Family Vacation – What to do in Jackson, Mississippi with children

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This summer we are going to Orange Beach, Alabama, which is 10 hours away from home for us. Although we could do the whole trip in one day (we have done it before when we have gone to Destin, Florida), we have decided to stop along the way and enjoy an afternoon in Jackson, the capital city of Alabama.

Scott’s parents are originally from Mississipi and I love the amounts of history this state holds. I quickly got excited about visiting and booked our AirBnB. It was a cozy little house with plenty of room for all 7 of us (we took abuela on the trip).

Then I made a list of the places I would like to visit during our time there:

1.  Mississippi Children’s Museum

Photo courtesy of GreaterBelhaven.com

Since we do not have a lot of time to spend touring the city, we gave priority to the one activity the kids would enjoy the most.

Mississippi Children’s Museum strives to instill a sense of state pride in all Mississippi residents. A priority in all of their programs and exhibits is exposing children to Mississippi’s uniqueness:

  • its rich culture of writers, musicians, and artists
  • its racial history and geographic diversity
  • its struggles and its triumphs

Elements of Mississippi heritage are woven throughout the museum’s six galleries:

  • famous Mississippi musicians are featured prominently in the cultural arts gallery
  • the literacy gallery highlights renowned Mississippi authors and their works
  • Mississippi agriculture and industry are introduced in MCM’s gallery focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)

2. Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and Museum of Mississippi History

I put these on the top of the list because we love talking about history at our house, but they might not be as fun for the little ones. If your family loves museums and you have time in your hands, then you should walk down history lane with your children.

Photo credit: give2mississippimuseums.com

In December 2017, the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum opened in celebration of the state’s bicentennial. The Two Mississippi Museums is a place where Mississippians tell their own stories of the state’s rich and complex history.

3. Eudora Welty House and Garden

Photo credit: mdah.ms.gov/welty

Eudora Welty (April 13, 1909 – July 23, 2001) was an American short story writer and novelist who wrote about the American South. Her novel The Optimist’s Daughter won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973. Welty received numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Order of the South.

The Eudora Welty House is exactly how it was in 1986, when the author gave her home to the State. Go in and read some of Welty’s fiction and essays or go out and enjoy the beautiful gardens surrounding the property.

4. The Jackson Zoological Park

Photo credit: clarionledger.com

Another great activity to do with kids in Jackson, Mississippi, is to go to the Zoo, located on 110 acres of land acquired by the City of Jackson from Samuel Livingston. The Jackson Zoological Park has over 375 animals of about 200 species. It has been around for almost a hundred years since it opened in 1919 and moved to Livingston Park in 1921, operated by the City until 1986. Through an operating agreement with the City of Jackson, Jackson Zoological Society, Inc. has managed the Zoo for the past 29 years.

5. Have a Milkshake at Brent’s Drugs

Or have a breakfast parfait or any delicious lunch or dinner meal at this old-fashioned diner. 

Photo credit: instagram.com/brentsdrugs
Photo credit: instagram.com/brentsdrugs
Photo credit: instagram.com/brentsdrugs
Photo credit: instagram.com/brentsdrugs

We absolutely loved this place! They even have an area with toys for kids to play at. That, my friends, is life-saving when you have 4 little ones.

If you visit Jackson, Mississippi, please let me know what you loved the most about the city in the comments below.

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