LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Central Arkansas businesses have stepped up to aid in multiple ways for tornado victims, including businesses that can bring joy.

The Little Rock Zoo and the Museum of Discovery both announced on Thursday they are inviting families impacted by the tornado to spend time gathering and reconnecting in safe locations for free.

On April 8-9, Zoo officials say parties of four will receive free admission by simply stating at the Zoo’s front gate that they have been impacted.

“The Zoo family is proud to serve our larger community by providing a safe gathering place where families can relax and reconnect with one another after facing such a traumatic event,” Zoo Director Susan Altrui said.

The Museum of Discovery will hold two separate free admission weekends, one for victims and one to for first responders as well as collecting donations, according to officials.

For parties up to four, families impacted can visit the museum for free on April 8-9 and can receive complementary passes to local housing shelters, according to museum officials.

Storm first responders and their families of up to four people will receive free admission the following weekend, April 22-23. Museum officials stated this includes police officers, firefighters, paramedics, meteorologists, utility workers, emergency dispatchers and healthcare workers.

“Our staff felt that offering impacted families a chance to spend time at the museum was the best way we could help,” Discovery CEO Kelley Bass said. “In hopes, the experience offers not just fun and education but a needed physical and mental break from all they’ve been dealing with – and will continue to deal with.”

The museum is also collecting donations to aid in relief efforts to the community. Those who donate at least one item will be entered into a drawing to win a Museum of Discovery annual family membership.

Both the Little Rock Zoo and the Museum of Discovery will be open during normal operating hours this weekend, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. respectively.

For more information on both opportunities, visit or