By Carrie McLaren
As a Jacksonville native, I always get a thrill out of showing my kids the places I visited as a child.
Now, I'll share with you. Here’s a look at some of my favorite spots for family activities in Jacksonville, Fla.
This adventure park is a 'must' for kids. With go-karts, mini-golf, laser tag, batting cages and a great arcade room, it's a great way to spend the whole day. And if the weather is warm, take advantage of the Shipwreck Island Waterpark, too. There’s nothing more relaxing than floating along the Little St. Johns River lazy river.
With more than 2,000 animals and more than 1,000 types of plants, the zoo makes for a fascinating day. Be sure to take rides on the animal-themed carousel, too, and the zoo train that loops through the park. For the ultimate experience, stop by the Giraffe Lookout to feed the giraffes.
While this oceanfront park is known for great surfing, it’s also perfect for little ones and a great place for family fun in Jacksonville, FL. The park is home to 1.5 miles of beach, 20 miles of hiking trails, a splash park for kids and a 60-acre lake for fishing and kayaking. If you’re interested in camping, reserve a spot for your RV or tent, or scoop up one of the park’s cozy cabins.
Museum of Science & History, Jacksonville
Learn about animals native to Florida, take a walk through the human body and be sure to say hello to Tonka the giant snapping turtle in the museum’s lagoon area. Located on Downtown’s Southbank, the museum offers hands-on learning and is home to the area’s only planetarium, too.
On the first Wednesday of each month, more than 40 galleries, museums, restaurants and musical venues open their doors to welcome the visitors strolling throughout the 15 blocks featuring artists and live music. It’s the place to be each month and a great way to expose children to the local art and music scene.
Here are even more attractions in Jacksonville. And you're bound to find even more.