By Carrie McLaren

As a native of Northeast Florida, I love exploring Downtown Jacksonville with my children. From museums, art festivals and more – there are so many fun ways to explore Downtown as a family. Here are a few of our favorite spots –

Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville 

Located in the heart of Downtown Jacksonville in Hemming Plaza, little ones will love exploring ArtExplorium with 16 interactive art stations focusing on the artworks seen within the museum itself. With artworks from the 1960s to today, there are over 1,000 pieces on display making it a true learning experience.

Downtown Jacksonville Public Library 

With an enormous children’s library and plenty of family programming including story times, concerts, toddler art classes and more – the library is more than just books. Families can explore, learn and read together too. Take advantage of the peaceful patio on the third floor of the library with great views of the city.

Jacksonville ArtWalk

On the first Wednesday of each month, more than 40 galleries, museums, restaurants and musical venues open their doors welcoming visitors to stroll throughout the 15 blocks of 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.

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.

Skyway Express

This modern-day monorail connects riders between the North and Southbank of Downtown Jacksonville. With stops near restaurants, hotels and museums – the Skyway is an affordable way to travel through Downtown  - it even crosses above the St. Johns river. It’s a big hit with little kids too!