4 Fun Things to do in Jacksonville, FL with Kids
Jacksonville may not be the kid-friendly city destination you think of in Florida (hello, Orlando), but the city has many kid-friendly activities and points of interest. These range from hands-on museums to an award-winning zoo to a behind-the-scenes experience at a candy factory. If you live in the area, it’s time to take advantage of these fun things to do in Jacksonville with kids. And if you’re just passing through Florida, definitely consider staying a few days in Jacksonville!
Our Favorite Family-Friendly Jacksonville, FL Attractions
Cummer Museum of Art and Garden
The Cummer Museum holds nearly 5,000 pieces in its permanent collection with art from 2100 B.C through the 21st century. Additionally, there are 2 1/2 acres of historic gardens with 20th-century designs, as well as the Cummer Oak, one of the oldest trees in Jacksonville.
It’s the educational activities, however, that make the Cummer Museum a kid-friendly destination. 20th-century Creativity Timeline is an interaction station where visitors can learn about the evolution of art and its relationship with culture, science and technology. At the Picture Perfect center, kids are able to create their own masterpiece. The artwork can be printed and taken home with technology that allows the movements of a paint brush in the air to appear on a screen. They can also create their own self-portraits at the Face to Face station. Kids from 18 months to 5 years-old even have their own gallery.
There are few better family-friendly activities than spending a day at the zoo. The Jacksonville Zoo is northeast Florida’s award-winning zoo with around 2,000 animals. Animal exhibits include Plains of East Africa with warthogs, cheetahs, and elephants, the Range of the Jaguar, Great Apes, Giraffe Outlook and the Australian Adventure with kangaroos and wallabies, among many others. Other family-friendly attractions at the zoo include a 4-D theater, river cruises on Saturdays, and Keeper Talks held at specific times throughout the week. With a group for six or more, Behind the Scenes tours are also available.
Sweet Pete’s Candy Factory
You’ve probably heard of Sweet Pete’s Gourmet Candy but did you know that you can take a family-friendly tour of Sweet Pete’s Candy Factory? The 30-minute tour takes visitors through Sweet Pete’s history in candy and chocolate as well as Jacksonville history in Sweet Pete’s candy mansion. At the end of the tour, which only costs $5, guests can create their own candy bar from the 16 different toppings offered.
Museum of Science and History
If your kid is interested in science or history, MOSH will be their dream destination, and if they are not yet enthralled by science and history, they will be after spending an afternoon there. There are 10 core exhibits as well as signature and traveling exhibits. Current core exhibits include the fast-paced Health in Motion with a special section specifically for kid’s health; Atlantic Tails with animals found along the First Coast and a touch tank; Currents of Time which explores the history of Jacksonville and Northeast Florida; and a Space Science Gallery. Kids under age 5 can find their own fun at the Kidspace. Special exhibitions include Anne Frank: A History for Today.
Whether your kids are age 5 or 15, there is a kid-friendly activity for them in Jacksonville. For easy access to all of the fun in Jacksonville and St. Augustine, check out Hilton St. Augustine Historic Bayfront.
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