When traveling to Jacksonville, one of the largest cities in Florida, you and the kids can embark on adventures and partake in a variety of activities, such as enjoying beachfront festivities, scenic hikes, and exploratory excursions. Numerous Jacksonville vacation rentals provide easy access to the beach and downtown area, giving your family a chance to relax while fishing, kayaking, or taking a casual stroll. Check out 10 of the most popular kid-friendly things to do in Jacksonville.
1. Make a Splash in the Atlantic
Expose your children to the wonders of the water by heading to the beach to enjoy the Atlantic Ocean. Suit up and spend a few hours swimming, or sign up for a guided paddleboarding tour with Adventure Kayak Florida. Beginning paddle boarders or surfers can sign up for a tour or lesson with Jax Surf & Paddle, while the experienced swimmers and surfers in your crew can float along the shore and soak up the sun.
2. Find Adventure at Adventure’s Landing
Entertain young children, tweens, and teens with a day trip to Adventure’s Landing. Launch a family game of laser tag, test your golfing skills with a game of miniature golf, or ride a few roller coasters for a thrill your children won’t forget. Adventure’s Landing also features a splash park where your family can get wet and wild. The park also has batting cages for the athletic enthusiasts in your crew and a gator alley where your kids can see alligators of all sizes. With so much adventure in one day, you’ll retire to your vacation rental ready to relax and unwind.
3. Catch a Game of Golf
Visit one of the 70 public or private golf courses in the Jacksonville area. With more than 1,220 holes available, your kids can sign up for lessons or perfect their game. You may even catch a glimpse of the pros if the PGA Tour is in town during the same week you booked your vacation rental in Northeast Florida.
4. Shop Away the Day
Shop till you drop at St. Johns Town Center, and don’t forget to send your kids home with some souvenirs so they can remember their stay in Jacksonville. This outdoor mall features local and national stores offering everything from clothing and hair accessories to sports memorabilia. After filling up your bags, grab lunch at the food court, or enjoy a snack from one of the food vendors located outside the mall.
5. Hike the Jacksonville-Baldwin Ride Trail
Travel past downtown Jacksonville to the west to find a rural setting that’s perfect for a family hike. The Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail offers 15 miles of adventure for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy. Your kids will enjoy the wonders of wildlife when they spot hawks, stilts, and wood storks along the trail. When it’s time for a water break or a snack, lounge on the picnic tables and benches provided for your convenience while admiring the scenic views.
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6. Jazz Things Up
Show your kids how to rock ‘n’ roll or sway to the beat of country or jazz music when vacationing in Jacksonville. Spend an evening at the historic Florida Theatre, or take in a show at the Veterans Memorial Arena. The Robert E. Jacoby Symphony Hall features performances showcasing classical music, and the Jacksonville Jazz Festival offers entertainment to make your trip memorable. You can also catch a Broadway or Off-Broadway production sponsored by the FSCJ Artist Series.
7. Feed the Inner Artist
Expose your children to the talents of renowned artists by visiting the Cummer Museum to view artwork from the Renaissance period. You can also visit the MOCA museum to view contemporary works or stop in to see the displays at the Jacksonville Main Library for colorful inspiration. Spend the day touring the Ritz Theater in the LaVilla neighborhood to take in the beauty of the city’s multicultural history.
8. Tour Kingsley Plantation
Experience a different side of Jacksonville by taking your kids on a tour of Kingsley Plantation. As one of the oldest homes in Jacksonville, Kingsley Plantation once housed slave quarters as well as a plantation house during the 18th and 19th centuries. This destination provides an eye-opening glimpse into an important chapter of Jacksonville’s history.
9. Drop a Fishing Line
Pack up some fishing poles, and head to the shorelines of Jacksonville, featuring 1,100 miles, for a day of deep sea, freshwater, or saltwater fishing with the kids. You can cast your reel along St. Johns River or dip into the Atlantic Ocean to see what type of fish come your way. St. Johns River offers year-round fishing with plenty of redfish for your catch-and-release excursion.
10. Explore the Riverwalk
As one of the most popular tourist attractions, the Downtown Jacksonville Riverwalk is a great place to explore. During the day, you and the kids can watch the sailboats sail by or watch in amusement as the speed boats gain momentum. This area features 1.2 miles of activities that include shopping, restaurants, and museums to keep you busy for a few hours. Stop by one of the cafes for a bite to eat, or dive into the fresh catch of the day for your dinner with the family.
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