Maumelle animal shelter. I know animal shelters aren’t what we typically think of when we think of happy places, but the animals love getting visitors. Whether you are looking for a new friend or not, the animal shelter is a great place to stop in. The staff are always happy to let you take a dog—or two, or three—out for a walk or run-around in the yard, and the dogs will often reward you with happy smiles, a game of chase, or maybe just a cuddle in your lap. Anytime I needed a pick-me-up when I lived in Maumelle, to the dog park I went.
4) Maumelle Aquatic Center
It’s only open in the summer, but this is one of the best community pools in central Arkansas, if I do say so myself. The pool has a couple of great slides, the requisite diving board, a shaded area with benches, and a concession area.
5) Jess Odom Community Center
Conveniently associated with the pool is the community center. Like the pool, it’s a beautiful, well-designed piece of architecture that houses not only a state-of-the-art gymnasium, group workouts, and a basketball court with walking track, but also hosts team sports for kids, like basketball and soccer.
The happiest places in Maumelle all involve some level of outdoor recreation, but that doesn’t mean you suddenly have to become a serious athlete or extrovert’s extrovert—even taking a book to read at the park can be a pleasant afternoon’s diversion, and you’ll still reap the benefits of being surrounded by other people engaging in activities that make them happy, too.
What about you? What are the happiest places on your list in Maumelle, Arkansas, or anywhere else?
Thriveworks Maumelle is located at 102 Country Club Parkway, just off Maumelle Boulevard. Our therapists are well-trained, compassionate professionals ready to help you overcome any psychological barriers that may be impeding your ability to seek your own happiness. We don’t keep a waiting list, and can usually schedule new patients within 24 hours. Give us a call. We look forward to meeting you.
Thriveworks Maumelle can be reached at: 501-628-9066.