Now that we live in the mainland we take advantage of the option of being able to drive to other states to visit. So with my teenage Brother visiting for the summer we decided to go & test our mining skills at the Crater of Diamonds State Park. We didn't want...well, actually I didn't want to camp in the outdoors so we just decided to do what felt like an all day drive to Arkansas. We left the house in the wee hours of the morning so we could get there exactly when the park opened. I highly recommend getting there as soon as the park opens because the parking lot fills up fast. Trust me you don't want to park far. Also be sure to lather yourself generously with sun protection & have extra drinking water on hand. We got decked out in rubber boots, comfortable old clothes & hats. (The rubber boots are easier to clean than shoes.) When we arrived, we paid our toll & followed the crowd down the path onto the diamond field. You get excited when you see the markers of where people who found huge diamonds are. My husband had a theory that away from the crowd would be best to dig so we went all the way to the end of the 37 acres with all our screens, shovels, buckets, & whatever digging toys the kids decided to bring. Gosh, hauling all the gear in the hot sun was already getting me a bit tired. So we dug & sifted & even used the washing station but, found only normal rocks. After 3 hours of digging everyone got really tired & wanted to leave. I would tell you what the trick is to finding something even a sliver of a diamond but, your guess is as good as mine. The walk back up the trail to the car with our tail between our legs, feeling that we'd been conquered was a bit disappointing. I wish we would've brought our swim suits because there is a nice water slide area that you have to pass in order to get back to the parking lot & it looked really tempting after a hot morning in the sun. On our way out my Brother wanted something to remember his experience & went & bought himself a crystal with Crater of Diamonds etched in it. (They have lots of souveniers to bring back if you're interested.) So we finally made it to the parking lot & boy did I appreciate coming early & finding a close parking space. All in all, the experience was fun & the kids enjoyed playing in a huge field of dirt rows & getting dirty. There are other amenities that we did not take advantage of such as the snack bar, campgrounds, water park, fishing area, blind wildlife reserve but, hopefully if you get the chance to go you might be able to.