Crater of Diamonds State Park

ASP_COD_2014_mp_rotator_photo_01Recently, my family visited the Crater of Diamonds in Murfreesboro, Arkansas. It was a spur of the moment trip, as most of ours are, but we had a great time and I wanted to share the experience here!

Here is a little info from the parks website: Crater of Diamonds offers park visitors a one-of-a-kind experience—the adventure of hunting for real diamonds. You’ll search over a 37 ½-acre plowed field that is the eroded surface of the world’s eighth largest diamond-bearing volcanic crater. If you find a diamond, it is yours to keep.

We live about 4.5 hours from Murfreesboro, so we drove the night before to Idabel, Ok to stay at Comfort Suites and finish the drive to Murfreesboro in the morning. I’ll be honest. I am a self diagnosed germaphobe. I do not like staying in unfamiliar hotels or hotel chains, so that coupled with our late start, is why we stayed so far from the true destination. Comfort Suites was nice and clean and served breakfast!

Words of warning: Idabel has a Donut Palace, but it looked to be closed down… its possible that donuts near the hotel may not be as important to others but to me and my three year old it was quite devastating.

We arrived at the Crater of Diamonds around 9 am, it was about 75 degrees and we were optimistic! Our first stop was to check out the identification room to see what we were actually looking for. Hint: Anything you find that looks like a commercial diamond, probably isn’t a real diamond. We learned this after finding tons of quartz. If it looks metallic and smooth it could be the real deal.

To dig, it costs $10 for anyone over 13, $6 for 6-12, and free for kids under 5. (We surprisingly forgot to ask about a military discount but did not see it advertised on their website or at the location.)  The price is good for all day, even if you leave and come back.

We purchased a couple of spades in the gift shop and rented some screens and a bucket. For the bucket it costs $4 with a $10 deposit and the screen set is $5 with a $20 deposit. Check out their website at the bottom of the page for more rental prices.

We started out near a muddy patch of the land, well I did. My husband and daughter started out IN the muddy patch. After excitedly finding what turned out to be quartz, glass, and other minerals for a while, it got HOT. 90 degrees hot.

Around 1:00 we decided to break for lunch, our snacks weren’t cutting it. We soon realized that the town of Murfreesboro is very very small and has only a few places to eat. There are a few local restaurants and a Sonic but we decided to grab lunch at a hotdog truck parked in town. I won’t lie, it was pretty steep. $8 for a not so great hotdog.

We headed back to dig and went to another side of the land. This side was so dry we could hardly get our hand shovels in the dirt. We dug for another couple hours but we were worn out.

Sadly, we did not find any diamonds, but we had a really great time. Even our three year old didn’t complain until the last couple hours. We plan to go again, but probably not until it cools off, or until they open the water park. Yep, they have a waterpark!

So here are my tips for YOUR trip to The Crater of Diamonds.

  1. Sunscreen (I’m so red, it is ridiculous.)
  2. Lawn chairs (Also saw a handicapped shower chair being used, I don’t judge.)
  3. Water (Or Dr Pepper, if you’re like me.)
  4. Snacks for the kids
  5. Some people brought umbrellas for shade, I probably wouldn’t go that far but I’m sure it helped!

I hope this helps you plan your own trip! Check out their website for more information!

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